The Inventory menu in Palworld. At the moment it's displaying a Pal Sphere, a vital tool for catching Pals.

More Palworld Guides

Palworld may present itself as a survival game, first and foremost, but a big part of the appeal is the ability to catch - and employ - a bunch of cutesy monsters. You can start snagging Pals for your collection more or less right from the start of a new game, but you'll need to perform some setup before you can build your little empire.

This guide will teach you how to catch Pals in Palworld. Like a certain other monster-catching game, you do it with a special item - the Pal Sphere - and although you can just find them sitting around o the ground, you'll probably have to craft yourself a bunch. We'll start there.

The player prepares to craft a Pal Sphere at a Primitive Workbench in Palworld.

Crafting Pal Spheres

You can craft Pal Spheres at a Primitive Workbench, which you can set up for a paltry two Wood. (Preferably you want to do this where you plan to build a base, but it's not a necessity.) You can find Wood by punching trees or picking sticks up off the ground.

The Primitive Workbench won't be ready to create Pal Spheres right away, however. First you need to unlock that Technology option. Enter the Technology submenu (center button on a controller, T key on a keyboard) and look at the second tier. Pal Spheres are right beside the Palbox, which you can use to store your Pals. Unlock the Pal Sphere Technology option. 

(If you spent your Technology Points on other upgrades you'll need to earn some levels. Go punch a few Pals.)

The player harvests Paldium Fragments from a lump of Paldium in Palworld.

You need three resources to craft Pal Spheres at a Primitive Workbench:
  • A Paldium Fragment
  • 3 Wood
  • 3 Stone
Wood and Stone you'll find by punching or otherwise harvesting trees and stone. You'll find both of these all over the place. Paldium Fragments, however, are a bit rarer. To harvest Paldium Fragments you'll need to find small, blue, rocky clumps of Paldium, which are usually located on the edges of cliffs or along running water. You usually don't need to look too far to find these deposits. (You may also collect Paldium Fragments while mining for Stone in rock piles, but not too often.) There's a picture of a Paldium deposit above this paragraph.

Head back to the Primitive Workbench once you have everything you need. Choose the Pal Sphere option from the menu, then hold down the X / F button (depending on system) to create your new Pal Sphere. You're now ready to catch yourself a Pal.

The player attacks a Pal in Palworld.

Catching Pals

Catching Pals is not too difficult. There are, typically, four steps to catching an everyday Pal:
  • Find a Pal. They wander all over the place, and you'll see them from a fair distance away.
  • Attack the Pal, either with your fists or a weapon (right trigger on consoles, left-click on a mouse). Early-game Pals can be handled with your fists, but you're advised to get a weapon before you tackle any of the larger, later-game Pals. The Pal attacks back, so be ready to avoid its attacks.
  • Hit the Pal until it has less than half its HP. You can see its HP displayed just above its head as a thin, red line. Don't hit the Pal too much, or you'll knock it out and lose your chance.
  • Throw a Pal Sphere at the weakened enemy (front-right trigger on consoles, Q on keyboards). If you hit the Pal with the Pal Sphere it'll (hopefully) disappear into the sphere, and you'll see the sphere in the air, with the chances of a successful catch. It you get lucky - or you just used a powerful Pal Sphere - the Pal will be yours after a few moments.
Be careful throwing your Pal Spheres! You need to aim at, and hit, the Pal in order to even have a chance of catching one. Move the targeting reticule over the Pal, and don't throw a sphere until you're confident it won't move. Pal Spheres that miss disappear forever.

And that's that! Even if it takes a few tries, this process will get you your very own Pal. You can now deploy the Pal (left-front trigger on controllers, E on keyboards), and it'll help you in combat. Pals have their own HP and Hunger bars, so make sure you feed your Pal, and let it rest. You can even use Pals in partner attacks, and, with the correct items, ride around on them.

Once you have multiple Pals in your party you can cycle between them (left and right analog buttons on a controller, 1 and 3 keys on a keyboard) and deploy them whenever you wish. You can carry up to five Pals at any one time. Any other Pals you catch - and any you don't want to use - need to go in a Palbox, which you can construct for one Paldium Fragment, eight Wood, and three Stone. Palboxes form the backbone of a new base, which is a topic for another guide.

One word of warning. Once you deploy a Pal it will help you fight other Pals. This is great if you're only looking for experience. If you want to catch a Pal, however, your partner may prove a problem, as they can - and will - knock out enemy Pals with their attacks. Either pull your partner back into its Pal Sphere before they can deliver a coup de grace, or don't bring them out in the first place.

The player toils away at a Sphere Workbench, creating new Pal Spheres.

Sphere Workbench

As you advance through Palworld and come across more powerful Pals you'll quickly realize that the plain ol' Pal Sphere isn't enough to catch everything. You'll need better Pal Spheres, which means investing some Technology Points in higher-level Technologies.

Raise your Player Level enough times and you'll unlock the High Quality Workbench, and logically you'd assume you could make Pal Spheres here, as well. This isn't the case when you get to the higher tiers of Pal Spheres, and you'll instead need a new work station: The Sphere Workbench. Available at Technology level 14, the Sphere Workbench allows you to work on the Mega Sphere, also at Technology level 14, as well as normal Pal Spheres. You can also build Giga Spheres here, at Technology level 20.

Beyond that... well. You'll need to look into Sphere Assembly Lines before you can make some of the more advanced Pal Spheres. Happy building!