Shiny Pokémon (光るポケモン Hikaru Pokemon or 色違いポケモン Irochigai Pokemon) are Pokémon with different coloration than the normal versions of the Pokémon although they have no stat differences at all. Shiny Pokémon have been included since Generation II in Gold and Silver in which the first shiny Pokémon that was introduced was a Red Gyarados. Shiny Pokémon are considered very rare. The term "shiny" is a reference to their difference in color and their sparkling animation and sound effect when they enter into battle. The term was originally a fan name prior to Generation V. However, it became so popular that the term became official and the Pokédex began cataloging shiny Pokémon and using the term itself.
The color change can be anywhere from very noticeable, e.g. Charizard:
Other shiny Pokémon are very similar to their normal versions, such as Clefable.
In Generation II, a Pokémon randomly assigned 5 integers between 0 and 15 to determine their base stats. (HP, Attack, Defense, Special, and Speed). If all 5 numbers are equal to 10, the Pokémon's color scheme will be set to 0. The chance of seeing a shiny Pokémon is 1 in every 8192, or a probability of 0.01220703125% during each encounter. From Generation III onwards, shiny Pokémon are determined by other factors such as the Trainer ID number and the personality value of the Pokémon. Despite this change, the odds of randomly encountering a shiny Pokémon is still 1 in 8192. As of Pokémon Black 2 and Pokémon White 2, the Shiny Charm can be obtained to significantly increase chances of encountering a shiny Pokémon. In Pokémon Sword & Shield, there are two variants of Shiny Pokémon; one that sparkles stars and one that sparkles squares. These two different shines don't give any effects to the Pokémon, but show how they were encountered. A Shiny Pokémon that shines stars was encountered in the overworld while a Shiny Pokémon that shines squares was encountered through a random encounter. This stacks with most methods listed below.
In every generation, there are some Pokémon that can't be legally Shiny, Starting for Generation V, there is a coding in the games that prevent certain Pokémon from being found in the Shiny form in the wild through legitimate ways, they are always Legendary, Mythical and other event Pokémon, they are:
- Generation VII
- Generation VIII
There are a few different methods to increase the chances of obtaining a shiny Pokémon.
Breeding (Gen II)
In Generation II, breeding with a Shiny Pokémon can increase the odds of producing a Shiny up to a 1/64 chance. This is due to that in Generation II, Shininess was determined by IVs and the fact that IVs are passed down through breeding. However, this only works if the offspring is of the opposite gender as the Shiny parent. An exception to this is if the player possesses a Shiny Ditto, which can breed with almost every Pokémon.
Chaining (Gen IV)
- If the bush just shakes, it is a Sinnoh Pokémon.
- If the bush has a whitish shake, it might be a non-native Pokémon.
- Never use it in water, caves, or tall grass.
- The bush with the same type of shake as the first Pokémon one has battled that is the farthest away within a four by four grid is most likely the same Pokémon.
- The likelihood of finding a shiny Pokémon increases as the chain increases, maxing out at 40. Pulsing, sparkling grass indicates a Shiny Pokémon is in that bush.
For the Gen VI games, specifically ORAS, chaining has been made much easier thanks to the DexNav application on the PokéNav+. Using the DexNav function, players can see which Pokémon is in a patch of grass without having to risk encountering it. Likewise, scaring off a Pokémon using the DexNav (i.e. failing to sneak up on it) does not break the chain.
Masuda Method (Gen IV)
To use this method one must breed two Pokémon from games in different languages. Using this method improves the odds of hatching a shiny Pokémon from 1/8192 to 1/2048 or 1/1365.3, in Generation IV or Generation V, respectively. This method was the brainchild of Junichi Masuda, director of GameFreak.
Cute Charm Glitch (Gen IV)
While having the first Pokémon in your party have the ability Cute Charm, the ability allows for a 2 in 3 chance of encountering a Pokémon of the opposite gender of the first Pokémon in the party. This ability changes the ID and SID (Secret ID) of the player, giving them a randomly high chance to encounter Shiny Pokémon. If the player has a certain ID or SID number that is very low, then this causes Cute Charm to change it into an unidentifiable number, messing up the ID and SID of the player and the wild Pokémon around the player, allowing for a 21% chance of encountering a Shiny Pokémon rather than the 1/8192 chance.
Soft reset (Gen. II to Gen. VII)
One method which is easy enough (but often very time-consuming) works for starter Pokémon and most Legendary Pokémon. Basically, the method is to stand in front of the legendary Pokémon the player character will catch or the starter Pokémon they will take and save. If one doesn't get a shiny Pokémon when getting the starter Pokémon or battle the legendary Pokémon, soft reset the game by pressing A+B+Start+Select on the GBA, L+R+Start+Select on the DS and L+R+Start on the 3DS. This method can often require over 1000 resets before getting a shiny Pokémon.
Ultra Wormhole method (Gen VII)
In Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, the player can enter the Ultra Wormhole located at the Alter of Sunne/Moone and play the Wormhole Running mini game. Once the player passes 3,000+ Light Years, the chances for encountering Shiny Pokémon increases. The highest odds that the player can achieve in finding a shiny Pokémon is surpassing 5,000 Light Years and finding a Type 4 wormhole, which results in a 36% chance of an encounter.
Furthermore, the shininess of a Pokémon is determined when the player lands on the Ultra Space Wilds. Thus, the player saves the game before encountering the Pokémon, and can soft reset the Shiny Pokémon in order get a better nature or IVs, and ensure that they can recapture the Pokémon in case it is accidentally defeated in battle.
There are 19 Pokémon that can be encountered in their shiny forms through this method: Crustle, Heliolisk, Swellow, Hippowdon, Nuzleaf, Audino, Sigilyph, Swanna, Altaria, Medicham, Drapion, Quagsire, Lombre, Grumpig, Floatzel, Magcargo, Stunfisk, Yanmega, Abomasnow.
NOTE: If the player has the Shiny Charm, this does NOT increase the odds of the Wormhole hunting method, as the shiny rate for Wormhole hunting has its own rates.
Shiny chain (Gen VII)
In Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee, the player is able to start a catch-chain if they repeatedly catch the same Pokémon over and over again. In order to start a catch-chain, one must consistently catch the same Pokémon over and over again without catching any other species (If a player catches 5 Weedles in a row and nothing else, they will have a catch-chain of 5 on Weedle). Notice how other evolutions or pre-evolutions of a Pokémon species do not count (If a player catches 5 Ekans and then catches an Arbok, the chain will break and you will have to start over). If you catch over 31 of the same species, the shininess rarity will not drop lower, as the highest a Catch-Chain can go while also modifying the rarity is at 31. The greater a catch-chain gets, the more likely you are to run into a Pokémon that either has at least 4 perfect IVs or a Shiny Pokémon due to catch-chains being able to lower the rareness of shinies. If you have a Lure in effect or a Shiny Charm (or both), then the chances of running into a Shiny Pokémon will increase. With a Shiny Charm, +31 catch-chain, and a Lure, the chances of running into a Shiny Pokémon drop to a 1 in 273 chance.
In-game Shiny Pokémon
Certain in-game shiny Pokémon are met as part of the main story in some Pokémon games.
A Red Gyarados appears in Gold, Silver, Crystal, HeartGold and SoulSilver, as part of a story arc, and can be caught in a way similar to most legendary Pokémon. In Pokémon Crystal, the player can acquire an Odd Egg from the Day Care Center that has higher odds of hatching a Shiny Pokémon. However, this only true in Japan as the Odd Egg has a 50% chance for Shiny and all other games have a 14% chance for Shiny. In the GBC versions of Gen 2 games you'll occasionally encounter a Shiny Chansey at Battle tower.
In Black and White 2, the player can catch a Shiny Haxorus in the post-story, after the player completes the National Pokédex. The player can also receive a Shiny Gible in Black 2 and a Shiny Dratini in White 2.
Certain Pokémon can be obtained as their shiny form through Pokémon GO. However, some of them are only available at certain times or during certain events.
- Ash caught a shiny Noctowl during his travels through Johto. It also seems to be about half the size of other Noctowl.
- Lillie has a shiny Magearna with her that her father found a purchase for her.
- Goh caught a shiny Voltorb in Vermilion City.
- Lance owns a shiny Gyarados after he caught it at the Lake of Rage. It was also seen again during the battle between Kyogre and Groudon.
- Steven has a shiny Metagross.
- Lysandre owns a shiny Gyarados but it died with him when he was killed by Zygarde's Core Enforcer.
- Horacio owned a shiny Charjabug but has since evolved into a shiny Vikvaolt.
- Acerola has a shiny Mimikyu, which its nicknamed Mimikins.
- Gladion owns a shiny Nihilego, which its nicknamed Lillie after it took care of his father, Mohn who developed amnesia upon falling through the Ultra Wormhole.
- Jigglypuff: It was in fact a shiny version of a Jigglypuff in reference to the colors of the shiny version of this Pokémon.
- Shuckle: While in Johto, Ash and his friends discovered a Shiny Shuckle.
- Magneton: Owned by Pokémon Trainer Jackson when he battles Ash in the Silver Conference.
- Swellow: Winona, the Fortree City Gym Leader has a Shiny Swellow.
- Donphan: A Shiny Donphan has been shown in the Hoenn Region on Dontoe Island.
- Magikarp: Was seen briefly in the episode "Judgement Day" and "Going for the Gold!".
- Dustox: Jessie's Dustox fell in love with a male Shiny Dustox and then was released similar to how Ash released his Butterfree. (Except Jessie smashed Dustox's Poké Ball so it could go with its true love)
- Shiny Metagross: In the episode "Noodles! Roamin' Off", James in Team Rocket went out to see this strangely colored Metagross that people had been talking about, and was promptly attacked by the shiny Metagross.
- Pichu: A Shiny Pichu appeared in the fourth ending of the Diamond and Pearl series: Get Fired Up, Spiky-eared Pichu!.
- Ditto: A shiny Ditto appeared in "Dealing With Fierce Double Ditto Drama" under Narissa 's ownership.
- Ariados: In the Special Episode "Dawn's New Journey", Dawn and Cinco encountered a swarm of Ariados as well as a shiny one using Psychic so the others could wrap Dawn and the others with String Shot.
- Entei, Raikou, and Suicune: the three legendary beasts were shiny guardians of the city in the Pokémon Movie: Zoroark: Master of Illusions
- Hydreigon: Owned by Carlita in White, Victini, and Reshiram. It is used in the tournament In that movie.
- Golurk: Owned by Carlita in White: Victini and Zekrom. It was used to guard Juanita's trailer that contained Victini dolls and candy.
- Onix: The Pokémon was seen near the end in, "Expedition to Onix Island" after Meloetta uses her song to calm down the other attacking Onix. It seemed to have been the leader of the Onix.
- Red Genesect: This Shiny Legendary Pokémon is the leader of the Genesect Army in, MS016: Pokémon The Movie - Genesect and the Legend Awakened.
- Hawlucha: Owned by Carl in "When Light and Dark Collide!".
- Rayquaza: A Shiny Legendary Pokémon that can Mega Evolve in MS018: Pokémon The Movie - Hoopa and the Clash of Ages.
- Dragonair: Owned by Amelia.
- Phantump: Leader of a group of wild Phantump in "Making Friends and Influencing Villains!".
- Pikachu: This Shiny Pikachu appeared at the end of "Making Friends and Influencing Villains!" during the Poké TV segment that focused on Shiny Pokémon.
- Gengar: Owned by Alva in "Volcanion and the Mechanical Marvel".
- Gardevoir: Owned by Kimia in "Volcanion and the Mechanical Marvel".
- Pikachu (Boss): Owned by Pikala in "A Plethora of Pikachu!".
- Tapu Koko: Appears in "Battling the Beast Within!" and saves its normal-colored counterpart.
- Guzzlord: Two appear in "Z-Move Showdown!" as the regular Guzzlord's partners in crime.
- Shane's Pokémon: In "Raid Battle in the Ruins!", Shane is shown to have a Shiny Psyduck. He is also shown to have obtained Shiny variants of Onix, Swinub, Slakoth, and Bagon on his Rotom Phone.
- Shinegoldie: In "PJ026: Splash, Dash, and Smash for the Crown! / Slowking's Crowning!", a Shiny Magikarp named Shinegoldie is shown. It is owned by Kasukarp and is famous for having ten consecutive wins at the annual Magikarp High Jump Competition.
- Celebi: Appears in MS023.
Non-shiny alternate coloring in the anime
- Ash's Meltan: The hex nut on Meltans head is slightly darker than other Meltan, possibly due to being used as part of Team Rocket's car.
- Ash's Gengar: Gengar's color is lighter than other Gengar. Gengar's alternate color is very similar to how it appear in the main series games and its game art in the Generation III game: Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen.
Supporting or Minor
There are a few alternate-colored Pokémon that do not appear this way in the games. These are:
- Pink Butterfree: First appeared in "Bye Bye Butterfree".
- Valencia Island Pokémon: Many Pokémon that appeared in "Pokéball Peril" had alternate colorings such as Raticate, Vileplume, Butterfree, Weepinbell, Paras, Nidoran♂ and Nidoran♀.
- Diamond/Crystal Onix: An Onix made entirely of crystal appeared in "The Crystal Onix".
- Pink Pokémon: Many Pink Pokémon appeared in "In The Pink". Some of the included Caterpie, Weedle, Pidgey, Rattata, Vileplume, Paras, Parasect, Nidoran♂, Nidoran♀, Nidoking, Venonat, Diglett, Mankey, Primeape, Bellsprout, Dodrio, Exeggutor, Rhyhorn & Rhydon.
- Imaginary Pink Pokémon: In the same episode as the debut as Pink Pokémon, Team Rocket had a fantasy where there were more Pink Pokémon not officially revealed. These include Pidgeotto, Poliwhirl, Geodude, Oddish, Electabuzz, Arbok, Weezing & Scyther.
- Ash's Lapras's Mother: It is revealed in "Viva Las Lapras" that Ash's Lapras has a mother and that she is a slightly lighter color than normal Lapras.
- Snorlax Snowmen: A few Snorlax in "Snorlax Snowman" are just like normal Snorlax except they have more of a light-blue to their fur and normally specialize in Ice-type moves like Blizzard.
- Reddy: A purple-skinned Kecleon known as Reddy appeared in "The Kecleon Caper".
- Three Miscolored Pokémon: Though possibly just a coloring error, in "Weekend Warrior," there is a cameo including a light-blue Marill, a blue Breloom, and a Shroomish with white spots.
- Gold Sudowoodo: In "All That Glitters is Not Golden!", a Golden Sudowoodo under the ownership of Keenan is seen. This golden-feature was added during a science experiment in order to make Sudowoodo less weak to Water-type attacks. This was later reversed.
- Mismagius + Rayquaza: In "Malice In Wonderland!", a Mismagius fuses with a Rayquaza, creating a Rayquaza with the coloring of a Mismagius.
- Darker Mareanie: A slightly darker Mareanie (which later evolved into a Toxapex) appeared in "Fighting Back the Tears!".
- Tiny: Tiny, a Passimian that appeared in "A Touchdown for the Team!", has a green mark on its head instead of an orange one. Multiple other Passimian that appeared also had red markings on their chest instead of green ones.
- In Generation II games, shiny Pokémon can be slightly stronger than their normal colored counterparts. However, this is not true for later generations.
- This is due to the IVs of a Pokémon in Generation II depends on whether or not it is shiny. This makes it so that certain strange things happen depending on the IVs and shininess of a Pokémon.
- In Generation II, Unown's IVs depend on its letter, so only Unown letter "I" and "V" can be shiny.
- The move Hidden Power is also dependent on IVs in Generation II, so the only type of Hidden Power a shiny Pokémon can have is either a Grass-type or Dragon-type.
- Gender is also dependent on IVs in Generation II, so there can't be a shiny Pokémon with a gender ratio of seven males to one female that is also female.
- This is due to the IVs of a Pokémon in Generation II depends on whether or not it is shiny. This makes it so that certain strange things happen depending on the IVs and shininess of a Pokémon.
- There are examples of Pokémon which, although colored differently, are not officially shiny, such as gender or form differences in regular coloring such as in Hippowdon, Jellicent, and Gastrodon. However, these are not shiny variants, but each gender or form will have its own shiny color that differs from the usual color for their gender or form.
- The first alternately colored Pokémon to appear in the anime series was seen by Ash in the first season when he released his Butterfree so it could find a mate.
- In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team and Blue Rescue Team, two Kecleon own a shop in the town square. One is a dark purple color, similarly to Reddy.
- The Pokémon which reside in parts of the Orange Islands are colored differently to other Pokémon. The color changes are due to climate and natural adaption according to Professor Ivy.
- In the Anime, "In the Pink" was just that apparently, eating the berries there turned Pokémon pink. However, if the Pokémon stopped eating the berries, they would discontinue being pink. Ash's Pikachu was temporarily pink due to this.
- Although both Legendary Pokémon and Ultra Beasts can be encountered in the Ultra Wormhole, they are NOT affected by the shiny formula, and can only be encountered in their shiny form through normal odds soft resetting. However, they can be affected by the Shiny Charm if the player possesses it.
- In the American version of Pokémon Crystal, the Odd Egg has a 14% chance of hatching into a Shiny Pokémon. In the Japanese version, the odds are increased to a 50% chance of a Shiny.
- Certain main events in the game can include Shiny Pokémon:
- The Zigzagoon used in the capture tutorial in Ruby & Sapphire.
- The Zigzagoon/Poochyena that attacks Professor Birch in Ruby & Sapphire.
- The Ralts that Wally catches in Ruby & Sapphire (however, this only happens when he catches it and will not be Shiny afterwards).
- Rental Pokémon in the Battle Factory in Emerald.
- Wild Pokémon found in the Battle Pyramid and the Battle Pike in Emerald.
- The Weedle that the Old Man uses in the capture tutorial in FireRed & LeafGreen.
- Battle Frontier Pokémon used in HeartGold, SoulSilver & Platinum.
- The Minccino and Cinccino used in the introduction in Black, White, Black 2 and White 2.
- The Purrloin that Bianca catches in Black 2 and White 2.
- The Bunnelby and Fletchling used in the capture tutorial in X and Y.
- It is possible to get Shiny Pokémon in the demo versions of Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire and Let's Go Pikachu & Let's Go Eevee, though they will not appear in their Shiny Pokémon coloration. Instead, the Pokémon will play the Shiny Pokémon shine animation when sent out in battle.
- In Generation IV, if a Double Battle is started and both Wild Pokémon are the same species AND both Shiny Pokémon, the game will crash.
- In Pokémon Colosseum, some Pokémon have changed Shiny colorations. For instance, Camerupt's Shiny normally has black fur with yellow rings in the main games, but it instead has dark red fur with green rings in Pokémon Colosseum.
- In Pokémon HOME, some Pokémon have Shiny colorations that don't appear in the games. For instance, Castform doesn't have alternate colors for its other forms when Shiny in the main games, but in Pokémon HOME, it does.