How to get a Master Ball in Pokémon Go, and when to best use one

Years Later: How to Obtain a Master Ball in Pokémon Go

The Master Ball is a legendary item in the world of Pokémon, known for its 100% catch rate on any Pokémon it is used on. In Pokémon Go, obtaining a Master Ball can be a game-changer, especially for those crucial encounters after raid battles.

But Master Balls are rare and should be used wisely. So, how can you get a Master Ball in Pokémon Go, and when is the best time to use it?

Acquiring a Master Ball in Pokémon Go

New Master Balls are introduced in Pokémon Go through seasonal or timed research quests. The upcoming opportunity to earn a Master Ball will be with the Masterwork Research: Catching Wonders research quest, set to debut on May 14 as part of Season 14: World of Wonders. This special research quest will be available to all players with no time limit for completion once started.

Past releases of the Master Ball in Pokémon Go include the Let’s Go Special Research in Season 10: Rising Heroes and the Timed Investigation: Master Ball in Season 12: Adventures Abound. These quests offered players the chance to earn a Master Ball by completing specific objectives within a set timeframe.

The (now unavailable) Timed Investigation: Master Ball quest in Pokémon Go.
Image: Niantic via Polygon

Here’s a glimpse of how the Let’s Go Special Research introduced the Master Ball during the Rising Heroes season of 2023:

Can You Get Multiple Master Balls in Pokémon Go?

Unlike the main Pokémon games, where the Master Ball is typically a one-time item, Pokémon Go allows players to acquire multiple Master Balls. With the item debuting in multiple seasons through free Special and Timed Research quests, players can expect a new Master Ball every other season. This means we can anticipate a fourth Master Ball release as part of Season 16 between September 1 and December 1, 2024.

Players can carry more than one Master Ball at a time, giving them the flexibility to decide when to use these rare items.

Earn and hold onto those Master Balls for the perfect moment!

Best Uses for the Master Ball in Pokémon Go

Given their rarity and 100% catch rate, Master Balls should be reserved for exceptional situations. Here are some recommendations for the best use of a Master Ball in Pokémon Go:

  • Capture Galarian Articuno, Zapdos, or Moltres encountered with Daily Adventure Incense.
  • Use it on a high IV legendary encounter like Mewtwo after exhausting your Premier Balls.
  • Catch incredibly rare wild Pokémon such as the ‘Lake Trio’ Uxie, Mesprit or Azelf, or Unown.
  • Secure a shiny Pokémon in the wild, especially uncommon ones.

Ultimately, the choice of where to use your Master Ball is yours. Whether it’s a powerful legendary or a beloved shiny, make sure it’s a Pokémon you truly cherish.

Accuracy and Specialty of the Master Ball

One common question is whether you can miss when using a Master Ball. The good news is no—once activated, the Master Ball ensures a successful catch with a special animation. This guarantees a stress-free capture and adds a special touch to the gameplay experience.

For a visual demonstration, watch the process in action here.

Furthermore, a confirmation prompt before using the Master Ball minimizes the chance of accidental use, ensuring its power is put to good use.