How Do Catch Bonuses Work In "Pokemon Go?" Medals Get You More Than Just Bragging Rights Now

Confession: I haven't been playing "Pokemon Go" nearly as much as I used to. What can I say? Catching the same old Rattatas and Pidgeys got a little old. But now that I've spent time learning how catch bonuses work in "Pokemon Go," the original excitement has returned! The new feature completely changes the game for all those medals we've collected, offering us way more than just bragging rights now.

I'll keep things short and simple: If you've been playing "Pokemon Go" all this time, you already know that players get shiny medals for catching a certain number of a certain type of Pokemon. Before catch bonuses were added to the game, you didn't really have any incentive for obtaining medals other than bragging rights and a colorful medal collection; indeed, most of us probably ended up obtaining those medals by accident.

But with Thursday's release of the catch bonus feature, you get extra little boosts every time you obtain a medal or reach one of its tiers (bronze, silver or gold) — namely, an increase for your chances of capturing more Pokemon of the same type. For instance, you obtain the bronze Rocker medal after catching 10 Electric-type Pokemon, netting you a +1 catch bonus; the silver Kindler medal for catching 20 Fire-type Pokemon, providing you a +2 catch bonus; and the gold Schoolkid medal after catching 200 Normal-type Pokemon, giving you a +3. There's also a ticker at the bottom of each medal that shows how much longer you have to go before reaching the next tier for a medal.


It's unclear exactly how catch bonuses make it easier to catch certain types of Pokemon — although of course, like with any new gaming feature or phenomenon, there are some players' theories floating around. Many players on gaming forums like StackExchange seem to believe that catch bonuses make it more likely that a Pokemon is going to remain in the Pokeball during your attempt to capture it. The math works by increasing those odds by a factor of one, so for every tier you reach, the rising bonus catch rate ups your chance of a successful catch. For dual-type Pokemon (for example, a Pidgey, which is both a Normal Pokemon and a Flying one), the catch bonuses are averaged together.

There are also other specific details floating around about base catch rates versus original catch rates, how to break this down mathematically, and what it all means for your gaming ventures out there. It gets confusing after a while, and admittedly I'm not very good at math — but nonetheless, this is extremely exciting! A catch bonus is a catch bonus, after all.


Some people have also reported that the medals will "shine" after they catch a Pokemon whose catch rate has increased; additionally when this happens, the "Gotcha" notification appears. It's also not clear if that actually does anything to your catch rate or if it's just a reminder that you obtained the Pokemon because of your medals.

The other less mathematical (and much simpler) theory is that the catch bonus just increases the odds that Pokemon of a certain type will spawn for you in any given location. However, the science works behind catch bonuses, I'm just glad that there's more meaning behind catching hundreds of Weedles. More reason to catch 'em all, right?

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