Gym Motivation: What You Should Know

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What is Motivation?

Niantic’s gym overhaul in June 2017 changed many things about how gym’s work, but one of the most important things to come of it is the motivation system. As it stands now, when you place a Pokemon into a gym it will have a pink heart gauge, which is tied to your Pokemon’s CP. If the gauge is full, you’ll have 100% of your potential CP. Over time, and as your Pokemon battles, the gauge slowly depletes, as does your Pokemon’s CP. When the gauge is emptied, you’ll receive your Pokemon back.

A Pokemon enters a gym at 92% of it's max CP, and the lowest it can go is 20%. A Pokemon will only be removed from a gym when motivation drops to 0% after being defeated in battle.

Motivation Decay Over Time

The relationship between motivation decay and CP has been a bit convoluted. At the release of the rework, Niantic stated that Pokemon with 3000CP or more would decay at a rate of 10% per hour. For Pokemon 2999CP or less, they decay at 1% per hour.

After some research and a patch by Niantic, this has been proven false. Motivation decay scales with your Pokemon’s CP. Research is currently being done as to the exact relationship between CP and motivation decay. Reddit user u/DrThod_PokemonGo has some examples of what the motivation decay looks like for various CP values:

Max CPDecay Percent Per HourDecay Per Hour

From this data, we can at least say that around 2300CP and greater, the decay rate is around 10%. Further testing is needed, but for now Pokemon below 2300CP will lose less CP over time, and therefore will hold a gym longer(assuming no attackers).

Motivation Reduction for Battles

Motivation loss in a battle is straightforward:

  • After one Pokemon defending a gym loses, it will lose approximately 28% of its max CP.
  • After a second loss, it will lose another 28% max CP.
  • After a third loss, its motivation drops to zero, and the Pokemon is knocked out of the gym.
  • If a defending Pokemon wins, the attacking Pokemon flees, or the attacker times out of the battle, the defending Pokemon loses ~1.6% of its max CP. (data from reddit user u/DrThod_PokemonGo)

Increasing motivation by feeding berries

Players of the team that owns a gym can feed berries to increase the motivation of Pokemon in the gym. A player is able to feed 10 berries to a Pokemon in a 30 minute period and up to 10 different Pokemon per 30 minutes. Each additional normal berry adds less motivation than the previous one based on the table below:
# of BerryRazz, Pinap BerryNanab BerrySilver Pinap Berry
Berry 112%15%24%
Berry 24.8%6%9.6%
Berry 32.4%3%4.8%
Berry 41.2%1.5%2.4%
Berry 50.96%1.2%1.92%
Berry 6-100.8%1%1.6%
Total(10 berries)25.36%28.7%50.72%

Extra Points Worth Noting

  • A Golden Razz Berry will always fill a Pokemon’s motivation gauge to 100%

  • Motivation decay stops when a raid begins, or is about to begin. If you feed a berry to a Pokemon while the gym is undergoing a raid, it will begin to decay again. It is unknown whether these are bugs.

  • A trainer feeding two berries to a Pokemon will always perform worse than two trainers feeding one berry to a Pokemon.

  • If a Pokemon is kicked out of the gym and placed onto a new gym, the relevant berry feeding limits still apply.

  • If you check on the Pokemon at the gym, there will be a counter for the number of berries fed in the top right corner. This count is cumulative across all trainers.
  • Feeding a normal berry remotely will grant 25% of the motivation from the table above.