When one places one or more Pokémon in Gyms, a "Defender Bonus" becomes available via a shield in the upper right corner in the shop screen. The couple of times that I've put Pokémon into gyms, I have later on clicked on the shield and received some items (quantities of stardust and gold, if I recall correctly), and the shield then shows a countdown timer until the next bonus is available (I believe - haven't actually had any Pokémons in Gyms long enough to find out). The bonus doesn't just automatically happen, one needs to trigger it by clicking on the shield.

Does anyone know of some especially good strategy for when to claim the rewards? Is it better to wait until many Pokémons are assigned to different gyms? Does taking the bonus after placing your first one keep you from accruing bonuses for subsequent Pokémons placed in gyms until the original timer runs out? Does the amount of bonus vary depending on when you claim it, or is it fixed for the number of Pokémon one currently has in Gyms? (Or somewhat random, but not influenced by timing?) Is there any association to calendar days, or is it strictly a countdown timer? (i.e. If the time is currently close to midnight, is there any particular reason to hurry to accept the bonus before, or to delay until after, midnight?). Thanks!

4 Answers 4


You are eligible to claim the "Defender Bonus":

  • Once every 21 hours
  • If you have at least 1 Pokémon in a gym at the time.

One you have claimed your bonus, you will need to wait 21 hours before claiming it again.

You can gain additional bonuses if you have 1 Pokémon in other gyms as well (you can assign 1 Pokémon to multiple gyms, but you can't have multiple Pokémon in the same gym), which will increase your reward. However, this still is only available once every 21 hours, from the time you last collected your "Defender Bonus".

  • Adding Pokémon to new gyms does not reset the clock
  • Losing a Gym does not reset the clock
  • Changing the time on your phone does not reset the clock[citation needed], as all user information is stored on the servers.

Therefore, the only "strategy" I can suggest is to

  1. Maintain your gym, so you can maintain your defender bonus
  2. After the countdown ends, add Pokémon to as many gyms as you can, then claim your bonus, before you lose the gym.

This has changed, as of June 22, 2017

The Old Defender bonus was replaced with an automatic reward system, granting a player 1 coin/10 minutes a Pokémon was active in a gym (raids will place a gym "on hold", and Pokémon will not claim coins in this period, or lose health over time); to a maximum of 50 coins per day, that resets at midnight, and is automatically claimed when Pokémon are kicked out a gym.

This means that if you have 1 Pokémon in a gym for 8 hours and 20 minutes (500 minutes) you will gain the max 50 coins. Any other Pokémon that are in gyms in the same 24-hr period that you claimed this reward will no longer reward you with coins.

  • 1
    I had thought that you needed to hold a gym for 21 hours to claim the bonus, but, (if you haven't made a claim in the past 21 hours,) you can take a bonus just as soon as soon as you capture a gym. To maximize your bonus, wait until you capture all the gyms you expect to capture on an outing before you take the bonus.
    – Dave X
    Commented Oct 26, 2016 at 17:50
  • Also, while Adding Pokémon to new gyms or losing Gyms does not reset the clock, it can change the size of the bonus you get when you do take the bonus.
    – Dave X
    Commented Oct 26, 2016 at 17:53
  • 1
    @DaveX Yes, I already explained that in my answer.
    – Ben
    Commented Oct 26, 2016 at 23:09

You have the 20 or 21 hrs after you click the first bonus that starts the clock. You can collect the bonuses for the gyms you have when the clock runs out. Planning ahead of time gives you the advantage of claiming the bonus at a time where it may be easier to plant your Pokemon on several locations. So my tip would be to set it up so that you can claim however many gyms you can without interruption (I like 3AM-5Am in my area). This is especially useful if you live near heavily visited gyms.


You'll want to claim it every day. My best advice for strategy is not to be too greedy - try to get into a few gyms within a short timeframe and then claim immediately afterwards. This may vary depending on your area, though. A lot of the gyms near me switch between teams every two hours.


I recommend that you try to get gyms in a rural area. If you can't do that try to get a gym in an area of your team so you have less of a chance losing the gym.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .