Sometimes when I throw a Poké Ball at a Pokémon in Pokémon X/Y, instead of the ball shaking three times, it shakes once and then the Pokémon is caught. What is happening here?

I haven't actually played Pokémon since Generation 3 (and I don't ever recall this happening), so is this maybe something from Gen 4/5? Or new in Gen 6?

2 Answers 2


Nevermind, I've obviously silly at looking things up. Looks like it's called "critical catching" and that this isn't a bug or anything.

It's new since Generation 5 (and appears in Generation 6). There's a slight chance where the ball will only shake on the ground once before capture.


  • 3
    The more Pokémon you've caught, the higher the chance of it happening. Also, a critical catch is not guaranteed to succeed, it just greatly improves your chances of catching the Pokémon.
    – Nolonar
    Commented Oct 22, 2013 at 11:01
  • @Nolonar Is there a source for your first point? Sounds interesting
    – TerryA
    Commented Oct 22, 2013 at 11:03
  • 3
  • Yeah, the benefit of a critical capture is that you only need to pass the capture check once, instead of four times. Commented Nov 11, 2013 at 18:09

It's called a critical capture. This was introduced in Generation V and is documented in Generation VI on a sign hidden behind a Cut tree to the left of the entrance to Reflection Cave on Route 11:

Trainer Tips!

When catching a Pokémon, sometimes the Poké Ball you throw will rock only once. This is called a "critical capture," and the more Pokémon you catch, the more likely it will occur.

For technical information, see this Bulbapedia article.

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