So far, Ash has owned 80+ Pokémons and to keep them he needs equal number of Poké Balls. Now, he can keep frequently used 6 Pokémons on his belt and memorize their places. But, when he needs to take out a less frequent Pokémon, what does he do? Finding a particular Poké Ball among 80+ identical Poké Balls doesn't look an easy task when there's no label on Poké Balls. Does he use trial and error? "Not you Snorlax" "Not you Bayleef" "Not you Aipom" "Not you Chimchar" "Not you Grotle" "Aipom, you again".. After hundreds of attempts, "Yeah, got you Staraptor".

How exactly does Ash do that?

  • 2
    I'll let a Pokemon master answer this, but I'd say memory, the same when you play an FPS and have to quickly switch to a convenient weapon using 4 keyboard keys
    – Goufalite
    Commented Apr 24, 2017 at 8:21
  • @Goufalite So far I have handled around 9-10 weapons at a time. I needed to memorize function key associations.. F5 is Bazooka.. F3 is AK-47.. etc. But, I doubt anyone can memorize 80+ associations when there is no key labels and recall them quickly.
    – user931
    Commented Apr 24, 2017 at 8:37
  • 5
    I can't speak for Ash or the anime in general, but in the Manga it does occasionally show the fact that the Red upper half of Pokeballs can be transparent, allowing a trainer to see which Pokemon is inside. Commented Apr 24, 2017 at 9:16
  • @ILoveYou I read in your question that Ash caries 6 balls. Effectively there might be a problem in the main hub to select 6 through the 80+ pokeballs...
    – Goufalite
    Commented Apr 24, 2017 at 9:29
  • @ChristieRomanowski: I used to know all 125 IDs for our products (when I worked in a shop) by heart. It's not impossible for Ash to know 80+ assignations, especially if they're stored in an order that Ash himself decided, and has seen his collection grow over time.
    – Flater
    Commented Sep 28, 2017 at 12:39

2 Answers 2


Ash knows what the Poké Ball is for each Pokémon, because he has positions for them (besides that you can know that Pokémon are inside), and besides he never keeps more than 6 Pokémon with him. The other Pokémon are usually stocked in Bill's PC in the games, although Ash uses his mentor Professor Oak to keep the Pokémon in the anime.

When you need a Pokémon you do not have with you in the games, you exchange it through a Pokémon Center or a PC. Using the PC you can know what Pokémon you have and what you choose for the exchange. Professor Oak has the Pokémon living "free" with him and only puts them in their Poké Balls and sends them to Ash in the anime.

There are also special cases of Ash's Pokémon that are neither stored or with Professor Oak, for example Charizard who is in a sanctuary of Pokémon, but if Ash needs him he can call to obtain his Poké Ball.

PE: There is an episode in the anime where you can see how Ash is selecting the Pokémon for the league.

  • 6
    To add to this: A few times during the anime, trainers have been shown to pick and throw a ball, only to be surprised when the wrong Pokémon appears because they had actually grabbed a different ball than the one they thought of. During the first season's Pokémon league Ash meets Richie, who has marked all his own Pokéballs with a sticker. Subsequently, Richie is the only trainer who's able to swiftly pick out his own balls from a sack after Team Rocket gathers them in an attempt to steal all the league trainers' Pokémon.
    – Nox
    Commented Apr 24, 2017 at 12:25
  • 2
    To add to this, from the first season in the anime, Ash is seen catching a Krabby. To his surprise, the Krabby (his 7th Pokemon, including Pikachu) is automatically transferred to the Professor. He can transfer to/from the Lab fairly easily, but he can only have 6 Pokemon with him at a time.
    – Jeff
    Commented Apr 24, 2017 at 12:43

I have a theory that it doesn't matter which ball you take but it matters the Pokemon name you call out before throwing it. Furthermore, it depends on which Pokemon you're thinking about while holding the ball so you don't have to verbally call the name. Just a lame theory though....

  • 4
    Is there any support to this theory?
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Sep 27, 2017 at 19:19
  • I remember an episode from very early in the series where Ash uses the wrong ball multiple times.
    – JMac
    Commented Sep 28, 2017 at 11:58

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.