Note: Once you reach trainer level 5 you have the ability to join a team and battle in gyms.
What are the benefits of taking over a gym?
If you have a Pokemon in a gym for more than a day you get 10 coins and 500 stardust
You get 150xp for taking down a Pokemon defending a gym
The rewards scale linearly. Hold 2 gyms for more than a day and get 20 coins and 1000 stardust. Max of 100 coins and 5000 stardust can be collected daily
How do I collect the gym rewards?
Go to the Shop and click on the shield icon in the top right corner to collect your rewards
How do I find a gym?
Gyms are located at popular land marks selected by Niantic
Gyms stand out as tall structures on the map. Usually Red, Blue, or Yellow depending on which team is controlling it. Red = Valor, Blue = Mystic, Yellow = Instinct. If the gym is gray then no one is currently in control of the gym.
How can I take over/ beat a gym?
Once you click on a gym a list of trainers and the Pokemon they have assigned to the gym appear
You can then choose 6 Pokemon to attack the gym with
Click on the glove when you are ready to battle
When you start the battle you will normally fight the Pokemon with the lowest CP that is defending the gym
Tap your Pokemon to attack the enemy and swipe left and right to dodge its moves
Your Pokemon has a special attack that needs to be charged before you can use it. The special attack normally deals more damage than the Pokemon's normal attack. The bar under your Pokemon's HP is an indicator as to how charged the special attack is. Once the bar is full you can hold your finger on the screen to use it
Once your Pokemon has lost all of its HP the next of the 6 Pokemon you chose will take its place
Win the battle by damaging the opposing Pokemon till it has zero HP
Loose the battle by running through all of your Pokemon before the opposing Pokemon has lost all if its HP
You need to attack a gym over and over until all its defenders are knocked out and the gyms prestige level is zero to be able to take it over. There is no time limit between attacks even if you loose. If you loose you will need to revive your fallen Pokemon and heal them with a potion if you want to use them again
Once the gyms prestige is at zero the first to put their Pokemon in the gym will claim it for their team. (Note: once you assign a Pokemon to a gym you can't use that Pokemon until it has been knocked down from its position in the gym)
What is a gym Prestige?
The gym prestige level determines how many defenders can be in the gym. For each prestige level an extra trainer can help defend the gym.
If your team is already in control of the gym you can train your Pokemon there to raise its prestige and gain some XP
Each time you take out a trainers Pokemon the gyms prestige points goes down
The max prestige a gym can get to is level 10
Different battle strategies work for different people
Some people prefer to just rage tap on their screen and attack/ super attack as much as possible
Others try and dodge the defending Pokemon's attacks by swiping just after the edges of your screen flash yellow then attacking once or twice before they need to dodge again. At the start of the battle dodge twice to avoid the double attacks at the start of gym battles. (There is a video below on this technique)
You can't always dodge after a super attack so if your HP is low you might want to avoid it unless it's necessary
As the game progresses Pokemon types might be more effective in battle. But for now its best to pick your 6 highest CP Pokemon to battle with.
Extra Tips/ Info:
The gym leader is the one with the highest CP Pokemon
You have to physically be at the gym location to battle in it
When you assign a Pokemon to a gym you can't use that Pokemon until it is beaten. Once it is beaten it will have 1 HP
If you want to add your Pokemon to the gym but its full you can train there to raise it to the next prestige level. Then you will be able to add your Pokemon
Your Pokemon don't faint when training at a gym they just lose all their HP
You can only put one Pokemon in a gym
You can attack a gym that someone else is already attacking. This will create a multiplayer battle. The defending Pokemon can only attack one of you at a time so it can be a good idea to take a friend along with you to take down a gym. If you look at a gym tower and you can see lightning, fire, clouds etc.. these are attacks from another person currently attacking that gym, click on the gym to help them out.