Can I get a shiny starter in Pokémon Sword and Shield?

Pokemon Sobble

Pokemon Sobble (Image credit: iMore)

Can I get a shiny starter in Pokémon Sword and Shield?

Best answer: Yes, and no. Since the starters are "shiny locked," the starter you choose at the beginning cannot be shiny. However, you can obtain a shiny Grooky, Sobble, or Scorbunny by following very specific breeding rules.Attack with full force: Pokémon Sword ($60 on Amazon)Defend yourself: Pokémon Shield ($60 on Amazon)

What does 'shiny lock' mean?

Shiny locking is a new feature that was originally added to Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu, and Let's Go, Eevee, and has been carried over into Pokémon Sword and Shield. This means that it is impossible to find the starter Pokémon along with the two legendary Pokémon in shiny forms out in the wild. Additionally, any Pokémon given as gifts cannot be shiny either, so the Charmander that you will eventually receive during your playthrough won't be shiny either.

Can I get a shiny starter at all?

All hope is not lost! You can still obtain shiny starter Pokémon through the breeding process. However, there are some specific rules that you should follow to have the highest chances of receiving the egg, which will hopefully contain the Pokémon that you'd like.

How to breed starter Pokémon

For breeding the right Pokémon, one handy trick is to use a Ditto for breeding Pokémon. So, for example, if you breed a Sobble and a Ditto, then the egg that you would receive would contain a Sobble. Likewise, if you breed a Scorbunny and a Ditto, then you'd receive an egg with a Scorbunny in. Ditto can be found near the Lake of Outrage in the Wild Area on a small piece of land that you'll need to cross with your bike.

Once you've gotten your Ditto, here's how to breed a shiny starter.

  1. First, visit the Nursery on either Route 5 or the hidden Nursery, which is located in the Bridge Field zone within the Wild Area.
  2. Leave two Pokémon at the Nursery. To increase your chances, if you leave two Pokémon of the same species, one male and one female, this will significantly increase the probability that you will receive an egg. Bear in mind that certain Pokémon, when left together, are unable to yield an egg.
  3. Once you have obtained an egg, you'll then have to add the egg to your party. You can either walk or use your bike to traverse the world map with the egg as a party member until it hatches.

This may take a couple of tries, but eventually, you will get a shiny starter! To increase your chances of getting a shiny with the Shiny Charm - a handy trinket that you'll receive after completing the Galar Pokédex.

What about the 'Masuda' method?

The Masuda method can increase your odds of hatching a shiny Pokemon from an egg even more! So, how does this work? If you breed your desired Pokemon species with another of the same species, which is from a version of Pokemon Sword or Shield, where the player was playing in a different language, then it will up your odds of receiving a shiny even more.

For example, if you have a Pokemon from your English version of the game, you can use this method to breed with another Pokemon that is from the French/German/Spanish or Japanese version of the game. Still, of course, you'll have to trade with other users to gather Pokemon from other regions. Imagine what you'd do with a Ditto from another region!

Natalie Houghton