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How to catch and breed shiny Pokémon in Pokemon Sword and Shield

Players of Pokémon Sword and Shield often hunt for shiny Pokémon. This elusive style of Pokémon can be hard to find, but having one can give you bragging rights with your friends. They’re different from the usual Pokémon, presenting different colors than their original renditions. Sometimes this color change is subtle, with a slight tint change, while other times the color difference is day and night.

However, it is worth noting that not all Pokémon in Sword and Shield will come to you shiny. Any Pokémon that are given as gifts, such as the starters, won’t come to you shiny, so don’t waste your time restarting your game and trying again with gifted Pokémon. Instead, you’ll need to either catch or breed a shiny Pokémon. But tracking down or breeding shiny Pokémon can prove to be difficult.

If you’re ready to start your shiny hunt, you’ve come to the right place! We have a few tips and tricks on how to find and catch shiny Pokémon in Pokémon Sword and Shield!

Further reading

How to catch shiny Pokémon

Pokemon Sword Shield fist bump

The first thing you’ll want to do is increase your odds of spawning a shiny Pokémon. You’ll need to start by trying to remember how many of that specific Pokémon you have battled and how many of that specific Pokémon you have in a Catch Combo.

A Catch Combo is how many of the same Pokémon you’ve caught in a row at one time. For example, if you’re hunting a shiny Vulpix, be sure to head where Vulpix spawns and catch as many in a row as you can. If you face other Pokémon while searching for Vulpix, run away and focus solely on Vulpix. Catch Combos will stop increasing your chances of running into a shiny after you catch about 25. However, says this practice will increase your chances of finding a shiny Vulpix by 50%.

It’s also important to track your Battle Count. The more you’ve battled with a specific species of Pokémon, the higher your chances of finding a Shiny will be. Every battle counts! If you battle 50, your chances of finding a shiny increase by 1.5%. After 100 battles, it increases by 2%, 200 battles will increase your chances by 2.5%, 300 battles will increase chances by 3%, and 500 will increase it by 3% more. You’re able to check how many of a species of a Pokémon you’ve battled by checking your Pokédex.

While shiny hunting, be sure to wear the Shiny Charm to boost your chances of finding a Shiny in the wild. You can get this item from the Game Freak Game Director after completing your Pokédex. He’ll be in Hotel Ionia in Circhester.

By using these three techniques, you’ll be given approximately 1/455 chances of finding a Shiny. Although this number seems low, it’s definitely better than the original Shiny spawn rate.

It’s also worth mentioning that Sword and Shield have also introduced a new type of Shiny Pokémon: Square Shinies. That’s right, there are two types of Shiny Pokémon out in the Galar world, the standard and the square. You can tell the Shiny Pokémon is a square shiny because the usual stars to indicate a shiny will be replaced by squares in the intro animation. Square Shinies aren’t a different shade of Shiny either, so you don’t need to stress about that.

For every Shiny you encounter in the game, it has a 1/16 chance of being a square Shiny rather than the standard Shiny. However, if you follow the Catch Combo method above or defeat 25 of the same Pokémon in a row, those odds will flip to 15/16 odds of finding a square shiny but you’ll have 1/16 odds of that Pokémon being a Standard Shiny.

How to breed shiny Pokémon

Pokémon Sword and Shields The Isle of Armor DLC
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Breeding a Shiny is a little bit different. A lot of people will use the Masuda Method, which was named after Game Freak’s Junichi Masuda. Masuda was the director who added the feature to the game. This method requires getting a parent Pokémon from a player who plays the game in another language and breed it. When using Pokemon from two different language games, a Shiny Pokémon is six times more likely to hatch from the eggs. However, there is still some debate as to what effects this Shiny rate. Some players feel it’s not necessarily language, but rather region that is the determining factor. However, the Masuda Method definitely increases the chances of hatching a shiny.

The easiest way to hatch a Shiny Pokémon is to get your hands on a foreign Ditto. Catch a Ditto from your region and find someone in another country with a Ditto they’re willing to trade. This way, every Pokémon you breed from here on our will have the Masuda Method’s chances behind it.

Side notes on Shiny Pokémon

There are a few last things to know while out hunting shinies in Galar. Dynamaxed Pokémon in Max Raid Battles can be shiny, so players who love to partake in raids in the Wild Area have a chance of finding a Shiny raid boss. You’ll be able to see the shiny effects on the enemy model as your facing off against it. By contrast, you won’t be able to see if a Pokémon is shiny on the outer world. Although in Pokémon Let’s Go we could see whether or not a Pokémon was shiny before trying to catch it, that mechanic did not make it to Sword and Shield. You won’t know if a Pokémon is shiny until after you initiate battle.

When hunting Shiny Pokémon, remember that you won’t find any Shiny Pokémon that are beyond your catch level. If you find a Pokémon in the Wild Area that is too high a level for you to catch, it’s okay. That Pokémon will not be Shiny so you won’t miss out!

Finally, as of right now, Legendary Pokémon will not be shiny. Although the game will tease you with Shiny legendary sprites and models, it’s impossible to find these Shiny legendary Pokémon out in the wild. Not one of the three legendary Pokémon in Sword and Shield can be shiny just yet, so don’t feel jealous if you see a player with a Shiny legendary. Chances are, they’ve hacked their game to make you jealous.

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Leijah Petelka
Leijah Petelka is a freelance gaming guides writer for Digital Trends. She covers a variety of game types, but she does love…
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