A Poké Ball (Japanese: モンスターボール Monster Ball) is a type of item critical in any Trainer's quest. It is used for catching and storing wild Pokémon; a Trainer may carry as many Poké Balls and ball variants as he or she desires. However, a Trainer may only carry up to six Pokémon at a time in their party. Therefore, if a Trainer owns more than six Pokémon, they may be stored in a Pokémon storage system, and withdrawn or deposited at any Pokémon Center. There are four different basic levels of Poké Ball, and over a dozen variations on the Poké Ball design throughout the games.
A Poké Ball's strength is determined by how much it raises a wild Pokémon's catch rate. Many Poké Balls' strengths change based on certain conditions.
A Poké Ball also limits the strength of the Pokémon inside it.
In the distant past, according to the manga adaptation of Arceus and the Jewel of Life, Pokémon were referred to as majū (魔獣, or "magical beasts"). This implies that the name "Pokémon" did not come into common parlance as a term until the Poké Ball's advent allowed Pokémon to be stored in pockets.
Though the technology behind the workings of a Poké Ball remains unknown, the basic mechanics are fairly simple to understand. In a battle, once the opposing wild Pokémon has been weakened, the Trainer will throw a Poké Ball at it. Assuming the Poké Ball hits it and is not dodged or hit back to the Trainer, the Poké Ball will open, convert the wild Pokémon to an energy form, pull the energy into its hollow center, and then close. The wild Pokémon will then be given the chance to struggle to try and escape the Poké Ball. If it escapes, in the anime, the Poké Ball flies back towards the Trainer, while in the games, the Poké Ball bursts open and cannot be reused. If it does not escape, the wild Pokémon will be caught.
As seen in anime episodes like Gulpin it Down! and Claydol Big and Tall, normal Poké Balls have difficulty catching extremely large and heavy Pokémon, to the point that the Pokémon will not even be taken entirely into the Poké Ball. The latter of these episodes shows how ancient civilizations overcame this issue: to catch and hold a very large Pokémon, they constructed a very large Poké Ball out of stone. However, giant stone Poké Balls are nearly impossible to use, so with the advancement of technology a better solution came in the form of Heavy Balls.
Besides catching new Pokémon, Poké Balls are also used to store caught Pokémon. A Trainer can have six Poké Balls with Pokémon in them at one time. When starting a battle, he or she can throw out one or more of these onto the battlefield, and they will open, releasing their Pokémon quickly. When a Trainer wants to recall their Pokémon, they simply hold up the Poké Ball and point it at their Pokémon, and a beam will come from the Poké Ball's button, converting the Pokémon into energy again and drawing it back in. If this beam hits a person for any reason, that person will be momentarily stunned. Also, some Pokémon know how to enter and leave their Poké Balls at will, several examples being Jessie's Seviper (only when Zangoose are involved), Jessie's Wobbuffet, May's Skitty, and more famously, Misty's Psyduck and Brock's Croagunk. Also, if a Pokémon is being sent out, but does not wish to exit its Poké Ball, when the flash of light emerges from the Poké Ball, it will make a u-turn back to the open ball, turn red, and re-enter the Poké Ball. This happened in Dig Those Diglett!, when Gary Oak attempted to send out several unnamed Pokémon to battle the wild Diglett. It also happened when Ash attempted to send out his Squirtle (though before he threw the ball, Pikachu yelled something to Squirtle), and when numerous Trainers attempted to send out their Pokémon.
Paul releasing Chimchar Poké Balls are not always at full size. Tapping the button on the front can convert it from full size, about the same size as a baseball, to a miniature size, about the same size as a ping-pong ball. This smaller size is more useful for storage, being small enough to carry in pockets or on belts.
Poké Balls presumably can communicate with a Trainer's Pokédex, since the system updates itself with new caught Pokémon information, and keeps track of how many full Poké Balls the Trainer has on-hand. If the Trainer catches a new Pokémon while their team of six is full, it will be transported to the Pokémon storage system they are using. They also have the ability to "mark" their catches - as shown in Two Degrees of Separation, when Dawn attempts to catch Ash's Pikachu - so that they cannot be caught by other Poké Balls once caught. This has shown some inconsistency in the series, particularly in older episodes such as in Bad to the Bone when Jessie throws a Poké Ball at Otoshi's Doduo which has to be reflected by Otoshi himself, like in the games.
When a Pokémon is released from its ball, it usually has a burst of light come out with it, which varies depending on the Ball the Pokémon is contained in (normally a white light in the anime).
Sending out a Pokémon in FireRed and LeafGreen However, when a Ball Capsule and seals are used, visual effects will accompany the Pokémon's release. It has also been shown that if a Pokémon is sent out with a blue light, that Pokémon will be released and will be able to go back into the wild (in the anime, one can also break the Poké Ball, like in the cases of Brock and Jessie, while releasing Ninetales and Dustox, respectively.)
Poké Ball accuracy Poké Balls obviously do not always succeed in catching the Pokémon (except where Master Balls are concerned), but in some cases, it's possible for a Poké Ball to not even come into contact with the wild Pokémon.
(モンスターボール Monster Ball) $200
(ハイパーボール Hyper Ball) $1200
(マスターボール Master Ball)
(サファリボール Safari Ball)
The Compe Ball is much like the Safari Ball, being equal to a Great Ball in strength. It is used in the National Park during their Bug-Catching Contest. Twenty Compe Balls are provided for this, and the Pokémon can be battled before they are caught. However, while all twenty balls can be used and catch Pokémon before the contest ends, only one Pokémon can be kept for the contest judging.
The Compe Ball was originally named the Park Ball. However, both its design and name changed in Generation IV to prevent confusion with the ball used at Pal Park.
Most of the Poké Balls available in Generation II, however, are the custom Poké Balls crafted by Kurt. This Poké Ball expert can be found in Azalea Town, and once per day he will craft an Apricorn into a special Poké Ball based on its color. Because of the much larger variety of Poké Balls available, Generation II was the first generation to introduce a bag with a separate pocket for Poké Balls.
All Apricorn balls can be sold for 150.
Generation II Poké Balls