Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl shinies: How to catch Shiny Pokemon

Pokemon Bdsp Shiny Starters
Pokemon Bdsp Shiny Starters (Image credit: iMore)

One of the most exciting things about playing any Pokémon game is encountering a Shiny Pokémon, rare creatures with different coloring than usual. Some stand out significantly with very different coloring, while others are simply a different shade of the same hues. For instance, Chimchar's red-brown fur is pink in its shiny variant, while Shiny Piplup is only a slightly lighter shade of blue. Your default odds of finding or breeding a shiny in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are 1/4096. Fortunately, there are some things you can do that can increase your chances by quite a bit.

SPOILER WARNING: This page is heavy with spoilers, so if you don't want things to be ruined for you, turn away now.

Shiny Pokémon in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl: A few things to know

  • You cannot see shinies in the overworld: Unlike Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!, which allowed you to see if a Pokémon was shiny in the overworld, Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl only let you see if a creature is shiny by engaging it in battle. The exception to this is if you happen to have a Poké Radar on you, in which case you will see shiny sparkles in the grass.
  • Look for sparkles: When you come upon a shiny, sparkles and light emit around the Pokémon. You're going to want to watch for this and catch that Pokémon.
  • Some shinies don't look much different: For instance, shiny Pikachu is simply a different color yellow, and shiny Piplup is just a lighter blue. You really need to keep an eye out for those sparkles.
  • Shiny hunting can take hours if not days: You're going to have to be patient. Some people are lucky enough to grab a shiny super quick, but others can spend 10+ hours and still have nothing to show for it. Keep at it, and you'll get one eventually.

With that important information out of the way, let's dive in!

Can I get a Shiny Pokémon starter?

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond Shining Pearl Starter Balls (Image credit: The Pokémon Company (screenshot))

Starters are not shiny locked, so you might get a different-colored Chimchar, Turtwig, or Piplup at the beginning of the game. However, you will not be able to tell if a starter is shiny until after you've accepted it into your party. So you'll need to choose your starter and then look at it in the menu to see if it's a shiny or not.

Are any Pokémon shiny locked?

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond Shining Pearl Jirachi (Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

Unfortunately yes. Both Mew and Jirachi, which can be acquired if you have played previous Pokémon games, are shiny locked. This means you can't get a shiny variant for them in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond or Shining Pearl.

Tangentially related, coding for Shaymin, Darkrai, and Arceus are also in the game. However, they can't be accessed until some future event unlocks them. It's unclear at present whether or not these Mythical Pokémon will be shiny locked or not.

Are there Super Shinies?

Grookey shiny Pokemon Sword and Shield (Image credit: Destructoid)

Super Shinies were introduced with Pokémon Sword and Shield and were far rarer than regular shiny Pokémon. Instead of sparkling stars, super shinies had diamonds or rectangles that appeared. However, it's currently unclear if they exist in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. I'm dying to learn more about this myself, so I'll keep my ear to the ground and will update as soon as I learn more.

Is the Shiny Charm in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl?

Pokemon Bdsp Shiny Charm (Image credit: iMore)

The Shiny Charm is a special item that has been in core Pokémon RPGs since Black 2 and White 2. After acquiring it, your shiny chances permanently increase.

See more

Dataminer @Kaphotics on Twitter has discovered the coding for the Shiny Charm in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, even though it wasn't in the original DS games. However, it appears as though the Shiny Charm effects are not active. This may change. We'll update what this does with shiny odds once we learn more.

Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl Shiny Hunting odds cheat sheet

Swipe to scroll horizontally
MethodShiny Chances
Default Encounter/Breeding1/4096
40 Diglett Bonus (Grand Underground)3/4096
Masuda Method Breeding1/683
Masuda Method + Shiny Charm*1/512
40+ Chain Encounters w/ Poké Radar1/99

Shiny hunting in the Grand Underground

Pokemon Bdsp Grand Underground (Image credit: iMore)

When you enter a hideaway room in the Grand Underground, the Pokémon in the room will be determined as you enter the room. That means that its stats, shiny status, nature, and more are determined when you enter the room and not when you go into battle. You have to leave the room and come back to respawn everything that appears.

The Pokémon you see walking around will not appear shiny in the overworld. You will need to enter a battle to see if they are shiny or not.

Light Stone: 40 Diglett bonus

Pokemon Bdsp Grand Underground 40 Diglett (Image credit: iMore)

As you run around the Grand Underground, you'll occasionally come across a Diglett or Dugtrio in the ground. Run into it or collect the sparkles it leaves behind to add to the bar in your upper left corner. When the bar has reached 40/40 Digletts, you'll have a 4-minute window of time where your shiny rate will be 3/4096. This is referred to as Light Stone in the coding. Anyone in the Grand Underground with you will add to your Diglett count, so it's better to go online when going down there if you can so you collect Digletts much faster.

Can you tell a Pokémon is shiny with Poké Radar?

from PokeLeaks

Yes! The Pokémon Radar, or Poké Radar, is a tool you acquire in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl after defeating the Eilte Four and the Champion. It helps you locate Pokémon in the grass by making the grass move to show you where they are. It not only helps you find rare Pokémon but is also sometimes the only way to catch a specific Pokémon in the game. While using it, you might see sparkling or glowing in the grass, which lets you know that the Pokémon you're approaching is a shiny. Note that the Poké Radar needs to "recharge" after each use and requires that you take 50 steps before using it again.

How to get the Poké Radar

Pokemon Bdsp Getting Poke Radar (Image credit: iMore)

After beating the Champion, you acquire the Poké Radar once you've seen every Pokémon in the Sinnoh region and talk to Professor Rowan in Sandgem Town.

Breeding Shiny Pokémon & the Masuda Method

Pokemon Bsdp Nursery (Image credit: iMore)

International Breeding, also dubbed by fans as the Masuda Method, has been around since the original Pokémon Diamond and Pearl. This makes it so when Pokémon of different languages of origin are bred together, the chances of producing a shiny offspring increases. This feature was coded in by Diamond and Pearl's director, Janushi Masuda, and was created to incentivize people to use the Global Trade System (GTS) from those games.

Breeding with Ditto

Within Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, you'll hit the jackpot if you get a Ditto from another language in a trade as this will allow you to breed with just about any Pokémon you own with increased shiny chances. You should offer a Ditto of your own in online trading to more likely find someone willing to swap.

Remember, most Legendary and Mythical Pokémon cannot breed, so don't waste your time trying to get a special shiny Pokémon of that magnitude. The only exception to this is Manaphy, which is free to anyone who unlocks it before Feb. 21, 2022 at 3:59 p.m. PT.

40+ Chain Encounters

Pokemon Bdsp Lucario Vs Garchomp (Image credit: iMore)

Reliable dataminer, @Kaphotics on Twitter, has determined that Chain Encounters (catching or defeating the same Pokémon repeatedly in a row to increase you shiny odds) also returns in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. Every Pokémon of the same kind that you capture in a row increases your odds. Your max odds cap out at 1/99 if you have chained 40 Pokémon of the same kind in a row and have the Poké Radar. Your chances of encountering a chain are greater if you capture the Pokémon rather than defeat it.

How to get the Pokétch Chain Counter App

Pokemon Bdsp Chain Counter App (Image credit: iMore)

The Chain Counter App for your Pokétch keeps track of your chain. This can only be acquired after becoming the champion, seeing all 151 Pokémon in the Sinnoh region, and entering the Ramanas Park building.

Increase Chaining Chances

Pokemon Bdsp Chain Chances (Image credit: @Austin John Plays on YouTube)

After you've caught a Pokémon, the likelihood of encountering the same Pokémon afterward or chaining is dependent on where you go next. As explained in Austin John Plays on YouTube, catching chained Pokémon rather than defeating them greatly increases your chances of getting another chain:

Chaining Chances when Defeating a Pokémon

  • 1 Space: 53% chance of chaining
  • 2 Spaces: 63% chance of chaining
  • 3 Spaces: 73% chance of chaining
  • 4 Spaces: 83% chance of chaining

Chaining Chances when Catching a Pokémon

  • 1 Space: 63% chance of chaining
  • 2 Spaces: 73% chance of chaining
  • 3 Spaces: 83% chance of chaining
  • 4 Spaces 93% chance of chaining

What breaks a chain?

Several things will break your chain, so avoid doing these things while chaining.

  • Getting on your bike
  • You encounter a different Pokémon than the one you're chaining
  • You interact with an NPC
  • You turn the game off (sleep mode does not count)
  • You go to the underground

How to get the best shiny odds Shiny hunting summary

Pokemon Bdsp Poke Radar (Image credit: iMore)

These are the steps you need to complete to give yourself the best shiny catching odds.

  1. Become Champion: Defeat all eight gym leaders, the Elite Four, and Champion Cynthia.
  2. See all 151 Sinnoh region Pokémon: You don't have to capture them; you just need to see them.
  3. Get the Poké Radar: Talk to Professor Rowan after seeing all Pokémon in the Sinnoh region Dex. It allows you to see where Pokémon are in tall grass.
  4. Register the Poké Radar: Go into the menu and select bag. Now select the Poké Radar from the Key Items Pocket and register it for easy access.
  5. Get Chain Counter App: Acquired by talking to Professor Oak at Ramanas Park building.
  6. Have several Super Repels and at least 60 Ultra Balls on you: The Poké Radar doesn't prevent wild Pokémon from touching you in the tall grass, so you want to use Super Repels and only go after the moving grass you see. Then you'll need to chain Pokémon. Capturing shinies isn't always easy, so have several Poké Balls on hand to catch them.
  7. Turn off autosave: Go into the menu and select settings. Now turn autosave off and save your settings changes. You're going to want to save after catching every
  8. Enter the tall grass and start chaining: Enter tall grass and open the Poké Radar. Remember to only catch or defeat the Pokémon you're shiny hunting to build up that chain.
  9. Move four spaces away to catch again: Catching gives you a greater chance of chaining than defeating does. After catching a Pokémon, the moving grass spaces around you have different chances of being a chain depending on what moving grass you go to next:
    • 1 Space: 63% chance of chaining
    • 2 Spaces: 73% chance of chaining
    • 3 Spaces: 83% chance of chaining
    • 4 Spaces 93% chance of chaining
  10. Reuse Poké Radar if nothing is four spaces away: If you come out of a battle and there aren't any moving grass patches four away, run 50 steps and then use the Poké Radar again and new grass patches will appear.
  11. Restart game if you break your chain: Broke your chain, and now you're starting over? You don't want to spend a ton of money getting all your Repels and Balls again, so just restart your game from your last save.
  12. Keep going until you get a shiny : You'll have to be patient. Sometimes shiny hunting pays off quickly, and sometimes it can take hours or days for anything to happen. Remember, getting a shiny isn't guaranteed, but this will heavily increase your odds.

Make this world a little brighter

Now you know how to increase your chances of finding a Shiny Pokémon. Get out there, put these practices into use and see what you can find. Remember, it can take hours for your patience and shiny hunting skills to pay off, so good luck!

Rebecca Spear
Gaming Editor

Gaming aficionado Rebecca Spear is iMore's dedicated gaming editor with a focus on Nintendo Switch and iOS gaming. You’ll never catch her without her Switch or her iPad Air handy. If you’ve got a question about Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, or just about any other Nintendo series check out her guides to help you out. Rebecca has written thousands of articles in the last six years including hundreds of extensive gaming guides, previews, and reviews for both Switch and Apple Arcade. She also loves checking out new gaming accessories like iPhone controllers and has her ear to the ground when it comes to covering the next big trend.