In Pokemon Go today, gyms are no longer in operation, and all Pokemon that were previously stationed in gyms are being returned to their owners. So what’s happening, exactly? Why are the gyms not functioning today?
Well, Niantic Labs intentionally shut down the gyms this week in preparation of a forthcoming update to the game.
“[Y]ou can look forward to a new update focused on collaborative group gameplay features that will get you playing Pokémon GO in fun new ways,” Niantic recently said on their website. “In preparation for these exciting features, we’ll be temporarily disabling Gyms for a short period of time.”
On June 19th, Niantic unveiled some of the details of this gym update. It’s pretty massive, and it involves a new “motivation system” wherein Pokemon will have to frequently receive berries in order for their CP to be maintained. If they aren’t given berries, it will become easier and easier to defeat them. Plus, gyms will now have six slots and each Pokemon in those slots will have to be unique, so you can’t have more than one member of the same species in a gym at the same time.
There will also be a new “raid” system, which involves players teaming up in order to take down extremely high-powered Pokemon. The goal of this whole thing is to make gyms more cooperative. Members of all three teams – Instinct, Mystic and Valor – can team up to take down the raid bosses.
Niantic has not provided an exact date when the gyms will return, but they say that they will be re-enabled as soon as the gym update rolls out to players around the world. Based on their schedule of updates, a new update was already expected in Pokemon Go this week, and so it seems likely that the gym update will come to the game in just a few days and that this is when gyms will re-open. It will take another few weeks, however, for everyone to receive the raid feature.
“Once the update has been rolled out to players around the world, Gyms will return,” Niantic said in their announcement. “The Raid Battle feature will then be rolled out slowly over the next few weeks, starting as a beta, with raids visible only to a subset of players at certain Gym locations.”