In the fictional world of the Pokémon video games and anime television series, a Poké Ball (known as "Monster Ball" in Japan) is a spherical device used by Pokémon Trainers to capture new Pokémon and store them when they are not in use.
A Poké Ball is a small, pocketable sphere (This is where the name Poké Ball or Pocket Ball comes from) with a white button on its middle. It easily fits in a 10-year-old's hand, which makes it possible to estimate its size at about 4-5 centimeters (1˝-2 inches) in diameter normally, and can shrink to about 1 centimeter (1/3 of an inch) upon pressing the button in the middle to be carried on a belt. Despite its small size, a Poké Ball can carry Pokémon as large as Steelix ("Haganeeru" (Japan)) or Wailord ("Hoeruou/Whaleoh" (Japan)) inside it.
Inside, the Poké Ball features lots of what appear to be mirror panels. The inside of a Poké Ball is supposedly designed to make the Pokémon feel as comfortable as possible while inside it. It is unknown how this is managed and how the Pokémon can tell.
When a Poké Ball is thrown at a Pokémon and comes into contact with it, the Pokémon is converted into pure energy and sucked inside. It will then struggle, trying to break free. If the Pokémon has been sufficiently weakened in battle and/or the Poké Ball model is sufficiently strong, the Pokémon is captured and henceforth can only be stored in that Poké Ball. If the Pokémon breaks free, the Poké Ball is destroyed/used up in the games or, in the case of the television series, rebounds to the trainer and can presumably be used again.
The conversion of a Pokémon into energy when inside a Poké Ball explains how some Pokémon can be many times the Trainer's height and weight, yet still fit in a Poké Ball and not make the Poké Ball any heavier. Nevertheless, it seems that a Pokémon inside a Poké Ball still maintains its awareness – for example, it can emerge from its Poké Ball when called or even by itself. Poké Balls, with or without Pokémon inside, can be stored, withdrawn, and transported through computers and teleporters. When a Trainer has six Poké Balls containing Pokémon with him or her, additional captured Pokémon in their Poké Balls are automatically teleported automatically to the Pokémon Computer Storage System. Some Pokémon, most famously Ash Ketchum's ("Satoshi" (Japan)) Pikachu, dislike staying in Poké Balls.
Releasing and recalling
When a Poké Ball is thrown or its button is pressed while the Pokémon is inside, the Poké Ball opens and the energy of the Pokémon is released, turning back into the Pokémon almost instantly. The Poké Ball subsequently rebounds to the Trainer. A Pokémon is recalled by pressing the Poké Ball's button, or, in the anime, by holding out the Poké Ball. This launches a tractor beam from the Poké Ball that recalls the Pokémon on contact.
| ||According to Kurt – the in-game Poké Ball expert from Pokémon Gold, Silver and Crystal – Poké Balls were originally made by fitting a special device in a hollowed-out apricorn, but later began being made of synthetic materials. Kurt continues to manufacture Apricorn Balls for Trainers. |
Varieties of Poké Balls
Most common Poké Balls
|Name: ||Effect and description: ||Games Found In ||Image |
|Poké Ball ("Monster Ball" (Japan)) ||Regular Poké Ball. Red-and-white coloured. Due to the similarity of their appearance, it is theorised that Voltorb (""Biriridama"" (Japan)) somehow originate from Poké Balls. ||All Versions. Found or purchased for 200. || |
|Great Ball ("Super Ball" (Japan)) ||50% stronger than a Poké Ball. Blue-and-white coloured, with two red diagonal lines on the blue part. ||All Versions. Found or purchased for 600. || |
|Ultra Ball ("Hyper Ball" (Japan)) ||Twice as powerful as a Poké Ball. Black-and-white coloured with a gold letter "H" (for "Hyper Ball", its Japanese name) on the black part. ||All Versions. Found or purchased for 1200. || |
|Master Ball ||Catches any Pokémon without fail, except when battling another Trainer's Pokémon (because the Trainer will move in front of the Master Ball and block it) or against a ghost in Pokemon Tower in Lavender Town ("Shion Town" (Japan)) if you dont have a Silph Scope. Purple-and-white coloured. ||All Versions. Priceless. It is the games' rarest Poké Ball. In the original games (Red, Blue, and Yellow), there was only one to be found. Since Pokémon Gold and Silver, there have been ways to get additional Master Balls, but you still only find or are awarded one normally in the game. Master Balls are so rare and powerful that they are normally used to capture the rarest of Pokémon, like Mewtwo or Lugia, although a picture in the official Nintendo guide for Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire shows a Makuhita that was captured inside this ball. || |
|Safari Ball ("Park Ball" (Japan)) ||Used in the Safari Zone. As powerful as a Great Ball. Green-and-white coloured, with a small "s" carved on the green part. ||Red, Green, Blue, Yellow, Ruby, Sapphire, FireRed, LeafGreen. |
Trainers are given 30 Safari Balls when they pay the Safari Zone entrance fee of 500.
|Park Ball ||Used in the Johto National Park during the Bug Catching contest. As powerful as a Great Ball. Green-and-white coloured, with a light green petal pattern. ||Gold, Silver, and Crystal. 20 are given to every Bug Catching Contest participant for free. || |
Johto's Apricorn Poké Balls
Kurt's ("Gantetsu" (Japan)) Apricorn Balls from Pokémon Gold, Silver and Crystal are obtained for free, provided Trainers give Apricorns of a single colour to Kurt at his house in Azalea Town and wait for a day. The kind of Poké Ball Trainers receive depends on the colour of Apricorn Kurt is given:
This image shows the apricorns and their corresponding Poké Balls.
|Name: ||Effect and description: ||Apricorn required: |
|Fast Ball ("Hyper Ball" (Japan)) ||Four times more powerful than a Poké Ball when used to catch Pokémon that flee from battle often, such as Suicune ("Suikun" (Japan)) or Tangela ("Monjara" (Japan)). Red-and-white coloured with a yellow thunderbolt pattern on top of the red part and a yellow circle on each side. ||WHT (White) |
|Friend Ball ||As powerful as a Poké Ball, but Pokémon caught with this ball start off friendlier towards their Trainers. Light green-and-white coloured with red teardrops and a yellow circle pattern on the green part. ||GRN (Green) |
|Heavy Ball ||Makes the catching of heavier Pokémon easier, but hinders the capture of lighter Pokémon. Grey-and-white coloured with one small and one large blue oval on either side of the grey part. ||BLK (Black) |
|Level Ball ||Makes capturing a Pokémon that is at a lower level than the one the Trainer is currently using in battle easier. Level Balls can be up to three times more effective than a Poké Ball if the right conditions are met. They are yellow-and-white coloured with a red-V-on-a-black-circle pattern on top. ||RED |
|Love Ball ("Love-Love Ball" (Japan)) ||Eight times more effective than a Poké Ball when used on a Pokémon that is the opposite gender than the one the Trainer is currently using in battle. Does not work if either Pokémon has no gender. Purple-and-white coloured with a lavender heart pattern on top. ||PNK (Pink) |
|Lure Ball ||Three times more powerful than a Poké Ball if the Pokémon to be captured has been hooked via a Fishing Rod. Dark green-and-white coloured with a red diamond with three vertical yellow lines on top. ||BLU (Blue) |
|Moon Ball ||Makes the catching of Pokémon that evolve via a Moon Stone, such as Clefairy ('"Pippi'" (Japan)) or Skitty ('"Eneko'" (Japan)), four times more likely compared to a Poké Ball. Dark blue-and-white coloured with a yellow crescent moon on top. ||YLW (Yellow) |
Hoenn Poké Balls
Additional Balls found only in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire:
|Name: ||Effect and description: ||Price (when purchased): ||Image |
|Dive Ball ||Three-and-a-half times more effective than a Poké Ball when used to catch Pokémon found on the ocean floor. Coloured with three wavy strips, coloured white, light blue and dark blue from top to bottom. ||1000 ||Image (http://www.geocities.com/pokemontours2/indexes/objects/balls/dive.htm) |
|Luxury Ball ||Pokémon caught with this ball start off friendlier towards their Trainers. Black coloured all over, shiny, with a gold (instead of white) coloured inner body and a gold, red and gold triband halfway to the top. ||Only found or won. ||Image (http://www.geocities.com/pokemontours2/indexes/objects/balls/luxury.htm) |
|Nest Ball ||Allows the easier catching of Pokémon that are at lower level than the one the Trainer is currently using in battle (up to three times more effective than a Poké Ball if the right circumstances are met). ||1000 ||Image (http://www.geocities.com/pokemontours2/indexes/objects/balls/nest.htm) |
|Net Ball ||Three times more effective than a Poké Ball when catching Bug-type or Water-type Pokémon. Turquoise-and-white coloured with black crisscrossing diagonal strips on the turquoise part. ||1000 ||Image (http://www.geocities.com/pokemontours2/indexes/objects/balls/net.htm) |
|Premier Ball ||Exactly the same as the normal Poké Ball except for the design (completely white with a red inner body). It is supposed to be a commemorative item. ||Free with every 10 Poké Balls a Trainer purchases. ||Image (http://www.geocities.com/pokemontours2/indexes/objects/balls/premier.htm) |
|Repeat Ball ||Three times more efficient than a Poké Ball when used to catch Pokémon the Trainer has caught before. Red-and-white coloured, with a vertical gold spiral pattern on the red part. ||1000 ||Image (http://www.geocities.com/pokemontours2/indexes/objects/balls/repeat.htm) |
|Timer Ball ||The ball becomes 100% more effective than a Poké Ball for every 10 turns the battle goes on, up to four times as effective when 30 or more turn have passed. Bottom part white, bottom half of the top part white with two red vertical bands on either side, top half of the top part black with a red dial-like pattern on it. ||1000 ||Image (http://www.geocities.com/pokemontours2/indexes/objects/balls/timer.htm) |
Other Poké Balls
Miscellaneous Poké Balls of interest:
|Name: ||Notes: ||Image |
|Mewtwo's Poké Balls ||Featured in the first Pokémon movie, Mewtwo Strikes Back. Developed by the Pokémon Mewtwo, they could move freely in space and trap the Pokémon of other Trainers inside. They could even ensnare Pokémon which were inside other Poké Balls. Completely black with blue wiring and a red eye shape in place of the white button. ||Image |
|The GS Ball ||In the Japanese version of Pokémon Crystal, the GS Ball is obtainable as a key item. A day after being delivered to Kurt, he returns it to the player and directs him/her to a restless Ilex Forest. Once the GS Ball is placed in the forest's shrine, Celebi appears and the player has a chance to capture it. |
In the television series, Ash Ketchum journeyed to the Orange Archipelago just to deliver the GS Ball from the local Pokémon researcher, Professor Ivy ("Uchikido-hakase/ Dr. Uchikido" (Japan)), to Professor Samuel Oak ("Ookido Yukinari-hakase/ Dr. Yukinari Ookido" (Japan)). The GS Ball is a great puzzle. Its top half is gold, while its bottom half is silver. On the gold part the letters "GS" are carved on it. It cannot be opened or teleported and no-one can tell whether it has a Pokémon inside. After Professor Oak was in turn unable to figure out the GS Ball, Ash journeyed to Johto and delivered it to Kurt, who examined it for a while before returning it to Ash.
|Image (http://www.geocities.com/pokemontours2/indexes/objects/balls/GS.htm) |
|Dark Ball ||Used in the movie Pokémon 4 Ever by the villain, Vicious. It is black with a wavy line pattern all across it. Pokémon captured inside this Poké Ball emerge with a sinister personality fit for Team Rocket's criminal deeds. Probably also the ball used to make the Shadow Pokémon in Pokémon Colosseum ||Image (http://www.geocities.com/pokemontours2/indexes/objects/balls/dark.htm) |
|Snag Ball ||Only used in Pokémon Colosseum, it is not its own type of ball. It is a modified ball allowing capture of other Trainer's Pokémon. While the device that makes them was created for nefarious deeds, the game only allows players to use the Snag Balls on the corrupted Shadow Pokémon in order to later make them normal Pokémon again. ||N/A |
Also, in Pokémon Snap there are "Pester Balls" which are not for capturing Pokémon, but flushing them out in the open with a purple gas called "Repel".
Super Smash Bros. information
In the Super Smash Bros. series, a Poké Ball is used to summon a random Pokémon in the arena to attack the opponent. In the original Super Smash Bros., no Pokémon can harm the player that released it.
In Super Smash Bros. Melee, a non-Pokémon creature, such as a Goomba ("Kuribo" (Japan)), will very rarely appear. Another rare occurance in the game is an empty Poké Ball. Quite a few Pokémon were added to the Poké Ball item Super Smash Bros. Melee, including two Pokémon that could harm the player that released them, namely Electrode ("Marumain" (Japan)) and Wobbuffet ("Sounansu" (Japan)).