Niantic says that Gyms will soon undergo a “major facelift”. This includes a spinning Photo Disc at gyms that’ll let you collect items, just like at PokéStops. Another change will see Gyms feature six permanent slots that can be filled by the controlling team’s Pokémon, and each Pokémon in these slots must be unique.
The Pokémon assigned to these new gyms will now feature a motivation meter that’ll deplete if they’re defeated in battle, When a Pokemon’s motivation is totally gone, it’ll leave the gym and return to its owner. You can refill a Pokémon’s motivation by feeding it berries.
Gyms will also now offer badges when you interact with them. You’ll be able to level up your badges by performing tasks like battling, giving berries to Pokémon at the Gym, and spinning the Gym’s Photo Disc.
Also coming soon to Gyms are Raid Battles. These are cooperative fights in which you’ll team up with up to 20 other Pokémon Go players to battle an extremely powerful Raid Boss Pokémon. If you defeat the Raid Boss within 5 minutes, you’ll get the chance to catch a powerful Pokémon, and you’ll also receive items, including some new items that can only be found by beating a Raid Boss:
Before a Raid Battle takes place, all the Pokémon at a Gym will return to their trainers and an egg with a countdown timer will appear at the Gym. When the timer’s up, the Raid Boss will be revealed.
To fight the Raid Boss, you’ll need a Raid Pass, which you can get one of for free each day by visiting a Gym. However, you can only carry one Raid Pass at a time.
Niantic says that it’s disabling all Gyms to roll out these new changes. Once everyone has the update, Gyms will return. The Raid Battle feature will then slowly begin rolling out, first as a beta for select users at certain Gyms before becoming available to everyone.