So you know the basics, but you’re still having a little trouble with your Pokemon catching technique? No worries! Gamezebo’s guide on how to catch Pokemon in Pokemon GO will get you up to speed in no time.

Get a move on

How to Catch Pokemon in Pokemon GO

  • If you’re not sure where to go, head towards a PokeStop or Gym. There’s a decent chance you’ll find some Pokemon to catch along the way, you’ll get items or training (respectively) once you reach your destination, and in the case of a PokeStop there’s always the possibility of someone having used a Lure (an item that attracts Pokemon to that location.)
  • Use the “Nearby” tab to hunt specific Pokemon. The tab in the bottom-right corner of the map screen displays 1-3 of the closest Pokemon you can catch. If you tap on it, you’ll be able to see even more that might be close by, with the footprints underneath their pictures giving you a vague idea of just how near they might be (one print is close, two is farther away, and three is even farther away).

How to Catch Pokemon in Pokemon GO

  • You can select specific Pokemon from the Nearby menu to draw them out. By tapping on the image of a Pokemon from this menu, once it’s close enough to have no footprints under it, you’ll be able to force it out of hiding and try to catch it.
  • Look for tall grass “poofs.” The little green confetti-looking movement you sometimes see on the map indicates that a Pokemon is in that location. If you’re looking for stuff to catch, head towards the action!
  • Your radar has a pretty wide range. A pulse will steadily move out from your character every couple of seconds, which acts as your PokeRadar. When most Pokemon are inside of this circle, they’ll appear and you can catch them. Conversely, if you can get a grass poof into the circle you should be able to draw the Pokemon out using the other trick mentioned above.

Catch and (probably don’t) release

How to Catch Pokemon in Pokemon GO

  • When a Pokemon is in range or has been flushed out, you’ll know it. Your device will vibrate, the app will make a noise, and the Pokemon in question will appear on the map somewhere in range of your radar. Just tap on the Pokemon to try and catch it.
  • Control your throws. You’ll toss a PokeBall (and hopefully hit your target) by swiping up on the screen. This being an augmented reality game, things like throw strength, speed, and distance between you and your prey all factor in. Try to keep your shots straight, and don’t be afraid to use a couple of throws to dial in the feel for distance.

How to Catch Pokemon in Pokemon GO

  • Timing is important. Most Pokemon — especially the harder to find or more powerful ones — like to move around when you’re trying to catch them. Sometimes they’ll jump forward, other times they’ll leap into the air, but regardless it’s always annoying. Try to get accustomed to their tricks and toss a PokeBall right after they’ve moved – or plan for the movement and hit them as they’re dodging.
  • Watch the shrinking circle. The color indicates how tough a Pokemon is to catch – green is easy, orange is not so easy, and red is super-tough.
  • You don’t have to catch everything. If you find a Pokemon you already have a million of, or if it’s way too weak for you to ever consider using, you can always leave the capture screen by tapping on the Run Away icon in the top-left corner of the screen.

Basic items

How to Catch Pokemon in Pokemon GO

  • Lures can only be used at PokeStops. You can buy lures in the shop using PokeCoins (though sometimes you’ll earn them by leveling-up), and then attach them to any PokeStop you’re close enough to visit. Just tap on the stop, tap the little white module window right underneath the stop’s name, and activate the lure. This will draw nearby Pokemon to the stop for a full 30 minutes, giving all players within range a better chance of catching stuff.
  • Incense can only be used on a character. As with lures, you can buy incense in the shop or sometimes earn it through leveling, and it has similar results (i.e. a half hour of Pokemon catnip effects). The big difference is that incense can only be used on your character, not a PokeStop. So nobody else can benefit from its effects, but the effects aren’t locked to a static location.
  • Potions are needed to heal your Pokemon. You can buy them in the shop or find them at PokeStops, and they heal 20 hitpoints at a time. Unless you’re trying to train at a gym or take one over, you’re not likely to need them very often.

How to Catch Pokemon in Pokemon GO

  • Revive is used to wake up Pokemon that have fainted and bring them up to half health. Note that Pokemon defeated by training at a gym (i.e. fighting at one your own team controls) don’t actually faint, so revives won’t do you any good.
  • PokeBalls are what you need to catch those Pokemon. You can buy them from the shop or find them at PokĂ©Stops, and the regular kind are extremely prevalent. There are other types of PokeBalls as well, with higher (or sometimes even guaranteed) capture rates.
  • Razz Berries will make it easier to catch wild Pokemon when you feed it to them. This isn’t all that necessary for easy to find ones like Rattata or Pidgey, but they’re great for when you’re after something a bit more slippery. I’m looking at you, Abra.