News Article

Weirdness: Theories on the Inside of a Poké Ball

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

PETA would choose the "ideal environment theory"

Video games are often silly, fantastical things, which is one of the reasons that we love them. Still, that silliness can sometimes be fun for theoretical nonsense, such as the real estate value of Hyrule Castle.

The same group that came up with that theory has now asked that all-important question — "what's it like inside a Poké Ball". Plenty of Nintendo gamers have used a Poké Ball hundreds, maybe thousands, of times, but how does it actually work?

According to there are three possible answers, and it has tackled them all in a rather attractive infographic. Check it out below.


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User Comments (79)



6ch6ris6 said:

this is a funny way to show people that animals should be treated better in this society. i wouldnt have expected this from PETA. they have been way more aggressive the last times

i like it



Haxonberik said:

Nope, the energy theory or even the physical size series (as used in the manga) are far more accurate.



MasterWario said:

It could also be that putting a Pokemon in a Pokeball "hibernates" them, kinda like a cryogenic freezer.



Melkaticox said:

The data theory is the most likely. If the Ideal Environment Theory was true, shouldn't pokémon be able to recover their health after a brief period of time? (without items/a pokémon center).



gekslupis said:

I assumed the backgrounds in my pc box represented the place the pokemon goes but I guess ideal environment is more humane, if a little luxurious.



SirQuincealot said:

pokeballs are not expensive, they are probably the cheapest thing in the game, they are the equivalent of 5 game corner chips to put it in perspective, so i would have to say the first one seems more likely seeing as they travel through computers anyway, maybe the great and ultraballs are more livable which would explain why pokemon are easier to catch in them, the master ball is probs really nice though



Alienfish said:

I think they work like capsules in Dragonball, and by that I mean I think that their contents is actually moved to a confined area in a parallel universe, which is how I think those work and also the reason that dinosaurs, old western towns, and futuristic cities all exist in the same world. Also, I'm pretty sure it was confirmed on the show that the ideal environment theory is the one at play.



Klunk23 said:

I'm thinking that either the data theory or the physical size theory is what it acctually is. And the ideal invirement doesn't explain how the pokemon fits in the ball.



Marakuto said:

What about that episode in the first season of Pokemon where Misty catchs Psyduck? That actually showed what the inside of a pokeball looked like (probably from Psyduck's own view since it's quite dull so other Pokemon may differ.)



J-Manix98 said:

Going by my studies on "Pokeballography" The inside of the Pokeball
is a series of mirrors which keep the data energized pokemon contained.
That is all. (



Zombie_Barioth said:

I think some balance between the data and physical size theories seems about right. Things like how pokemon centers work, storage, and transport seem fairly consistant and the data theory would explain them, but that doesn't explain how Pokemon seem to be aware of whats going on outside their pokeball.

What I find weird about the whole thing is what happens to the actual pokeball during all this, being a solid object that changes size and can be stored on a PC.



scrubbyscum999 said:

I think the data theory is the most plausible, though I feel the environment theory can be implemented as well, at least in the PC potentially.



HeatBombastic said:

I don't think the habitat theory could work at all. That means those 200 p pokeballs would need to be specified for each Pokemon.



ShadJV said:

I think it's actually basically a torture device, hence pokemon trying to escape when first captured. The pokemon undergo immense pain inside the Pokeballs, breaking their spirits and discouraging them from attempting escape when the trainers send them up. They become so convinced that trainers are sadistic enslavers that they fear ever rebelling, lest they be killed.

My other theory is that it's a piece of fiction so we're wasting time theorizing on a concept that likely doesn't have any official explanation, and our laws of physics do not necessarily apply in their universe.



Captain_Balko said:

Only the data theory makes sense. When pokemon are captured, they change to one colour and energy is released (hence the sparkle effects) because the pokeball converts them into energy which is inputted as data.This is why all trainers can store pokemon on the PC, and the pokemon can be healed by the machines in the pokecenter (it essentially edits their data so they are healthy again).



BakaKnight said:

This remind me a collection of fanmade pics I saw sometime ago...
Each Pokeball was actually a house, for example the Master Ball was a mansion-like thing (with also a huge tv screen of course!) while the classic pokeball was a poor house with little-no comforts XD



MrWalkieTalkie said:

I'm fairly certain the first theory is true for the games. However I do believe placing them in the PC means you're sending them to some Pokemon Ranch like in the anime where whenever Ash needs to send a Pokemon away to keep a party of 6, they are transported to Prof. Oak's research ranch.



MeloMan said:

I believe in the energy theory, like Ghostbusters. It's basically like what happens to Ghost when they land in a muon containment trap, their size is relatively irrelevant............................ what?



steamhare said:

I always thought it was a bit like the matrix. They're stored as energy, but simultaneously exist as objects in a virtual environment.



Bobhobob said:

I feel like in X and Y you should be able to customize the insides of your pokeball with furniture you can buy in a store somewhere. Also, the higher the tier of the pokeball, you should get more space or the ability to buy better furniture.



FFL2and3rocks said:

So in the episode where Ash accidentally catches a riceball with his pokeball, what is the riceball's ideal environment?



KiwiPanda said:

I've always thought of the Ideal Environment Theory when I come to think of it. Although, if that were the case, why would the Pokemon a trainer is attempting to catch try to flee?



Williaint said:

I just assumed they went into a state of hibernation. Transferring the Pokemon's data wouldn't make sense in the 'ideal environment' or physical theory, so it's probably a form of energy/data conversion. I still think it would be neet to capture people.



Tertis said:

Why talk about poke balls when you can talk about what the real world would be like if they existed?
That's something I'd love to hear.



mikeyman64 said:


Makes the most sense. Also, looking at the price of a simple pokeball at 100pd each, that would hardly cover the cost of something as complex as an Environmental, honey we shrunk our Pokemon, room. One would think.





TrueWiiMaster said:

The Data theory's probably closest to what the creators imagined. I mean, think about it. You store Pokemon on a computer. They can be transferred through a computer too. Of course, that's not to say that Pokemon, as data, aren't placed in virtual ideal environments, which are also transferred into the computer.



SCAR said:

The Pokemon are teleported to the Prof. Oak/Elm/etc. lab via PC. The TV show explains where they are, which is roaming the areas around the Lab built for domesticated Pokemon. The game only gives you instant access to them, because it's a game.
If they implemented the waiting time for Pokemon to be transfered to you via PC, it would take upwards of 10-20 minutes to prepare sending the Pokemon.
While inside the Pokeball, I think @SanderEvers shows what happens inside. That means they would be able to program the ideal environment digitally. Since the Pokemon become digital themselves, they can interact with digital environments as well, which would include programable food items and such.



KKSlider said:

This is a great article,
I live for creative writing like this. Simply amazing.



TwilightV said:

The manga (at least the early manga from what i've seen) appears to use the physical size theory. The Pokèmon don't seem to mind.

Edit: Also, the Pokè-masseuse and hot tub ideas are ridiculous.



Gioku said:

It's a video game! Pokéballs don't need to make any sense whatsoever. Just like breeding Skitty with Wailord.



nintendawesome said:

Something tells me that PETA hasn't watched the latest Pokemon episode, where Dragonite is shown in his Pokeball.



SageWaterDragon said:

The actual scenario was described in one of the Pokemon films: they are essentially digitized and put into a giant world with all the other Pokemon. So, yes, somewhere out there there is a lava pool where a couple hundred Groudons are kind of just chilling out, maybe playing chess.



BulbasaurusRex said:

Um, wouldn't converting matter into energy create a nuclear explosion? If just splitting some atoms to convert part of them into energy is enough to devastate a city, converting something even the mass of a Gastly would be enough to easily wipe out the whole planet.

Also, keep in mind that in the animé, the Pokéballs themselves are never digitized in a PC, merely teleported at times. (Although, that then opens up the can of worms as to whether they're actually teleporting the Pokémon, or if they're killing it and creating a physically identical clone with the original's memories, something I dislike about "Star Trek.")



FriedSquid said:

Some of you guys don't realize that this article has nothing to do with PETA. NL just mentioned them in the tagline.



Melkaticox said:

Why do people keep mentioning the anime/movies/manga as if they were related to the games at all? It's good to hear different theories guys, but don't treat the anime as if they were canon, so to say.



Alienfish said:

The information in the show was meant to tie in with the information in the games. If it's true in the show, it's true in the games, at least the older games. The newer games are set in different worlds from what I understand. In the end it's all a bunch of fantasy anyway.



Zombie_Barioth said:

The manga is actually based very closely on Satoshi Tajiri's original vision of the series, so its probably the most accurate representation out there.

The anime is like the more "child friendly" version of it and aside from a few creative liberties it sticks to the source material pretty well. Theres actually a good chance the anime would have been much closer to the manga if they weren't pressured into changing it (and thus the manga was born).



FullbringIchigo said:

i think they would either be
1: turned into some form of energy and held in a state of stasis

2: that the Pokeballs are in fact a type of door that when activated transport the pokemon through a trans-dimensional doorway to a separate dimension where they live in their own unique world linked to the other trainers pokeballs (ala like a TARDIS from Doctor Who) this could also explain how they are able to get to know each other and know what's going on even when they are inside their pokeballs



MrMario02 said:

ACTUALLY, in the Pokemon manga, Pokeballs have translucent lids. Looking inside reveals that the Pokemon inside is smaller, but is not crammed inside. My guess is that when a Pokeball is capturing a Pokemon it converts a Pokemon to data, moves the data inside, reassembles the Pokemon on a smaller scale and uses nitrogen gas to Cryogenically freeze the Pokemon. When sending the Pokemon out of the Pokeball, it removes the gas, converts the Pokemon into data, moves it out of the Pokeball, and reassembles it to it's natural size.



GamerZack87 said:

"Most Pokémon must be weakened in some way before they can be captured, but once they're inside a Poké Ball, they enjoy their new home, since Poké Balls contain an environment specially designed for Pokémon comfort."

"Pokémon live in these items which, despite appearances, actually contain a wide, comfortable, Pokémon-friendly world inside them."




Melkaticox said:

@Zombie_Barioth That doesn't mean any of the ideas used in the manga/anime are canon to the GAMES, they're all made up by their respective writers. They're three completely different universes.



Mortenb said:

Why is the energy theory inhumane (shouldn't that word be inmonstery or something, since they are not human)? I wouldn't even mind being transferred into energy if I would be transferred back a bit later. Why should a pokemon care? The cramped space theory does seem a bit inmonstery though, so I wouldn't put my pokemon there.



Zombie_Barioth said:

Your right, they aren't actually canon to the games (not counting yellow version) but I'm not saying they are.

you asked-
"Why do people keep mentioning the anime/movies/manga as if they were related to the games at all?"

I was simply pointing out that they are in fact related, just not story-wise. Even Satoshi Tajiri himself has stated the manga is the most accurate depiction of the world he imagined and its been hinted that the anime would have been closer to how the manga is if if they weren't pressured into making it more broadly appealing (i.e child/family friendly).



dragonskorn said:

Actually, there have been signs in which the trainers have spoken with their pokemon and even given them commands while they were still in the pokeball, disproving the code and light energy theories. Most pokemon actually enjoy being in their pokeballs, Pikachu seems to be the only one who doesn't like it, disproving the physical size theory, and there is a video on YouTube inwhich the guy talks about the different theroies and gives evidence against them, including the ideal envirnoment theory.

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