Part 3: Catching Pokémon

Now that you’ve found your Pokemon, you now have to catch it (and catch ’em all). At its simplest, catching a Pokemon is as simple as tossing the poke ball at it. But if you throw it the right way, and at the right time, you can score a lot of bonus XP points.

Screenshot showing AR Mode option

Turn off AR Mode to make things easier for yourself

Once you’ve located a Pokemon, clicked on it on the map, you’ll enter the Catch screen. First things first, you might want to turn off AR mode, this makes catching Pokemon instantly easier.

Screenshot showing the catching of a Pokemon

Try to make sure your poke ball hits the Pokemon when the inner colored ring is at its smallest

To initiate a throw, touch and hold the poke ball and your target should now display a white larger circle with a green, orange or red shrinking ring. The idea is to hit the Pokemon when the inner colored ring is at its smallest, this increases your chance at catching the Pokemon (some can be quite stubborn!), and you might earn 10, or a 100 bonus XP for your efforts!

You can still catch a lot of Pokemon by ignoring the inner ring, but some of the tougher Pokemon can escape if you don’t try and catch it when the inner ring is at its smallest.

You may need to adjust the power of your throw, as well as its height, depending on how far the Pokemon is, or if it’s in the air.

Bonus Time

There are four different kind of bonuses you can get when catching a Pokemon, Curveball (10XP),  Nice (10XP), Great (50XP) and Excellent (100XP).

Curveball Bonus

Getting the Curveball bonus isn’t too hard

Curveball (10XP) can be achieved by touching and holding your poke ball and then spinning it in a circle (clockwise or counter-clockwise, it doesn’t matter), and then launching it at the Pokemon. If it’s a hit, then you might just get a 10XP Curveball bonus. Or it could veer miles off target and you have just wasted perfectly nice poke ball!

Nice (10XP) happens when you hit the Pokemon when the inner colored circle is at its biggest. This usually means you have to throw the ball when the inner ring is at its smallest, and by the time the ball actually goes flying, it should hit your Pokemon when inner ring should be at its biggest.

Great (50XP) happens when you hit the Pokemon when the inner colored circle is at the exact half-way point. This usually means you have to time your throw the ball just a fraction of a second before the inner circle is at half size – it’s hard, but you can do it!

Screenshot showing Excellent Throw bonus

Getting an Excellent Throw bonus is a bit harder

Excellent (100XP) happens when you hit the Pokemon when the inner colored circle is at near its smallest. This one is a pain to get, as it means you have to time your throw so it hits the Pokemon about two sizes from the smallest. This bonus also means you have the greatest chance to successfully catch the Pokemon, that it won’t come out of the poke ball or worse, run away!

Another Way

There’s another way to “catch” a new Pokemon that doesn’t involve catching at all – you can hatch one! As you progress through the game, whether it’s through XP level promotions or via visit to Poke Stops, you’ll earn eggs. There are three types of eggs, 2 km, 5 km and the rarer 10 km eggs. Eggs can be hatched by putting them in incubators (you’ll have an unlimited one at the start, and you can earn more incubators the usual ways), and then by walking the required distance (2, 5 or 10 km) for the eggs.

So what kind of Pokemon are you going to get from eggs? It stands to reason that the longer distance eggs will earn you rarer Pokemon, with 2 km eggs giving you the likes of Zubats and Rattata (as well as any of the starter Pokemon types, include Pikachu), while 10 km ones can earn you the likes of Snorlax, Eevee or Electabuzz. Hatching also gives you another advantage compared to catching, in the form of a random (I think) amount free candy (I managed to evolve my Eevee straight away when I was awarded 32 candies with my hatchling).

Screenshot showing eggs in Pokemon GO

Make sure you’re using all of your incubators at all times

Make sure you’re using all of your available incubators at the same time, this way you can hatch multiple eggs concurrently.

Here’s an egg hatching that gives you something nice:


Here’s one that’s not so nice (but at least you get stardust and candy for it):

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