"Pokemon Go" Shiny Hunting Guide

Updated on January 13, 2019
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Dilbert is an avid Level 40 Pokemon Go player and raider with lots of knowledge and experience to draw from.

Shiny Hunting Guide

What Are Shiny Pokemon?

Shiny Pokemon have a long history in the Pokemon series. They are incredibly rare re-colored versions of existing Pokemon. For example, while a Dratini is a light blue color, a Shiny Dratini is a pink color instead. Green re-colors of Pokemon are generally quite common for a Shiny version. The color scheme may seem odd, but it stems from a limited color palette in earlier versions of the game.

In Pokemon Go, not every Pokemon has a Shiny variant, but Niantic regularly introduces new Shiny Pokemon along with special ways to increase your chance of finding them.

Shiny List from LeekDuck.com

A great tool for tracking which Shinies exist and which ones you have!
A great tool for tracking which Shinies exist and which ones you have! | Source

Finding Shiny Pokemon

In Pokemon Go, it's unclear exactly what the odds of a random Pokemon being Shiny are, but Niantic regularly runs events that increase odds, even to the point of a Shiny being quite easy to get. The general ways a user can hunt for Shiny Pokemon loosely in order of likelihood of finding them are:

  • Community Days
  • Special Periodic Spawn Events
  • Research Tasks
  • Hatching Eggs
  • Raids
  • Wild Encounters (at a very low rate)

Filter by Shiny Pokemon in the Search Bar

Searching for "shiny" in the search bar will return all Shiny Pokemon you own.
Searching for "shiny" in the search bar will return all Shiny Pokemon you own.

Community Days

Community Days are by far the best and easiest way to get Shiny Pokemon. Once a month, Niantic selects a Pokemon that normally previously has not had a Shiny variant to run a special event for. For 3 hours during the weekend, that Pokemon will spawn at an incredibly high rate, basically everywhere. The Shiny rate will be high along with it to the point where finding 1 Shiny per hour is pretty standard and it's not uncommon to walk away with 2-3 in an hour of hunting. Community Day is hands down the best day of the month to play Pokemon Go, not only because of the Shiny Pokemon, but for other reasons as well such as special boosts, exclusive moves, and more. For more information on Community Days, check out my full guide.

Periodic Events

Separate from Community Day, Niantic will also regularly run special spawn events. Again, this normally occurs with the introduction of a new Shiny or several new Shiny Pokemon. During this time, normally a few weeks, specific types of Pokemon will spawn more regularly, and the chance of a Shiny spawning appear to be enhanced as well though that is debated. Unlike Community Day, the chance of getting a Shiny is still quite low even if it is enhanced and even consistent daily players will find themselves missing out.

Research Task Encounters

Niantic will also occasionally introduce Shiny variants via Research tasks. These often last at least a month, if not much longer. The rate is pretty low, but generally it is believed the rate is higher than the base rate of finding a Shiny. This makes it something worth paying attention to.

Hatching Shinies in Eggs

Shiny Pokemon also have a chance to hatch from Eggs, and many of them exclusively come from eggs, such as the Baby Pokemon, Magby, Pichu, Togepi, and Wynaut. Similar to Research Tasks, it is generally believed that hatching features a slightly higher rate of spawning a Shiny.

Shiny Pokemon in Raids

Raids get a little more complicated because there are 3 categories of raids including:

  1. Raids with Pokemon that also spawn in the wild
  2. Raid exclusive Pokemon
  3. Legendary Raid exclusive Pokemon

There is some debate over whether or not raids with Pokemon that spawn normally feature a higher Shiny rate or not. However, it's clearly well established that raid exclusive Pokemon and Legendary raids do feature a higher Shiny rate. Some raids feature a Shiny rate as high as 10% such as the special event for Zapdos! However, other raids are much lower, although not nearly as low as an encounter in the wild. One thing to take note of is that many raids do not feature a Pokemon with a Shiny variant. In most situations, Niantic will introduce Shiny variants of raid exclusives much later such as what they did with Lugia, Ho-Oh, Kyogre, and others.

Wild Shiny Pokemon

Wild Pokemon are almost never Shiny! They're incredibly rare and quite discouraging to hunt for. However, it does happen! And as more and more Shiny variations get introduced your odds of finding them any random Shiny in the wild are just going to increase!

Silph Road Shiny Chart

An chart from the Silph Road, an incredible resource on Pokemon Go.
An chart from the Silph Road, an incredible resource on Pokemon Go. | Source

TLDR

DO:

  • Play Community Day
  • Play raids with raid exclusive Pokemon that have Shiny variants
  • Hatch Eggs that feature Baby Pokemon

DON'T:

  • Expect to sit on a Pokemon nest and find a Shiny anytime soon

Final Thoughts

It can be hard to Shiny hunt in Pokemon Go without just chasing events, but you will still find yourself landing a Shiny every so often so don't lose hope! There's also still a lot of debate on the exact odds of Shiny. The above chart helps to shed some light. This information is from the Silph Road, one of the most valuable resources for any Pokemon Go player. I highly recommend checking it out.

It's also worth calling out that Shiny spawns are local to you only. This means if your friend finds a Shiny, you cannot go to the same Pokemon and expect it to be a Shiny.

Questions & Answers

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