Capturing Pokémon is the most important thing in the Pokémon Games. Without it you wouldn't be able to obtain any Pokémon other than your starter. In lamens terms, essentially what you need to do is weaken the Pokémon, pick a PokéBall and throw. However things are much more complicated than that when you get into the code. Of course, if you're using a Master Ball, none of this counts.
There are many deciding factors to the capture of the Pokémon. These include that Pokémon's Maximum HP, Current HP, Status Ailment and it's Catch Rate. The Pokémon's Catch Rate is a number between 0 and 255, the higher the better. You can see the Catch Rates for the Pokémon in our Pokédex.
The formula for determining the capture of the Pokémon is as follows:
CatchValue = ((( 3 * Max HP - 2 * HP ) * (Catch Rate * Ball Modifier ) / (3 * Max HP) ) * Status Modifier
The Capture Value for that is then put through another equation to determine whether or not the Pokémon is to be captured
Catch = 1048560 / √(√(16711680 / CatchValue)) = (220 - 24) / √(√((224 - 216) / CatchValue))
If CatchValue is 255, then capture is guaranteed. However, if not, then the second formula is taken into account. When you throw the Pokéball, and whenever the Pokéball shakes, a random number is generated and if the random number is greater than the value output through the above formula, then capture fails. If however, the random number is lower, then it will go to the next attempt and generate another random number. This is done for three shakes until the capture is complete.
Now the Maximum HP and Current HP of the Pokémon that you are about to catch are obviously not known by you, however that is what the colour coding is for and really the lower the hit points the better the chance
Status Ailments are a completely different amount however. Here is a small table stating the Values that each of the Status Ailments is given
Now this does have a major effect on the capture and could definately be the difference between capturing the Pokémon.
The final element of capturing Pokémon is the type of Pokéball that is used. Each of the Pokéballs either multiply or add to the figure before the final division of 256 is done in order to determine the final amount. Below are the Pokéballs and their effects and the amount they actually alter. The Pokéballs from Johto made from apricorns do not give boosts in the Ball Modifier, but rather the actual Capture Rate of the Pokémon, leading up to a maximum possible of 255. Click the Pokéball's icon or name to go to the ItemDex page for locations and more details
And thus with this you are able to make the calculation. What you should get will be a decimal number which is essentially a percentage. The higher the percentage, the more likely you are to capture it. If the number is above 1 then you should get the Pokémon immediately
A totally new mechanic of capture is the Critical Capture. This feature works like Critical Hits in battle where there is a slight chance that this feature occurs. Critical Capture will be noticed when you throw the Pokéball. It'll make a metal noise, and in Generation V pause in mid-air briefly. When it hits the Pokémon, it will shake once and capture. This cuts two of the four random calculations out of the overal capture mechanic making it more likely to capture the Pokémon. However, it can still fail.
The calculation is done by a simple factor depending upon the amount of Pokémon species you have captured. It will run this calculation based upon the capture value calculated above and will then have another random number based upon the Pokémon you have captured.Critical Capture = floor((255,CatchValue) * Multiplier)
The multipliers are as follows;
Special thanks to Dragonfree for mechanic clarification
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