So, I've got a bunch of Pokemon in Pokemon Go, but I've always wondered: what exactly lets you catch the Pokemon? I've always tried to use luck as my friend, but it takes a while, especially for the Legendary Pokemon, and the ones from raids. Is there a specific thing I have to do in order to catch them?

I've tried before to switch Pokeballs. Usually, this works for normal Pokemon. But for raid and Legendaries, I never really know how to get them. There are ultra balls, berries, and all those good stuff that help you usually catch them, but none of them really have worked, and it seems random. Is there a way I can know how the stuff works?

By the way, I've tried using better throws. I can pretty much get great, or even excellent throws now, so it doesn't really impact me a lot. Curve balls are something I've tried too, but it doesn't help, either.

If this isn't just a random generator, is there a way I can optimize my catches, especially for Shiny, Legendary, and just rare Pokemon in general? I'm trying to get the best I can, but it seems hard as the chances are low, and luck really hasn't been my friend. Also, how can I get a Pokestop somewhere near me, so I can constantly get stuff every day without having to walk? I know this sounds a bit lazy, but it's much easier, because I'm pretty far from the nearest Pokestop.

Thanks in advance.

2 Answers 2


Catching Pokemon in Pokemon Go is based on random chance, but there are ways to improve that chance and make your life easier.

  1. Using berries -> Berries that make Pokemon easier to catch include Razz Berries, Silver Pinap Berries, and Golden Razz Berries. Razz and Silver Pinap berries help a little, Golden Razz berries help a lot.
  2. Using different pokeballs -> Regular pokeballs (the red ones) have the lowest chance of catching a pokemon. Great balls (the blue ones) are better, and Ultra balls (the yellow/black ones) are best for catching pokemon. Premier balls (the white ones) are only for catching Pokemon from raids or Team Rocket fights, and they have the same effectiveness as a regular pokeball.
  3. Throw modifiers -> Throwing when the colored circle is smaller will give you a better chance to catch the pokemon on average. If you land the throw inside the circle to get a "Nice", "Great", or "Excellent" that will give you another modifier to make the catch more likely. There will still be times when the pokemon breaks out of a ball with an "Excellent" throw only to be caught by the next throw that is only "Nice".
  4. Curve balls -> When the pokeball is spinning enough that is sparkles, you are using a curve throw. They can be harder to land your throw, but give another modifier to make it easier to catch the pokemon. For raid legendaries, they're practically required to catch the Pokemon with the small number of balls you get.

The math for catch rates can be found here: https://pokemongo.gamepress.gg/catch-mechanics but the basic idea is that each time you throw a ball and it connects with your target, the game generates a random number to determine if you'll catch it or not. The type of ball you throw will have a catch rate your number need to beat, but the modifiers listed above change the catch rate to make it easier for your throw to be successful.

Note: The game determines if you'll catch the pokemon the moment your ball makes contact. The number of times it shakes before it breaks out or is caught is just decorative animation to build suspense and has no bearing on the final result.

Also, to answer your question about making new Pokestops, the game has a built in mechanic to suggest Pokestops through their Wayfarer system, but I think you have to be level 10 to get access to that feature. Any playground or interesting local feature or structure should work as a valid submission to make a new stop.


In addition to the basics covered in Kadima's answer, there are some advanced techniques to avoid wasting Pokéballs. These can be decisive when catching legendary raid bosses.

Revenge throws

There's a cooldown period when the Pokémon attacks. If you throw at just the right moment, late into its attack animation so that the ball hits right after its attack is finished, it will be unable to block your ball. It can take some practice to get the timing down. (It's worth noting that a tiny number of Pokémon like Lugia are immune to this technique because of how they're animated. But these are the exception.)

Setting the ring

If you revenge throw, the size of the coloured circle will be exactly what it was the last time it was visible. This means if you hold out your Pokéball but do not throw it, you can 'lock in' the the ring to a size of your choosing, and that size will be used for each of your revenge throws after that, as long as you don't let the ring animate anymore. This only works if you throw when the Pokémon attacks, not jumps.

Note that even doing everything perfectly, there's still an element of luck to it. I've had raid bosses escape from 15+ consecutive Gold Razz Excellent Curveballs.

  • Thank you. But what exactly is a revenge throw? Throwing right after their attack, as in butting the ball back?
    – Potato
    Jul 13, 2021 at 19:58
  • Close. Throw late into its attack animation so that it's no longer invulnerable when the ball hits. I'll rephrase the answer.
    – mm201
    Jul 13, 2021 at 20:14
  • So, basically throw the ball so that the ball hits the Pokémon just when it just calmed down?
    – Potato
    Jul 13, 2021 at 20:56
  • Yeah, precisely. There's a short cooldown period before it can move again. Source: thesilphroad.com/science/wild-pokemon-encounter-mechanics
    – mm201
    Jul 13, 2021 at 21:43

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