Pokéball capture rate guide

From Jonathan's Reference Pages

As of Pokémon Black & White, 26 types of Pokéballs appear in the main Pokémon game series, of which 15 are normally available in Black and White. The same 15 are available in Diamond, Pearl and Platinum, with 7 further apricorn balls in HeartGold & SoulSilver.

The effectiveness of special Pokéballs is never given in game. Eevee's Pokéball performance calculator is useful for calculating the exact catch rate under specific circumstances.

General advice

Diamond, Pearl, Platinum, Black, White

Outside of Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, the best general use Pokéball is the Dusk Ball. By playing at night (8:00pm - 3:59am), you always gain the benefit of a 3.5x capture rate, which is actually superior to the Ultra Ball (2x). The Dive Ball is equally good in water, but hard to obtain before Black & White.

Only three balls can give a better bonus. The Timer Ball is better than 3.5x after the 26th round of combat, useful for long battles with legendaries. The Quick Ball is only useful if you're lazy: it's 4x, but that's the same as paralyzing the opponent and using an Ultra Ball. The Nest Ball below level 5 gives a bonus is 3.6x-3.9x, but most Pokémon of that level are easily caught in any ball.

If you aren't playing at night, Repeat Ball gives you 3x on any Pokémon you already have, and Net Ball gives 3x on anything Bug or Water type. After that, nothing below Ultra Ball is worth using except for happiness evolution (Golbat in a Luxury Ball) or novelty (Chansey in a Heal Ball, legendaries in Premier Balls).

HeartGold and SoulSilver

All the DPPt/BW advice applies to HG/SS, except that apricorn balls are superior in some circumstances.

Heavy Ball is the best in the game, but only for certain exceptionally heavy legendaries: Lugia and the Embedded Tower trio. These get an effective bonus of 7x-9x due to the unusual way the Heavy Ball works.

Fast Ball beats a Dusk Ball, offering a 4x bonus against 22 available species (see below), including six legendaries. Moon Ball works likewise for the six capturable species out of 14 whose lines include Moon Stone evolutions. Level Ball is a superior Nest Ball, offering 4x to capture Pokémon half your level or lower and 8x at a quarter of your level, useful for late-game Pokédex filling.

Safari Balls are only as good as Great Balls (1.5x). This is why you can't catch anything.

Complete list of Pokéball effectiveness

Master Ball. Traditionally saved for Mewtwo. With patience you will never need to use this.
Heavy Ball (HG/SS only), when capturing Groudon (effective bonus).
Level Ball (HG/SS only), if your Pokémon is 4x the level of the wild Pokémon (impossible if wild Pokémon is level 26+). Love Ball (HG/SS only), if your Pokémon is the same species but opposite gender as the wild Pokémon (almost never happens).
Heavy Ball (HG/SS only), when capturing Lugia and Rayquaza (effective bonus)
Heavy Ball (HG/SS only), when capturing Kyogre (effective bonus).
Quick Ball, if used in the first around of battle. Timer Ball, if used in the 30th round of combat or later. Level Ball (HG/SS only), if your Pokémon is twice the level of the wild Pokémon or more, but less than quadruple (impossible on Pokémon of level 51+). Moon Ball (HG/SS only), to catch any Pokémon which evolves with a Moon Stone (Nidoran, Clefairy, Jigglypuff, Skitty or their evolution lines). Fast Ball (HG/SS only), if used on a Pokémon with a base speed of 100+ (see below).
Between 3.5x and 4x
Timer Ball, from round 26 to 29. Nest Ball, from level 1 to level 4.
Dusk Ball, at night or in a cave. Dive Ball, if used while underwater (in games with Dive HM) or in water (in games without Dive HM). Timer Ball, at round 25. Nest Ball, at level 5.
Repeat Ball, on a Pokémon already caught according to Pokédex. Net Ball, on Bug or Water type Pokémon. Timer Ball, at round 20. Level Ball, at level 10. Lure Ball (HG/SS only), while fishing.
Heavy Ball (HG/SS only), when capturing Snorlax (effective bonus).
Heavy Ball (HG/SS only), when capturing Steelix (effective bonus).
Ultra Ball. Level Ball, when your Pokémon is higher level than the wild Pokémon but less than double its level. Timer Ball, at round 10. Level Ball, at level 20.
Heavy Ball (HG/SS only), when capturing Mantine (effective bonus).
Great Ball. Timer Ball, at round 5. Level ball, at level 25. Safari Ball (used in Safari Zone and Great Marsh only). Sport Ball (HG/SS only, used in National Park bug catching contest only).
Heavy Ball (HG/SS only), when capturing Gyarados, Lapras and Onix (effective bonus).
Standard Pokéball. (All other Pokéballs are defined relative to this one.) Premier Ball, Luxury Ball, Heal Ball. Friend Ball (HG/SS only). Most specialist Pokéballs when used outside of their favoured circumstances, but not Heavy Ball. Timer Ball, at round 0. Level Ball, at level 30 or higher. Cherish Ball (unavailable, only used to distribute event Pokémon.
Less than 1x
The Heavy Ball, with Pokémon weighing 451.4lbs (204.7kg) or less, actually penalizes capture rate.

Notes on individual Pokéballs

Fast Ball

Only the following Pokémon benefit from the Fast Ball, being capturable with any Pokéball in HeartGold/SoulSilver and having a base speed stat of 100 or greater:

Dodrio, Dugtrio, Electabuzz, Electrode, Entei, Fearow, Kadabra, Latias, Latios, Linoone, Lugia, Mewtwo, Miltank, Mismagius, Persian, Raikou, Rapidash, Sneasel, Tauros, Tentacruel, Voltorb, Zapdos.

In the original Gold, Silver and Crystal, only roaming Pokémon gain benefit from the Fast Ball.

Heavy Ball

Only the following Pokémon benefit from the Heavy Ball, being capturable with any Pokéball in HeartGold/SoulSilver and having a weight of 451.5lbs (204.7kg) or greater:

Groudon, Gyarados, Kyogre, Lapras, Lugia, Mantine, Onix, Rayquaza, Snorlax, Steelix.

Of these, the Heavy Ball is only the best Pokéball for Groudon, Kyogre, Lugia, Rayquaza and Snorlax, as its flat numerical bonus benefits extremely heavy, difficult to capture Pokémon.

The Dusk Ball is still superior to the Heavy Ball for Snorlax at night (3.5x for Dusk Ball, vs 2.6x for Heavy Ball or 2x for Ultra Ball). Gyarados, Lapras, Mantine, Onix and Steelix are only found in caves or water and the Dusk Ball, Dive Ball or Net Ball is superior. Except for Steelix (2.2x with Heavy Ball), even an Ultra Ball is superior.

All other Pokémon are so light that the Heavy Ball actually has worse performance than a standard Pokéball.

Timer Ball

Timer Ball takes until the 10th round to equal the Ultra Ball and 25th round to equal the Dusk Ball. It's really only useful for very long encounters, such as legendaries.

0 turns: 1.0 bonus
1 turns: 1.1 bonus
2 turns: 1.2 bonus
3 turns: 1.3 bonus
4 turns: 1.4 bonus
5 turns: 1.5 bonus
6 turns: 1.6 bonus
7 turns: 1.7 bonus
8 turns: 1.8 bonus
9 turns: 1.9 bonus
10 turns: 2.0 bonus
11 turns: 2.1 bonus
12 turns: 2.2 bonus
13 turns: 2.3 bonus
14 turns: 2.4 bonus
15 turns: 2.5 bonus
16 turns: 2.6 bonus
17 turns: 2.7 bonus
18 turns: 2.8 bonus
19 turns: 2.9 bonus
20 turns: 3.0 bonus
21 turns: 3.1 bonus
22 turns: 3.2 bonus
23 turns: 3.3 bonus
24 turns: 3.4 bonus
25 turns: 3.5 bonus
26 turns: 3.6 bonus
27 turns: 3.7 bonus
28 turns: 3.8 bonus
29 turns: 3.9 bonus
30+ turns: 4.0 bonus

Level Ball

Level Ball is as effective as an Ultra Ball at level 20, and as effective as a Dusk Ball at 5.

level 1, bonus 3.9
level 2, bonus 3.8
level 3, bonus 3.7
level 4, bonus 3.6
level 5, bonus 3.5
level 6, bonus 3.4
level 7, bonus 3.3
level 8, bonus 3.2
level 9, bonus 3.1
level 10, bonus 3.0
level 11, bonus 2.9
level 12, bonus 2.8
level 13, bonus 2.7
level 14, bonus 2.6
level 15, bonus 2.5
level 16, bonus 2.4
level 17, bonus 2.3
level 18, bonus 2.2
level 19, bonus 2.1
level 20, bonus 2.0
level 21, bonus 1.9
level 22, bonus 1.8
level 23, bonus 1.7
level 24, bonus 1.6
level 25, bonus 1.5
level 26, bonus 1.4
level 27, bonus 1.3
level 28, bonus 1.2
level 29, bonus 1.1
level 30+, bonus 1.0


Page created: 9th April 2011