Pokemon GO Player’s Shiny Gible is Being ‘Held Hostage’ in Abandoned Gym

A player is wondering if they’ll ever see their Shiny Gible again after leaving it at an abandoned gym while on the road far from their home.


  • Leaving a rare Pokemon in a gym far from home may lead to difficulty retrieving it in Pokemon GO.
  • Gyms provide benefits, but retrieving trapped Pokemon is a challenge.
  • Players have had their Pokemon “held hostage” in gyms for years, with no remote retrieval option available from Niantic.

A Pokemon GO player who left their Shiny Gible in a gym has realized that getting them back could prove to be a problem. They shared their thoughts with other Pokemon GO fans, who seemed largely sympathetic, and offered some idea of how long the player might have to wait. While it’s not mandatory by any means, participating at Pokemon Gyms offers a lot of benefits to players. If a player comes across a gym that’s controlled by another team, they can fight the Pokemon there to take over the gym for their own team. When happening upon a gym that’s already controlled by one’s own team, the player can choose to support the Pokemon there or add their own if there’s a vacancy. This is what one player did far from home, only to realize that they might not get their rare Pokemon back.


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A Pokemon GO player finds the perfect spot for their Pichu photo, showing why using the mobile app while traveling can be great.

Reddit user Hour-Preparation-637 shared their story with fellow fans, explaining that they had recently traveled across several states in order to witness the solar eclipse. During their trip, they found a campground Pokemon Gym that had been controlled by their team for nearly 200 days at that point. The gym was populated with Shiny Pokemon, so Hour-Preparation-637 thought it would be a great idea to add their own Shiny Pokemon to help defend it. However, once they went home, they realized that they didn’t have any way of retrieving their Pokemon and wondered how long it might be until they got to see it again.

Pokemon Have Taken Years to Come Home from Pokemon GO Gyms

Hour-Preparation-637 asked other players what the maximum amount of time they’d had a Pokemon ‘held hostage’ in a gym before. Plenty of players replied, with the responses varying wildly in length. While some players who live in populated areas have only had their Pokemon leave them for a matter of hours at most, several went hundreds of days without seeing their Pokemon. A couple users went nearly four years before they finally got their Pokemon back. Outside of the Reddit post, one of the longest known records for holding a gym in Pokemon GO is a Weedle that defended a Pokemon Gym for six years.

Unfortunately, despite fan demands, Niantic has never implemented a way to retrieve one’s Pokemon remotely from a Pokemon Gym. If Hour-Preparation-637 doesn’t return to the campsite, their only hope is that someone else will travel there and beat their Pokemon. Some players suggested reaching out to local groups on social media to ask for help from Pokemon GO players located in the region. Hopefully their Shiny Gible being away won’t have too big an impact on their overall gameplay experience, as it could be some time before the two are reunited.

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Pokémon GO

After a test run via an April Fools’ joke on Google Maps, Pokemon GO was released to the public in the summer of 2016. The AR mobile app saw unparalleled success and continues to be one of the largest mobile games in the world, pulling in billions for developer Niantic.

July 6, 2016

Augmented Reality