Pokemon Let's Go Catch Combo System Guide: how catch combos help catch rare, shiny and powerful Pokemon

The most significant change in Pokemon Let's Go Pikachu and Pokemon Let's Go Eevee is the switch from the traditional fight-and-catch system for wild Pokemon encounters to a simpler, more streamlined catching mechanic partially borrowed from the mobile smash hit Pokemon Go. This system isn't completely basic, however - and one major new addition to add a little complexity is the new catch combo mechanic.

Catch combos can seriously change the way you catch Pokemon in this new, re-imagined version of Kanto. It's basically a combo streak of Pokemon catches; now that catching Pokemon is quicker, you can catch many in quick succession and Let's Go actually encourages you to do so. 

Each time you catch a Pokemon of the same species as the last Pokemon you caught, the catch combo counter rises by one. If you catch ten Pidgey in a row, you'll have a counter of ten, then. This counter is cool for keeping track, for one, but there are big benefits from catching many Pokemon of the same species in a row - and we'll get into that in just a moment...


How Catch Combos work in Pokemon Let's Go

Okay, so, before we get down to the rewards for this new system, let's just define how a streak works and how it can be broken. There'd be nothing worse than breaking a catch combo accidentally and having to start over to get the benefits and rewards from the combo - so let's lay it out nice and simple in that time-honored tradition, a list.

  • Your Catch Combo builds each time you catch the same Pokemon in a row.
  • The catch combo chain can be broken by the following:
    • Running from one of the Pokemon species you're currently in a combo for (you can run from other species to maintain the chain)
    • Letting a Pokemon run away from you, which happens if you take too long to catch it.
    • Catching a Pokemon of a different species to the one you're currently chaining
    • Saving and exiting the game
  • To be clear, your catch combo is retained when you move from area to area, and that makes matters rather intersting in terms of rewards - more on that in a second.

Catch Combo Rewards: Shiny Pokemon, Better IVs, Rare Spawns and Items

Okay, so here's where we get to the meat of the matter: racking up catch combos in Pokemon Let's Go is well worthwhile because it has some seriously impressive rewards. The rewards break down into a few key categories, giving you the chance to catch more powerful Pokemon with better IVs, an improved change of catching Shiny Pokemon, plus a higher rate of Rare Spawns. On top of all that, you get extra items with each successive combo catch, too. Here's the rewards broken down into another handy list:

  • Improved IVs, Better Pokemon
    • If you don't know what IVs are, IVs are 'Individual Values', hidden stats behind the scenes that help to determine how powerful a Pokemon is in battle.
    • The higher a catch combo you build up, the more 'guaranteed' IVs will be at maximum for the Pokemon you then catch. 0-10 catch combo has 0 guaranteed IVs, but it then leaps to 2 between 11 and 20, 3 between 21 and 30 and so on. A catch combo of well over 100 will give you 6 guaranteed maximum IVs - making a Pokemon hugely poweful.
  • Shiny Pokemon: increased shiny spawn odds
    • Shiny Pokemon are special, unique versions of a Pokemon. They're rarer and feature different coloring to the regular versions of that Pokemon, and they're sort of a collector's holy grail. 
    • As your catch combo climbs, so too do your chances of encountering a shiny Pokemon. A chance which starts out as low as 1 in 4096 can be quadrupled - and that value can then be increased evne further with the 'Shiny Charm', a post-game item that increases your chances of encountering a Shiny Pokemon.
    • Unlike in other games and unlike in Pokemon Go, Shiny Pokemon actually appear Shiny on the overworld - look out for different colors and a little glittery sparkle that indicate their presence.
    • If you need more assistance with shinies, check out our Shiny Pokemon Hunting guide, which helps you maximize your encounter odds.
  • Rare Pokemon: highly limited spawns increased
    • Finally in terms of impacting the Pokemon you catch, a higher catch combo increases the chance that rare spawns will occur around you.
    • Each area in Pokemon Let's Go has a list of creatures that can spawn around you that is also reflected in the 'Habitat' section of the Pokedex, but there are also secret rare Pokemon spawns of hard-to-find Pokemon including Lapras, Hitmonchan, Hitmonlee and the classic starter Pokemon Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle out in the world. 
    • The higher your catch combo, the more likely these rare spawns will take place near you. The brackets for bonuses are 1-5, 11-20, 21-30 and 31+. With a catch combo of 31 or more, you'll be six times more likely to encounter a rare spawn.
    • Further, you can game the system a bit with this - you could catch a bunch of Pidgey over on Route 1 and 2, then fly to a place like Cerulean Cave to try to force a Snorlax to spawn, or Route 20 to try to grab a Lapras.
  • Bonus Items, including Candy
    • Last but not least, after each catch you're rewarded experience points and also some items. Typically these are lower-end items like berries, but the higher your catch counter climbs the more likely you are to recieve rarer items including high-grade large or extra large Pokemon Candy which can then be used to boost the power of your team.