The Horrible Realization That Everything I Know is Wrong

I don’t know how I’ve managed this, but really, I’ve been throwing Pokeballs wrong the entire time I’ve been playing Pokemon Go. And basically I’ve been an idiot in general when it comes to this silly little mobile game.

I’m not really sure where to start on this. I suppose it all begins with my sister introducing me to the game one day when she had a day off work and I met up with her in town. I installed the game while we had a drink in a local cafe and she showed me the basics of the game, including throwing basic balls at basic Pokemon. Sure, I wasted about 20 Pokeballs trying to catch a Persian but that was fine. I was new. Pokeballs basically flooded in.

As I got more interested, I found that some Pokemon refused to be caught. I eventually worked out that I could use berries to appease them and get them to not run away. As I unlocked more Pokeballs, Great Balls at level 10 and Ultra Balls at level 20, I would use those for harder Pokemon.

It wasn’t until I started participating in Raids at about level 25 that I began to wonder if something was up. I’d only just started trying to do curve balls, but at level 26 I ran into a huge problem of not actually having any Pokeballs to practice with. So most of my Pokeballs either ended up flying right off the edge of the screen or bouncing harmlessly in front of a Pokemon.

But I put up with it. I just made sure to regularly open gifts to keep myself stocked up. Eventually I’d get more accurate, right?

Nope. Not really. With normal Pokemon that you see every day, my shitty throws were just about good enough. But with Legendary Pokemon? No fucking way. Most of my throws, assuming they didn’t get bitch-slapped away by angry Mewtwos, would flop on the floor, never hitting their intended targets. I’d often give up hand the phone to a sibling and watch as they completely flub a throw yet still manage to catch a Legendary Pokemon anyway.

You know where I was going wrong? I didn’t realize I could use the whole screen to throw a ball. I always assumed, for some insane reason, that at about two thirds up the screen, the ball would just fly off on its own. It wasn’t until my brother showed me how he throws balls at Gastlies that I realized I was doing everything completely wrong.

I know. I’m a fucking idiot. A fucking idiot who’s LEVEL FUCKING 30 NOW. (Although to be fair a huge amount of my XP comes from ultra friends and constantly evolving Houndooms…)

But I never actually watched anyone else do this. Sure, I watched some videos, but 99% of the time you only ever see what’s happening in game, not what one’s fingers are doing. No one ever said to me “you’re an idiot, Medic, you’re not using the whole screen to throw!” and no one ever said “Medic, you’re doing it wrong”. So how was I supposed to know?

It’s not like I can reliably practice these throws either, since you need 5 people at least to battle Giratina and 6-8 accounts at minimum to reliably defeat Mewtwo. Most people here are with Team Mystic as well so I normally only get 8-12 Pokeballs to try with.You can’t practice with other raid bosses either, because most of them are at a reasonable distance to the player. The only recent chance I had to practice was when I stumbled across an Alolan Exeggutor in the wild, and even then, I was low on Pokeballs from having to catch 108 Pokemon for the Spiritomb quest.

Of course, it didn’t help that I’ve been using a 3 year old phone this entire time. I love my silly little phone, but Pokemon Go, Steam and Discord have basically destroyed its battery life over the last 6 months. That and the GPS was always weird. Sure, it meant I could reach Pokestops and stuff while being closer and use the wandering GPS to get a few extra meters while hatching eggs and walking buddies, but getting the “YOU’RE MOVING TOO FAST!” warning while standing still is annoying as heck.

Armed with that knowledge and my new phone, maybe I’ll actually be able to catch Pokemon more reliably now.

Already, things are turning around. I actually managed to catch a Giratina with a curved Excellent throw the other day. It’ll take time, but I’ll get better at catching things.

But not Gastlies. I still can’t reliably catch those ghost ball bastards. Gastly and its ilk are deceptively far away, despite looking like they’re really close.

Fuck Gastly.


Also known as Doctor Retvik Von Schreibtviel, Medic writes 50% of all the articles on the Daily SPUF. A dedicated Medic main in Team Fortress 2 and an avid speedster in Warframe, Medic has the unique skill of writing 500 words about very little in a very short space of time.

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