Pokemon GO is slowly becoming the constantly evolving Alternate Reality Game title that it was promised to be when it was first introduced to the world over a year ago. Over the course of its first year, Pokemon GO has changed dramatically, removing features that weren’t functioning while adding content that is meant to both keep players engaged and bolster the app’s functionality. Even amongst all the changes that have occurred within the game lately, though, Pokemon GO‘s latest patch is a different animal altogether, offering what is arguably the single-most impactful collection of updates in the history of the game.

Part of the reason the last update is so huge for Pokemon GO is because it finally introduces a core mechanic from other Pokemon games – Technical Machines, better known to veteran players as TMs. In the classic Pokemon games, TMs teach Pokemon a specific move, giving trainers more control over their creatures and making specific kinds of Pokemon battles much easier with a little planning. In Pokemon GO, TMs function a little differently, but they’re still a vital and useful tool worth embracing for those looking to hone the perfect gym sweeper lineup.

How to Get a TM in Pokemon GO

TMs are a reward from the newly-added Pokemon GO raid battles, so players who end up competing in the larger-scale fights in gyms will have the potential to acquire these items. There are two types of TMs – Fast TMs, which teach moves that a player uses by tapping the screen in battle, and Charged TMs, which teach moves that a player uses by charging the meter in a battle and holding their finger on the phone screen.

Fast TMs drop from Pokemon GO gym raids for players level 15 and over. Ultimately, the official requirements for gym raids make it so that any participant will already be higher than level 15, so simply participating in a gym raid will give players the chance to acquire a Fast TM.

Charged TMs, on the other hand, only drop from gym raids that are level 25 or higher. This is the minimum level for gym raids, meaning newer or less experienced players will still have to grind up to level 25 in order to have access to Charged TM drops as well as Fast TMs no matter what. It’s possible the level requirements for these items dropping is related to the fact that Niantic is already testing level 5 raid battles – presumably, if those get implemented later, TMs will not be available as rewards at such low levels.

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Using a Fast TM or Charged TM

TMs simply exist in the item bag and can be used on Pokemon whenever a trainer wishes. This does come with a caveat, though, and is the major difference between TMs in traditional Pokemon games and those that are found in Pokemon GO – the move they teach is assigned at random. Using a Fast TM will, of course, teach a Fast move no matter what, but trainers cannot choose which one they will receive.

That being said, there are a few rules that help narrow things down. A Pokemon will not learn a move from a TM that it couldn’t already have, which typically limits the random move pool to about 4 moves for each move type. Furthermore, a Pokemon will never learn the same move it already had in its slot from a TM, so players won’t have to worry about wasting a TM and getting nothing out of it.

Ultimately, the introduction of TMs allows trainers to have more control over the development of their Pokemon than ever before. This is particularly useful for those who have a high CP Pokemon that has an undesirable move for battle – simply using TMs until the right move is learned will likely take less time than constantly grinding for a high-level variant of the creature in question with the desired move.

Pokemon GO is available now on Android and iOS mobile devices.

Source: VG 24/7