How do I get a Gym in Pokémon Go?

Once you hit level 5 in Pokémon Go, it's time to hit up a gym, join a team, and start conquering the rest of the gyms in your city.

How you claim a gym will depend on whether or not it's already occupied. If it is, you'll have to fight!

Here's how to claim Pokémon Gyms in Pokémon Go!

How to claim an unoccupied Gym in Pokémon Go for android

You have to hit level 5 before you can even think about joining/taking over a gym, so go and catch a bunch of Pokémon first.

  1. Find a Gym on your map. They may be gray, which means they're unoccupied, but that's not likely at this point. At this point, most gyms will either be blue (Team Mystic), red (Team Valor), or yellow (Team Instinct).
  2. Tap the Gym and choose your team (Valor, Mystic, or Instinct).
  3. Tap the Add Pokémon button at the bottom of your screen. It looks like a Pokéball with a little plus sign next to it.
  4. Tap the Pokémon you'd like to use to defend the Gym.

When other people on your team want to help bolster your Gym, they can drop their Pokémon on it as well. They can then battle your Pokémon to raise the Prestige of your gym. The higher the Prestige, the more Pokémon you can have defending your Gym, making it more difficult to overtake.

Remember that your Pokémon won't be returned to your collection until it's knocked off the Gym.

How to claim an occupied Gym in Pokémon Go for Android

If you happen upon a Gym and it's not the same color as your team, you'll have to battle to knock the other team's Pokémon off.

  1. Tap the enemy Gym to enter.
  2. Tap the battle button on the bottom right of your screen. It looks like two Pokéballs.
  3. Tap the Pokémon you want to use to battle.
  4. Tap Go.

Now you'll have to battle by tapping to attack and swiping to dodge. The trick is to keep battling to lower the Gym's Prestige. The lower the Prestige, the fewer the Pokémon that team will be allowed to have defending their Gym.