Pokémon Go: 10 Tips for Pokémon Gym Battles

A guide to help you win your first battle and stay on top at your local Pokémon Gym!

I’m back with more information on Pokémon Go, and I have to say that for a game with such immediate popularity, there is very little tutorial. There are many games where this can work, but with so much going on in Pokémon Go, it can be easy to spend most of your first five level’s worth of star dust on a Pidgey that may not have had as much potential as that Eevee that would eventually turn into a Flareon.

So, to save you the heartache and hours of trying to figure out how to take down an opposing team, here are some quick and easy tips. Additionally, if you would like to see how not to engage in your first Pokèmon combat, check out my video at the bottom of the article.

1) Set Your Pokémon Up For Success

It is all too easy to dump your stardust powder into a Pokémon with a low, early-maxout potential. CP stands for combat power, and the gauge above your Pokèmon’s head determines in its description page details the maximum amount it can have. I made the mistake of picking a few Pokémon whose attacks were not as good as some of their peers. Look at the damage of the attacks one Eevee is capable of doing as opposed to another, and make your decisions on which ones to trade in for candy based on this information. This will help you obtain the strongest creature to pour your resources into and maximize your potential.

2) Dodge!

If you’re like me, you may have eventually realized this on accident, but you can dodge some attacks in combat. By timing it correctly, you can avoid your opponent’s charge attacks by swiping left and right. This will move you in circular motion around your enemy, forcing them to take precious seconds to relocate you and focus while giving you a moment to get behind them and land a special attack.

3) Plan Your Battle Order Accordingly

When Pokémon Go came out a few days ago, I was out of high speed data. This could very well be the cause of the many gym issues I had over the weekend, but when taking out the local Valor faction’s hold over the gym, I noticed that they had a water Pokémon followed by a fire Pokémon. It is important to keep your opponent’s type in mind. Swipe to the left while looking at the gym to get a look at the combat power level and the type of the Pokémon you’ll be facing before you initiate battle, then rearrange your Pokémon accordingly.

4) Work Together With Your Team!

While I didn’t understand why I was seeing another Pidgeotto in the battle that was recorded in my “How Not to Win a Pokèmon Gym Match,” video, I now understand that it was because I am on the yellow (instinct) team, and that another teammate was in the park battling at the same time. If you have friends or local players who are on the same team as you, work together to take down powerful gyms. This will give you more of a chance to claim the gym for your own. Note that you also get Pokémon Coins for managing to hold the gym for over 24 hours, so if you can capture it, try to hold onto it for as long as possible so that you can use the coins to buy more Pokéballs and other supplies.

5) It’s all about prestige!

Likely more important than taking down enemy gym towers is keeping your own! If you see a local gym has turned to the color of your team, you should make it a point to challenge and beat the current trainer. This will give the gym more prestige and eventually level up the gym so that you may add more Pokémon to its defense. This makes your team’s Pokémon gym tower harder to take down.


6) Get Medals!

Open up your trainer menu and scroll down to see the badges. Getting badges will net you more star powder and items, which will allow you to level up your companions. This will help to keep you on top of the game!


7) It’s Not Experience Grinding if You’re Having Fun

You can take that statement two ways. On one hand, grinding or experience isn’t work if you enjoy it. On the other, if you’re enjoying the grinding for extra points, are you really working? And are you working efficiently towards your Pokémon goals? Did I really need to catch 75 Eevees, for example? No. Was Flareon the fastest way to take down the really powerful Venosaur that had taken over the gym by my house? Yes. Maybe 75 is a bit high, but it is important to focus your effort if you are going to avoid spending actual money on Pokéballs. I didn’t need anymore Weedles because I had a Beedrill. Even though I live near several Pokéstops, it is still important to minimize your grinding. You gain experience points regardless of what Pokémon you catch, but if you can travel a little further and use a Pokéball on a Pokémon you haven’t seen yet, you’ll get more experience for doing that than catching yet another Pidgey.


8) Be aware of Pokémon candy

I thought for sure that evolved Pokémon would be worth more. They aren’t! You’ll have to weigh your options between possibly having a better Beedrill by evolving a large Kakuna, or losing resources. It can be hard to be certain whether your investments are really worth it, but as you play more and level up, you will be a better judge of potential. I’m just trying to prevent some basic mistakes, such as not looking at what the damage is of the actual attacks the Pokémon is capable of making.


9) Glitching out from the server?

I found in my two hours of attempting to fight my first gym on Saturday that it is better to exit out of the app sooner rather than later when you realize the battle might not be starting. For example, I was still hearing the music and I ended up wasting potions even though I wasn’t actually even able to tap the screen to take on my enemy’s Raticate due to server lag. The moment you suspect the connection isn’t stable or that something has gone wrong, just restart the app rather than lose potions.

10) Be strategic: Try Again Later

Honestly, sometimes someone just has a Pokémon ruling the tower that you won’t be able to take down singlehandedly. Let other people in your neighborhood that are on your team take on the Vaporeon with CP level 986, especially if your highest CP is 587. There is no point in wasting potions on healing when the battle was not tipped in your favor to begin with. This can be hard, but it is better to save your potions and go out to catch Pokémon rather than to waste resources on an opponent who might be impossible to take out singlehandedly.

Hopefully these help your quest, and I’ll be back soon with more tips. To see some of these ideas in action, and to see my first Pokémon Gym battle end terribly, check out the video below:

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