Best Ways To Catch A Shiny Pokémon In Sword and Shield

Finding a Shiny Pokémon in the wild is largely about luck, but there are a few things you can do to improve your chances of spotting one and ensuring that you actually capture the thing when it finally appears on screen.

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Keep on Battling!

The first trick is to battle as many of your chosen Pokémon as possible. Battling the same species of Pokémon (by either defeating or capturing them) will slowly start to raise your chances of finding its Shiny version. For example, if you want to find that Shiny Wooloo above, one good tactic is to keep battling wild Wooloo. The table below shows you how the odds of finding one will increase using this tactic.

Number of battlesEffects on future encounters
At least 50Shiny Pokémon have 2× the likelihood of appearing
At least 100Shiny Pokémon have 3× the likelihood of appearing
At least 200Shiny Pokémon have 4× the likelihood of appearing
At least 300Shiny Pokémon have 5× the likelihood of appearing
At least 500Shiny Pokémon have 6× the likelihood of appearing

You can keep track of how many of each Pokémon you"ve battled by looking it up in your Pokédex.

Get Yourself a Shiny Charm

This one is an absolute must for anyone who is serious about tracking down lots of Shiny Pokémon. This item signifacantly improves your chances of finding a Shiny Pokémon across the board, slashing down the odds for each encounter you stumble into and even your egg-hatching odds (more on that below).

We"ll go into more detail on understanding the exact chances of finding a Shiny later, but to put it in simple terms, the item will reduce the usual 1 in 4,096 chance of finding a Shiny Pokémon in the wild to just 1 in 1,365.33. You can get your hands on one by visiting the Game Freak Game Director in Circhester after completing your Pokédex - which isn"t an easy task in itself.

Be Prepared For Battle

So, you"ve got your Shiny Charm and you"ve battled roughly three billion Wooloo, finally stumbling across a rare Shiny one. Time to catch it th- Oh no! You"ve not got any Poké Balls!

This might go without saying, but make sure you"re prepared for when a Shiny Pokémon shows up. Stock up on the best Poké Balls for the "mon you"re hunting - Ultra Balls should work well in most cases - and have plenty of healing items with you just in case.

You"ll also want to think about which Pokémon to use to battle the Shiny you"ve just found. One popular choice is Gallade, a Pokémon which can learn both Thunder Wave (which paralyses the opponent and increases your chances of capture) and False Swipe (which can reduce your opponent"s HP to just 1). Some abilities may come in useful, too; Quagsire has the ability "Damp", for example, which prevents wild Pokémon from using attacks like Explosion or Self Destruct.

The last thing you want is for your Shiny Pokémon to run away, wipe itself out with Explosion, or for you to defeat it in battle. Who knows how long it"ll be until you find another one?

Gallade is something of a fan-favourite when it comes to battling Shiny Pokémon

How To Breed Shiny Pokémon From Eggs In Sword and Shield

You can also hatch Shiny Pokémon from Eggs when breeding two Pokémon at one of the Day Care centres in the Galar region (one can be found on Route 5 and the other is in the Wild Area). Any hatched Pokémon can be Shiny - just like any wild Pokémon can - but there"s a way to dramatically increase your chances.

The Masuda Method

Named after series director, Junichi Masuda, the Masuda Method is used by Shiny hunting players all around the globe. It involves placing one Pokémon caught in your own game, and one foreign language Pokémon from another player, into the Day Care at the same time. When these two Pokémon breed, the chances of finding a Shiny Pokémon from their egg are hugely increased.

Going back to our example of Wooloo, you could therefore use a Wooloo from your own game and someone else"s foreign Wooloo to have a go at hatching a Shiny one. When you have two Pokémon of different languages breed, the Egg has a 1 in 682.7 chance of producing a Shiny Pokémon. If you have the Shiny Charm we mentioned above, this gets reduced even further to 1 in 512. Very nice indeed.

Foreign Ditto

Before we move on from breeding, we need to give a quick mention to Ditto. Ditto is a Pokémon that can breed with almost any other Pokémon, and can therefore be a huge help in your Shiny hunting. If you can track down a foreign language Ditto, you can leave it in the Day Care and have it breed with any Pokémon you catch in your own game. It"s quick and dirty, in more ways than one, but it gets the job done.

If you"re interested, we have a complete guide to getting your hands on a foreign language Ditto, which also goes into a little more depth on how to know when a Pokémon is foreign to your own.

You"ll want a foreign Ditto if you"re hoping to breed Shiny Pokémon

Pokémon Sword and Shield - Shiny Chance Rates

Finally, then, let"s quickly go over the odds of finding a Shiny Pokémon across all circumstances, just so you know what you"re getting yourself into (thanks, Serebii). The first table looks at Wild encounters, while the second looks at breeding.

No. of Pokémon BattledRate Without Shiny CharmRate With Shiny Charm
BreedingRate Without Shiny CharmRate With Shiny Charm
Using Foreign Language Pokémon1 in 682.71 in 512

As you can see, there"s a surprising amount to think about if you"re hoping to find a Shiny Pokémon in Sword and Shield, but hopefully this guide has steered you in the right direction.

If you have any further tips, feel free to post them for other readers to see in our comment section below!

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About Ryan Craddock


Ryan can list the first 151 Pokémon all in order off by heart – a feat he calls his ‘party trick’ despite being such an introvert that he’d never be found anywhere near a party. He’d much rather just have a night in with Mario Kart and a pizza, and we can’t say we blame him.


Fri 6th Dec 2019

Good guide, except that it omits something that"s being contested right now. Dataminers have pointed out there seems to be only a chance to get the increased odds for a shiny Pokémon in the wild. The chart on Serebii reflects this chance as well. The odd bit is that the article on shiny hunting from The Pokémon Company seems to contradict these findings, implying that the shiny odds are guaranteed to be increased. A common theory is that this "chance of increased shiny odds" is due to a programming quirk and was not intended.

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Breeding, however, is unaffected by this and the odds are as stated in this guide. Hopefully whatever is causing this inconsistency can be cleared up, but for now, breeding should be the best method for shiny hunting.