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How To Battle In Gyms

How to Battle in Gyms


Gym battles in Pokemon Go are unlike the battles you may be used to in regular Pokemon Games.

Pokemon Go no longer uses the familiar turn-based mechanics, instead, it has been replaced by a simplified, real-time battle system. This means fights are now much quicker with the game focused on 3 moves.

  • To Attack – Tap the screen as quickly as you can.
  • To use your special – Every successful attack fills up the blue bars. Once full you can use your special move. Just press and hold the screen and your Pokemon will unleash a powerful move causing a significant amount of damage to your rival
  • To defend – Just swipe left or right on the screen and if timed correctly you will dodge the rival attacks.

We recommend you practice dodging in your first few battles to get a feel for the timing. You will need to be able to dodge the opponent’s special attacks when you are evenly matched and you need to avoid as many attacks as possible when you go into a battle as the underdog to stand any chance of claiming a victory.

“Moves can be viewed in your Pokemon’s profile. The top move is the basic attack, and the second move is their special attack. Moves can have different meters with the number and size of the bars indicating how many special attacks can be stored at a time and how quickly they take to charge”

Pokemon Go normal and special attack

You may be tempted to use your special move as soon as it is ready but remember that when using your special your Pokemon will be static for a brief time and unable to move or dodge any incoming attacks. It may be better to use your special near the end of a battle as a finishing maneuver to deal the final blow.



That’s all there is to it control wise!


There are 2 other factors you should take into consideration whilst battling.

The biggest of which is the opponent’s CP in relation to your own. Ideally, you want to use higher CP Pokemon than your rival. This will mean you will do more damage to them whilst taking less damage yourself.

Pokemon type also makes a difference in battle as some elements will have a damage advantage over another. For example, a Water type will hold a significant damage advantage when battling a fire type. Although less important than CP, the type can still make a difference to the outcome of a battle, especially if the CP is evenly matched.  


Can I take out a higher CP Pokemon?

Yes. It is more than possible. The higher your Pokemon’s CP relative to the opposition the better chance you have of defeating them, however, a battle isn’t 100% decided by CP.

  • You take 6 Pokemon into a fight with you. If there is just one Pokemon defending a gym you get 6 Pokemon to take out their one!
  • You can see the Pokemon you will be battling before it starts so choose your selection carefully.
  • Notice a Gyarados defending a gym? Don’t send out your Magmar or Flareon. Choose Pokemon they are weak against, in this example choose a Grass or an electric type such as Venusaur or Jolteon
  • Dodge their attacks by swiping the screen


If the rival gym prestige or the CP of the Pokemon inside is high then why not bring a friend? Just attack the gym at the same time as a friend or fellow Pokemon trainer and you will enter a 2 vs 1 battle with them making your job much easier and faster. In a multiplayer battle, you will see your team mate appear opposite along with the number 2 under your health bar indicating 2 players are battling against the defending Pokemon.  In this example, we are using an Electabuzz against a much higher level Magmar and our friend is using Snorlax.


Can I swap Pokemon During Battle?

You can, although bare in mind that your rival will not stop attacking whilst you do so which could prove costly!


Heal Your Pokemon After Battle

Pokemon that are defeated in combat at rival gyms will faint and need to be revived before you can use them again.

Pokemon defeated at friendly gyms will have their Hit Points reduced to 1 and will not faint, so you will only need to use potions to restore their HP.

Use a Revive to wake up a fainted Pokemon

Use a Potion to restore their Hit Points

  • Potion – 20 HP
  • Super Potion – 50 HP
  • Max Potion – 200 HP

Check out our Items section for more information.


Now you know how to fight it’s time to start helping your team out!

Gym Levels and Prestige

How to take over Rival Gyms

Training at Friendly Gyms