We're taking a look at the best Pokemon for catching other Pokemon in Sword and Shield. If you are attempting to collect all of the Pokemon to complete your PokeDex, then you're going to need a good option to lead your party! We'll be looking at the best options available in this guide.
The key to catching Pokemon is getting their health as low as possible and adding a debilitating effect to them. We need to deal damage to the Pokemon without knocking it out, and we also need a move that will either put the Pokemon to sleep or into paralysis. Credit to this post on Reddit for some of the details listed in this guide.
To deal damage to the Pokemon without knocking it out, we'll be using the move False Swipe. This is a Normal type physical move that leaves the target with at least 1 HP. Only certain Pokemon can learn this one, so that leaves out a lot of other options when it comes to what we can use for catching. Among those Pokemon, we're going to need one with a high Attack stat because False Swipe is a relatively low power move.
Where-to Get False Swipe
False Swipe is a TM94 and can be purchased in the Motostoke Pokemon Center! You can get it relatively early in the game, so if you want to use it to catch stuff in the beginning of the story then it is available to you.
We need to either paralyze or sleep the Pokemon we're looking to catch because it increases the catch rate significantly. This is more apparent when you are looking to catch rare or higher level Pokemon. Normally, we'd want the move Spore. This can sleep a Pokemon while being highly accurate. Unfortunately, there's no Pokemon that can learn both Spore and False Swipe in the Galar dex. Instead, we're going to focus on a Pokemon that can learn either Hypnosis or something like Thunderwave which will paralyze rather than sleep.
This can also be a valuable move to have on a Pokemon that you're trying to catch. The move makes it so the target Pokemon cannot flee from battle. It's not a must, but has some fringe usage that you might find helpful.
Which Pokemon is the Best for Catching?
So, which Pokemon fits the bill? Well, there's two of them that are good options: Bisharp and Gallade.
Bisharp is a solid option because it can learn both Thunderwave and False Swipe from TMs. Pawniard, Bisharp's first stage, can be found very easily in the following locations: Route 8, Giant's Cap, Giant's Mirror, Motostoke Outskirts, Motostoke Riverbank, or the Stony Wilderness. Bisharp is also good because it can learn Rain Dance, which changes the weather and can prevent things like Hail that will damage a Pokemon and knock them out after we've used False Swipe. This isn't the best option because paralysis isn't as effective as sleep for increasing the catch rate of a Pokemon. So, while this will work in the short term, you are better off with the next Pokemon.
If you're late in the game, you can find a Bisharp fully evolved in the Lake of Outrage.
Gallade is the best Pokemon for catching other Pokemon in Sword and Shield. It can learn False Swipe, has a high attack stat, and learns Hypnosis naturally (you might need to take it to the move re-learner to get it). The problem with Gallade is it can be a bit difficult to get. You can catch a Ralts, but that's only available after you've completed the story because it requires foggy weather. You can also potentially get one in a Max Raid Battle or find it roaming around in the Wild Area if you're lucky.
If you go the Ralts route, you will need a male and a Dawn Stone to turn it into Gallade rather than Gardevoir. Find the Ralts, get it to level 20 to evolve it into Kirila, and then give it a Dawn Stone to evolve it into Gallade. You can find a Dawn Stone lying around in Giant's Cap or Lake of Outrage. You can also get one as treasure if you pay the Digging Duo to do some hunting.
If you really want to increase the effectiveness of your Gallade, you will want to get it a nature that increases its Attack stat. You will then want to EV train its Attack and Speed stats, because those are the most important for catching Pokemon. Get it to level 100, and you will have yourself a powerful Pokemon for catching others!
If you're particularly ambitious you can do some breeding and look for one that learns Mean Look as an Egg Move.
Items That Help You Catch Pokemon
Here's a look at some items that will help you catch Pokemon a bit more easily.
If you're catching lower level Pokemon then one of the simplest methods, especially early in the game, is Quick Balls. These are Poke Balls that can be thrown at a Pokemon right when you start an encounter with one. These work really well with low level Pokemon, but start to become less reliable on level 40+ ones. Learn where to get these with our Quick Balls guide.
The Catching Charm will increase your ability to "Critical Capture" Pokemon when you throw a Poke Ball at them. Critical Capture is when you throw a ball at a Pokemon and it catches them after just one shake. This can happen very rarely at any point, but also increases naturally as you catch more species of Pokemon. To increase this chance even further, you can get a Key Item called the Catching Charm. Fast travel to Circhester (snow town) and then go right from the Pokemon Center to find the Hotel Ionia. Go into the elevator that is left of the front desk. Make your way all the way to the left and enter the room. You will see someone in a doctor's uniform, talk to him and he will give you the Catching Charm!