The game has a way of deciding if a Pokémon is Shiny. In Generation II, when the Battle starts, the game picks four random numbers between 0 and 65535. If any of the numbers is less than eight, it is a shiny Pokémon. The chance of seeing one of these is about 1 in every 8192, or 0.0122%.
From Generation III onwards, shiny Pokémon are determined by other factors such as the Trainer ID number and the personality value of the Pokémon.
They can sometimes become shiny now when you got the right amount of SR (Soft Resets). This can be time consuming because of the amount of time spent constantly SRing. Achieving a shiny this way can take days, and even weeks.
There are a few different methods to increase your chances of obtaining a shiny Pokémon.
Chaining (Gen IV)
- If the bush just shakes, it is a Sinnoh Pokémon.
- If the bush has a whitish shake, it might be a non-native Pokémon.
- Never use it in water, caves or tall grass.
- The bush with the same type of shake as the first Pokémon you battled that is the farthest away within a four by four grid most likely is the same Pokémon.
- The likelihood of finding a Shiny Pokemon increases the higher your chain continues unbroken. After finding 40 of the same Pokemon in a row, the odds are at their highest. Sparkling grass indicates a Shiny Pokemon is in that bush.
Masuda Method (Gen IV-V)
This method is when you breed to pokemon, one from your game, and one from another countries game (Japan, UK, Europe, etc.). At first the chances of finding a shiny are 1/8192, if you use this method in gen IV the chances are cut, to 1/2048, whereas in gen V they are cut even more to 1/1365.3. So the chances of hatching a shiny are extremely easier. This method was created and announced by Junichi Masuda, director of GameFreak to add fun stuff to the game after you beat it. Such as shiny hunting, using the GTS, and more!
- I suggest going on to the Global Trade Station (GTS) and get a Japanese Ditto.
- Then select a pokemon and put it in the Day-Care with the Japanese Ditto.
- Keep hatching until you find a shiny.
Soft Reset (Useful for Legendaries and Shiny Starters (Gen. II to Gen. V))
One method which is easy enough (but often very time consuming) works for starters and most Legendary Pokémon. Basically, the method is to stand in front of the legendary Pokémon you will catch/starter you will take and save. If you don't get a shiny when you get your starter/battle the legendary, soft reset the game by pressing A+B+Start+Select on the GBA and L+R+Start+Select on the DS. This method can easily require over 1000 resets before you get a shiny, however with enough dedication and patience your efforts can pay off.
In-Game Shiny Pokémon
In-game shiny Pokémon are met as part of the main story in some Pokémon games. For example, the Red Gyarados appears in Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal Versions, and in Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver Versions as part of a story arc, and can be caught in a way similar to most legendary Pokémon.
Shiny Pokémon in the Anime series
- Noctowl: Ash Ketchum caught a Shiny Noctowl while on his travels through Johto. It also seems to be about half the size of other Noctowls.
- Shuckle: While in Johto, Ash and co. discovered a Shiny Shuckle.
- Gyarados: First seen in the Lake of Rage and was caught by Lance. It was also seen again during the battle between Kyogre and Groudon.
- Magneton: Owned by Pokémon Trainer Jackson when he battles Ash in the Silver Conference.
- Swellow: Winona, the Fortree City Gym Leader has a Shiny Swellow.
- Donphan: A Shiny Donphan has been shown in the Hoenn Region on Dontoe Island.
- Magikarp: Was seen briefly in the episode "Judgement Day".
- Dustox: Jessie's Dustox fell in love with a male Shiny Dustox and then was released similar to how Ash released his Butterfree. (Except Jessie smashed Dustox's Poké Ball so it could go with its true love)
- Metagross: In the episode "Noodles! Roamin' Off", James in Team Rocket went out to see this strangely colored Metagross that people had been talking about, and was promptly attacked by the shiny Metagross.
- A Ditto in "Dealing With Fierce Double Ditto Drama" was shiny.
- Ariados: In the Special Episode "Dawn's New Journey", Dawn and Cinco encountered a swarm of Ariados as well as a shiny one using Psychic so the others could wrap Dawn and the others with String Shot.
- Entei, Raikou, and Suicune: the three legendary beasts were shiny guardians of the city in the Pokémon Movie: Zoroark: Master of Illusions
- Hydreigon owned by Carlita in White, Victini, and Reshiram. It is used in the tournament In that movie.
- Golurk owned by Carlita in White: Victini and Zekrom. It was used to guard Juanita's trailer that contained Victini dolls and candy.
- In Generation II games shiny Pokémon are, on average, slightly stronger than their normal colored counterparts. However, this is not true for later generations.
- If you evolve a shiny Pokémon it still remains shiny.
- There are examples of Pokémon which, although coloured differently, are not officially shiny, such as the female Hippowdon being black in color (as their coloration differs from the shiny variant).
- The first alternately colored Pokémon to appear in the anime series was seen by Ash in the first season when he released his Butterfree so it could find a mate.
- In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team and Blue Rescue Team, two Kecleon own a shop in the town square. One is a dark purple color.
- The Pokémon which reside in parts of the Orange Islands are colored differently to other Pokémon. The color changes are due to climate and natural adaption according to Professor Ivy.