Shiny Pokémon are rare variants of Pokémon that come in a different color and give off a distinct shine when they’re released, hence the name. These variants are much rarer than their normal counterparts, although they are no more powerful – it’s purely a cosmetic effect.
Whether you want a Shiny Pokémon for bragging rights, to trade or simply because you prefer that color scheme, getting one isn’t an easy task. As of Gen 7 (Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon), the odds of encountering a Shiny Pokémon naturally is 1/4096. However, there are plenty of tricks that can be utilized to dramatically increase those odds.
Make no mistake, though – Shiny hunting is work. You’ll almost never get these rare Pokémon quickly. It can take anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks depending on your method, so be prepared.
With that in mind, let’s dive in to a few ways you can get the Shiny Pokémon of your dreams.
Hatching Eggs – The Masuda Method
The Masuda Method is an old standby for Shiny hunting. Once you have access to the daycare, you’re able to breed 2 Pokémon of opposite genders to produce eggs. A normally hatched egg has the same 1/4096 odds of hatching a shiny. However, using this method reduces those odds to 1/1365
. That’s almost reasonable, right? So, what exactly is the Masuda Method?
Simply put, you’ll want to breed two Pokémon as usual. The catch is, one of those two must be from a foreign region. So, if you live in the US, you’ll need a Japanese Pokémon of the opposite gender to make this happen. Simply leave the two Pokémon from different regions together, and start hatching eggs. Your odds will shoot up dramatically, and hopefully you’ll have a Shiny Pokémon hatch before too long.
Pros / Cons
- Can breed for a more combat-ready Pokémon, by breeding for IVs, special egg moves or hidden abilities
- Nearly-Automated – Just pick up the eggs and ride your bike back and forth in a straight line. Great for watching TV in the background!
- Very little set-up required – Just get a foreign Pokémon and start breeding
- Can be more time-consuming than other methods
- Odds don’t get better as you progress
- Lots of stops for egg hatching cutscenes and collecting new batches of eggs
Gen 7 introduced a brand new way to hunt for Shiny Pokémon, and it’s my preferred way of hunting. During a wild Pokémon battle, the opponent can sometimes call for help. As the Pokémon continues to call for help, the odds of the new Pokémon being Shiny increase.
To maximize the effectiveness of this method, you’ll need to do a little preparing. You’ll want a Pokemon that has Pressure as its ability, and that knows False Swipe – I recommend Weavile at a very high level. You’ll also want to load up on potions for healing, and maybe a few ethers to restore PP.
Next, buy a few Adrenaline Orbs. It’s important to have more than one. Next, find out where the Pokémon you want to chain for appears, and get into a battle.
Your Pokémon’s Pressure ability will improve the odds of the enemy calling for help. First, use False Swipe to knock the enemy down to 1 HP. Next, use an Adrenaline Orb. The Pokémon is now going to call for help as often as possible.
From now on, until help arrives, you’ll want to use the Adrenaline Orbs again and again. It will say it has no effect, which is true, but our goal here is to keep the battle moving forward without wasting your PP on useless moves. Heal when necessary, and just wait for the enemy to call for help. Sometimes, these calls won’t work, but when they do, a new Pokémon will show up.
At this point, you can knock out the original opponent. This absolutely doesn’t break the chain – you just need to keep one Pokémon alive. The reason we faint the weaker Pokémon is to prevent them from running out of attacks and fainting themselves with Struggle.
Keep this chain up, until you eventually get the Shiny Pokémon to appear. As with every method, there’s no guarantee here that you’re going to find a Shiny. But, those odds increase with every new appearance. I usually see a shiny around 30-50 Pokémon in the chain. Just keep at it as long as you can. Odds are, eventually, you’ll get your Shiny.
One important thing to note here: Not all chaining is created equal. There are some Pokémon, like Minior, that can’t be chained. Other Pokémon, like Scyther, have incredibly low chaining rates, making it difficult (but not impossible!) to chain them for any length of time. Some Pokémon, like Graveler, have moves like Self-Destruct, or even Recover, which need special tactics to counter these. Damp will work well for Self-Destruct, and Heal Block will work against healing.
Pros / Cons
- Usually faster than breeding for Shinies
- Odds increase as you chain
- Able to see the Shiny Pokémon before you catch it, choose the Pokéball to catch it in
- Pokémon won’t start at level 1
- Pokémon won’t start at level 1
- Can’t fine-tune your Pokémon before receiving them
- Requires some pre-hunt planning, money to purchase items
- Not all Pokémon are chainable
Only available in Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, the new Ultra Wormhole event at the end of the game allows you to encounter random Pokémon after playing a short minigame.
This minigame serves a secret second function – if you land through a wormhole with at least one ring, your odds of encountering a Shiny Pokémon raise dramatically – at worst, the odds are 1/100, and at best, those odds become approximately 1/3!
The goal here is to cover as much distance as possible, and go through the wormhole with as many rings around it as possible.
It should be noted that 3-ring wormholes always spawn legendary Pokémon, so you’ll need to catch all of those first to get the best odds. These legendary Pokémon aren’t given increased shiny odds (sorry, Shiny hunters).
The downside to this is the Pokémon you can encounter are fixed to a few select Pokémon, and which one you encounter will be mostly random. The color of the wormhole you visit will determine the general type of the Pokémon. Still, this is a fun, quick way to potentially round out your collection with some Pokémon that otherwise can’t be found in Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon.
Pros / Cons
- Best odds for Shiny hunting in this generation
- Chance to find some rare, hard to find Shinies
- Quick, easy Shiny hunting, compared to other methods
- Can’t choose which Pokémon you’re going to encounter
- Total number of Pokémon you can encounter is low, fixed
- Must essentially beat Ultra Sun or Ultra Moon to participate
One last note: If you’re able to catch every Pokémon found naturally in the game, you’ll get a new item – the Shiny Charm. Just having this item in your possession triples your odds of encountering a Shiny Pokémon, and those odds transfer to whatever method you’re using to encounter Shiny Pokémon (with the possible exception of the Ultra Wormhole method – this hasn’t been tested yet).
In short, if you have the time to get every Pokémon, or if you already have them, go get that Shiny Charm! It will dramatically increase your odds of finding a Shiny. (I’ve never accomplished this myself, but my Shiny collection is currently at around 15 Pokémon, so don’t fret if you can’t get that charm! It helps, but it isn’t necessary by any means!)
And there you have it, all three methods to hunt for Shiny Pokémon in gen 7. Each method has unique benefits and drawbacks, so it’s up to you to figure out which method will work best for what you’re trying to accomplish. Best of luck, hunters!