Catching Pokémon is a one of currently three methods of obtaining Pokémon, the others are hatching Pokémon Eggs and trading.

Pokémon can be caught in various situations including: finding it in the wild, luring it with either Incense or Lure Module or encountering it via Raid Battle Bonus Challenge or as a reward for completed Research tasks - in case of the two last ones, encounters don't involve seeing Pokémon in the Map View.

Pokémon in the wildEdit

Nearby Tab 1

Obtaining Pokémon in the wild involves two processes:

  • tracking it down, in the Map View
  • and then catching it in a Poké Ball, in the Encounter Screen.

There are few kinds of spots in which Pokémon can appear:

  • natural spawn points - they are random spots in the real world, mostly next to the roads and paths seen in the Map View. Such spots can be clearly seen in Ingress, as spots of Exotic Matter share the same geographic points in the real world.
    • Pokémon spawning in these spots can be seen as Sightings in Tracker view, if there are no Pokémon Nearby the PokéStops.
  • spawn points nearby PokéStops - these are spots in vicinity of selected PokéStops, as not all of the PokéStops has regular spawn points of Pokémon.
    • Pokémon spawning in these spots can be seen as Nearby in Tracker view.
  • Pokémon Nests - these are areas in specific geographical locations, where an increased number of the same species of Pokémon appear for a short duration, they can be both natural, wild spawn points and spawn points nearby PokéStops.
  • spawn points around PokéStops with activated Lure Module - these are temporal spawn points for Pokémon lured with Lure Module, their location is in PokéStop's vicinity but lured Pokémon do not appear in Nearby section of Tracker.
  • spawn points around Trainer with activated Incense - these are temporal spawn points for Pokémon lured with Incense, their location is in Trainer's vicinity and lured Pokémon, not only, do not appear in Nearby section of Tracker View but also they're only accessible for Incense's user - therefore other trainers cannot catch Pokémon lured with Incense of one player.

Tracking wild PokémonEdit

Encounter screenEdit

Once a found Pokémon appears in the Map View, player can tap on it, which will lead to the encounter screen.

Encounter screen is game mechanism that allows player to catch the Pokémon with currently owned Poké Balls.

The same encounter screen is used for catching wild Pokémon, Pokémon lured with Lure Module or Incense and Pokémon encountered in Raid Battle Bonus Challenge. However there are some different mechanics and features between some of the encounter screens.

Encounter screen featuresEdit

Encounter Screen

The picture to the right shows the encounter screen that appears when attempting to catch a Pokémon. Each item is listed with a description below.

  1. Leave the encounter button - Trainer can leave the encounter screen with the Pokémon at any time. Trainer can return to any of left encounter screen to capture Pokémon at a later time, as long as the Pokémon does not disappear from Map View (Pokémon stay up for a maximum of 30 or 60 minutes after they spawn).
  2. Camera button - This button allows player to hide any other GUI and take a photo of the encountered Pokémon that is saved as picture in player's mobile device storage or gallery. Camera view works both in park scenario and AR mode.
  3. AR camera mode switch button - This switch controls augmented reality mode. Switching this to the On position will utilize the device's camera to show the Pokémon in "real world". The device may need to be oriented to so that the Pokémon appears in the field of view. Leaving it off will keep it on the default park scene, shown in the image to the right, and moving the device will not have an effect on the Pokémon's image.
  4. Label with Pokémon’s name and CP - The label that displays various general information such as Pokémon's name and CP is displayed. CP sometimes appears as ??? it is related either with the first time seen Pokémon species not yet registered in Pokédex or CP higher than any currently owned Pokémon. Withing first few second after entering the encounter screen there's also type-bonus medals icons displayed above the label indicating what level of medal is currently owned for catching Pokémon of the type that is the encountered Pokémon. In the top-right corner of the label there is also displayed weather icon if Pokémon is currently boosted by the weather.
  5. Target ring - This ring appears when holding down on the Poké Ball. Its size repeatedly shrink and expand. The smaller it is when the ball is thrown into it, the better the chance of catching the Pokémon. With its colour it indicates how difficult the encountered Pokémon is to catch, bright green being the easiest, and a red being the hardest. Using a higher quality Poké Ball, Razz Berry or Golden Razz Berry makes Pokémon easier to catch therefore changes the color of target ring towards the bright green hue.
  6. Owned Berries access button - This is the convenient panel appearing from the left, that allows trainer to quickly choose any owned type of Berry from their bag.
  7. Currently selected Poké Ball or Berry from bag - It is 3D model of currently selected type of Poké Ball or Berry from the bag ready to be used on the encountered Pokémon. In case of Berry, to use it player needs only to tap the item and it automatically is fed to the Pokémon. To use Poké Ball player has to tap and hold Poké Ball and then swipe it in the direction of the Pokémon.
  8. Owned Poké Balls access button - This is the convenient panel appearing from the right, that allows trainer to quickly choose any owned type of Poké Ball from their bag.
  9. Number of currently selected item in bag - This number basically informs trainer what is the the number of currently selected Berry or Poké Ball kind, to make them aware of their potential lost. Trainer can catch Pokémon without any Berries in his bag but they cannot without any Pokémon, in such scenerio the selected item is swapped with empty field that is direct shortcut to the shop, so trainer could buy more Poké Balls for PokéCoins.

Bonus Challenge encounter screenEdit

Encounter screen of Raid Battle Bonus Challenge differs from regular encounter screen with only lack of option for selecting owned Poké Balls as in Bonus Challenge, Trainer uses Premier Balls rewarded for performance in battle with Raid Boss.

Pokémon in such encounter cannot flee away from trainer unless there are no Premier Balls left to use. There is special glowing animation for Pokémon that flees due to lack of Premier Balls.

Research task reward encounter screenEdit

Encounter screen for catching Pokémon awarded from completed Research tasks (both Field and Special ones) does not differ from regular encounter screen regarding its interface, only difference is that Pokémon as the reward for completed task, never flees and trainer can always return to the encounter.

Mythical Pokémon encounter screenEdit

Encounter screen for Mythical Pokémon, rewarded for Special Research tasks, differs from regular encounter screen. It requires using AR mode that can be disabled only if there is no gyroscope sensor in the device (or it does not work properly so game cannot assess the position of the device).

Moreover, there is no option to choose or use Poké Ball nor Berry possessed in item bag in such encounter screen. Player has infinite number of regular Poké Balls to use and no matter after which attempt the Pokémon is caught, there is always First Throw bonus given.

Additionally, in case of catching Mew, the Pokémon gets invisible and can be slightly seen between throws and in case of catching Celebi, it teleports between various random spots.

Augmented realityEdit

There is an option for using Augmented Reality (AR for short) and Augmented Reality Plus (AR+ for short) in encounter screen, that allows for viewing and catching encountered Pokémon with the background from real-world environment.

Moreover, using AR+ gives opportunity for more complex catching Pokémon, that involves sneaking and Expert Handle bonus.

Main article: AR Plus

Color of the target ringEdit

The capture rate of a Pokémon can be identified by the color of the target ring seen in front of the Pokémon in the encounter screen. The color of the ring can change during the same encounter when Berry or better Poké Ball is used to change the capture rate variables. (See section below.) [1]

Capture Rate Color Difficulty
~100% Green Very-easy
~75% Lime-green Easy
~50% Yellow Average
~25% Orange Difficult
~5% Red Very-difficult

Capture rateEdit

Capture rate of Pokémon is basically the chance for successful capture of encountered Pokémon.

The capture rate factors in the CP and base capture rate of the Pokémon along with the type of Poké Ball used and any multipliers that are applied, for example: throw style bonus or used berries. [2]

$ CR ~ = ~ \frac{BCR ~ \times ~ BF ~ \times ~ M}{2 \times CpM} $


  • CR - Capture Rate
  • BCR - Base Capture Rate
  • CpM - CP Multiplier
  • BF - Ball Factor (described below)
  • M - Multipliers (product of all multipliers; described below)


The following variables and multipliers are used in calculating the Capture Rate of a Pokémon.

Type Name Multiplier
Ball type Poké Ball 1.0
Premier Ball 1.0
Great Ball 1.5
Ultra Ball 2.0
Berries Razz Berry 1.5
Silver Pinap Berry 1.7
Golden Razz Berry 2.5
Throw Curve Ball 1.7
Nice! 1.0 – 1.3 (1.15)
Great! 1.3 – 1.7 (1.5)
Excellent! 1.7 – 2.0 (1.85)
Type Medal Bronze 1.1
Silver 1.2
Gold 1.3

Flee rateEdit

Flee rate of Pokémon is basically the chance for complete escape of Pokémon from Trainer after breaking out of the Poké Ball.




Pokémon GO - Catching Pokémon

Pokémon GO - Catching Pokémon


  • The encounter screen and whole catching wild Pokémon mechanic differs a lot from other Pokémon games, as:
    • there is no battle engaged with the wild Pokémon,
    • wild Pokémon appearing in the Map View does not force encounter but player can choose whether or not they want to encounter Pokémon that popped out in the Map View,
    • catching Pokémon is focused on aim and technique of throwing Pokémon rather than the combat with the encountered Pokémon.
  • The mechanic of throwing a Poké Ball on the wild Pokémon is a bit similar to the Facebook's Messenger basketball hoops game that used to be one of two popular, easter-egg games in the app before the official launch of Pokémon GO.

External linksEdit

References Edit

  1. /r/TheSilphRoad - How Pokémon GO determines the target ring color. Retrieved on 24 August 2016.
  2. /r/TheSilphRoad - Great Ball catch rate formula finally determined. Retrieved on 24 August 2016.