The Master Ball is Coming to Pokemon Go

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Back in the original days of Pokemon Red/Blue/Green/Yellow, the humble Pokeball only came in four unique flavors, three of which we've had access to since the beginning of Pokemon Go: the Pokeball, the Great Ball, and the Ultra Ball. These balls are the bread-and-butter for any trainer, as they have been since the series' original inception, and they've all found utility, depending on your play-style. But then there's that elusive fourth. It's been in the game's data since waaay back in 2016, but it's never actually come to light.

Well, it's time for that all to end, because it's finally time for the elusive final Pokeball of the original set — and the best Pokeball to exist in any game cannon to this very day — to finally come to light. Ladies and gentlemen, the Master Ball is finally here.

What Is a Master Ball?

For the uninitiated, a Master Ball is the perfect iteration of a Pokeball. If you toss this ball, then you have a 100% chance to capture whatever it hits, and it seems that Niantic is keeping it true to source in Pokemon Go. Based on the official news surrounding the release of the Master Ball, here's what we know so far:

  • The Master Ball will have a 100% catch-rate when thrown
  • The Master Ball will be usable in normal encounters, Incense/Module encounters, and even Raid encounters!
  • The Master Ball will be a rare item, available only given special occasions in-game

And while the pessimist in me wonders if it will be possible to whiff the throw by missing or hitting the Pokemon while it's attacking, I'm also pretty confident that simply activating the ball will be enough to ensure a capture. Regardless, it's best to be aware of the fact that there may be potential glitches with the release of this ball, so utilize it with caution.

The Master Ball will be released as a reward for the final part of the Rising Heroes Special Research line, which will be available on May 22, 2023. Players will only have until June 1, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. local time to finish the line and pick up their Master Ball, so don't miss your opportunity!

A New Item, A New Goal

Up until now, we've only had two "rare" items to aim for in Pokemon Go: Elite Charged TMs and Elite Fast TMs. Combine this with the fact that the Pokemon selection for many long-term players is getting a bit lackluster in terms of everyday gameplay, and it's safe to say that it's definitely good that Niantic is adding new items to really strive for, as well as indirectly adding a tiny bit of additional customization to the game. If you're anything like me, then when playing the main series you tried to use specific Pokeballs to catch specific Pokemon because you liked keeping the ball themed to said Pokemon. And while this is a largely frivolous goal that has an even smaller niche in Pokemon Go as there's less emphasis on Pokeballs when a Pokemon is thrown into battle, it is possible to see what ball a Pokemon was caught with in-stats, so utilizing a Master Ball to catch a Pokemon is probably going to be a bit of a mark of honor for that individual. 

Either way, it's probably best to save your Master Ball when you get it, as we know that Shadow Raids are also on the way!

Full Announcement

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In the course of your travels, you may have heard of the very best Poké Ball with the ultimate level of performance—the Master Ball. When used, it will catch any Pokémon you encounter in Pokémon GO without fail, whether it be in the wild, through Lure Modules, after Raid Battles, or while using your Daily Adventure Incense.

This powerful item will soon be available to all Trainers in Pokémon GO. What will you use it to catch?

Seasonal Special Research: Let’s GO

Throughout Season 10: Rising Heroes, free Special Research will be available. The final story will begin on May 22, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. local time. Willow’s back with some news on Team GO Rocket’s latest plans…and a gift.

You’ll be able to claim the Special Research until the end of Season 10: Rising Heroes, on June 1, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. local time. Trainers who complete the research will get a Master Ball as one of the rewards.

Receiving a rare and powerful Master Ball is a special occasion—think wisely about how you’ll use it, and keep a lookout for future opportunities in Pokémon GO to acquire more!

Please be aware of your surroundings and follow guidelines from local health authorities when playing Pokémon GO. Upcoming events are subject to change. Be sure to follow us on social media, opt in to receiving push notifications, and subscribe to our emails to stay updated.

—The Pokémon GO team