The term "Pokémon Panel" is found in the manuals of both Pokémon Pinball and Pokémon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire. The Japanese name is different in the manuals of each game: ポケモンパネル (Pokémon Panel) in Pokémon Pinball and センターパネル (Center Panel) in Pokémon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire.
The Pokémon Panel is located between the Center Hole (above) and the Counter (below), at the bottom of all main fields. Size of the Pokémon Panel: 48×32 pixels (Pokémon Pinball); 50×34 pixels (Pokémon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire).
Start of the game
When the game is starting and the ball is still in the Plunger Lane before being launched, the available areas are quickly shown in the Pokémon Panel as spinning slots. When the player launches the ball for the first time, the area currently displayed in the Pokémon Panel is selected.
The Pokémon Panel displays an image of the current area by default.
Catch 'em Mode
When the Catch 'em Mode starts, a black silhouette of the currently available Pokémon is shown on the Pokémon Panel. When the player hits the Bumpers above, pieces of the Pokémon are revealed, until the Pokémon is completely shown. Specifically, there are 6 pieces to reveal: the first hit reveals 1 piece, the second hit reveals 2 more pieces, and the third hit reveals the final 3 pieces. Alternatively, only in Pokémon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire, the player is able to quickly reveal the whole Pokémon at once if the ball hits the Bumpers 3 times without falling.
Once the Pokémon displayed in the Pokémon Panel is completely revealed, it's replaced by an animated sprite of the Pokémon. The Pokémon is caught after the ball hits it 4 times in Pokémon Pinball, or 3 times in Pokémon Pinbal: Ruby & Sapphire.
In both games, as long as the Evolution Mode is active, the unevolved Pokémon remains displayed in the Pokémon Panel. If the player is able to successfully evolve it within the time limit, the unevolved Pokémon is replaced by the evolved Pokémon in the Pokémon Panel.
In Pokémon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire, there is no Pokémon Panel as long as a hatched Pokémon is present in the field. The Pokémon Panel disappears when a Pokémon hatches from an Egg, and returns when that Pokémon is caught or leaves the field.
Map Mode (Pokémon Pinball)
At the start of the Map Mode in Pokémon Pinball, an image written "Hurry Up!" appears in the Pokémon Panel, pointing to top left or top right. This is the direction where the player is supposed to launch the ball to open the Bonus Cave. Once the Bonus Cave is open, as image written "Go to Next" pointing up (at the Bonus Cave) appears in the Pokémon Panel.
Travel Mode (Pokémon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire)
At the start of the Travel Mode in Pokémon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire, an image written "Travel" appears in the Pokémon Panel, with two arrows pointing to top left and top right. The player is able to launch the ball either direction to open the Center Hole. Once the Center Hole is open, the Pokémon Panel reverts to the default state, an image of the current area. When the ball enters the Center Hole, the Pokémon Panel displays two options: "A Travel" and "B Cancel". If the player presses A to travel, the Pokémon Panel shortly reverts once again to an image of the current area. At this point, VolbeatRuby Field or IllumiseSapphire Field uses a paintbrush to paint the new area over the old area, then strikes a pose near the Pokémon Panel and flies away.
When the player catches or evolves enough Pokémon to fill the Counter below the Pokémon Panel with 3 Poké Balls, a Bonus Stage is unlocked. This causes an an image of the currently available stage to appear in the Pokémon Panel with the text "Go to Bonus" and the Center Hole to open. Some examples of Bonus Stages are the Meowth Stage and Diglett Stage in Pokémon Pinball, as well as the Duskull Stage and Kecleon Stage in Pokémon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire).
In Pokémon Pinball, when the ball enters the hole, the player goes directly to the Bonus Stage. In Pokémon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire, the Pokémon Panel displays two options: "A Bonus" and "B Cancel". The player goes to the Bonus Stage depending on the button pressed by the player.
When the Slot Mode is available (after the player has turned on the 4 Hole Lights), an image written "Slot" (in Pokémon Pinball) or "Start Slot" (in Pokémon Pinball: Ruby a& Sapphire]]) appears in the Pokémon Panel, with an arrow pointing to the Center Hole. When the ball enters the hole, the available prizes are quickly shown in the Pokémon Panel as spinning slots. When the player presses a button, the slots become slower until they stop, awarding the prize displayed to the player.