When you first start playing Pokémon Go, you'll notice you'll be occasionally interrupted by full-screen prompts telling you about a Medal you've just unlocked - not unlike the full-screen prompts you get when you increase a Trainer level.
These Medals are not only stat-trackers, which record everything you do in the game - from the distance walked to the number of Pokémon Types you have caught - but are also give you a Pokémon Go Catch Bonus as of the game's October update, increasing your chances of catching Types based on the medals you've accrued.
How does Pokémon Go's Catch Bonus work?
To get started, you can view all your Medals but tapping your Trainer icon in the bottom left corner of the map screen and scrolling down.
The Medals screen is sorted into two sets; the upper set displaying 'traditional' Medal goals - such as distance walked and how many big Magikarp you've caught - which don't give you any bonuses, and the lower set grouping together all the Medals by Type, which reward Catch Bonuses.
The higher the Medal, the stronger the Catch Bonus for that Type; Bronze is worth +1, Silver is +2 and Gold is +3.
If the Pokemon you're facing has multiple types - such as the Flying / Normal Type Pidgey and its evolutions - then it'll take the average of those two Catch Bonuses.
The question is, plus three what exactly? Well, that's a bit of a mystery, and it currently has the Pokémon Go community scratching their heads.
The leading theory is it's a percentage increase, which might not sound a lot, but if it's for the base capture rate before bonuses from using more powerful Pokéballs and Razz Berrys are applied, it could be quite powerful for likes of Dragonite which are inherently tough to capture.
But in general, the Catch Bonus means the more Pokémon you catch, the higher your chances of catching Pokémon will be in the future, which is particularly handy when even low-level Pokémon become hard to grab at higher levels.
Pokémon Go Catch Bonuses list
Each Medal in Pokémon Go has Bronze, Silver and Gold requirements, and for the Type-specific Medal, a corresponding Catch Bonus, which are all listed below. Thanks to The Silph Road for helping us complete this list.
Type-specific Medals with Catch Bonuses:
|Medal||Activity||Bronze (Catch Bonus)||Silver (Catch Bonus)||Gold (Catch Bonus)|
|Schoolkid||Catch Normal-type Pokémon||10 (+1)||50 (+2)||200 (+3)|
|Black Belt||Catch Fighting-type Pokémon||10 (+1)||50 (+2)||200 (+3)|
|Bird Keeper||Catch Flying-type Pokémon||10 (+1)||50 (+2)||200 (+3)|
|Punk Girl||Catch Poison-type Pokémon||10 (+1)||50 (+2)||200 (+3)|
|Ruin Maniac||Catch Ground-type Pokémon||10 (+1)||50 (+2)||200 (+3)|
|Hiker||Catch Rock-type Pokémon||10 (+1)||50 (+2)||200 (+3)|
|Bug Catcher||Catch Bug-type Pokémon||10 (+1)||50 (+2)||200 (+3)|
|Hex Maniac||Catch Ghost-type Pokémon||10 (+1)||50 (+2)||200 (+3)|
|Depot Agent||Catch Steel-type Pokémon||10 (+1)||50 (+2)||200 (+3)|
|Kindler||Catch Fire-type Pokémon||10 (+1)||50 (+2)||200 (+3)|
|Swimmer||Catch Water-type Pokémon||10 (+1)||50 (+2)||200 (+3)|
|Gardener||Catch Grass-type Pokémon||10 (+1)||50 (+2)||200 (+3)|
|Rocker||Catch Electric-type Pokémon||10 (+1)||50 (+2)||200 (+3)|
|Psychic||Catch Psychic-type Pokémon||10 (+1)||50 (+2)||200 (+3)|
|Skier||Catch Ice-type Pokémon||10 (+1)||50 (+2)||200 (+3)|
|Dragon Tamer||Catch Dragon-type Pokémon||10 (+1)||50 (+2)||200 (+3)|
|Fairy Tale Girl||Catch Fairy-type Pokémon||10 (+1)||50 (+2)||200 (+3)|
|Delinquent||Catch Dark-type Pokémon||10 (+1)||50 (+2)||200 (+3)|
Other Medals in Pokémon Go
As well as the above, there are also other Medals you can unlock for completing specific activities in the game.
Most of these have no impact on the game itself, though some are requirements for unlocking specific Avatar equipment.
|Jogger||Walk long distances||10km||100km||1,000km|
|Kanto||Register Kanto Pokémon in the Pokédex||20||50||100|
|Fisherman||Capture Big Magikarp||3||50||300|
|Battle Girl||Win Gym battles||10||1000||1,000|
|Youngster||Catch tiny Rattata||3||50||300|
|Johto||Register Johto region creatures||5||30||70|
|Berry Master||Feed Berries at Gyms||10||100||1000|
|Gym Leader||Defend Gyms for a number of hours||10||100||1000|
|Hoenn||Register Gen 3 Pokémon in the Pokédex||5||40||90|
|Sinnoh||Register Gen 4 Pokémon in the Pokédex||5||30||80|
|Unova||Register Gen 5 Pokémon in the Pokédex||5||50||100|
|Battle Legend||Win Legendary Raids||10||100||1000|
|Pokémon Ranger||Complete Field Research tasks||10||100||1000|
|Idol||Become Best Friends with Trainers||1||2||3|
|Pilot||Earn km across the distance of all Pokémon trades||1000||100,000||1,000,000|
|Ace Trainer **||Train in Trainer Battles||10||100||1,000|
|Cameraman||Have surprise encounters in Go Snapshot||10||50||200|
|Great League Veteran||Win Trainer Battles in the Great League||5||50||200|
|Ultra League Veteran||Win Trainer Battles in the Ultra League||5||50||200|
|Master League Veteran||Win Trainer Battles in the Master League||5||50||200|
|Best Buddy||Have Best Buddies||1||10||100|
|Purifier||Purify Shadow Pokémon||5||50||500|
|Hero||Defeat Team Rocket Grunts||10||100||1000|
|Ultra Hero||Defeat the Team Go Rocket Boss Giovanni||1||5||20|
|Mega Evolution Guru||Number of unique Mega Evolutions||1||24||36|
|Successor||Number of total Mega Evolutions||1||50||500|
** This originally debuted as "Train at Gyms", but in the summer of 2017, the feature was revamped to remove that feature. This medal was later reintroduced in December 2018 with the introduction of Trainer Battles.
2020 has seen several new features in Pokémon Go - Mega Evolutions, the A Mega Discovery Special Research, the arrival of Rocket Balloons, the Go Battle League, Remote Raids and the trade evolution feature. Pokemon Go also sees regular events - including weekly Spotlight Hour, monthly Field Research rewards and Pokémon Go Community Day.
Other things you should know about Catch Bonus and Medals in Pokémon Go
- There are medals for attending Go Fest events throughout the year. These are required you to attend the event in question, provided you have a ticket, and remain in your account as a badge afterward. Each individual has an event, so Chicago Go Fest will have unique entry for 2017, 2018 and 2019.
- Some medals will only display once you've started working towards it. For example, 'Pikachu' won't appear at all until you've caught your first Pikachu (if you want to start with a Pikachu in Pokémon Go, we have a handy guide for that) and the same applies to various Types and other objectives in the game.
- Once you have unlocked a Medal, you can then tap it to see your progress until the next Medal tier. Once you reach Gold, the figure will keep tracking your progress, allowing you to see exactly how many tiny Ratattas or Normal-type Pokémon you've accumulated in your illustrious Trainer career.
- Fun fact - each Medal is named after Trainer classes in the main games (which are the characters you fight on Routes and in dungeons).
- Creatures received through Trading contributes to Medal progress, including the size specific Medals Fisherman and Youngster.