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How to claim 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.

Mick is a writer and duty editor for Android Central. When he's not on the job, he can usually be found vacuuming up pet hair or trying to convince his wife that he needs more guitars.
53 Comments
  • Because 22 articles about pokemon go wasn't enough, they have to continue making more. Sent from my ATT Note 5 paired with a 42mm Asus Zenwatch 2
  • You keep clicking em, they'll keep writing em. Posted via the Pokémon Central App
  • I've only commented on the last few.
    Very impressive, I know Sent from my ATT Note 5 paired with a 42mm Asus Zenwatch 2
  • Sarcastic git that I am, I can understand it's probably irritating for non pokéfans, there are a lot of posts... but, sarcastic git that I am, I'm not wrong that the negative comments only push more articles. Posted via the Pokémon Central App
  • You are right, me clicking on it is paying them to do the articles. But I can't hold back when they could have put everything in like 2 articles.
    You gotta admit, this is too much. Sent from my ATT Note 5 paired with a 42mm Asus Zenwatch 2
  • Where were you during the last two Samsung Galaxy releases?
    This is their MO now :) Posted via the Android Central App
  • I am a huge Pokémon fan but I find all of these articles extremely annoying Posted via the OnePlus 3
  • Nope, you're just exagerating Posted via the Android Central App
  • I agree, this beyond ridiculous.
    AC writers: grow the hell up.
  • Why don't you?
    Did you help them wrote any article? You don't, so why bother telling them what to do?
    Posted via the Android Central App
  • "Did you help them wrote any article?" It looks like you have the same editing prowess as Phil.
  • I wonder how many unoccupied gyms there are in the world... My guess is 7. Posted via the Pokémon Central App
  • I just realized you changed your signature. I like it Sent from my ATT Note 5 paired with a 42mm Asus Zenwatch 2
  • Heh, yeah it's been that all day. I like Pokémon, and don't mind all the articles (some are actually really useful), but you're not wrong that there's a hell of a lot of em, and I don't mind Poké-ing fun. Just remember I did it first when everyone changes theirs :p Posted via the Pokémon Central App
  • I don't know. I will take a look around my town. I live in a country with a population of 1.2 million in Southern Africa, maybe I can claim all the gyms in my town :^) Posted via the Android Central App
  • South Africa eh? Well g'day mate. Throw another shrimp on the barbie. Posted from my Galaxy S6 while playing Pokémon
  • Who says Americans don't know anything about the rest of the world! I mean... If you are American... Posted via the Pokémon Central App
  • Do you not know anything about south Africa? Posted via the Android Central app on my Nexus 5X with Project Fi
  • Am I the only one who got the Dumb and Dumber reference? Doesnt look like anyone else did.
  • I think it was just you. Everyone else just assumed I was trolling. Thank you for noticing. :)
  • Stop. Posted via the Android Central App
  • In... The name of love? Posted via the Pokémon Central App
  • Before you break my heart... Posted via the Android Central App
  • You guys still aren't getting it...lol Posted via the Android Central App
  • OMG Pokemon GO went viral and Android Central too!
  • Guys, leave Pokémon Central to do what they are meant to do... Catch and post 'em all. Some of us are actually playing the game and enjoy reading these articles for tips and tricks... Others have no concept of time because they don't get sunlight living in their parents basement so all they do is complain. I'd rather have 33 articles of Pokémon than a dead site or only posting two/three articles for the day. Now can we all go back to complaining about the lack of video podcasts? Posted via the Android Central App
  • We can complain about both but I think the podcast and Russell's incompetence are worth discussing more than this IMO Posted from my cracked Nexus 6/Nexus 7 2013/Surface Pro 3
  • LOL. I can't wait for the podcast this week. I just wish the damn video would load... Posted via the Android Central App
  • Good point... Posted via the Android Central app on my Nexus 5X with Project Fi
  • you have kotaku, gamestop, ign and more just dedicated to games. few articles here and there is ok but 23 articles out of 34 in two days, I don't think that's ok in a Android site about a game. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Have you visited Windows Central? They don't even have the game on their platform and there are already 5 articles about Pokèmon GO. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I really think they are trying to thin the heard, trying to get rid of the old members in order to make way for a younger readership and a different culture. Rodeo time, time to get er on down the road
  • Yeah they want to get rid of all the vocal old cronies like us. Posted from my cracked Nexus 6/Nexus 7 2013/Surface Pro 3
  • That's the only explanation Sent from my ATT Note 5 paired with a 42mm Asus Zenwatch 2
  • Oh wait I'm only 17
    "Old cronies" Sent from my ATT Note 5 paired with a 42mm Asus Zenwatch 2
  • 18 and don't take that so literally Posted from my cracked Nexus 6/Nexus 7 2013/Surface Pro 3
  • Shoot I'm 30...guess I'm old :( *tear* Posted via the Android Central App
  • well at least, since it's not available on win10, Windows central is almost free of Pokemon go articles. kudos to Daniel for that. Posted via the Android Central App
  • There's a Windows Central? What do they average, like 3 articles a week? Posted from my Galaxy S6 while playing Pokémon
  • Most of them at the moment are about how they don't have Pokémon GO... There's also one about how they're losing angry birds. Seriously, most of their stuff is about the PC and Xbox. (While I say seriously, the first two things are true lol) Posted via the Pokémon Central App
  • Exactly. Rodeo time, time to get er on down the road
  • They want to make way for the trigglypuff culture. Rodeo time, time to get er on down the road
  • My guess is they are all sitting back and laughing hysterically at all the comments today and how each article fuels the fire. Probably have some running bet too. Posted via the Android Central App
  • hahaha. could be. even betting among mobile nations members about who can get more articles and comments. lol Posted via the Android Central App
  • Hope it's worth it to them. At this point I'm taking a break from Android Central. If this is all they have to post, I'll look elsewhere for my news. It was bad enough with VR, but they at least set that up in a separate area after awhile, this has been going on since last week. Btw, your comment above about anyone who complains about this is living in their parents basements, sorry, I don't need a game to get me outside. But just because we prefer to read news about Android on an ANDROID site, it doesn't mean we're sequestered inside. It's a game, not the second coming.
  • Sadly, I think you're right..
  • why do we have two sites not collaborating. I mean in imore serenity is doing all the articles while somebody else is doing here. couldn't you guys at least use the same article on both places. or is it just copy and paste (I didn't read serenity's article, just the headlines) Posted via the Android Central App
  • Pokémeintheeyemon Posted via the Android Central App
  • Welcome to Pokémon Central. All Pokémon all day every day. Posted via the Android Central App
  • WOW, it's suddenly like BGR over here, except it is Pokemon Go, instead of Apple.
  • Oh c'mon, no site is as bad as BGR, even with 74 articles about Pokémon. Posted from my Galaxy S6 while playing Pokémon
  • The Pokémon has 580 health while my highest has 180 . I get destroyed in 2 swipes
  • Come on AC no imbecile playing this foolish game is gonna set foot into a gym or ever have a date for that matter