pokemon go shiny

‘Pokemon Go’ is available for iOS and Android devices. (Niantic)

In Pokemon Go today, gyms are no longer in operation, and when you try to visit one, you’ll get a message that says, “Gyms are under construction.” So what’s happening, exactly? Why are the gyms not functioning?

This is not a glitch. Niantic Labs intentionally shut down the gyms this week in preparation of a forthcoming update to the game.

“Gyms have been disabled,” Niantic said on Twitter. “Once the next update rolls out to all players around the world, Gyms will return. Stay tuned for more details.”

Niantic has not specified any exact date when the gyms will return, but the company says that gyms will be re-enabled as soon as the new update rolls out to players around the world. Based on Niantic’s schedule, an update was already expected in Pokemon Go this week; after all, the most recent update came on June 6th, and they tend to come out every two weeks or so, although in recent months Niantic has sometimes taken longer than that. But if Niantic adheres to its traditional biweekly schedule, the game’s next update would be released on or around June 20th. It seems likely, then, that the gym update will come out sometime this week and that this is when gyms will re-open. It will take another few weeks, however, for everyone to receive the “raid” feature, a new gameplay mode where players can team up to fight high-powered Pokemon in gyms.

“Once the update has been rolled out to players around the world, Gyms will return,” Niantic said in their announcement today. “The Raid Battle feature will then be rolled out slowly over the next few weeks, starting as a beta, with raids visible only to a subset of players at certain Gym locations.”

Niantic’s language there suggests that gyms will return before the raid feature starts rolling out, and the raid system will be released “over the next few weeks;” this implies that gyms will be back online sooner than “the next few weeks.” Plus, Niantic says that gyms will be disabled for “a short period of time,” and considering the game was already due for an update soon, this all points to the idea of gyms being back online by the end of this week. However, that’s not official, and this is the most complicated set of changes Niantic has ever made to Pokemon Go, so there may be some delays.

A comment made by a Niantic employee on Reddit this afternoon fits with this idea of the gyms coming back online this week. A user asked if we should expect the update in a matter of days or a matter of weeks. The employee wrote, “I cannot share an exact timeline for you yet. Two things to keep in mind, except it to take days (not hours) and expect the rollout to be gradual.” This Niantic employee had the opportunity to say that the update will take weeks, but instead they said it will be a matter of days.  

When they originally announced the idea of disabling the gyms, Niantic suggested that this would be a pretty temporary thing. They announced the Solstice Event for June 13th and then said that the gym update would be released “[s]oon thereafter.” They also said that gyms would be disabled “for a short period of time.”

Pokemon that were in gyms when they were disabled will be returned to your inventory soon. Right now, these creatures still display as being in the gym, but Niantic has said that over the course of the next few hours, the Pokemon will come back to you.

“Pokémon will return to you over the course of the next several hours,” a Niantic employee said on Reddit this afternoon.

On June 19th, Niantic unveiled some of the details of the new gym update. It’s pretty massive, and it involves a new “motivation system” wherein Pokemon in gyms will have to frequently receive berries in order for their CP to be maintained. If they aren’t given berries, it will become easier and easier to defeat them. Plus, gyms will now have six slots and each Pokemon in those slots will have to be unique, so you can’t have more than one member of the same species in a gym at once.

There will also be a new “raid” system, which involves players teaming up in order to take down extremely high-powered Pokemon. The goal of this whole thing is to make gyms more cooperative. Members of all three teams – Instinct, Mystic and Valor – can team up to take down the raid bosses. The raid feature will start as a beta and will be gradually expanded over the course of a few weeks. On Reddit this afternoon, a Niantic employee said that they expect the raid beta to last at least one week but possibly two, and then in another week after the beta ends, the raid feature will be expanded worldwide. However, this was just an estimate, and the timeline is still up in the air.

Stay tuned for more information about the Pokemon Go gym update.

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