PokéBase - Pokémon Q&A
6 votes

This is a little out of the ordinary, and I know there's no "correct" answer for this.

I'll remove it if breaks any rules, but I'd love to hear what possible theories could lead to the development of a Pokeball.

While we are at it, I'd also like to know if there's a "logical" explanation behind depositing Pokemon in the PC, specially how it's automatically done after catching a Pokemon if your party is full.

Again, I understand, this is theory-moning more than anything, and I'll remove it if need be, but let's see if there's any logic to the mechanics.

Thanks in advance,

I'm gonna give you an upvote just for the way you presented this. You were comprehensive, clear, and straightforward on your belief of the question's fit on the site.

Plus it's an interesting question.
Here's mah theory:

Pokémon are 'magical,' different then humans are. There's probably something inside the PokéBall that when activated (and thrown on the ground?) attracts the 'magical' part of Pokémon. Probably something that determines their types too.
Thanks pal, this was itching me so I really wanted to get some answers (:
@SYL yeah that's kinda what I wanted some insight about, in more clearer terms than "magic" :P

4 Answers

4 votes

Though there are many theories, the one I personally believe is called the Data Theory.

When a Pokemon is caught, the Pokeball programs its matter into an artificial data format. The higher the Pokemon's level comes a different "catch rate", thus the shaking of a Pokeball and the Great and Ultra balls. Higher health implies more strength, and by bringing a Pokemon's health down, you have weakened it to the point that there is less data for the Pokeball to store, making it easier to catch. A Pokemon that "breaks out" has so much data that the Pokeball shorted out, not only releasing the Pokemon due to a fail-safe, but also rendering the Pokeball useless and it cannot be reused (this also explains why you don't retrieve a Pokeball when you release a Pokemon; you've essentially shorted out a Pokeball, activating the fail-safe). Once a Pokemon is caught, the Pokeball alters the Pokemon to be more obedient to the trainer with your specific trainer ID as an easy way for the Pokemon to know who to respond to. This is why Pokemon won't accidentally listen to the wrong command.Those you obtain in trades aren't of your ID number, and thus won't obey as easily. Pokemon Centers essentially reset variables applying to Health and PP.

But that's just one of many options. It is, however, my preferred theory, and I’m doing some research into it to polish up the Data Theory and hopefully find a more concrete answer. I've already edited this answer a few times, adding different things. It is, however, a work in progress.

Some things that can be worked on:

  • How can the Pokemon be altered to the Trainer ID if Pokeballs are mass produced? The highly personalized effects must be expensive to produce.
  • The first Pokeballs were made 300 years ago. How did they work back then, if any differently? Did they already have the technology somehow? If not, what was their alternative method? or, do we perhaps not refer to these as "Pokeballs" and simply an earlier tool used long ago? We could then credit Silph Co. with inventing the Pokeball, and clear all of this up right there.
  • In the Anime, the first time Ash caught a Pokemon that couldn't fit in his team, the PokeDex literally transported the Pokeball back to Professor Oak. Granted, the anime is not the most reliable source of information. Would we then instead say that you keep all the used Pokeballs in your bag, amd simply swap out the data from the PC Box connection?
  • Voltorb? People have mentioned me must consider Pokemon like Voltorb and Foongus, which look like Pokeballs. Which came first? One thought is Rotom possessed a Pokeball. Another is that Haunter was unnaturally trapped in the Pokeball while drifting through. Another thing that must be considered.
edited by
Well-thought out response and impressively quick for a question this potentially difficult, but I have one thought.

Isn't the Pokemon's level independent on how to calculate catch chance? I thought that depended on three things, none of which were the Pokemon's level:
a) the Catch rate,
b) the Pokemon's remaining HP, and
c) whether or not the Pokemon has a status problem.

So if the level doesn't matter, wouldn't there be less reason to connect that to it shaking? I may be mistaken. Let me know if there's something I can learn here, I never bothered to dig too deep into it.
Then why cant you reuse pokeballs?
I can't say this is what he thinks, but maybe there's a one-time use part in it that can't be reused. Something must be permanent once used in this theory.
How did someone 300 years ago (the date the first actual pokeballs where made) be able to know how to program?
I love the Data Theory, I feel it has solid potential to form the base of how they work.

That said, there's a few issues with the rest of the inferences that we can probably polish up to come up with a better solution:
The part about re-configuring Pokemon to become more obedient based on trainer ID seems interesting in theory, but runs into some issues when we consider mass production of Pokeballs, because the highly personalized effects the Pokeball has on the Pokemon seem unlikely as any one can buy a Pokeball. Can non-trainers catch Pokemon, for example?

@SYL, you're right, maybe we can get closer to the answer if we consider the history of Pokeballs. Do we consider Silph Co as the original creators, or the people ~300 years ago?
The Indigo League anime shows what happens to pokeballs after you catch over 6. This is shown when Ash catches a small krabby. The pokedex sends the pokeball to where you obtained the pokedex. In this case proffesor oaks lab.
1 vote

There are many theories for how a PokeBall works, which impacts how it is made:

MY PERSONAL FAVORITE is the Ideal Habitat theory. This theory states that the Pokemon is shrunk and put inside the PokeBall. The PokeBall then recreates what it imagines to be an Ideal Habitat for the Pokemon. For example, Water type Pokemon would have an ocean environment. This would explain the different types of balls- Repeat Balls work well on Pokemon the Trainer has already caught because it gathers information on the, let's say, Magikarp, so that the PokeBall 'knows' what the Magikarp would like, thus it recreates the perfect environment for the Magikarp so it will want to stay inside the ball. Love Balls create a dreamy, romantic environment, and Dive Balls show ocean environments that the Pokemon would want to stay in. Luxury Balls show the Pokemon a beautiful, luxurious environment. However, some balls, like the Quick Ball and Timer Ball, are not really explained that well in this theory.

Another theory sparks from a scene in the anime where Iris' Dragonite is shown inside a blue background, supposedly trapped inside a circle. This implies that Pokemon are perhaps 'shrunk' to fit inside the PokeBall. But the anime isn't really the best place for Pokemon information sometimes.

Then there's the theory that Pokemon are converted into red light particles, hence why a glowing red light appears when Pokemon return to PokeBalls or are launched out of them. But again, this only is a theory because the anime shows it that way, not actually in game. Maybe the anime just needed a smooth transitioning method for Pokemon to come out of their balls.

In short, there are a lot of theories. My personal favorite is the Ideal Habitat, but we might never know for sure.

But then the red light particles theory finds new light in the fact that you can transfer Pokemon to PCs. Maybe the light particles move towards the PC, then form the Pokemon inside? This one's a little Farfetch'd, but it's the only explanation I can think of.

edited by
The ideal habitat theory is canon lmao
Thanks for answering, I'm sure the Ideal Habitat Theory fits in somewhere.

The bits about the red light particles moving towards PC boxes is a looooot less likely, however.
But how do luxury balls work in the Ideal Habitat theory?? It's luxe because it probably has an ideal habitat inside of it?
0 votes

Maybe there is a black hole inside of the pokeball, and when its opened it draws the Pokemon in? (and can only affect the Pokemon assigned to it?) it could explain how the Pokemon can get condensed into a small ball. Also black holes are so strong they can pull you apart on the atomic level (hence the Pokemon turning into a streak going into the ball.) its possible once the Pokemon is inside a force field is produced stopping them from going into the black hole? of course there is the matter of reconstructing them, for that I have no clue.

Edit: and since the black hole is so small what about Hawking's radiation?

edited by
Haha yes, I'm just trying to see if we can understand these "mini-black holes", and maybe even answer the reconstruction aspect of it
0 votes

I personally think that they have something to do with Voltorb essence. It was first spotted in a Pokeball factory and probably has something to do with the mechanics.

Which came first, Pokeball or Voltorb?

(Pokeballs, apparently)

Then how does Mew have the genetic code for Voltorb if it existed before Pokeballs?