Once you’ve encountered a wild Pokémon you can tap on it and attempt to capture it with a Poké Ball. You start the game with the standard red-and-white Poké Ball and gain access to better ball-types as you level up that have a better capture rate.
Tips for catching Pokémon
The outer circle indicates where your Poké Ball must land to capture a Pokémon. The inner circle represents the bonus XP you can gain should your ball land there.
- Inside a big circle will get you a ‘Nice Throw’ bonus of 10XP
- Medium circle will get you a ‘Great Throw’ bonus of 50XP
- Small circle will earn you an ‘Excellent Throw’ bonus of 100XP
The inner circle also lets you know how hard it will be to capture a Pokémon.
- Green the Pokémon should be easy to catch
- Yellow means it’ll be a little trickier.
- Red means it’ll most likely break a bunch of your Poké Balls.
Also, Pokémon can run away in a puff of smoke. It’s random, and can be annoying, but you do earn 25XP if it does.
Turn off AR to save Poké Balls
Granted it’s great seeing Pokémon in the real world, but the AR switch at the top right of the screen is a lifesaver when you’re low on Poké Balls. It’s much easier to catch a perfectly still target on a plain background then one projected into the real world.
Mastering the Curveball
Curveballs give you an extra 10XP and are done by holding your finger on the Pokéball, spinning it and throwing at the Pokémon. The bonus is only applied if you successfully capture the Pokémon with the Curveball. A ‘Curveball’ also increases the odds of the Pokémon staying in the ball. It’s a tricky maneuver but it does increase your Pokémon capture rate.
As a general guide try spinning the Pokéball counter-clockwise in the lefthand corner of the screen and tossing it up and to the right. You’ll see it fly through the air and curve back toward the direction it is spinning with an added sparkle effect.