Pokémon GO is getting a major summer update with redesigned gyms, cooperative gameplay and more neat treats bound to make the game more exciting.

When Pokémon GO first made its debut nearly a year ago, it stirred a worldwide frenzy and quickly turned into a social phenomenon, topping app charts and becoming the most successful mobile game of all times. The game lost some steam in the meantime, but Niantic now has a huge update in store to keep users engaged and to enhance the overall experience.

Pokémon GO got a number of changes over the past year, including new pocket monsters and various events available for a limited time, but this upcoming update will bring two highly requested features: multiplayer fun and new gyms.

Pokémon GO Cooperative Gameplay With Multiplayer Raid Battles

Raid battles in Pokémon GO will take place at the redesigned gyms and will allow up to 20 players to work together to take on powerful and rare Pokémon bosses that appear randomly. When such a boss is about to show up, an egg icon and a countdown timer will appear atop the gym, along with four boss icons to indicate how difficult it will be to defeat the respective creature. Once the timer drops to zero, it's game on: the Pokémon boss shows up and players have a limited time to defeat it.

In battling the Raid Boss, however, players need a Raid Pass that's available for free (one per day) by visiting a gym. Players can also take to the in-game shop to purchase Premium Raid Passes, but they can only hold one Pass at a time. Upon using their Raid Pass to join a battle, players can work with others to defeat the boss and if they manage to do so in less than five minutes, they'll each get the chance to capture an extra powerful Pokémon. The extra powerful Pokémon boss will be much harder to capture than most other Pokémon, but the reward should make it worth the hassle.

Players can also get various new items through raids, including Golden Razz Berries, Rare Candies, and two types of Technical Machines that allow them to permanently teach a Pokémon a fast or charged attack.

Since the battles take place at gyms, players have to be in the same areas in order to work together to defeat the boss. The goal here is to get Pokémon players back on the street and collaborating to ace the game.

The default raids are public, which means that any player in the vicinity can join the battle if there's still room. However, players can also set up private battles for them and their friends, restricting access for outsiders.

These raids not only encourage teamwork and multiplayer fun, but also give more players a chance to capture strong Pokémon even if they don't play daily.

Pokémon GO Gyms Get Huge Redesign

The second major Pokémon GO update revolves around gyms, as expected. First of all, gyms will now serve as PokéStops as well, allowing players to spin a disc to earn various items such as PokéBalls and berries, among others. Secondly, Niantic is also changing the structure of gyms so that they're no longer dominated by the same powerful Pokémon that are incredibly tough to defeat, which made the gameplay rather stagnant.

Instead, gyms will now have room for six different Pokémon in the order of their addition rather than their strength. All six Pokémon must be different, and players will be able to battle them each. At the same time, the update also brings a new feature: motivation.

Pokémon placed at gyms will start to lose motivation in time, which lowers their CP and makes them easier to beat. A depleting heart will indicate a Pokémon's level of motivation. Players who are part of the same team can regularly visit the gym and give berries to the Pokémon to boost its motivation.

The redesigned gyms will go live soon, but until then they're temporarily disabled. Gyms will become available again once the update reaches all players worldwide.

"Once the update has been rolled out to players around the world, Gyms will return. 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," the Pokémon GO team explains. "Over a few days, we'll invite more players to participate and enable raids at more Gyms around the world."

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