Introduction: What’s a Shiny Pokémon, And How Rare Is It?
Shiny Pokémon were introduced in Gen 2 and since that moment, having a shiny Pokémon meant two things: you were extremely lucky, or you spent a lot of time grinding and hatching eggs or engaging in wild Pokémon battles to get a shiny.
People collect shinies because they are really hard to get; from Gen 2 to Gen 6, the odds of getting a Shiny Pokémon in a battle were 1 in 8192. From Gen 6 to the actual games, the odds were reduced to a 1 in 4096. But, there’s a lot of methods that can help you reduce the odds to really low numbers.
But, how does this probability works? Well, Game Freak gave use to the RNG (Pseudorandom Number Generator). Firstly, in Gen 2, a Pokémon was determined as a shiny by its IVs (which are the genes of every stat of the Pokémon); it has to have a certain amount of IVs on Attack (2, 3, 6, 7, 10, 11, 14 or 15) and 10 IVs on the rest of its stats for the Pokémon to be shiny.
This got changed on Gen 3. Those games generate a PID (Personality Identification Number) to every single Pokémon you find. This PID not only determines if a Pokémon is or isn’t shiny; it also works to determine its ability, its nature, and its IVs.
But, How Can You Know When a Pokémon Is Shiny?
If it is the first time you read about shiny Pokémon, let’s explain a bit about it: A shiny Pokémon differs from a normal Pokémon only on its color. So, for example, if a normal Charizard is orange, then a Shiny Charizard will be dark blue. On the rest, it is exactly like a normal Pokémon; stats, IVs, Natures, and Abilities will not change.
Also, there are indicators of when a Pokémon is shiny or not:
- Gen 2: You’ll see some yellow stars upside the Pokémon.
- Gen 3: There will be some yellow stars, but this time around the Pokémon.
- Gen 4: The stars will be around the Pokémon, but the stars will be silver this time.
- Gen 5: Some blue and white stars will appear around the Pokémon, and a characteristic sound is almost the same as the sound when you heal a Pokémon.
- Gen 6: Some white stars will appear around the Pokémon.
- Gen 7: Now, a big gold star will appear briefly on the front of the Pokémon.
- Gen 8: Here, we have two types of shines, the ones with white stars around them and the ones with some shiny rectangle patterns, which are harder to get.
Also, if you catch it and check out its stats, a red star will appear, normally near the Pokémon’s name.
So, you probably are thinking you can have all Pokémon with their respective shiny version, but there’s a list of some Pokémon that can’t be obtained as a shiny, even if they have a shiny version. Here’s the list of the unobtainable shinies:
Shiny Pokémon That Are Impossible to Get
Depending on if they are obtainable through an event or given by Nintendo or Game Freak, the following Pokémon can’t be obtained as shiny. No way or method works with these Pokémon, even breeding. Let’s start with the list:
- Cosplay Pikachu (Which is only obtainable in ORAS).
- Pikachu in a Cap (Obtainable only through a code given to USUM and Sword and Shield Players and now is unobtainable in any way).
- Galarian Articuno, Zapdos and Moltres.
- Spiky-Eared Pichu (Given after getting a shiny Pichu on an HGSS event in 2010, now is unobtainable in any way).
- Victini, Keldeo, and Meloetta.
- Cosmog and Cosmoem.
- Melmetal Gigantamax (Given on an event, and currently unobtainable).
- Zacian, Zamacenta, and Eternatus.
- Kubfu and Urshifu.
- Glastier, Spectrier and Calyrex.
Hardest Shiny Pokémon To Get
And there’s a list of some of the Pokémon that can be obtained as shiny, but it is very hard to get them. Most of them are hard to get as shiny because they are even hard to get normally. Let’s start.
Legendary Pokémon can’t be bred, so the Shiny Ditto Method (Which we will see later) can’t be applied to them. The way to get them as shinies is resetting. But there’s a legendary Pokémon that is even harder to get as a shiny in this Gen, and it is Mewtwo.
The only way to get Mewtwo in Gen 2 is by transferring it from a Gen 1 game.
To know if it will be shiny or not is by catching it, transferring it to a Gen 2 game, and seeing if it is shiny. But you can also use a guide based on the IVs a Pokémon needs to have to be shiny in Gen 2; here it is:
You can use the soft-resetting method here, but you have to fight against the 1 in 8192 probability. This same problem applies to Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres.
Raikou and Entei
These two Gen 2 legendaries have a big problem; they are roaming through the whole map. The only way to have them is to be lucky enough to find them.
The only way to have them as shiny Pokémon is by being extremely lucky, as their shiny condition depends on the very first encounter you have with them; if you didn’t see them as shiny, you are screwed. Unfortunately, there’s not a certain way or method to use to increase the probability either.
Latias and Latios
These two have the same problem as Raikou and Entei; they are constantly roaming through Hoenn.
Tornadus and Thundurus
The same problem with Raikou, Entei, Latias, and Latios; they will be roaming, this time through Unova. At least you can have the Shiny Charm, so your chances are slightly better.
Vespiquen and Salazzle
This is a special case, as to have a Vespiquen, you need to find a female Combee because they are the only ones that can evolve into Vespiquen, and the probability of this happening is around 12.5%.
To get a Shiny Vespiquen, you have to be extremely patient and be breeding a lot since you’ll fight against two probabilities, the 1 in 8192 of being shiny and the 12.5% chances of the Combee being female.
Salazzle suffers from the same problem, as you need a female Salandit because they are the only ones that can evolve into Salazzle.
Other Pokémon that can perfectly fit into this list are Gallade and Frosslass, as their pre-evolutions need to be male and female, respectively, to evolve, and there’s only a 50% chance to get them.
Feebas and Milotic
Obtaining Feebas in Gen 3 is extremely hard by itself, and now imagine having to fight against the odds of Feebas being Shiny.
To get Feebas in Gen 3, you have to go to Route 119 and fish in the river. The problem with that is that Feebas can only appear in a determined space of 6 spots that you have to look for as it is impossible to sight-read where Feebas will be.
And that’s not the end of the problem because the spots change periodically, and when that happens, you have to look for the certain spot where Feebas is again and start fishing.
We recommend only catching it and breeding it with a Ditto as it is way easier to have it that way. If you are going for this one, we wish you good luck.
This last one is really hard because it is a whole challenge by itself. The only way to get Manaphy in Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum is by completing Pokémon Ranger and transferring its egg from there.
The problem is that you can’t get another Manaphy egg easily; if Manaphy wasn’t shiny for the first time, you have to re-beat Pokémon Ranger again to get the egg again. And it will not work if you reset the game, though; you’ll need a brand new Pokémon Ranger cartridge if you want another Manaphy.
Getting a Shiny Manaphy legit is an almost impossible task.
Shiny Hunting Methods
Since the internet was born, people have been sharing different methods to increase the odds of getting a shiny, alongside Game Freak, helping people get shinies faster by including new game mechanics.
Every Pokémon game has its own way of getting shinies, and, in this article, we will summarize all of those methods for you to get any Shiny Pokémon you want, regardless of the game. Let’s get started!
Difficulty: Very Easy
Works on: Gen 2 to Gen 7
Let’s get started with the most common method to get a shiny starter or a shiny Legendary Pokémon; soft resetting.
This method only works with any gifted Pokémon (like starters or eggs) and Legendary Pokémon. This is because they are event Pokémon; they will always be there for you to have them, but they get a different PID every time you are about to get them.
So, soft resetting your console helps you spend less time turning on and off your console. Of course, this means it doesn’t change the probability of getting a shiny but at least makes the grind a bit pleasant.
To soft reset your console, you have to press the following button combination:
- Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance: “A” Button + “B” Button + SELECT + START.
- Nintendo DS: “L” Button + “R” Button + SELECT + START.
- Nintendo 3DS: “L” Button + “R” Button + SELECT or START.
Shiny Ditto Method
Works on: Gen 2
The next method we will talk about is the Shiny Ditto Method. To understand how this method works, you need to know that, in Gen 2, if you breed a Pokémon from an egg and one of its parents is a shiny Pokémon, then the bred Pokémon has a probability of 1 in 64 of being shiny.
We can use this new probability for breeding Pokémon with a shiny one. The problem is that the only shiny Pokémon you know you’ll get will be the Red Gyarados from Lake of Rage. But, remember when we explained how a Pokémon was determined to be shiny in Gen 2? by its IVs. And we can have access to a Pokémon that can copy (temporarily) the IVs of another Pokémon; Ditto.
We know it sounds complicated, but really, it isn’t. We need two consoles, one with a Gen 1 game (Blue, Red, or Yellow), the Red Gyarados, the TM Mimic, and a Ditto that has to be slower than Gyarados.
Let’s explain what you have to do to use this method successfully:
- Get the Red Gyarados from Lake of Rage and transfer it to your Gen 1 console (which will not be red in this game, but don’t worry, it won’t lose its shiny status).
- You have to get where the Copycat is (Saffron City) and get the TM Mimic. To do it, you have to give her a Poké Doll. After getting it, teach it to Gyarados.
- Get Gyarados back to your Gen 2 console.
- Go to Blackthorn City, and talk with the Move Deleter to remove every move from Gyarados except for Mimic. After doing that, transfer the Gyarados once again to your Gen 1 console.
- Now, you have to find a Ditto; look for it in Routes 13, 14, 15, and 23. You have to make sure it is slower than Gyarados, but it’ll be enough if it has a lower level than it.
- Get into a battle against it. Since Gyarados can only use Mimic (a move that allows you to copy one of the foe Pokémon’s moves), in this case, it can only copy Transform from Ditto, and you have to use it. After that, Gyarados will change into Ditto. So, the wild Ditto can only use Transform, and it will change into your Ditto copy. So, at this moment, you have to catch the wild Ditto.
- Heal your brand new Ditto and transfer it to your Gen 2 console, and you are done! You have a shiny Ditto!
- The only step left is breeding your desired Pokémon with the shiny Ditto until you get your shiny Pokémon!
Side Note: If you want the shiny Pokémon to be in your newer games, use the 3DS’s virtual console and do this process to transfer your Pokémon with the Poké Transporter.
Works on: From Gen 4
The Masuda Method is a breeding method that highly increases the odds of getting a shiny Pokémon, depending on the game. It consists of breeding two Pokémon, but one of them has to be a Pokémon from a game that has a different language.
The method was added as a way to increase the trading between people using Global Terminal.
In Gen 4, the method increased the odds of hatching a shiny Pokémon in 1 in 1638, while in Black and White, the odds increased to 1 in 1366. In Gen 6, the odds increased to 1 in 683.
Shiny Charm Usage
Works on: From Gen 5
The Shiny Charm is an item that increases the shiny probability by only having it in the bag. However, it has a Hard difficulty since you have to accomplish some requirements to have the item:
- Gen 5 (Only on Black 2 and White 2): You have to catch all the Pokémon from the National Dex (Except for the Mythical Pokémon or the Event Pokémon). You have to talk with Cedric Juniper, and then Professor Juniper will give it to you as a gift.
- Gen 6: Professor Sycamore (X & Y) and Professor Birch (ORAS) will give it to you after completing the National Dex.
- Gen 7: The game’s director will give it to you in the Game Freak’s building, in Heahea City, after completing the Alolan Dex.
- Gen 8: The game’s director will give it to you after completing the Galar Dex, in the Hotel Ionia, in Circhester.
- Also, in Let’s Go Eevee and Let’s Go Pikachu, you can get it after catching all the Pokémon on the Pokédex except for the Mythical Pokémon. The game’s director will give it to you on the third floor of the Celadon Condominiums.
The item increases the chance of getting a shiny in 1 in 2730 in Gen 5, while in Gen 6 onwards, it increases the chance of getting a shiny in 1 in 1366. The item works perfectly with the Masuda Method, as it increases the chance in Gen 5 to 1 in 1024 while in Gen 6 is 1 in 512.
Poké Radar Usage
Difficulty: Very Hard
Works on: Gen 4 and Gen 6
The Poké Radar is an item that lets you discover new Pokémon species in the Gen 4 games, while it gets dedicated only to discover shiny Pokémon in Gen 6.
It only works on tall grass spaces. Then, certain grass spots will shake, indicating that there’s a Pokémon. After that, you can chain the appearance of the same Pokémon depending on which grass spot you selected.
Using it is easy; the problem is that even using it, you need some luck to get your shiny Pokémon.
For this, you’ll need:
- The Poké Radar (in Gen 4, Professor Rowan will give it to you after completing the Sinnoh’s Pokédex, while in Gen 6, you’ll get it in Professor Sycamore’s Lab, given to you by the scientific next to the elevator, after you talk with Professor Sycamore in Lumiose City’s Station. You can do this after completing the game).
- A lot of Super Repels.
- A high-leveled Pokémon with False Swipe (not necessary, but it works if you aren’t sure if you can faint the shiny Pokémon when you find it).
- The 20th Pokétch function (which lets you count how many battles you have engaged by chaining with the Poké Radar and only in Gen 4).
- Some Pokéballs.
- And items that restore PPs.
Now, This Is The Step-by-step Guide of How to Chain a Certain Pokémon Encounter
- This method only works on 9×9 tall grass spaces. So, find your desired Pokémon spot and get to a 9×9 space.
- Use a Super Repel and then get into the area. We will show a scheme of how your area looks and where you have to step, exactly.
- Get to the middle of your area and activate the Poké Radar.
- As you can see, there will be four different shaking spots. First, get to your desired spot. We recommend going to the spot on the 4th zone, as there’s a lot of probabilities of chaining Pokémon. If you didn’t get your desired Pokémon, get out of the zone, recharge the Poké Radar and use it again.
- These are the odds of getting the same Pokémon as the one you encountered for the first time if you fainted it:
- 1st zone: 28%, 2nd zone: 48%, 3rd zone: 68% and 4th zone: 88%.
- But, if you catch the Pokémon instead of faint it, the odds will increase by 10%. You can’t switch between methods though, if you catch them, stick to it until the end.
- After having the first battle, there will be four shaking spots; remember to stick to the 4th zone to not break the chain. Every time you engage in a battle and end it by fainting or catching the Pokémon, the shake will happen again. You have to repeat the process at least 40 times. Every time you faint or catch a Pokémon, the shiny probability will increase, being the odds 1 in 199 when you chain 40 Pokémon appearances.
- After the 40th time, you’ll not need to catch or faint the next Pokémon; if you get to the spot and it isn’t a shiny Pokémon, get out of the grass and recharge the Poké Radar, get to the center of the area, and activate it again. Don’t stop grinding until you get your shiny!
The method works exactly the same for Gen 4 and 6 games, so don’t worry about it.
Works on: Gen 6
This method is pretty simple: you only have to fish. Find a spot you like and start fishing; don’t move off the place or fail while fishing; if you do that, you will break the chain. Another way to break the chain is catching the Pokémon, so you have to faint it.
With this method, you have to chain up to 20 different battles, which will increase your chances of getting a shiny up to 1 in 99. This chance can be even higher with the Shiny Charm, which will increase the odds up to 1 in 95.
After that, the chances of getting a shiny will not get higher, and you’ll have to grind until you get the shiny Pokémon.
Works on: Gen 6
Kiloude City has something interesting named Friend Safari. For every friend you have added to your 3DS, you can access a mini Safari of a determined type. In these Safaris, there’s a higher chance of getting a shiny Pokémon, exactly 1 in 819. If you mix the Safaris with the Shiny Charm, you’ll get a chance of 1 in 585.
Sadly, you can only get the Pokémon that lives on the Friend Safari.
Works on: Gen 6
Gen 6 made it easier to get shinies by adding new mechanics into the game.
Sometimes, you can get into a Horde Encounter while you are in the tall grass. You’ll be against 5 Pokémon with lower levels than the normal levels you could find in the route when this happens.
Even though this doesn’t modify the shiny odds on the game, by simple statistics, every time you engage in a Horde Encounter, you’ll have a chance of 5 in 4096 of getting a Shiny Pokémon. That number, simplified, is a chance of 1 in 819. By the usage of the Shiny Charm, you’ll get a chance of 1 in 585.
Go travel through the routes waiting to get Horde Encounters; eventually, you’ll get your desired shiny!
Works on: Gen 7
Sun and Moon didn’t get behind when talking about shiny methods, and, in this case, it uses a new mechanic into the game; chaining SOS Battles.
When you are battling against a wild Pokémon or against a Totem Pokémon, they can call for help. Every time you get the helper down, your chances of getting a Shiny Pokémon as the helper increase.
And this not only works for getting shinies; with this method, you can also grind for a Pokémon with perfect genes and with its hidden ability.
These are the odds when you are maintaining a helper chain:
- When you chain between 11 to 20 helpers: your chances are 1 in 820 (1 in 585 with the Shiny Charm).
- When you chain between 21 to 30 helpers: your chances are 1 in 455 (1 in 373 with Shiny Charm).
- When you chain more than 31 helpers: your chances are 1 in 315 (1 in 273 with the Shiny Charm).
The problem is that it’s hard to maintain a long battle like that, so this method is complicated to use.
Works on: Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon
Gen 7 introduced a new mechanic into the game, the Ultra Warp Rides. On this mechanic, you can get to four different zones in other dimensions through riding Solgaleo or Lunala. In every zone, you can find five different Pokémon that you can’t find in Alola.
So, you can drive Solgaleo or Lunala until you want to get into a portal. And this is how the method works. The longer you drive into the Ultraspace, the higher the chances of getting a shiny Pokémon on one of those dimensions.
Starting with your travel, you’ll see orange orbs that let you get faster, while blue orbs will make you reduce your speed and probably get sucked by one of the portals.
And about the portals, they can have four different versions. There are portals with no rings, portals with one ring, portals with two rings, and portals with two rings and different colors. They will be appearing depending on how much you have traveling on the Ultra Space. The time you spend traveling will be measured on light-years.
Also, avoid the white-colored portals, as they will lead you to a battle against Ultra Beasts. If you want them shiny, you’ll have to use the soft-resetting method.
The portals with no rings are the most basic ones and don’t have many chances to get a Shiny on them, while the portals with just one ring are better. The portal with two rings has a really high chance of getting a special Pokémon, while the portals with two rings with different colors have a 95% chance to have a legendary Pokémon.
To increase the probability of getting a shiny Pokémon, you have to travel at least 3000 light-years. Traveling this distance will allow you to have a chance of 1 in 100, which is basically a 1% on normal portals. The limit where the probabilities stop getting higher is at 5000 light-years.
So, after 5000 light-years, the normal portals will let you have a 1% chance of getting a shiny, the portals with one ring will have a 10%, the portals with two rings will have a 19%, and the portals with two rings and with different colors have a 36% chance of giving you a shiny.
Side Note: The 36% chance of the portals with two rings with different colors will activate if you don’t have any legendary Pokémon left to catch. So, if you want higher chances of getting a shiny, you have to do the legendary hunt first.
With this method, you’ll have a big chance of having the shiny versions of the 20 different Pokémon that can appear on the different zones.
And, if you are wondering, this method doesn’t work with Legendaries, but you can do the soft-resetting method with those Pokémon.
Lastly, this is the list of Pokémon you can find depending on which portal you use:
- Red: Cliffside: Swellow, Altaria, Swanna, Sigilyph, and Yanmega.
- Blue: Waterfall: Lombre, Quagsire, Floatzel, Stunfisk, and Barbaracle.
- Green: Field: Nuzleaf, Grumpig, Audino, Heliolisk, and Drapion.
- Yellow: Cave: Medicham, Magcargo, Abomasnow, Hippowdon, and Crustle.
Works on: ORAS
The DexNav is one of the best things that Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire added, and sadly it only was on those games. DexNav was so good that you could find Shiny Pokémon with perfect IVs and Hidden Abilities by just making a capture chain. So let’s explain how does that work:
First, choose the desired Pokémon to have as a shiny. Then, of course, you have to have caught it before. After catching it for the first time, it’ll appear in the DexNav. After that, the task is really simple yet time-consuming.
You have to press on your desired Pokémon and start a search. It will appear as a wild Pokémon, and you can see its head peeking through the tall grass. Don’t scare it; you have to be sneaking until you get to it. The first time, you’ll have to defeat it. You’ll know the chain started when the touchscreen is still showing the menu of the Pokémon you are hunting. If this doesn’t happen, you broke the chain.
The chain will break if you scare the Pokémon or engage in a battle with another one. Also, the chain will break if you let the Pokémon run before engaging in a battle with it or if you run away or catch it.
The DexNav chaining is a unique method because of its working; instead of increasing the chances of the Pokémon being shiny, it uses a different method for it:
Starting a chain will make the game calculate a number; we will call it “Random Number” because it will have a random value between 0 and 9999. After the game generates the Random Number; every time you press the search button, the game will generate another number; we will call it “Shiny Number,” and its value will vary depending on the search level of your desired Pokémon, starting at level 0. The lower the level, the higher the Shiny Number will be.
Now, when will a Pokémon be shiny? The answer is when the Shiny Number gets lower than the Random Number.
Every time you are engaging in battles, increasing your level, and defeating wild Pokémon, you’ll make the Shiny Number go down and down. The hard part of this system is that you have to engage in at least 250 battles (which means a search level of 250) to have some real chances of getting a shiny.
In comparison, the odds of getting a shiny normally is higher than with the chain when the search level is lower than 40. But the great thing about the method is that you can increase your chances infinitely. So, for example, with a search level of 165, you’ll have higher chances of finding your desired shiny than with the Shiny Charm.
This is probably one of the methods that will make you the most for getting a shiny Pokémon, but at least you can do this with every wild Pokémon in the game.
Capture Combos and Lures
Works on: Let’s go Eevee and Let’s go Pikachu
The next method isn’t hard by itself, but you have to have a lot of patience to achieve your objective.
A new mechanic was introduced on Let’s Go Eevee and Pikachu; capture combos. They work as follows: You have to catch your desired Pokémon. After that, find it again and catch it; this will start a capture combo.
You can change the route where you are hunting, you can even enter buildings or engage in battles against other Pokémon, and the chain will not break. The only way to break it is to catch another Pokémon, let your desired pokémon run away, or turn the console off.
These are the odds depending on how much you have captured a specific Pokémon:
- With 11 to 20 captures: 1 in 1024 (1 in 682 with Shiny Charm).
- With 21 to 30 captures: 1 in 512 (1 in 409 with Shiny Charm).
- With 31 captures onwards: 1 in 341 (1 in 292 with Shiny Charm).
But, there’s an item that can increase the appearance of a Shiny Pokémon: The Lure.
By using Lures, the probabilities increase as follows:
- With 11 to 20 captures: 1 in 819 (1 in 585 with Shiny Charm).
- With 21 to 30 captures: 1 in 455 (1 in 372 with Shiny Charm).
- With 31 captures onwards: 1 in 315 (1 in 273 with Shiny Charm).
Shinies in Pokémon GO
You are probably wondering if shiny Pokémon are available on Pokémon GO too, and the answer is yes! They are getting released through events and special days into the game. Once they get released, you can find them through the game!
The probability of getting a shiny Pokémon in this game is around 1 in 450. There’s no way of increasing your chances, but it will vary depending on the rarity of the Pokémon you are looking for, though. Also, you’ll not know if a wild Pokémon is shiny or not on the map; you have to engage in a battle against it to see if it is shiny or not.
Question: If a shiny Pokémon evolves, will it maintain its shiny condition?
Answer: Yes, when a Pokémon is shiny, it’ll be shiny even if it evolves. A shiny Pokémon will not lose its status since the Pokémon being shiny is determined by its PID (Personality Identification Number), which is a secret number that the player can’t modify or even know.
Question: What’s the easiest method to get a shiny Pokémon?
Answer: It’ll depend on the games; on the oldest ones, many methods can help you get your desired shiny, and those are really easy, like the Shiny Ditto Method or the Masuda Method. But the newest the game is, the hardest is to get a shiny since people haven’t yet discovered a fully functional method to get shinies.
Question: Which is the hardest game to get a shiny?
Answer: Probably all of Gen 3 games and Sword and Shield. Unfortunately, the Gen 3 games don’t have a specific method to increase the chances to have a shiny, and Sword and Shield only have the Max Raid Battles, but they have the 1 in 4096 chance, and there’s no way to increase it yet.
How to Get Any Shiny Pokemon You Want: Conclusion
You’ll probably see that all the methods require one thing in common: patience.
No method guarantees you will have a shiny, so you have to grind until you get it. The process can be tedious, tiring, and stressful, but the reward will be worth it. If you want some tips, we can recommend you to:
- Listen to some music or talk with your friends while hunting.
- Get some snacks.
- Have your console properly charged before trying these methods, as you don’t want to lose progress because of the battery running out of energy.
- And lastly, relax! Remember it is just a game, and you can try it one more time, every time you want to!
Good luck with your shiny hunting!