In Pokémon, Poké Balls are an essential, but some kinds are too situational to be of any use, and Trainers are better off not bothering with them.
In the world of Pokémon, Poké Balls are necessary in order for Trainers to capture their partners, but some types of Poké Balls are more useless than not. There are a wide variety of different Poké Balls, each one with a different design and an effect that makes it more likely to capture their target in certain situations. Almost every generation has introduced at least one new one, so hopefully the upcoming Pokémon Scarlet and Violet releasing on November 18 will add even more.
The Poké Balls of Pokémon are mysterious things. Trainers are able to use them to carry their partner Pokémon anywhere they go in a miniature portable form, hence the name “Pocket Monster.” How they worked was one of the biggest mysteries of the series for quite some time until it was revealed that the Pokémon inside shrink in Pokémon Legends: Arceus, though it’s not a very satisfying explanation. Modern Poké Balls are presumably made out of metal, but primitive ones were constructed out of fruits called Apricorns, and indeed some artisans in Johto like Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver‘s Kurt still continue this practice.
Although each different type of Poké Ball at least has a chance to capture a Pokémon, some of them do not have greater odds than the default Ball outside of specific circumstances. They simply do not measure up to the coveted Master Ball or the powerful Ultra Ball, and players are better off selling them to shops rather than actually using them. There are thankfully plenty of very versatile types of Poké Balls for players to use when they simply can not catch a surprisingly stubborn Pokémon.
The Moon Ball Is One Of Pokémon’s Least-Useful Poké Balls
The Moon Ball is one of several Poké Balls that is not very useful for catching Pokémon. On most species, it only has as good a chance of successfully making a capture as a standard Ball, and only has a greater chance on those who evolve with a Moon Stone. There are only 16 species in total out of the almost 1000 different Pokémon – and not all of them are in each game – so there is an extremely limited pool of candidates that Moon Balls are actually good for catching. Granted, the ones that are have 4 times the chance to be caught, but it’s still not enough to make them worth carrying around in most circumstances. In the classic Pokémon games for the Game Boy where they were introduced, Pokémon Gold and Silver, they were almost completely useless due to a bug rendering them no different from ordinary Poké Balls; because of this bug, Moon Balls instead had a better chance of capturing Pokémon that evolved with Burn Heals – which none do.
The Luxury Ball Loses To The Friend Ball In Pokémon
The Luxury Ball is another useless Poké Ball in Pokémon. When they successfully catch a Pokémon, its friendship will grow at double the normal rate; however, the chances of a capture are only the same as a regular Poké Ball. This may be handy for Pokémon who players plan to teach the move Return, or ones that evolve with friendship, but it has little other use. It’s also outshone by the Friend Ball, which automatically sets the friendship level to 200 – almost the maximum value – guaranteeing that players can befriend even Pokémon too dangerous for Trainers to use canonically. The Soothe Bell held item is another way to speed up the rate that friendship increases, and together they make the Luxury Ball defunct.
The Nest Ball Doesn’t Make Much Sense In Pokémon
Nest Balls are another Poké Ball in Pokémon that have very little use. This is because they’re specifically designed to capture weak Pokémon; catching with a Nest Ball has the normal rate if the Pokémon Trainers are trying to capture is level 30 or above, with the multiplier growing steadily higher the lower level the Pokémon is and maxing out at 4x for level one. Though it may sound good on paper, it means that Nest Balls are severely nerfed since they can not catch the strongest Pokémon. The modifier drops off to 2x at just level 21, meaning that they’re only truly effective in the early areas of the games.
In addition to their level limits, Nest Balls are also very expensive. Players can buy them for 1000 units of Pokémon‘s currency, which is five times the price of a standard Poké Ball and a lot of money for players in the beginning stages of the games where they’d get the most use out of Nest Balls. By the time they can consistently afford them, they’ll likely be in the late stages and have no use for them, and may have access to Ultra Balls or other types of Poké Balls that have weaker catch rates, but are more accessible and versatile. . Nest Balls are too situational and too costly to be of much help when trying to catch strong team members to beat the hardest Pokémon games in the series, so they’re not worth the effort of buying or using them.
The Repeat Ball Is Kind Of Pointless In Pokémon
The Repeat Ball is another of the useless Poké Balls in Pokémon, and could be the most useless if not for a few narrow circumstances. Against any Pokémon not already registered in the Pokédex, it has the normal capture rate, but against Pokémon that are already registered, it has a 3.5x multiplier. The reason it’s nearly useless is because there’s almost no point in capturing a duplicate Pokémon after the first one. Having duplicate Pokémon does not offer much of an advantage, and can be a hindrance since it’s best to have a variety of different Pokémon Types during battles. There are very few situations in which Repeat Balls would be useful, making it one of the least useful Poké Balls in Pokémon.
There are only two Pokémon that come in wide enough varieties to justify capturing multiples; Unown, whose forms all create an alphabet, and Spinda, who comes in nine different spot combinations. Players can also capture mass quantities of different regional forms in Pokémon Sword and Shield‘s Isle of Armor DLC, and are rewarded with different regional forms for doing so. Repeat Balls are very good for catching them if they want to get them all, but they have the same problem as Nest Balls in that they’re unreasonably expensive, so players can easily burn through their wallets trying to get all the different forms. Their cost combined with their niche use means that they’re simply not worth it, so Pokémon players are better off selling them if they do not plan to grind for hours trying to get each kind of Unown or Spinda, or every Gen 1 regional variant Pokémon in Isle of Armor.
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