In the main series of Pokémon games, since Generation V, there has been a mechanic related to capturing Pokémon called a "critical capture." When you get a critical capture, the thrown ball will make a distinct whistling sound, fall to the ground, then shake only once to determine whether the Pokémon is captured or escapes. This greatly increases one's chances of successfully capturing a Pokémon during an encounter.

As mentioned in my answer to this question, the critical capture mechanic has been implemented in Pokémon Go as of version 0.57.2 for Android and 1.27.2 for iOS.

What is the likelihood of getting a critical capture during a Pokémon encounter? Is it affected by anything such as badges earned or species caught (similar to the main series)?

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    For those like me wondering what a critical capture is, here's some background: bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Catch_rate#Critical_capture (not Go specific, so some of the mechanics may turn out to be different) – Tim Malone Feb 17 '17 at 20:33
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    @TimMalone good point, I'll add some background information into the question. – Vemonus Feb 17 '17 at 20:33
  • in the Pokemon Go version of a critical catch, there is no shaking and it immediately catches the Pokemon that is hit. – John Jan 11 '18 at 13:35
  • @John interesting, but that doesn't have any bearing on the chance of it happening. – Vemonus Jan 11 '18 at 13:38
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    @John that's a very small sample size to base a guess off of. If they had one more, it'd be roughly a 4/100 chance. – Vemonus Jan 11 '18 at 13:57

This is entirely random. There is no way to trigger a Critical Catch, and the chance isn't based on anything to do with your progress in the game.

Source 1 (Emphasis mine):

Critical catches happen completely randomly, and it's triggered by the game, so if you don't see the effects described in other posts, it's not critical.

Source 2 (emphasis mine):

Critical Catch is a mechanic in Pokemon Go. It is a random occurrence that guarantees that the Pokemon is caught

As to what exactly this chance is, that information has not been released, but as far as I can tell from all my experience in-game, and online research, this is entirely random.

protected by Community Apr 3 '17 at 18:59

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