How to maximise your chances of catching raid bosses & legendaries

There are a lot of people who have done many more raid battles than me however on various forums I have seen many people who have been unsuccessful in capturing either a raid boss or a legendary so I’ve compiled some hints for lower level players to help maximise the chances of catching them.

NB - this is not a raid strategy guide or comprehensive list of ALL the things you must or could do, but a quick set of links and tips I’ve seen used which have successfully helped me increase my catch rates for raid bosses. Some will just be common sense & seem very simple or may not even apply to your situation but not everyone has the same processes when they catch a raid boss so take what you need from this & leave what doesn’t apply.

If you’re going to do a raid there are probably a couple of things you need to do;
Pre-Battle Preparation

  1. Find people to do the raid with. There are countless Facebook groups & raid chats for your local area. Snoop them out, join them & keep an eye on them when a raid boss or legendary appears in your area. People who want to raid will post when & where they can make it so be a part of the planning process because the more people in the raid, the more likely you will be to beat it & then a better chance of catching it.
  2. Commit to the raid. Nothing is worse than trainers who want to raid but only “if we get the numbers”. If you’re available during the 1hr raid window, and can see others in the chat who are interested, commit to a time to meet up, perhaps 5-10mins before you plan to start the raid (so stragglers or those stuck in traffic have a chance to arrive) and agree on it. If someone is running late & asks 19 people to wait an additional 15mins, it’s ok to say no. There will be other raids. For rural players who have coordinated with a larger, more urban group, make sure you’re organised & there on time. If you’ve made the effort to get to raids in more urban areas, it’s probably worth your while to do as many as you can if they pop up before you head home so commit to as many as you want. Again, numbers during a raid are key in increasing our chances of catching the raid boss and there will always be another raid if you there is insufficient numbers for this one.
  3. Give yourselves some extra time in case the group can’t defeat the raid boss or legendary the first time. Don’t leave it until the last few minutes to start the battle in case you’re not successful. More than likely most raid groups will have enough trainers to defeat a boss but for lower level trainers the same number of trainers may not be able to beat the same raid as level 30+ trainers. If you beat it first time then you get the chance to catch it.
  4. Make sure you’ve got room in your bag. Before you get to the raid, make sure you have a spot in your Pokébag & if not delete that Rattata or Pidgey you caught yesterday. The same goes for your items. Make sure you have enough revives / potions in your inventory and that the mons you plan to use are fully healed before you go into battle.
  5. Remember your raid etiquette. Once you’re there, if someone glitches out & there is the opportunity for the group to go back into the lobby so the trainer can log back in & be part of the raid, check with the group & make a group decision. Remember they made the effort to be there to help & if it was you, would you want the group to leave you out. Don’t forget to thank groups that do jump out of the battle so that you can join - common courtesy goes a long way! Also, don’t be that person sitting in the lobby during the raid while others are doing the work of taking the boss down, it will be a disadvantage to you when it comes to the bonuses gained from the raid.

Bonus Advantages
Once you’ve successfully defeated the boss you can choose to go to the “Bonus Challenge” - where you then have the chance to capture the boss using Premier Balls. The more premier balls you have the greater the number of throws you get & hopefully the greater the chance that the next ball will catch the boss for you.
Defeating the boss during the raid earns you 6 Premier balls.

There are several ways to increase the number of balls you receive for this Bonus Challenge;

  1. Damage - how much damage YOU do individually during the raid - you can earn up to 3 additional balls so to increase your chance, know what you’re up against. There is a plethora of resources on the interwebs that will show you how to identify type advantage when battling a raid boss or legendary. Learn what type & what movesets the boss may have and select a battle team that maximises the type and move advantage you have over them. Don’t be that person that uses Chansey & Blissey while leaving others to do the real damage.
  2. Gym Control – having control of the gym before a raid battle can earn you 2 additional balls. While the raid egg is waiting to hatch the gym can still be attacked by any opposing team. If it is currently held by your team then you may want to sit back & feed the mons in the gym berries to make sure it stays your teams gym. If it is not your team that holds it, you may choose to try to take battle the gym to take control. HOWEVER, remember Raid etiquette. For example, if you’re one of a handful of Valor trainers in a raid group dominated by other teams (or vice versa), think twice before you try to take the gym, you’re stealing their gym bonus. If the situation was reversed what would you do? It is however just a game & there will be other raids!
  3. Team contribution - the amount of overall damage your team (Valor/Mystic/Instinct) contributes during the raid - you can earn up to 3 additional balls. If there are sufficient numbers of trainers from each team, it may be worth splitting up into your respective teams so that each team can get this bonus. Talk to the other trainers in the group & decide if you want to make it a public raid or a private group before entering the lobby.

Once you choose to go to the Bonus Challenge there are three main strategies or methods that you can use to maximise the chances of successfully capturing the raid boss. By using all of or several of these (“stacking” them) you’ll increase the likelihood of capturing the boss.

  1. Use a Golden Razzberry before you throw your Premier ball. Golden Razzberries can be awarded once the boss has been defeated & will increase the likelihood of capturing them They are however a finite resource so choose wisely which boss you use them on. They may be better used on a Raikou so you may not want to waste them on that Magikarp boss you took down…
  2. Set the size of the target circle for what throw bonus you want to achieve. As with normal Pokémon when preparing to throw a Premier Ball at a boss the target circle decreases until you release the ball. The smaller the target, if you hit it, the bigger the throw bonus. The bigger the throw bonus, the higher the likelihood of catching the boss This can be tricky but once you get the hang of it, you’ll find yourself throwing consistent Excellent throws more regularly.
  3. Learn how to throw curveballs. Another way to increase the chances of capturing the boss is to throw a curveball as opposed to a straight throw This will increase your capture percentage & may help land you that raid boss.
  4. Type Bonus Medals – medals achieved for having caught either 10, 50 or 200 of a particular “type” of Pokémon e.g. Fire, Electric, Bug, Fighting, Dark etc. By having the gold medal (for having caught 200 Pokémon of that specific type) for the same “type” as the raid boss you increase your chances of catching the boss.

By stacking these tricks & having your gold type medal you should increase the chances of catching the raid boss in your favour.

Again this is not a comprehensive list of absolutely everything you should do and it certainly won’t guarantee you catch the boss, but it will help stack the odds in your favour.


Good info, but I always try to take down a gym before the eggs hatch. It’s part of the game and not against raid etiquette imo. If they want to keep it they can keep feeding berries.

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Nice write up and would agree with all.

One thing you possibly could have included is Thank the others for their help Raiding before taking off.
We had one snoozer the other day rock up when a large group of us had almost defeated the Raikou. As it was almost defeated 6 of us in the mid to high 30’s jumped out leaving the 9 other lower levels to finish it off to enable said snoozer to do the Raid (only need 6 for Raikou).
We start a new Raid with snoozer taking it down. Whilst we are all taking our time throwing balls and chating in between throws, snoozer obviously done just ups and walks away without a word.
This is pure Raid rudeness and more so considering a heap of us jumped out of an almost finished Raid to help him out. Needless to say his face is in the memory banks and faced with the same senario it will be a case of sorry mate youll have to wait for some others to come along.

I always make sure I thank the others for their help even though I’m most often the highest level in the Raid.


Shall update it tonight - it would seem like common courtesy to do so if people jump out to help you do the raid, but it appears common courtesy does not apply. And agreed, you should thank people if they assist you like that.

This is the problem I have when doing raids.
Pre-Battle Preparation

  1. Find people to do the raid with (done)
  2. Commit to the raid (done)
  3. Give extra time (done)
  4. Room in bag (done)
  5. Raid etiquette (done)
    So surely I would be ready. I have every Pokemon Go player in my town and the next here. We all agree to take part as long as it takes. We arrive in plenty of time, all have plenty of space and agree to restart if someone crashes. So we should beat the raid. But we don’t beat it. Even with 8 or 9 players we fail. Plenty of stops in my town but about 10% as many in the next, despite its bigger size. Spawns are sparse in both towns although there are a few semi-nests that have about 40 spawns combined, across both towns. What this means is that the lack of spawns and stops in the other town means that they are all very low leveled (level 12 to 25 and 1 level 29). The problem with this is this is 5 of our 9 or 4 of our 8. In my town, with more stuff, we are higher level. The lowest is 29, then there is 30, 34 and 36. I am the level 34. Me and the level 36 have good meta counters for the raids. Now if it is a level 1 raid it is easily soloable. With level 2 it is a push for the lower levels to do it in a group of 2, but for the highest levels it is soloable. Level 3 is doable with a group of 2, 3 or 4 but when a level 4 raid pops up it is unbeatable with all 9 of us. Usually the level 12 doesn’t turn up, but it doesn’t make a huge difference. Level 5 raids are completely impossible. When the game was still a little bit popular, we managed to get a group of 6, from my town alone (the linking road was closed so it was a 10 mile drive rather than a 0.5 mi walk…). We probably got about 2% off Articuno, although at the time we were levels 16, 24, 25, 27, 32, and 34 - not the highest.

I see what you mean - even with decent numbers it’s going to be difficult to beat a legendary or even a tier 4 raid boss. Having said that, this is the reason they are tier 4 & Legendary Bosses. They’re meant to be difficult & as you level up & level up your mons, your group will inch closer to beating them first time.
Sounds like you guys also cooordinate pretty well so it seems it is only a matter of time.
Taking advantage of STAB will also help if everyone in the group uses those mons instead of just their highest CP mons.
Couple of things to remember;
They are tier 4 & Legendary raids because they are meant to get trainers to coordinate & work together. They’re are also meant to be super difficult.
Once your raid groups beat them, keep in mind not everyone will catch the boss (but they may be able to power up some mons for the next raid!)
Don’t give up, the more you guys play, the more you’ll be able to level up your mons, raid team & group so you’ll get closer to beating them the first time!

  • I used to go through the same kind of thing before the gym rework when it was almost impossible for me to beat a Blissey by myself :blush:
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