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  #1    
Old February 11th, 2013 (01:42 PM).
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So... according to the game mechanics... the Ultra Ball has a better catch rate than the Great Ball...

but how come... EVERY time I try to catch a rare Pokemon with an Ultra Ball... I use them till they are gone... and the first Great Ball I throw catches them...

I used to rely on the Great Ball to catch Snorlax because the Ultra Ball never would.. I just blew 8 Ultra Balls on Zapdos... and caught him with 1 Great Ball...

The other day my wife caught Red Gyarados with 1 PokeBall after multiple Ultra Balls (she had no great balls)

Im not saying the Ultra Ball never works... I'm just saying that when it comes to the rare stuff you really want... make sure you have 1 Great Ball...

Can anyone explain this phenomenon, which I am dubbing "The Lesser Ball Effect"?

The Lesser Ball Effect - When 1 weaker PokeBall is used successfully after multiple failures of a better PokeBall.
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Old February 11th, 2013 (02:14 PM).
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Lol, I've actually had this happen to me before but I'd say it's pure dumb luck in my case. Ultra balls get the job done but we have to consider they're usually being used on something with a ridiculously low catch rate so after a while of tossing different sorts of pokeballs, one of them is bound to do it.
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Old February 11th, 2013 (02:17 PM).
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I can explain it! It's called "confirmation bias". I'm sure there are plenty of times in which an Ultra Ball works, but you don't notice it because it's not strange to you. You only notice the times when you can't get it to work with an Ultra Ball. I do that all the time with various things - the other day I realized I was doing it when I complained that no matter which was I was walking, the wind was always in my face. I never notice it when it's not in my face, so it feels like it's always blowing in my face because that's the only time it's noticeable.

Either way, I'm going to kick this over to Pokemon Gaming Central, as this is specifically about playing the games and not the franchise in general.
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Old February 11th, 2013 (02:24 PM). Edited February 11th, 2013 by LocksmithArmy.
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lol i dont throw different kinds like that... I rarely even bother getting anything other than ultra, great, and poke... the ones that are given to me are rarely used (nest balls and what not) and I work my way down, I use ultra balls till I run out then great then pokeballs... but i rarely get to pokeballs before i restock (i dont throw more than 3 balls per poke unless its really rare, it becomes a monitary investment after 3 and its not worth it, i just defeat it and try with a different one)

its never 5 ultra balls then 3 great balls and it works... no... its 5 ultra balls then it works on the FIRST great ball...

arbitrairily throwing every ball you have you can go with sure one will work eventually... but to have a specific pattern show up by using one weaker ball after several of the same stronger ball... its just odd is all...

Quote originally posted by Toujours:
Either way, I'm going to kick this over to Pokemon Gaming Central, as this is specifically about playing the games and not the franchise in general.
sorry there are just too many forums that seem to similar for me to keep up with... thanks for the move
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Old February 11th, 2013 (06:07 PM).
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Sounds like you just have a case of bad luck, haha. It's happened to me sometimes too. I don't think it has anything to do with the catch rate and such. Just bad timing for you personally. XD Toujours pretty much hit the nail on the head though. I think that plays into it as well. We tend to notice and remember the bad things or the off things more than we realize the things in our favor, unless the things in our favor are just that awesome (like finding $20, catching a shiny, and winning an iPad in one day...I'd remember all that!).

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sorry there are just too many forums that seem to similar for me to keep up with... thanks for the move
Feel free to ask a moderator if you're unsure of where a thread should go, btw. We're happy to help! :)
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Old February 11th, 2013 (09:07 PM).
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im sure it has nothing to do with catch rate aswell... it just sure happens alot... i wouldnt call it bad luck lol cause 8 ultraballs for the only zapdos in the game... i can spare the money lol.

for the small guys ultra balls have worked ok (just like any other) but for event pokemon sofar (snorelax and zapdose) its been this senario... ill keep track and see how the other events go (possibly record them, i ment to record zapdos)... I just got a hunch the trend wont stop here... how many do I have left, 2 birds, mewtwo, hooh lugia dioxys... and 1 roaming dog (gets the masterball)

in ultraviolet version (the one im playing) ill also get the other 2 dogs as events... (and I already got the mew event, but its before you can buy ultraballs)

its silly stuff like that that make these games all the more fun... honestly how many times can one person become the champion of kanto before it becomes boring...
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Old February 11th, 2013 (11:19 PM).
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Yeah, I noticed it too . I was playing FR and I went to catch Moltres. I ran out of Ultra Balls and I had only 1 Poke Ball and I caught it And since then I have been catching all legendaries with Poke Balls
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Old February 12th, 2013 (10:51 AM).
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... I have never had this work...
It seems legendaries differ a lot with their catch rates. On 1hp and sleeping it can only take 1 ball for some, and upwards of 40 balls for others.
I guess on some of the legendaries the catch rates are so small anyhow that the type of ball used doesn't really make much difference.
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Old February 12th, 2013 (11:32 AM).
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Quote originally posted by Toujours:
I can explain it! It's called "confirmation bias". I'm sure there are plenty of times in which an Ultra Ball works, but you don't notice it because it's not strange to you. You only notice the times when you can't get it to work with an Ultra Ball.
Pretty much this. XD

Quote originally posted by LocksmithArmy:
lol i dont throw different kinds like that... I rarely even bother getting anything other than ultra, great, and poke... the ones that are given to me are rarely used (nest balls and what not) and I work my way down, I use ultra balls till I run out then great then pokeballs... but i rarely get to pokeballs before i restock (i dont throw more than 3 balls per poke unless its really rare, it becomes a monitary investment after 3 and its not worth it, i just defeat it and try with a different one)

its never 5 ultra balls then 3 great balls and it works... no... its 5 ultra balls then it works on the FIRST great ball...

arbitrairily throwing every ball you have you can go with sure one will work eventually... but to have a specific pattern show up by using one weaker ball after several of the same stronger ball... its just odd is all...
I guess the high catch rates of Legendary Pokemon and/or bad timing (especially the timing) can factor into the issue as well. XD Yeah, this happens to me a lot... I would think that most non-rare/Legendary Pokemon are catchable within 3 of some type of Poke Ball, provided that the Pokemon is at 1HP and sleeping? (excluding Beldum/Metagross because of its ridiculously abnormal catch rate).

Quote originally posted by True Epicness:
It seems legendaries differ a lot with their catch rates. On 1hp and sleeping it can only take 1 ball for some, and upwards of 40 balls for others.
I guess on some of the legendaries the catch rates are so small anyhow that the type of ball used doesn't really make much difference.
This.

...Repeat Balls also tend to work well IMO, if you've caught a member of the Pokemon species in question prior.
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Old February 12th, 2013 (03:27 PM).
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From experience I can tell you Great Balls suck. Try lobbing them at regular, although hard to catch, Pokémon (like Gible), then do the same with Ultra Balls. The Ultra Balls are a lot more consistent. The same can be said when comparing Great and regular Poké Balls. Sometimes the mon won't stay in a Poké Ball no matter what, but the Great Ball catches it easily.

The thing with legendaries is that the chance to catch them per turn is so slim that it might give you the impression that a Great Ball fares better when you catch one with it. However, catch rates follow a mathematical formula, and the Ultra Ball is numerically superior. Since the chance to catch a legendary is small, it's all down to luck, so you maximize your luck by increasing your catch probability with an Ultra Ball. The birds in FireRed took me 20-50 Ultra Balls to catch when paralyzed (might take less if asleep).
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Old February 12th, 2013 (09:19 PM).
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I dunno about the Ultra Ball. I spent my entire childhood lobbing upwards of 30 Ultra Balls at every legendary I came across, miserably resetting over and over with the same awful luck each time. But, eventually I noticed I'd managed to catch several legendaries with lesser balls, sometimes even when they were in green or yellow health!

More recently I've gotten into the habit of using a wider variety of balls just for fun. I'll toss maybe a few Ultra Balls if I have them on hand, some Great Balls, the nifty little balls with special effects (Dusk Balls, Nest Balls, etc), and generally a whole lot of plain Pokeballs. I also throw balls here and there regardless of the Pokemon's current HP or status. And, surprisingly, I have a lot more luck with it. I rarely have to reset to my previous save more than once or twice, if that.

I think it's mostly just dumb luck, since catch rates are all just number crunching and I don't believe there's really a loophole to exploit in the system. But really, an Ultra Ball is only twice as effective as a Poke Ball, so there's not a whole lot of difference between them. There's also such a sense of monotony to whittling a legendary down to 1 HP and systematically spamming the same item on it over and over again... that tends to really make it SEEM like luck is just against you. Also confirmation bias and all that jazz.
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Old February 12th, 2013 (09:44 PM).
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It's never been that way with me. When I go against Legendary Pokemon I never have any success using the great ball. Most of the time the great ball doesn't even shake once, whereas the ultra ball for me usually shakes at least once before the Pokemon gets out.

With how hard it is to catch a legendary I'm sure it's just luck; the chances are so slim for all pokeballs that it might not even matter what you use.
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Old February 12th, 2013 (10:41 PM).
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Quote originally posted by Cerberus87:
From experience I can tell you Great Balls suck. Try lobbing them at regular, although hard to catch, Pokémon (like Gible), then do the same with Ultra Balls. The Ultra Balls are a lot more consistent. The same can be said when comparing Great and regular Poké Balls. Sometimes the mon won't stay in a Poké Ball no matter what, but the Great Ball catches it easily.

The thing with legendaries is that the chance to catch them per turn is so slim that it might give you the impression that a Great Ball fares better when you catch one with it. However, catch rates follow a mathematical formula, and the Ultra Ball is numerically superior. Since the chance to catch a legendary is small, it's all down to luck, so you maximize your luck by increasing your catch probability with an Ultra Ball. The birds in FireRed took me 20-50 Ultra Balls to catch when paralyzed (might take less if asleep).
Lol. The birds took me 20-30 Poke Balls to catch
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Old February 13th, 2013 (02:19 AM).
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Quote originally posted by Caelus:
It's never been that way with me. When I go against Legendary Pokemon I never have any success using the great ball. Most of the time the great ball doesn't even shake once, whereas the ultra ball for me usually shakes at least once before the Pokemon gets out.

With how hard it is to catch a legendary I'm sure it's just luck; the chances are so slim for all pokeballs that it might not even matter what you use.
agreed,I think this just might be maths going all wibbly wobbly on us XD honestly,if this is a real thing then it will make capturing legends a ton easier..


anyhow,if ya'll excuse me,I'm going to go and replay Firered for some random reason..
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Old February 13th, 2013 (01:37 PM).
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Some statistical divulgement that I think may be of relevant interest:
Ultra Balls are twice the cost of Great Balls for a 1.5× higher capture rate.
Great Balls are thrice the cost of Poké Balls for a 1.5× higher capture rate.
Ultra Balls are hexakis the cost of Poké Balls for a 2.0× higher capture rate.
Ergo, in terms of cost-efficiency, Poké Balls are superior to higher grades of standard Ball. Probably not ultimately more time-efficient, though.
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Old February 13th, 2013 (03:09 PM).
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Dusk Ball to catch Pokemon in the wild is much better, especially if you're going after shinies. Otherwise Ultra Ball is pretty useful, and I've caught most of the Pokemon I have with em, so who knows.
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Old February 13th, 2013 (04:11 PM).
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Quote originally posted by Cassino:
Some statistical divulgement that I think may be of relevant interest:
Ultra Balls are twice the cost of Great Balls for a 1.5× higher capture rate.
Great Balls are thrice the cost of Poké Balls for a 1.5× higher capture rate.
Ultra Balls are hexakis the cost of Poké Balls for a 2.0× higher capture rate.
Ergo, in terms of cost-efficiency, Poké Balls are superior to higher grades of standard Ball. Probably not ultimately more time-efficient, though.
I'm afraid cost-efficiency might not apply to Poké Balls. You could waste 10 Poké Balls on a Pokémon and have all of them fail, and then catch it with a single Ultra Ball. 10 Poké Balls cost $2000, and one Ultra Ball is $1200. They're more cost-effective only when catching very weak Pokémon like Caterpie. If you're going to catch something like Larvitar, Ultra Balls might be more cost-effective.

Anyway, I was forced to test this today because I wanted to catch a Murkrow in Diamond. Murkrow is a Pokémon with pretty low catch rate, so I wasn't expecting regular Poké Balls to work, but I tried anyway. I used 10 Poké Balls, and all of them failed. Then I used one Great Ball, and it failed as well. Finally, I used a Dusk Ball (it was at night), and I caught it. The better Poké Ball had the best performance, as expected.

Hopefully it puts this thread to rest.
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