30

Since the release of Ditto in Pokemon Go, I have managed to catch a couple of the sneaky little insert expletive.

But instead of wasting all of my Pokeballs catching every single Pidgey, Rattata, Zubat and Magikarp... is there a way to tell if that Pokemon is a Ditto or not? I'm talking about once I click on the wild Pokemon and it's on my screen ready to be caught.

I did see this question here, but it only asks about seeing Ditto on the radar. And this question but it's in regards to catching the Ditto.

  • 19
    you can have a friend catch everything nearby and have them tell you if theres a ditto – Kevin L Nov 28 '16 at 14:25
30

There are, in fact, a couple ways to detect a Ditto:

  • Ring Discrepancies
    Dittos have different thresholds for ring colors, which means that their ring colors might not match the expected CP value. For example, a Ditto hiding as a Rattata may have a CP listed as 27, but it may have a yellow or orange ring. Of course, this isn't foolproof as the CP might very well match. This may very well be an unintended mechanic/bug, as per reports by others.
    Sources: PoGo Gamepress, Reddit Thread, Various online comments/sources, personal experience, community reports.
  • Game Data Mining
    If you're clever with reverse engineering and reading the game data, a hiding Ditto is detectable due to a couple flags sent to the client, so everybody knows what is being dealt with. These flags can either be intercepted using something like Wireshark, or you can (try to) use a mapping/radar solution. Of course, this is dependant on Niantic not changing anything, which we never can predict reliably.

However, if the ring colors match (which seems to be rather common) and you don't want to use Wireshark or other "cheaty" methods, there's no way to legitimately detect a Ditto without catching it. And, you don't need a permit for catch-and-release.

| improve this answer | |
  • 2
    Or in short: There is no explicit foolproof method ... which basically is the point of Ditto. – Num Lock Nov 29 '16 at 8:36
  • Do you have a source for the Ring Discrepancy theory? What I witnessed was just a normal color. Pidgey with low CP and a green ring, but difficult to catch. I think I would have noticed a change in the color. – Eulali Cumir Nov 29 '16 at 10:46
  • I think the second thing counts as hacking the game. It's pretty much like using wireshark or other tool to remove fog of war in strategy game. – Tomáš Zato - Reinstate Monica Nov 29 '16 at 13:48
  • The ring color idea is incorrect. see here: There is no way to know whether you have encountered a Ditto until you try catching it. Its target ring colors is faked to match the catch rate of its disguise – Vemonus Nov 30 '16 at 15:12
  • @Vemonus I've seen a large number of conflicting evidence to that idea as well. This may very well be the intended mechanic, but I've seen differing colors and have had a number of local community members and online users (see /r/TheSilphRoad) say otherwise. – Kaz Wolfe Nov 30 '16 at 16:08
18

No. You will not know it is a Ditto until after you catch the Pokemon. A dialog will pop up with "Oh?" and a short cutscene will play showing the Pokemon turn into a Ditto.

See this GamePress article on Ditto mechanics:

There is no way to know whether you have encountered a Ditto until you try catching it. Its target ring colors is faked to match the catch rate of its disguise.

Ditto has a Base Capture Rate (BCR) of 16%, among the lowest in-game for an unevolved Pokemon. In comparison, the common Pokemon it disguises as all have BCR of 40% or 56%. This means Ditto is 3-4 times harder to catch. If you throw an excellent curved Ultra Ball and that Pidgey still breaks out, it might be a Ditto (or knowing your luck, it might not).

Thus, there is no way to tell beforehand, unfortunately. The most telling indicator is that your Pidgey or Rattata is uncannily difficult to catch (but it could also just be a case of bad luck).

| improve this answer | |
  • 14
    Ah yes, the generic Pokemon "Oh!" – Kaizerwolf Nov 28 '16 at 14:57
  • 17
    @Kaizerwolf It's the pre-evolution of Ho-oh, obviously. /sarcasm – Iker Nov 28 '16 at 15:57
  • 1
    @Iker man, a baby Ho-oh would be adorable. – Tin Wizard Nov 28 '16 at 18:18
  • 3
    @Walt Baby Ho-oh – Wondercricket Nov 28 '16 at 19:07
  • @Wondercricket No I believe that's a Ha-ah #takeonme – Pierre Arlaud Nov 29 '16 at 8:45
6

To add upon user208574’s answer regarding ring colors: By toying with GamePress’s catch calculator or just by catching a lot of common Pokémon, you can get a feel for how often common Pokémon escape from certain throws. GamePress writes:

According to u/paanvaannd's extensive research, Ditto most often disguises as:

  • Pidgey
  • Zubat
  • Rattata
  • Magikarp

and

Ditto has a Base Capture Rate (BCR) of 16%, among the lowest in-game for an unevolved Pokemon. In comparison, the common Pokemon it disguises as all have BCR of 40% or 56%. This means Ditto is 3-4 times harder to catch. If you throw an excellent curved Ultra Ball and that Pidgey still breaks out, it might be a Ditto (or knowing your luck, it might not).

Baserate neglect is a common human bias, so due to the low Ditto baserate you’ll still be disappointed a lot, but for me it means that when a Pidgey escapes from my Razz Berry–augmented curved great Poké Ball (and I’m lucky enough that it doesn’t flee), I’ll switch to Razz-Berried Ultra Balls just in case.

| improve this answer | |
-2

There is a way of finding it: you simply click on a Rattata, Pidgey, Zubat, or Magikarp, but don't attempt to catch it, then if you go to Ditto's page in the Pokedex, it will say how many you have seen if it says you have seen one more than before, that's where it's hiding.

| improve this answer | |
  • 2
    No, it's been mentioned multiple times that this will not add a Ditto as seen to your Pokedex. – Vemonus Dec 27 '16 at 18:11
-2

I have observed that a disguised Ditto usually hops together with another real Pokémon like they are side by side. So far the Ditto I have caught are 1 of the 2 Pidgey together.

| improve this answer | |

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.