Pokemon Go is already one of the biggest apps of all time and now that the game has launched in Thailand, it is the perfect time to get clued up on some of the finer points of the augmented reality gaming sensation.
You might have been playing for a couple of weeks already, you’ve caught some Pokemon, reached level 5 and now you are ready for your first battle – which means heading to a Pokemon Go gym.
The gyms, which are located at local places of interest, are an essential part of the game and by mastering them you will progress further in the game.
However, to a newcomer the gyms can be pretty baffling.
But don’t worry, here is all you need to know about Pokemon Go Gyms.
What is a Pokemon Go gym?
Pokemon Go Gyms are where you train your Pokemon for battle.
In the game they are pretty hard to miss given that they displayed as giant towers with a big a Pokemon on top.
Every Gym is owned by a team and once you reach level 5 you will be required to choose a team. You have a choice of three: Instinct, Mystic and Valor. They have a colour: yellow, blue and red respectively. The colours help you identify who is friendly who isn’t.
Ultimately the reason to be in a Gym is to get the Poke Coins which you can use to buy stuff in the Store to advance in the game.
Why do you need to join a team?
Teams exist with the sole purpose of managing Gyms. If Valor owns a Gym, other Valor team members can train there which will raise the profile of the gym. Instinct and Mystic will attack your Gym with the aim of lowering your prestige.
What are the levels and what is prestige?
Each gym has a level and a certain amount of prestige.
The level tells you how many slots there are for defending Pokemon. A level 5 Gym will have slots for 5 defenders.
Prestige can be increased either by training or going into battle.
How to battle
The main point of the Pokemon Go gyms is to battle against other trainers.
The concept behind battles is quite straightforward. Once you have selected your Pokemon you will be transported to the battle arena where you basically need to tap the screen as fast as you can to unleash an attack.
Different Pokemon have different attacks with some Pokemon being more effective than others against different foes.
For example water Pokemon are more effective against fire Pokemon.
You will also notice the blue bars located under your Pokemon’s health. When this is full you can press on the screen for longer to unleash a more powerful attack.
It’s all pretty simplistic but you can also dodge an attack by either swiping left or right.
During a battle you can also use items you may have stored in your backpack such as potions or revives to give you an extra bit of help.
How to train Pokemon
This is very easy, basically you find a gym that is owned by your team and you train there.
You need to make sure that you stand a chance of beating the Pokemon that you are training.
You will fight all defenders in sequence until they are knocked out. The more victories you get the better for you and the gym.
How to attack and take enemy Gyms
When you’re fighting in a Pokemon Gym which is held by another team, you must defeat all the Pokemon which are defending it before it can be taken over. If this is high a level gym, you may have your work cut out.
When you win you will knock their prestige down and once it hits 0 the those defending the gym will be ejected and you can claim it. The higher the level of gym, the harder it is.
Usually to breakdown a Gym’s prestige you need to do it bit by bit.
Once in a Gym you earn bonuses by defending it. These are coins that can be used to purchase items to help power up your Pokemon.
You earn 10 coins every time you defend a gym and this is refreshed every 21 hours.
Where are the Gyms?
As mentioned, Gyms can be found at local points of interest. It could be a park, a coffee shop, the beach or some other kind of landmark.
From what we can tell, there doesn’t appear to be any kind of theme, but there are Pokemon Gyms at most shopping malls, parks and even some temples in areas we have played around Thailand.