Pokemon Sword & Shield has officially released and there are a plethora of mechanics for players to learn. One returning feature is how the game locks you out of capturing, trading, or controlling high-level Pokemon from the start. However, this isn’t exactly explained and can be quite frustrating if you’re unfamiliar with previous entries. As you play through the game, you may occasionally try to capture very strong looking Pokemon only to be told that you cannot throw a Pokeball because their guard is up.
This is because that Pokemon is a higher level than what the game is currently allowing you to capture. As you earn Gym Badges, the max level of Pokemon you can capture will increase, along with the level they will stop cooperating. For example, if you have two badges than you can capture Pokemon up to Level 30 and Pokemon from Level 40 or below will obey your commands.
There’s no way to get around this in-game, so if you see this pop up then either knock the Pokemon out or just run away. You can check what level Pokemon you can capture by going to your League Card and checking the two boxes in the bottom right corner. Typically, the larger, evolved Pokemon will be much higher than what you’re allowed to capture – especially early on. We recommend just hunting Pokemon in the tall grass while saving the stronger pocket monsters for when you’re further along in the game.
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