Super Helpful Tips on How to Win Every Gym Battles in Pokemon GO

Ideally you want to be at least level 20 before you start doing gyms as this is where the levelling curve starts to get steeper and it become much harder to level. However if you intend to get into gym battling it’s important to start early. Make sure you hold onto your mid and low cp pokemon as you’re levelling up. Keep your low cp ‘good’ pokemon, they’ll pay off later when you train up gyms.


To attack you want to tap the screen, the goal is to deplete the opponent’s health bar completely for all opposing pokemon. You can long press the screen to use charge attacks, you can tell when they are ready based off the bar under your hp bar, the bar will begin glowing blue when a charge attack is ready. You can dodge by swiping left or right. To take over a gym you must deplete the prestige of a gym to 0 and then put your pokemon in, training it up by battling against a friendly gym and increasing its prestige.

Which Gym to take

If you want your gym to have a lifespan of more than 20 hours you want to put it in a spot where there are not many people, not many spoofers, not near other gyms and preferably not accessible by car. People who see a high level gym on its own that’s hard to get to are much less likely to take that gym due to the resource investment it takes to actually take over the gym. An isolated high level gym (eg in the middle of a bush track) can often stand for weeks without any real contesting.

When to take Gyms

Especially when playing on foot and during peak hours, make sure you don’t go for too many gyms if there are many other players out and about, you may find yourself losing gyms you just took while on the way to your next one

What to deposit

Generally you want to deposit your strongest pokemon with the best defending move set (this is often not the same for attacking, for example on slowbro confusion is much better than water gun for defending), to see which moves are the best for defending see this list. If you are training a gym into the higher levels (7 or above) you may want to consider laying a base pokemon if there isn’t one already or you are unable to deposit anything meaningful. You may also want to consider adding a pokemon of a different type if there is 4 dragonites and 3 vaporeons already, variety makes your opponent’s life a bit harder.

Gyarados’ intimidate activated! Sometimes depositing high cp pokemon with bad moves (especially dragonites) can scare lower level players into not bothering with a gym, so your 100% bite twister gyarados might not be a lost cause.


When the screen flashes yellow (as seen in picture) swipe left or right to dodge the attack (some moves don’t match their animations e.g. bubble). It is worth noting that dodging does not always completely negate damage, but reduces it by around 80%. If you’re still wondering why:


It is important to make sure you don’t get caught in your long charge animations (most notably hyper beam takes a whole 5 seconds before you can do anything). As a general rule of thumb assume the AI charges its charge move bar about half as fast as you do assuming no dodging, (note that there is randomness involved). This means if the enemy pokemon is using psychic (2 charges) and you are using blizzard (1 charge) by the time blizzard is charged you may want to wait for the enemy pokemon to use its charge before you use blizzard as it is likely you will get caught in the animation.

At the beginning of a battle the opposing pokemon will use their quick attack twice in quick succession, it may be helpful to dodge these 2 attacks if conserving health is of high priority.

Sometimes it is not worth dodging and faster to spam attack rather than to dodge to save a potential hyperbeam of damage (even if dodged).

You can watch the video below for some live demo on how to dodge effectively during gym battles in Pokemon GO:

Base pokemon

Base pokemon are the pokemon at the bottom of a gym, often in higher level gyms you’ll see that the lowest pokemon is significantly weaker than the rest. This is because the pokemon is used to train against to raise the prestige of a gym in a more potion efficient manner. Beating a 2000cp arcanine with a 1000cp vaporeon will grant the same amount of prestige and xp as beating a 150 magikarp with a 75 golduck. You may also want to consider depositing a base pokemon if the lowest pokemon in the gym is a lapras/snorlax/vaporeon or something similar to help make it easier for other people.

Best Base Pokemon

The best base pokemon are fire types as water types are generally much tankier and have type advantage, pinsirs with fury cutter, as they do negligible damage but have high cp, or high cp magikarp, as they only have access to splash and struggle (Splash does 1 damage as the damage formula is Damage = Floor ( .5 Attack / Defense x Power x STAB x Weakness ) + 1) It is noteworthy that base pokemon are the first to go when being attacked, so you’ll be taking one for the team.

Training Gyms

When training gyms you gain more prestige based on the percentage cp difference between the 2 pokemon ranging between 100 prestige and 1000 prestige. The exact amount is given by the formula 250 * (Defender CP / Attacker CP). Most of the time you don’t want to be killing more than one pokemon as you want to be lower cp than your opponent (taking into account moves of course), simply kill the base pokemon and run, heal and repeat. This is why you want to keep a variety of pokemon opposed to just the strongest ones over a certain cp range. Find the lowest cp pokemon you can beat the base with and repeat until you’re at the desired level. Generally you want to train it to level 7 if you want any chance of holding the gym, especially in more populated areas. 

IVs and Moves

IV stands for individual value, they are a mechanic taken from mainline pokemon games but are largely simplified in PoGo. Each pokemon has 3 stats: Stamina, Defense, Attack. Each pokemon has a random number assigned to each stat between 0-15 (inclusive), the higher the better. This affects CP by about 10% at most. Some people will tell you their IV’s as a percentage, which basically means how “perfect” the pokemon is, Since the Defense and Attack stats are invisible, we cannot tell what the exact spread (with the exception of ToS breaking websites like PoGobag and Pokeadvisor) or powering up your pokemon several times so people use a percentage instead of an estimated spread, i.e. 97.8% perfect could be 15/14/15, 15/15/14 or 14/15/15.

Determining IVs

To Determine IVs of your pokemon there are many calculators online/available for download for both IOS and Android.
[May be taken down at some point]

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