As Pokémon Go‘s one year anniversary approaches, Niantic is kicking the summer off with a substantial content update to the game. Gyms are getting a huge overhaul and Raid Battles, a brand new feature, are coming soon.

Revamped gyms will be rolling out by today. Essentially, these changes will make gyms more collaborative, shake up the current meta, and add new ways to interact with gyms.

Like Poké Stops, you can spin the photo disc of a Gym to collect items. Gyms offer a few special items that don’t normally come from Poké Stops, like Raid Passes for the upcoming Raid Battle feature. Trainers can also collect Gym Badges, which can be ranked up to collect further bonus items from Gyms.

That’s not the only major change they’ve made to gyms, however. Gyms now featured a fixed amount of six slots– no Prestige grinding necessary. In fact, training has been scrapped altogether. Another big change will make it so that trainers can no longer stack duplicates of the same Pokémon within a single gym. This means you’ll see less Blissey, Dragonite, and Tyranitar filling up the game’s top tier gyms.

Essentially, the result of these balancing updates means easier gyms, less grinding, and discouraging reliance on top tier gym defenders. Invincible top tier gyms are no longer safe, and now everyone might get a fair chance to contribute to their gym. It’s a positive change that benefits just about everyone and keeps the game healthy. For the full details on this update, you can read Niantic’s blog.

Raid Battles, however, might be an even more exciting change to the game. Raid Battles are a co-op feature where you can team up with friends to take down Raid Bosses, extremely powerful Pokémon who have temporarily taken over gyms.

These bosses have massive amounts of CP and must be taken down under a time limit. Should everyone succeed at taking down the boss, everyone will be able to get special loot and the chance to catch the Raid Boss. Some Raid Bosses include powerful fully evolved Pokémon like Dragonite and Tyranitar, which many trainers are on the look out for. Meanwhile, the loot is nothing to scoff at either: Raid Bosses drop items that let you change out your fast/charged attacks, which is good for trainers with good Pokémon trapped with bad move sets.

Your team allegiances won’t matter in this. These huge Pokémon Go battles will let groups of 20 in a single party challenge the boss at a time. You can choose to do the raid privately with friends, or alternatively, automatically join a party.

For full details on Raid Battles, check out Niantic’s blog. It’s going to be one long summer; could Pokémon Go recapture the magic with this huge update?

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Robert R
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