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Pokemon GO Gameplay Detailed: How Gyms Work

The announcement of an augmented reality Pokemon game got many series fans excited, but it also left a lot of questions unanswered. Niantic has today answered one of those questions, revealing some information about the mechanics behind Pokemon gyms in Pokemon GO.

Pokemon GO emulates some aspects of traditional Pokemon games, but it’s also introducing many unique gameplay mechanics and features, and Pokemon gyms are no exception. According to developer Niantic, Pokemon gyms will have real-world locations that a player must travel to in order to battle against the gym’s defending Pokemon. However, that’s where the similarities to classic Pokemon games end, as Pokemon gyms in Pokemon GO are a bit more involved than simply battling the gym leader and leaving with a shiny new badge.

In Pokemon GO, the player will have the opportunity to join one of three Pokemon Trainer teams prior to finding a Pokemon gym. Upon locating a rival gym, a player will be able to fight against the Pokemon that defend it in an effort to take it for their own team. If successful, the player will be given the option to leave a captured Pokemon at the gym to defend it from other attackers. If the gym is already controlled by the team that the player belongs to, they can still battle the Pokemon there to help raise their level and increase the overall prestige of the gym, which will give a boost to its resistance to attacking teams.

This is a rather interesting departure from the typical Pokemon formula. Traditionally, the player can fight to become the Elite Four champion, but gamers haven’t previously had the opportunity to become gym leaders themselves. While Pokemon GO seems to be doing away with the gym badge system, and thus may not have an Elite Four, its creation of a Pokemon PvP turf battle is an interesting addition to the series’ long-standing mechanics.

Pokemon GO just became available to field testers in the United States today, so many Pokemon gyms in the U.S. probably haven’t been discovered yet. While some gamers have expressed concerns about Pokemon GO, others have clamored to sign up to become a Pokemon GO field tester. Now that players can get their hands on the actual game, it should soon become clear whether the title is worth the hype or not.

Are you a Pokemon GO field tester? Have you found a Pokemon Gym yet? Share your experience with us in the comments below.

Pokemon GO is set to release to the public sometime in 2016 for Android and iOS mobile devices.

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