June 20, 2017
'Pokemon GO' Biggest Update: Gym Systems To Get Major Revamp, Battle Raids, And New Items

Pokemon GO is about to get what Niantic considers the biggest update since the game's launch last summer. The update will be mostly about how the gym system works, a feature of the game that is one of the main sources of player frustration.

Niantic has temporarily shut down the Pokemon GO gyms as it works on the major revamp coming this summer. According to Business Insider, the new gyms will only allow one Pokemon species and the controlling team's Pokemon would fill in six slots. The player can battle Pokemon based on the order they were added instead of their CP levels.

The update on Pokemon GO is introducing a new health stat, "motivation." Pokemon can be kicked out of the gym when they lose motivation. This stat reduces over time, and as the Pokemon does battle and the motivation goes down, it can also lower the Pokemon's CP. To keep the Pokemon motivated, the player should feed it berries.

Moreover, the new gyms would also serve as normal Pokestops where players can obtain special items. Players can also earn badges for interacting with gyms and level up from Vanilla to Bronze to Silver and to Gold. According to TechCrunch, this would give players more reasons to play while traveling.

The upcoming Pokemon GO update will add a new Raid Battle feature, which will allow players to team up with up to 20 other players to bring down a powerful Pokemon at a gym. When a raid begins, a glowing egg will appear on top of a gym with a countdown above it. The egg hatches when the countdown ends, revealing a Raid Boss, which is quite impossible to beat on your own given its high combat power. When the Raid Boss has been defeated, the player can try to catch it using the premier balls awarded after the raid. Raid bosses would also include Legendary Pokemon. Niantic told TechCrunch they are considering an "invitational" raid, which is for "dedicated" trainers or high-level players in a region.

Furthermore, there would be new items, which would be available only through raids. These include Rare Candy that would help the player evolve any kind of Pokemon. Golden Razz Berries would also be added, a more effective version of Razz Berries. Golden Razz Berries would fully refill a Pokemon's motivation in a gym. There will also be Fast TM and Charged TMs that would teach Pokemon a new attack.

Raid Battle is expected to be shown at the Pokemon GO's first real-world event on July 22 in Chicago.

[Featured image by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images]