What Is So Appealing About Shiny Pokémon?

Shiny Hawlucha

This topic is rather exciting for me. Pokémon is my favorite franchise, and shiny Pokémon are a big reason why that is the case. Over the years, I’ve been lucky to find a few, but recently I’ve devoted a lot of time in Pokémon Shield to shiny hunting and it has definitely paid off.

What Is A Shiny Pokémon?

It all started in Generation II. The Lake of Rage in the Johto region was the first place many of us saw a shiny Pokémon. That beautiful red Gyarados started a new trend that is still very much alive to this day. That trend is known as shiny hunting.

Essentially, a shiny Pokémon is one that is a different color than that of the regular species. For example, Gyarados is generally blue, but shiny Gyarados is red. In every main game since Generation II, any Pokémon can show up in the wild shiny. However, the likelihood of that happening is extremely low, which is what makes these variants so sought after.

Shiny Gyarados Isle of Armor Pokémon Sword Pokémon Shield
This Gyarados has been with me since I caught him in the Lake of Rage in Pokémon SoulSilver.

Each game is a bit different on the odds but it is roughly about 1/8000 to come across a shiny in the wild. The newer Generation games increased that to around 1/4000. Each game also features different ways to increase those odds. Some games use catch combos to increase your odds, while others use more out-of-the-box methods. Whatever the case may be, there is always one sure fire way to increase your odds and that is with the Shiny Charm.

The Glorious Shiny Charm

Ever since Black 2 and White 2 in Generation V, the Shiny Charm has been obtainable in every main game. It is usually the reward for completing the National Pokédex. As the Generations continue, that number increases some completing it can be a difficult feat of its own. In Sword and Shield though, it is only required to obtain the 400 original Pokémon that are found in the Galar region, since these games don’t have the full National Pokédex.

The Shiny Charm drastically increases your chance to encounter shiny Pokémon, but don’t except it to be easy after having it. Instead of 1/8000 it gets cut to about 1/2000. That’s still a pretty high number. That is why, depending on the game you are playing, other methods of increasing your odds are implemented.

The Masuda Method

The Masuda Method was introduced in Generation IV. It is named after Game Freak director Junichi Masuda who was the one who described how the method works. Each game has its own region attached to it based on what language you pick at the beginning. After that, each Pokémon caught will retain that region. If you choose English at the beginning of your game, the Pokémon you catch will have that language assigned to them.

The Masuda Method uses two Pokémon from different language games to breed eggs. If you chose English, you will want a Pokémon from a different language game to utilize this method. The easiest Pokémon to obtain from a different language game would be Ditto, since it will breed with any other Pokémon. Once you find yourself someone willing to trade you a Ditto from their game, it is time to get to breeding.

Shiny Riolu in Pokémon Sword Pokémon Shield
This Riolu was the first Pokémon I hatched using the Masuda Method in Pokémon Shield

Right now in Sword and Shield, the Masuda Method is the best way to get shiny Pokémon. If you want to hunt a specific species of Pokémon, this is the method for you. The Masuda Method also stacks with the shiny charm, so having both is even better. Right now in Sword and Shield the Masuda Method brings the shiny odds down to 1/683. With the shiny charm it is even better at 1/512.

The Masuda Method is how I have been shiny hunting in Pokemon Shield, and I can tell you it works. Now, it is still a grind, but shiny Pokémon aren’t supposed to be easy to get. That’s why they are considered to be so rare. Since the Masuda Method is just hatching eggs, I usually play handheld and put some TV on or something to pass the time.

Pokémon Go

Pokémon Go is whole different ball game, but now that it can communicate with Pokémon Home, you can bring your shiny Pokémon from Go to Sword and Shield if you want to. Not all Pokémon found in Go can be shiny, as Niantic has been slowly rolling them out into the game. Those that can be shiny have a base encounter rate of about 1/500.

During Community Days in Go where the game will feature an individual Pokémon, those rates are increased to 1/25. This is by far the best shiny odds in any of the games. Community Days and other Pokémon Go events are a huge deal, especially for shiny hunters.

Even Go’s base of 1/500 is pretty good for shiny hunting. It is always a great feeling to have a random Pokémon not featured in any event show up shiny. It has made Pokémon Go still worth playing, at least in my opinion.

Why Shiny Hunt?

Well, for everyone that answer is going to be different. For me, I enjoy the collecting aspect and I enjoy using my shiny in Sword and Shield. Whether it is in Dynamax raids or competitively, there’s nothing quite like seeing your shiny Pokémon enter the battle with their special animation that shiny Pokémon get.

Shiny Rowelt Shiny Roggenrola Shiny Azurill Shiny Coalossal Pokémon Sword Pokémon Shield
Shiny Pokémon add a challenging and exciting layer to Pokémon games. I enjoyed hatching each and every one of these guys.

Some people just enjoy the thrill of encountering them. Others might like to show them off. Whatever your reasoning is behind wanting to shiny hunt, just remember to never give up. It can be tedious, but it’ll be worth it when you finally get the shiny that you are after.

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By Dakota Deitsch

I love all video games but primarily enjoy RPGs. Pokémon is my favorite franchise, but I’ll play any game really. I tend to game on PlayStation and on my Switch the most.