Catching Original POKÉMON Has a Mathematical Formula We Didn’t Know About

Sometimes, actually catching a Pokémon can be one of the most frustrating parts of the games. Still, nowadays, the process is far from random, so there’s a concrete reason for what every result you end up with when you throw a ball. Want proof? In modern games, whether or not you successfully catch a Pokémon is determined by this formula:

What does that mean? Read more about it here if you’d like, because at the moment, that’s not the point of this conversation. What we’re talking about now is an illuminating point made by Eurogamer in the video above: Growing up, we were basically going about catching Pokémon all wrong.

Talking about it at a surface level, we spent too much time whittling down the target’s damage to as close to 0 as we could get it. Your chances at catching a Pokémon are the exact same when it has a third of its total HP left than they are as when it has a twentieth left. Also, in certain situations, a Great Ball has a better change of a successful catch than an Ultra Ball does.

This is because the method the game uses to determine whether or not a catch is successful includes a lot of different steps based on randomly generated numbers, so weird stuff can happen. The process is explained in an accessible way in the video above, so check that out and you’ll see what we mean. For further reading, though, Bulbapedia explains how catching Pokémon in the different games works, and The Cave of Dragonflies, which the video above cites, takes an even deeper dive into the mechanics of throwing balls in Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow.

Images: Bulbapedia, The Pokémon Company

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