How to locate Pokemon near you and catch them easily

How to target specific Pokémon nearby

While you can play the game casually by walking around and stumbling into Pokémon at random, there is a science to how to target a specific type out of a selection nearby, perfect if you want to fill out those Pokedex entries, or work on getting Candy for leveling and evolutions. To do so, tap the lower right part of the screen, which will bring up shadows of the Pokémon nearby.

In short, you can see what creatures are closest to you in the bottom right corner of the screen in order of proximity, and by counting the number of paw prints and monitoring their number as you move around, you can close in on the Pokemon you’d like. Each pawprint is thought to be around 100m each, so use that to estimate how close you be.

Here’s this handy diagram explaining how it works, thanks to Reddit:


Other tips to finding more Pokémon include:

  • You also attract more Pokémon with items, such as using the Incense item from your backpack, or Lure Modules at a PokeStop – to increase the encounter rate.
  • Remember that certain Pokémon only exist in certain places, such as parks for grass-type Pokémon and lakes, rivers and oceans for water types.
  • To catch rare Pokémon and more powerful Pokémon, increase your trainer level, which expands the variety and difficulty of Pokémon you come across. Luck and patience also pays a part, so keep exploring to see what you find.

How to catch Pokémon effectively

Hold the Pokéball and wait until the circle is at its smallest.

Once you’ve found one on the map, tap them to start the capture process. Whether in augmented mode (placing the Pokémon in the real world) or in-game, time your throws to when the coloured circle round them is at their smallest.

To do this, press and hold on the Pokéball to make the circle move inward, and release it when you’re ready. Remember, the closer you get to the centre, the more of a chance the circle will loop back around, so be sure to practice the timing.

You can also hold and rotate the Pokéball to perform curve shots, or time your throws until the last moment to get a ‘Nice’ bonus, earning additional XP if you land the trick shots correctly.

As for the colour of the circle, creatures are graded from green to red – easiest to toughest), so don’t be surprised if it takes many Pokeballs to catch them. If there is a question mark instead of a CP number, that’s also a good indicator that it’s also a powerful Pokemon, which are more difficult to capture. Use Razz Berry items (which you can earn from leveling up, PokeStops and buying with PokeCoins), or simply bite the bullet and let them flee.