The Art of Throws in Pokemon GO

Wait for it, wait for it…

Have you ever picked up a baseball or softball? Heck, anything around the size of your hand would do for this thought experiment. If you’ve given said object a few tosses you likely realized that you can change it’s trajectory aside from the strength of the throw. An object doesn’t have to fly in a linear direction. This is thanks to all sorts of physics I won’t bore you with. Never mind that I don’t possess a full grasp of them myself. The term for such an action, so I’m told, is adding a little “English”. It’s an act perfected by professional baseball players and rock skippers. It should be an art you’re interested in. Why? Glad you asked.

Did you know there are multiple types of “throws” in Pokemon GO. Why should you care? Well, nailing these handful of techniques will net you extra experience, from a minuscule 10 all the way up to 50. Multiple that by the dozens to hundreds of Pokemon you’ve already caught you could have a few extra levels by now! I’ll pose a question to you now. Interested in learning the this skillset? I thought you’d never ask!

Before we get into the details a quick Pro Tip. Stop using your thumb to throw Pokeballs. Seriously, it’s generally a bad idea.

Your average throw bonus rests on two aspects completely under your control, timing and aim. When a wild pokemon is begging to be forced to live inside your pocket a white circle will appear around it. The size and color indicate its general willingness to join your house keys and wallet. The smaller the circle, the less attempts and time you’ll have to catch. The same is true of its color, green is easy to capture, yellow is average difficulty and red is hard (use a Razz Berry). Onto the act of throwing itself.

Earning the bonuses is simple. In theory. Let the circle wind down to smaller than half the original white circle, then land your toss inside the shrinking circle. Again, in theory, it’s pretty basic. You’ve probably done it by accident. In practice, it can be quite difficult due to all sorts of technical differences, like the fidelity of your touchscreen, to the pokemon’s random movements. Practice makes perfect.

  • Nice Throw – +10XP Bonus
  • Great Throw – +50 XP Bonus
  • Excellent Throw – +100 XP Bonus

Keep in mind that the bonus is only awarded once the pokemon in question is caught. If you throw again and don’t get a Nice or better throw you won’t get a bonus even if every throw before it was declared “Excellent”.

Multiply that by 400 doduos and I’ve an extra 4,000 XP!

Curveball – +10 XP Bonus

This is the trickiest of the throws. The easiest way to trigger a curveball is to put your finger on the pokeball and start swirling it around like you’re mixing strawberry powder into your milk. Not only will you make your milk extra awesome – thanks, sugar power! – the pokeball will start spinning. Now that you’ve your curveball activated you can give it the normal flick. In the learning stage you should be prepared to miss. A lot. The ball will have a wicked curve that takes a while getting used to. Practice on all the zubats, doduos and pidgeys everyone’s complaining about until you get the hang of scoring +10 XP.

We’re not sure if the balls spin the opposite way in Australia. Please confirm.

Unfortunately, our anecdotal research has shown that you can’t land a Great/Nice Throw and a Curveball at the same time. It could be possible, if you assume the entire Lore Hound crew simply stinks at Pokemon GO. A more important open question is whether landing these throws help capture a pokemon. The jury is out on that one. We’ll update when we’ve verifiable information.