Why Gen 2 Pokemon Poké Balls Didn’t Work Properly

Pokémon Gold and Silver added several new mechanics to the games, but some of the new Poké Balls didn’t work as intended. Many of the new ideas hinted at in Generation 2 have become series mainstays, such as Pokémon breeding. However, the Apricorn Balls have never appeared anywhere other than in Hoenn games, and the issues involved may have something to do with that.

In Pokémon Gold and Silver, the player could collect apricorns and bring them to Kurt in the town of Azaela, where he would take a day to make a Poké Ball out of them, the type depending on which apricorn they gave him. In theory, it’s a way to let the player try out a bunch of cool new Poké Balls. However, despite the constitution of a large part of Pokemon‘s 27 Poké Balls, a series of glitches and coding errors, many of these balls didn’t work the way they were supposed to, sometimes in weird and unusual ways.


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There were Apricorn balls that worked, like the Friend Ball and the Lure Ball. However, many of the bullets Kurt offered didn’t do what they were supposed to. Many of these glitches made the balls even more niche than they were supposed to be. These faults are part of Gold and silverweirdest quirks, and they should be remembered for the surprises they brought to players.

Pokemon Fastball Only Worked On Three Specific Pokemon

The Fast Ball was only good for catching three specific Pokémon.

The Fast Ball was designed to make catching fast Pokémon easier. In later generations, the Fast Ball would have a 4x modifier for catching Pokemon with a base speed of 100 or more. In a way, it plays a role similar to Pokemon‘s Quick Balls that spawn frequently, meant to catch fast Pokemon before they can attack or run away. However, in Gen 2, it had a rather higher chance of catching Pokemon that had a chance to flee from battle. At least, that was the desired effect. The actual effect was quite different.

In reality, Gen 2’s Fast Ball had a 4x higher chance of catching Grimer, Magnemite, or Tangela, and acted like a base Poké Ball on any other Pokemon. It looks like a random assortment of Pokemon, but there was a reason the glitch caused this reaction. The ball was supposed to scan the tables of Pokémon that have a chance to flee from battle to determine its effectiveness, but instead it only reads the first three Pokémon on the table that have a 10% chance of fleeing, which are be the three that the Fast Ball works. As a result, what should have been a useful tool as one of the most oddly specialized Poké Balls ever created.

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Compared to PokemonThe Most Useful Poké Balls, Gen 2’s Fast Ball is kind of a joke. Its later incarnations have done quite well, catching fast Pokémon as expected. However, the original Fast Ball will be remembered for its bizarre glitch that essentially makes it good at catching three circumstantial-chosen Pokemon.

Pokemon love ball worked upside down

The Love Ball did the opposite of the intended effect.

Pokémon Gold and Silver introduced Pokémon breeding to the series, where two compatible Pokémon could produce an egg. This quickly became popular among hardcore gamers who wanted Pokémon with the best stats and moves. The Love Ball was designed to aid in the breeding process, making it easier to capture Pokémon of the same species and opposite sex to the player’s active Pokémon.

The Love Ball was already extremely situational, but its 8x capture modifier was one of the best in the game. However, the ball didn’t perform as intended due to a glitch, despite not being as famous that MissingNo in Pokemon Red and Blue. The Love Ball granted its bonus when catching Pokemon of the same species and gender as the player’s Active Pokemon. As a result, it looks more like an early prototype of the Repeat Ball than anything else.

It’s easy to see how Love Ball’s effect could have ended the way it did. Only one small change gave him an advantage over the same sex rather than the opposite sex. Although the Love Ball didn’t quite do what it was intended for, it still had one of the best catch rate bonuses in the series. That alone makes it a memorable ball for the series.

The Moon Ball in Pokémon Gold and Silver is just a prettier Poké Ball

The Moon Ball had a glitch that negated its power.

The effect sought by the Moon Ball is very simple. It gave a bonus when attempting to catch any Pokemon of any evolutionary line that evolved through the use of a Moonstone. Unfortunately, only a few Pokemon evolve with a Moonstone, and that list hasn’t grown much over the years. However, this list includes Pokémon such as Jigglypuff, Clefairy, and the Nidoran Families, so the Moon Ball served its purpose, despite the situation.

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Unfortunately, the Moon Ball turned out to have no effect. Instead of catching Pokemon that evolved with a Moonstone, for some reason it targeted Pokemon that evolved through the use of a Burn Heal of All Items. Since no Pokemon use a Burn Heal to evolve, the Moon Ball didn’t receive a bonus against any Pokemon in the game. It was basically just a prettier Poké Ball, or at least it would be if the games Generation 2 had graphics for different Poké Balls. This has made Moonstone one of the most useless Poké Balls ever.

Moon Stone’s Gen 2 failure is one of the game’s weirdest issues. It’s unclear why the game ended up thinking that any Pokémon could evolve with a burn heal, and it has turned what could have been a great niche tool into the most useless Poké Ball in the series. At the same time, it’s hard not to find the sheer weirdness of this problem at least somewhat amusing.

Level ball ignores player’s efforts to catch a Pokemon

The Level Ball was already a niche, and its problem made it worse.

The Level Ball is one of the simplest balls Kurt makes in Gold and silver. This gives the player a higher chance of catching Pokémon that are lower level than their Active Pokémon. While this works as intended, the Level Ball is unfortunately quite impractical as the player must be at least twice the level of the opposing Pokemon to achieve a 4x multiplier. Although there are legitimate Pokemon tactics involving a level 1 Rattata, there are easier ways to catch low level Pokemon.

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Although the level ball correctly calculates its own effect, it introduces a completely different problem. When using a level ball, only the effect of the level ball itself is taken into account. If the player lowered the target’s HP or gave it a status condition, the Level Ball will ignore it when calculating. This can lead to the Level Ball being just as bad as a regular Poké Ball when used, or possibly even worse.

Although the Level Ball technically has its advertised effect, it’s usually not worth it. It requires the player to have a big advantage to have an impressive effect, and even with a smaller bonus the fact that it negates all other factors makes it incredibly impractical. It was a good idea, but not executed well. If Pikachu doesn’t get into its own Poké Ball, it probably won’t be impressed with a Level Ball either.

The Apricorn Balls were an ambitious idea for Gold and silver, but they brought a surprising amount of trouble. More than half of the Apricorn Balls had an incorrect effect or some other issue. Pokémon Gold and Silver was a major step up for the games, but this venture explained why Apricorns didn’t become a recurring fixture in the series.

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About the Author

Maria D. Ervin