Pokemon Go Gyms have been an ever-present feature since the game released in July 2016 but do they now need an overhaul?
Battling in gyms is a core part of the Pokemon experience - you catch Pokemon, ideally level them up, and then battle in gyms across the region. Their purpose and incentive for beating them in mainline games is clear - they are part of the story and they make sure your Pokemon are strong enough before challenging the best trainer in the game.
Pokemon Go is a little different, though. There is no real storyline and you are competing against trainers with a huge variety of Pokemon.
Gym balancing is good
Fortunately, Niantic has done a stellar job of giving weaker trainers the opportunity to defeat gyms that higher-level trainers have left strong Pokemon on.
Pokemon defending gyms aren't present and can be battled against over and over until they are defeated. Essentially it is just a matter of how long it would take you to beat a given Pokemon, not if.
Incentive to defend a Pokemon Go Gym?
However, the incentive for spending your time overtaking gyms is diminishing increasingly. As Reddit user, raspberrybat points out, while you do earn rewards for defending gyms, there are downsides to doing so - you can't battle with it elsewhere or power it up.
Currently, you earn 1 PokeCoin for every 10 minutes one your Pokemon is defending a gym. You can earn a maximum of 50 a day which means once your Pokemon has been defending for 8 hours and 20 minutes there is little point having them on the gym. It also means there is little incentive to have multiple Pokemon on multiple gyms.
There needs to be another reason to put Pokemon on gyms. Here are a few ways Niantic could further incentivize defending Pokemon Go gyms:
- Increase the PokeCoin limit
- Earn rewards such as Stardust
- Pokemon earn experience (albeit small amounts)
- Extra bonuses such as egg hatching discount for particularly long stays
Niantic is more than likely aware of the lurking issue and will probably overhaul the system at some point down the line. Whether this will be soon or a long time away remains to be seen.