It’s no secret that Pokémon GO’s curveball mechanic is plagued by bugs. Some players suspect it has never worked correctly, while others think the major problems are more recent.
Either way, Pokémon GO players are not always getting credit for their curveballs, which means a decrease in experience and, more importantly, a decreased bonus to catch. In addition to all of these problems, the latest data now suggests that some players are getting curveball credit for throws that are straight.
The proper way to throw a curveball is by spinning the pokeball on the screen before throwing it. The creates a visual effect and the ball follows a curved arc on the way to the catchable creature. While researching the curveball bugs, some players have been noticing that they are still getting the curveball bonus even when they just throw the ball straight. That may sound unlikely, but there is video evidence to prove it.
One member of the Reddit community has posted two videos showcasing the bug on the game’s subreddits. Here is an example with a Natu catch and here is a second with a Jigglypuff catch. In addition to these examples, lots of other players in the comments say they have experienced the same thing thing. Some trainers even claim that this has been an exploit since the game launched.
Rather than assuming the curveball credit is happening randomly, the logical conclusion here is that curveball credit is based on where the ball connects with the monster, rather than the throw technique. This means players should be able to lock in a curveball just by throwing to the hot corners. One major downside here is that throwing great or excellents wouldn’t be much of an option.
Niantic has responded to the complaints about the curveball bug, but they haven’t addressed this false positive side of the issue. It certainly doesn’t seem like this is how curveballs were intended to be earned, but Niantic has a long list of potentially more pressing bugs to work on first. Hopefully once Battle Raids are functioning as intended, then the company can explain how curveball credit is supposed to work.