The single biggest update is coming soon to Pokémon GO. The upcoming patch will revamp how Gyms and Gym battles work as well as adding a new cooperative Raid Battle feature.
Gyms will soon feature six permanent slots that can be filled with its controlling team’s Pokémon. Each Pokémon must be unique – no more stacking Dragonites and Snorlaxes! Opposing teams will have to battle them in the order in which they were assigned.
A new motivation system will be integrated with Gyms. Pokémon will lose motivation over time while in a Gym, especially if they lose a battle. As they lose motivation their Combat Power will decrease, making it easier to assault bulky Gyms after awhile. Gym owners can raise their Pokémon’s motivation by giving them berries, giving berries a much more important use. If a Pokémon’s motivation bar is completely drained, it will leave the Gym and return to its Trainer after its next loss.
Gyms will also provide items the same way PokéStops do. New Gym Badges can be leveled up by gathering Gym items every day as well as giving Gym Pokémon berries.
Raid Battles are an entirely new feature. A Raid Boss will take over a Gym, kicking out the current Pokémon. The Raid Boss initially appears as a giant egg with a countdown timer, signaling that a powerful boss will soon appear. Up to 20 trainers will work together to defeat the Raid Boss within a five-minute time limit, and the chance to catch a powerful Pokémon.
You’ll need a Raid Pass to join the fight. You can earn one free Raid Pass per day by visiting a Gym, but you can only hold one at a time. More will be available for purchase in the in-game shop.
New items are being added as rewards for winning Raid Battles. Rare Candy works like a wild candy, letting you use it on any Pokémon. Golden Razz Berries increase the chance of catching a wild Pokémon as well as fully replenishing a Gym-assigned Pokémon’s motivation bar. Two new Technical Machine items let you teach Pokémon new moves.
The Gym portion of the update is being rolled out soon, which will temporarily disable all Gyms during the transition. Then the Raid Battle feature will be added over the next few weeks, beginning with a beta for select players.