Pokemon Go temporarily shut its gyms for a revamp and details are finally released on what you can expect, including Raid Battles.
For the new gyms, you’d be able to spin the Photo Disc, as you would PokéStops. Gyms are no longer based on Prestige and training. Instead, there will be six permanent slots that can be filled by the controlling team’s Pokémon. There will also be a new motivation meter, which changes over time based on interaction with Gyms. Pokémon loses motivation as they are defeated in battle, while Berries restore motivation. If a Pokémon loses all motivation, it will leave the Gym and return to its Trainer the next time it loses a battle.
Players can now earn Gym Badges when interacting with Gyms around the world. Gym Badges serve as mementos of your Pokémon GO adventures and reflect your contribution to a Gym’s success.
You’ll be able to level up your Badges by battling, giving Berries to the Pokémon in the Gym and spinning the Gym’s Photo Disc. You can earn the opportunity to receive bonus items and increased rewards from Gyms by raising the level of your Gym Badge.
A much requested feature, Raid Battles will also be made available. Raid Battle is a cooperative gameplay allowing players to team up to defeat an extremely powerful Pokémon known as the Raid Boss. Before a Raid Battle begins, a large Egg will appear atop the Gym. When the countdown above the Egg reaches zero, the Raid Boss will be revealed.
A Raid Pass will be required, and players can get one free Raid Pass per day by visiting a Gym, but you can only hold one at a time. There are also Premium Raid Passes in the in-game shop. Upon using the pass up to 20 other players can work together to defeat the Raid Boss.
Successful defeats of Raid Boss comes with special bonuses including Rare Candies, Golden Razz Berries, and two types of Technical Machines—Fast and Charged.
A Rare Candy is a mysterious candy that, when used on a Pokémon, turns into that Pokémon’s Candy. Golden Razz Berries will greatly increase your chances of catching a Pokémon you encounter in the wild and can also be given to a Pokémon assigned to a Gym to fully recover its motivation meter. Technical Machines are items you can use to permanently teach a Pokémon a new Fast Attack or Charged Attack.
Raid Battles will be available after Gyms have been refreshed, with the new features rolling out slowly over the next few weeks, starting as beta. Raids will only be visible to certain players at certain locations while beta.