Every Pokeball in Pokemon has a purpose. Whether it’s the original Pokeball for looking cool or the Quick Ball for getting in some quick catches, there’s a time and place for each one in the series. Some are event-exclusive, while others are there to look pretty. Some Pokeballs are great for getting Pokemon ready for battle in an instant, while others are there to be luxurious bribes for a new member of the team. If you’re new to Pokemon and need help understanding which way is up with all these Pokeballs, we have a short (just kidding) guide for you. Below, we’ll explain every Pokeball in the Pokemon series, what it does, and how to best use it.
- Poke Ball
- Great Ball
- Ultra Ball
- Master Ball
- Safari Ball
- Fast Ball
- Level Ball
- Lure Ball
- Heavy Ball
- Love Ball
- Friend Ball
- Moon Ball
- Sport Ball
- Net Ball
- Dive Ball
- Nest Ball
- Repeat Ball
- Timer Ball
- Luxury Ball
- Premier Ball
- Dusk Ball
- Heal Ball
- Quick Ball
- Cherish Ball
- Park Ball
- Dream Ball
- Beast Ball
- Strange Ball
- Feather Ball
- Wing Ball
- Jet Ball
- Heavy Ball (Hisui)
- Leaden Ball
- Gigaton Ball
Poke Ball is the standard ball, and believe it or not, it’s not weak. While you may think that Great and Ultra Balls are the strong ones on the list, the Poke Ball has no weakness in catching Pokemon. It will always have a fair shot at catching a Pokemon, depending on the catch rate and status afflictions. The only difference between a Poke Ball and a Great Ball is the heightened base rate, which is only .5 of a difference for the game.
The regular Poke Ball has a 1.0 catch rate, while the Great Ball has a 1.5 catch rate. This may seem like little, but the Great Ball is perfect for Pokemon outside the initial grass you find on your first Route. Up to the first few Gyms, you can expect to use Great Balls for a while until you either have the funds for or unlock the Ultra Ball.
The Ultra Ball will be your most steadfast companion besides your Pokemon. It’s the most standard, strongest Pokeball that you can buy anywhere. Because of its versatility in purchase and the higher catch rate, this ball is typical for Legend or Shiny hunting. If you know you’re about to encounter a rare Pokemon, stocking up on at least 70 or more of these bad boys is almost required.
The Master Ball is simple to use and less straightforward to obtain. It’ll catch anything you throw it at, having irrefutable success. These used to be a one-time deal in most games. They are, however, through modern technology; sometimes, you can end up with a Master Ball twice if the Pokemon you Wonder Trade for is holding one. In days where receiving hacked Pokemon is expected, you may encounter this hidden blessing more than a few times. Always check what a Pokemon is holding before you trade it away because it could be helpful!
The Safari Ball is an exclusive item that Trainers can use in the Safari. Unlike other Poke Balls, this one has a solid catch rate that entirely relies on the luck of the draw. There’s no damage dealing in certain Safari, meaning that you need to rely on the Safari Ball’s natural strengths to get yourself the Pokemon you want. You can buy Safari Balls in later gens, although they only do a little better outside of the Safari. In modern Pokemon titles, Safari Balls are compatible with standard Poke Balls in strength.
The Fast Ball is for fast Pokemon. If you’re enough of a Pokemon veteran, using this ball is no problem. If you’re a little iffy on your stats, it can be a little tricky to use this ball to any degree of effectiveness. If a Pokemon has a speed stat higher than 100, this Pokemon is 4 times more likely to work.
The Level Ball is more effective the higher the Pokemon’s level than the attacking Pokemon. If your Pokemon is twice that of the wild Pokemon, the ball is twice as likely to work. If the player’s Pokemon is quadruple the Pokemon’s level, the Level Ball is 4 times more likely to work. This ball is great for returning to the Routes you’ve already been to, catching Pokemon way below your skill level.
The Lure Ball is a specialist kind of Pokeball, only designed for fishing. While a Net Ball may have more luck with Water types, don’t confuse the Lure and Net Balls with each other. Even if you use a Lure Ball on a Water-type Pokemon, it’s no use unless you brought that Pokemon out of the water with a Rod.
Heavy Balls work best on Heavy Pokemon, so if you aim to catch a Snorlax or any kind of Ground or Rock-type Pokemon, this ball is your best bet. Pokemon weighing less than 220 pounds have a lowered catch rate with this Pokeball, while Pokemon over 440 pounds have a higher catch rate. Misusing a Heavy Ball could hurt your chances of catching the Pokemon you want, so always try to do your research before you use this kind of Pokeball.
The Love Ball is simple to use. If your Pokemon is the opposite gender of the opposing Pokemon, it works 8 times as well. If not, it just works like a standard Pokeball. There’s no downsides, practically. Plus, it’s a cute choice, given the fact that it’s pink.
The Friend Ball is a type of Pokeball that changes the friendship of a wild Pokemon once caught. Much like the Luxury Ball, it affects friendship, but instead of improving the rate at which it grows, it simply adds friendship as soon as the Pokemon is caught. When you catch a Pokemon with the Friend Ball, the Pokemon instantly has 200 Friendship points towards you.
The Moon Ball is a special case, only working effectively against Pokemon that evolve with the Moon Stone. Otherwise, this Pokeball only looks good and is just about as effective as a regular Pokeball the rest of the time. Pokemon like Clefairy work well with this ball.
The Sport Ball is a special Pokeball you can only use during the Bug Catching Contest. This one has no special properties; it only looks like a Pokeball with a Pokeball symbol on it. It’s a unique ball to have since it signifies that you caught the given Pokemon in a particular place in Johto. Other than being a novelty, there are no special properties to be had about this one.
The Net Ball is a Pokeball that has a higher catch rate depending on the type of Pokemon you’re trying to catch. If the Pokemon is a Water type or a Bug-type, you’ll have a 3.5x chance at catching it. Otherwise, it just works like a regular Pokeball. Plus, it has a net animation every time you send the Pokemon out from then onward, which is very cool.
Since Water-type Pokemon are the most common type, it makes sense that there are plenty of balls that specialize in catching them. The Dive Ball is the final example we have of a ball that favors a specific type, being able to catch any Pokemon that is on the water. It may not specialize against a type per-se, but when you’re Surfing around, nine times out of ten, you’ll find a Water-type Pokemon lurking about.
The Nest Ball is perfect for catching Pokemon that are weak. And by weak, I mean anything below Level 29. Using a Nest Ball against any Pokemon between the levels of 1 and 29 gives you a percentage boost depending on the level, the equation exactly being ((41 – PKMN LVL) ÷ 10). The lower the level, the more successful you can be with a Nest Ball. Otherwise, this Pokemon is just earthy-looking, having the same strength as your standard Pokeball.
If you want to catch a Pokemon again, the Repeat Ball will become your best friend. If you have the Pokemon registered in your Pokedex, using a Repeat Ball will give you a 3.5x higher chance of success. Otherwise, it is just like any other Pokeball. This one can be great if you need to find a Pokemon with a specific nature or if you’re shiny hunting for a Pokemon you’ve already registered in the PokeDex.
For stubborn Pokemon that don’t want to be caught, consider the Timer Ball. You’ll find yourself in situations where you’ve used your Quick Ball, you’re using Ultra Balls, the Legendary Pokemon has a pixel of health left and has Paralysis, yet they refuse to be caught. In situations like these, try using a Timer Ball. This ball does great things if the battle lasts too long. After ten turns, which include catch attempts, the Timer Ball will be 4x more likely to catch the Pokemon than if you had used it earlier.
While a Friend Ball stacks on Friendship right at the beginning, the Luxury Ball is for if you want to butter the Pokemon up as your friendship with them grows. While the Luxury Ball may not offer any bonus Friendship initially, being the cool crash pad it is, this Ball allows your Pokemon to grow Friendship way more quickly, double quick.
There’s nothing special about the Premier Ball, aside from the fact that it looks very stylish on a belt or in the Pokemon Center’s healing machine. It’s an all-white Pokeball with no more capabilities than your standard Pokeball. You can get these for free at any PokeCenter by buying ten balls of any kind. The vendor will throw one of these in on the house.
If you’re venturing out into a cave somewhere, bring a couple of these with you. The Dusk Ball works best in the dark, which means either nighttime or a cave will do the trick to get them working most effectively. If you use this in a cave or at night, it has a 3x higher chance of catching the wild Pokemon. Having a fair amount of these on your person can’t hurt, especially if you happen to find a Shiny at night.
For situations where you need that wild Pokemon to be battle-ready quickly, consider the Heal Ball. Not only does it look cute, but it heals the Pokemon completely as soon as it’s caught. This can be especially useful if you’re about to encounter a rival or a Team Rocket member and think you need extra backup if you’re short on a full team.
One of the most useful Pokeballs, the Quick Ball, is a convenient Pokeball with only one trick up its sleeve. It only has a higher likelihood of catching Pokemon during the very first turn of the battle. So much like Fake Out, you have to use it turn one, or else it’s useless even to try. This can be a hail mary of sorts since the catch rate for it spikes pretty high when you use a Quick Ball effectively, reaching 5x chances of success. It’s a good rule always to have these on hand because you never know if it will work. For everyday Pokemon that you find in the wild, it almost always works. For legendary Pokemon, it might be a different story. But that chance is always there, so it’s worth a shot.
You’ll never see the Cherish Ball in a store or even as a dropped item throughout the Pokemon games because it’s exclusively for Pokemon that appear as event Pokemon. So if you have a gift Pokemon like a Mew, Pikachu, Eevee, or Legendary, they will more often than not come to you in these completely red Pokeballs.
This Pokeball is extremely limited in use, but when used properly, it almost has the properties of a Master ball. The Park Ball is only able to be used in Pal Park. Otherwise, it’s like a normal Pokeball, except yellow. Park Balls have guaranteed capture rates when used in Pal Park.
If you have a Pokemon with Sleep Powder or any other sleep-inducing move, consider getting yourself some Dream Balls. Pokeballs like these are far more effective when used on sleeping Pokemon. If you throw a Dream Ball at a sleeping Pokemon, the ball will be 4x more likely to succeed.
Beat Balls are one of the most aesthetically pleasing Pokeballs on the board, having a digital matrix look to them. Unfortunately, the catch rate for this one is incredibly one-sided, only having a 5x rate for Ultra Beasts and 0.1x catch rate for everything else. This makes using a Beast Ball effectively on anything but Ultra Beasts almost impossible.
The Strange Ball isn’t a Pokeball that you can use in Pokemon. If you transfer a Pokemon from a game to Pokemon Home, and the Pokeball cannot be transferred to a more modern game, it will appear in this Strange Ball. Plenty of Pokeballs fall into this category, such as all the Pokeballs you can find in Hisui.
The Feather Ball is an ancient Pokeball used in Hisui. It is lighter than other Pokeballs, making it easier to throw at Pokemon. It has a higher range, making catching Pokemon from far away easier. While there is no boost to catching Flying-type Pokemon, it is generally more effective at catching Pokemon in the air thanks to the long throwing distance.
The Wing Ball is the Feather Ball, but better. It has all the properties of a Feather Ball, reaching farther when thrown. You can use a Wing Ball to more effectively catch Flying Pokemon out of the air. Despite the upgrade, the Wing Ball doesn’t actually have a higher catch rate than the Feather Ball.
The Jet Ball is the Ultra Ball of the flying Pokeballs that you find in Hisui. It is just like a Wing Ball, only better in every way, flying father and going faster. Like the previous two, it’s great for using against Flying types.
Heavy Ball (Hisui)
In Pokemon Legends Arceus, using Heavy Balls are more effective against Pokemon that can’t see you, rather than being more effective against Pokemon that are heavier. The Heavy Ball is the first of these kinds of Pokeballs that you can build in Hisui. The only disadvantage is that they don’t fly very far, so you’ll need to be stealthy and aware to get close enough for it to be effective.
The Leaden Ball is the upgrade from the Heavy Ball in Hisui. It operates the same way, having a better effect on a Pokemon if the Pokemon never sees it coming. However, this one is even heavier and has a shorter range.
Gigaton Ball is the Leaden Ball but better. Just like the Heavy and Gigaton Ball, this one is best used when the Pokemon can’t see you, but because of a short throw distance, you’ll need to find the balance between the two to get this Pokeball working properly.