'Shiny' comes to Pokémon Go: What you need to know!

How do you catch shiny gold Magikarp and shiny red Gyarados in Pokémon Go? Let's find out!

Coinciding with the Pokémon Go Water Festival Event, "shiny" Pokémon are being encountered for the first time. So far, it's restricted to shiny Magikarp and shiny Gyarados, but everything has to start somewhere! What are shiny Pokémon and how do you catch them? Read on!

August 16, 2017: Hatch Shiny Pichu, catch Shiny Pikachu, and evolve Shiny Raichu now in Pokémon Go

Shiny Magikarp has proven incredibly rare and Shiny Pikachu will like prove similar. Good luck!

Are Shiny Pokémon in Pokémon Go official?

They are now! From Pokémon Go:

Trainers across the globe have reported sightings of golden Magikarp in the wild. These Shiny Magikarp are extremely rare, so pay close attention to the Magikarp you encounter while you're out exploring the world to make sure you don't miss the opportunity to catch one!

And what are Shiny Pokémon exactly?

Simply put, color variants.

From Bulbapedia:

A Shiny Pokémon (Japanese: 光るポケモン Shiny Pokémon), previously officially known as alternate coloration or rare coloration (Japanese: 色違い differently colored), and called Color Pokémon in Pokémon Stadium 2, is a specific Pokémon with different coloration to what is usual for its species. It is one of the many differences that a Pokémon can have within its species.

The term "Shiny Pokémon" was first created by fans to refer to the sparkling sound effect and animation made at the start of an encounter with one in the games. Eventually, this term fell into official usage in Generation IV, used on promotional material promoting Shiny event Pokémon. The term Shiny Pokémon was first used in-game in Pokémon Black and White in Nimbasa City.

There's only one color variant per Pokémon. Some variants are obvious, like Shiny Gyarados is red instead of blue. Others are more subtle.

Which Shiny Pokémon are currently available in Pokémon Go?

As of August, 2017:

  • Shiny Magikarp, which is yellow gold instead of its usual orange.
  • Shiny Gyarados, which is red instead of its usual blue.
  • Shiny Pichu
  • Shiny Pikachu
  • Shiny Raichu


What are the odds of finding a Shiny Pokémon in Pokémon Go?

It's too soon to tell. In the original Pokémon Games, Shiny are extremely rate. One in thousands. In Pokémon Go, it might turn out to be more like Evolution Items, which is roughly 1/300. But that's the thing about random chances — some people have gotten them right away, others after a 100 or so, other still nothing after 500+.

There's no guarantee. It's a dice roll every time. All you can do is keep catching until you get one.

Any chance you've already caught Shiny Pokémon and they'll all suddenly be revealed?

There was some hope that Shiny was an attribute that, upon release, would suddenly light up existing Pokémon you'd already caught. For example, that Pokémon with perfect stats (100% IV) would suddenly be revealed as Shiny.

No such luck.

To have a Shiny you have to catch a Shiny post-release. No retroactive Shiny status has been conferred.

Can you hatch Shiny Pokémon in Pokémon Go?

Yes! Shiny Pichu has been hatched from an egg. But... Shiny Pichu is the only Shiny Pokémon currently available in an Egg.

And you can catch them, right? With Incense and Lures too?

Sure can, and absolutely with Incense and Lures!

Any Magikarp or Pikachu can turn out to be Shiny, whether it's in the wild, from a Lure at a PokéStop, or attracted by Incense. As long as it spawns, it can be Shiny!

In other words, Lure and Incense away!

Do Shiny Pokémon show up on Nearby or Sightings?

No, sadly. The Magikarp or Pikachu will show up on Nearby if it's attached to a PokéStop, or Sightings if it's not, but it'll look totally normal.

It's only revealed as a Shiny when you tap on it and go to the catch screen. Then, boom — gold Magikarp or red Gyarados.

So, if you see a normal Magikarp or Pikachu on Nearby or Sightings, don't discount it — once you tap on it, it could be a Shiny.

Are Shiny Pokémon Shiny for everyone?

Nope. With Ditto, once a Pokémon is determined to be Ditto, the servers make it Ditto for everyone. With Shiny, it's done on a player-by-player basis.

That means you and a friend can both catch the same Magikarp, yours could turn out to be Shiny, and theirs... not.

Basically, where Ditto seems global, Shiny seems to be on a case-by-case basis.

But once you catch a Shiny Pokémon, you can still show it off in a Gym?

Yes, once you catch a Shiny, it will show as Shiny, including in Gyms. So, go ahead, make everyone jealous!

Will Shiny Pokémon show up in the Pokédex?

They will! Not as separate entries, though, but as a new badge on the main entries, same as genders do. You'll need to make sure you're running the latest version of Pokémon Go, then:

  1. Tap the Menu button (looks like a Poké Ball), button right.
  2. Tap Pokédex, top middle.
  3. Tap on the Pokémon you want to check. (Only Magikarp and Gyarados for now.)
  4. Look for the Shiny badge.

Of course, the Shiny badge will only show up once you've caught a Shiny version of that Pokémon. So, if you don't see it, go catch one!

Do Shiny Pokémon have perfect stats (IV)? Special movesets? Magic powers?

Nope. Shiny Pokémon have the same stats (IV) as non-Shiny variants. Which is to say, a range. You can catch a perfect Shiny Magikarp, but you can also catch a not-so-great one.

They also have no special movesets or powers of any kind. Aside from looking AWESOME on Gyms.

If you evolve Shiny Magikarp do you get Shiny Gyarados?

Totally. Shiny status, like festive hat status, stays with a Pokémon during evolution. If you get a Shiny Magikarp and decide to hit the Evolution button, you'll end up with a Shiny Gyarados. Same with Shiny Pichu or Shiny Pikachu — that's how you get Shiny Raichu.

If you catch a shiny Magikarp, can it turn into a Shiny Ditto?

It can turn into Ditto but not a Shiny Ditto. Which is as horrifying as it sounds.

Magikarp are one of the 7 Pokémon species that can currently be revealed as Ditto in Pokémon Go. Every time you catch a Magikarp, there's a chance it'll morph into Ditto — including a Shiny Magikarp.

Since there's no Shiny Ditto in the game yet, that means you could finally catch your Shiny Magikarp only to watch in horror as it morphs into a regular old Ditto right before your eyes.

Yeah. Ugh.

Can your transfer Shiny Pokémon back to the professor? Can you do it by accident? (Terror!)

You can transfer Shiny Pokémon, but Pokémon Go will treat them as though they're automatically favorited.

So, if you try to choose a Shiny Pokémon as part of a bulk transfer, you'll be prevented from doing so. If you try to transfer a Shiny Pokémon separately, you'll get a warning.

Safety first!

When are more Shiny Pokémon coming to Pokémon Go?

When Pokémon Go announces them!

OK, fine, just tell me how to catch 'em all!

First, you have to find as many Magikarp or Pikachu as you can. That means finding a water spawn or nest for Magikarp or a nest for Pikachu.

Magikarp should also be easy to catch. Magikarp have the highest catch-rate in the game. Odds are, you could accidentally drop a Poké Ball on a Magikarp and still catch it. Still, with Shiny on the line, don't take any chances. Pikachu not so much. For those you'll need more.

  1. ABC. Always be curving. Once you can nail Curve Ball every time, you'll get a 1.7x bonus every time.
  2. Max out your medals. Swimmer medal in this case. It'll give you a 1.05x to 1.3x is automatically applied each time.
  3. Consistency counts. Aim for the smallest target you can nail every time. If that's Nice, it's nice. If that's Great or Excellent, even nicer. But better the bonus you get then one you miss, and that extra 1.3 to 2x also doesn't consume resources and can make a difference.
  4. Razz for real. Use Razz Berries when you need to. Unlike Great or Ultra Balls, you can't miss with a Razz Berry and its 1.5x bonus will last until you hit.
  5. Bump them Balls. Use Great and Ultra Balls to maximize your odds. You get an extra 1.5x for a Great Ball and 2x for an Ultra Ball so use them to get those super rare or hard to catch Pokémon.

For a complete explanation and many more details:

How to catch tough Pokémon in Pokémon Go

Any Shiny Pokémon questions?

If you have any questions about Shiny Pokémon, drop them in the comments below!

Some screens from Reddit and Twitter.