Pokemon GO has taken the world by storm, but one of the most confusing aspects of the game is the battling.

What are gyms? How do I battle? What is life? Exercise?!?!?!?!

All valid questions - and luckily for you, we're here to answer them.

What are gyms? Pokemon GO

Gyms are sweat palaces where dreams go to die.

Sorry, I forgot we were talking about Pokemon GO!

Here, gyms are where you battle against other Pokemon trainers, and you can take control of them if you successfully defeat the Pokemon they leave behind to guard it. You can't do this until you reach level five though (at which point you can choose to represent one of three teams), and you have to leave a Pokemon behind yourself if you want to take control.

Holding gyms not only grants you sweet bragging rights though, but also plenty of Pokecoins.

You can also battle your own Pokemon, but this doesn't get you as much XP.

Challenging gyms Pokemon GO

See a gym emblazoned with another team's colours? Repulsed? Feel angry? Feel ready to FIGHT?

Well calm down and get back to playing Pokemon GO.

You can fight the Pokemon at the gym to take it under your control, but you may have to challenge it multiple times to reduce its prestige level to zero first, so pack some Potions.

At this point it becomes neutral, and you can leave your Pokemon there to keep it as your own.

How to win battles

Pokemon GO

The relative strength of your Pokemon is determined by its CP, which stands for Combat Points. You can raise this by strengthening and evolving your Pokemon using Stardust and Candy.

Once your Pokemon's got enough CP, it's time to fight. Although Pokemon GO's battles are simpler than in the mainline games, the elemental rock-paper-scissors scissors system carries over.

Make sure, then, that you select a couple of Pokemon with super effective moves against the opposition, plus a couple of Pokemon of other types too, just for a rainy day.

When it comes to the battle itself, there's not much strategy to be found. Though you can dodge, the best tactic right now seems to be 'tap as quick as possible' - now if that's not a comprehensive guide then I don't know what is.

Just don't forget about your super move, which you can use by holding the screen when the blue bar next to your Pokemon is full. Pow!

Want more? Check out our 36 other Pokemon GO tips, guides and walkthroughs!