Pokemon GO

Everything You Need to Know About Shiny Pokemon in Pokemon GO

Interested in adding more Shiny Pokemon to your team? We've got you covered. Here's everything you need to know about Shiny Pokemon in Pokemon GO.
Interested in adding more Shiny Pokemon to your team? We've got you covered. Here's everything you need to know about Shiny Pokemon in Pokemon GO. / Niantic Labs

Interested in adding more Shiny Pokemon to your team? We've got you covered. Here's everything you need to know about Shiny Pokemon in Pokemon GO.

What is a Shiny Pokemon?

A shiny Pokemon is simply a Pokemon bearing an alternate color palette. This can create a stark and noticeable difference between the two — such as with Kanton Ponyta, whose mane turns blue when shiny — or be hardly visible like Pikachu which simply turns a bit more orange.

There is no statistical difference between typical Pokemon and their shiny variants. Being shiny doesn't give any type of advantage aside from bragging rights.

For this reason, there are no restrictions on how and when shiny Pokemon can be used in-game. Any shiny can be used in battle the same way its counterpart can.

What Makes Shiny Pokemon so Special in Pokemon GO?

Shiny Pokemon are often placed center stage due to their rarity. Finding a shiny Pokemon in the wild is extremely difficult as the chances per encounter are slim to none.

According to Silph Road, the daily chance of encountering a shiny Pokemon is less than 1% (0.2%). Each encounter has a 1:512 chance to result in a shiny Pokemon. However, this probability does increase within specific circumstances in the game. For example, during Community Day events, the chance of encountering a shiny Pokemon can be as high as 4% — 1:25. During Raid events, these odds jump to 1:10 — or 10%.

It's also worth noting that not every Pokemon in Pokemon GO has its shiny form available for capture in-game. This adds an extra layer of exclusivity to encountering them and makes them all the rarer.

Do Shiny Pokemon show up on Nearby or Sightings in Pokemon Go?

In short: no, they don't.

There is no way to tell a Pokemon is shiny until the encounter begins — either tapping it on the overland, hatching it from an egg, encountering it after a Raid or after turning in a research task.

This is because the shiny chance is calculated upon the start of the encounter, not at the start of the spawn. Therefore, there is no guarantee that a found Pokemon that appears shiny will be shiny for another player who begins that same encounter.

How to Catch a Shiny Pokemon in Pokemon GO

Fortunately, there's no unique method necessary to catching a shiny Pokemon. Since there is no true difference between shiny and typically colored members of the species, shiny Pokemon can be captured in the exact same way one would catch its typical counterpart.

Some trainers may choose to use extra items such as Golden Razz Berries and/or Ultra Balls to avoid the Pokemon fleeing. This, however, is entirely up to each trainer's discretion and does not impact the base catch rate for each.

When captured, the shiny variant is added to the PokeDex and can be viewed at any time.

When to Hunt for Shiny Pokemon in Pokemon GO

As discussed previously, the chances for encountering a shiny Pokemon increase significantly during specific circumstances in-game. These are the best times to hunt for Shiny Pokemon as the rates are boosted and they can be found much easier. These events include:

  • Community Day
  • Spotlight/Raid Hour
  • Themed Events (Spring Into Spring, et al.)
  • Major Celebrations (Pokemon GO Fest)

The rates, according to Silph Road, are as follows:

  • Raid Event: 10% (1:10)
  • Legendary Raid Event: 5% (1:20)
  • Community Day: 4% (1:25)
  • Raid/Hatch: 2% (1:50)
  • Permanently Boosted: 1.6% (1:64)
  • "Medium" Event: 0.8% (1:125)
  • Base rate: 0.2% (1:512)

Tips to Improve the Chances of Finding a Shiny Pokemon in Pokemon GO

The only real way to improve the chances of encountering a Shiny Pokemon in Pokemon GO are to increase the number of encounters a trainer has. This includes:

  • Participating in more events
  • Keeping in motion
  • Using Incense items
  • Visiting areas with various PokeStops
  • Dropping Lure modules
  • Simply playing more Pokemon GO

More information about shiny-boosted events such as Spotlight Hour can be found in our appropriate guides.