Pokemon GO: How to Find Shiny Pokemon - Shinies Guide

What you should know about catching rare Shiny Pokemon in Pokemon GO.

In Pokemon GO, Shiny Pokemon are rare variants that have an alternative color scheme than their base counterparts. Shiny Pokemon are exceedingly rare and are considered to be much more valuable than their regular versions. This guide will explain how to find Shiny Pokemon in Pokemon GO and what you should know about these elusive Pokemon.

The Halloween event added several Gen 3 Shiny Pokemon to Pokemon GO.

Shiny Pokemon were added to Pokemon GO back in March, with the golden Shiny Magikarp and its evolution, Red Gyarados, among the first to get the shiny treatment. Shiny Pichu, Pikachu, and Raichu would be added shortly after, but it wasn’t until the Halloween event that Pokemon GO players would see a huge influx of Shinies arrive in the game. These included Shiny Shuppet, Banette, Sableye, Duskull, and Dusclops, which were also the first Gen 3 Pokemon added to Pokemon Go. 

How to Get Shiny Pokemon

Shiny Duskull evolves into a Shiny Dusclops in Pokemon GO. Be sure to save your Candy if you're looking to evolve a Shiny!

Obtaining a Shiny Pokemon in Pokemon GO is the same as catching regular Pokemon. In fact, the tricky part about catching Shiny Pokemon is that they aren’t revealed to be Shinies until after they’ve been engaged for battle. Shiny Pokemon will appear as regular colored Pokemon on the map. You must tap on a Pokemon in the wild and engage it in battle to find out if it’s Shiny or not. 

How to Tell if a Pokemon is Shiny

To tell if a Pokemon is Shiny, look at its color. It should be a different shade than its regular base version. Sometimes this is obvious, like with Magikarp, while other times its less obvious, like with Shuppet. Additionally, Shinies tend to have a few sparkles on their background design to signify their shiny quality. Shiny Pokemon also have their own Pokédex entries, so you should be able to compare the appearance of a Shiny to its original version if you’ve caught one before. 

Shiny Pokemon: What You Should Know

While the process for obtaining Shinies is rather straightforward, there are a few details you should know about Shiny Pokemon and how they work in Pokemon GO. 

  • Shiny Pokemon Evolve into Shiny Pokemon - A Shiny Pokemon will evolve into a Shiny version of their evolved form. A gold Shiny Magikarp will evolve into a Red Gyarados, a Shiny Duskull evolves into a Shiny Dusclops, and so on. Just be sure to stock up on the appropriate Candy if you’re looking to evolve a specific Shiny in Pokemon GO. 
  • Shiny Pokemon Are Distinct Individuals - Shiny Pokemon occur as individuals, which means what may be a Shiny for one player will likely be the standard version for another player. Two players can catch the same Pokemon in the same location, yet only one of them may be Shiny. If your friend caught a Shiny at a particular place, don’t expect to have the same luck if you go there. This prevents players from essentially farming a single location for Shinies, which is a good thing. 
  • A Shiny Pokemon May Be Regular Ditto in Disguise - Niantic decided to be a bit cruel when implementing Ditto in that Ditto can pretend to be a Shiny Pokemon without actually being Shiny itself. Having your newly captured Shiny transform into a regular Ditto can be disheartening to say the least, but perhaps Ditto will eventually get the Shiny treatment in Pokemon GO so that this no longer happens. 

Keep these details in mind the next time you’re hunting for Shiny Pokemon in Pokemon GO. These elusive variants are rare, so don’t be discouraged if you can’t find any right away. Perhaps once Gen 3 is added to Pokemon GO in December players will have a broader pool of Shinies to capture. For now, just keep catching wild Pokemon and look for ones with a unique appearance to discover Shiny Pokemon of your own.


Larryn is a full-time editor who has written guides and editorial features for various gaming websites. She is obsessed with Witcher 3 and is known to put hot sauce on everything.

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