Pokémon: 10 best gym challenges


Gym rulers are a very common trope that players will consistently encounter in Pokémon games. Each Budding Pokémon Trainer must challenge all Arena Leaders in a region and defeat them in an Arena Battle to earn an Arena Badge.

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But before they can reach the Gym Leader, players must first complete a Gym Challenge. While not all gyms have a challenge in store, these are perhaps the best gym challenges in the main Pokémon game series.

Turffield Stadium

The Turffield stadium in Pokémon

For the most part, the first gym offers no challenges for the player. It’s just a straightforward path to the Gym leader while taking on one or two Gym coaches along the way. Turffield Gym – Sword / Shield’s first gym – does something a little more memorable.


Instead of a simple basic path, Milo throws a Wooloo breeding objective at the player. The player must flock twenty Wooloo to the mat at the end of each section. It’s undeniably a much more enjoyable challenge than your regular walk to the Gym Leader strain.

Fitness room

Korrina in the Pokémon anime

Unlike many other fight-type gym leaders, Korrina is a roller runner who runs on roller skates. Shalour Gym reflects this strongly, as the four Gym coaches that players must fight in the gym are all roller skaters.

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Plus, the gymnasium challenge itself takes place in a giant roller skating rink, made up of rails, traffic cones, and elevated platforms. The player has to face the roller skates which are spinning around the rink, and defeating them will result in the lifting of sections of the rail, which will lead to the battle of the gymnasium.

Motostoke Stadium

Victor at Motostoke Riverbank in Galar in Pokémon Sword & Shield

In an unusual turn of events, as part of the Motostoke Stadium Gym Challenge, the player must catch wildfire-type Pokémon (Vulpix, Litwick, and Sizzlepede) hidden in the tall grass.

The simple act of defeating a wild Pokémon in battle earns the player one point. Capturing a Pokémon, on the other hand, earns two. Five points are needed to face Gym Leader Kabu. Some wild Pokémon are visible, although there is a trainer nearby waiting to challenge the player.

Nimbasa Gymnasium

Elesa poses in the Pokemon anime

Nimbasa Gym is based on an amusement park, with roller coasters, neon lights and stars. Use of roller coaster cars is required to get through the gym – and there might even be a trainer hiding in one of them! Switches placed around the gym can change the path of roller coaster cars, although some are guarded by trainers.

In particular, in Black / White 2, Elesa, the manager of the Nimbasa gymnasium, moves to a new building. The player must complete the challenge of the old gymnasium before challenging Elesa in the new building – which is only a catwalk.

Fuschia Gymnasium

Pokemon Janine HeartGold SoulSilver

Fuschia Town Gymnasium Leader Koga is a ninja, so it would be natural for Fuschia Gymnasium to have invisible walls. Those invisible walls form a maze that is part of the gym challenge, and it can be quite a problem to navigate.

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Koga’s daughter Janine takes the invisible maze to the next level in the HeartGold / SoulSilver games. All of the gym trainers in the maze are in disguise as her and will even appear as such until they are challenged to a battle or the player defeats the real Janine in a Gym battle.

Floating sail gym

Clay talks in the Pokemon anime

In addition to being an Unovan Gym leader, Clay is also a mining businessman. As such, its Driftveil Gym challenge in Black White includes a bunch of elevators in a mine shaft. The player must go through the elevator puzzle to reach the central elevator that leads to Clay.

In Black / White 2, the elevators are replaced by conveyor belts that guide the player to the landing platforms. These platforms light up when walked on; the more illuminated platforms there are, the more visible the ground appears as the crystal stalagmites and air vents appear more prominent.

Saffron gym

Sabrina Red & Blue Pokemon Whip Cover

Saffron Gym is the first Pokémon Gym to have chain tiles, and there are a lot of chain tiles in its challenge. The chain tiles form a maze that the player must navigate if they ever wish to challenge Sabrina, the leader of the psychic-type gymnasium in Saffron City.

However, completing this maze is no easy task. There are nine rooms in total that players must walk through, seven of them having a gym trainer. The player must make their way and determine which warp tile leads to which room.

Anistar Gym

Olympia in the Pokémon anime

At first, Anistar Gym looks like an ordinary house, a house that is pretty much empty. However, if the player is standing in the middle of the mat in the center of the room, the gymnasium turns into a sort of spherical maze with a night sky filled with Pokémon constellations above it.

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Much like the Saffron Gym, the player must navigate using Warp tiles, although in this Gym the Warp tiles connect the overlapping paths. The player must take three distinct paths to reach the leader of the gymnasium, Olympia.

Cinnabar gymnasium

Blaine in the Cinnabar Gym from Pokemon

Since Blaine is “The Hotheaded Quiz Master!” He asks the player to answer trivial questions as part of the gym challenge in Cinnabar Gym. In Red / Blue there are multiple locked doors, and players simply need to answer yes or no to a Pokémon question to unlock a door and progress.

Blaine raises the stake in the Gen VII games as the gym is styled like a quiz studio, with the player having to answer five questions. Answering a question entitles you to a Blaine doll – five of which are needed to face Blaine.

Sootopolis gymnasium

Screenshot of the Sootopolis gymnasium in Pokemon

Sootopolis Gym offers an ice maze challenge and works like a Snake game. Players must step on all the ice tiles without stepping on them twice. Otherwise, they will fall into a basement where they will be challenged by a gym trainer before returning to the ice puzzle.

The Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire versions of this gym challenge offer platforms one can walk on without breaking. Cracked tiles can even be stomped on without breaking as long as they’re in an already solved puzzle.

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Spider-Man game movement used in any way

Spider-Man game movement used in any way


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