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Pokémon GO Shiny Odds (& Why Raids Are Best) Explained

Shiny odds in Pokémon GO are vastly different from the rates in the main Pokémon series. With its shared connectivity through Home, Pokémon GO does include Shiny Pokémon, although the rate at which Shiny Pokémon appear in GO runs on a different set of manipulation skills than Shiny hunters coming over from previous games may realize.

The mainline series features numerous aspects that the player can control to improve their odds of finding a Shiny Pokémon; Shiny odds in Pokémon GO, on the other hand, can’t be affected by the player in any way. Instead, the rates fluctuate, with special events such as Pokémon GO’s Community Days having increased spawn rates for Shiny Pokémon appearances.

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The Shiny odds in Pokémon GO have been calculated by the people at The Silph Road after immense observation. Although the rates are estimates, they’ve shown themselves to be consistent enough to be accurate. On average, there’s a 1 in 500 chance, or .2%, for a wild Pokémon in Pokémon GO to be Shiny, although the rates change depending on various circumstances. The rate appears to be eight times higher – a 1 in 62.5 chance, or 1.6% – for very rare wild spawns, certain Shadow Pokémon, and certain raid Pokémon. Less rare encounters seem to have a smaller boost of four times, or a 1 in 125 chance (.8%).

Legendary and Mythical Pokémon in Pokémon GO instead appear to have a 1 in 20, or 5% Shiny odds. The featured Community Day Pokémon has an increased Shiny rate of 1 in 15, or 4%, and the featured Pokémon in the three-hour Raid Days have been observed to have a 1 in 10, or 10%, chance of being Shiny, the highest observed in Pokémon GO. Other special Pokémon, such as those featured in Special Research events, GO Fest, and Safari Zone events, also have an increased Shiny chance, although their rates seem to fluctuate between events.

Although the odds for Shiny Pokémon in Pokémon GO are high, players will have to actively seek them out: Pokémon on the overworld always appear in their regular coloration, so players can only find out if they’re shiny if they enter a battle with them. This is also the case with Pokémon GO raid Pokémon: they always appear with their regular colors during the raid battle itself, and will only appear shiny during the bonus challenge. Unsurprisingly, the same is true of Shadow Pokémon, which appear with normal colors when used by a Team Rocket member.

Shiny odds in the mainline Pokémon games were originally at a 1 in 8192 chance, or approximately .01%. Starting in Gen 6, this rate doubled to 1 in 4096, or approximately .02%. Even after this increase, Shiny Pokémon remained rare, and numerous methods to increase the chances of finding them were implemented. Gen 4 introduced the “Masuda method,” a way to increase the odds of a shiny Pokémon hatching from an Egg. Named after long-time series director Junichi Masuda, who was the first to describe how the method worked, Pokémon’s Masuda method refers to when two Pokémon from game files with different languages are left at the Day Care, the Pokémon that hatches from their Egg will have a higher chance of being Shiny. Gen 5 introduced the Shiny Charm key item that further increases the chance of a Pokémon being Shiny. Other methods of increasing Shiny odds vary from game to game, such as SOS chaining in Gen 7, mass outbreaks in Pokémon Legends: Arceus, and chain fishing in Gen 6.

Related: How to Get Unova Stones in Pokémon GO

Because there are more methods of obtaining Pokémon in mainline games compared to Pokémon GO, such as breeding and fishing, there are more ways the Shiny odds can be affected in the mainline games. In these games, increasing the odds of finding Shiny Pokémon involves adding “rerolls;” essentially, a Pokémon is generated when it is encountered or the Egg is produced. With each shiny-increasing method applied, the game generates additional personality values – a hidden value – giving more opportunities for the Pokémon to be shiny.

For example, if a player uses the Masuda method in Gen 5 or later, the game will generate up to six different personality values for the Pokémon, and if any of them result in a shiny, the game will stop at that value and keep it. Players can stack these methods with each other, such as a Shiny Charm and Mass Outbreaks in Pokémon Legends: Arceus, to give them even more chances for a Pokémon to be Shiny. But even with all these methods, the rates for finding Shiny Pokémon in GO are still higher.

Because Pokémon GO revolves around capturing many Pokémon for the sake of powering them up, a higher Shiny rate can help continue a positive gameplay loop. If a player already has a particular Pokémon registered in their Pokédex and maxed out their CP, they will still want to check wild ones as they pass by just in case it’s Shiny. Games like Pokémon Legends: Arceus operate on a similar premise: for the first time in the mainline series, players have to capture the same Pokémon multiple times as part of the requirements to complete their Pokédex entries.

The key difference between mainline games like Pokémon Legends: Arceus and Pokémon GO, though, is the way in which mainline games give more control to the player. Not only are increases in Shiny odds earned through the player’s achievements, such as completing Pokédex entries and earning the Shiny Charm, but the player also has more control over what Pokémon they can find or breed. The Pokémon that hatch from Eggs using the Masuda method are controlled directly by the player, and all Pokémon are obtainable in the wild under normal circumstances. This isn’t the case for Pokémon GO, where Eggs have a great level of randomness, and some wild Pokémon are exclusive to certain continents or regions, or players have to increase Shiny odds by playing at certain times.

Shiny odds in Pokémon GO, therefore, benefit from being much higher than even Pokémon Legends: Arceus with all its methods of adding to the Shiny rate. It balances out the general lack of control players have over the Pokémon they can hatch and find. The only times the main series has had Shiny chances comparable to those of Pokémon GO were likely unintentional, such as in Gen 2, when the chance of a shiny Pokémon hatching from an Egg could be made as high as 1 in 64 if numerous conditions were met, and with limitations. In Gen 4, if certain hidden values in the game aligned, players could use a Pokémon with the Cute Charm Ability to raise the Shiny encounter rate for certain Pokémon to an enormous 21.34%.

Players who would rather just see what the Shiny Pokémon in Pokémon GO look like, rather than go through the trouble of catching them themselves, should check out the above video from JTGily on YouTube.

Next: How To Find & Evolve Feebas in Pokémon GO

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