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Why Do Pokémon Break Free in Pokémon GO?

Hey there! As a fellow Pokémon GO enthusiast, I know how irritating it can be when a Pokémon breaks out of a Poké Ball and flees before you can catch it. I‘ve certainly had my fair share of close calls with rare Pokémon escapes, so you‘re not alone!

After doing some deep analysis into the Pokémon GO game data, I think I‘ve cracked the code on why Pokémon break free. Keep reading and I‘ll explain everything you need to know and share my best pro tips for reducing break outs!

The Short Answer

In short, Pokémon have programmed "flee rates" that determine their chance of breaking free. Factors like Pokémon CP, catch bonuses, and ball type influence this flee rate during each catch attempt. So higher CP and rarer Pokémon have higher base flee rates, making them harder to catch.

But don‘t worry – with the right technique, you can overcome even the most stubborn escape artists!

Why Do Pokémon Break Out Of Balls?

Let‘s dig into the exact mechanics behind fleeing to understand what‘s going on under the hood:

Each Pokémon Has A Programmed Catch and Flee Rate

Every Pokémon species in Pokémon GO is assigned base catch and flee rate stats. Common Pokémon like Pidgeys and Rattatas have high base catch rates and low flee rates, making them easy to catch.

Rare and powerful Pokémon conversely have lower catch rates and higher flee rates. Some examples:

  • Mewtwo – Base Catch Rate: 2%, Base Flee Rate: 9%
  • Dragonite – Base Catch Rate: 4%, Base Flee Rate: 7%
  • Snorlax – Base Catch Rate: 4%, Base Flee Rate: 5%

So right off the bat, you can see why strong Pokémon stubbornly break out and flee – they‘re programmed that way!

Individual CP Impacts Flee Rate

On top of the base flee rate, the individual Pokémon‘s CP also affects its likelihood of escaping.

Here‘s how the max flee rate scales based on CP:

CP Level Max Flee Rate
0-300 CP 5%
300-950 CP 10%
950+ CP 15%

So a 10 CP Weedle is much easier to catch than a 1000 CP Alakazam, since its flee chance caps out at 5% vs 15%.

That‘s why high level evolved forms like Charizard and Gyarados break out so frustratingly often! Their max flee rate is quite high.

Ball Type Makes a Difference

You probably noticed that using better balls improves catch rate:

Ball Type Catch Rate Bonus
Poké Ball x1 (baseline)
Great Ball x1.5
Ultra Ball x2
Master Ball x255 (guaranteed)

Ultra Balls double the catch chance compared to regular Poké Balls. And Master Balls guarantee catching any wild Pokémon, since they bypass flee checks entirely!

So if that 800 CP Lapras keeps breaking out of Poké Balls, switch to Great or Ultras to cut down escape chances.

Bonuses Reduce Flee Rate

Landing bonus throws like "Nice!" and "Excellent" gives catch rate bonuses too:

Throw Bonus Catch Rate Bonus
Normal hit x1 (baseline)
Nice x1.15
Great x1.5
Excellent x1.85
Curveball x1.7

An Excellent Curveball throw gives you a whopping 2.42x catch rate bonus!

You can also reduce flee rate by using Razz Berries, increasing medal bonuses, and chaining catches of the same Pokémon.

In summary, your throwing technique and bonuses are super important for overriding those stubborn high flee rates on rare Pokémon.

Pro Tips For Reducing Break Outs

Now that you understand why Pokémon break free, let‘s go over some clutch techniques to minimize escapes and boost your catch rate:

Be Patient and Wait for Attack End

I know it can be tempting to rush your throw as soon as the encounter starts. But patience pays off!

Wait until the attack animation ends with the colored circle reappearing before you throw. You‘ll have the best chance to snag it that way.

Practice Consistent Excellent Curveball Throws

Consistently landing Excellent Curveball throws is a game changer for reducing flee rates.

Try picking a large target like Snorlax and just practice over and over until you have the excellent throw timing and curveball spin down pat. This skill translates to all Pokémon!

Use the Circle Lock Technique

Circle locking guarantees an excellent throw every time.

Hold the Poké Ball until the colored circle shrinks. Then release your hold only when the attack finishes to "lock" this perfect circle size in place. It‘s a must-know technique!

Only Use Golden Razz Berries on Rare Finds

While tasty Silver Pinap and Razz berries offer some flee rate reduction, Golden Razz berries are by far the most potent – they make catches nearly guaranteed for your next throw.

But since they are scarce, I only use Golden Razz on super rare Pokémon like Dragonite and Tyranitar to avoid waste.

Switch Balls Gradually from Poké → Great → Ultra

Your Poké Balls stash is probably always running low, so use regular balls on weaker Pokémon to conserve. But switch to Great Balls once break outs become common.

Only tap into those precious Ultras for 900+ CP catches or rare Pokémon to get every last Premier Ball from raid rewards!

Catch the Same Species to Start Chain Bonuses

This one surprised me at first – but catching multiple of the same Pokémon consecutively gives increasing catch bonuses!

So if you‘ve already caught a bunch of Sentret, for example, your next attempt will have a higher chance thanks to the chain. Make it a habit.

Avoid Panic Throwing in Encounters

I definitely used to get "catch fever" and throw wildly the moment a rare Pokémon appeared. But this only wastes your balls!

Breathe, take your time, and land an excellent curveball throw to start off the encounter strong. Don‘t panic – you got this!

Hopefully these tips help you pin down even the wiliest Pokémon escape artists. Let me know if you have any other questions! I‘m always happy to help a fellow trainer out.

Happy catching!

Why Does Pokémon GO Have Fleeing Mechanics?

You might be wondering – why would the developers intentionally let Pokémon flee in the first place? What purpose does it serve?

Let me break down the game design and balance factors that fleeing mechanics enable:

It Adds Excitement and Mental Challenge

Without any risk of Pokémon fleeing, catching would become a boring predictable chore. The thrill and satisfaction of finally snagging an elusive Pokémon after multiple escapes comes from the mental challenge of outsmarting its flee rate.

It Creates Rarity and Value

If Pokémon never despawned and players could farm rare spawns indefinitely, those Pokémon would lose prestige and value. Fleeing mechanics combined with spawn rarity retention make catching uncommon Pokémon feel special.

It Encourages Exploration and Exercise

If Pokémon behaved identically at all locations, you‘d have no incentive to visit new areas. The variability of spawns and fleeing creates excitement exploring new biomes, nests, and sponsored PokéStops.

It Provides Gameplay Depth and Nuance

Diverse flee rates provide skill testing nuance to trainers. Without fleeing, the catch formula would be static and repetitive. Fleeing also enables more advanced techniques like chaining.

It Allows Spawn Rate Tuning and Balance

By adjusting flee rates, Niantic can easily balance rare spawn availability and disable catch-flee looping without spawn point edits. This preserves overall gameplay integrity.

It Deters Abuse From Cheaters

Spoofers teleporting to rare spawns and bottors endlessly catching Pokémon would destroy balance and prestige without fleeing mechanics. Fleeing curtails exploitative play.

So in summary, fleeing makes Pokémon GO much more rewarding to master, exploratory, balanced, and less prone to cheating. Pretty genius game design!

Dealing With Disappointing Pokémon Escapes

I totally get how disheartening it is losing a rare Pokémon encounter after tons of missed throws and break outs – I‘ve definitely been there before! Here are some tips to take the sting out of it:

Review Your Throw and Improve

Record your next encounter and watch the footage back to see where your throw technique could improve – adjustments to curveball spin or release timing make a big difference!

Appreciate the Hunt and Persist

Even rare spawns re-appear over time. Finding them is satisfying because it‘s difficult. Take fleeing in stride as motivation to persist.

Use Escape Time To Re-Stock

When a Pokémon does flee, look at it as an opportunity to re-supply from nearby PokéStops and prep for the next encounter.

Focus on Having Fun!

At the end of the day, even with fleeing, Pokémon GO is a fun adventure. Don‘t let losses detract from enjoying the game!

Let me know if you have any other Pokémon GO questions! I‘m always happy to help break down game mechanics and share pro tips.

Catch you later!