For newbies on the game, you’ll be surprised to know that there’s more to Pokemon Go than just collecting Pokemons. After all, you’ll eventually get tired of collecting (*sigh, another Pidgey..*) and would want to test your skills in the other aspect of the game.
Joining a Team
After reaching level 5, you’ll be asked to choose one of the three teams: Instinct, Mystic and Valor. They are represented by three colours: yellow, blue and red, respectively.
This colours comes in handy because you won’t know which Gyms are controlled by which team by just glancing at the map.
Choose wisely, though. Because as of now, there’s no way to choose another team. This means that if you choose Instinct, for example, you’ll be a member of Team Instinct for life! Unless of course, Niantic decides to let players change teams on future updates.
What is a Gym?
Niantic describes Gyms as:
.. special points of interest found throughout the world. You can capture a Gym for your Team and battle the Pokémon of rival Teams there. Gyms can be challenged by multiple Trainers at the same time.
A Gym’s level is determined by its prestige. As a Gym earns prestige, it increases in level. The higher a Gym’s level, the more Pokémon can be assigned to it, which makes it harder for rival Teams to capture. A Gym’s prestige increases when you assign a trained Pokémon to it, and also when teammates assign additional Pokémon.
The main reason to be in a Gym is to be able to get PokeCoins – you know, those gold coins in the Shop section that you can use to buy items, like PokeBalls, Bag Upgrade, Lure Module, etc. Those items enables you to advance further in the game.
Prestige, you say?
Prestige is the measure of a Gym, and you can change this by training or battling on the said Gym. The more defender slots a Gym has, the more it’s prestige increases.
You can train in a friendly Gym by challenging a defender. If you win on the fight, the prestige of that Gym increases. Once the prestige ceiling is hit, the level of the Gym increases, thus allowing you to add more defenders.
If you win after battling an enemy Gym (a Gym controlled by a team which you don’t belong), it’s prestige falls down as well on each victory. Once the the prestige hits zero, the defenders are removed, and you can move in and claim it for your own team! Neat, huh?!
Gym Battle: The Basics
Tap, tap, tap. Yes, it’s that easy. Tap as you possible can to give out normal attacks. For special attacks, give out a long press before releasing the button. But be careful, since giving out specials makes you more prone for the counter attacks.
Before going to battle though, you have to know that different Pokemon delivers different effectiveness than others against particular foes – for example, water type Pokemon can be better used on fire type ones.
If you want to know more, refer to this chart below:
Aside from attacking, you can also dodge the defenders attack if you want to. If you fight long enough, you’ll notice that there’s a certain pattern on every Pokemon defender. Once you’ve learn it’s move, you can dodge the attacks by swiping left or right.