Years after the game first arrived, a Master Ball can be obtained in Pokémon Go.
The Master Ball is perhaps the most iconic Pokémon-catching device of all time. First appearing way back in Pokémon Red and Blue of the main series, the Master Ball has a very special trait — a 100% catch rate on any Pokémon you use it on.
Long-time players of Pokémon Go will be very familiar with that sinking feeling of finishing a raid and failing to catch the subsequent encounter, and with the Master Ball, this is one way to ensure the Pokémon will definitely be yours.
However, know that Master Balls are very rare, and should be used sparingly. With that in mind — how do you get a Master Ball, and when should you use one?
Current Master Ball quest: How to get a Master Ball in Pokémon Go
New Master Balls are added to Pokémon Go as part of seasonal or timed research quests.
Currently, you can earn a Master Ball by completing the timed research quest ‘Timed Investigation: Master Ball’ as part of Season 12: Adventures Abound.
You can find this by swiping to the ‘Today’ menu in the quest log, and you have until Dec. 1 to complete all objectives, which include catching 1,000 Pokémon, spinning 300 PokéStops and completing 150 Field Research tasks. That’s some grind — so the sooner you start on these, the better!
This is not the first time a Master Ball has been added to the game. Previous releases include:
- Let’s Go Special Research as part of Season 10: Rising Heroes, after completing the fifth step. This is when the Master Ball first debuted, and if you logged into the game before the season ended on June 1, 2023, the opportunity to complete the quest and earn a Master Ball will still be available in the ‘Special’ quests tab.
Here’s how the Master Ball is introduced as part of the Let’s Go Special Research as part of 2023’s Rising Heroes season:
Can you get more than one Master Ball in Pokémon Go?
On the Master Ball’s debut, Niantic confirmed there will be “future opportunities in Pokémon Go to acquire more.”
At present, it has debuted in two seasons so far – Season 10 and Season 12, as part of Special and Timed Research respectively.
We can imagine Master Balls will be exclusive to seasons going forward to make them more of an event. Whether they will continue to alternate seasons is unknown, but if so, then the next opportunity won’t be until Season 14 in March 2024.
Either way, Master Balls are rare — so earn them while you can! When you finally get your hands on one – what is it best used for?
Master Ball best use: When should I use my Master Ball in Pokémon Go?
Master Balls are very rare, and with a 100% catch rate, should ideally only be used in very specific circumstances.
What you decide to use it on is entirely up to you — however, we have some recommendations for the best use of a Master Ball:
- Galarian Articuno, Zapdos, or Moltres found when using Daily Adventure Incense, which currently have a 0.3% catch rate and a 90% flee rate, and are arguably the most difficult Pokémon to catch in the game.
- A high IV legendary encounter following a raid that you want to level up, such as Mewtwo. We recommend using your regular set of Premier Balls first, then using a Master Ball as a last resort.
- Incredibly rare wild encounters such as the ‘Lake Trio’ Uxie, Mesprit or Azelf, or Unown — the exceptions for Unown being a letter/form you already have, or if it spawns during an event, when they are far more common.
- A shiny Pokémon in the wild. Some exceptions to this include the encounter following a raid (when the catch is guaranteed with your first Premier Ball, provided you land it), and during events such as Community Day, when shinies are far more common.
Ultimately, it’s your call what you decide to use a Master Ball on. If you decide to use it on a Pidgey, go ahead — we’ve all been there — but we recommend saving it for an encounter with a Pokémon you would not want to live without.
Can you miss with a Master Ball in Pokémon Go?
Finally, one question that might come to mind is — can you miss with a Master Ball? As mentioned above, though a shiny encounter is a guaranteed catch with a raid, that’s only if you manage to land your Premier Ball.
The good news is when you use a Master Ball, a special animation will play as soon as you release the ball. This not only means you will definitely catch it, but brings a little more fanfare to the occasion of putting the Master Ball to use.
You can watch this in action via PokeMiners on Twitter:
Additionally, as shown in the above video, you will get a prompt before you use the Master Ball — meaning it will be difficult to throw one by accident.
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