By all accounts, trainers looking for Shiny Pokémon are better off hatching eggs. That being said, hunting Wild Pokémon comes with a slew of potential benefits that you can’t get through any other shiny hunting methods — these include marks and square sparkles. Marks, in particular, are rather interesting; Pokémon that have them can be given custom titles that appear whenever they’re called upon in battle! If you’re looking for the best way to hunt Wild Shiny Pokémon, look no further!
Choosing a Target
There are three kinds of hunts you can try: strong spawns, static encounters, and grass encounters. Strong spawns are the fully-evolved Pokémon you’ll find in the overworld — things like the Snorlax at Motostoke Riverbank, for example. Once you can see these Pokémon, they’re locked in — so if you encounter it and it’s not shiny, it never will be until it despawns and respawns. As a result, players looking to shiny hunt a strong spawn should save a considerable distance away from that Pokémon, encounter it to check for shininess, and then close the game and reopen it.
Static spawns include Pokémon like Spiritomb, Cobalion, Terrakion, and Virizion in the Crown Tundra. We’ve actually got an in-depth guide on hunting Spiritomb, if that’s the target you’re going for! Otherwise, you can encounter said Pokémon, run away if it’s not shiny, and then set up Pokémon Camp. Quit out immediately and the static encounter will respawn!
Then there are grass encounters, which entail many, many potential targets. Let’s say you’re hunting for a shiny Nickit — for the best possible shiny rate, you’ll need to KO as many of them as possible. According to Anubis, the more wild Pokémon you KO, the higher the chance that a Brilliant Pokémon reveals itself as Shiny. If you don’t know this already, Brilliant Pokémon have a yellow aura flare, and when you KO 100 Pokémon they have a 3% chance to spawn. Then, as you KO even more Pokémon, the chance that a Brilliant Pokémon is Shiny increases even further. Confusing, yes, but that’s how it works! Of course, your chance to obtain a Shiny Pokémon in the first place is increased if you have the Shiny Charm.
Party Setup & Hunting
Before you start hunting, you’ll definitely want to stock up on Poké Balls and healing items. If you manage to get your hands on PP-restoring items, that’s great! If not, you can just head over to the Pokémon Center to restore your Pokémon’s PP. A really good idea would be to hatch a male Ralts with the Hypnosis egg move to evolve into Gallade — that way, you can level it up and teach it moves like False Swipe, Thunder Wave, or Heal Pulse.
If you’re going to be hunting for a grass encounter, feel free to check Serebii’s Pokédex to determine where your desired Pokémon can be found. If said Pokémon can only be found in the Wild Area, Isle of Armor, or Crown Tundra, keep in mind that it may only appear in certain weather conditions. Fortunately, some days of the year always have a specific type of weather. Here’s a complete list of each weather condition and which day you’ll have to travel to:
- Fog appears in the Wild Area on February 29, June 1, and September 1. It appears in the Isle of Armor on January 15 and October 15, and in the Crown Tundra on July 31.
- Intense sun appears in the Wild Area on July 1 and August 1, in the Isle of Armor on April 15, June 15, and December 25, and… doesn’t appear in the Crown Tundra on any specific day.
- Normal weather appears in the Wild Area on May 1, the Isle of Armor on March 15 and September 15, and the Crown Tundra on April 30 and December 31.
- Overcast weather appears in the Wild Area on March 1, in the Isle of Armor on February 15 and November 15, and in the Crown Tundra on March 31 and October 31.
- Rain appears in the Wild Area on October 1 and in the Isle of Armor on April 15, June 15, and December 25. It doesn’t appear in the Crown Tundra on any specific day.
- Sandstorms appear in the Wild Area on April 1. They don’t appear in the Isle of Armor or the Crown Tundra on any specific day.
- Snow appears in the Wild Area on December 1 and December 25 and in the Crown Tundra on June 30 and September 30. It doesn’t appear in the Isle of Armor.
- Snowstorms appear in the Wild Area on February 1, and in the Crown Tundra on January 31, February 28, August 31, and November 30. They don’t appear in the Isle of Armor.
- Thunderstorms brew over the Wild Area on November 1, and in the Isle of Armor on July 15 and August 15. They don’t appear in the Crown Tundra.
Of course, if you’re hunting for a specific Pokémon that only appears on a certain route, you won’t have to worry about the weather. Their encounter rates are consistent no matter what the Wild Area’s weather is like! There are also ways to change and increase the spawn rate and properties of specific Pokémon depending on the one you have in the first slot of your party. Here’s a full list (again):
- Arena Trap, Illuminate, and No Guard drastically increase your chance of randomly encountering Pokémon in wild grass.
- The Compound Eyes and Super Luck abilities increase the chance that a Wild Pokémon holds an item.
- If a Pokémon with Cute Charm is male, the chances that you find a female Pokémon increase by a bit (and vice versa, if applicable). Doesn’t work on Pokémon that don’t have a gender.
- Hustle, Pressure, and Vital Spirit will generally increase the level of Wild Pokémon you find.
- Infiltrator, Stench, White Smoke, and Quick Feet decrease the wild encounter rate by 50%. That’s a lot — so make sure your lead Pokémon doesn’t have one of these abilities!
- Synchronize causes all Wild Pokémon to have the same nature as the Pokémon with Synchronize does. Use this to your advantage if you want to avoid using Nature Mints!
- Flash Fire increases the spawn rate of Fire-type Pokémon. Likewise, Harvest increases Grass-types, Lightning Rod and Static increase Electric-types, Magnet Pull increases Steel-types, and Storm Drain increases Water-types.
As you can see, there are a lot of specifics here, so it might take you some time to prepare for your hunt. It’ll all be worth it, though! As one final tip for this section, it’s usually best to hunt for grass encounter Pokémon while walking — as in, not on your bike. You’ll have more control over your character that way.
Other Helpful Information
As mentioned earlier, one of the perks of Wild Shiny Pokémon is that they can have marks! The kind of mark a Pokémon can have depends on the current weather and time of day, and there are also certain marks that don’t require a specific weather or time. You can increase your odds of catching a Wild Pokémon with a mark by obtaining the Mark Charm — which, in turn, is obtained via the completion of the Isle of Armor Pokédex. For a full list of marks, see here!
Another point is that Wild Shiny Pokémon will almost always shine with square-shaped sparkles. This is thought to be the result of a glitch: the way it’s supposed to work is that only 1/16 of Shiny Pokémon should have square sparkles, and that the rest of them should have normal star sparkles. Instead, 4095 out of 4096 Wild Shiny Pokémon will have square-shaped sparkles. If you somehow manage to catch a Wild Shiny Pokémon with star-shaped sparkles, consider yourself extremely lucky!
Furthermore, remember that the Shiny Charm doesn’t apply to certain Pokémon. These include each of the Legendary Titans in the Crown Tundra — which means these are full-odds hunts whether you like it or not. To add to this, you can’t KO a Legendary Titan over and over to increase its shiny rate — it’s locked at 1 in 4096 no matter what you do.
Once you’ve decided on your target, it’s time to zero in and grind it out until a Shiny Pokémon appears. It might take a while – after all, wild shiny hunting is perhaps the slowest possible method in this game – but the thrill of seeing a Shiny Sawk that’s just a little bit more purple than the regular form is exciting unlike anything else. I wish you the best of luck! If you go a long time without finding a Shiny Pokémon and want to try something else, read our shiny hatching guide instead. Happy hunting!
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