When Pokemon Red and Blue first came out twenty years ago, there were plenty of urban legends about how to increase your odds of catching Pokemon in the game. The most popular of these was the "down and B" trick which stated that you had better odds of catching a Pokemon if you pushed B and held the down button on the D-Pad after a PokeBall enclosed a Pokemon.
None of these tricks actually worked, but confirmation bias and the "mysterious" nature of those early Pokemon games kept those rumors floating around in Pokemon circles for years, even after they were thoroughly disproven by the Internet.
Since Pokemon Go first came out last year, there's been plenty of misinformation and rumors about the game. Because there's not really an instruction manual or a cheat sheet on how to play the game, Pokemon Go players have stumbled their way through the game's mechanics, leading to tons of misinformation and false urban legends about the game. Some of these "urban legends" (like the last ball glitch) end up being true, while others end up being totally false.
The newest urban legend spreading like wildfire around Pokemon Go circles is the "ok button" or "hands up" exploit. The urban legend states that if every player in a raid chooses not to push the OK button after catching a Legendary Pokemon, it will increase the odds that other players in the Raid Group will also catch the Raid Boss as well.
If you check a local Pokemon Go Facebook group or subreddit, you'll probably see a few posts a day asking if the trick actually works. You'll almost always see at least one comment bragging about how a recent raid group had a success rate of 75% or higher because they used the trick.
So, is the "OK Button" exploit a real thing? Well....no. Or at least, there's nothing in the code that indicates that it's real.
Why the OK Button Trick Isn't Real
The "trick" behind the OK Button Exploit is that if a player doesn't hit OK after catching a Raid Boss, that player's app won't confirm that they caught the Pokemon, thus increasing (or at least not decreasing) the likelihood that other players in a Raid Group catches the Pokemon. However, that trick only works if Pokemon Go pre-determines how many people in a Raid Group will successfully catch a Raid Boss, which isn't how the game works.
Pokemon Go uses "random number generation" or RNG to determine whether or not a player catches a Pokemon. RNG is a pretty common tool in games where probability is involved and controls a lot of different aspects of Pokemon Go. Items from PokeStops, IVs, and even catching Pokemon are all determined by random number generators, something that is calculated by the app on a person's phone instead of Niantic's servers in San Francisco. This is why, for instance, two players can encounter the same Magikarp but only one player finds out that it's a Shiny Magikarp.
When a player hits a Pokemon with a PokeBall, Pokemon Go's servers determine immediately whether or not they caught it based on a combination of RNG and a player's catch bonuses. Basically, a player will get a successful catch if the RNG is within a certain range, which is expanded based on the number of bonuses a player has. Basically (and this is a bit of an oversimplification), Pokemon Go will spit out a number between 1-100. If a player hits an Articuno with a PokeBall and has no bonuses, that number needs to be either a 99 or a 100 for it to register as a catch. But, with different bonuses, that range could expand between 76 and 100.
Although we don't know the exact details about how Pokemon Go's RNG function works, we do know that it doesn't take into account the RNG calculations of other players. For instance, if three players catch an Articuno, Pokemon Go's servers won't automatically zero out the chances of other players in a Raid Group. In fact, there's no evidence that Pokemon Go even keeps track of who's in a Raid Group after a Raid Boss is defeated.prevnext
Possible Explanations for the Exploit
So, if the "OK Button" exploit doesn't work, why do players seem to be catching more Legendary Pokemon recently? It's probably a combination of several different factors.0comments
After acknowledging the existence of the "Last Ball" glitch, Pokemon Go gave all players an extra PokeBall to compensate, resulting in more chances of success. Casual players have also gotten more skilled at catching Pokemon as a result of participating in raids on a daily basis. There's also the fact that Zapdos is a bit easier to catch than the other birds because of how it moves around in the catch screen.
The reality is that there's no indication that the "OK Button" trick actually works. Players need skill and a bit of luck to catch Legendary Pokemon, but not a trick with no basis in reality.prev