‘Pokemon Go’ Catch Chance Calculator: How to Increase Likelihood of a Capture

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A new calculator helps players figure out their likelihood of catching specific Pokemon. (Poke Assistant)

Catching Pokemon in Pokemon Go can be a difficult process, especially if it’s a particularly rare species you’re after. The game gives you lots of information to help increase the likelihood of a capture, but it’s all a little confusing. Now, a new calculator makes it much easier to determine your best chance of catching any given species.

Poke Assistant has put together the Pokemon Go Catch Chance Calculator. To use it, first you’ll need to enter the type of Pokemon you’re trying to capture. Then, select what kind of Poke Ball you’re going to use: a regular Poke Ball, a Great Ball or an Ultra Ball. Next, play around with the size and color bars in order to get a visual representation of the best possible moment to throw your ball and exactly how good a chance you have of a successful capture.

The graphic above, for instance, shows what you would get by putting in a Dratini with a yellow ring around it. The rings, of course, represent what level the Pokemon is, with higher CP Pokemon being more challenging to catch. It’s always better to throw the Poke Ball when the ring is as close to the creature as possible, but in this example, throwing a regular Poke Ball with the ring about halfway closed gives the player roughly a 61 percent chance of capturing the Dratini.

Using this tool, you can see how difficult it can be to capture some high-leveled rare Pokemon. With Snorlax, for instance, if you were to encounter a Level 30, even throwing the ball when the ring is as small as possible only gives you a 20 percent chance of success. Your odds are better if you use an Ultra Ball, but even with that, the highest percentage possible is a 37 percent chance of capture.

This tool is an interesting collection of data that helps make the game’s mechanics clearer, but it’s also a nice way to wrap your head around how capturing Pokemon works. As you can see, the color of the rings determines the CP of the Pokemon and how difficult a capture you’re dealing with, with green being the easiest and red being the most difficult. How small the ring is when you throw your ball also influences things; throwing when it’s extremely large gives you a smaller chance of victory, while throwing when it’s extremely small increases the odds.

One interesting takeaway that might surprise people is that according to the formula used for this calculator, throwing a ball when the circle is small is just as effective as using an Ultra Ball.

Those who collected this data also determined that there is currently no evidence that great throws affect the likelihood of a capture; they only give the player some extra XP. As well, Razz Berries don’t affect whether you hit the Pokemon; they only make it more difficult for the Pokemon to escape the ball once you’ve already hit it.