Hunting For Shiny Pokemon, And How It Works

By Jill/Redterror117

With their release in Generation II, shiny Pokemon are always well sought after due to their rarity, and sometimes pleasing appearance. There are a number of people after all who prefer the colouring of a shiny Charizard over the normal colour. Despite the fact that encountering a shiny Pokemon is three times easier than encountering a Pokemon with Pokerus (shiny Pokemon in the wild having a 1/8192, versus the 3 in 65,536 chance that Pokerus holds), it is still a time consuming feat that most tend to give up on partway into the hunt. However a deeper analysis on how shininess is determined is key to improving a hunt.

Starting back in Generation II, the game’s data structure was more simplistic than its later generations. In order to obtain a shiny Pokemon in Gold, Silver, or Crystal, the Pokemon must have specific IVs; its Speed, Special, and Defense IVs must be all 10s, while its Attack IV has to be either 2, 3, 6, 7, 10, 11, 14, or 15. With the shiny trait being tied to the IV stat, it allowed the Pokemon to be transferred between Generation 1 and 2 without losing the valuable trait. This also meant that the trait could be more easily bred for, as IV breeding is more ‘doable’, rather than breeding for a semi-random trait. It is interesting to note as well that in the Japanese Crystal version, the ‘Odd Egg’ obtained in Goldenrod City has a 50% chance of hatching a shiny Pokemon. If you plan on getting a shiny this way though, make sure to save your game before obtaining the egg, as the moment it is obtained, the future statistics will be determined (so saving before gaining the egg will allow the player to try again if it does not produce a shiny Pokemon).

With the introduction of Ruby and Sapphire and the third generation, the original data structures were redesigned. And as a result, the shiny trait was no longer tied to a Pokemon’s IV value, rather than two different pieces of data: a Pokemon’s Trainer ID (which identifies the number of the original trainer), its Secret ID (which is not viewable through the game normally, unless a cheating device is used), and its Personality Value. For those unfamiliar with the Personality Value, it is what determines a Pokemon’s gender, Ability, Nature, and species specific oddities (the letter of an encountered Unown, the location of Spinda’s spots, and the evolution of Wurmple). With this change, the ability to breed specifically for shininess is removed almost completely, and instead relies on a specific formula :
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Shiny Pokemon

By Matt

You would think there’s more to Pokemon than just having plain, regular ones. In fact, there are; with Shiny Pokemon. These are alternate forms of Pokemon which are colored differently. This is because they are “shiny” and their colors have been altered. I’m thinking it has something to do with complimentary colors, but that’s just a whim. Shiny Pokemon (also known as Shinies) are coveted by Shiny collectors. Well, the legitimate ones, at least. The reason I’m saying this is because with hacking programs like Action Replay or Pokesav, you can program a Pokemon to be shiny. Although I’ve only seen pictures of Pokesav on Bulbapedia, it is a very complex program that allows you to create Pokemon by inputting your own values. There is no explicit reason to why many players are drawn to Shinies so much; maybe it is because the Pokémon looks better in its new form, or that they’re just rare.

The odds of meeting a shiny Pokemon in the wild are one in 8,192. In the game, it is always computed as that; so encountering 8,191 wild Pokemon does not guarantee the next one will be a Shiny one. Shiny Pokemon are so rare, I’ve only caught two: Mankey, in LeafGreen, and Drifblim, in White version.

There are also other ways to get Shiny Pokemon, or to increase the odds of legitimately obtaining one. By breeding a Pokemon with another Pokemon from a different nation (i.e. U.S. Pokemon breeding with one from the U.K. or Japan), the odds will increase by about 75%. The new odds are 1 in 2,048, starting in Generation IV, where players were allowed to trade nationally through the GTS. This is more commonly known to players as the Masuda Method.
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