Shiny Pokémon was once a treasured possession of Pokemon fans everywhere. These rare Pokemon that sport an alternate color scheme have a 1 in 4,096 chance of appearing in the wild in newer games. For this reason, the special Pokémon has long served as emblem of a dedicated trainer that would put the hunt rare monsters above anything else. Catching a single shiny Pokemon could take multiple grinding sessions for hours at a time. But that’s starting to change, as recent mainline games have made shiny Pokemon easier to find, and now it seems like everyone and their mothers have shiny Pokemon.
Technically speaking, anyone who has played pokemon gold and Money, or their remakes, probably grabbed at least one shiny. In these games, you catch a red Gyarados as part of the main story. But apart from that Special Gyarados, catching a shiny has proven difficult in previous generations. From the second generation to the generation 5 (Pokemon Black 2 and White 2), the rate of seeing a gloss was even lower than it is now – 1 in 8,192.
Of course, each game required players to develop their own tricks and strategies to get shiny Pokémon. In Gold and Money, some brilliant hunters estimated that a player could achieve a 1 in 64 chance of hatching a shiny if one of the parent Pokémon was shiny. However, this requires starting with a shiny, so those who want something other than Gyarados should grind and get one in the wild. So to start catching one in the wild still required a massive amount of work as players put up with the low odds. In the beginning, items that increased the spawn rate of shiny Pokemon didn’t exist, so if you weren’t breeding, you had to run through encounter after encounter in the grass as you ran and encountered each Pokemon one by one. .
Over time, shiny hunting tended to get easier. In diamond and pearl, we discovered the Masuda breeding method, which increases the chances of hatching a shiny Pokemon from an egg when you breed Pokemon from two different languages. (For this reason, dittos from other countries are a mainstay of Pokémon breeding. Sorry Same!) Black 2 and White 2 introduced the Shiny Charm, which effectively tripled the chances of encountering a Shiny Pokemon. After that, Game Freak roughly doubled the overall chance of running into a Shiny Pokemon in X and Yes.
This trend of becoming more mainstream has continued with Nintendo Switch games and remakes. In Pokemon: Let’s Go Pikachu and Pokemon: Let’s Go Eevee, Game Freak made the leap from wild monster spawns in the grass to spawns in the outside world. Instead of seeing a single spawn in battle, we could see dozens of Pokemon wandering around at once, including shiny Pokemon. Combine that with in-game events like Massive epidemics in Legends: Arceus and Scarlet and Purpleand you have plenty of opportunities to hunt shinies.
Based on odds and anecdotal evidence, there’s no doubt that this once hardcore way of catching monsters just got easier. When I tested a brilliant hunting feat in Scarlet and Purple, I ended up catching a shiny Larvesta in 30 minutes. (It was a gloss that I had desired and hoped for ever since. Black and White.) Sure, a bit of luck has played into my own success, but I’m not alone. TikTok is full of people’s accounts bump shiny pokemon by chance without looking for them; a viral video, according to the user who posted it, shows a person grabbing piles of shines in one day. I spoke with two diehard hunters who often broadcast their hunts for hours on end, both of whom confirmed that hunting in general has become easier.
For Wafer, who streams his hunts on Twitchhunting for shinies in new games has gotten easier, even though games like Scarlet and Purple lack audio-visual clues that point to the Pokemon in the wild. (In Legends: Arceusa chime alerts players to the presence of a shin; Scarlet and Purple doesn’t have this feature, and that may unfortunately rule out colorblind players or those who are simply unfamiliar with what a certain shiny Pokemon looks like.)
“I have to say that I’m personally happy with the changes in the Shiny Hunt, as I don’t have as much time for the Shiny Hunt as when I was younger and I love hearing stories from people who have played the shiny chase games for years are finally getting their first shiny,” Wafer said.
Wafer recognizes the joy that comes with obtaining this special Pokémon. But Guardians reacted by pointing out the relative rarity of shinies in different Pokemon games. Steve Sarumi, a streamer and podcaster who runs the Pokémon Podcast It’s super effectivenoted an increase in control of shiny Pokémon now that it has become easier to catch them.
“The argument revolves around how ‘easier’ shiny Pokemon would devalue other shiny, which to me is nonsense. If I come across a shiny Koffing on my trip to Pokémon CrystalI personally wouldn’t consider that more valuable than coming across that same Pokemon in Protect. Both are brilliant Koffing at the end of the day,” Sarumi said.
As catching shiny Pokémon has gotten easier over time, those who want the added challenge have found ways to increase the difficulty of collecting Pokémon. Wafer told me that he’s seen an increasing number of players opting for the “shining living dex” and attempting to get the shiny version of every Pokemon in the game. So instead of going for a specific Pokemon, the hunters will try to catch all 400 in games like Scarlet and Purple.
However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t super rare Pokemon to chase now. Pokémon Sword and Protect introduced marked Pokemon. A marked Pokémon has a special “mark” in the ribbon submenu of a Pokémon’s Summary. Each mark functions as a kind of honorary title that attests to the unique circumstance in which a trainer caught it. When you send out a tagged Pokemon, it will have a special title, like “Mimikyu the Sleepy”. Scarlet and Purple has dozens of marks, with Serebii estimating that the rarest marks have a spawn rate of 1 in 1000.
Sarumi said these tagged Pokémon have become a new target for intense hunters.
“Not only do I think a marked shiny is an incredibly fun thing to collect, but it gives the feeling of a ‘harder’ target to find without making the barrier to shiny hunting intimidating to a wider audience.”