How Catch Rates Work in Pokémon Legends: Arceus

An Ultra Ball in the process of trying to capture a Pokémon.

Key Takeaway

During a battle with a Pokémon, you can increase the capture success rate by decreasing the target's HP and inflicting them with a status condition—much like in other main series Pokémon games. Outside of battle, you can increase the capture success rate by being stealthy (waiting until a Pokémon has let its guard down and throwing a Poké Ball at it from behind—among other tactics). Furthermore, the type of Poké Ball you use matters, as some types have higher capture success rates in certain situations.

You can increase your chances of success when trying to catch Pokémon in Pokémon Legends: Arceus. While in battle, such tactics are the same as in other Pokémon games. However, outside of battle, there are some new tricks to learn.

Table Of Contents

    Tips for Catching Pokémon During a Battle

    A player's Torterra using Sleep Powder on Giratina in a cave.

    As in every main series Pokémon game, weakening wild Pokémon will let you capture them easier. This is true in Pokémon Legends: Arceus as well, however, there are some slight differences.

    Firstly, the lower the HP of the target, the easier it will be to catch. Getting the foe’s HP down into the red zone is ideal. Although trying to catch a Pokémon whose HP is in the yellow zone will also make it easier—albeit slightly less so.

    How Status Conditions Work

    In regards to status conditions: there is no true ‘best’ status condition for catching Pokémon. Unlike in past Pokémon games, the Sleep and Frozen status conditions do not increase the capture rate more than others.

    All status conditions in Pokémon Legends: Arceus increase the capture rate by the same amount: the capture rate is multiplied by two. With that said, it’s still safer to inflict a target with a status condition that doesn’t decrease its HP if you’re worried about knocking it out.

    There are five status conditions in the game: Poison, Paralysis, Burn, Sleep, and Frozen. Out of these, only Paralysis and Sleep don’t damage afflicted Pokémon in Pokémon Legends: Arceus.

    Tips for Catching Pokémon Outside of Battle

    A player throwing an Ultra Ball at a Starly while hiding in tall grass.

    New to the franchise is the mechanic to catch Pokémon without needing to battle them. Most of the time, this is quicker and easier than trying to battle a Pokémon before catching it. However, there are some Pokémon that you simply cannot capture this way, meaning you cannot always avoid battle.

    There are some other limiting factors as well. You cannot capture a Pokémon that is too far away from you. For example, if you cleverly used the terrain to lob a Poké Ball at a target from high above, the Poké Ball will simply not work if you’re too far away.

    Stealth also plays a large role in catching Pokémon outside of battle. If you hit your target with a Poké Ball while they don’t see you, your odds of catching them will increase slightly. Furthermore, if you hit them from directly behind (called a backstrike), the capture success rate will increase significantly.

    Wait Until a Pokémon Has Let Its Guard Down

    Like animals in the real world, the Pokémon in Pokémon Legends: Arceus will have a series of different actions. This includes looking around, running, walking, and resting.

    Here’s a breakdown of wild Pokémon actions and how they affect the capture success rate:

    • If a Pokémon sees you and wants to fight: no capture rate increase
    • If a Pokémon sees you and flees: no capture rate increase
    • Your target spots you and neither tries to flee nor wants to fight: no capture rate increase
    • When a Pokémon is running around passively: no capture rate increase
    • When a Pokémon is walking around passively: slight capture rate increase
    • Your target is stationary: slight capture rate increase
    • If a Pokémon is eating: significant capture rate increase (feeding Pokémon their favorite food raises the capture rate even higher)
    • If a Pokémon is sleeping or resting: significant capture rate increase

    The Best Poké Balls for Catching Pokémon

    A player hovering over the Gigaton Ball while in the crafting menu.

    Regular Poké Balls, Great Balls, and Ultra Balls are present in Pokémon Legends: Arceus and have a similar role as in previous main series Pokémon games. Poké Balls have a standard capture success rate, Great Balls have a slightly better one, and Ultra Balls have a significantly better chance of catching Pokémon. However, they are not the only Poké Balls in the game.

    Along with the aforementioned three are six (somewhat) new Poké Balls. The Heavy Ball has appeared in previous Pokémon games, but its past function is completely different than in Pokémon Legends: Arceus. Here’s a list of all Poké Balls exclusive to Pokémon Legends: Arceus:

    • Heavy Ball
    • Leaden Ball
    • Gigaton Ball
    • Feather Ball
    • Wing Ball
    • Jet Ball

    Important Facts About Stealth-Capture Poké Balls

    Heavy Balls, Leaden Balls, and Gigaton Balls are all designed to catch unaware Pokémon. They have decent capture success rates when compared to Poké Balls, Great Balls, and Ultra Balls. But where the ‘stealth’ balls truly shine is when used outside of battle against a Pokémon who hasn’t seen you.

    The downside is that these Poké Ball variants are quite weighty, which means you won’t be able to throw them very far. As a result, you’ll need to get closer to your target to use stealth-capture Poké Balls effectively.

    A Heavy Ball has the same capture success rate as a Poké Ball. But a Heavy Ball’s success rate will increase slightly when used on a Pokémon who has not seen you. This effect stacks with the capture rate bonus gained from landing a backstrike.

    A Leaden Ball has about the same capture success rate as a Great Ball. However, a Leaden Ball’s success rate will increase notably when used on a Pokémon who has not seen you. Once more, this effect stacks with a backstrike bonus.

    Lastly, a Gigaton Ball has around the same capture success rate as an Ultra Ball. However, a Gigaton Ball’s success rate will increase significantly when used on a Pokémon who has not seen you. As before, this effect stacks with getting a backstrike bonus.

    Important Facts About Air-Capture Poké Balls

    Conversely to the stealth-capture Poké Balls, the air-capture ones (Feather Balls, Wing Balls, and Jet Balls) are lighter and can be thrown farther. However, their capture success rate only increases against airborne targets.

    A Feather Ball has the same capture success rate as a Poké Ball. But a Feather Ball’s success rate will increase slightly when used on an airborne Pokémon. While this effect stacks with backstrike bonuses, hitting a target from both below and behind is very difficult.

    A Wing Ball has the same capture success rate as a Great Ball. Although a Wing Ball’s success rate will increase notably when used on an airborne Pokémon. This effect stacks with backstrike bonuses, but, again, it’s challenging to hit an airborne target from behind.

    Finally, a Jet Ball has about the same capture success rate as an Ultra Ball. However, a Jet Ball’s success rate will increase significantly when used on an airborne Pokémon. Once more, this effect stacks with backstrike bonuses, despite it being hard to land a hit from behind on a flying target.