How to get a Master Ball in Pokemon GO

How to get a Master Ball in Pokemon GO
Images via Niantic | The Pokemon Company

Last updated 

7th May 2024 12:00


  • Your next opportunity to get a Master Ball will arrive on May 14, 2024
  • It's best to save this rare Poke Ball for catching a Galarian Bird

Master Balls are a relatively new addition to Pokemon GO, but as you'd expect, they aren't easy to come by.

It's every Trainer's dream to acquire a Master Ball, as this elusive Poke Ball variant offers a guaranteed way to catch any creature in Pokemon GO, meaning you don't have to worry about a rare Legendary running away.

This guide details all the ways to get Master Balls in the augmented reality mobile game from Niantic, plus what species of Pokemon are worthy of using a Master Ball!

How to get a Master Ball in Pokemon GO

The only way to get a Master Ball right now will be to complete the Masterwork Research: Catching Wonders quest that will go live in Pokemon GO on May 14, 2024, at 10AM local time.

All Trainers can claim this Masterwork Research quest for free, but make sure you log in to the game before May 19, 2024, as that's when the event ends and you might not be able to claim the quest after that point.

A Master Ball in Pokemon GO
Click to enlarge

Previous ways to get one

It was previously possible to obtain a Master Ball by completing the following quests:

  • Special Research: Master Ball 
  • Timed Investigation: Master Ball
  • Let's GO! Special Research

The first time Trainers could get a Master Ball was by completing the free Let’s GO! Special Research in Season 10: Rising Heroes. This was a relatively easy quest and it was how I got my first Master Ball.

The second opportunity Trainers had was to complete the Timed Investigation: Master Ball quest before November 21, 2023. This quest was given out for free during Season 12: Adventures Abound.

A third opportunity was available for anyone who didn't manage to complete the Timed Investigation quest, with the Special Research: Master Ball quest available to purchase from the in-game shop for a limited time.

When to use a Master Ball

I'd recommend saving your Master Ball for one of the Galarian Birds. These three Legendary Pokemon variants can only appear when you're using your Daily Adventure Incense, and they are very hard to find.

Encountering Galarian Articuno, Zapdos, or Moltres is a blessing in itself, but without a Master Ball, your chances of catching them are extremely low. There's nothing worse than watching one flee!

Galarian Articuno in Pokemon GO
Click to enlarge

If the Galarian Birds are of no interest to you, or you've (somehow) already caught them all, there's nothing wrong with using your Master Ball on another high IV Legendary Pokemon. Just be sure to try to catch it with all your other Poke Balls before tossing a Master Ball at it.

Like regular Poke Balls, once you use a Master Ball, it's gone forever. With that said, it's important that you use it on a worthwhile Pokemon and don't waste it on a Magikarp or a Bidoof (yes, people have done that).

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Visit our Pokemon GO homepage for more guides to help you become the best Trainer you can be, including the upcoming Spotlight Hour schedule, the current Raid Boss schedule, and the rarest Pokemon in the game.

Coleman Hamstead
About the author
Coleman Hamstead
Coleman is a freelance journalist at GGRecon. While gaming has always been his passion, it wasn’t until he worked as a Sports Journalist at the Community College of Baltimore County that he found his enthusiasm for writing. In the time since Coleman has had his work featured in publications such as The Washington Post/Launcher and ESTNN. Coleman is a graduate of Towson University with a degree in Sport Management and Business Administration.
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