Pokémon Scarlet and Violet made hunting shiny Pokémon easier

Shiny Pokémon used to be a prized possession of Pokémon fans everywhere. These rare Pokémon that have an alternate color scheme have a 1 in 4096 chance of appearing in the wild in newer games. Because of this, the particular Pokémon long served as an emblem of a dedicated trainer who would put the pursuit of rare monsters above all else. Catching a single Shiny Pokemon can take multiple sessions of grinding for hours at a time. But that’s starting to change, as newer mainline games have made shinys easier to find, and now it seems everyone and their mother has a shiny Pokémon.

Technically everyone who has played Pokemon gold and Silver, or their remakes, probably caught at least one shiny. In these games, you capture a red Gyarados as part of the main story. But outside of this particular Gyarados, catching a shiny in previous generations proved difficult. From second generation to gen 5 (Pokemon Black 2 and White 2), the frequency of seeing a shiny was even lower than it is now – 1 in 8,192.

Of course, each game led players to develop their own tricks and strategies to get shiny Pokémon. IN Gold and Silver, some shiny hunters estimated that a player could achieve a 1 in 64 chance of hatching a shiny if one of its parent Pokémon is shiny. However, it requires you to start with a shiny, so those who want something other than Gyarados are left to grind and get one in the wild. So getting down to catching one in the wild still required a huge amount of grinding as players worked their way through the low odds. In the early days, items that increased the appearance of shiny Pokemon didn’t exist, so if you didn’t breed, you had to cycle through encounter after encounter in the grass as you ran around hitting each Pokemon one by one.

Over time, shiny hunting has evolved to become easier. IN Diamond and Pearl, we learned about the Masuda breeding method, which increases the chances of hatching a shiny Pokémon from an egg when breeding Pokémon from two different languages. (Because of this, Dittos from other countries are a mainstay of Pokemon breeding. Sorry Ditto!) Black 2 and White 2 introduced the Shiny Charm, which effectively tripled the chances of encountering a Shiny Pokémon. After that, Game Freak doubled the overall chance of encountering a Shiny Pokemon X and Y.

This trend of shinys becoming more common continued with Nintendo Switch games and remakes. IN Pokemon: Let’s Go Pikachu and Pokemon: Let’s Go Eevee, Game Freak made the leap from wild monster spawns in the grass to overworld spawns. Instead of seeing a single spawn in battle, we could see dozens of Pokémon walking around at once, including shiny ones. Combine that with in-game events like Mass Outbreaks in Legends: Arceus and Scarlett and Violetand you have good opportunities to chase down shinys.

Based on the odds and anecdotal evidence, there’s no doubt that this once hardcore way of catching monsters has gotten easier. When I tested out a shiny hunting company in Scarlett and Violet, I ended up catching a shiny Larvesta within 30 minutes. (It was a shiny I had longed for and hoped for since Black and White.) Of course a little luck played into my own success, but I’m not alone. TikTok is filled with accounts of people accidentally encountering shiny Pokémon without seeking them out; a viral video, according to the user who posted it, shows a person catching a ton of shinys in a single day. I spoke with two die-hard blank hunters who often stream their hunts for hours, both of whom confirmed that hunting in general has become easier.

For Wafer, who streams his hunts on Twitch, hunting rails in new games has become easier, although games like Scarlett and Violet lack audiovisual clues that point out Pokémon in the wild. (IN Legends: Arceusa chime alerts players to the presence of a shiny; Scarlett and Violet doesn’t have that feature, and unfortunately it may exclude color-blind players or those who simply aren’t familiar with what a certain Shiny Pokémon looks like.)

“I have to say that I’m personally happy with the changes to shiny hunting, as I don’t have as much time for shiny hunting as I used to when I was younger, and I love hearing the stories of people who have been playing games for years finally getting their first shiny,” Wafer said.

Wafer recognizes the joy that comes with getting that special Pokémon. But gatekeepers have responded by emphasizing the relative rarity of shinys across different Pokémon games. Steve Sarumi, a streamer and podcaster who runs the Pokémon podcast It’s super efficientnoted an increase in gatekeeper shiny Pokémon now that it has become easier to catch them.

“The argument is about how ‘lighter’ shiny Pokémon would devalue other shinys, which to me is nonsensical. If I stumble upon a shiny Koffing on my journey into Pokémon CrystalI personally wouldn’t consider it more valuable than stumbling across the same Pokemon Shield. Both are shiny Koffing at the end of the day, Sarumi said.

As catching shiny Pokémon has become easier over time, those who want the extra challenge have found ways to increase the difficulty of collecting Pokémon. Wafer told me that he’s seen an increasing number of players going for “shiny living dex” and trying to get the shiny version of every Pokémon in the game. So instead of going for a specific Pokemon, hunters will try to catch all 400 in games like Scarlett and Violet.

However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t super rare Pokemon to chase now. Pokemon Sword and Shield introduced the Pokémon brand. A tagged Pokémon has a special “tag” in the ribbon submenu of a Pokémon’s summary. Each mark serves as a kind of honorific that testifies to the unique circumstance under which a trainer captured it. When you send a tagged Pokémon out, it will have a special title, such as “Mimikyu the Sleepy.” Scarlett and Violet has dozens of brands, and Serebii rates the rarest brands with an appearance rate of 1 in 1,000.

Sarumi said these tagged Pokémon have become a new target for intense hunters.

“Not only do I think a marked shiny is such an incredibly fun thing to collect, but it gives the feeling of a ‘harder’ target to find without making the barrier to shiny hunting intimidating to a wider audience.”

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