What is a Shiny Pokemon?
A Shiny Pokemon is a Pokemon that has an alternate color scheme to their art. They do not possess a better set of stats in comparison to their non-shiny counterparts but are much rarer and sought after by most players of the games. Shiny Pokemon were introduced in the Second Generation of Pokemon but there was no real way to boost the odds for finding these rare Pokemon. This changed the more popular Shiny Pokemon became. You will know if you come across a Shiny Pokemon as it will be an alternate color from the non-shiny version but will also emit a shining set of sparkles upon your encounter with it and every time you send the Pokemon into battle.
What are the odds of finding a Shiny Pokemon?
Odds have drastically increased over the years to favor finding more Shiny Pokemon in the wild. How the game decides if your encounter will be shiny is right before the encounter starts the game rolls your chance at the encounter being a shiny. The base rate for Pokmeon Sword & Shield is 1 in 4096 (0.024%).
Can all Pokemon be shiny in Sword and Shield?
Unfortunately not. Some Pokemon are Shiny Locked. What this means is no matter what you do to increase your odds they will never be shiny. The following encounters are Shiny Locked in Sword and Shield:
- Starter Pokemon – Your chosen starter Pokemon CANNOT be shiny, however, breeding these Pokemon could result in a shiny, thus making that the only way to obtain a shiny version of the three starters.
- Trade Pokemon – Any Pokemon you can get through an in-game trade with any of the NPCs are shiny locked so these Pokemon will never be shiny. Traded Pokemon can also be used to breed for Shiny Pokemon.
- Legendary Pokemon – The Legendary Pokemon in this game are also Shiny Locked meaning through normal means they cannot be shiny. Gamefreak usually does Mystery Gift events to release these sort of Pokemon later on in the game’s life.
- Pokemon in the wild too high level – Gamefreak made the decision to reduce the amount of upset players who were afraid they would run into a high level Pokemon in the Wild Areas and not have the ability to catch these Pokemon due to being underleveled. So Pokemon you may encounter that vastly outlevel you will not be able to be shiny.
Will a Shiny Pokemon appear in the Overworld as being Shiny?
No. Unfortunately unlike Pokemon: Let’s Go you will not see that a Pokemon is shiny before encountering it. This makes it a little harder to see and will result in more time being spent trying to find these Shiny Pokemon, however, it adds to the surprise when the Shiny Pokemon appears in your game during the encounter.
How do I increase my odds of finding a Shiny Pokemon?
There are several ways to increase the odds of finding a Shiny Pokemon. The following ways are the known ways to increase your odds of finding Shiny Pokemon:
- Shiny Charm – Can be combined with other methods to further increase odds
- Masuda Method – This method is used to breed for a Shiny Pokemon
- Encounter Chaining – This is the method used for hunting Pokemon in the wild
Click the links above for the in-depth guide on each method. These are the main steps to optimize Shiny Hunting, so be sure to read them to save a lot of time later during your Shiny Hunt.
Are the three ways listed above the only way to increase odds?
As of now those are the known ways of increasing your odds in obtaining Shiny Pokemon in Sword and Shield, however, they are not the only way to obtain Shiny Pokemon. Here are two other ways of receiving a Shiny Pokemon:
Occasionally Gamefreak will release Pokemon during timed events that allow you to claim a Pokemon through the Mystery Gift feature and some are specified to be shiny. Keep an eye out on the official Pokemon page to learn of their upcoming Mystery Gifts. To obtain a Mystery Gift simply press the button and select Mystery Gift. From there choose ‘Get a Mystery Gift’. You will then have several options to use to obtain a Mystery Gift, most gifts will be available through ‘Get via Internet’. This will search the internet to see if there are any gifts available, if any are found they will be brought to your game.
Soft Resetting is the act of receiving a Pokemon or encountering a one time only encounterable Pokemon. This is done by saving prior to the encounter or receiving the Pokemon so if your encounter isn’t a Shiny Encounter or a Shiny Pokemon received you can quite game / reload your save file to attempt the encounter or receive the pokemon again for another chance at it being Shiny. The Shiny Charm is the only way to increase the odds of Soft Resetting.
Soft resetting won’t work for the majority of the Pokemon it is usually used for due to some encounters being Shiny-locked. However, there is one circumstance to use this method of obtaining a Shiny Pokemon, more specifically Fossil Pokemon. The way to soft reset is to save before obtaining the Pokemon for the fossil. Simply receive the Pokemon and check for it being a Shiny Pokemon or not. If the Pokemon is not shiny simply quit game / reload your save and attempt to retrieve the Pokemon again. Repeat this process until you receive the Pokemon and it is shiny.
That concludes our Pokemon Sword & Shield Shiny Hunting Guide. Be sure to click the 3 sub-chapters linked above, because they are each quite complex they have their own guide chapters.