Top 10 Most Iconic Gym Puzzles in Pokémon (All Games)

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When you think of Pokémon, you likely imagine the beautiful creatures, intricate route designs, and tough battles that you had to power through.

You probably don’t immediately think of the clever and thought-inducing puzzles you had to complete to get to most of those tough battles: the gym puzzles.

There may be a few that come to mind, though. Whether it be due to their rage-inducing difficulty, or the sense of amazement they may incite.

Well those memorable gym puzzles are the ones we’ll be revisiting in this ranking.


10. Wela Volcano Park Trial

Wela Volcano Park Trial from Pokemon Sun

Region: Alola

While Alola doesn’t technically have any gyms, they do have Island Trials that effectively take their place.

Which is why I figured I’d include them in this ranking as well.

And this puzzle has you deciphering differences between the fiery dances of Alolan Marowak (and a random Hiker as well).

It’s not difficult, per se. But it’s visually appealing and interesting enough to make itself a spot on this list.


9. Blackthorn City Gym

Blackthorn City Gym Puzzle from Pokemon HGSS

Region: Johto

Strength puzzles were a staple of earlier Pokémon games, and the Blackthorn City Gym is a wonderful example of one that was done correctly.

You must push boulders into rivers of lava to use as bridges to get to Claire, standing lonely on her platform near the back of the Gym.

I can’t imagine this Gym is passing a Fire Safety Evaluation anytime soon, though.


8. Cinnabar Island Gym

Cinnabar Island Gym Question Puzzle in FRLG

Region: Kanto

“Is this gym puzzle difficult?”


“Was this gym fun to get through?”


“Did you bring a burn heal?”



7. Fuchsia City Gym

Fuchsia City Gym Puzzle Maze in Pokemon FRLG

Region: Kanto

This gym is Pokémon’s equivalent of a Mirror Maze.

And as a kid, that type of puzzle was more difficulty than I was looking for.

To make matters worse, you likely have to maneuver back to the exit multiple times before even facing Koga due to your entire party likely being poisoned – unless you were smart enough to bring Antidotes.

The Fuchsia Gym maze made me sick – or maybe that was just the smell of Muk and Koffing.


6. Snowpoint City Gym

Snowpoint City Gym DPPt Screenshot

Region: Sinnoh

I recently attempted this gym – as a 22-year-old adult – and struggled to get the huge snowballs out of my path.

Especially that last one, ugh!

Trudging through the thick snow of Snowpoint City was a pain as well. And I like to imagine that’s included as a part of the challenge of this gym.

Ice puzzles are typically pretty non-forgiving, and this one in particular is an avalanche of difficulty.


5. Dewford Town Gym

Dewford Town Gym Exterior in Pokemon RSE

Region: Hoenn

This gym is a game of hide-and-seek – sounds fun!

Well… that is until you realize you’re both seeking AND being sought.

As you traverse the pitch-black maze to Brawley, gym trainers will approach you from any angle, hidden away in their own personal hallway.

As you beat each trainer in battle, the lights shine a little brighter, which give a sense of accomplishment and progression in a wonderfully designed gym puzzle.


4. Saffron City Gym

Saffron City Gym Teleport Puzzle

Region: Kanto

The Saffron City Gym is a Double Slap to the will of any Pokémon Trainer hoping to get through it.

While you’re maneuvering the difficult warp-tile puzzle of this gym, Sabrina and her Alakazam are constantly in the back of your mind.

This gym puzzle is made even more difficult due to the similarity of every room, and the sheer number of warp-tile directions you have to choose from.

Also, you’ll likely have to do it multiple times after being wiped-out in the leader battle.

So I wish you all of the luck in remembering the pathway.


3. Sootopolis City Gym

Sootopolis Gym Ice Floor Puzzle

Region: Hoenn

Another ice puzzle – sigh.

You have to snake your way through tiles, making sure to walk over each one once.

If you step onto a tile twice, you fall to the floor below, where a mass of strong trainers await.

In actuality, this one is more fun than most of the ice-based puzzles in the Pokémon world. It takes strategy and planning, which is rewarding when it’s finally beaten.

Making it even more iconic it the fact that it’s the 8th gym of the Hoenn region, and located in Sootopolis City, easily one of the most memorable and interesting locations in all of Pokémon.


2. Opelucid City Gym

Opelucid City Gym Screenshot

Region: Unova

Unova finally makes an appearance on the list, coming in big with the dragon-type gym of the region.

This is referencing the gym from Black 2/White 2, as it’s quite different from the gym in the games’ prior entry.

As soon as you walk in the doors, you’re able to witness the grandeur of the gym in its entirety.

A giant mechanical dragon (not a Pokémon that we know of) is ready to help you meet the gym leader, Drayden himself.

You must step on “arrows” to direct the dragon to the correct location. Throughout the journey up the tower you’ll also meet incredibly tough trainers and their strong dragon-type Pokémon.

While the Opelucid City Gym is grand, beautiful, and creative, it’s relatively fresh in our minds. And it’s not nearly as difficult as the top entry.


1. Vermilion City Gym

Vermilion City Lt. Surge Gym Trash Can Puzzle in Pokemon Lets Go

Region: Kanto

When you think of a Pokémon Gym Puzzle, this is likely the one that comes to mind.

So simple, yet so frustrating.

This Gym Puzzle is one of pure luck. And the unluckiest of people can spend a lot of time just trying to get to Lt. Surge.

This puzzle resets every time you exit, which means you probably want to come prepared with plenty of potions and Paralyze Heals.

Why trash cans are taking up half of the building is unanswered, along with the question of how Lt. Surge was able to set-up an electric barrier installed in a building meant for 10-year-olds.

No matter, the Vermilion Gym still takes the top spot on this list.

We can only hope it crumbles to the ground after one hit of a Magnitude 10 from a Diglett.

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