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Since the latest gym update in Pokémon GO, you are encouraged (by repeated messages) to feed berries to your Pokémon. However, since the amount of Pokécoins is capped at 50, equalling about 8 hours, why would you want to do that?

  1. Every Pokémon will stay in the gym until it is kicked out. Berry or no berry.

  2. If a gym is attacked, it is usually lost. I am only a level 30 player, but can clear out any gym alone. Berries might delay that if fed during the attack, but in practice I've never seen that happen.

  3. After 8 hours, you want your Pokémon to return to you, not stay.

So, why would I feed a berry?

  • RE#2: It is somewhat rare, in my experience, to have a Pokemon be fed berries as you attack... But it can be a serious deterrent. Generally as a sign that someone not of your team lives/works within range of that gym, and even if you knocked them out, the Pokemon you put in would only earn one coin or so before being replaced. The other thing is if someone feeds a blissey while you are attacking, now you have to take it down from full again... I barely have the patience/resources to take down a fully motivated blissey once, never mind multiple times. – Trent Hawkins Jul 29 '17 at 22:56
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    (and if you're in multiple gyms, if one Pokemon already returned 50 coins that day, you might want to delay another from returning until the next day.) – Trent Hawkins Jul 29 '17 at 23:01
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    My main reason is to get small amounts of Stardust - 20 per berry. Not much, but considering how few means of getting it there are, it's worth the surplus berries. – Vanguard3000 Aug 2 '17 at 15:27
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There are a few reasons you would want to feed a defending Pokémon a berry.

Feeding a Pokémon in a gym a berry earns you a small amount of experience towards that gym badge. Having higher level gym badges means more rewards when spinning that gym's disc. It also frees up inventory space by getting rid of your Nanab berries you likely aren't using. Furthermore, there is a small chance to obtain a single candy for the family of Pokémon that you fed a berry to.

Additionally, if the gym is under attack (and your Pokémon hasn't been there for 8 hours yet), you could feed your Pokémon berries to top it off while the attacker(s) is/are attacking, which could easily demoralize them and cause them to give up when they see that the defending Pokémon's owners are active and nearby.

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  • I don't think you can feed berries while the gym is under attack. – Kat Jul 29 '17 at 18:44
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    @Kat You can, I've done it before a few times. You just can't add Pokémon to the gym while it's under attack. – Vemonus Jul 29 '17 at 18:50
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    My bad, you can't put defenders in while it's under attack. – Kat Jul 29 '17 at 18:55
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    To complete this answer, I may add that there is a possibility to gain a candy of the Pokémon you gave food. Didn't managed to get an official source, but already happened to me and here's a site talking about probabilities of getting a candy. – Zoma Sep 10 '19 at 13:11
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    @Zoma good call. This answer is quite old and I don’t believe that bonus had been discovered at the time I posted this answer. (At least, it wasn’t widely known) – Vemonus Sep 13 '19 at 4:17
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Feeding berries is not about maxing the amount of coins you gain from gyms. You don't get coins for catching Pokémon either, but people still do it because they consider it a fun part of the game.

Some people take it as a point of pride to hold gyms for their team. I love the feeling of taking all the gyms in an area from a rival team. Even in locations where I know they'll take them back before I get home, it's satisfying to know I've made them work for it. For this same reason, I'll feed berries to gyms that I don't even have any Pokémon in. They're my team; I have to help them out!

Another good reason to keep your Pokémon in a gym for a long time is to level up your gym badge. You get something like a point for every minute your Pokémon defends, which is really your only hope of getting a high level badge. You get an extra item for every level of badge you get, so if it's a gym you walk past a lot, it can be a nice benefit. Keeping the gym under the control of your team nets you another item, so that's another reason to help your team out.

Lastly, although a fully motivated gym is unlikely to stop a determined attacker, it will prevent attacks of opportunity. If I happen to be walking past a rival gym, and it's full of high level, fully motivated Pokémon, I'll usually keep on walking. However, if they're all low CP and will get knocked out with one battle, I'll definitely stop and clear it out. So assuming you care about holding gyms in general, it's definitely worth feeding berries when you can.

Personally, even if these reasons were not particularly compelling for me, I'm going to end up trashing the berries anyway to make room for other items. I figure I may as well put them to use instead.

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  • Thanks for the answer, I did't know higher badges gave higher rewards. IMO games are about winning so maxing the gain. Catching pokèmon gives gains (Pokèmon, stardust, candy). In busy areas you might have a point, in rural areas berry feeding is less likely to be useful (I sure hope some Pokèmon will ever return to me...). – user193974 Jul 29 '17 at 19:59
  • @RHA some people catch Pokèmon and increase their trainer level to max their gym gains. Stardust is only useful to level up Pokèmon, and levelled up Pokèmon are only useful for attacking and defending gyms. I do live in a busy area, and gyms turn over like crazy here, so I generally don't have to wait long. Sounds like you need a friend on a rival team to rescue your Pokèmon. :) – Kat Jul 29 '17 at 20:10
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    Yeah. I've heard some players get a second account for freeing own Pokèmon. – user193974 Jul 29 '17 at 20:24

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