Guide: Tips For Catching Rare Wild Pokemon In Pokemon Sword And Shield

Guide: Tips For Catching Rare Wild Pokemon In Pokemon Sword And Shield

Whether you are a newcomer or a veteran to the Pokemon series, there is nothing quite as frustrating as running into a rare wild Pokemon, but then failing to catch it despite your best efforts.

Although Pokemon Sword And Shield do a decent job explaining the basics for newcomers, there are a number of more advanced capturing techniques that players might not learn or consider during a casual playthrough.

For some of the game’s more rare and powerful encounters, knowing these techniques could mean the difference between finally getting your hands on that rare Pokemon you were hunting, or even more hours wasted trying to find it again.

In order to maximize your chances of success at catching, we have compiled the following tips you can try in Pokemon Sword And Shield:


What Affects Catch Rate?

In Pokemon Sword And Shield, the chance of capturing any wild Pokemon you encounter is determined by the following factors:

  • The Base Catch Rate of that Pokemon Species.
    • Pokemon with higher catch rates are easier to capture.
    • Pokemon with lower catch rates are more difficult to capture.
  • The Amount of Health that the Pokemon has.
    • The lower the health a Pokemon has, the easier it is to catch.
  • Whether the Pokemon has a Status Effect.
    • Pokemon suffering from a status effect (e.g. Sleep, Paralysis, Poison) are easier to catch.
    • Sleep is the best status to use, and has a greater effect than Paralysis, Burn or Poison.
    • Paralysis and Sleep are recommended over Burn and Poison, as the latter may cause Pokemon to faint.
  • The Type of Ball used for the Capture.
    • Different types of Balls have different success rates, some of which may have special conditions under which they have the highest chance of success.

It probably goes without saying, but Pokemon that are rare or very powerful typically have very low base Catch Rates. This means that in order to ensure the highest chance of a successful capture, players should aim to:

  • Reduce the Pokemon’s health such that it is as low as possible without fainting.
  • Inflict the Pokemon with a status effect.
  • Use the Ball with the highest chance of success given the situation.


The Best Moves For Catching

In order to lower a Pokemon’s health without letting it faint, as well as hit it with a status effect, having Pokemon with the following moves is recommended:

  • False Swipe: A move which will never allow the opposing Pokemon’s HP to drop below 1, preventing it from fainting even if attacked at low health.
    • TM can be found in Motostoke Pokemon Center (Fire Gym), and can be learned by many Pokemon.
  • Spore: Puts the opposing Pokemon to sleep with an 100% chance.
    • Learned by Morelull and Shiinotic, which can be found in Glimwood Tangle.
  • Thunder Wave: Paralyzes the opposing Pokemon with an 100% chance.
    • TM is earned as a reward from the Rally Race at the Wild Area Pokemon Nursery, and can be learned by many Pokemon.
  • Hypnosis: Puts the opposing Pokemon to sleep, 60% chance to hit.
    • Can be learned by many Pokemon, most notably Ralts.

If you’re looking for a Pokemon that can learn False Swipe as well as a Status move, two good options are:

  • Bisharp
    • False Swipe + Thunder Wave
    • Pre-evolution Pawniard is easy to find on Route 8.
  • Gallade
    • False Swipe + Hypnosis
    • Pre-evolution Ralts is difficult to find, appears in Wild Area during Fog.
    • Must be Male and requires Dawn Stone in order to evolve into Gallade.


The Best Balls For Catching

Once the Pokemon has been hit with a status effect and is at low health, the next step is to pick the right type of Pokeball for the job. While it may be tempting to just stick with the standard red/white Pokeball, other types of balls have much better success rates. Recommended balls include:

  • Ultra Ball: The bread and butter for lategame catching, no special effects but has a standard success rate of x2 (double that of a Pokeball).
  • Quick Ball: Has a much higher success rate if used near the start of the battle (5 times that of a Pokeball)
    • Can be bought for Watts in Wild Area, or from Pokemon Center in Wyndon (last city)
  • Dusk Ball: Has a higher success rate if used at night (3 times that of a Pokeball)
    • Can be bought from Pokemon Center in Hammerlocke (Dragon Gym)
  • Timer Ball: Success rate increases the longer the battle drags on (4 times that of a Pokeball after 10 turns)
    • Can be bought from Pokemon Center in Hammerlocke (Dragon Gym)
  • Master Ball: Has a 100% Success Rate, and will catch any Pokemon without fail
    • One is received through completing the main story, more can be earned rarely by playing Loto-ID on the Rotom PC.


Abilities That Affect Encounter Rate

In addition to getting Pokemon with the right moves, some Pokemon also have Abilities that make it easier to encounter Wild Pokemon, which can help greatly in looking for specific encounters. Below is a list of useful abilities and Pokemon which have them.

  • Illuminate: Doubles the chance of encountering wild Pokemon in the overworld.
    • Morelull, Shiinotic, Chinchou, Lanturn.
  • Arena Trap: Doubles the chance of encountering wild Pokemon in the overworld.
    • Diglett, Dugtrio, Trapinch.
  • No Guard: Increases the chance of encountering wild Pokemon in the overworld by 50%.
    • Machop, Machoke, Machamp, Honedge, Doublade.
  • Static: Increases the chance of encountering an Electric Type Pokemon in the Wild.
    • Pichu, Pikachu, Raichu, Elektrike, Magnetric, Toxel, Arctozolt.
  • Vital Spirit: Increases the chance of encountering a higher levelled Wild Pokemon by 50%.
    • Mr. Mime (Galar), Delibird, Tyrogue,
  • Cute Charm: Increases the chance of encountering a Pokemon of the opposite gender.
    • Cleffa, Clefairy, Clefable, Minccino, Cinccino, Sylveon, Stufful
  • Synchronize: Increases the chance of encountering a Pokemon with the same Nature.
    • Natu, Xatu, Espeon, Umbreon, Ralts, Kirlia, Gardevoir, Munna, Musharna, Elgyem, Beeheeyem, Indeedee


Other Useful Tips

  • Critical Captures & the Catching Charm
    • A Critical Capture is a rare event that dramatically increases the likelihood of capturing a Pokemon.
      • You will know when a critical capture happens when the ball only shakes once before the Pokemon is caught/escapes.
    • You can increase the chance of getting a Critical Capture by capturing a lot of the same species of Pokemon, or by getting the Catching Charm.
    • The Catching Charm is a key item that you can get from a doctor in Circhester City’s (Snow City) Hotel Ionia
  • Aura Pokemon
    • In Pokemon Sword And Shield, you may see Pokemon on the overworld with strange yellow auras around them.
    • These Pokemon are likely to possess better stats (IVs) than normal, and may even know some Egg Moves.
    • Capturing these Aura Pokemon will also earn the player a few Watts that can be spent in the Wild Area.


What do you think of this guide? Let us know in the comments.