‘Pokémon Go’ Legendary Catch Rate: Here’s why the 1% increase is a big deal for trainers

‘Pokémon Go’ Legendary Catch Rate: Here’s why the 1% increase is a big deal for trainers
A ‘Pokémon Go’ player attempts to catch Charmander, one of the Gen 1 starters.
Source: Thomas Cytrynowicz/AP
A ‘Pokémon Go’ player attempts to catch Charmander, one of the Gen 1 starters.
Source: Thomas Cytrynowicz/AP

Legendary raids — long predicted by the Pokémon Go community — finally debuted in the wake of the Chicago live event. Unfortunately for fans of the Kanto legendary birds, they’re limited affairs, so you’ll have to burn some serious shoe rubber if you want to catch Articuno.

Legendary raids are tough to beat, and even tougher is catching the Pokémon afterward. Word is the capture rate for legendary Pokémon has increased — by 1%. It doesn’t seem like a huge change, but some players disagree.

Pokémon Go legendary raids: 1% increase in base catch rate is good, but only if you’ve got a great throw

A Silph Road user named Max-BC noted that in the July 25 Game Master, the base capture rate for Articuno, Zapdos and Moltres changed from .02 to .03 — not a huge jump, but notable since it only affected those three Pokémon.

Another user named Jonqora decided to crunch some numbers and see how much that changed a trainer’s ability to capture these elusive Pokémon, given four variables:

• The player uses a Golden Razz Berry on the Pokémon
• The player successfully throws a curve ball
• The player gets a “great throw” ranking
• The player has a gold medal for catching Pokémon of both the legendary’s types

Assuming all those things are true, here’s what happens.

On your first throw, your base capture rate goes up to 19% from 13% — a six-point jump. If you manage to land five throws in an encounter, your rate jumps from 50% to 65%. Assuming you’re on the majority team and manage to acquire (and land) 10 throws under these metrics, your capture rate becomes 88% instead of 75%.

“TL;DR [too long; didn’t read]: yes, this should make a noticeable difference,” Jonqora wrote.

Not all users agreed, however. One user complained the app doesn’t consistently register curved throws, and another raised the point that not everyone gets 11 Premier Balls to take advantage of.

Unless you’re a catching ace — and hoarder of Golden Razz Berries — you’re probably not likely to see as precipitous an increase as Jonqora predicted. Still, this might be just the beginning of tweaks being made to the legendary raid system.

More Pokémon Go news, updates, tips and tricks

Raids are here — and not just for ordinary Pokémon. Check out our coverage of the legendaries now in-game, Lugia and Articuno. If that’s not enough, check out our tips for making the most of raids and what counters you should focus on finding, as well as what to do with the Golden Razz Berries and TMs you find after completing them. Find out what went wrong at the Pokémon Go Fest in Chicago while you wait for the debut of the European Safari Zones in August and September. Finally, check out some reporting on the issues plaguing rural players a year after launch, how the game created a space for black female gamers and how Pokémon Go can continue to build its community.