One of the biggest appeals of the Pokémon games is creating your own unstoppable team of Pokémon. But first you need to actually get some Pokémon. The majority of the time, you have to catch your own Pokémon by heading out into routes or dungeons where wild Pokémon are known to be found.
In the past, you randomly encountered Pokémon while traveling through tall grass etc., but that’s old. Now, you can actually see wild Pokémon around you. However, just like always, certain Pokémon have a higher or lower chance of appearing than others. Wild Pokémon will slowly appear and disappear over time.
Anyway, if you touch a wild Pokémon or they touch you, you’ll go straight into catching mode.
Preparing for Capture
When you enter catching mode, the wild Pokémon will start near the middle of the screen. There will be various options available to you. The first one, Get Ready is what you select to begin throwing Poké Balls. If your Poké Ball misses or fails, you must select Get Ready again.
Next, you can press Bag to open your bag and use an item. From here, you can select a better Poké Ball or you select a berry to make a Pokémon easier to catch, etc.
After selecting an item, press Use to, y’know, use it. Once you’ve selected a Poké Ball, you will keep using it until you change. Also, you can only apply one berry at a time. The berry’s effect will disappear if the Pokémon breaks free, but not if your Poké Ball misses.
Finally, you can choose Run Away to escape from the wild Pokémon. Obviously, you’ll be unable to catch the Pokémon anymore and it will disappear from the field as well (unless you’re in a GO Park).
The Art of Capture
Upon selecting Get Ready, you can throw your Poké Ball at any time. If using the Joy-con or Poké Ball Plus, you can throw by moving your arm in a throwing motion. The most common motions are overarm and underarm. Feel free to adopt the one that suits you best.
Alternatively, if playing in Handheld mode, you can tilt your Nintendo Switch to aim your Poké Ball, and throw by pressing the A button.
To catch a Pokémon, you must throw a Poké Ball within the white circle that surrounds the Pokémon. On occasions, the Pokémon may perform an “attack” and the white circle will momentarily disappear. Any Poké Ball thrown during this time will miss its target. Also, if you take too long, the Pokémon may run, so keep that in mind.
If your Poké Ball reaches its target, the Pokémon will be encapsulated by the Poké Ball. But it’s not over just yet. Depending on how hard the Pokémon is to catch, the Pokémon may break out of the Poké Ball. Should that happen, you can choose to try again. Otherwise, if the Pokémon stays in the Poké Ball, it’s all yours!
Now, you may have noticed a second circle inside the main circle, which starts big and then gets smaller as it goes near the middle. Pokémon GO players should be very familiar with this. Basically, if you can throw your Poké Ball into the decreasing circle, the smaller the circle, the better your chance of catching the Pokémon.
Finally, after you successfully catch a Pokémon, your entire party will receive experience points and you may also receive some items. The better your performance, the more experience you earn, as shown in the post-capture screen. Also, if you’ve caught a new Pokémon species, their data will be recorded in your Pokédex.