Catch mechanics


Catching a Pokémon looks like an easy task,however, there are plenty of factors that influence the probability of catching a Pokémon for a given throw:

  • Pokémon species
  • Pokémon level
  • Type of ball used
  • Type of berry used
  • Pokémon type medals
  • Type of throw
  • Size of the Pokémon’s hit circle

Some influence your catching odds more than others, but all of them count when trying to catch a Pokémon. This article is to completely describes Pokemon GO catch mechanics, makes them understandable and helps trainers to improve their catching chances.

Catch mechanics breakdown

Pokemon species and base catch rate

The first aspect that matters is the Pokémon species. Catching a Dragonite is significantly harder than catching an Oddish. Each species has a Base Catch Rate (BCR), which defines how hard it is to catch it. Following the example just mentioned, a Dragonite has a BCR of 5% whereas Oddish has a BCR of 60%.

Pokemon level

The next aspect to mention is the Pokémon level. As you can probably imagine, catching a level 30 Pokémon is harder than catching a level 1 Pokémon. Similar to the BCR associated to each species, there is a function commonly known as CP Multiplier (CPM) that is used to scale the attributes of a Pokémon for each level. A Pokémon’s attack, defense, stamina and catching probability are influenced by it. There is a single CPM associated to each level, from 1 to 40 including half levels as well. Since all non-weather-boosted raid bosses appear at level 20, the CPM that will be used as an example is the one for level 20, which is 0.5974. The higher the level of the Pokémon, the greater the CPM will be.

Pokeball type

The Type of ball used also has an influence. There are currently four different types of balls, which are Poké Balls, Great Balls, Ultra Balls and Premier Balls. Poké Balls and Premier Balls (only usable in Raid Battles) have the same base multiplier associated. Using Great Balls instead of Poké Balls will increase your odds of catching a certain Pokémon and Ultra Balls will increase them even more. Currently, Ultra Balls are the best balls that can be used to catch a Pokémon, given the fact that Master Balls have not been implemented in the game yet.

Berries and catching

Berries can also be used to increase the chances of catching a Pokémon. The only berries that will increase them are Razz Berries and Golden Razz Berries, with different multipliers associated. Nanab berries and Pinap berries do not increase the probability of catching a Pokémon for a given throw.

Type medals

Catching Pokémon from different types will also help you increase your chances of catching a specific Pokémon thanks to Type Medals. Catching 10, 50 and 200 Pokémon of the same type will give you a Bonus multiplier ranging from 1.1 (Bronze) to 1.3 (Gold).

Throw influence

If you’re new to Pokémon Go, you probably haven’t mastered curve throws. Well, perhaps you should try to do it, because the Type of throw matters a lot. Throwing a curve ball will give you a Bonus multiplier of 1.7, whereas a straight throw will not be rewarded with any type of bonus.

Inner circle

Finally, the last thing that matters when trying to catch a Pokémon is the size of the inner circle of a Pokémon. Every Pokémon has two visible circles, a white and static one and a moving inner circle. The smaller the circle when you hit the Pokémon, the greater your chance of catching it will be. The bonus multiplier for hitting a Pokémon inside the inner circle is defined as 2-r, where r is the radius of the inner circle.

In an ideal case, where the circle is really small, the bonus would be equal to 2 (as the radius would approximately be 0). This also means that not all Excellent throws give you the same bonus multiplier. The smaller the inner circle, the better the reward will be.

Bonus multipliers

Now that every single factor has been described, it’s time to recap all Bonus Multipliers in a table. As it will be seen later in the actual formula for determining the catching probability, all these multipliers will have an influence.

Bonus Type Multiplier
Ball used Poké Ball/Premier Ball 1.0
Great Ball 1.5
Ultra Ball 2.0
Berry used Razz Berry 1.5
Golden Razz Berry 2.5
Type Medal Bronze 1.1
Silver 1.2
Gold 1.3
Curveball 1.7
Size of inner circle 2-r

Pokemon GO catch formula

The probability of catching a specific Pokémon for a given throw can be defined by:

probWhere the multipliers can be defined as:

multipliersIt might seem a bit complicated, but a simple example could help clarify things a little bit. Let’s do it with a non-weather-boosted Kyogre, whose BCR is 0.02 (2%) and its CPM (for any level 20) is 0.5974. Let’s say we hit it with an average-sized Nice and curve throw, with a Golden Razz Berry and with a Gold water type badge. Fitting all the terms in the formula would give:


For that specific throw on a Kyogre and the conditions given, the probability of catching it will be 10.17%. Now, if we consider the best possible throw (small excellent, curve, golden razz berry, golden type medal), the probability would increase up to 15.8%.

To sum up, take a look at the table including the different bonus multipliers and the next time you’re facing a Raid Boss or a Pokémon that you want to catch, try to throw as accurate as you can. Even small details matter and in the end, they increase your chances of catching that Pokémon.

If you do not know how to throw curve balls, it is strongly recommended to practice them as they have one of the greatest bonus multipliers associated.

Good luck on your future catches!

Author & tags

Pokémon fan since 2000. Played every single game without exception. I'm an engineer, a tech lover and also a big sports fan. Science is my religion :)

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