The art of capturing Pokémon is a no-nonsense skill that you will need to master. However, there are certain things to keep in mind. The first chance to "capture" a Pokémon is once you get your first Poké Ball – but sometimes people mean it to be any time a Pokémon is updated to your Pokédex, such as when you trade, evolve, or hatch.
The art of capturing Pokémon
- Weaken the Pokémon: Trying to capture a full-health Pokémon the same level as you shouldn't be attempted unless you use the Master Ball. This is because you'll miss, and you'll waste a Poké Ball. What you need to do is weaken it. You can weaken it to 50% to make it vulnerable to capture, but lowering it to as low as 10–15% is the best. If you miss, try again. If you miss again, weaken the Pokémon more, and try again. You should capture it. If not, you might have encountered a strong-resistance Pokémon, or a rare Pokémon that'll need a stronger type of Poké Ball to capture. False Swipe is a good move to use, as it always leaves the Pokémon with 1 HP.
- Use the right Poké Ball: The standard Poké Ball will capture a vast majority of the Pokémon, as long as you've weakened them enough. For some Pokémon, a stronger ball will be needed, such as a Great Ball or Ultra Ball. Don't waste these stronger Poké Balls, however. Try your regular Poké Balls several times, try weakening the enemy more, and try capturing it again before you waste a more powerful ball.
- Be patient: If you kill a Pokémon when you're attempting to capture it, don't fret; it happens. With rare exceptions, you'll get the chance to capture that Pokémon again. Just simply run around the area where you originally ran into it, and chances are you'll run into it again. As a last resort, if you can't seem to find that Pokémon again, use the Hoenn Map in your Pokénav, or check out the entry for that Pokémon in your Pokédex to find more locations, as well as more vital stats and information that might be of assistance in capturing it.
- Once captured, don't neglect!: Some Pokémon might not look like much. Some might not even have any attacks. But use that Pokémon in battle (switching it out after the battle starts if you have to, to get it half of the battle's experience and/or use an Experience Share) and build it up. Eventually, these weak Pokémon evolve into stronger Pokémon.
Places to find Pokémon
- Grass: The most basic way to find Pokémon and the first possible way, grass is found on basically every route. The grass is really the best, most efficient way to capture Pokémon.
- Tall grass: Found only on the few routes after and before Fortree City, tall grass is the most unavoidable of obstacles since bikes cannot clear it. Tall grass has a much better chance of Pokémon appearing than regular grass.
- Caves: In caves the Pokémon just appear – they usually aren't rare Pokémon, since they appear so often. For example, Zubat is a very common Pokémon that is found in caves.
- Surfing: This method of finding Pokémon is not available until after you get HM03 and you get the fifth gym badge. The most common Pokémon to appear using this method is Wingull.
- Fishing: Fishing is the only catching method that never has to be used – this is because nothing in the game's main storyline requires you to fish. There are three rods: Old, Good, and Super.
- Rock Smash: Rock Smash can only be used outside of battle after you get the third gym badge. Occasionally when you use Rock Smash on a rock, a Pokémon will come out. This is the only way to get some Pokémon.