If you're a Pokemon Go diehard fan, here are some tips on how to capitalise your time at the gyms.
So it's been three weeks since Niantic massively overhauled the gym gameplay system in Pokemon Go.
No doubt by now you know that you only receive coins when your Pokemon returns to you, but did you know there are certain things you can do to make the daily quest for the max number of coins easier?
It's a numbers game
Since we know that every 10 minutes spent defending a gym nets you one coin - which works out to six coins per hour - that means you'd need roughly 8.5 hours in a gym daily to hit the max 50 coins.
The easiest and most obvious way to make the odds work in your favour is to park your mons in a few gyms at once, and then hope/pray that they manage to stay long enough to get you a decent amount of coins. For example, say you manage to park your mons in four gyms - you'd only need for them to last two hours each to net you 48 coins.
Of course, the more gyms you defend, the less time you need to net 50 coins.
Timing is everything
Another trick is to capitalise on the generally lower amount of activity in gyms in the wee hours of the morning - many trainers are now attacking gyms past midnight or even later in the hopes that their Pokemons manage to last through the night, during the eight or so hours when most of civilisation is catching their Zzzs.
Additionally, this strategy has the highest chance of working for gyms located in quieter areas - such as those near or in office buildings, basically places that are generally deserted after working hours.
However, parking your mons in quieter gyms also runs the risk of not having anyone else from rival teams come around to kick out your mon later, in which case you wouldn't receive any coins - a double-edged sword if ever there was one, and one meant to discourage certain quarters from hogging the gyms for weeks if not months on end and shutting other players out.
Might isn't always right
If you're anything like us, and have been playing since the launch of the game a year ago, you're probably at level 30 (or higher) and have assembled a roster of particularly high-powered Dragonites, Snorlaxes and the like that you used to automatically deploy to defend gyms. The self-evident truth then was that the more powerful your Pokemon, the better its chances of successfully defending the gym.
Now, however, Niantic has tweaked the gameplay mechanics to level the playing field a bit for those who're at lower levels, particularly kids who may not have had the time (or parental permission) to spend long hours levelling themselves up.
What this means is that defending Pokemons with CP above 3,000 will lose something like 10 per cent of their motivation with every passing hour, whereas those with CP below 3,000 lose something like a mere 1 per cent with each passing hour. Thus higher-powered Pokemons will become high maintenance as you'd need to feed them berries more often than their lower-powered brethren.
If your aim is to have the Pokemon defend the gym for as long as possible with minimal input from you - say at a gym that's further away from your usual haunts - the best type of Pokemons to use are the ones with CP between 2,800 to 2,999. The trick is to aim for a balance between a too-powerful Pokemon that would lose steam too quickly, and a too-weak Pokemon that wouldn't be able to fend off attacks from rival teams.
If, however, you're parking a Pokemon at a gym that you have easy access to, feel free to park your most powerful one because you can easily feed it berries to keep its motivation levels up.
Ever noticed the gym badges in your inventory? They're not just for show, or simply to track where you've been - you can level up each individual gym to receive more items when you spin its Photo Disc.
So if there's a gym at your office, you may want to concentrate your energies on that gym. (Not that we're encouraging you to neglect work, ahem.)
There are no hard and fast rules that dictate exactly how you level up a gym, but from anecdotal reports from other trainers, it seems to be a combination of battles won against rival teams, the length of time your mons spent defending the gym, and even the amount of berries you gave not just to your own Pokemon but your teammates' as well.
Every time you park a Pokemon in a gym, you get +100 points that goes towards levelling up that blue bar you see underneath each gym badge. Feeding berries gets you +10 points per treat, so it adds up.
This might not have a direct impact on the coins you receive daily, but as you need berries and potions in the course of your gameplay, you may as well include the gyms near you to maximise returns on your time.
Teamwork is crucial
More than ever before, teamwork now takes precedence. When the gym you're defending is under attack, not only can you take more proactive measures - feeding berries - but other members of your team may also park their Pokemons as slots open up in the gym.
However, this applies only to those team members whose Pokemons were not in the gym earlier and not the ones whose mons just got kicked out. The goal is to give an equal chance at earning coins to other team members who may have been shut out of the friendly gym by, say, all-powerful GPS spoofers.
That means that compared to the old method of levelling up gyms, this is a more effective means of defence as the attacker(s) may run out of steam and Pokemons when faced with an unending list of Pokemons to fight.
In short, the game is now closer to a more inclusive experience for all. Sure, there are flaws still - for instance, the incentive of coins earned only after Pokemons are kicked out may not be impetus/deterrent enough for some who still insist on hoarding all the gyms in town - but Niantic has taken a step in the seemingly correct direction with these changes. Let's hope that as it continues to fine tune the gameplay it gets more things right than wrong.
With that in mind, go out there and conquer the gyms!