How to Hunt for Shiny Pokemon and Ultra Shiny Pokemon | Pokemon Sword and Shield

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How to Get Shiny Pokemon - Top Image.png

This is a guide to hunting for rare Shiny Pokemon in the games Pokemon Sword and Shield. Read on for information on how to increase your odds of catching and breeding Shiny Pokemon, the difference between Square (Ultra) and Star Shiny Pokemon, and more.

What are Shiny Pokemon?

Shiny Pokemon are an extremely rare variation of Pokemon which can randomly appear when encountering Pokemon in the wild, breeding Pokemon in the Nursery, or obtaining Pokemon in in-game events.

For each Pokemon encountered, there is a 1/4096 chance that it will be a Shiny Pokemon. However, there are techniques which players can use to obtain these highly sought-after rare Pokemon.

Two types of Shiny Pokemon

Square Ultra Shiny Star Shiny
How to Get Shiny Pokemon - Square Ultra Shiny.jpeg How to Get Shiny Pokemon - Star Shiny.jpeg

Our Japan team managed to snag the adorable Star Shiny Rookidee above.

In previous games in the series, only the 'Star' pattern of Shiny Pokemon existed, but with the advent of Pokemon Sword and Shield, a new variation of Shiny Pokemon has appeared with the 'Square' pattern. These new Square Shinies are often referred to as Ultra Shinies.

Initially, it was thought that Square Shiny Pokemon are more rare, but current research shows that while Star Shinies are easier to obtain by breeding, Square Ultra Shinies are easier to obtain in the wild.

Steps for Shiny Pokemon Hunting

There are several ways to increase your chance of finding a Shiny Pokemon in Pokemon Sword and Shield. Read the full details below before starting your Shiny Hunting journey!

Use the Shiny Charm

How to Get Shiny Pokemon - Shiny Charm.png

The Shiny Charm is a rare item that can be used to triple the odds of encountering a Shiny Pokemon to 3/4096. As this is a world of difference when it comes to Shiny hunting, and since its effects apply to both breeding and catching Shinies, it's definitely best to put in the extra effort to obtain this Shiny Charm item before you start your search. It's worth stating that as Legendary Pokemon cannot be bred or chained, using the Shiny Charm is the only way to increase your slim odds of finding a Shiny Legendary.

The Shiny Charm can be obtained by completing the Galarian Pokedex, then going to the 2nd floor of the hotel in Circhester and talking to the man in the room on the far left side. This may be a bit difficult for most to achieve, but players with a Nintendo Membership can trade online to obtain all 400 Pokemon in Galar more easily.
Pokemon Trading Board

Increase your breeding odds using the Masuda Method

The Masuda Method is a technique for breeding Shiny Pokemon which has been present in the series since Generation 3. When two Pokemon of different countries of origin are brought to a Nursery, their chances of producing a Shiny egg increase significantly.

In comparison to the usual 1/4096 rate for breeding Shinies, the Masuda Method results in an increase to a whopping 1/683 odds. Still few and far between, but that's progress, right? As this method relies on breeding, it can be said to be more effective for encountering Star Shinies.

Players often seek to find foreign Dittos for this reason, as Dittos are extremely useful for breeding Pokemon with high IVs, so a foreign Ditto, especially one with high IVs itself, is a must for players hoping to breed a Shiny ready for online competitive play. Learn more about catching Ditto, breeding Ditto to produce high-IV children, or check out our Ditto Trading Board to get started with the hunt.
Ditto / Pokerus Trading Board

Fight the same Pokemon to improve odds for hunting in the wild

How to Get Shiny Pokemon - Fighting Wild Pokemon.jpeg

The game will track the total number of Pokemon of a certain species caught or defeated by the player. As this number increases, the chances of the player encountering a Shiny version of that Pokemon will increase accordingly. However, running away from a battle with that Pokemon will prevent the number from increasing.

Number caught/defeated in a row Shiny encounter rate change Shiny encounter rate
50 2x 1/2048
100 3x 1/1365
200 4x 1/1024
500 6x 1/683

For example, if a player catches or defeats Eevee 500 times any time during their playthrough, their chances of encountering a Shiny Eevee will be multiplied by 6, for a total odds of 1/683, or equivalent to that of the Masuda Method. Unlike some previous games which featured a Chaining mechanic to improve the rate of encountering Shinies, this method references the total number of battles with that Pokemon.

As this method relies on catching Pokemon in the wild, it can be said to be more effective for hunting for Square Ultra Shinies.

Check your number of encounters from the Pokedex

How to Get Shiny Pokemon - Number of Ditto Battled
On the Pokedex screen from the menu, you can check the number of times you've encountered every Pokemon in the Number Battled field. This number is the same one used by the game to calculate the Shiny rate, so it's a useful reference for hunting.

Related Links

Beginner Tips and Guides

Getting a Good Start
Things to Know Before Starting Pokemon How to Adjust Screen Size
Galar Starters
Which Starter Pokemon Should You Choose? How to Get All 3 Starters
Changing Appearance
How to Change Your Appearance How to Change Your Uniform
Pokemon Battles
Type Effectiveness and Damage Output Fishing for Pokemon
How to Run Away -
Building the Best Team
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Catching Legendary Pokemon -
Your Pokemon
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How to Battle and Trade with Friends -
Pokemon Camp
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Useful Information
How to Get Money (Poke Dollars) Fast Things to Do Every Day
Useful Characters and Their Locations List of Unrepeatable One-time Events
List of All Mystery Gift Codes -
New in Sword and Shield
Differences Between Dynamax and Gigantamax Access Pokemon Boxes on the Road
How to Get Sweets Removed Features


1 Anonymous4 months

I've been playing Pokemon for years and I still haven't encountered shiny Pokemon. Wish I knew about the Masuda method earlier :(

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