Pokemon: Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee Catching & Combo Catch Guide
Pokemon Let's GO! Pikachu and Pokemon Let's GO! Eevee are out in the wild at last. Kanto might look familiar, but the games throw some changes at both longtime fans and Pokemon GO players, especially when it comes to catching Pokemon.
Gone are the days of battles with wild Pokemon, but catching them in Pokemon Let's GO! is difficult in its own way. That's why we've put together this comprehensive Pokemon Let's GO! Pokemon catching guide to help make your road to Pokemon Master-dom smoother than ever.
How to Catch Pokemon
Your favorite cranky old man no longer provides you a catching tutorial in Viridian City. Instead, you get a short overview covering the basics early on, but it doesn’t necessarily give you everything you need to know about catching Pokemon in Pokemon Let’s GO!
Players familiar with Pokemon GO probably get the general idea, but it’s a new mechanic for longtime series fans. You see two circles, one static, and one colored circle inside it that moves inward. Your goal is, of course, to lob the ball—using the A button, the PokeBall Plus, or the throwing motion, depending on your controller setup.
But you need to make sure the Pokemon stays within the static circle, and your throw is timed so the ball hits the Pokemon when the colored circle is at its smallest. Do that, and you earn an Excellent throw; slightly off timing gives you great, and anything else is just a normal catch. Pokemon GO players should also be aware there isn’t a Curve Throw in Let’s GO!
The Colors, Dude!
If you’re wondering what the colored circles are all about, they basically just tell you how likely it is you’ll have a successful catch. Green is an easier Pokemon to catch, yellow is tricky, orange is not likely, and red is dream on. Here is where berries become your best friend.
Razz Berries make it easier to catch difficult Pokemon, eventually changing the color from red to orange, then to yellow, then to green. Be prepared to use lots of them for stronger Pokemon, though, because one berry doesn’t always result in a color change.
Then there’s the Nanab Berry. Some Pokemon, especially the more powerful or rarer ones, won’t sit still when you try and stuff them in a ball, and the handy Nanab helps chill them out some, so you can get a good lock on them.
Landing an excellent throw also greatly improves your chances of a successful catch, and, as Poke-fans know from previous games, using a better quality ball helps too. Fortunately, you’re never really short of Poke Balls of any variety, and it seems Let’s GO’s PokeMarts kindly lowered the prices as well, making it easier to stock up on Great Balls and beyond early on.
Pokemon Let’s GO Catch Bonuses
What the tutorials don’t tell you about in detail, though, is Pokemon Let’s GO! catch bonuses, the multiplier effect. Pokemon Let’s GO! doles out experience for catches based on many different factors.
- First Throw: You caught a Pokemon on your first try
- New Pokemon: Pretty self-explanatory
- Excellent Throw: Your aim was spot-on
- Great Throw: Not spectacular, but a bonus is a bonus
- Tiny: Caught a tiny Pokemon (indicated on the field with a blue swirl)
- Huge: Caught a giant Pokemon (shown on the field with an orange swirl)
- Catch Combo: This catch was part of your catch chain
- Technique: You used the Joy-Con or PokeBall Plus, i.e., motion controls (and actually caught something)
These bonuses really come in handy for a variety of reasons. You’ll find you don’t gain quite as much experience from trainer battles, and what you do gain doesn’t divide evenly between your party Pokemon. But, experience from catching does, and with the right bonuses, you can level up all six Pokemon with one catch. For example, catching a level 6, huge Kakuna for the first time with an Excellent throw netted over 100 experience points.
Of course, level bonuses don't scale as you grow. That level 6 Kakuna isn't quite so astounding when your party level average is around 20 as it was back in Viridian Forest at level 6 or 7.
Pokemon Let’s GO Catch Combo
Then there’s the Catch Combo in Pokemon Let’s GO! a new feature that has some surprising effects. If you catch more than one of the same Pokemon in a row, it starts a combo chain, and the more you catch, the better your bonuses.
As mentioned, catch combos give you an extra experience bonus. It isn’t completely clear whether the bonus increases the higher the chain, though. For instance, it stayed roughly the same between my 10th Ekans and my 25th.
But, there’s an even more important use for catch combos other than leveling up: rare Pokemon. Like its mobile brethren, Pokemon Let’s GO uses Lures to make discovering rare Pokemon easier. However, once you get a catch combo going, it works even more effectively than a Lure.
Take Route 3, for instance. After I got my Ekans catch combo to 10, Charmander suddenly started appearing, and it kept appearing regularly with each new spawning of Pokemon in the area. The same applies to other, more traditionally difficult to spot Pokemon like Clefairy or Chansey.
Catch combos also raise your chances of encountering a Shiny Pokemon of the same kind as your catch combo, though only by a fraction. It’ll still take dedication to track them down. The other major bonus is IV alterations. Higher catch combos result in better chances of that Pokemon having perfect IVs.
Pokemon Let's GO! Candy
The end result is you'll have a lot of the same kind of Pokemon. But that's okay! Like in Pokemon GO, players use duplicates to earn candy. However, candy in here is a bit different.
Instead of using it for evolution purposes, you'll actually use candy to boost your Pokemons' stats, similar to how the health products like Protein and Carbos were used in earlier games. It's a much more affordable way to raise your Pokemons' stats, so you can tackle some of the game's more difficult challenges.
It's deceptively simple on the surface, but there's a lot going on in Pokemon Let's GO! Stay tuned for more guide coverage, and let us know how you're enjoying the game in the comments!