We are now roughly 30 hours away before the Pokémon GO Solstice Event starts, launching the first wave of content updates and restarting the Pokémon GO hype once again. We are standing on the precipice of another Pokémon-induced summer phenomena, this time with less crashes and more pure, simple, fun.

In this article, we’re going to focus on only one aspect of the upcoming hype: the release date of Pokémon GO’s new gym system. The gym rework is one of the cornerstones of the game’s future, with Mike Quigley (Niantic) going as far as calling it the second core game loop in Pokémon GO”, right after the capture mechanics.

Before you go any further, be aware that we do not know the exact date when the gym rework will be released, but we strongly believe it will be either the last week of June, or the first week of July 2017, for reasons listed below.

Let’s begin!

What Niantic has to do before they can release the gym rework?

As announced before, Gym Rework is planned to launch soon after the Solstice Event ends. Niantic has managed to keep the entire thing completely under wraps, making it impossible to even vaguely guess how far reaching the update will be and what it will entail.

Niantic has confirmed that in preparation for the rework, Gyms will be disabled and defending Pokémon will be returned to Trainers, but that is not the only thing that they need to do before the new system can be launched. In order to launch the new system, Niantic needs to do the following:

  1. Disable Gyms and return Pokémon to their trainers
  2. Distribute a new client app version containing the gym rework code (0.65 on Android and 1.35.1 on iOS), which takes a few days
  3. Test the new client app
  4. Force the new update on iOS and Android
  5. Re-enable Gyms and activate the new features

What does that mean in terms of days and weeks?

There are two potential timelines for the release:

1. Optimistic – rework releases immediately after the Solstice event ends

The Solstice Event starts on 13th of June and ends on the 20th, covering 5 work days and one weekend. Given how important this update is, we believe that the new 0.65 version will be released during the current week (June 13 – 16), in order to test the update and give the devs enough time for a potential hotfix release.

Following this, we expect the Gyms to be disabled and emptied on or after the 16th of June, as was accidentally leaked in the Italian and Chinese versions of the official Anniversary post.

The gyms should be re-enabled by the time the Solstice Event ends, as it’s unlikely that Niantic will leave the player base with no Gyms and no events. This implies that the 0.65.0 update has already been forced at this point, which sounds like complete madness. Here’s how this timeline would look:

  • 6/13/2017: Solstice event starts
  • 6/13 – 6/16: 0.65.0 released
  • 6/16/2017: Gyms are disabled
  • 6/20/2017: Update forced and gym rework released

2. Realistic – rework releases last week of June / first week of July

As written above, the entire schedule behind the “Optimistic” release sounds too hectic, too risky and too overwhelming to be true.

We propose an alternative release timeline, featuring more relaxed dates and being more in-line with what we’ve learned about Niantic in the past months:

  • 6/13/2017: Solstice event starts
  • 6/20/2017: Solstice event ends
  • 6/20/2017: 0.65.0 released
  • 6/27/2017: Gyms are disabled
  • 6/27 – 7/02: Update forced and gym rework released

Niantic is not known for rushing releases and they are definitely not known for releasing one feature just after another. We believe that Niantic is likely to follow the second Timeline and not the optimistic one, as it’s creates too much stress.

Additionally, we’re not sure that it’s possible to release the new version and guarantee global distribution over such a short period, especially on iOS.

  • the2000guy

    If Niantic doesn’t implement gym rework by the end of the solstice event, I’m pretty sure we will see a Pokemon Go RIOT from the community. Yes a RIOT. Why? Because first of all, most of the Go community is sick of spoofers and bots taken gyms and not allowing others to play in gyms as well with all those Blisseys. Second, not everyone will go everyday to walk and only catch Pokemons to get stardust, fill their Pokedex, they want also to share with friends, play some battles and even hatch Pokemon with good IV’s for battles. And if Niantic wants to involve the Go community and people who left the game, they must do address the spoofers, bots, situation, and gym stagnation. And limit the amount of Pokemon a trainer can hold in gyms to allow other players cash in some coins. And finally, the Pokemon distribution per area. It is unfair to see places where Dragonite, or Chansey, Snorlax, etc spawn almost as common as pidgeys, while other is unfair that they have been playing almost a year and haven’t seen one playing every day. That’s simply unfair and why people quit playing after watching all day spinaraks, sentrets, ratatas, pidgeys etc.

    • Abhijit Biswas

      Dude, chill! I never use that phrase but seriously, you’re ranting about the need to fix something which is already about to be implemented. Relax and enjoy the game, atleast you aren’t softbanned like me for no reason.

      • the2000guy

        No man, I’m relax. Of course I will never blame you if Niantic do one of the possible choices. This article make us think and remind how Niantic is working towards the future of Pokemon Go. But of course there is so many people mad at cheating.

  • Hard Work

    Pessimistic?

  • GonzoI

    Seems more likely they would follow the first timeline with the 16th shutdown date, but move the re-enable date out a bit further, perhaps to the 23rd or 26th. That way the gyms are down while people are out chasing event pokemon instead of using the gyms. This puts more of the downtime at a point where there’s less complaining about it. It also cuts out coins while the half-off sale is going on so people are slightly more likely to buy coins.

  • Higher_Ground

    The bigger question in my mind is: “will the gym changes actually be an improvement?”

    Obviously with no details we can’t even speculate but I dare say there’s a greater-than-zero chance that the changes actually make the game less enjoyable.

    Thinking about it today, it’d be great if there was some way to have 2 way verification that someone is actually at a gym location that would be quick and seamless. Not really sure how to implement it – though I feel like you could use the AR feature to take a quick screenshot of the gym’s monument – or maybe there’s a way they could have people physically attach QR stickers at “verified” gyms?

  • ダーク マウジー

    i might sound like a bad person, but it pleases me that all the defending pokemons will be return to their trainers even if it’s only a short time. even if it means no free pokecoins during the time period, it’s totally worth it. although it might sound puny, but it’s really big for me, and that’s how much i hate spoofers.

    • aquatopaz

      I’ve just managed to get a pokemon in a gym with a high enough cp that it doesn’t get booted in a few hours. For me, after trying for so long and so hard to be able to collect stardust from one defending pokemon, I hate that it will now get returned to me.

      • ダーク マウジー

        i was in the same boat as you, and i can feel your pain too. i only have pokemons with 2.5~2.7k before. none of them can stay in the gym more than 2hours. Mystic ruled all the gyms in my area, and the valor area is more than 20km away. my items are too few to keep a gym for long, and i need days to collect those items. just to use all of them in 1 hour or 2.

        lately finally some valor team mates controlled 3 of the gyms, but they always putting 3.3k cp pokemons up there. even if i put my 2.9k cp blissey up, soon it will be replace by a tyranitar or a dragonite…those gyms are not even close to each other, and i need to drive to there because of the bad traffics…

        that’s why i’m glad they return the pokemons.

    • Tag

      Agreed. I hope they have fixed the problem with GPS spoofers

  • Jan Pierre Silubrico

    I hope it fixes the lagging and drifting. Imagine you just defeated a five story blissey tower on your own just to repeat the process again just because your avatar drifted

  • Gq11087

    You know, I hear everyone talk about how hard gyms are and this tower has multiple blissey’s and so one. I am on team instinct and as we all know has the lowest amount of players and if there is any they are little kids especially in my area. I tear this town up. Yes it sucks to fight a level 10 tower but it is definetly possible I have done it multiple times. everyone wants the rewards without puttin In any work. Oh this tower is too hard to fight, poor me. If you want to take a tower down, then do it. All you have to do it revive your guys and attack again. Eventually the points go down and guess what the tower does as well. If you need more revives or potions go to a pokestop and get more. Me and my girlfriend are both instinct level 35 and we run our area. Which obviously has 10x more mystic players and 5x more valor players but yet everyday we go out and tear down the towers and take them. If you do not let them build it to a 10 and keep it at a 10 then there isn’t level 10 towers everywhere. If you don’t have a nest around you then walk that Pokemon as your buddy. If you’re on a forum talking about the game you obviously have time to fight a tower. We took 13 towers in our are and trained them to level 10s and held it for a month. Yea it takes a lot of work but it’s all possible as long as you put the work in and stop crying.

    • Nick Kasoff

      I take down 10s all the time by myself. It’s not that big a deal. I agree, boo hoo.

    • Tag

      It just depends if your area has 3 or 4 spoofs that are level 40 with 6 accounts and robots that take down a level 10 and put there 10 up in 20 minutes they hold 50 gyms at a time. I hold about 15 but spend a few hours a day at a time at level 37 but it’s hard in real time when spoofers are killing all the gyms in your area in a few hours so I get it.

  • Tekno Fil

    They’re calling it a multi-player thing. I’m hoping it will be possible to get I touch with other ppl at the same team for a gym. With the rumors going. I’m hoping for the best. Basically the game in 2017 has become a spoofing, gym shawing and botting game.

  • Dean Gullberry

    Sigh….I’m tired of hearing about these noobs and non strategist play the game, so let me fill you in on how to dominate an area.

    I am on team instinct. I own 44 gyms all around Seattle. I’ve started since Day 1, and learned to evolve as the game changes. This re-work will have a flaw just like this current one. I have a &&&& ton of Vaporeons, a few dragonites and snorlax and gyarados.

    To boost a gym to a level 10, don’t grind so hard. Its right in front of you. As a gym defender, use one 20cp Magikarp. As the attackers, use 6 10cp pidgeys. It will take you 9 seconds to beat the magikarp, with 8 hits with minimal damage. After the battle, leave and repeat. I’ve filled gyms with a group of friends, and literally takes you 4 minutes with, 3 other friends to pump it to 50,000. Remember, each time you beat the magikarp, you get 1,000 prestige points for the gym. Generally you should need to use a regular purple potion to heal, once every 3-4 fights.

    When it gets taken down, don’t hesitate to repeat the process. At this point, your opponent is spending more solo taking down your gym than you spending to rebuild it. Keep doing this process to dry them of their potions….eventually they will give up or run out of potions and revives.

    That’s when you start to expand and do more take overs…

    Good luck, if you need anymore tips, feel free to KIK me @ HairyBarbarian

    • Robdebobrob

      That all sounds great, but who is gonna put in the Magikarp? That person can not be in the gym with another pokemon. Thats kind of a problem.

  • John Jorgensen

    @PokemonGoHub Just found this on PoGo’s Support page… you might want to post an article or something letting everyone know.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/63a09163c1d65f6931e149fc2e265fee7f422f620881e68cb6e2d50bc75d4b88.jpg