This page describes how to catch wild Pokémon.
For some, catching Pokémon is possibly one of the best parts of the game. As a reminder, you can only catch Pokémon that you find in the wild. This is usually Pokémon in the tall grass, but there are other ways to find wild Pokémon too, such as by fishing or by splattering honey on trees.
How to Use Poké Balls
To catch a wild Pokémon, you must use a Poké Ball item during battle. You can do so by opening your Bag and navigating to the Poké Balls tab or, more easily, by pressing the X Button. Near the start of the game, you’ll receive some Poké Balls for free, but eventually you should buy your own from the Poké Mart, found in nearly every town/city.
Once you use a Poké Ball, the wild Pokémon will become encapsulated by it. But it’s not yours just yet! Afterwards, the Poké Ball will shake up to three times. During this window, there’s a chance the wild Pokémon will break free of the ball. If that happens, you can try again. Otherwise, if the Pokémon remains in the ball, you’ve successfully caught it!
How to Increase the Chance of Catching Pokémon
You’ll have an easier time catching Pokémon if you factor in the following things:
The less HP the wild Pokémon has, the higher the chance of capture. However, you don’t want to bring them to 0 HP, because they’ll faint and disappear. To avoid that situation, it’s generally a good idea to reduce the wild Pokémon’s HP with your weakest or next strongest moves. There are some moves like False Swipe that can’t KO a Pokémon, which are perfect for this!
Additionally, you’ll have a better chance if the wild Pokémon is affected by a status condition. Paralyze (triggered by Nuzzle or Thunder Wave etc.) is the easiest and most reliable method. However, it doesn’t work on Electric-types. Otherwise, Sleep (triggered via Sleep Powder or Hypnosis etc.) provides a better chance, but the wild Pokémon may wake up.
Finally, it’s important what Poké Ball you use. Great Balls and especially Ultra Balls offer a better catch rate overall. But there are special Poké Balls available from Poke Mart clerks in certain locations, which offer improved rates under specific conditions. Such as Net Balls, which excel at catching Water and Bug-types.
After Catching a Pokémon
Upon catching a Pokémon, they’ll be automatically added to your party of 6. If your party is full up, you’ll have the choice of sending the freshly caught Pokémon to your Boxes or one of your existing party members instead.
Pokémon that you’ve caught will retain their HP, PP and status conditions from the last fight, so it’s a good idea to heal them up before anything. Unless you caught them with a Heal Ball, in which case they’ll be instantly battle-ready.
Afterwards, you can manage your Boxes by using the PC in any Pokémon Center. You’ll be able to organize the Pokémon inside your Boxes, as well as move them to and from and your party.