Shiny Pokémon are very rare forms of Pokémon that are different in color when compared to other Pokémon. The term 'shiny' is a reference to the sparking animation and sound effect when the battle starts. The term "shiny" in itself, however, was unofficial prior to Generation V, when the Pokédex began cataloguing shiny Pokémon and using the term itself.
The game has a way of deciding if a Pokémon is Shiny. In Generation II, when the Battle starts, the game picks four random numbers between 0 and 65535. If any of the numbers is less than eight, it is a shiny Pokémon. The chance of seeing one of these is about 1 in every 8192, or 0.0122%.
From Generation III onwards, shiny Pokémon are determined by other factors such as the Trainer ID number and the personality value of the Pokémon.
They can sometimes become shiny now when you got the right amount of SR (Soft Resets). This can be time consuming because of the amount of time spent constantly SRing. Achieving a shiny this way can take days, and even weeks.
There are a few different methods to increase your chances of obtaining a shiny Pokémon.
- 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 you battled that is the farthest away within a four by four grid most likely is the same Pokémon.
A method available in Generation IV-V. This method is when you breed to Pokémon, one from your game, and one from another countries game (Japan, UK, Europe, etc.). At first the chances of finding a shiny are 1/8192, if you use this method in Gen IV the chances are cut, to 1/2048, whereas in Gen V they are cut even more to 1/1365.3. So the chances of hatching a shiny are extremely easier. This method was created and announced by Junichi Masuda, director of GameFreak to add fun stuff to the game after you beat it. Such as shiny hunting, using the GTS, and more.
- Go onto the Global Trade Station (GTS) and get a Japanese Ditto.
- Then select a Pokémon and put it in the Day-Care with the Japanese Ditto.
- Keep hatching until a Shiny hatches.
A method useful for Legendary Pokémon and Shiny Starters from Generation II-V. One method which is easy enough (but often very time consuming) works for starters and most Legendary Pokémon. Basically, the method is to stand in front of the legendary Pokémon you will catch/starter you will take and save. If you don't get a shiny when you get your starter/battle the legendary, soft reset the game by pressing A+B+Start+Select on the GBA and L+R+Start+Select on the DS. This method can easily require over 1000 resets before you get a shiny, however with enough dedication and patience your efforts can pay off.
In-Game Shiny Pokémon
In-game shiny Pokémon are met as part of the main story in some Pokémon games. For example, the Red Gyarados appears in Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal Versions, and in the remakes as part of a story arc, and can be caught in a way similar to most legendary Pokémon.
Shiny Pokémon in the Anime series
- Noctowl: Ash Ketchum caught a Shiny Noctowl while on his travels through Johto. Its appearance is identical to the in-game version but seems to be about half the size of other Noctowls.
- Shuckle: In A Better Pill to Swallow, Ash and co. met an old man who sought after a Shiny Shuckle that could make special juice that acted as a potent medicine.
- Gyarados: A red Gyarados first appeared in Talkin' 'Bout an Evolution and Rage of Innocence in the Lake of Rage. Its evolution and color was a result of Team Rocket's attempts to induce evolution. They were successful, but the process caused the rage of the Gyarados to boil boil over and it when on rampage down a river towards Mahogany Town. Lance was able to quell its rage and caught it before it could reach the town. It was last seen during the battle between Kyogre and Groudon helping Lance.
- Magneton: A shiny Magneton appeared in Tie One On! owned by Jackson during the Silver Conference. It proved to be a strong and smart opponent and felled Ash's Pikachu and Cyndaquil before it was defeated by his Bulabsaur.
- Swellow: Winona, the Fortree City Gym Leader, owns a Shiny Swellow that she uses in her gym matches. It made its only appearance in Sky High Gym Battle! where it defeated Ash's Grovyle before losing to his own Swellow.
- Magikarp: A shiny Magikarp was briefly seen in Judgement Day! . A trainer named Jimmy had captured the rare Pokemon, but he immediately traded it away for a Charmeleon.
- Donphan: A wild, shiny Donphan was seen on Dontoe Island in Date Expectations. Many males attempted to romance her with their Rollout during the mating season, but in the end, she chose another Donphan Ash and company were helping.
- Dustox: Jessie's Dustox fell in love with a male, shiny Dustox in Crossing Paths . It, along with Jessie's Dustox, was released similarly to how Ash released his Butterfree to start a family.
- Metagross : A shiny Metagross appeared in Noodles! Roamin' Off!. James went out to see this strangely colored Metagross that people had been talking about, and was promptly attacked by the shiny Metagross.
- Ditto: A shiny Ditto appeared in Dealing With a Fierce Double Ditto Drama! under the ownership of Narissa. It was used in a battle against Ash's Infernape, which it transformed into. After a series of Mach Punches, it was defeated. It later appeared to help defeat Team Rocket.
- Entei, Raikou and Suicune: Shiny versions of the three Legendary Beasts acted as the guardians of Crown City in Zoroark: Master of Illusions. They appear as many statues around the city and appear in person when they believe Zoroark is attacking the city.
- 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.
- Hydreigon & Golurk: Two Pokemon owned by Carlita and Juanita respectively in Black: Victini and Reshiram and White: Victini and Zekrom. Hydreigon is only shiny in White: Victini and Zekrom while Golurk is only shiny in Black: Victini and Reshiram.
- Hydreigon was used in the Harvest Festival tournament in Eindoak Town. It defeated Cilan's Pansage with its DragonBreath, but was defeated by Ash's Scraggy with a single, but power-boosted Headbutt. It was later used as transport when the castle was collapsing.
- Golurk was used to guard Juanita's trailer that contained Victini dolls, candy and other souvenirs. It was later used to battle Damon's dragon and prevent the planet's destruction at the hands of Damon's misguided attempt to revive the Kingdom of the Vale.
- In Generation II games shiny Pokémon are, on average, slightly stronger than their normal colored counterparts. However, this is not true for later generations.
- If you evolve a shiny Pokémon it still remains shiny.
- There are examples of Pokémon which, although coloured differently, are not officially shiny (as their coloration differs from the shiny variant).
- The first alternately colored Pokémon to appear in the anime series was seen by Ash in the first season when he released his Butterfree to mate with it.
- 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.
- 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.