Pokémon Sword and Shield have been out in the wild for a solid 72 hours as of this writing. That being the case, Trainers the world over will have undoubtedly chewed through a chunk of what UK-inspired Galar has to offer and perhaps even already become the region’s new champion. If, however, you’re a sucker for chasing the rarest Pokémon of all, then you’ll likely have already sunk several hours into shiny hunting.
The term, for those unaware, refers to special variants of normal Pokémon that, while functionally identical in battle, boast a unique color palette to that of their standard selves. A normal Eevee, for example, has brown fur with a beige collar. Its shiny counterpart, on the other hand, sports a silver coat and snow-white mane. Think of them as the black sheep of a Pokémon species, only, instead of being an outcast, the genetic anomaly is incredibly sought-after.
Digressions aside, Sword and Shield, like its predecessors, feature baked-in systems meant to up a player’s chances of encountering a shiny, for which the unaltered rate is usually around 1/4000.
Fortunately for your sanity, prominent Pokémon leaker Kaphotics has determined the method of how one can increase their odds in the Gen 8 games. Check out the graph below.
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At first glance, the graph might appear as little more than an indecipherable formula, but bear with us.
First, there’s the ‘Number Battled’ column. By repeatedly encountering and defeating the Pokémon you desire to be shiny, your base odds of encountering one will increase, up to a maximum of 500. Now here’s where it gets tricky. Running alongside the boost provided by total encounters is a chaining system. By encountering and defeating only the Pokémon you’re hunting, a separate modifier will come into play. This one caps at a total of 25 and, when paired with the former, will increase your chances dramatically.
With both capped out, you’ll have a 33% chance to receive six additional rolls for a shiny. To visualize: imagine rolling dice with 4000 different sides. With no increased odds, you’d roll it once. With maximum rates, you’d have the chance to roll for the correct number an additional six times.
In other words, you’re still in for one hell of a grind to find a shiny in Pokémon Sword and Shield but hey, we never said it would be easy. Happy hunting!