How to Train in Pokemon GO

The battle system in Pokemon GO has seen quite a few changes over the years. With PvP recently being added, it’ll be helpful to know how to train your squad. Here’s everything you need to know about how to train in Pokemon GO.

Before the addition of Raids and PvP, you were able to train in Gyms scattered around the world. Gyms had a Prestige level and you were able to battle against a Gym controlled by your own team to increase the level and make it more secure.

You also needed to train to work towards a specific trainer badge. However, when everything changed and Raids were added, that feature was removed from the game.

Now that PvP has arrived, you can only train in the sense that you can battle against Team Leaders to get some more experience with the battle system, without losing or gaining anything tangible.

To battle against a team leader in Pokemon GO, you need to follow these steps in-game.

  • First of all, click on the nearby box in the bottom right corner of the screen.
  • You’ll now see a new ‘Battle’ tab to the left of Raid and Pokemon.
  • If you select the word Battle or swipe across to the left, you’ll see the options to ‘Challenge a Trainer’, a QR code that you are able to give to other players to begin a PvP match, and the three Team Leaders.
  • If you select whichever Leader you want to battle, you will then see a screen that says ‘Train’ underneath a screen of the leader you chose.
  • After you’ve clicked on Train, you’ll be able to choose which League you want to fight it, each of which has its own max CP cap.
  • You will then be able to choose your party of three Pokemon to take into the battle.
  • Confirm the Pokemon you want to use and the battle will begin.
  • Once you’ve defeated the Trainer’s three ‘mon, you’ll be returned to the Pokemon Go main screen.

You don’t get awarded with any items for winning a battle against a Leader, as you would if you fought another player, but they’re fun nonetheless.

That’s everything you need to know about how to train in Pokemon GO. For more tips and tricks on the game, check out our Pokemon GO wiki guide.


Question: How do you train in Pokemon GO?

Answer: You can’t do so with gyms anymore, but you can test your skills by battling the team leaders.


How to Find Top Training Pokemon

Great quick attacks for training Pokemon are Water Gun and Bites. These attacks are fast enough that I can continue using the them until the yellow flash indicates that I need to dodge, so I don’t waste any time. However, don’t spam that attacks because they will queue and you will get hit.

To find more good training quick moves, go here: and look for quick moves that have a duration of 500 ms or less. 500 ms is used as the cutoff because 500ms just enough time you need to dodge the 700ms dodge window,making it possible for you to get in as many attacks as possible between the attacks of the Pokemon that is already in the gym.

For charge moves, you also want something that is fast, so you don’t have to take any damage. For this reason, charge moves like Solar Beam and Hyper Beam, although good for pure attackers, are not the best for training Pokemon.

Using attacks as slow as those usually mean taking a direct hit and that can greatly reduce the number of hits that this training Pokemon can deliver in its lifetime because it probably has very somewhat little HP (more on that later).

Good charge moves have a duration of less than about 2400 ms. The idea here is that you need to be able to use them between the gym Pokemon’s quick attacks. In many cases you won’t have the time or the HP to wait for them to use charge attack to use yours. Good examples of charge moves are Body Slam and Dragon Claw.

The slower the attack is, the better the trainer needs to be at timing them. For example, Aqua Tail has a duration of 2350 ms, which is under the limit, and I have successfully used it between the gym Pokemon’s quick attacks, but it is risky.

2. High Defense and/or HP Stats

Because the CP Formula is more sensitive to Attack than Defense and HP, Pokemon with low Attack stats, but good Defense and HP stats can have a fairly low max CP. This makes these Pokemon perfect for training.

However, Pokemon with very low attack stats (like Chansey), will likely not be able to defeat a Pokemon within in the Gym time limit. Pokemon that meet this criteria are Wigglytuff, Slowbro, Tentacruel, and Hypno.

Pokemon that fit one of these criteria can be great trainers and Pokemon that have both will be amazing members of any team, even if they never take down or protect a gym.

Gyms in Pokémon Go: How to train, claim and win

Pokémon Go shares much in common with its handheld predecessors: The game offers Pokémon to catch, items to use and monsters to battle. But each of these offer some unique differences from the games Pokémon fans grew up with, perhaps none more so than gym battles.

Understanding how gyms work in Pokémon Go requires some trial and error, as well as a lot of explanation. Bear with us as we walk you through the world of gym battling and, hopefully, lead you on the path to victory.


Just like PokéStops, Pokémon Go players must walk throughout the actual world in order to locate Pokémon gyms. These are specially marked, just as PokéStops are, but they’re even easier to spot: Look for the giant, colored towers with a Pokémon sticking out of them. For more specific locations, check out our guide on how to find the closest gymsto you or anywhere else in the world.


There are two conditions you must meet before they can enter a gym in Pokémon Go. First, you must reach level five. That should be easy to do: Go out there and catch Pokémon and visit PokéStops to gain experience. Once you hit that milestone, you must join a team — Valor (red), Mystic (blue) or Instinct (yellow) — to start competing at gyms.

You’ll be prompted to do so the first time you enter a gym, and whichever side you shack up with is the side you belong to for the rest of your playthrough. If you need help choosing, we’ve got some tips for you. Otherwise, pick a side, and you’re good to go.


What you need to know first is that there are two kinds of gyms: rival and friendly. Rival gyms belong to either of the other two teams that you don’t belong to. Team Valor’s rival gyms are marked in yellow (Instinct’s) or blue (Mystic’s), for reference.

You can battle either kind of gym, but the motivation behind the battle will differ.

Niantic/The Pokémon Company


Rival gym battles are a matter of lowering your opponent’s prestige level.

You can find this number after selecting the gym you wish to face. After selecting a gym, you’ll see a set of information on the screen, including the name, level, the trainers stationed there, the species and combat power of their Pokémon and their prestige level. The prestige level is located at the upper right-hand corner and is generally some multiple of 1,000. This varies based on the gym’s level.

The point of fighting your team’s rival is to lower their prestige. Every time you beat a trainer defending that gym, you’ll knock points off the gym’s prestige level. Once it drops to zero, the gym is up for grabs. This makes gym battles a fight for honor, as well as a fight for territory, as you can claim the gym for your team.

To make that happen, you’ll have to win some fights. Choose up to six Pokémon — preferably those with the highest combat power, but also take into account the types of Pokémon you’re about to go up against — to take on the trainers at the gym, then choose the button in the lower right corner to engage in battle.

Now, here are the basics on battling in Pokémon Go, no matter what kind of gym you’re visiting.


Attacking is one of the biggest changes from the Pokémon games on handheld. First of all, battles are no longer turn-based affairs. Instead, to attack another Pokémon, get ready to get to it as soon as the whistle blows. To unleash a standard move, tap the screen. Special moves — type-based, more powerful attacks — can be initiated by holding your finger on the screen once the appropriate meter is full. Fights are one-on-one, no-holds-barred, so you’ll want to make use of both liberally.


Swipe the screen to dodge your opponent’s attacks. This is especially important if your Pokémon is the wrong type or at a lower combat power than the enemy. Healing can only be done at a battle’s conclusion, so pay attention to the health of both your own Pokémon and the enemy; that information is listed at the top of the screen.


Use Pokémon with moves that are super effective against the enemy. It’s good to study up on the Pokémon type chart if you’re rusty on which types are strong against which. Also, make sure to pit Pokémon of comparable skill and combat power against each other to ensure your victory.

Once you win against a rival trainer, the gym’s overall prestige goes down. Defeating every trainer that’s posted at the gym will lead to a decrease of 2,000 points. Remember that once that number hits zero, it’s all yours for the taking.


To claim a gym, you must leave one of your own Pokémon there. You might not want to give up your best fighter, but it’s a good idea to leave behind a strong Pokémon to help preserve your team’s honor, as that gym will now proudly boast the color of whichever side you belong to. Now any rival team members who come by will have to take your Pokémon on as you continue along with your own journey.


For the most part, you’ll want to ensure your Pokémon stays fighting fit and keeps on winning. This is mostly out of your hands; just hope for the best, and that no especially strong trainers pass on by.

As part of the game’s big gym revamp, there’s another component to defending your team’s gym. Pokémon now need to stay motivated in order to keep fighting. Every Pokémon stationed at a gym has a heart above its head, which depletes over time. As a Pokémon becomes unmotivated, its combat power goes down — making it even easier for a rival to take it over.

To keep its spirits up, you can feed any Pokémon at a friendly gym. Touch them to give them a berry, which will increase their motivation. You’ll also get some Stardust and experience as a reward for being helpful.


You can! Gyms belonging to your team are considered friendly, but they do allow for battling. These battles exist for training purposes, however, so it’s a good idea to visit the spots that your own team is already holding down to help strengthen your party for those rival gym battles. They’ll pick up experience, win or lose.

Not only can you train your Pokémon at your team’s gyms, but you can help to fortify its presence at these places to ensure that no rivals can take them down.


Mechanically, battles play out in the same way as they do at rival gyms. Entering training mode involves sending out one Pokémon against the set of trainers who’ve claimed this gym for your team already. With each trainer you topple, the gym’s prestige will increase.

Attaining enough prestige points will successfully level up the gym and give you the chance leave a single Pokémon behind to defend the gym. This is also possible if the gym has an open slot available for a battle-ready trainer. Although you will receive your Pokémon back if a rival beats in battle, it’s still smart not to give up your best monster in the name of your team. Assuming your team’s defense is good enough, you won’t get that critter back for quite some time.


Raising your team’s prestige level thanks to your strong defenses is bound to feel good, and leveling up your Pokémon is useful for taking on enemies. When you’re stationed at a gym, you’ll also pick up items for each day that your Pokémon remains undefeated. These include PokéCoins, which are otherwise available for actual real world dollars, along with Stardust, which you can use to power up your Pokémon.

The gym revamp finally introduces badges as well. There are four tiers of badges to collect: basic, bronze, silver and gold. These are won through interactions with the gyms, whether by battling, claiming and holding your spot at a gym or motivating the Pokémon there. You can even get them by swiping on the new PokéStop part of each gym, and you’ll get more items from these PokéStops as you earn badges. To achieve higher tiers, you’ll have to interact often with gyms.


There’s much more to learn about Pokémon Go, and we’ve got details on a bunch of that stuff. Our big FAQ will help you out with the basics, but if you want to branch off into catching Pokémon, lowering data consumption and more, we’ve got that covered too.

Our Pokémon Go PokéStop​

Your source for all things Pokémon Go

Trainer Battles Arrive in Pokémon GO

Pokémon GO players have been catching and training Pokémon to take control of Gyms and challenge powerful Raid Bosses, but now they can put their skills to the ultimate test with Pokémon GO Trainer Battles. Now, players can face off against other Trainers in head-to-head matches using teams of three Pokémon. When the match is over, both participants will receive great rewards, including a chance at rare Evolution items like the Sinnoh Stone.

The fast-paced battles take place in real time, and your Pokémon will be able to use both their Fast Attack and Charged Attack moves. You’ll also be able to use Stardust and Candy prior to battle to unlock a bonus Charged Attack for your Pokémon.

Battles aren’t just about who has the toughest Pokémon and the strongest moves. Timing is important, too. If you keep an eye on your opponent’s moves, you may be able to deploy a Protect Shield to save your Pokémon from taking critical damage. But you only have a limited number of Protect Shields before your Pokémon will be left defenseless against big attacks.

To make sure the playing field is even for all competitors, Trainers must compete in the same Trainer Battle League, which determines the highest CP permitted for the participating Pokémon. Those looking for a greater challenge can test their mettle in the Master League, which has no limits to the CP of Pokémon that can battle. Here, winning strategies may revolve around powerful Legendary Pokémon and clever counters.

Trainer Battles have been designed to emphasize strategy, and their rapid pace allows Trainers to squeeze in more battles in a limited time. This will come in especially handy during Pokémon GO’s Community Days, when you’re bound to meet the gaze of multiple potential rivals with whom you’ll feel compelled to battle. Although you’ll normally take on opponents that are nearby, you can also initiate a Trainer Battle with Trainers who you’re Ultra Friends or Best Friends with from any distance.

If you’re looking to improve your Trainer Battle skills, take on team leaders Spark, Candela, and Blanche! You can earn daily rewards when training with a team leader, including Stardust to help power up your Pokémon. You’ll also be working toward earning the Ace Trainer medal!

Check out the Trainer Battles trailer above, and train your Pokémon well—they’re bound to be facing off against some powerful opponents soon!

Gym marker

Gyms are points of interest found throughout the world where Trainers can battle the Pokémon of rival teams. Trainers from opposing teams battle for control of the Gyms. Each Gym can have up to six Pokémon assigned to defend it. Trainers from an opposing team can challenge the defenders with six of their own Pokémon, in hopes of claiming the Gym for their own team.


A Pokémon’s ability to be successful in battle is primarily influenced by its Hit Points (HP) and Combat Power (CP).

Every Pokémon on a Gym has Motivation, a measurement of the Pokémon’s desire to defend the location. Trainers from opposing teams battle to reduce the motivation of the Pokémon on the Gym. Pokémon gradually lose motivation over time and by losing battles against opposing team members. As a Pokémon loses motivation, its CP will temporarily decrease, making it weaker in battle. When a Pokémon’s motivation reaches zero, it leaves the Gym and returns to its Trainer.

For Gyms controlled by a team, their goal is to keep motivation up by giving the Pokémon treats. For Gyms controlled by opposing teams, their goal is to gain control of the Gym by depleting the motivation of opposing team’s Pokémon. Each trainers can leave only one Pokémon to defend each of their Gyms.

  • Blue Gyms are controlled by Team Mystic.
  • Red Gyms are controlled by Team Valor.
  • Yellow Gyms are controlled by Team Instinct.
  • Grey Gyms are neutral and not controlled by any Team.

Battling rival Gyms

A Gym controlled by a rival team can be claimed by defeating the Pokémon on the Gym. Each time a rival Pokémon is defeated, its motivation is reduced. When a Pokémon’s motivation reaches zero, it will leave the Gym and return to its Trainer. When all the Pokémon leave the Gym, the Gym becomes open for an opposing team to claim.

For Gyms with more powerful Pokémon, working with other Trainers is more effective. Gyms can be challenged by multiple Trainers at the same time. Trainers from two teams can even come together to take down a Gym controlled by a third team.

When battling Pokémon, Pokémon are battled in the order they were assigned to the Gym: the Pokémon on the Gym for the longest time will battle first.

Claiming an open Gym

An open Gym

Open Gyms are available for Trainers of any team to take. Teams are able to assign up to 6 Pokémon to a Gym, but a single Trainer can only assign one Pokémon to the Gym. Only one Pokémon of a single species can be assigned to a Gym at one time. So if there’s a Raichu assigned to a Gym, another Trainer may not place their Raichu or its Alolan form in the Gym. Trainer cannot assign a Legendary or Mythical (except Meltan line) Pokémon to a Gym.

Pokémon Motivation

Motivation meter

Motivation is a measurement of the Pokémon’s desire to defend the location and every Pokémon on a Gym has a motivation meter to represent this value.

Pokémon assigned to defend a Gym lose motivation over time and as they are defeated in battle. As a Pokémon loses motivation, its CP will temporarily decrease, making it easier for opposing teams to defeat. To help keep the Pokémon motivated and in tip-top shape for their next battle, Trainers can treat their team’s Pokémon to some berries, which restore their motivation. If a Pokémon loses all motivation, it will leave the Gym and return to its Trainer the next time it loses a battle, so Trainers will want to keep their team’s Pokémon motivated by giving them Berries frequently.

Restoring and increasing Pokémon Motivation

To restore or increase Pokémon Motivation Trainer has to feed Pokémon defending friendly Gyms with berries. Increasing the Pokémon’s motivation makes it harder for rival teams to capture the location.

Berries can be given to any Pokémon on Gyms controlled by a Trainer’s team. Any kind of Berry can be given to a Pokémon – Golden Razz Berries, Razz Berries, Nanab Berries, and Pinap Berries. All Berries provide the same increase in motivation, with the exception of the Golden Razz Berry, which fully restores motivation; and the Nanab Berry, which increases the motivation by an additional 150%. In addition to keeping the defending Pokémon happy and strong for battle, Stardust and XP can be earned for giving Berries to Pokémon defending Gyms. A Trainer may feed up to ten berries per Pokémon before they are subjected to a cooldown.

Trainers can also remotely feed berries to Pokémon in friendly gyms, as long as they have a Pokémon defending that gym. To do so, the player must select either the corresponding gym badge for that gym or the Pokémon defending the gym (from their Pokémon roster), and then select “go to gym”. This will allow the player to feed berries from a remote distance. However, berries fed from a remote distance are much less effective at restoring Pokémon motivation as opposed to feeding them from within the immediate vicinity of the gym; the only exception is the Golden Razz Berry, which will completely restore Pokémon motivation, regardless of the distance from which the berry is fed.

Defender Bonus

Defender Bonus is the one of profits from defending Gyms as up to 50 free PokéCoins can be earned in a day for keeping Pokémon in Gyms.

The longer the Pokémon stay on the Gym, the more PokéCoins will be earned. For every 10 minutes a Pokémon occupies a gym, 1 will be added to the Trainers’ potential defender bonus. Trainers should give Pokémon treats often to keep them on the Gym and maximize the PokéCoins they’ll earn. When a Pokémon leaves the Gym, it will return to its Trainer’s collection bringing PokéCoins with it. A notification will be received with the amount of PokéCoins earned when the Pokémon returns to its Trainer. To get 50 PokéCoins within a day with one defender, it has to be in the Gym for 8 hour and 20 minutes.

PokéCoins are only redeemed after the Pokémon returns from the Gym. Once a Trainer has collected their 50 bonus, they must wait until midnight (local time) the following day in order to be eligible to collect 50 once more.

Before the gym update in June 2017, players could press a button in the shop menu every 21 hours, granting 10 PokéCoins for every Pokémon defending a gym at that moment, for a maximum of 10 Pokémon and 100 PokéCoins.

Collecting Gym Badges

Main article: Gym Badge

Gold-tier Gym Badge

As a Trainer interacts more and more with a Gym – through battling in the Gym, defending the Gym for certain periods of time, or by giving Pokémon treats – they’ll receive recognition in the form of a Badge. Badges have four tiers: Basic, Bronze, Silver, and Gold. Trainers can unlock new tiers as they interact more with the Gyms. As a reward frequent interactions with a Gym, higher-level badges will award additional bonus items when spinning the Photo Disc.

Raid Battles

Main article: Raid Battle

When a Raid Boss appears atop a Gym, Trainers may participate in a Raid Battle in order to defeat it and receive special items and experience.

EX Raid Gyms

EX Raid Gyms are special gyms that can host EX Raid Battles. These gyms are rare compared to regular gyms, and most of them currently exist in parks. In mid-October 2019, the number of EX Raid Gyms was increased worldwide, with a notable increase outside of park areas.

Collecting items

Items such as Poké Balls and Potions can be collected from Gyms by spinning the Photo Disc. The Photo Disc can still be spun while a Raid Boss occupies a gym. Once a Raid Boss is battled, the Gym can no longer be interacted with until the Raid Battle timer has expired.


Red Gym Marker (Team Valor)Blue Gym Marker (Team Mystic)Yellow Gym Marker (Team Instinct)Unclaimed (neutral) Gym, before rework of Gyms System Gym claimed by Team Valor, before rework of Gyms System Gym claimed by Team Valor, in Map View before rework of Gyms System Gym claimed by Team Mystic, in Map View before rework of Gyms System Gym claimed by Team Instinct, in Map View before rework of Gyms System Add a photo to this gallery

  1. Zeroghan (October 10, 2019). Pokemon GO EX Gyms Update October 2019. Pokemon GO Hub. Retrieved on October 13, 2019.
  • Battling at Gyms. Niantic Support.
  • Revive fainted Pokémon and restore HP. Niantic Support.

Pokemon go gym training

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *