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A Shiny Pokémon (Japanese: るポケモン Shiny Pokémon), previously officially known as alternate coloration or rare coloration (Japanese: 色違い differently colored), and called Color Pokémon in Pokémon Stadium 2, is a specific Pokémon with different coloration to what is usual for its species. It is one of the many differences that a Pokémon can have within its species.

The term "Shiny Pokémon" was first created by fans to refer to the sparkling sound effect and animation made at the start of an encounter with one in the games. Eventually, this term fell into official usage in Generation IV, used on promotional material promoting Shiny event Pokémon. The term Shiny Pokémon was first used in-game in Pokémon Black and White in Nimbasa City.

Shiny Pokémon can differ in color from their normal counterparts very little or very much. Some Pokémon, such as Glaceon or Pichu, have a Shiny coloration only a few shades darker or lighter in color. However, many Pokémon have a spectacular difference between their normal and Shiny variations; even extremely common Pokémon like Caterpie show a dramatic difference. An evolutionary line is not necessarily guaranteed to have similar Shiny colorations even if their standard colorations are the same; both Ponyta and Rapidash have orange flames, but a Shiny Ponyta has blue flames while a Shiny Rapidash has gray flames (this is switched in Generation II). Sometimes, two Pokémon in an evolutionary line with different standard colorations will have the same Shiny coloration, as in the case of Skitty and Delcatty.

Form differences, such as that of Shellos and Gastrodon, are not normal/Shiny variations of one another, but the individual forms can be Shiny.

 

Determining Shininess

In Generation II

In Generation II, being Shiny is determined by a Pokémon's IVs. If a Pokémon's Speed, Defense, and Special IVs are all 10, and its Attack IV is 2, 3, 6, 7, 10, 11, 14 or 15, it will be Shiny. Because of this, a Shiny Pokémon traded to a Generation I game and then traded back to Generation II will retain its Shininess, and a Pokémon obtained in Generation I whose IVs meet the requirements for Shininess will also become Shiny when traded to Generation II.

Since the HP IV is calculated from the other four IVs, a Shiny Pokémon's HP IV will always be either 0 or 8. Shiny Pokémon are generally above average in terms of IVs, but only slightly.

The probability of a Pokémon encountered in the wild or obtained as a gift, in-game trade, or event in Generation II having its IVs line up in the above manner is 1/8192 (assuming every IV combination has the same probability, which is usually the case).

The probability differs for bred Pokémon, as their IVs are partially influenced by their parents. Specifically, a parent passes its Special stat (plus or minus 8) and its Defense stat to its children that are the opposite gender from it. (If Ditto is one of the parents, it is always the one that passes these stats.) This means that if a Shiny parent passes its IVs to a child, the child's inherited Defense IV will always be 10, its inherited Special IV will have a 1/2 chance of being 10, its randomly generated Attack IV will have a 1/2 chance of being an appropriate value, and its randomly generated Speed IV will have 1/16 chance of being 10. This results in a 1/64 chance that such a child will be Shiny. These breeding mechanics also mean that if a child inherits its IVs from a Pokémon that does not have a Defense IV of 10 and a Special IV of 2 or 10, it cannot be Shiny.

In Generations III and later

Generation III saw an overhaul of many aspects of the game, which included the calculation to determine a Pokémon being Shiny. Shininess in these games is determined by a calculation involving the Original Trainer's ID number and secret ID number, as well as the Pokémon's personality value. The exact calculation is:

(TrainerID xor SecretID) xor (PersonalityValue31..16 xor PersonalityValue15..0)

where the latter two values represent the highest and lowest 16 bits of the 32-bit personality value respectively. More details on this calculation can be found here.

The above formula can result in a number ranging from 0 to 65535. In Generations III to V, if this result is less than 8, then the Pokémon is Shiny; starting in Generation VI, this threshold was increased to 16. For Generations III to V, this gives an overall probability of 8/65536 or 1/8192, exactly the same as in Generation II. For Generations VI and later, the probability is doubled.

Transferring from Generation I Virtual Console games

Pokémon transported to Pokémon Bank from the Virtual Console releases of the Generation I games via Poké Transporter may be Shiny after being transported. Since Version 1.3 of Poké Transporter, this is determined by following the same criteria as for Generation II games, as described above. Prior to Version 1.3, the roles of the Attack and Defense IVs were swapped, meaning that the process did not properly correspond to Generation II.

The same quirks that apply to transferring Pokémon from Generation I to Generation II games also apply.

The Mew that were distributed to the Generation I Virtual Console games have IVs of 15 in every stat, meaning they can never be Shiny.

Generation II


A Shiny Gyarados in the anime

In-game Shiny Pokémon

In Generation II, any Pokémon can be Shiny, but the game includes a red Gyarados that the player must encounter at the Lake of Rage during the course of the story. In Pokémon Crystal, the Odd Egg also has a high chance of hatching a Shiny Pokémon: 50% in Japanese games, and 14% in all other languages. [citation needed]

In the Game Boy mode of Pokémon Gold and Silver, the sprites of both regular and Shiny Pokémon use the same shades of gray. A Shiny Pokémon can still be identified by the stars on its status screen or the animation shown when it comes into battle.

Quirks

Pokémon that are transferred from Generation I games may also be Shiny, depending on their IVs. Due to correlations between pseudorandom numbers in the Generation I games, Pokémon encountered in those games in tall grass, on cave tiles, or by Surfing on water cannot have a set of IVs that would allow them to be Shiny in Generation II. Fishing encounters, gift Pokémon (including from Pokémon Stadium), stationary Pokémon (such as Snorlax and Mewtwo), and in-game trades can have any set of IVs, so they always have the same 1/8192 chance of having a Shiny IV combination.[1]

Additionally, in Generation I, if a wild Pokémon transforms again while already transformed, when caught it will be a Ditto with the same IVs as the first Pokémon it transformed into, allowing Ditto's IVs to be manipulated so that it is Shiny in Generation II by having it initially transform into a Pokémon with Shiny IVs.

Generation III

In-game Shiny Pokémon

In Generation III, some Shiny Pokémon appear on NPCs' teams. In Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, three Trainers in the Trainer Tower have Shiny Pokémon: the Trainer on the seventh floor in the Single Battle mode has a Shiny Meowth, the pair of Trainers on the first floor in the Double Battle mode have a Shiny Espeon, and the second Trainer on the fourth floor in the Knockout Mode has a Shiny Seaking. Several Pokémon Battle e Trainers also have Pokémon which are preset as Shiny.

Quirks

A bug with the way Shininess is handled for Eggs can cause the Shiny status of a Pokémon hatched from an Egg to differ from the Egg hatching animation. This means that a hatched Pokémon may appear to be Shiny during the hatching animation, but actually not be, and vice versa. This happens because an Egg is initially given the OT, Trainer ID and secret ID of the game in which it is generated, and if it is hatched in a different game, the hatched Pokémon will be given the Trainer details of that game's player; the problem originates in the fact that this update does not occur until after the cutscene of the Egg hatching, so while it may be Shiny for the player who hatched it, it may not be Shiny for the player who obtained the Egg (or vice versa). This also allows Eggs obtained from event distributions (which in Generation III were only distributed in Japan) to hatch a Shiny Pokémon when they would otherwise be non-Shiny Pokémon. This bug was not fixed until Generation VI.

Unown also has an uneven distribution of Shiny probability depending on its form. This is because Unown's form is also determined by its personality value. The exact probability for any given form depends on the player's Trainer ID and Secret ID, but it can have the values 1/5120, 1/6144, 1/9216, 1/10240, or 1/18432.

Generation IV


Pikachu-colored Pichu, a Shiny Pichu available via event

In-game Shiny Pokémon

In the Generation IV remakes of Generation II's Pokémon Gold and Silver, Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, the player once again must encounter a red Gyarados at the Lake of Rage during the course of the story.

In HeartGold and SoulSilver, a Shiny Pokémon's coloration is reflected in the overworld if it is used as a walking Pokémon.

Methods of increasing Shiny rates

Generation IV introduced the first ways to increase the chances of finding a Shiny Pokémon.

The Masuda method refers to breeding two Pokémon originating from games of different languages to increase the chances of breeding a Shiny Pokémon. Under these circumstances, the game generates up to five total personality values to attempt to find one that will be Shiny. Foreign language Pokémon obtained via in-game trades, such as the Meister's Foppa and Lt. Surge's Volty, still count as being from the same game, so they do not activate the Masuda method unless traded to a different language. This mechanic is retained in all subsequent games.

The Poké Radar slowly improves the odds of finding a Shiny Pokémon as the player builds a chain. The odds can reach a maximum of 41/8192 (approximately 1/200) for a single patch of grass for a chain of length 40 or higher; since up to four patches of grass can shake, the total odds become approximately 1/50. If the Poké Radar forces a Pokémon to be Shiny, it constructs a semi-random personality value that will fulfill the requirement for the Pokémon to be Shiny.

Quirks

Cute Charm can make it possible for players with certain Trainer ID number and Secret ID combinations to manipulate the chance of Pokémon with specific gender ratios being Shiny to be as high as 21.34% (while making the chance lower for all other players and Pokémon with different gender ratios, while using the Ability). This is due to how Cute Charm forces a wild Pokémon to be a specific gender when it activates, which is accomplished by modifying the Pokémon's personality value to be one of an extremely limited set of values.

The bug from Generation III that can cause a Pokémon's Shiny status to differ from the hatching animation persists. This again allows Eggs obtained from event distributions (which in Generation IV were only distributed in Japan) and the Manaphy Egg to be Shiny after hatching.

Generation V

In-game Shiny Pokémon

Generation V introduced a mechanism often referred to as a "Shiny lock", preventing wild Reshiram, Zekrom, and Victini from being Shiny. Any Pokémon obtained in Entree Forest (i.e., from the Pokémon Dream World) are also prevented from being Shiny. Reshiram, Zekrom, and Victini still have Shiny sprites in the games' data.

In Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, the player can obtain three specific Shiny Pokémon (but only two per version). If the player registers every non-event Pokémon in the New Unova Pokédex, they can receive a Permit that allows them to travel to the Nature Preserve, where they can encounter a Shiny Haxorus. After defeating Benga in the Black TowerB2 or White TreehollowW2, Benga will give the player a Shiny GibleB2 or Shiny DratiniW2.

Starting in Generation V, Pokémon in the Pokédex will appear Shiny if the first specimen of that Pokémon encountered was Shiny.

Methods of increasing Shiny rates

The Masuda method now generates up to six total personality values instead of five. This remains the case in later games.

Generation V also introduces the Shiny Charm, a Key Item that causes the game to generate up to two extra personality values in an attempt to make a wild or bred Pokémon Shiny. This effect can stack with the Masuda method's effect. This item is also available in all future games.

Quirks

The bug from Generation III that can cause a Pokémon's Shiny status to differ from the hatching animation persists. This again allows Eggs obtained from event distributions to be Shiny after hatching.

Generation VI


Promotional artwork of a Shiny Mega Metagross

In-game Shiny Pokémon

Generation VI slightly changed how Shiny Pokémon are determined to double the default chances that a Pokémon will be Shiny. The basic formula remains the same, but the threshold for a Pokémon to be Shiny is now 16 instead of 8. This results in a base Shiny probability of 16/65536 or 1/4096.

The following Pokémon are prevented from being Shiny when encountered as wild Pokémon in Generation VI games: the Legendary birds, the aura trio, Mewtwo, the weather trio, and Deoxys. The in-game gift Cosplay Pikachu also cannot be Shiny.

Methods of increasing Shiny rates

The Poké Radar returns for Pokémon X and Y. The exact mechanics of the Poké Radar in these games are not confirmed, but the Poké Radar can still force a Pokémon in a shaking patch to be Shiny.

In X and Y, in the Friend Safari, Shiny Pokémon are more common. The game achieves this by generating up to four extra personality values when checking if a Pokémon will be Shiny. This effect can stack with the Shiny Charm's effect.[2]

Consecutive fishing can increase the odds of finding a Shiny Pokémon as the player builds a chain of reeled-in Pokémon by fishing from the same spot. For every Pokémon added to the chain, the game tries two extra personality values to attempt to make the Pokémon Shiny, up to a chain of 20 Pokémon, at which point the chances reach a maximum of 41/4096 or approximately 1%. This effect can stack with the Shiny Charm's effect.[3]

In Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, hidden Pokémon have a chance to be forced to be Shiny. Unlike most other methods that increase the odds of finding a Shiny Pokémon, this does not increase the number of personality values that the game tries, but instead executes a custom algorithm to decide whether to force a Shiny personality value. In brief summary, the chances of forcing a Shiny Pokémon grow steadily from 0% at Search Level 0 to 0.06% at Search Level 100 (only surpassing the natural odds of finding a Shiny Pokémon at Search Level 41), then grows steadily to 0.08% at Search Level 200, after which the rate of growth becomes 0.01% for every 100 Search Levels. Certain factors can increase the odds further by performing the check extra times. There is a random 4% chance it will be performed four extra times; if the player has the Shiny Charm it will be performed two extra times; and if the player is encountering the 50th or 100th Pokémon in a chain of hidden Pokémon, it will be performed five or ten extra times respectively. All of these bonuses stack.[4]

Generation VII


Promotional artwork of a Shiny Tapu Koko

In-game Shiny Pokémon

In Pokémon Sun, Moon, Ultra Sun, and Ultra Moon, after entering the Hall of Fame, Sightseer Marcus appears at the Seafolk Village Pokémon Center, battling the player with a Shiny Exeggcute. This marks the only time a Trainer outside of a battle facility uses a Shiny Pokémon (excluding capture tutorials).

Methods of increasing Shiny rates

Sun and Moon

In the Pokémon Sun and Moon, as well as Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, as Pokémon in SOS Battles continue calling in allies, the chance that they will be Shiny increases. At chain lengths of 11, 21, and 31, the game will check up to four extra personality values to find a Shiny Pokémon (meaning the maximum number of personality values checked will be 13 for a chain of 31 Pokémon or more). In Pokémon Sun and Moon, the chain length resets to 0 after 255, but in Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, it does not reset. This effect can stack with the Shiny Charm's effect.[5]

Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon

In Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, Pokémon encountered through the Ultra Warp Ride (excluding Legendary Pokémon and Ultra Beasts) have a chance to be forced to be Shiny. The Shininess of these Pokémon is determined when the player arrives at the Ultra Space Wilds. The probability that a Pokémon encountered this way will be Shiny depends on the rarity of the wormhole and the distance traveled.[6]