Pokémon Go Pokeballs are a very important part of Pokémon Go. They may seem simple at first, but as you progress through the game you will learn that these items are a lot more complicated than you imagined!
You will start to unlock different, more powerful types of Pokeballs to be used against tougher and rarer Pokémon that you have ever encountered.
You will also learn that the way how you using them has a much bigger impact on your game than you might have thought.
This is the complete guide to Pokémon Go Pokeballs and it will tell you everything that you need to know abut these magical little orbs!
What Are Pokeballs?
Pokeballs are the most crucial items in the entire Pokémon Go game. Without these trainers you won’t be able to catch Pokémon and therefore it won’t be able to attack or defend gyms. This means in short that they are essential in order to progress through the game.
Pokeballs are used to capture the Wild Pokémon that you encounter while playing.
There are various different types of Pokèmon Go Pokeballs in the game and each with different catch rates. The lower level balls are easier for Pokémon with a higher combat power to break out of, while the higher level balls will pose more of a challenge even for the rarest of Pokémon.
Pokeballs are all single use items, so players must use them wisely. Especially when it comes to the rarer types of Pokeballs.
Types of Pokeballs
There are four different types of Pokémon Go Pokeballs in the game. Each becomes available at a different point during the game. The higher your trainer level is, the more types of Pokeballs you will be able to access.
The types of Pokeballs are as follows
The most basic, and most common of all the Pokémon Go Pokeballs is the standard Pokeball. This is the type that everyone has access to from the very beginning.
They are the easiest types of Pokeballs to obtain from Pokestops.
You will also obtain these balls for levelling up on levels 2 through 11. Standard Pokeballs can also be purchased in game in sets of 20, 100 or 200 using Pokecoins.
The standard Pokeballs have the most recognisable design, red on top and white on the bottom. Probably even those players who are new in Pokémon are familiar with them.
The next level of Pokémon Go Pokeballs are the Great Balls. These become available to players once they reach trainer level 12.
They can be obtained as level up rewards for levels 12 through 19 and they can also be picked up at Pokestops, but much less frequently than the standard balls.
The design of the Great Ball differs in the top section which is blue instead of red, but it does have two diagonal red stripes, one on each side.
Great balls are a little bit more effective than standard Pokeballs and have a higher catch rate with the tougher Pokémon.
Great Balls are not available to purchase in the shop.
From trainer level 20 players can also access another type of Pokémon Go Pokeballs. These are the Ultra Balls, recognisable by their black and yellow design on the upper part of the ball.
These are rarer still than the Great Balls, but do sometimes spawn in Pokestops if you are of the appropriate trainer level. They are also given as rewards for levelling up from levels 20 through 40, which is currently the maximum level.
Ultra Balls have an increased catch rate which is even higher that that of Great Balls. It is much more difficult for Pokémon to break out of the Ultra Balls, so they are best to be saved for rare Pokémon or those with higher combat power.
Ultra Balls are not available to purchase in the shop.
The strongest type of Pokémon Go Pokeballs is the Master Ball. These are not yet available to players, but they are currently in the code for the game which suggests that they will be released at a later date when the game is updated.
The Master Ball has a 100% catch rate and as a result they are very rare.
Once they become available players are advised to hold onto them until they come across an extremely rare or even a legendary Pokémon. There is no point wasting them on low level Pokémon that could be caught with standard Pokeballs.
There is not much information available yet on how to obtain Master Balls, but it is safe to assume that they won’t be easy to come by.
The Master Ball is purple in colour with two pink spots on each side. They also feature a white letter M on the front.
Where to Get Pokeballs
There are three different ways for players to collect Pokeballs:
The easiest way to obtain your Pokeballs without having to spend any money is to visit Pokestops as often as you can. Pokestops reset every 5 minutes and you can get up to 4 Pokeballs each time.
However, what you get from Pokestops will be random and after level 5 you will start to get items such as Razzberries, Revives and Potions as well as the Pokémon and Eggs previously given out.
You will mainly find standard Pokémon in Pokestops, but after the appropriate level (12 for Great Balls and 20 for Ultra Balls) you will also receive the more powerful balls from time to time, albeit far less frequently than the standard Pokémon Go Pokeballs.
If you are lucky enough to live close to several Pokestops, then it is well worth planning a walking route to pass as many as possible – perhaps even doubling back to claim them more than once! Not only is this going to really boost your inventory, but as an added bonus you will also find that you rack up that distance required to hatch your eggs!
If that seems like too much work – even though walking is the main point of the game – or if you do not live close to many Pokestops then you can buy standard (red) Pokeballs via micro-transactions in-game.
You can buy 20, 100 or 200 Pokeballs at once depending on how much you want to spend. This can get expensive, so it is best not to rely on purchasing Pokeballs. But it can be useful if you need a quick top up and there is no Pokestop in the vicinity.
For example, if you spot a high level Pokémon that you need and have no Pokeballs, you might want to top up quickly so that you are able to catch it before it despawns!
A full breakdown on the actual monetary cost of Pokeballs is outlined in the section below, but remember: the more you buy all at once, the better value they are!
It is worth remembering that at the moment, only standard Pokeballs can be purchased, Great Balls and Ultra Balls are not currently available in the shop.
One of the most lucrative ways to snag yourself some Pokeballs is by increasing your trainer level. Each time you level up you are rewarded with a set of Pokeballs among other items like incubators, potions and lures.
Depending on which level you achieve you can obtain between 10 and 40 Pokeballs upon levelling up.
The three current types of Pokeballs are available through this method depending on your trainer level. You will be awarded by standard red Pokeballs for attaining levels 1 through 11, Great Balls for levels 12 through 19 and Ultra Balls from level 20 onwards.
The chart below shows exactly which Pokeballs you can expect from your level rewards.
Monetary Value of Pokémon Go Pokeballs
As indicated, standard Pokémon Go Pokeballs are the only type available to purchase using Pokecoins. You can buy Pokeballs in the following denominations:
- 20 Pokeballs for 100 Pokecoins
- 100 Pokeballs for 460 Pokecoins
- 200 Pokeballs for 800 Pokecoins
The actual monetary value of the balls varies depending on how many Pokecoins you buy all at once, since you get more value from the larger denominations.
This means that the monetary value of Pokémon Go Pokeballs ranges from $0.03 to $0.05 in the United States. In the United Kingdom they are worth between £0.03 and £0.04. For Japanese players, Pokeballs are worth ¥4 to ¥ 6 and in Europe they come in at €0.03 to €0.05.
How to Catch Pokémon with Pokeballs
While playing Pokémon Go, players will encounter Wild Pokémon in their vicinity. When a Pokémon is close enough to the player it will show up on the map and the player must tap on it to enter capture mode.
When capture mode has been initiated, the Pokémon is visible on screen along with the Pokeballs that the player currently has in their inventory.
Players take aim and then flick their finger across the screen in order to throw the Pokeball at the Pokémon in the hope of capturing it. Throwing accurately is important, since too many misses will result in the Pokémon simply running away.
Catching a Wild Pokémon in a Pokeball is no guarantee that it will be captured and registered to the Pokedex.
It is possible for Pokémon to break out of Pokeballs, especially if they are of high level or rare types. It is only once the ‘Gotcha’ graphic appears on screen that the Pokémon is considered captured.
High level Pokémon are more likely to break out of standard Pokémon Go Pokeballs, and so it is wise to use Great Balls or Ultra Balls to increase the chances of capture when encountering tougher Wild Pokémon.
Choosing Which Pokeball to Use
Once you progress to the higher levels of Pokémon Go you are more likely to encounter tougher and rarer Wild Pokémon. This means that you will have to start making use of the more powerful Pokémon Go Pokeballs to capture them.
However, since Great Balls and Ultra Balls are much more difficult to obtain and cannot be purchased via in-app micro-transactions, it is important to use these types of Pokeballs wisely.
Let’s take a look at how to decide which type of Pokeball you should choose in order to capture Wild Pokémon.
- Standard Pokeballs
The standard Pokeballs are the most common type in the game, and therefore they will usually be your first choice in the majority of cases. If you are capturing common Pokémon such as Rattata, Pidgey, Weedle, Caterpie, Drowzee, Eevee, Zubat, Venonat, Oddish and Magikarp then these can usually be captured using a single well thrown Pokeball. Even some of the slightly less common Pokémon like Cubone, Poliwag, Gastly, Jynx, Jigglypuff and Psyduck can also be caught using standard Pokeballs, especially if they have low to mid range combat power. In fact, everything ranked Everywhere, Virtually Everywhere, Very Common, Common and Uncommon in the chart below should be easily obtained using your standard Pokeballs and it is wise not to waste your more powerful Pokeballs on these particular Pokémon.
- Great Balls
Great balls are a little harder to come by in the game than standard Pokeballs and they cannot be purchased in-game, only collected upon levelling up on levels 12 through 19, or occasionally from certain Pokestops. These are best saved for rare and super rare Pokémon such as Ponyta, Tangela, Abra, Voltorb, Scyther and Pinsir. It is also possible to catch the epic and mythical Pokémon such as Dratini, Hitmonlee, Hitmonchan, Lapras, Snorlax and Porygon using a Great Ball, but it is advisable to combine them with Razzberries to increase your capture rate. It is not impossible that the players catch these Pokémon using standard Pokeballs, but usually only when they are of a lower combat power and it may take a large number of Pokeballs to do so.
- Ultra Balls
Ultra Balls are the most powerful Pokeballs that are currently available in the Pokémon Go game. They are much rarer than the other balls and the main way to obtain them is on levelling up after level 20. They can be found at Pokestops too, but not very often. For this reason, it is best to save Ultra Balls for only high combat power epic Pokémon (Dratini, Magnemite, Electabuzz, Hitmonlee, Hitmonchan and Chansey) or for mythical Pokémon like Lapras, Snorlax and Porygon.
- Master Balls
Not too much is known about Master Balls just yet. They are mentioned in the games code but have not been released yet. However, when they are made available they are likely to offer a 100% capture rate on all Pokemon, so players should keep a hold of them until the Legendary Pokémon are finally released into the game. This includes Ditto, Moltres, Zapdos, Articuno, Mewtwo and Mew who are not yet available in game, but like Master Balls they are already in the game’s code.
How to Throw Your Pokeballs Correctly
In the beginning of the game it is possible to get by on sheer luck when it comes to catching your Pokémon. Throwing your Pokémon Go Pokeballs seems very much like simply flicking your Pokeball in the direction of the Pokémon and hoping for the best.
With the low level Pokémon that you will encounter in the lower levels this is more likely what you do, but as you progress through the game and increase your trainer level you are going to have to spend a little time perfecting your Pokeball throwing technique.
The perfect throw is a combination of technique and timing and takes practice to achieve it.
We have put together some helpful tips that you might find useful in bringing your Pokeball throwing technique to perfection.
- Centering Your Pokémon
It is important to try centering your Pokémon in the screen to make it easy to catch. If you can get the Pokémon right in the middle of the screen, then your Pokeball should go in natural arc directly towards the Pokémon making him easier to catch. Once you have the Pokémon centred you just need to gauge how much force is needed for your throw.
- Turn Off Augmented Reality
The augmented reality part of Pokémon Go is really cool. However, it is a novelty feature that actually makes catching Pokémon a little bit harder! If you turn off the AR function your Pokémon is automatically centred on screen when in capture mode. You basically have to decide if you would rather make catching the Pokémon by easy way or if you would rather see them in the real world via augmented reality.
- Avoiding Dodges
Pokémon are able to dodge and parry Pokeball throws. The best way to avoid this is to tap and hold your Pokeball and then thrown it immediately after the Pokémon performs its dodge or parry move. It will not have time to do it again.
- No Thumbs!
It is best to use your index finger to throw your Pokeballs. Some people try using their thumb like they would to send a text, but you will not have the same level of control over your throw if you are doing this. It is always best to use your index finger instead otherwise you will just end up wasting a bunch of Pokeballs. One player has shared a move that he has been practising using his thumb known as the Sina Throw’, but opinion is split regarding how effective this really is.
Types of Pokeball Throws & Catch Bonuses
Throwing Pokeballs is actually so much more than just flicking them in the general direction of the Pokémon.
There are actually several different types of Pokeball throws that you can use and some of them come along with catch bonuses which give you additional XP towards your trainer level. The various different types of special Pokeball throws are outlined below.
The Curveball is something that you might actually have triggered completely by accident! However, when performed correctly, a curveball not only gives you a better chance of catching the Pokémon you are after, but it also gives you an additional 10XP.
The nice throw catch bonus is worth 10XP and is achieved by landing your Pokeball in the centre when the radar circle is at its widest point.
To achieve a great throw, your Pokeball needs to land in the centre of the radar circle when it is at half size. This gives you a 50XP catch bonus when you are successful.
An excellent throw is achieved when your Pokeball lands in the smallest possible radar circle when catching your Pokemon. This takes additional skill – or maybe just some good luck – as it is more difficult to do, so it is rewarded with a 100XP catch bonus.
Perfecting Your Curveball
Of all the Pokeball throws mentioned above, the curveball is probably one of the most desirable.
Although the catch bonus is pretty low, it does increase your chances of actually catching the Pokémon you are after which becomes increasingly more important as you progress through the trainer levels and start to encounter stronger Pokémon in the wild.
In order to execute the curveball throw you are going to need to spin your Pokeball in the circle at the bottom until it starts to sparkle. Once this happens you need to throw it just slightly to one side, so that it will bank into the Pokémon.
When done correctly you will have a much greater chance of actually catching and keeping the Pokémon and you get your little XP bonus too as an added extra bonus!
You can boost this even further by stacking your curveball with a ‘nice’ throw. These are achieved when your radar ring is large.
This makes it easier to hit thus increasing your chances of a successful capture.
If you are confident in your accuracy you could potentially stack a curve ball with an excellent throw for a higher catch bonus, but this is a little bit riskier. You can even use a Razzberry first to further increase your chances.
This is especially useful with any Pokémon that is higher than 500 Combat Power.