Sometimes when attempting to capture a Pokémon, the mon will be wiggling in the ball and the app will disconnect from servers (for mobile connection reasons or whatever), and I'll be left staring at a ball containing Schrodinger's Pokémon. I'll sigh at the loss (or in the case of a 500CP Pinsir, scream in agony), and reload the game.

I thought maybe encounters in general couldn't handle disconnecting well, but sometimes immediately after a Pokémon broke free of a ball, the little icon in the upper left would appear, the game would stall for a bit, but it would recover.

Is there anything I can do to avoid this? Should I be waiting it out, instead of reloading?

(and before anyone says it, yes I have filed a bug report)

  • 1
    Im surprised on all the upvotes. Someone asked this, already.
    – user106385
    Jul 13, 2016 at 22:22
  • 2
    @Timelord64 Can you provide a link to the question?
    – jackwise
    Jul 13, 2016 at 22:47
  • I will o ce I can close vote again. Weve had a lot of users quick to post duplicate questions..
    – user106385
    Jul 13, 2016 at 22:49
  • 4
    While the question I found is definetly "the original", your question has a lot more votes, as does the current answer. I posted an answer on the original, which adds more references to situations where this can happen, so Im going to move it here, and VTC the other question. The community quite obviously regards this question as a higher quality version, which overrides the date when it was posted.
    – user106385
    Jul 14, 2016 at 3:48
  • @Timelord64 Apologies, I did not know that the question had already been asked. It's easy to lose track of things with the amount of PokéGo questions popping up.
    – jackwise
    Jul 14, 2016 at 13:34

4 Answers 4


As many other server connection issues, there is not much we can do on our end aside from reloading the app. If in the event you experience server connection issues while catching a Pokemon and watching the sitting-pokeball-of-saddness, the in-game mechanics may still work, although not guaranteed.

As personal experience has shown me, this is what I have discovered what may happen

  1. If you reload the app and the Pokemon is still there, it means it broke free and you can just try again
  2. If you reload the app and the Pokemon has disappeared, check your journal. The Pokemon may have been captured after all and will be shown in the history.
  3. If you reload the app and the Pokemon has disappeared and it is not in your journal, then Pokemon has escaped the battle and is no longer visible. Your journal may log the encounter, but it will say "{pokemon} ran away!"

Among further monitoring, this has been my experience in the past 24 hours.

  1. Encountered a 283 Beedrill, notoriously breaking free; wasting a good 20+ Pokeballs. After three attempts of server disconnections/reloading, Beedrill appeared everytime. Third time's a charm, Beedrill was eventually was caught even while the Pokeball was sitting there

  2. Encountered a 137 Krabby, which server connections occurred on first Pokeball throw. After I waited a few seconds for the spinning-pokeball-of-death to go away and let the connection refresh, I reloaded the app to see Krabby was caught and appear in my journal/Pokelist.

  • 5
    For point 3 you can check the journal too and it will say if the Pokemon got away. "Geodude was caught!" vs "Geodude ran away."
    – Virusbomb
    Jul 13, 2016 at 17:47
  • 1
    I didn't know this. I'll have to check this out.
    – Ekmod
    Jul 13, 2016 at 17:52
  • 3
    Wish I could give another +1 for "Pokeball of sadness"
    – Taegost
    Jul 13, 2016 at 17:52
  • my journal doesn't even mention the wigglytuff I encountered and lost due to disconnection 5 times in a row ): maybe it was just a figment of my imagination
    – jackwise
    Jul 13, 2016 at 18:08
  • 1
    @jackwise It does not always happen to me, but it has happened a couple of times. I put more emphasis that it may work, but not guaranteed Jul 13, 2016 at 18:09

This is a commonly-occurring problem, in the recent release days of Pokemon Go. Short of sending Niantic a bug report, there is unfortunately nothing you can do.

Even with submitting a bug, you increase the chances of this issue being fixed more quickly, but there is little chance Niantic will be able to reimburse you with the lost pokemon1.

While more of a 'band-aid solution', consider closing all other applications with an application manager2, before playing Pokemon Go. There appears to be a higher chance of crashing if you have less memory accessible to the main game, and it can't hurt. Once again, this will fix the problem before it starts, but only in very minute situations.

For further reference, this sort of bug appears to happen semi-frequently. Many users have reported the problem, on Reddit, with no raised solution. I have found more users confirming a similar experience, on GameFAQs. They appear to actually catch the pokemon, but it seems they were still not rewarded the catching experience. This suggests the bug is a result of the game failing to communicate with the servers, in time, and getting lucky in regards to whether the crash occurred before or after registering the catch.

1 Consider that there is really no way for Niantic Labs to know that you actually did catch the pokemon, given that the problem arises from failure to confirm the successful catch, in the first place. They would try to fix the problem, but would unlikely risk giving free pokemon away to the few users that submitted fake "I almost caught a MewTwo!" reports. 2 Ensure you use an application manager, wether it be a seperate application, or a built in function of your phone. Applications are generally designed to run in the background, when you choose to close them; They do not actually 'close'. I have seen this lead to many obscure issues, especially with phones that contain less internal memory.

  • 4
    Unfortunately, I disagree with the application manager advice. If OP is playing on an Android device with Jelly Bean or above, the OS handles background applications much better than it did in prior versions. If the device has a low memory issue, it's possible the game wouldn't even run in the first place.
    – James Hyde
    Jul 14, 2016 at 7:38
  • 1
    @lightswitchr it really depends on the device. My Samsung Galaxy S3, running 4.4.2 with 2GB RAM is absolutely horrible at taking back RAM from background applications when I need them for a foreground application. About the only thing it is good at in that regard is quickly eating up all the RAM I just freed up by closing those background applications. :( Jul 14, 2016 at 16:29

You could as well check for the loading ball before trying to capture a (rare) Pokémon. This will lower the risk of losing that Pokémon.

Before you battle them, check the upper left part of your screen - if the loading ball is stuck on repeat, just reboot the app. The Pokémon should still be there, and you can try to catch it again. If you don't, you'll risk getting stuck on the capture screen.

Source: Reddit

  • The loading ball can still appear while the Pokémon is in the ball. Waiting for it to go away while it's not in the ball won't affect whether it'll disconnect at a later point.
    – jackwise
    Jul 14, 2016 at 13:36
  • This will lower the risk of losing that Pokémon. I never said it'll kill the risk entirely. Of course the connection can get stuck while in the catching screen. My answer is not wrong because of this. It will fix the stuck Pokéball when the server connection has already timed out (which happens a lot more often than getting stuck while throwing a ball).
    – dly
    Jul 14, 2016 at 13:41

If on iOS, sometimes you can unfreeze the game by doing the following:

  • Enter the app switcher (double-tap home button)
  • Wait 5 seconds
  • Exit the app switcher (press the Pokémon GO app card)

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