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This article is about the game mechanic. For the Pokémon Adventures round whose Japanese title translates to "Escape!!", see PS268.

Escaping via Smoke Ball in Generation III.

In the core series Pokémon games, it is possible to escape from a battle with a wild Pokémon by selecting "Run" on the main battle screen. Escape is not guaranteed however; whether the player is successful at running away from the battle is determined by a calculation involving the speed of the combatants. When the escape is successful, the battle ends immediately. When it is not successful, the wild Pokémon will attack the player's Pokémon.

It is not possible to escape from in-game Trainer battles. However, in player battles in the Cable or Wireless Clubs, attempting to escape will cause the battle to end immediately. If only one player attempts to escape, the battle counts as a loss against them, but if both players attempt to escape in the same turn, the battle ends in a draw.

Entering a battle with a wild Pokémon and then escaping counts the Pokémon as being seen in the Trainer's Pokédex.

Success conditions

Under normal circumstances, the chance of escaping is determined by the formula Escape Formula.png, where

A is the current Speed of the player's active Pokémon,
B is the opposing Pokémon's Speed divided by 4, mod 256, and
C is the number of times the player has tried to escape during the battle (counting the current attempt).

If F is greater than 255, the player escapes automatically. Otherwise, a random number is generated between 0 and 255. If that number is less than F, the player escapes. If not, the escape fails and the player's Pokémon does not make a move that turn.

Several other conditions can cause escape to always succeed or always fail.

  • An opponent Pokémon with the Ability Shadow Tag causes the player's escape attempts to fail if the player's Pokémon does not also have Shadow Tag.
  • An opponent Pokémon with the Ability Arena Trap causes the player's escape attempts to fail if the player's Pokémon is not Flying type or levitating.
  • The reusable held item Smoke Ball causes its holder's escape attempts from wild Pokémon to succeed.
  • The items Poké Doll, Fluffy Tail, and Poké Toy can be used to escape from wild Pokémon.
  • Trapping moves used by the opponent can prevent the player from even making escape attempts. (When the player selects "Run", "Can't escape!" would be shown but the turn is not wasted.)
  • If the player's Pokémon is under the effect of Ingrain, it will be unable to escape.
  • Use of the move Teleport will guarantee escape from a wild Pokémon if it is not using or bearing any of the aforementioned moves or abilities.
  • The Ability Run Away causes escape attempts to succeed and ignores anything above that would prevent escape. This applies even if the user of Run Away has fainted.

While not effects that directly affect escape, using the moves Whirlwind or Roar in a wild battle forces the wild Pokémon to leave the battle, which has the same effect as escaping. However, if the wild Pokémon has the Ability Suction Cups or has used the move Ingrain previously in the battle, it will be immune to Whirlwind and Roar. Similarly, a Pokémon that has the Ability Soundproof is immune to Roar.

In Generation III only, Smoke Ball has animation when escaping using it. In Generation II, "Got away safely" redundantly appears after the message informing of escape via Smoke Ball.

As of Generation VI, if the player has a Ghost-type Pokémon out, attempts to run from wild battles will never fail regardless of Speed.


The player's Pokémon has a Speed of 25 and the wild Pokémon has a Speed of 100. The player tries to escape, but hasn't attempted to flee anytime earlier in the battle.

First, calculate B: Escape Formula Example 1.png

Since B isn't above 255, it is just left as is.

Then, calculate F: Escape Formula Example 2.png

Since F isn't above 255, generate a random number between 0 and 255.

The probability of escaping is Escape Formula Example 3.png, or approximately 24%. If the player fails to escape, each successive attempt will be 30/256 more likely than the last, or about 11.7%.

Generally speaking, the slower the Trainer's Pokémon and/or the faster the wild Pokémon, the harder it is to escape.

Wild Pokémon

Certain wild Pokémon can escape from battle. Pokémon that are legendary or found in the region's Safari Zone are the only ones who flee.

Roaming Pokémon attempt to flee every turn, and trapping moves can be used to prevent this.

In the Safari Zone-type areas, Pokémon can escape from battle. In all of these games, the rate of escape is lowered by throwing BaitRBYFRLGDPPtHGSS (while the catch rate is also lowered) or PokéblocksRSE, and the rate of escape is raised by throwing RocksRBYFRLG, MudDPPtHGSS, or by "going near"RSE (while the catch rate is also raised).

In Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal, however, a few species of wild Pokémon can escape from battle. These Pokémon were intended to be more likely to be caught in a Fast Ball, but due to a programming error, only Magnemite, Grimer, and Tangela are more likely to be caught in a Fast Ball.

Low probability (~10% chance to flee every turn):

Medium probability (50% chance to flee every turn):


Other Pokemon such as Togetic, Eevee and the legendary birds are also programmed to have a chance to flee, but due to never appearing in the wild, it makes no difference.

Project Games logo.png This game mechanic article is part of Project Games, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on the Pokémon games.