If you fancy yourself somewhat of a Pokémon connoisseur, chances are you’ve attempted to catch or breed a Shiny Pokémon at some point. Just like previous generations, Pokémon Sword and Shield offers a 1/4,096 chance to encounter a Shiny. These highly unique variants are exactly the same as regular Pokémon when it comes to stats, moves, evolutions, and natures, but feature alternate color schemes depending on the species.
Catching and breeding Shinies is no easy task nor is it recommended for the impatient or faint of heart. However, there are a couple useful tips and strategies for increasing your chances of finding a Shiny Pokémon in Sword and Shield. In this guide, we’ll be explaining the best practices for maximizing the probability of finding a Shiny Pokémon whether you’re looking to catch one in the wild or hatch one from an egg.
It should be noted that certain Pokémon are locked and cannot be obtained Shiny, such as Starters, Legendaries, “Strong” Pokémon in the Wild Area, gifted Pokémon like Charmander, and in-game NPC trades such as Toxel; however, it’s still possible to obtain a Shiny when unlocking Fossil Pokémon.
How to Catch Shiny Pokémon
Players coming to Sword and Shield after having played Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee may be disappointed to learn Shiny Pokémon no longer appear visibly in the overworld. In order to determine whether or not a Pokémon is Shiny, you’ll have to first initiate a battle, at which point a sparkle effect will indicate a Shiny encounter.
An easy way to increase your chances of finding a Shiny is to initiate a battle with the same type of Pokémon over and over to create a “chain”. To use this method, first head to a patch of grass where your desired Pokémon is known to appear. Next, initiate a battle by walking up to the desired Pokémon. Once the battle begins, immediately run away as fainting the Pokémon will reset your chain.
Upon returning to the overworld, look for that same Pokémon and repeat the previous steps. After encountering the same Pokémon 25 times, your chances of finding a Shiny will have slightly increased. Note that initiating a battle with a different species at any time will reset your chain.
This method is best used in conjunction with Sword and Shield’s built-in battle tracker, which indicates how many times you’ve encountered a specific Pokémon over the course of the game. This information can be found in your Pokedex by selecting the desired Pokémon and checking the area labeled “Number Battled”.
Depending on how many you’ve battled/defeated, your chances of finding a Shiny will be increased as well as other rare encounters outlined by this official table from Nintendo:
The most straightforward method to increasing your Shiny odds in Sword and Shield is to obtain the Shiny Charm. This item is only unlocked after completing your Pokedex by catching/battling all 400 Pokémon in Sword and Shield.
Once you’ve completed your Pokedex, head to Circhester and enter the hotel located on the left side of the town square. Use the elevator to go to the floor with the hotel rooms. Once you get out of the elevator, go down the left hallway and enter the last room. Inside the room you’ll find a doctor who will reward you with a Shiny Charm.
You don’t have to do anything to trigger the Shiny Charm’s effects as just having it will increase the chances of finding a Shiny as outlined by the following table:
Number of Battles
Odds With Shiny Charm
How to Breed Shiny Pokémon
If you’re not up for the challenge of completing your Pokedex, another route you can take is to try and hatch a Shiny Pokémon from an egg. While breeding with a Shiny Pokémon won’t increase the chance of its offspring being shiny, there is a method that will.
Named after Game Freak director Junichi Masuda, this technique requires you to breed with two compatible Pokémon, typically a Ditto and whatever Pokémon you’re trying to obtain in Shiny form. For this method to work, the two Pokémon must come from games set to different languages, not just purchased in different regions.
Once you’ve acquired two compatible Pokémon from different languages, simply place them in the Nursery and begin collecting eggs. Your chances of hatching a Shiny Pokémon from one of the eggs they produce will be greatly increased from 1/4096 to 1/682. If you have the Shiny Charm, this is further increased to 1/512.
If you’re ever unsure whether or not you’ve hatched a Shiny Pokémon, you can easily check in the Pokémon Summary page. If the Pokémon is Shiny, a sparkle icon will be present in the bottom left of the screen.