Pokemon Scarlet & Violet: Complete Shiny Hunting Guide
Introduced in Generation 2, shinies are a beloved staple of the Pokemon series, and as expected, they make a welcome return in Scarlet and Violet. Hunting for these elusive recoloured 'mons is a great way to get more out of your Pokemon games, and nothing beats the satisfaction of finally getting your hands on one.
Scarlet and Violet bring a whole host of new shiny mechanics, so whether you're a veteran shiny hunter, or a total newbie thinking about trying shiny hunting for the first time, there's plenty to get stuck into. This guide will cover everything you need to know to master shiny hunting in these new games. Please note this article will contain spoilers for Scarlet and Violet.
Key Shiny Hunting Information
Pokemon Scarlet and Violet have the same base shiny odds as the previous few games — 1/4096. Shinies are visible in the overworld, and this, combined with how many Pokemon spawn at one time on the map, and how quickly you can get around to see them, means that shinies feel a lot more common.
Of course, simply seeing 4096 Pokemon is no guarantee of a shiny. You might encounter one much sooner, or you might encounter one much later. It's just an average to give us a benchmark for shiny hunting speeds.
Encountering Shiny Pokemon
There is no indicator of any sort to let you know that a shiny Pokemon has spawned, so you'll need to keep your eyes peeled and have a good look at any wild Pokemon you pass if you're serious about not missing any potential shinies. There is one saving grace, though — if you're unsure if a Pokemon is shiny or not (often the case for subtle shinies, like Pikachu or Tandemaus), there is a way to check without entering into a battle.
Using the Let's Go feature, where you send out the first Pokemon in your party with the R button, you can aim it at the potential shiny. Pokemon refuse to auto-battle shinies (so that they don't accidentally KO these rarities), so if you send your Pokemon out to auto-battle the potential shiny, and it doesn't engage, you know you have a shiny on your hands.
You can save in front of a shiny and reset if you accidentally knock it out, or it struggles. Pokemon spawns are carried over between saves in this game, meaning a hard save can act as a nice insurance policy. If you're doing this, though, you should turn autosave off, as it could trigger as soon as the battle ends if you knock the shiny out, overwriting your shiny save and denying you a second chance.
Given the game's tendency to crash at time of writing, playing with autosave off the whole time is risky, so it'd be wisest to keep it on, then, upon seeing a shiny, head into settings, turn it off, and perform your manual save.
You can also run from and return to shinies. If things are going south, you can simply flee the battle, and the Pokemon will still be there. Of course, it will despawn eventually, and it'll despawn if you move too far away or enter another area or town, but if you just need to quickly potion up some party members, or you haven't saved, and it's used Perish Song or is about to struggle, then you can just run and start the encounter over again.
As Scarlet and Violet allow you to hop into other player's games for full-blown co-op adventuring. Pokemon spawns are shared, meaning that if a shiny (or any other Pokemon, for that matter) spawns, there's only one copy of it, and whoever encounters it first gets it. The other player(s) will simply miss out.
You also can't run from the encounter in co-op the way you can in single player — the shiny will be gone. Similarly, for obvious reasons, saving doesn't work either. Essentially, everyone can see the shiny, but whoever encounters it first is the only one with a chance at catching it. There are some upsides to co-op, though — spawns are dictated by the players, not the game, meaning that if you have Violet and host co-op for your Scarlet-owning friend, Scarlet exclusive Pokemon (including Paradox Pokemon) will spawn around them, giving you an opportunity to hunt Pokemon you otherwise wouldn't be able to.
Shiny Locked Pokemon
Something to watch out for is that Pokemon can be shiny locked. A shiny lock is a hidden attribute given to a Pokemon that means it can never be shiny, no matter how many times you reset it. Resetting could change its nature, gender, IVs, and so on, so you are generating different Pokemon, but they will never shine.
In Scarlet and Violet, the starters are once again shiny locked, so you can't start your adventure off with a shiny partner, sadly. The following Pokemon are also shiny locked:
- all NPC trades (the Galarian Meowth, Johtonian Wooper, Snom, and Gengar);
- your ride Pokemon (no matter how many times you reset, you can't meet a shiny Koraidon or Miraidon to ride around on);
- the four sub-legendaries (Wo-Chien, Chien-Pao, Ting-Lu, and Chi-Yu);
- all Gimmighoul chests;
- the second copy of your box legendary you can catch in Area Zero, and the Titan Pokemon.
You might not have realised, but after you defeat a Titan Pokemon, it reappears as a regular-sized static spawn where you first encountered it, allowing you to catch it. It can't be shiny, though.
Notably NOT shiny-locked are the Paradox Pokemon of Area Zero (even Iron Valiant and Roaring Moon), so you'll be able to encounter some cool shiny past/future Pokemon.
How To Get The Shiny Charm
The Shiny Charm is a shiny hunting staple at this point, and it returns in Scarlet and Violet, being obtainable the same way it always has been — catching 'em all. If you fill out all 400 entries of your Pokedex by catching every species in the games (which will require some trading with someone with the other version), you can talk to Professor Jacq in the biology lab, and he'll give you the Shiny Charm.
This sits in your Key Items pocket and gives you two extra rolls on shinies, effectively tripling your chance to see shiny Pokemon — your base odds go from 1/4096 to 1/1365. There's a curve to this, though — if you have other shiny-boosting effects going on, two extra rolls don't translate to tripling; they're still a nice bonus, but the returns are diminishing the more rolls you have going.
How To Increase Shiny Odds With Sandwiches
Picnics are Scarlet and Violet's answer to Camp from Sword and Shield, and instead of making curry, you now make sandwiches. While shopping around to get all the ingredients for these is a huge pain, the wealth of effects sandwiches can provide you with are actually very beneficial.
Most notably, the right kind of sandwiches can boost your shiny odds — a level three Sparkling Power gives you four extra shiny rolls! This translates to cutting your base odds down to 1/1024, so if you're just running around the overworld with no Shiny Charm, and no methods going, you're still four times more likely to see a shiny Pokemon if you have a level three Sparkling Power active. This also stacks with one method, and the Shiny Charm, to make your odds even better.
The key thing to note is that Sparkling Powers, like all powers, are type-specific, so you have to use the right kind of Sparkling Power for the Pokemon you want to hunt. For example, if you're looking for a shiny Eevee, a normal-type Sparkling Power would be the way to go.
If you're not using any methods, one way to further speed things up is to also use Encounter Powers to boost your odds of encountering Pokemon of the type you're trying to hunt.
Sparkling Power boosts affect all overworld spawns, but not Tera dens or eggs (Masuda Method or otherwise). They do, however affect Mass Outbreaks.
The key ingredient in level three Sparkling Power sandwiches is Herba Mystica, which you can get as drops from 5- and 6-star Tera den raids. You'll need to have beaten the game to unlock these, but once you have, you can start grinding dens to build up a nice stash of top-tier sandwich ingredients.
The following list of sandwich recipes will not only give you level three Sparkling Power, maximising your shiny odds for the type in question, but also level three Encounter Power, meaning you have highers odds of encountering Pokemon of that type. This is ideal if you're just looking to hunt a Pokemon in the overworld — you can boost both the odds of it appearing and the odds of it being shiny all in one go!
|Type||Ingredient 1||Ingredient 2||Ingredient 3|
|Grass||Lettuce||Salty Herba Mystica||Sour Herba Mystica|
|Fire||Basil||Sweet Herba Mystica||Salty Herba Mystica|
|Water||Cucumber||Salty Herba Mystica||Salty Herba Mystica|
|Rock||Jalapeno||Salty Herba Mystica||Salty Herba Mystica|
|Ground||Ham||Salty Herba Mystica||Salty Herba Mystica|
|Steel||Hamburger||Sweet Herba Mystica||Salty Herba Mystica|
|Flying||Prosciutto||Salty Herba Mystica||Salty Herba Mystica|
|Psychic||White Onion||Salty Herba Mystica||Salty Herba Mystica|
|Ghost||Red Onion||Salty Herba Mystica||Salty Herba Mystica|
|Dark||Smoked Fillet||Sweet Herba Mystica||Salty Herba Mystica|
|Fairy||Tomatoes||Salty Herba Mystica||Salty Herba Mystica|
|Fighting||Pickles||Salty Herba Mystica||Salty Herba Mystica|
|Ice||Klawf Stick||Salty Herba Mystica||Salty Herba Mystica|
|Electric||Yellow Bell Pepper||Salty Herba Mystica||Spicy Herba Mystica|
|Dragon||Avocado||Salty Herba Mystica||Salty Herba Mystica|
|Poison||Noodles||Salty Herba Mystica||Salty Herba Mystica|
|Bug||Cherry Tomatoes||Salty Herba Mystica||Salty Herba Mystica|
|Normal||Chorizo||Salty Herba Mystica||Salty Herba Mystica|
The Masuda Method
A shiny hunting classic, the Masuda Method returns in Scarlet and Violet, though since breeding has received quite a shake-up, the Masuda Method is pretty different from its previous appearances. The basics are the same — breed two Pokemon that are from two different copies of the game with two different languages, and your shiny odds for the Pokemon that hatch from the eggs are massively boosted.1/683 without the Shiny Charm, and 1/512 with it.
As always, the ideal way to go about this is to get yourself a foreign Ditto, since it can breed with any Pokemon. Fortunately, a trade code has already emerged for inter-language Ditto trading, carried over from Sword and Shield – 4448 4448. Hop onto this code with a Ditto from your game, and with any luck you'll find someone from another country trading a Métamorph or メタモン.
When trading, the UI will now always show the species name in English, so you'll have to go into the summary for the Pokemon you're being offered to check where it's from.
Once you've got your foreign Ditto, it's time to start hunting, and this is where things have changed. Gone are the Day Cares or Nurseries of games past, and in their place is the picnic.
When you're at a picnic, there's a basket at the far end of the table from where you start. Eggs can appear in this basket, produced by the members of your party. Essentially, the picnic is a portable day care. If you want to guarantee eggs from your target Pokemon, simply start a picnic with only that Pokemon and your foreign Ditto in your party. Unlike the Day Care, however, you don't need to take steps to generate eggs — you can stand there completely still, and they'll still spawn.
Even better, eggs can now stack — the basket holds up to ten at once, allowing you to focus your attention one something else and just check in occasionally to pick up eggs in bulk.
Unlike past games, there's no way to know when an egg is ready — you'll just have to check the basket periodically.
Egg production is pretty slow by default, especially if you're used to the speed at which eggs were produced in Sword and Shield, but like many things, it can be helped with some tasty sandwiches.
Egg Power is the effect in question, and if you have an Egg Power active, there are higher chances of eggs being produced, meaning you can obtain eggs at a faster rate. The higher the Egg Power, the better the boost to your rates. You can get level one Egg Power from a jam sandwich (just strawberry and jam), and level two Egg Power from a sweet jambon-beurre (ham, butter, and sweet Herba Mystica).
Given that you can no longer hatch eggs while waiting for more, the best move is to wait while your egg power is active, emptying the basket to your boxes every time it fills up, then hatch all the eggs in bulk once your 30 minutes of Egg Power are over.
Once you have your eggs, hatching them is the same it always was — take a lot of steps. Fortunately, riding around on Koraidon or Miraidon works the same as the bike used to, in that it counts for steps. This means that if you have the Dash ability, unlocked by defeating the Titan Klawf, you can rack up "steps" very quickly, hatching the eggs in just a few minutes.
As always, egg hatching can be sped up by having a Pokemon with Flame Body in the first slot of your party. Talonflame is a premier choice for this, since you can obtain Fletchling super early in the game.
Mass Outbreak Shiny Hunting
The other method present in Scarlet and Violet is the Mass Outbreak, which makes a return from Legends: Arceus. Though like breeding, it's undergone some pretty substantial changes. You see a lot more Pokemon at once now — as many as 20 — and as you clear them (by catching or KOing them), the total number of Pokemon in the Outbreak can be well over 100.
The Outbreak will disperse once all the Pokemon have been caught or KOed, and messages will appear to let you know how close you are to the Outbreak dispersing, with "There are not many [species] left from the original outbreak…" being the final one before dispersal. Clearing the Outbreak is pretty much the only thing that will disperse it — for example leaving the area, closing the game, doing other Outbreaks, and progressing the story are all fine.
Outbreaks appear on the map, and change daily. Each day at midnight, you'll get a set of Outbreaks for a random set of Pokemon (anything that spawns on the overworld can be an Outbreak Pokemon), and once these are generated, they'll remain there for a full 24 hours, after which they'll disappear and new ones will be generated. If you want to get new ones immediately, you can simply move your Switch's clock forward by one day.
Just like in Legends: Arceus, Mass Outbreaks can be used for better shiny odds. At the start of an Outbreak, the shiny odds are the default 1/4096, but after you clear 30 Outbreak Pokemon, they jump to 1/2048, and after clearing 60, they're 1/1365. Since Outbreak Pokemon are overworld spawns, these boosts to your odds stack with the Shiny Charm AND Sparkling Power, meaning that if you have both, your odds are an incredible 1/512 — the same as the Masuda Method.
To clear Outbreak Pokemon and work towards that all-important 60, you need to catch or KO them. This sounds like a lot of work, but it's made incredibly simple thanks to the Let's Go feature — just send your lead Pokemon out to auto-battle the Outbreak Pokemon and keep track of how many it's taken down. With a decent level advantage, knocking out 60 Pokemon back-to-back should be no issue, and if you're a bit closer in level, just pick a lead Pokemon with a type advantage over the Outbreak 'mons.
Once you've cleared 60 Pokemon, your shiny odds are the best they can be. If you like, you can simply continue clearing the Outbreak and see if the remaining 50 or so Pokemon will contain any shinies. There is, however, another option, that takes advantage of a quirk in Scarlet and Violet to take Mass Outbreak hunting to the next level, and it uses picnics.
The key to this is that the Outbreak's dispersal is tied to clearing Pokemon — catching or KOing them. What doesn't count as clearing Pokemon is letting them despawn. This is presumably so that you can go off and do other stuff mid-Outbreak and not be punished by having your Outbreak counter tick down.
When you start a picnic, every wild Pokemon around you is forced to despawn, so if you start one while at an Outbreak, the 20 or so Outbreak Pokemon will disappear without pushing the dispersal counter any closer to ending the Outbreak.
When you leave the picnic, the game recognises that there's supposed to be an Outbreak happening, and immediately spawns in new Outbreak Pokemon. These are brand-new Pokemon, not the ones that you despawned — they'll have different genders, IVs, natures, and of course, they could potentially be shiny. What this makes for is a very powerful hunting method.
Essentially, when you get a Mass Outbreak for a Pokemon you want to hunt, head to it, use Let's Go to auto-battle the first 60 Outbreak Pokemon, turn off autosave and save your game just so you have a fallback in the event of accidental dispersal, then start a picnic. Immediately end the picnic, and check to see if any of the new spawns are shiny. If none are, simply start another picnic and repeat, doing this until you get a shiny. If you're in the postgame, you can take advantage of the Shiny Charm and Sparkling Power to speed up the process.
If the Pokemon you're hunting has a very subtle shiny, and you'd need to try auto-battling it to check if it was shiny, then there's obviously no point in the picnic method, and you're better off just playing out the second half of the Outbreak by auto-battling the latter 50 or so Pokemon and hoping for a shiny.
Unlike Legends: Arceus, Mass Outbreaks in Scarlet and Violet are reportedly not seeded, however. What this means is that if you were to play out the Outbreak and not get any shinies, you could return to the save you made after clearing the first 60 Pokemon. The Pokemon that were there when you saved will be the same, but everything that spawns after that will be new, and have the potential to be shiny. This is slower than the picnic method, but for hard-to-distinguish shinies, it's the best option.
If you can't have a picnic where your Mass Outbreak is — for example, on water — you can somewhat replicate the effect by leaving the area and coming back; it'll just be slower than the picnic method.
You can use picnics to speed up regular hunting as well – it'll just be slower on average since you don't have Outbreak boosting your odds. If you have an Encounter Power and a Sparkling Power up, though, it's a decent way to quickly see a lot of Pokemon.
Pokemon Scarlet And Violet Shiny Odds
Now that we've covered all things shiny in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, it's time to sum up all the different methods and mechanics into one simple table to show you the best ways to optimise your odds.
|Default||With Shiny Charm||With Level 3 Sparkling Power||With Shiny Charm AND Level 3 Sparkling Power|
|Regular Overworld Spawns||1/4096||1/1365||1/1024||1/683|
|Tera Den Pokemon||1/4096||1/4096||1/4096||1/4096|
|Regular Eggs From Two Same-Language Pokemon||1/4096||1/2048||1/4096||1/2048|
|Masuda Method Eggs||1/683||1/512||1/683||1/512|
|Outbreak Pokemon (0-29 Pokemon Cleared)||1/4096||1/1365||1/1024||1/683|
|Outbreak Pokemon (30-59 Pokemon Cleared)||1/2048||1/1024||1/819||1/585|
|Outbreak Pokemon (60+ Cleared)||1/1365||1/819||1/683||1/512|
Remember that odds are averages, not guarantees — most people will get a Shiny Charm Masuda Method shiny around the 512 egg mark, but you might be lucky and get it much faster, or unlucky and get it much slower; the odds number is simply a ballpark, and patience is key. Good luck!
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