How to Catch Pokemon in Pokemon Legends: Arceus


Randrew Mendrico

Writer and Storywriter

Drew is one of the game guide writers in PlayerAssist. He mixed his communications degree with his love for video games to help other gamers with different video game situations. Drew loves action-adventure, story or character driven role-playing games.


The release of Pokemon Legends: Arceus introduced a new way of exploring the world of Pokemon. This new Pokemon game is set in the Hisui Region, which they called the Sinnoh region when it was discovered. This means it is set way before the modern era, where humans still have no idea what these Pokemon are.

How to Catch Pokemon in Pokemon Legends: Arceus

Yes, players can still catch and battle Pokemon, but it has been reimagined in this game. With this fresh and new perspective of the world of Pokemon, the game also introduced a new kind of gameplay by reinventing the core mechanics of playing Pokemon that has never been done in previous Pokemon games. Speaking of catching Pokemon, the game’s main goal is to complete the Pokedex, which means you should be able to master the new mechanic of catching Pokemon. In this guide, you will learn how to catch Pokemon in Pokemon Legends: Arceus!

Gotta Catch ‘em All!

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To encounter Pokemon in previous Pokemon games, the player would have to walk around the grass and wait until a Pokemon has been encountered. In Pokemon Legends: Arceus, however, the Pokemon move in a similar way as the Pokemon in Pokemon: Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee or Pokemon Sword and Shield, where you can see Pokemon walk around the overworld. But, unlike these games, the player does not have to bump into Pokemon to battle and catch them. The mechanics in Pokemon Legends: Arceus are a little more manual. 

After you find a Pokemon you want to catch in Pokemon Legends: Arceus, this is what you must do:

  1. Press the ZL button to focus on the Pokemon. Then, you will see arrows and a Poke Ball icon above the Pokemon which will tell you if the Pokemon is easy or hard to catch. The more arrows it has (and the icon is green), the easier it is to catch that Pokemon. On the other hand, the Pokemon will be harder to catch the lesser the arrows above it (with the icon being yellow or brown with brown being the hardest).
  2. Aim a Poke Ball at the Pokemon by holding the ZR button (make sure you are aiming a Poke Ball and not a Pokemon but in case that happens, press X to quickly switch to a Poke Ball) You can move as much as you want while aiming and use the right stick to adjust your aim or you can turn on motion controls in the game settings.
  3. When you are ready, release the ZR button to throw the Poke Ball at the Pokemon. If the Poke Ball hits the Pokemon and you manage to catch it, then that is it! You have caught a Pokemon! However, if it manages to escape, you may need to do it again or battle it to weaken it.
  4. To battle the Pokemon, switch from your throwable items to your Pokemon by pressing the X button (found in the bottom left of your HUD).
  5. Then, aim again by holding the ZR button and release ZR to throw it and that will start the battle!
  6. Battle the Pokemon until it’s HP is low then throw another Poke Ball (you can switch to throwable items even while battling by pressing the X button). Keep trying until you can catch it!

Of course, it will not always be this easy to catch Pokemon, and you do not always have to battle the Pokemon to catch it. Here are some tips for catching Pokemon:

  • You can throw a Berry to distract the Pokemon. It would be better to throw the Pokemon’s preferred food but it is not a requirement.
  • Use stealth when approaching Pokemon by crouching and hiding in the tall grass or behind objects. It would be better to approach and throw a Poke Ball when the Pokemon is unaware and its back is facing you.
  • The game has a lot of different types of Poke Balls so choose the right Poke Ball for the right situation. An example would be using the Heavy Ball on unsuspecting Pokemon as it is great for that purpose. For Pokemon that are high-level, use more effective Poke Balls like the Great Ball or Ultra Ball. This can help conserve your regular Poke Balls.
  • Keep an eye out for how many times the Poke Ball shakes when catching Pokemon as it will tell you what will happen next. For example, if a Poke Ball jumps up high and shakes three times after throwing it to a Pokemon, the Pokemon is likely to break free of it. But, it is more likely to stay inside the Poke Ball if it shakes once and stays lower to the ground. This can be a good way to tell how much more you should weaken a the Pokemon in order to catch it.

Gotta Catch Alpha Pokemon!


In Pokemon Legends: Arceus, you can also encounter an Alpha Pokemon. These Alpha Pokemon are big, aggressive, and powerful with glowing red eyes and will try to attack the player on sight. It would be best to avoid them as much as possible if you are not planning on catching them. You should avoid Alpha Pokemon, especially when you are still starting with the game, as no matter what you do, you won’t be able to catch it as you would need to increase your in-game rank by several stars to catch them. When the red “X” that hovers above it changes into a Poké Ball icon, then you can start trying to catch Alpha Pokemon.

Once you are ready to catch an Alpha Pokemon, you must also be ready to battle it! The main idea of catching Alpha Pokemon is to battle and weaken it until you can catch it. It would be a bad idea to throw a Poke Ball at the Alpha Pokemon as this will not only work, but it will make the Alpha Pokemon more violent. However, that may be easier said than done as these Alpha Pokemon are extremely powerful. They are still hard to beat or weaken even if you take Pokemon-type advantages into account. It would be best to level up your Pokemon first and use your high-level Pokemon to deal with super-effective moves to weaken the Alpha Pokemon. Then, once its HP is low, throw a Poke Ball to try and catch it!

Here are some more tips for catching some Alpha Pokemon:

  • Pokemon moves that inflict status effects like Paralysis or Sleep can help weaken Alpha Pokemon.
  • Similar to the normal non-alpha Pokemon, you can also throw a Berry to distract the Pokemon and lower their guard. Again, it would be better to throw the Pokemon’s preferred food but it is not a requirement.
  • You can also use stealth when approaching Alpha Pokemon by crouching and hiding in the tall grass or behind objects. Try using Smoke Bomb to stay hidden in the smoke and from Alpha Pokemon especially when there is no tall grass nearby.
  • Try to throw the Poke Ball when the Alpha Pokemon’s back is facing you (you can do this by moving behind it even during battles) as it can help to catch it if the Alpha Pokemon is unaware.

This new way of catching Pokemon Legends: Arceus is fun and a breath of fresh air. It also enhances the immersive experience of playing Pokemon. Now that you know the basics of trying to catch Pokemon and Alpha Pokemon, it is time to master it and do what Arceus has told you to do, which is to catch them all! Here are some more tips for catching some Alpha Pokemon:

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