The only person who has been seen using a Dark Ball is the Iron-Masked Marauder. He claimed that any Pokémon captured with a Dark Ball will become evil and their power will increase to the highest level. The Pokémon loses its freedom and will obey all commands of its master.
The Iron-Masked Marauder used a Dark Ball to capture a Tyranitar owned by a Pokémon poacher and bring it under his control, even though it already belonged to someone. Later, he caught a Celebi in a Dark Ball as well.
The control of a Dark Ball can be fought and even broken if the Pokémon has enough willpower. Should this happen, the Dark Ball that captured it will be destroyed. This happened to Celebi after it had been captured by Iron-Masked Marauder, although it nearly lost its life in the process. Conversely, if a Dark Ball is destroyed, the Pokémon it was used to capture will be freed from its influence and return to its normal state (as happened with the Marauder's other three Pokémon).
- Pokémon captured with the Dark Ball have similar characteristics to Shadow Pokémon. Both Shadow Pokémon and Pokémon captured with Dark Balls supposedly have their power increased and both are described as being "soulless."
- The Pokémon who are caught with Dark Balls seem to have their skin color darkened. Celebi is the exception, instead developing a blank, lifeless expression with narrowed pupils.
- The Dusk Ball in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl was originally called the Dark Ball in Japanese, but to avoid confusion, the name was changed in localizations.