Pokémon Go Medals and Catch Bonus explained - How to increase your chances of catching elemental Pokémon

Every Medal listed that will increase your capture rates.

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 Medals and 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:

MedalActivityBronze (Catch Bonus)Silver (Catch Bonus)Gold (Catch Bonus)
SchoolkidCatch Normal-type Pokémon10 (+1)50 (+2)200 (+3)
Black BeltCatch Fighting-type Pokémon10 (+1)50 (+2)200 (+3)
Bird KeeperCatch Flying-type Pokémon10 (+1)50 (+2)200 (+3)
Punk GirlCatch Poison-type Pokémon10 (+1)50 (+2)200 (+3)
Ruin ManiacCatch Ground-type Pokémon10 (+1)50 (+2)200 (+3)
HikerCatch Rock-type Pokémon10 (+1)50 (+2)200 (+3)
Bug CatcherCatch Bug-type Pokémon10 (+1)50 (+2)200 (+3)
Hex ManiacCatch Ghost-type Pokémon10 (+1)50 (+2)200 (+3)
Depot AgentCatch Steel-type Pokémon10 (+1)50 (+2)200 (+3)
KindlerCatch Fire-type Pokémon10 (+1)50 (+2)200 (+3)
SwimmerCatch Water-type Pokémon10 (+1)50 (+2)200 (+3)
GardenerCatch Grass-type Pokémon10 (+1)50 (+2)200 (+3)
RockerCatch Electric-type Pokémon10 (+1)50 (+2)200 (+3)
PsychicCatch Psychic-type Pokémon10 (+1)50 (+2)200 (+3)
SkierCatch Ice-type Pokémon10 (+1)50 (+2)200 (+3)
Dragon TamerCatch Dragon-type Pokémon10 (+1)50 (+2)200 (+3)
Fairy Tale GirlCatch Fairy-type Pokémon10 (+1)50 (+2)200 (+3)
DelinquentCatch Dark-type Pokémon10 (+1)50 (+2)200 (+3)

Other Medals in Pokémon Go:

BackpackerVisit PokeStops1001,0002,000
JoggerWalk long distances10km100km1,000km
KantoRegister Kanto Pokémon in the Pokédex2050100
CollectorCapture Pokémon305002,000
ScientistEvolve Pokémon320200
BreederHatch Eggs101001,000
FishermanCapture Big Magikarp350300
Battle GirlWin Gym battles1010001,000
YoungsterCatch tiny Rattata350300
PikachuCatch Pikachu350200
JohtoRegister Johto region creatures53070
UnownCatch Unown11026
Berry MasterFeed Berries at Gyms101001000
Gym LeaderDefend Gyms for a number of hours101001000
ChampionWin Raids101001000
HoennRegister Gen 3 Pokémon in the Pokédex54090
Battle LegendWin Legendary Raids101001000
Pokémon RangerComplete Field Research tasks101001000
IdolBecome Best Friends with Trainers123
GentlemanTrade Pokémon11001000
PilotEarn km across the distance of all Pokémon trades1000100,0001,000,000
Ace Trainer **Train in Trainer Battles101001,000
CameramanHave surprise encounters in Go Snapshot1050200
Great League VeteranWin Trainer Battles in the Great League550200
Ultra League VeteranWin Trainer Battles in the Ultra League550200
HeroDefeat Team Rocket Grunts101001000
PurifierPurify Shadow Pokémon550500

** 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.

Pokémon Go in 2020 continues to add new features, such the arrival of the Go Battle League - which is currently highlighting the Master League - and soon, Clone Pokémon. We've also recently had the Buddy Adventure feature, which introduces a variety of perks - including finding Souvenirs - as well as a new trade evolution feature. 2019 saw the release of the first Gen 5 Pokémon, along with new regional exclusive Pokémon, Egg charts, and the introduction of the Unova Stone. Pokemon Go also sees regular events - including weekly Spotlight Hour and Mystery Bonus evenings, monthly Field Research rewards and Pokémon Go Community Day, plus a new Giovanni counters quest - the latest being The Shadowy Threat Grows. There is also an upcoming paid in-game event, A Drive for Discovery.

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.

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About the author

Matthew Reynolds

Matthew Reynolds

Guides Editor

Matthew edits guides and other helpful things at Eurogamer.net. When not doing that, he's out and about playing Pokémon Go or continuing to amass his amiibo collection.


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