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Pokémon GO Catch Guide: How to Maximize Your Catch Rate

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Sigbog is an avid Level 40 "Pokémon GO" player and raider with lots of knowledge and experience to draw from.

Pokemon Go Catch Guide


Every Pokémon in Pokémon Go has a catch rate and a flee rate. The catch rate is the percentage chance you'll catch the Pokémon when you hit them with a standard Pokeball and no other multipliers.

The flee rate, on the other hand, only applies if you do not trigger a catch. Let's say a Pokémon has a 50% catch rate and a 10% flee rate. You throw a Pokéball and have a 50/50 chance at catching it. If you do not catch it, then you have a 10% chance that it runs, and a 90% chance you'll get another opportunity to throw a Pokéball.

Most Pokémon have a flee rate of under 10%; even Dragonite has a 5% flee rate. The only odd one out is Abra with a 99% flee rate. (In other words, don't miss your first shot against an Abra!)

Catch rates can vary a bit more with many Pokémon near or even above 50%. But of course, some of the favorites are much lower, such as Dragonite with a 5% base catch rate.

It's also important to note that catch rates also decrease with higher Pokemon levels! As you level up and start seeing higher level Pokémon in the wild, you will notice that it can be much more challenging to catch them unless you start stacking your catch multipliers!

1. Pokéballs and Throws

Unsurprisingly, different Pokeballs will impact your catch rate, but what you may not have guessed is that curve shots also impact your catch rate. For those who don't know, curve shots are when you spin your finger around the screen, and your ball spins and curves crookedly towards the Pokémon.

Using all the tools available to you to drive up your catch rate is critical in not only reducing the amount of time it takes to catch a Pokémon, but to minimize the number of rolls against that flee rate. For reference, here are some figures:

  • Regular Pokeball: 1.0x Catch Rate
  • Great Ball: 1.5x
  • Ultra Ball: 2.0x
  • Curve Throw: 1.7x: This means that using an ultra ball and throwing a curve shot will land you a 3.4x chance at catching the Pokémon!

2. Colored Circle

To add to the mix, you may have noticed the colored circle that cycles from the size of the catch circle down to a tiny point and begins over again. The color of this circle roughly represents how difficult it is to catch that Pokémon. Green being a high catch rate, dark red being a really low catch rate. Hitting a Pokéball inside of this colored circle triggers an additional catch rate bonus as well as adding an experience boost if you successfully catch the Pokémon.

That catch bonus varies depending on the size of the colored circle. In fact, if you hit the Pokéball inside the colored circle at its tiniest point, it will trigger a 2x catch rate multiplier! The impact on the catch rate directly correlates with the size of the colored circle even though whether it's a Nice, Great, or Excellent shot occurs at specific points. This means a larger Great shot and a smaller Great shot will impact your catch rate differently. For example, a Great shot where the circle is 70% the size of the regular circle will add a 1.3x multiplier. But a Great shot where the circle is 50% the size of the regular circle will add a 1.5x multiplier. For reference:

  • Colored circle > 70% the size of the regular circle = Nice Shot
  • Colored circle > 30% but < 70% = Great Shot
  • Colored circle < 30% = Excellent Shot

    Again, the catch rate multiplier scales linearly from 1.0x for colored circle = the size of the catch circle up to 2.0x for the tiniest excellent shot.

Now you can see the multipliers are starting to add up! A curved Ultra Ball throw that lands a 50% great shot ends up with a 5.2x catch rate multiplier!

Lining Up The Perfect Throw:

The complexity doesn't end there though! The color circle only shows when your finger is touching the screen, and you're holding the Pokéball. It also only moves when you're holding the Pokéball, AND the Pokémon is idle! This means you can hold your finger on the screen, wait for the colored circle to get to a spot you like, then remove your finger. When you place your finger back on the screen, the colored circle will be where it was before! This is incredibly useful because you can line up shots you think you can make (such as an easy great shot), take your finger off the screen, wait for the Pokémon to attack, and then throw your Pokéball, so it hits the Pokémon right after the attack animation ends. This minimizes the chance that you'll have your Pokéball swatted away from an attacking Pokémon and sets you up for a good catch multiplier!

The one minor detail you need to know is that if the Pokémon jumps or moves, the colored circle will reset! So you'll have to re-align it and wait for the Pokémon to attack.

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3. Berries

Berries are yet another layer in the catch rate formula.

  • Pinap Berries: Doubles candy, does not impact catch or flee rate
  • Nanab Berries: Make Pokemon less erratic (they will move, jump, and attack less often)
  • Razz Berry: Applies a 1.5x catch multiplier
  • Golden Razz Berry: Applies a 2.5x catch multiplier
  • Silver Pinap Berry: Applies a 1.8x catch multiplier AND double candy!

Unsurprisingly, this is why Golden Razz Berries are so valuable and particularly useful for low catch rate raid Pokémon such as a Mewtwo. A 2.5x multiplier is higher than anything else in the game!

Berry Catch Rate Multipliers


4. Medals

This is a little bit more minor but nonetheless meaningful. You may have noticed the medals in your player profile and that there is a medal for each type of Pokémon. You unlock "catch bonuses" as you catch more of each type. The catch bonuses are added catch multipliers for when you are catching Pokémon of the specific type at a rate of 10% per tier.

  • Bronze Medal (10 Pokémon caught of the specified type): 1.1x Multiplier
  • Silver Medal (50 Pokémon caught of the specified type): 1.2x Multiplier
  • Gold Medal (200 Pokémon caught of the specified type): 1.3x Multiplier

Sadly, for Pokémon with two types, you do not get both multipliers; instead, you get an average of both of your medals. So if one is Bronze and one is Gold, you will get a 1.2x multiplier.

5. Skipping the Catch Animation

While this doesn't impact your catch rate, it is an incredibly useful thing to know. There is a bug that lets you skip the catch animation. When you hit a Pokéball, Pokémon Go already calculates if you've caught it or not and the animation is just for excitement. By skipping it, you've skipped a long animation sequence and the catch dialogue, meaning you can catch Pokémon way faster, easily twice as fast. This is incredibly useful for events like community day or heavily lured areas. If you did not catch the Pokemon, it's actually still on the map, and you can go right back in and do it again.

To skip the catch animation:

  1. Using your finger, grab and hold the berry icon
  2. Drag the berry icon slightly away from it's original spot
  3. Using another finger, grab and throw your Pokéball
  4. Upon hitting the Pokéball, release the finger holding the berry icon
  5. Upon releasing the berry icon, the HUD will re-enable itself
  6. Tap the run away icon in the top left corner of the screen (it may not show the icon, but you can still tap it. You may have to double tap)
  7. You will then run away
  8. The Pokémon may still be on the screen, tap it
  9. If you caught the Pokémon, it will error out and disappear. If you did not, you can try again.

Refer to the video below.

Pokemon Go Glitch: How to Skip the Catch Animation

6. Catching Raid Bosses

So now let's apply everything you've just learned to raid bosses as they're the most important to catch and the most difficult.

In raids, you'll have limited balls to work with, and while raid bosses can't run away, their catch rates can be as low as 2-3%!

Using all the above steps with Moltres as an example:

  • Have a Gold Medal for the raid boss' type
  • Use a Golden Razz Berry
  • Align the colored circle to a 50% great shot
  • Wait for the Pokémon to attack
  • Throw a curve shot and get a great throw
  • You now have roughly a 19% catch rate on a single throw!


If you weren't thinking about catch multipliers before, I'm sure you are now! I hope this has been helpful, feel free to leave a comment or question!

© 2018 sigbog

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