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The DB's, Bulbapedia's, and Serebii's descriptions for the overworld effects of Hustle, Pressure, and Vital Spirit just say that, when a wild Pokemon is encountered and a Pokemon with either of those three abilities is at the front of the party, the chances of encountering a Pokemon at a high level increases by 50%. What, exactly, does "high level" count as? Is it the max level that Pokemon can be encountered at, or does it also increase the chances of encountering a Pokemon at only a few levels below the highest level it can be encountered at? This answer explains that the abilities increase the chances of encountering a Pokemon at its highest level, but it doesn't say anything about levels lower than its highest level.

If anybody doesn't understand what I'm trying to ask, comment and I'll try to explain better.

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High level probably refers to the higher end of the possible levels a pokemon can be encountered at. Like if a pokemon can be encountered at levels 14-18, it'll more likely be to the 18 end.

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As an impromptu test, I ran around the grass in Poni Gauntlet long enough to encounter 100 wild battles, half with a Pressure lead and half without (all battles were immediately ended by running away on turn 1, so calls for help were never involved). All the Pokemon that can appear in this grass patch have a possible level spread of 56-59, as is normal for every grass patch in the last two generations; it's not like some older games where certain Pokemon in an area can peak out at a higher level than others (a phenomenon that gives rise to the so-called "Repel trick" in those old games).

The observed results of this test were that with Pressure, level 56/57/58/59 were encountered 6/7/5/32 times respectively. With a different ability that doesn't purport to change encounter rates (Flash Fire, in case you cared), the distribution of levels was 15/11/12/12. This is pretty clear evidence of Pressure tampering with the levels, by having a fixed chance (50% would be consistent with this data, at least) of rejecting the randomly rolled level and replacing it with the top end of the range for that particular grass patch.

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Dang. I got ninja'd.
Thanks for testing this!
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Usually, it's the highest possible level for each species, each area, each encounter method, each time (when applicable), and each version. Sometimes, Pokemon of the same species but different levels will be registered separately. For example, let's imagine that, when you use a super rod at Petalburg City without using an ability, there's a 98% chance of encountering a level 20-35 Corphish and 2% chance of encountering a level 20-45 Corphish. When pressure, hustle, or vital spirit takes effect, the chance of a level 35 Corphish gets increased by 50% relative to the 98% or 49% relative to the entire sample space. Likewise, the chance of a level 45 Corphish gets increased by 50% relative to the 2% or 1% relative to the entire sample space. This results in a 49% chance of a level 35 Corphish, a 1% chance of a level 45 Corphish, and a 50% chance that the level is determined as normal (from my trying to get a level 45 Corphish, this seems about right).
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