Pokemon Go Excellent Throw XPSource: iMore/ Rene Ritchie

Every Pokémon Go player has had that moment where you're staring deep into your screen, waiting to see if your latest catch actually stays in the ball. Whether it's another Pidgey for your next power-leveling session or you're staring at a Legendary with one Premiere Ball left, that elusive Excellent Throw feels great as soon as it lands.

Here's why those Excellent Throws are so important, and how you can increase your chances of scoring one when you need it most.

What is an Excellent Throw in Pokémon Go?

Pokemon Go Throwing a Curve BallSource: iMore/ Rene Ritchie

When you throw a Pokéball at a target in Pokémon Go, there's a target ring to help you aim. If you land the Pokéball inside that target ring, you'll see a text bubble that says either Nice, Great, or Excellent as the ball hits. These three text bubbles let you know you have successfully scored a hit modifier in your throw.

Separate from the bonus you get when throwing a Curveball in Pokémon Go, the Nice, Great, and Excellent Throw bonuses increase your chances of successfully capturing the Pokemon you are throwing at. A Great Throw will increase your catch chance higher than a Nice Throw, but the highest boost to your catch rating is the Excellent Throw. It's not difficult to see why; the target ring for an Excellent Throw is by far the most difficult to hit because of its size.

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Here's how the multiplier bonus breaks down:

  • Nice Throw - 1.15X bonus
  • Great Throw - 1.5X bonus
  • Excellent Throw - 1.85X bonus

On top of the huge bump to your catch percentage and the XP bonus when you land the catch, many of the Field Research and Special Research goals involve landing Nice, Great, and Excellent Throws, with Excellent Throws fulfilling the requirement for Great or Nice throws. That means you need to consistently land Excellent throws if you want to be able to capture a Mew or complete the other Research tasks.

How to score an Excellent Throw

Pokemon Let's Go MewSource: iMore/ Rene Ritchie

Increasing your chances of getting that big catch bonus relies heavily on a couple of essential details. Follow these, and the Excellent Throw bonuses will come rolling in!

  • Watch the ring: Every Pokémon has a different target ring in a different place. Some of them are closer to the face, others closer to the center of the body. Some of them are shaped in a way that makes the target ring impossible to line up with the body, like Rayquaza. There's a universal trick here: Don't worry about the Pokemon, only worry about the ring. Even if the ring doesn't close all the way on the Pokémon, hitting the center of the ring is the goal.
  • Don't let the ring trick you: The target ring constantly gets smaller right until you release the Pokéball. As soon as you throw the ball, the target ring will freeze in place until it lands. Instead of trying to throw ahead of the ring, so it lands when the ring is the right size, you want to throw the moment the ring is the right size. The ring will freeze, and if it lands right, you'll have an Excellent Throw.
  • Start with bigger, closer Pokémon: The key to success with an excellent Throw is practice, and the best Pokémon to practice on are the ones closest to you and big enough to make the target ring less distracting. While you should be practicing with every throw, Pidgey, Rattata, and Snorlax make for excellent practice targets with the Excellent throw. Snorlax is big enough to make the practice easy, but Pidgey and Rattata are so close you can almost drop the Pokéball on your target.
  • Practice, practice, practice: Like any other skill, landing these throws takes practice. If you try to catch every Pokémon you come across (even the ones that aren't particularly useful,) you will get better at landing Excellent Throws. On top of that, you'll be earning more Stardust, and that's something every Pokémon Trainer needs more of!

What about an Excellent Curve Throw?

You get extra XP and a greater catch percentage with a Curveball, and you get extra XP and a higher catch percentage with an Excellent Throw, so naturally, you're going to want to combine the two, right? You totally can! Excellent Curve Throws are a solid way of scoring a huge XP boost per catch, and it gets you just about as close as you can get to a guaranteed catch with most creatures. Here's our best tip for nailing this move!

  1. Touch and hold the Poké Ball until the target circle shrinks down to Excellent size.
  2. Wait until the Pokémon starts to attack.
  3. Spin the Poké Ball so you can curve it.
  4. As the Pokémon gets to about 3/4 through its attack, throw the curve ball as close to dead center as you can.

The target circle will remain the same size you set, so if you hit it correctly, you'll score the Excellent throw and associated bonus.

All set? Great! Get out there and start landing those Excellent Throws!

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