In Pokemon Go, you can leave your pokemon at a gym you’ve already taken over to earn you some Pokecoins. It’s actually the only realistic way for a free-to-player to get any, so you’ll need to know how to do this for yourself.
How to Leave a Pokemon in a Gym
Now, getting any Pokecoins out of a Gym requires you to leave a Pokemon in it for a while before it is defeated, which will earn and then award you the Pokecoins accordingly.
To place a Pokemon in that Gym at all, however, you’ll need to first get rid of whatever Pokemon are currently in the Gym before you can leave your own ones behind. Here’s an easy to follow a list of what to do to take over any Gym you encounter:
- Tap on the Gym on the Pokemon Go gameplay screen map
- Press the battle icon in the lower-left corner, and use your Pokemon to defeat the ones currently inside.
- This step is skipped if the Gym is empty or belongs to your team already.
- This may take a while if they were only recently left there, as each Pokemon in a Gym can have up to 3 battles worth of health.
- When all the Pokemon inside are defeated, tap on the Gym again.
- There should be 3 buttons in the bottom left corner, tap on the middle one with a plus icon.
- All you need to do now is simply select a Pokemon and confirm your choice, and it’ll stay behind to defend the Gym for you.
Any Pokemon you leave behind in a Gym will become inaccessible to you until it is defeated – you do not have the option to call it back, another Trainer must clear and defeat the Gym for it to return with your coins. This means you might want to be careful about leaving one of your aces behind in a Gym you’ve never been to before, particularly if you don’t know what the local competition is like.
It does get easier to manage over-time for your opponents, as the Pokemon in the Gym will slowly decay in health until they need only a single battle victory to defeat – so the only real risk of a Gym getting your Pokemon stuck there is if no-one else in your area is playing the game to take it back.
How Many Pokemon Can I Leave at Once?
Gyms have a maximum total of 6 Pokemon in them at any given time, and all of these have to be from the same team – if one Pokemon from Blue team is already in the Gym, only Blue team Pokemon are allowed to be added unless the team is knocked out of it and replaced by another.
On an individual player basis, you can only leave a single Pokemon behind at any given time in each Gym. Every Pokemon you do leave behind will be inaccessible for every other activity in the game, you effectively do not own the Pokemon anymore until it is knocked out again, at which stage it will return to you with your Pokecoins based on how long it was left defending, up to a cap.
Why Should I Leave a Pokemon in Gyms?
Leaving a Pokemon behind in a Gym is the only real method of earning Pokecoins somewhat reliably without paying for them with real money. This is the single biggest driving factor for any and all players competing for Gym control.
Usually, that is enough to make sure there are other players who will happily take your Gym back for their own team, and thus pass you your Pokecoins earned through defending in the process.
There is of course still the risk that your Pokemon can get stuck there if you play in an inactive area of the world for Pokemon Go but the game also has an outright huge player base, so this is fairly unlikely to occur for anyone who isn’t in a particularly rural area.
Some players will go to the lengths of having an additional account spare on a different team just so they can knock out their own Pokemon from a Gym if they do get stuck, but Niantic is actively against multi-accounting players.
Specifically, it’s even listed in the player guidelines under the cheating section that multiple accounts per person are not permitted, so if you try it and aren’t very careful don’t be entirely surprised if you catch a ban for it on one or both your accounts.