Pokémon Go’s revamped gyms remain a work in progress, as trainers are quickly discovering. It appears that Niantic is keeping an eye on early critiques of the features, though, as the developer has already tweaked how the maligned coin payouts work.
Players found that they were earning far less of the game’s currency, PokéCoins, under the new gym system. In the past, having one Pokémon defend a gym would automatically grant users 10 PokéCoins per day, even if it was quickly ousted from its spot. When the update launched, players instead received coins on an hourly basis — and just one for every hour their Pokémon sat in a gym. And Pokémon must now be defeated before players see any of their prize money, so those whose Pokémon are the very best will just horde coins forever before being forced to turn them over to their owners.
For busier areas where Pokémon knock out other defenders on a regular basis, this meant that some trainers received no rewards for their efforts, since their Pokémon spent less than an hour in the gym. Gyms have become a greater time investment for those who can even manage to hold onto any of them for any amount of time.
“I can understand the goal with this update was to encourage more gym activity,” wrote Redditor LordParkin in a thread criticizing the new coin payout system. “For the moment, while this system is fresh and new, I’m sure there is indeed more activity. But if the system doesn’t change so that players get rewarded fairly for their time invested, it’s hard to see how gym activity won’t rapidly decline in the near future — which is surely in no-one’s interest.”
It seems as though Niantic has already caught on to the issues detailed in this and numerous other threads. Players now report that the amount of time it takes to accrue coins has gone down to every 10 minutes, as opposed to every 60. They’ll still need their Pokémon to return to them to see the dividends, but even if they manage to hold a gym for an hour, they’ll get six times as many coins as before.
As the new gyms and Raid Battles slowly make their way to all players, don’t be surprised if Niantic continues to make changes to how they work. Compared to Pokémon Go’s first summer, the developer seems to be making the changes fans want far more quickly.