There are fifty-seven gyms overall in the Pokémon series, and each one comes with its own unique gym challenge. These are some of the best.
Gym leaders are a very common trope that players will constantly encounter in Pokémon games. Every aspiring Pokémon trainer has to challenge every gym leader in a region and defeat them in a Gym battle to earn a Gym Badge.
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But before they can reach the gym leader, gamers must first complete a gym challenge. While not every gym has a challenge left in store, these are perhaps the best gym challenges in the mainline Pokémon game series.
For the most part, the first gym offers no challenge for the player. It's just a simple path to the Gym leader while battling a Gym trainer or two along the way. Turffield Gym - the first gym in Sword/Shield - does something a little more memorable.
Instead of just a basic path, Milo throws a Wooloo-herding 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 run-of-the-mill walk to the Gym Leader variety.
Unlike many other Fighting-type Gym Leaders, Korrina is a roller racer racing around on roller skates. The Shalour Gym reflects this heavily, as the four Gym trainers that players have to battle in the gym are all roller skaters.
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In addition, the gym challenge itself takes place in a giant roller skating rink, consisting of rails, traffic cones, elevated platforms. The player has to battle the roller skates that run laps around the skating rink, and defeating each one will cause sections of the rail to raise - leading to the Gym battle.
In an unusual turn of events, as part of Motostoke Stadium's gym challenge, the player has to catch wild fire-type Pokémon (Vulpix, Litwick, and Sizzlepede) hiding in tall grass.
Simply defeating a wild Pokémon in battle nets the player one point. Capturing a Pokémon, on the other hand, nets two. Five points are required in order to face the Gym Leader, Kabu. There are some wild Pokémon that are visible, although there is a Trainer nearby waiting to challenge the player.
Nimbasa Gym is based on an amusement park, with roller coasters, neon lights, and stars. Using the roller coaster cars is necessary to traverse 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 the roller coaster cars, though some are guarded by trainers.
Notably, in Black/White 2, Nimbasa's Gym Leader, Elesa, moves to a new building. The player has to complete the old gym challenge before challenging Elesa at the new building - which is just a catwalk.
Fuschia City's Gym Leader, Koga, is a ninja, so it would be natural for Fuschia Gym to have invisible walls. These invisible walls make up a maze that's part of the gym challenge, and it can be quite an issue to get through.
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Koga's daughter, Janine, takes the invisible maze up a notch in the HeartGold/SoulSilver games. All the Gym Trainers in the maze are disguised as her, and will even appear as such until they're challenged to a battle or the player defeats the real Janine in a Gym battle.
In addition to being a Unovan Gym Leader, Clay is also a mining businessman. As such, his Driftveil Gym challenge in Black/White includes a bunch of elevators in a mine shaft. The player must traverse 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 landing platforms. These platforms light up when stepped upon; the more platforms that are illuminated, the more visible the ground appears as crystal stalagmites and air vents appear more prominent.
Saffron Gym is the first Pokémon gym to have warp tiles, and there are plenty of warp tiles to be found in its challenge. The warp tiles make up a maze that the player must navigate through if they ever wish to challenge Saffron City's Psychic-type Gym Leader, Sabrina.
However, completing this maze is no easy task. There are nine rooms in total that players must warp through, with seven of them having one Gym trainer. The player has to map out their path and figure out which warp tile leads to which room.
At first, Anistar Gym just looks like an ordinary house, one that is pretty much empty. However, if the player stands in the middle of the carpet at the center of the room, the Gym turns into some kind of spherical maze with a night sky full of Pokémon constellations up above.
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Much like the Saffron Gym, the player has to navigate using warp tiles, although in this Gym, the warp tiles connect the overlapping paths. There are three separate pathways the player has to get through in order to reach the Gym Leader, Olympia.
Given that Blaine is "The Hotheaded Quiz Master!", he has the player answer trivia questions as a part of the gym challenge in Cinnabar Gym. In Red/Blue, there are several locked doors, and gamers must simply answer yes or no to a Pokémon question in order to unlock a door and progress.
Blaine ups the ante in the Gen VII games as the Gym is stylized as a quiz show studio, with the player having to answer five questions. Answering a question right nets a Blaine doll - five of which are required to face Blaine.
Sootopolis Gym has an ice maze challenge, and it functions like a game of Snake. Players have to walk all over the ice tiles without stepping on one twice. Otherwise, they'll fall down to a basement floor where they'll be challenged by a Gym trainer before returning to the ice puzzle.
The Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire version of this gym challenge offer platforms which can be stepped on without breaking. Cracked tiles can even be stepped upon without breaking just as long it's in a puzzle already solved.
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