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New Gym Features, Gym Badges, Raid Battles and More Announced for Pokémon GO

It seems that Niantic, Inc. is still trying to breathe life back into Pokémon GO.

After a series of continued bugs and issues that caused most of the Pokémon GO community to drop off (but somewhat resurrect with the release of Generation 2 Pokémon into the game), Niantic, Inc. has announced that the game will be updated with new gym features, gym badges raid battles and new items.

The full update post can be found on Pokémon GO’s official website, but here is a round-up of what new features will be seen in this giant update:


  • Players can get items from Gyms
  • six permanent slots will be replacing the 10 levels of Prestige system
  • the Pokémon in each slot have to be different from one another (“For example, only one Blissey can be assigned to a Gym at a time,” it says in the Pokémon GO update post)
  • Players will battle Gym Pokémon starting from the first slot
  • the new motivation meter system will be replacing the Prestige leveling system
    • a motivation meter will appear on every Pokémon given a slot at the Gym, and every time the Pokémon is defeated in battle it decreases
    • this gives the opposing Trainers an advantage, because as the motivation meter decreases, a Pokémon’s CP also temporarily decreases (when a Pokémon’s motivation increases/it returns to the trainer, the CP will return to normal)
    • the Pokémon will return to its original Trainer after being defeated one last time in battle if the motivation meter decreases completely
    • the motivation meter can be increased by giving a Pokémon Berries

Gym Badges

  • Gym Badges are earned when “interacting” with a Gym (it isn’t specified if this means that the player has to beat the Gym to earn the Badge like in the main Pokémon games or if just visiting the Gym will earn the player a Badge)
  • Badges can be leveled up from Gym battles, feeding a Gym’s Pokémon Berries and through swiping on its Photo Disc (which will also give a player items, as mentioned earlier)
    • every time the Badge is leveled up, players will earn rewards

Raid Battles

  • If a Raid Boss (the Tyranitar shown in a screenshot has a CP of over 25,000) can be defeated in five minutes, players will have a chance to catch it (this will be available at any Gym and up to 20 players can join the battle)
    • an Egg will appear on top of a Gym, and when the timer on the Egg runs out a Raid Boss will hatch
  • Players will need a Raid Pass to compete in Raid Battles, which can be earned once a day by visiting a Gym (players can’t stack up on Raid Passes by going to different Gyms, though, since just one can be held by a player)
    • Premium Raid Passes can be purchased in-game


  • certain items can only be obtained by participating in a Raid Battle and defeating the Raid Boss
    • Rare Candy — when used on a Pokémon, it will turn into that Pokémon’s specific candy that can increase its CP (in the main Pokémon games, Rare Candies are used to level up Pokémon)
    • Golden Razz Berries — can restore a Gym Pokémon’s motivation meter completely and be used in the wild to increase the catch rate of a Pokémon
    • two types of TM’s — used on Pokémon to teach them new moves Fast Attack and Charged Attack (in the main Pokémon games, TM’s are used to teach a Pokémon new moves)

For these updates to occur, all Gyms will be temporarily shutting down. Although this may cause more harm than good, it’s nice to see Niantic, Inc. actively try to improve Pokémon GO.

Featured image via Flickr/Eduardo Woo.

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