In the video games, catching Pokemon is probably the most important thing to do, along with raising them. In the good old times, there was a mathematical formula which determined if the Pokemon was caught or not. This formula is quite complicated, and goes like this :
CatchValue = ((( 3 * Max HP – 2 * HP ) * (Catch Rate * Ball Modifier ) / (3 * Max HP) ) * Status Modifier
If the results of this formula was 255 or above, then capture was 100% guaranteed. To help increase the number result, you could give a status ailment to the wild Pokemon to make things more easier. If catching fails, then a random number is generated instead of the given result. Quite easy to do and understand…
However, things in Pokemon Black and White has changed, and very few people are aware of this. Once upon a time I was catching weak Pokemon on the 1st Route in Black and White using a trusty Scyther and its False Swipe move, which reduces the opponent’s HP to 1 if it was going to be KOed. For 30 Pokemon, 2 broke free (not even a shaking), 1 escaped after 1 shake, and 3 after 3 shakes, while using different balls. Even the strongest ones were failing on lv.2 Patrats sometimes. And the funny thing is, their HP were not full, they were in the red section, sometimes at 1 HP! But … why? Because the Catch formula has been CHANGED. The one seen above was REMOVED from Black and White, being replaced with this one :
Catch = 1048560 / v(v(16711680 / CatchValue)) = (220 – 24) / v(v((224 – 216) / CatchValue))
How does it works? Well, the formula had changed a lot and is not the same anymore. It works totally differently than the previous one. Now, a random number is generated for each ball shaking. If it goes above 255, then capture fails, which was the exact opposite of the previous formula. If it is below, then the game will continue generating a random number for each shaking, until the Pokemon is caught (or until you run out of balls). The random number determinated depends on how many Pokemon you have caught, and also if you’re fighting in dark grass.
A new capture style, called Critical Capture only shakes twice, thus making catching easier, but not guaranteed. Some people says that this formula was introduced in Gen IV, and was along with the first formula, making catching fair and square depending on the ball, remaining HP and catch rate of the wild Pokemon.
Critical Capture = floor((255,CatchValue) * Multiplier)
With the 1st formula gone, catching became a lot harder, and some people even reported Master Balls failing to catch despite their 100% catch ratio, though this hasn’t been proven real for the moment. No You Tube videos were able to prove the failure of a Master Ball, but it has been proved that the Park Ball and the Dream Ball DOES NOT have a 100% catch rate ; a video showing a Dream Ball being tossed at a Metang with HP in the red, in Sleep status still broke free without any shaking, proving that Dream Balls aren,t like Master Balls, and therefore doesn’t have a 100% catch ratio.
But what’s important is the challenge that gives catching Pokemon more fun. It would be bad and boring if it would always succeed, right? Of course people wants Legendaries to be easier to catch, but it’s still fun when there’s more difficult things to do, as a game that’s too easy or to hard to beat would have a poor ranking.
And with that, enjoy cathing Pokemon!