Pokemon Catch Rates can be annoying and confusing depending on how you look at it. Catching a Pokemon isn’t as simple as throwing a Poké Ball and hoping for the best.
The video games do not go into detail about Pokemon Catch Rates, but it does give a general overview of it. Each species of Pokémon has a specific catch rate that are used to figure out how easy or difficult the particular Pokémon species is to capture in the wild. The games mention that battling a Pokémon to lower its HP and inflicting a Pokémon with a status ailment will make the Pokémon easier to catch. Also, using a better quality Poké Ball or a Poké Ball of a specific purpose will help the capture process be more successful.
This is the simplest way I can put the capture process…
- Lower a wild Pokémon’s Hit Points (HP) to as low as you can get it.
- Inflict it with a status ailment.
- Throw a high quality Poké Ball and hope for the best.
I hate math…
What are Pokemon Catch Rates?:
An easy explanation of Pokemon Catch Rates is to say that this will make a Pokémon easier to capture. It isn’t suggested to throw a Poké Ball at a wild Pokémon the first turn of a battle. You must battle it, inflict it with a status ailment, and throw a good Poké Ball at it.
Pokemon Catch Rates depend on the species of Pokémon. A Pokémon species with a higher catch rate is easier to catch. Catch rates for Pokémon can be between 0 and 255. For example, the Pokémon of this Episode – Maractus – has a catch rate of 255, so it is easier to catch than the previous Pokemon of the Episode – Golem – which has catch rate of 45. The lowest known catch rate for any Pokémon species is currently 3 (most Legendary Pokémon), so these Pokémon are much more difficult to catch and generally require more effort in order to successfully capture. Specific Pokemon Catch Rates are plugged into the formula below in the variable “Rate”.
Let’s go over Status Ailments:
Inflicting a status ailment is the best way to help you capture a wild Pokémon, no doubting that. Even the video games themselves suggest it. For simplicity’s sake, just keep in mind that Freezing or putting a wild Pokémon to Sleep would be best. When thinking about it in a mathematical way, it gives the multiplier of ×2 in the Pokemon Catch Rate modifier equation (in Generation V and above, it gives a ×2.5 multiplier bonus instead). Paralyzing, Poisoning or Burning a wild Pokémon will give the multiplier of ×1.5. Anything else like Confusion, Wrap or not having any type of status ailment will give a ×1 multiplier, which does nothing. Status ailments are shown in the equation below as the variable “Bonus Status.”
Now, let’s talk about Poké Ball effectiveness rates:
Each Poké Ball has their own specific effectiveness rate when used. Typically when thinking of the “normal” Poké Balls, the more expensive ones are better. A regular Poké Ball has a ×1 multiplier, a Great Ball has a ×1.5 multiplier, an Ultra Ball has a ×2 multiplier, and since and Master Ball will generally always work, it has a ×255 multiplier rate. In certain circumstances, some Poké Balls may be better for the environment you are in, e.g., using a Lure Ball while fishing will have a ×3 rate and will have a ×1 rate in any other situation. Poké Ball effectiveness is shown in the formula below as the variable “Bonus Ball.”
Let’s do an example:
Let’s say we’re trying to catch an Articuno. We know from the list in the link below that its catch rate is 3, we will be using an Ultra Ball, and we paralyzed it in battle. I’m going to say its Max HP is 100 (I don’t know the true value, I’m just using 100 as an example) and we currently brought the Articuno’s HP down to 1. Take note that the Max HP of a Pokémon is its full HP at the start of the battle and it is shown as the variable “HP Max” in the formula. The Pokémon’s current HP is what you currently brought it down to during battle and its variable is “HP Current”.
Using the given information, plug it into the Pokemon Catch Rate formula. Don’t forget to use PEMDAS!
Let HP Max = 100 ; HP Current = 1 ; Rate = 3 ; Bonus Ball = 2 ; Bonus Status = 1.5
a = [(3×HPMax-2×HPCurrent)×Rate×BonusBall/(3×HPMax)]×BonusStatus
a = [(3×100-2×1)×3×2/(3×100)]×1.5
a = 8.94
Now, instead of a catch rate of 3, this example Articuno has a modified catch rate of 8.94. All this means is that the Articuno is a little bit easier to catch than before. Remember that I said before that the higher the Pokemon’s catch rate, the easier it is to catch.
Probability of Capture:
The probability of a Pokemon Catch Rate is simply to estimate the percent chance of catching the Pokémon with the Poké Ball used in the previous formula. There are different formulas to figure out the probability, but here is a formula that will give the closest estimate.
Plug the modified Pokemon Catch Rate a into the Probability of Capture formula…
p ≈ a/[(2^8)-1] OR a/255
p ≈ 8.94/255
p ≈ 3.5%
This gives you the approximate probability of catching the Pokémon with the Poké Ball you chose at the beginning of the problem – remember, we’re using an Ultra Ball for this example. This gives us about a 3.5 percent chance of catching this Pokémon with an Ultra Ball. To then see how many Ultra Balls we might need to use, just simply divide 100 by p to get an estimate amount.
100/3.5 ≈ 28.5714 Ultra Balls
So, I might need to use around 28 Ultra Balls in order to capture this legendary Pokémon.
There is too much math. 🙁
Does your head hurt yet? Mine does. Here’s a video of the upcoming Pokemon X and Y games that was recorded at Gamescom 2013 in Germany. This person was a genius to bring an audio cable and recorded the audio straight from the Nintendo 3DS. We get to hear the game in near perfect audio quality. Also, the main character skating around on roller skates made me giggle.
Pokemon of the Episode: #556 Maractus
I never want to see math again. 🙁
- Catch Rate – Bulbapedia
- Poké Ball Effectiveness Rates – Bulbapedia
- List of Pokemon by Catch Rate – Bulbapedia
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- English trademarks related to Pokémon Tretta uncovered
- Pokemon Catch Rate Frustration
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