Consider the following scenario: A trainer is trying to catch a rare or strong Pokemon, and figures that catching it in a PokeBall will have a low likelihood of actually catching and containing it.

What would happen if, after the trainer threw the first PokeBall and before the wild Pokemon breaks free, the trainer hit the occupied PokeBall with a second PokeBall? Would the both the original PokeBall and the wild Pokemon be "caught" by the second PokeBall? Would the wild Pokemon just be transferred from the first PokeBall to the second PokeBall? Would this double the likelihood that the Pokemon will be caught, due to the fact that it has to break out of two balls instead of one?

If the PokeBalls can be "layered," and the probability that you catch a Pokemon increases with how many PokeBalls you can layer on it, could you not just keep layering PokeBalls until you reach the strength of a Great or Ultra Ball?

We already know that inanimate objects and things other than Pokemon can be "caught" by PokeBalls, as evidenced by this question.

  • "We already know that inanimate objects and things other than Pokemon can be "caught" by PokeBalls" .... well the link you provide for this states it is not known, but evidence is it isn't possible. So a follow up question presuming something wrong, appears flawed to me...
    – Zaibis
    Commented Aug 15, 2016 at 12:53
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    And then you have the issue of having to yell "I choose you Pikachu" 16 times as nested Pokeballs continue to anticlimactically roll out of your thrown Pokeball while your rival Gary laughs at you unremorsefully.
    – DasBeasto
    Commented Aug 15, 2016 at 13:16
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    @Zaibis From the first answer of the linked question: "It can happen, that there are different things than a Pokémon in it, like when Ash found a riceball in his Pokéball." I know that isn't totally conclusive, but it does provide evidence of the phenomenon occurring, which is enough basis to ask follow up questions
    – wcarhart
    Commented Aug 15, 2016 at 14:42
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    Yo dawg, I herd you like pokeballz... Commented Aug 15, 2016 at 19:38
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    @ThePickleTickler Also some support as to the possibility that a PokeBall could catch another PokeBall is that in the games you often will find items (ex. potions, full heals, evolution stones, etc.) laying on the ground in what appear to be basic PokeBalls.
    – Cyberson
    Commented Aug 17, 2016 at 4:24

4 Answers 4


While it's not an ordinary Pokéball, the Mewtwo ball is capable of capturing another Pokéball inside it.

enter image description here

This is demonstrated in the first Pokemon movie and quoted in the synopsis section of the movie's wiki page. A gif of the event is below too:

"Ash tries returning Bulbasaur and Squirtle (who have been fighting the balls bravely), but it's no use. Two of Mewtwo's Poké Balls fly over and capture Bulbasaur and Squirtle's Poké Balls."

enter image description here

Granted, this is a special kind of ball developed by Mewtwo, so I can't say for sure in this answer whether a standard Pokéball would behave similarly.

Additionally, the catch rate for the Mewtwo ball is listed as 100% on the wiki page. Therefore it's impossible to say whether it would increase the catch chance of a wild pokémon through stacking, as it's a guaranteed capture with just one.

  • 1
    Great, you mentioned the perfect example for the question( which i was presuming to be a 'confusion')
    – ABcDexter
    Commented Aug 15, 2016 at 19:08
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    I love it when I read a question and think "this cannot possibly have any meaningful answer" and then I scroll down to find the meaningful answer
    – Nacht
    Commented Aug 16, 2016 at 1:45
  • Thanks to @Ikaros for his help in sourcing a gif solution!
    – Matt
    Commented Aug 16, 2016 at 14:16

You can make a Pokemon hold a Pokeball in the games - which then goes inside its Pokeball! But cannot hold a Pokemon at the same time; that would be like trying to compress an already compressed file.

Obviously there are differences in the universes between games and anime, but this also appears to correlate to the other answers.

  • "that would be like trying to compress an already compressed file." I feel like thats how MissingoNo happens
    – DasBeasto
    Commented Aug 16, 2016 at 12:42

I don't think it works like that at all. The best thing I can think of is consecutively spamming pokeballs at a pokemon as soon as they break out, so they have to struggle to break free from each one, losing considerable amounts of strength, and eventually getting caught.

The whole catching and holding pokemon deal is probably based on electronic concepts like data storage (transferring pokemon to Bill's PC supports that idea). So catching a pokemon could be analogous to throwing memory cards at them (or usb flash drives or SD cards). Can't really put a memory card inside another memory card (unless it's a drive image file like iso/img, but that sounds overcomplicated for the pokemon universe).

  • It might not be too overcomplicated, considering we're talking about putting PokeBalls in PokeBalls, which, in my opinion, is a complicated question
    – wcarhart
    Commented Aug 15, 2016 at 6:55
  • Well, I've never heard this idea before, so I suppose it is overcomplicated. Haven't watched digimon, but maybe they have some interesting twists on holding the "mons".
    – Hakase
    Commented Aug 15, 2016 at 6:58
  • Perhaps we could dub this process PokeCeption, or Metaballs?
    – wcarhart
    Commented Aug 15, 2016 at 7:01
  • Inception (as defined in the movie) is the process of planting an idea deeply in one's subconsciousness, making the target think they thought of it themselves. So you could call it "a ball within a ball".
    – Hakase
    Commented Aug 15, 2016 at 7:11
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    I got that, and what I meant was this.
    – Hakase
    Commented Aug 15, 2016 at 9:16

I believe Pokéballs are a technology which only works with Pokémon (except for the Mewtwo balls), alone the prefix of the ball "Poké" tells a lot.

You don't seem to be able to catch humans with Pokéballs, that automatically excludes all living entities which are not Pokémon. If you miss and hit a tree with the ball, the tree won't get caught either. Therefore I think Pokéballs are only capable of catching Pokémon and no other matter in the universe.

  • See the first answer of the linked question, or see my comment to my original question
    – wcarhart
    Commented Aug 15, 2016 at 16:58
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    "You don't seem to be able to catch humans with Pokéballs, that automatically excludes all living entities which are not Pokémon." => Well, actually it automatically excludes only the humans you tried to catch. At most we can make some reasonable assumptions and extend it to theorize that it automatically excludes all humans. But that alone isn't enough to automatically exclude everything that isn't a Pokémon.
    – Jason C
    Commented Aug 15, 2016 at 17:36

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