Pokmon Go Shinies – how to catch Shiny Magikarp, Red Gyarados, and what we know about other Shiny Pokmon


Shiny Pokmon were first introduced in March 2017 with the surprise reveal of Shiny Magikarp and its evolution, the red Shiny Gyarados.

More recent months have seen the reveal of new shinies, including Shiny Pikachu, with more unique variants over time.

Shinies are notoriously rare, as any veteran of the main series will gladly tell you, so what do we know about Pokmon Go Shinies, and how do you catch them?

The first Shiny Pokmon in Pokmon Go were Magikarp and Gyarados, in a callback to what was, for most players, the first Shiny they ever caught: the Red Gyarados at Pokmon Gold, Silver, and Crystal’s Lake of Rage.

They’re found by simply trying to catch Pokmon and seeing if they display as an alternate colour in the battle and post-battle screens – they won’t appear as a different colour in the field, so you have to attempt to catch them first.

A Shiny creature is extremely rare, so it’s simply a case of checking every one you are looking for – such as Magikarp – in the hope it will be a different colour.

Often, the variation is somewhat subtle. You can see the difference in Magikarp in this comparison image, courtesy of Silph Road subreddit user skinnysnorlaz, and the evolution into a Red Gyarados below:

Around five months after Shiny Magikarp was first sighted, we started to see the first sign of other shinies.

Though the list has expanded greatly since the arrival of Magikarp and Red Gyarados, the number is small compared to the number of non-shiny creatures in the game.

At a glance, here is every possible shiny creature you can get in the game (bar Nidoran♀, Nidorina, or Nidoqueen) courtesy of LeekDuck on reddit.

Shiny Pikachu: August 2017’s Pokmon Go Park event in Japan revealed the second set of Shinies.

Those within the event radius had a chance of catching a Shiny Pikachu, which much like the Red Gyarados, could also be evolved into a shiny Raichu.

These have since been made available around the world, and was expanded on with a shiny hatted Pikachu as part of the 2018 Pokmon Day.

Shiny Gen 3 Ghosts: As the Halloween event in 2018 – which introduced the first Gen 3 creatures – rolled on, shiny variations of all five new creatures (Duskull, Dusclops, Shuppet, Sableye and Banette) started to appear. Here is a video of shiny Duskull in action:

Shiny Gen 3 Raids: With the arrival of 50 Gen 3 creatures in December 2017 came two Raid-specific catches, both of which offering Shiny versions. The remaining 48 also have Shiny models in the game code, though none have been found so far.

Shiny Gen 3 Desert update: The Aron family of creatures all have shiny variants as part of their release in the Janary 2018 Gen 3 Desert update.

Shiny Gen 3 Dragon update: Swablu is one of the few creatures available as a shiny Pokmon, changing its blue body colour into yellow.

Evolving into Altaria will keep that same yellow colour scheme, as shown in this video by Cychreus Gaming:

Valentine’s Day 2018: Alongside increased Luvdisc spawns came a shiny version:

Otherwise, there are no other signs more Shinies will be added. The main games had shinies for every single creature, so there’s a chance every one in Pokmon Go will offer them at some point, but it makes sense Niantic would want to drip feed them for special occasions and make them more of an event.

Lunar New Year event 2018: The increase in dog and dog-like spawns saw the introduction of a shiny Poochyena:

Community Day: The creature a Community Day focuses on will release a shiny version at the same time. So far we’ve had:

Other 2018 Shinies have been coming thick and fast, including:

It should be noted Shiny Alolan Raichu doesn’t appear to be in the game yet, though you can see what it looks like if you already have a regular Shiny Raichu in your Pokdex (thanks Eventhisisused from reddit.

October sees a Psychic event and the usual updates to Field Research quests, Shiny and Spinda forms, alongside new Deoxys EX Raids and word of new Hex Nut Pokemon Meltan.

We’ve also recently seen the arrival of Mewtwo in regular raids, and for a limited time, region exclusives in 7km Eggs.

Looking to the future, there’s the next Community Day and the eventual arrival of Pokmon Go Gen 4 Pokmon. Can’t be long now, right?

Aside the from the basics, there are a few other important points to note about Shiny Pokmon and the way they operate:

That’s all the important info you need – the rest of it is down to good old fashioned luck, so it’s time get searching!


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