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Pokémon Legends Arceus: Shiny hunting guide

It may not be the tagline anymore, but many people out there still obsess over catching every Pokémon in each new game. This feat became harder and harder to accomplish as the number of Pokémon rose with each generation, but now that there are so many that the developers just can’t include them all anymore, it has become a much more manageable goal again. With Pokémon Legends: Arceus, the combination of a tighter Pokédex and refreshed combat system has spurred many people to start hunting for those rare monsters once more.

There are plenty of rare Pokémon in every entry. From Legendary and Mythical Pokémon, to ones that are locked behind special requirements, Pokémon Legends: Arceus has all the classic Pokémon to hunt. However, the rarest of them all are the incredibly elusive and sought-after Shiny Pokémon. These uniquely colored variants are back, and just as difficult to encounter as ever. But, just like with some prior titles, there are some things you can do to raise the odds of encountering one of these Shiny Pokémon. Here’s a complete guide for hunting down these rare monsters.

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How Shiny Pokémon work

A crew of Pokemon hangs out in Pokemon Legends: Arceus.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Whether you’ve gone Shiny hunting in previous Pokémon games before or not, they always work a little differently from game to game. More specifically, the odds of encountering them, and how much you can influence those odds, change. To cover the basics first, though, Shiny Pokémon are the same as their normal, non-Shiny, counterparts in every way except appearance and some small effects in battles.

Shiny Pokémon have a small, and we mean small, percentage chance to spawn in the world for any Pokémon in that area. In past games, before you could see Pokémon on the overworld, you never knew if you would encounter a Shiny until you started a random battle. In Pokémon Legends: Arceus we can at least spot Shiny Pokémon out in the world to not waste as much time fighting regular Pokémon.

Thanks to a ton of data collected by @Sibuna_Switch on Twitter, the rates for Shinys in the 1.0.1 version of Pokémon Legends: Arceus have been uncovered. In short, here’s what you need to know from this data dump.

With no other factors in play, you have a 1 in 4,096 chance of running into a Shiny in any area, which is why many players may never even know they exist. This rate can be improved all the way to a 1 in 128.49 chance if you stack every possible modifier the game has for improving Shiny chances.

How to hunt Shiny Pokémon

A trainer sneaking through tall grass.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Before getting into any more specific tips, the most important thing to do when you eventually do spot a precious Shiny in the wild is to turn off the game’s auto-save function and manually save your game immediately. Shiny Pokémon can, and will, escape from battles, or you might accidentally KO them before you can catch them. No matter what happens, having a save before the encounter will let you reload and try as many times as you need to get a successful catch.

In terms of improving those initially dismal 1 in 4,096 chances of ever even seeing a Shiny, there are three ways to tip the scales slightly more in your favor: The Shiny Charm, Pokédex research levels, and Mass Outbreak events.

How to get the Shiny Charm

The easiest way to give you improved Shiny hunting odds is to get the Shiny Charm item, although you shouldn’t put it as a priority considering the requirements to get it are a little absurd. On the plus side will also help you build up your Pokédex research levels, which is another factor we’ll get into, but

The specific requirements to unlock the Shiny Charm in Pokémon Legends: Arceus is to reach research rank 10 for every single Pokémon in the game. So, not only do you need to have caught every Pokémon there is, all 242 of them, but also complete enough research tasks to raise their research level up to 10. Naturally, this can easily soak up hundreds of hours, so while the improved chances this item gives is great, you should probably focus on other areas first and chip away at this one over time.

Pokédex research levels

Speaking of increasing Pokédex research levels, these tasks do more than just help you raise your Star Rank. For each specific Pokémon you reach research rank level 10, the odds of finding a Shiny of that specific Pokémon gets sliced down from the base 1 in 4,096 to 1 in 2,048.25. That alone basically doubles your chances.

Level 10 research rank isn’t the highest level that you can reach for a Pokémon’s Pokédex entry. If you manage to do every single research task for a specific species of Pokémon, it will be considered “Perfect” as opposed to just “Complete.” A perfect research rank cuts the odds in half again down to a somewhat more realistic 1 in 1,024.

Mass Outbreaks

A guard warning a trainer about an outbreak.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The last way to help you on your Shiny hunt are events that aren’t new to Pokémon Legends: Arceus, but function differently in this new style of game. These are random events that can trigger when you are leaving Jubilife Village that the guard Ress first tells you about. When leaving, if there’s a Mass Outbreak occurring, it will show up as an icon on your map of the type of Pokémon making up that outbreak. Going to that location, you will find a large mob of one type of Pokémon gathered together, with each one having a higher than normal chance of being Shiny.

The amount a Mass Outbreak influences the odds alone is the most substantial compared to either method covered before. A Mass Outbreak alone, with no Shiny Charm or even level 10 research levels, will have a 1 in 158.02 chance of spawning a Shiny. The downside is that these events happen at random, so your best way to force one into triggering is to travel to and from Jubilife Village until one appears.

Stack the odds

All of these methods covered increase your odds to varying degrees, with Mass Outbreaks being far and away the most impactful, but any can be stacked to cut the odds down to the absolute best chances. You can go from 1 in 4,096 with nothing, to 1 in 2,048.25 at level 10 research rank, 1 in 1,024 when you get a perfect research rank, and if a Mass Outbreak for that specific type of Pokémon happens, you’re looking at a 1 in 141 chance of seeing a Shiny. If you’re somehow still hunting for Shiny Pokémon after getting the Shiny Charm, adding that into the equation brings the odds to their best at 1 in 128.

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Jesse Lennox
Jesse Lennox loves writing, games, and complaining about not having time to write and play games. He knows the names of more…
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