Who Am I and What is a “Shiny” Pokémon?

So before I make a blog introducing guides and tips about how to hunt for shiny Pokémon and create the ultimate battle-worthy team for online competition, I thought it would be a good idea to introduce myself and provide a little information on what exactly a “shiny Pokémon” is. This article will give a brief explanation on what makes a Pokémon in the franchise’s many games “shiny” as well as the methods used by seasoned players to “hunt” for these rare Pokémon.

My name is Jared Stevens, and I have been an avid gamer for as long as I could physically play video games. I enjoy almost every genre of video games on nearly every console/platform, but my all-time favorite video games have always been the Pokémon series. In fact, the first video game I ever owned was Pokémon Crystal Version for the GameBoy Color. Ever since then, I have owned a Pokémon game at one point from each generation all the way from Red/Blue/Yellow up to the current Sun/Moon games for the Nintendo 3DS.

Throughout most of my childhood and early teenage years, I usually played the Pokémon games purely for the sheer enjoyment of progressing through the main storyline. Once I had “beaten” a particular game, I would often reset the data and start all over again (and again) until I was bored of the game and decided to sell it for a few bucks. However, once I became more aware of the science and strategy behind the games and had watched a few online Pokémon tournaments and live streams, I decided I wanted to participate in this community of Pokémon game enthusiasts and learn how to “prove” my devotion to this series.

The first thing I wanted to learn how to do in the Pokémon games was “hunt” for shiny Pokémon. For those that are unaware, the term “shiny Pokémon” refers to a Pokémon whose sprite has an alternate color scheme and is determined by an algorithm in the game’s code. For example, the normal color of a Gyarados is blue, but its shiny form is red instead. Randomly encountering a shiny Pokémon while progressing through the games is extremely rare. In fact, some people have played multiple titles in the Pokémon game franchise without ever encountering one. GameFreak has slightly tweaked the ratio of encountering shiny Pokémon in their games a few times over the years, even going so far as to include an in-game object to help boost the ratio called a Shiny Charm.  Despite all of this, however, shiny Pokémon are STILL extremely hard to randomly encounter.

Shiny hunting, in contrast, refers to any method a player uses to try and “force” a shiny Pokémon to appear. Some of these methods were purposely coded into the games by the developers while others were discovered and exploited by players. The most common forms of shiny hunting in the recent titles of Pokémon include soft-resetting, chain fishing, “DexNav” chaining, breeding using the “Masuda method,” and SOS battle chaining. I will go into more detail in later blogs to explain each of these methods and how successful I have found them to be. Of course there are many other ways for one to obtain a guaranteed shiny Pokémon. Perhaps the most common method is “cheating” by using devices such as a GameShark or an Action Replay to alter a game’s code and obtain shiny Pokémon on their save files. These shiny Pokémon, I should warn, are NOT genuine Pokémon and are banned from online competitions and often un-tradable online. Therefore, these hacked shiny Pokémon are usually rejected by the shiny hunting community as illegitimate.

Like I stated above, I have been playing the Pokémon franchise games for almost two decades now, and I can honestly say with certainty that there isn’t a Pokémon game I have yet to play (excluding any new releases after the posting of this article). During this time, I often did research online and mastered many techniques of completing the storylines, battling online, and most recently shiny hunting. Now that I am older, I am eager to share my knowledge and experiences with the Pokémon with the next generation of players. This series is very special to me in many ways, and I am willing to do whatever it takes to keep the hype going for years to come! So be sure to follow my blog to stay up-to-date on my future blog posts where I will go in-depth in nearly all of the Pokémon video games currently available and explain methods for shiny hunting and competitive Pokémon online battling.