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Everything you need to know about Shiny Pokemon in Pokemon Go

Published Mar 23rd, 2017 11:27AM EDT
Pokemon Go: Shiny Pokemon FAQ
Image: Niantic

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Pokemon Go

players are still anxiously awaiting the addition of Legendary Pokemon to the game, but on Wednesday, they got something that should help tide them over. It is now possible to catch the extremely rare and highly-anticipated Shiny Pokemon in Pokemon Go, and below, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about these hard-to-find variations of your favorite Pocket Monsters.

What are Shiny Pokemon?

Shiny Pokemon were originally introduced in Pokemon Gold and Pokemon Silver on the Game Boy Color. Within those games, Shiny Pokemon were incredibly rare — players had a 1 in 8,192 chance of finding one. In future games, that probability shifted somewhat, but from Gold and Silver in 2000 all the way to Sun and Moon in 2016, Shiny Pokemon have been some of the most sought after creatures in the series.

On Wednesday, March 22nd, Niantic added Shiny Pokemon to Pokemon Go for the first time. Shiny Pokemon have appeared in the code of Pokemon Go for months, but with the Water Festival event kicking off this week, it appears that Niantic is finally ready to start rolling out Shiny Pokemon to the public.

How are Shiny Pokemon different?

Other than their color scheme, Shiny Pokemon aren’t any different from regular Pokemon. They aren’t stronger or weaker than their counterparts, so don’t expect to win a battle against a superior foe just because your Pokemon is a different shade of blue. Shiny Pokemon are just harder to find. That’s all. (For now.)

Which Shiny Pokemon can I catch?

At the moment, the only confirmed Shiny Pokemon are Magikarp and Gyarados. It’s unclear if the Shiny Gyarados (which has a striking red coloration) can be caught in the wild, but it has been confirmed that a Shiny Magikarp will automatically evolve into a Shiny Gyarados. Some trainers have caught Shiny Magikarps that have turned out to be Dittos, but according to reports, those Dittos don’t retain the shininess.

How do I find a Shiny Pokemon?

That’s the million dollar question. At the moment, there doesn’t appear to be any rhyme or reason to the appearance of Shiny Pokemon (which is also the case in the main Pokemon games). You just have to get lucky. It is worth noting that Shiny Pokemon do not appear Shiny on the map. You can only tell if a Pokemon is a Shiny Pokemon by tapping on it and beginning an encounter. Furthermore, just because a Pokemon is a Shiny Pokemon in your game doesn’t mean it will be for anyone else. So you might tap on the same Shiny Magikarp that your friend tapped on, but there’s no guarantee it’ll still be shiny in your game.

What does a Shiny evolution look like?

Here’s a video from YouTube user Ben Oakley of a Shiny Magikarp evolving into Shiny Gyarados:

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.