‘Pokemon Go’: How Does the Game’s New Catch Bonus Work?

'Pokemon Go' is available now for iOS and Android devices. (Nintendo)

‘Pokemon Go’ is available now for iOS and Android devices. (Nintendo)

Pokemon Go has just made some significant changes to the way the game’s catch bonuses work.

In Version 0.41.2 for iOS, and 1.11.2 for Android, players are given an added incentive to rack up medals. These medals are given out for catching many Pokemon of the same species. For example, the medal “SchoolKid” is rewarded when you catch a certain number of normal type Pokemon. Prior to this recent update to the game, having those medals did absolutely nothing. But now, collecting them gives players a nice little catch bonus.

You’ll notice that after the new update, when you select a medal in your inventory, you’ll see a +1, +2 or +3 catch bonus below it, as you can see in the following screenshot via Reddit:

The game doesn’t really make clear what the numbers mean, but it’s believed that this is adding on points to the existing catch rate of any given Pokemon. For example, with a Pokemon like Charizard, the base catch rate – i.e. the chances you have of catching the Pokemon without it fleeing – are about four percent. But Charizard is a Flying and Fire type, so if you have a +3 catch bonus for either of these types, Charizard’s catch rate will be boosted to seven percent. You can couple this catch bonus with items like Razz Berries and Ultra Balls in order to increase your odds of capturing rare Pokemon.

This all gives you a reason to always catch low-leveled Pokemon, even ones you would normally skip over like Pidgey. Pidgey is a Flying type, so if you catch just 10 Pidgeys, you’ll get the Bronze Bird Keeper Medal. That will then add one percent to every single Flying Pokemon’s catch rate, including the extremely rare ones like Dragonite.

Bronze medals give you plus one percentage point, while Silver gives you plus two and Gold gives you plus three. Luckily, the update takes note of all the Pokemon you’ve caught since you started playing the game, so if you’ve captured 200 Flying Pokemon in the past, you’ll already have a Gold Bird Keeper medal in your inventory. To check your medals, just go to your player profile screen, scroll down, and click on one of the medals.

Here are all of the medals associated with Pokemon species:

Name Description Bronze Silver Gold
SchoolKid Capture this many normal Pokemon 10 50 200
Black Belt Capture this many fighting Pokemon 10 50 200
Bird Keeper Capture this many flying Pokemon 10 50 200
Punk Girl Capture this many poison Pokemon 10 50 200
Ruin Maniac Capture this many ground Pokemon 10 50 200
Hiker Capture this many rock Pokemon 10 50 200
Bug Catcher Capture this many bug Pokemon 10 50 200
Hex Maniac Capture this many ghost Pokemon 10 50 200
Depot Agent Capture this many steel Pokemon 10 50 200
Kindler Capture this many fire Pokemon 10 50 200
Swimmer Capture this many water Pokemon 10 50 200
Gardener Capture this many grass Pokemon 10 50 200
Rocker Capture this many electric Pokemon 10 50 200
Psychic Capture this many psychic Pokemon 10 50 200
Skier Tale Girl Capture this many ice Pokemon 10 50 200
Dragon Tamer Capture this many dragon Pokemon 10 50 200
Fairy Tale Girl Capture this many fairy Pokemon 10 50 200