Catching: Always be Curving (ABC)
Throwing a Curve Ball in Pokémon Go gives you a 1.7x bonus to catching a Pokémon. (Catching means they don't break free from your Poké Ball or, worse, flee.)
The 1.7x bonus for a Curve Ball is higher than the 1.5x bonus you get for using a Razz Berry or switching to a Great Ball, and it consumes no resources. It's also cumulative, so if you do use a Razz Berry or Great or Ultra Ball, you get a 1.7x bonus for curving on top of the bonus for the Berry or better Ball. It's basically free bonus. All you have to do is get good at throwing it.
Each Pokémon has one or two types, and each type has a medal. Typically, if you catch 10 of the same type, you get a bronze medal. Catch 50, and you get a silver medal. Catch 200, and you get a gold medal. Why bother? Bronze medal earns you an extra 1.1x bonus for catching Pokémon. Silver gets you a 1.2x bonus, and gold gets you 1.3x. It's not as high as a Curve Ball bonus, but it's also effortless once you have it. And any bonus you get to catching that Dragonite might matter!
Bonuses stack together, so if you use a Razz Berry, then throw a Curve Ultra Ball at a Pokémon you have Gold Medal for, and hit the Excellent Bonus, you catch rate multiplies through the roof.
- Poké Ball: x1.
- Curve Poké Ball: x1.7.
- Curve Ultra Ball: x3.4.
- Curve Ultra Ball + Razz Berry: x5.1.
- Curve Ultra Ball + Razz Berry + Excellent: x10.2.
- Curve Ultra Ball + Razz Berry + Excellent + Gold Medal: x13.26.
Golden Razz Berry raises the catch rate even higher, and after a few Raids, you'll have plenty. Don't be shy to use them on the Pokémon that mean the most to you.
When you see a Pokémon on your catch screen, you also see the CP (Combat Power) of that Pokémon. If the CP is low, we tend to think the level is low, making it easier to catch. But CP doesn't just depend on level; it also depends on stats (IV).
So, a Pokémon with low CP could be a low-level Pokémon with good stats... or it could also be a high-level Pokémon with lousy stats that's super hard to catch.
In other words, if a low CP Pokémon has a red or orange ring around it and keeps escaping your Poké Ball, odds are it's a lousy Pokémon that just happens to be high level and may not be worth your continued time and resources to catch.
Catching: Set your circle size
Once you get the hang of hitting Great or even Excellent throws, you can up your odds by setting the circle size, so it's ready when you want to throw.
- Touch and hold the Poké Ball until the target circle shrinks down to Excellent size.
- Wait until the Pokémon starts to attack.
- Spin the Poké Ball so you can curve it.
- 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.
Maxing: Catch 'em all. Seriously!
You may be tempted to ignore more common Pokémon, or Pokémon you already have, for rare Pokémon and the ones you still need to complete your Pokédex. Don't. If you have enough Poké Balls, there's more than enough reason to keep catching the more common or already registered Pokémon.
Pidgey, Caterpie, and Weedle only require 12 candies to evolve and are super common. If you drop a Lucky Egg and evolve them all at once, you'll earn a lot of XP really fast. It's called grinding, and it's a huge accelerator when it comes to leveling up.
None of the Gen II Pokémon are at the same 12 candy level, so while you can catch Sentret, Hoothoot, and the rest, they're more like Rattata — a slower grind. However, Wurmple and Whismur from Gen III are only 12 Candies to evolve, and Pidove from Gen V is as well.
If you're swimming in Lucky Eggs, and you have a Pokémon Go Plus, you can even drop an egg and then go to a place with a ton of spawns, like a big mall. Each catch will net you 300 XP, each miss 50 XP, and it'll add up fast. Almost as fast as mass-evolving.
Gyms no longer give the 500 Stardust per Gym per day for your Defenders Bonus. So, if that's what you were used to, you'll need to make up the difference somehow. Feeding Berries is both slow (20 stardust per berry) and resource-draining (you lose the berries). Catching as many Pokémon as possible, on the other hand, is faster (100 stardust per catch) and means you have as much Stardust as possible to power up.
Drop a Star Piece before you start, and you'll get 1.5x as you go. And since you're catching for XP anyway, it's a great way to double-dip.
Once upon a time, you had to wish for rare hatches or chase down nests to get the candy you needed to evolve and power up your Pokémon. Now there's Rare Candy. Sure, you can still hatch and catch your way to a lot of candy but, Rare Candy can be used as any candy.
Hatch all the eggs you can, catch all the Pokémon you can, and Raid when you can, and you'll have all the candy you need.
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Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.