Single Player Endgame : Gym Challenges

With the introduction of Raiding, EX-Passes and Community Days, Pokémon Go has taken a huge steer towards the masses. While these events draw crowds, form communities, and encourage an atmosphere of comradery it’s easy to forget that a large percentage of the game is played as an individual and rarely poses a challenge.

Over the last several months I have hit level 40, focusing on stardust, finding high IV Pokémon but the grind is real and I believe few would disagree. With the introduction of quests it made me appreciate that Niantic may have realised this and introduced the story mechanic as a way to heighten the single player experience.

When adding Pokémon to my local gyms I started to remember the glory of beating Gym Leaders in the game who genuinely posed a challenge. I am sure many have had the Whitney’s-Miltank-Rollout experience, so can relate to what a truly amazing feeling it was to overcome it.

This article is to showcase a new concept for near-end level content. It can be backwards compatible which I will expand upon but for the opening remarks I will be focusing on trainers around level 35.

The first introduction would be the Platinum Medal, a 4th tier of the existing catch x type Pokémon. Each medal would require to catch 500 Pokémon of a certain type. This would be the pre-requisite to the new content and immediately award a Challenge Invitation upon your next successful Gym Battle.

Challenge Invitation would be a letter from a challenging trainer or gym leader from the games or anime. For the example Brock, the Pewter City Gym Leader. He happens to be on a journey, be it as a Breeder or a Trainer, matters not. He has heard you’re a strong trainer and wants to battle!

Greetings Trainer %n,

My name is Brock, I am a gym leader from Pewter City in the Kanto Region. I am currently on a journey and have heard of your exploits with Rock Pokémon. My Gym in Pewter City specialises in Rock Type Pokémon and I would be honoured to battle you at the Gym of your choice.

My rock-hard willpower together with the true-grit determination of my Pokémon will make me a true challenge. Come, show me your best!

Turn in this letter at your convenience at a Gym and I will travel to your location to test your resistance.

Pewter Gym Leader

I should note at this point that my concept is for passes to be obtainable more than once with a rate dependant on your current gym medal when you successful win a gym match.

Take your challenge invitation to a Gym and use the item in a similar fashion to a raid pass. The trainer will then “travel” to your location and exist at that stop for 3 hours.

During this timeframe you can challenge the trainer to a 6v6 Pokémon battle. Trainers Pokémon will be level 35 and of the Type used by that trainer. Using the Brock example, he could use any rock type, additional flavour would be that Brock could use Pokémon he had in the anime like Vulpix, Crobat, Ludicolo, etc and these would be randomised each invitation used.

If the trainer defeats all your Pokémon he will heal both your team and his and allow you to try again until the timer expires. The trainer cannot be reduced like a raid boss, pick another 6 and continue where you left off. He will however use the same 6 randomly generated Pokémon each battle within a single challenge duration.

When you have successfully completed your challenge you will be awarded with the trainers Gym Badge, in the Brock Example we are awarded the Boulder Badge from the Pewter Gym. This acts as a Medal and can come in Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum awarding cosmetic awards in addition to the encounter award.

Encounter Award I am proposing would be a random tier 1 shiny from that type. In the Brock example we would have geodude, onix, omanyte, etc.

The Medal awards would then scale accordingly, below are examples continuing with my Brock theme

Boulder Badge: Bronze
Defeat Gym Leader Brock Reward Rock Capture +1 (stacks on Rock Badge +3, total +4)

Boulder Badge: Silver
Defeat Gym Leader Brock three times Reward Unlock Rock Apparel #1 Pants / Shoes

Boulder Badge: Gold
Defeat Gym Leader Brock five times Reward Unlock Rock Apparel #2 Top / Gloves

Boulder Badge: Platinum
Defeat Gym Leader Brock ten times Reward Unlock Rock Appearance Physical Attributes (eyes / hair / hat / backpack)

As an additional concept I would add that unlocking 8 Bronze Badges would then introduce the Elite 4 / Champions Path. Pokemon would be higher level and offer expanded rewards (story mode). I am aiming to write that article following this one

I have a handful of gaps in my concept. The main one is that I have predominantly used Gym Leaders from Kanto and Johto, gen 1 and 2. We did not have a Dark or Fairy type gym leaders until generations which are yet to be released. I am sure there are suitable candidates but I have struggled to find candidates
Nurse Joy, Officer Jenny, or Team Rocket were thoughts, but they rarely battle in the anime or do not typically use the Dark or Fairy types.

Regarding backwards compatibility, I am sure everyone fondly remembers your Rivals in the various games. Level 20, 25, 30 you’re challenged by a trainer from the main games to introduce the mechanic, awarding incubators, stardust, etc.

Below is a brief matrix of the trainers against each type. Here’s hoping Niantic is listening, either adding to or expanding content beyond the story mode, adding more for the solo player.

Essex, UK


I love your idea ALOT! I dont really align with your choice of awards for defeating respective gym leaders but I like the encounter pokemon prize idea. But man what a concept. This imo is brilliant and I pray Niantic is listening to you lol. In response to your issue against Dark and Fairy type gym leaders, If E4 is implemented, you have your dark type user Karen. Also Whitney would no doubt have a couple Fairy types in her team. Due to the way resistances work with dual typing in pogo as opposed to the core games, it will be much more difficult to sweep through a gym with type advantage. This creates a very fair challenge that is guarunteed to swag up the game significantly. Also the Whitney Miltank Rollout feels are REAL dude haha.


I get where your coming from with the rewards. My idea was to create solo awards and cosmetics are usually desirable, so few free ones are added and themed sets generally require significant coin investment.

The Elite 4 Challenge would have more power focused rewards, while Rival challenges more like Quest rewards,


Had similar idea. Like the depth of your explanation. This is a must for a future update.


Really big fan of this idea, and hats off for the effort you’ve put into this. I enjoy doing raids with others but I always enjoyed the old Pokemon games and being able to grind at them for two hours on my own. The idea of introducing more solo activities for Pokemon Go is a great idea.


Love this idea. Would be great and something to really add challenge to this game.


All the new field research and quest got me playing Pokemon Go again outside of just doing the daily catch and Pokestop spin, and even got me to pick up my 2DS and play Sun again. It’s getting Pokemon Go closer to feeling like a real game instead of an advanced VR Safari zone with some battle mechanic, and I think this could be the thing to finally push it to being a Pokemon game that can truly stand out on its own.

If I could make a suggestion though, I think that the lower tier gym battle should be available at lower levels just to give players a taste of whats to come. Like maybe have the tier 1 Gym battles be available at Level 25 and tier 2 available at Level 30, but make it fairly difficult if you immediately challenged them at that level if you meet the requirements. For example, if you challenged Tier 1 Brock at level 25 you would need a team of maxed out CP Pokemon that are all really good counters to Rock, Ground, and even Steel types with fairly high IV’s and diverse move sets for him to even be beatable, and even then he’d be a challenge. Same thing going for the other gym leaders.

I also think it would be cool to be able re-challenge a gym leader for every additional 250 or so type of Pokemon you captured, with the reward being a rare Pokemon encounter of that type, rare candies, TM’s, ect. Again, this is just my two cents on the idea, even as you presented it the concept is amazing and I would almost call it a must add to the game!

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i just made account to tell that this is one of the best idea i saw.

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I would love this to happen but I think it is a little too complicated for Niantic to handle. Hope they prove me wrong.


I hope Niantic would release this feature. That feature is a very awesome idea.

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No idea


Glad you liked the article I did, was it only a month ago? After posting it here I was invited to be part of the Hub’s team. You can find my other concept contributions on my articles page as well as this one which was my first published work on the Hub.


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This idea here is so epic, and needed for Go, i can’t explain it enough.

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Just sent this to Niantic, i want this in the game so bad.

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Niantic replied quick. Seems they like this idea for the future;

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People from Niantic must be scratching their heads thinking why is there all of a sudden such an increase in emails with new ideas to make the game better. They must employ new staff just to answer these emails. Shoutout to Kirk, Jorge and Abrill! (@5GodLink knows who they are)


they having to actually put in work.


Dont think they arent working.

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