Niantic announced that they will be temporarily disabling all Gyms in order to enable an update that will add Raid Battles to Pokémon GO. The Raid Battle feature will be rolled out slowly over the next few weeks. It will start as a beta that will only be visible to a subset of players. Later, Niantic will enable more players to participate in Raid Battles at Gyms around the world.
All around the world, you’ll soon be able to participate in the new Raid Battle feature at Gyms. A Raid Battle is a cooperative gameplay experience that encourages you to work with other Trainers to defeat an extremely powerful Pokémon known as the Raid Boss. Before a Raid Battle begins, a large Egg will appear atop the Gym. When the countdown above the Egg reaches zero, the Raid Boss will be revealed.
Players will need a Raid Pass before they can battle the Raid Boss. Players can get one free Raid Pass per day by visiting a Gym. You can only hold one Raid Pass at a time. It will be possible to buy Premium Raid Passes form the in-game shop.
A Raid Battle can include yourself and up to 20 other Trainers who work together to defeat the Raid Boss. If you successfully defeat the Raid Boss within the five-minute time limit, you’ll have a chance to catch an extra powerful Pokémon of your own.
There will be Gym Badges that players can earn by interacting with the many Gyms around the world. The Gym Badges reflect your contribution to a Gym’s success. Players can level up their Badges by giving Berries to the Pokémon in the Gym. The Berries help increase a Pokémon’s motivation (and help it stay in the Gym for a longer period of time.)
Players can also level their Gym Badges by spinning the Gym’s Photo Disc. This means that players can get items from Gyms the same way they currently get items from PokéStops.