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How to catch every Raid Boss in Pokémon Go

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How to catch every Raid Boss in Pokémon Go

How do you catch a Raid Boss in Pokémon Go? It's all about stacking your bonuses!

In Pokémon Go, beating the Raid Battle is only the first part of the challenge. Then second part is catching the Raid Boss. To do it, you have Premier Balls and all the Berries in your arsenal, including the new Golden Razz Berry. Then it's up to you to add the curves, medals, and throw bonuses you need to get the catch. Here's how!

TL;DR: How do you catch the Raid Boss in Pokémon Go?

Raid Bosses are really hard to catch, so you probably won't catch every one you face. To increase your odds:

  1. ABC. Always be curving. Once you can nail Curve Ball every time, you'll get a 1.7x bonus every time.
  2. Max out your medals. Some are easier to get than others but once you get them, it's an automatic 1.1x to 1.3x bonus to your catch.
  3. Play patient. Raid bosses defend better than normal Pokémon, so wait until 3/4 of the way through their attack animation and then make your catch. You should hit just as the ring appears.
  4. Consistency counts. Aim for the smallest throw bonus you can nail every time. If that's Nice, it's nice. If that's Great or Excellent, even nicer. But better the bonus you get then one you miss, and every extra 1.3 to 2x counts.
  5. Go Golden: You'll get Golden Razz Berries every time you win a raid, so don't be afraid to use them. They're a 2.5x bonus and can make a big difference.

How do you beat the Raid Boss in Pokémon Go?

Before you can try and catch a Raid Boss, you have to win the Raid Battle. When you win, in addition to items like Golden Razz Berry, Rare Candy, and Fast TM and Charge TM Technical Machines, you're given an amount of Premier Balls.

How to beat regular Raid Bosses in Pokémon Go

How to beat Legendary Raid Bosses in Pokémon Go (Speculative)

What are Premier Balls?

Premier Balls are a type of Poké Ball that you can only get from winning Raid Battles and can only be used to try and catch the Raid Boss.

How many Premier Balls do you get?

When you beat a Battle Raid you get 5 Premier Balls, and a number of additional balls that depend on a few factors:

  • Damage (up to 3): The more damage you did to the Raid Boss, the more Premier Balls.
  • Gym Control (up to 2): If the Gym is owned by your team at the time the Raid starts, the more Premier Balls you get. (Though this is currently incredibly glitchy and often isn't honored.)
  • Contribution by Team (up to 3): If your team contributed the most towards beating the Raid Boss, you get more balls.


What's the maximum amount of Premier Balls you can get?

Per the numbers above, the most I've ever gotten is 13. The least is 5.

How good are Premier Balls? Are they Ultra Ball good?

Alas, no. Premier Balls are equivalent to regular Poké Balls, no more, no less. That means they don't give you any extra bonus when trying to catch a Raid Boss.

What they do is give you chances. You can only use Premier Balls to catch Raid Bosses. You get them by winning Raid Battles and, when you're out, the Raid Boss flees.

Can you switch to Great Balls or Ultra Balls to catch the Raid Boss?

No. Premiere Balls is all you get.

Can you at least get a Critical Catch on a Raid Boss?

You can! One shot, instant catch. But Critical Catches still appear to be random and extremely rare.

Can you use Berries on Raid Bosses?

You can! Here's the rundown:

  • Nanab Berry: Reduces how much the Pokémon moves around, making it easier to hit.
  • Pinap Berry: Doubles the candy you get if you successfully catch the Pokémon.
  • Razz Berry: Increases the catch rate by 1.5x. So, a 10% chance would become a 15% chance.
  • Golden Razz Berry: Increases the catch rate by 2.5x. So, a 10% chance would become a 25% chance.

Nanab Berries still feel like a waste. Even though Raid Bosses move more, you can time your shot for roughly 3/4 of the way through the attack animation and still hit consistently.

Pinap Berries are worth a try, especially if you want candy as much or more than the catch. Since you should have between a half dozen and a dozen Premiere Balls, if you can hit consistently, you might want to use a Pinap first and see if you can score.

Razz Berries aren't as good as Golden Razz Berries, but if they're all you have, they're all you have.

Golden Razz Berries should be your usual go-to.

Where are the Golden Razz Berries hiding?

Off screen, weirdly. You need to pull up the Berry selector and then swipe from left to right to access Golden Razz Berries. It'd be great if Pokémon Go added some visual hint that gold lurked just to the left...

If you have Premiere Balls left over after you catch the Raid Boss, do you get to keep them for the next Raid Boss?

Alas, no. Any unused Premiere Balls disappear after you catch the Raid Boss.

How hard are Raid Bosses to catch?

Hard! They move more, defend better, and have a lower catch rate than the typical Pokémon you find in the wild.

Here's what GamePress lists at the base catch rates for Raid Bosses. I've added in what those change to with Razz Berry (x1.5) and Golden Razz Berry (x2.5) modifiers, as well as with maximum bonus, which includes curve balls (x1.7), gold medal(s) (x1.3), and Excellent throw bonus (x1.87 average).

Tier Raid Boss Catch Rate With Razz With Golden With Max
1 Magikarp 70% 105% 175%
1 Bayleef 12.5% 18.75% 31.25%
1 Quilava 12.5% 18.75% 31.25%
1 Croconaw 12.5% 18.75% 31.25%
2 Muk 20% 30% 50%
2 Exeggutor 20% 30% 50%
2 Weezing 20% 30% 50%
2 Electabuzz 20% 30% 50%
2 Magmar 20% 30% 50%
3 Arcanine 10% 15% 25%
3 Alakazam 10% 15% 25%
3 Machamp 10% 15% 25%
3 Gengar 10% 15% 25%
3 Vaporeon 12.5% 18.75% 31.25%
3 Jolteon 12.5% 18.75% 31.25%
3 Flareon 12.5% 18.75% 31.25%
4 Venusaur 5% 7.5% 12.5% 51.1%
4 Charizard 5% 7.5% 12.5% 51.1%
4 Blastoise 5% 7.5% 12.5% 51.1%
4 Rhydon 5% 7.5% 12.5% 51.1%
4 Lapras 5% 7.5% 12.5% 51.1%
4 Snorlax 5% 7.5% 12.5% 51.1%
4 Tyranitar 5% 7.5% 12.5% 51.1%

Do you have to use Curve Balls?

No, but you should. According to Gamepress, Curve Balls give you a bonus of 1.7x, which is more than using a Great Ball. So, ABC — Always Be Curving!

  • Curve Premiere Ball: x1.7
  • Curve Premiere Ball with Razz Berry: x2.55
  • Curve Premiere Ball with Golden Razz Berry: x4.25

How do Throw Bonuses factor in?

Those colored target rings that appear on Pokémon and then slowly shrink in size reward accuracy. Hit inside that circle and you'll get a bonus. The circles shrink smoothly but there are three distinct levels for bonuses:

  • Large target: Nice!
  • Medium target: Great!
  • Tiny target: Excellent

When you nail one, you'll get a Nice! Great! or Excellent! acknowledgment on screen. Just like the targets shrink smoothly, so do the bonuses increase smoothly. The smaller the target you hit, the higher the bonus you get.

According to Gamepress, the range is between 1x for barely making the target at all to 2x for nailing it dead center. Here's how they break down:

  • Nice: 1x to 1.3x
  • Great: 1.3 to 1.7x
  • Excellent: 1.7 to 2x.

So, you should always aim for Excellent?

Yes and no. If you're Bullseye, Hawkeye, the Green Arrow, or otherwise have perfect aim and timing and can nail Excellent every time, sure. Go for it. Enjoy the bonus. If you miss a little or a lot, though, you get no bonus.

When you factor in just how much Raid Bosses jump and attack, which disrupts the target, with Curve Balls, which you want to throw, and the different distances required for different Raid Bosses, it can be a lot to process. Start slow and low and work your way up.

In other words, you're better off aiming for Great if you can hit it consistently than Excellent if you can't, and Nice is better than Great if you miss that more than you hit.

Does the color of the target ring reflect the real-time catch rate?

yes, but Raid Bosses are among the hardest Pokémon to catch, so you won't see too much variation in the colors.

  • Reddish: "0"-20%
  • Orangish: 20-40%

How do Medal Bonuses work?

Medal bonuses work based on type. Each type has a different medal associated with it and you get type medals for catching large numbers of each type:

  • Bronze: 10 Pokémon of the same type.
  • Silver: 50 Pokémon of the same type.
  • Gold: 200 Pokémon of the same type.

According to For the math, see Gamepress, each level gives you a bonus:

  • Bronze: 1.1x
  • Silver: 1.2x
  • Gold: 1.3x

Some Pokémon have two types, for example fire and flying. In those cases, if you're at different medal levels for each type, you have to average the bonus.

  • None / None: 1x
  • None / Bronze: 1.05x
  • None / Silver: 1.1x
  • None / Gold: 1.15x
  • Bronze / Bronze: 1.1x
  • Bronze / Silver: 1.15x
  • Bronze / Gold: 1.2x
  • Silver / Silver: 1.2x
  • Silver / Gold: 1.25x
  • Gold / Gold: 1.3x

How to get every medal in Pokémon Go

What medals do you need for the Raid Bosses in Pokémon Go?

Ideally, you want gold medals for all the Pokémon Go Raid Boss types.

Tier Raid Boss Type Medal
1 Magikarp Water Swimmer
1 Bayleef Grass Gardner
1 Quilava Fire Kindler
1 Croconaw Water Swimmer
2 Muk Poison Punk Girl
2 Exeggutor Grass / Psychic Gardener / Psychic
2 Weezing Poison Punk Girl
2 Electabuzz Electric Rocker
2 Magmar Fire Kindler
3 Arcanine Fire Kindler
3 Alakazam Alakazam Psychic
3 Machamp Fighter Black Belt
3 Gengar Ghost / Poison Hex Maniac
3 Vaporeon Water Swimmer
3 Jolteon Electric Rocker
3 Flareon Fire Kindler
4 Venusaur Grass Gardner
4 Charizard Fire / Flying Kindler / Bird Keeper
4 Blastoise Water Swimmer
4 Rhydon Ground / Rock Ruin Maniac / Hiker
4 Lapras Ice / Water Skier / Swimmer
4 Snorlax Normal School Kid]
4 Tyranitar Dark / Rock Delinquent / Hiker

That's a lot of numbers, how does it all come together?

Let's say you want to catch a Snorlax Raid Boss. Without any modifiers, your odds would be:

  • 5%

If you use a Golden Razz Berry, have the Normal-type gold medal, use a curve ball, and get an excellent throw, your odds become:

  • 5% x 2.5 x 1.3 x 1.7 x 1.85 = 51.1%

That matches my experience of catching roughly half the Tier 4 Raid Bosses I've encountered.

TL;DR again: How do you catch the Raid Boss in Pokémon Go?

Raid Bosses are really hard to catch, so you probably won't catch every one you face. To increase your odds:

  1. ABC. Always be curving. Once you can nail Curve Ball every time, you'll get a 1.7x bonus every time.
  2. Max out your medals. Some are easier to get than others but once you get them, it's an automatic 1.1x to 1.3x bonus to your catch.
  3. Play patient. Raid bosses defend better than normal Pokémon, so wait until 3/4 of the way through their attack animation and then make your catch. You should hit just as the ring appears.
  4. Consistency counts. Aim for the smallest throw bonus you can nail every time. If that's Nice, it's nice. If that's Great or Excellent, even nicer. But better the bonus you get then one you miss, and every extra 1.3 to 2x counts.
  5. Go Golden: You'll get Golden Razz Berries every time you win a raid, so don't be afraid to use them. They're a 2.5x bonus and can make a big difference.

Any Raid Boss catching questions?

If you stack your bonuses right, you have a high probability of catching any Raid Bosses. But you have to stack. If you have any questions, drop them in the comments below!

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