Pokemon Go Raids: Hidden Mechanic Discovered

Pokemon GO Raid Boss Banner

Pokemon Go raids are among the most accessible ways for Trainers to get their hands on powerful Legendary Pokemon. Special research questlines take a good amount of time to finish, and monthly research breakthroughs have normal Pokemon over Legendaries more often than not. While these raid encounters are tough, a study published by The Silph Road suggests a hidden mechanic at play which makes capture easier over time.

The beginning of the study explains in much more elaborate wording than I, the base catch rate formula in Pokemon GO, as well as added multipliers at play such as medals, berries, curved throws, etc. A study of over 6500 ball throws was performed to see if there could be any other hidden mechanic at play, as, anecdotally, it felt like Raid Bosses would catch later.

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Here’s the interesting part. For the very first ball of the encounter, the normal catch rate formula seemed about spot on to the calculated capture probability. As the encounter went on, however, disproportionately more Raid Bosses were captured in later balls then those earlier in the fight. It seems that by around the 10th ball, the capture rate had effectively doubled.

Pokemon GO raids hidden mechanic
Credit: The Silph Road

From what I can tell, this study only recorded the results up to the 10th ball. Assuming it doesn’t cap at the 10th, then, Legendary Pokemon could end up with even higher multipliers as Trainers can have upwards of 18-21 Premier Balls going into the encounter.

Additionally, the exact cause of the multiplier is currently unknown. Ideas which have been floated include amount of balls thrown, balls remaining, number of hits, and successive hits. If I had to take a shot in the dark, though, I would assume it is simply the number of balls thrown or remaining, as that could likely easily fit into an equation and benefits all players roughly equally. The randomness of Pokemon swatting the ball away or moving makes me think that the number of total or successive hits would be less likely.

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Still, regardless of the exact cause, this newly discovered mechanic in Pokemon GO raids is certainly a welcome one. A player will naturally get more tense over the course of an encounter, especially with a Legendary, and as such the feeling of catching a rare Pokemon on the last ball is super satisfying. To see they actually account for that is neat and ultimately helps the players anyway, so I won’t complain.

It seems more research will be done in the future to more accurately predict the cause, but as of now that’s all we know about the new mechanic in Pokemon GO raids!

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