With AR off, it seems that the distance to the Pokémon is variable. Sometimes it's right up to my face and I pretty much have just to drop the pokéball to catch it, but sometimes it's far off in the distance and I have to swipe as hard as possible to even get the pokéball to reach the Pokémon.

Does that distance have to do with anything (chances of capturing the Pokemon or something like that) or is it just to emulate having AR on?

PS: Sadly I don't currently have screenshots to show the phenomena, but I'll try to get some later.

  • Are you seeing the same kind of pokemon at different distances, or is it only different types of pokemon that show up at different distances? Commented Aug 11, 2016 at 21:49

3 Answers 3


The distance "from the screen" of Pokémon you're catching when you have the AR off has no relation to the max CP or catch rate of these Pokémon. It's just a way to simulate having AR turned on by forcing you to change your throw based on what you're catching.

A prime example of a Pokémon who is extremely close to the screen but does not have a comparable catch rate to other Pokémon that appear extremely close (Caterpie, Weedle, etc.) is Ursaring.

In general, easier-to-catch Pokémon appear closer, but as seen with Ursaring, this is simply a pattern and by no means a rule.


Yes, distance to a Pokemon very much affects how likely it is to catch. It is not true, however, that closer Pokemon necessarily have a higher catch rate than further away Pokemon, but as Pokemon get further from you their multi-colored "target ring" gets smaller.

From the question What does the size of the multicoloured circle mean?:

The size of the ring represents your increased chance of catching the pokémon.

You have the greatest chance of capturing the Pokémon while the colored ring is at its smallest diameter. At the opportune moment, fling the Poké Ball toward the Pokémon.


When a Pokemon is closer, the target ring at its smallest is bigger than the same respective size target ring of a further away Pokemon. For example, if a Pokemon is close by, and the target ring minimum is 1cm in diameter, then further away, the target ring minimum could be 0.25cm. This means that it is easier to maximize capture rate (like getting an "Excellent!" throw, when the target ring is the smallest) when the Pokemon is closer.

This doesn't mean that you can't achieve the same capture rate when the Pokemon is further away, but it is just harder to achieve.

EDIT: This is probably well known at this point, but when a Pokemon escapes from a PokeBall, it usually bounces back further away than where it was originally, making it harder to catch.

  • 1
    I...don't think that's how distance works. Just because the target ring is closer, and therefore bigger, doesn't mean it's easier to catch. Just easier to time the target ring.
    – Frank
    Commented Aug 11, 2016 at 18:31
  • @Frank I didn't word it correctly, perhaps you could edit my answer to help me word it better. I'm trying to say that the ability to catch a Pokemon is independent of its distance from you, but it's easier to hit the "Excellent!" throws when the Pokemon is closer
    – wcarhart
    Commented Aug 11, 2016 at 18:34

For me, the bigger & harder to catch Pokémon like Pidgeot appear farther from the screen and thus harder to hit with the ball. And Weedles, Caterpies, Spinaraks, etc. Appear closer to my screen.


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