Pokémon Go Shinies - how to catch Shiny Magikarp, Red Gyarados, and how Shiny Pokémon work

Everything you need to know about the introduction of Shiny Pokémon to Pokémon Go.

Pokémon Go's big March 2017 update has dropped, and with it comes the addition of new Shiny Pokémon, starting, first of all, with the golden Shiny Magikarp and its evolution, the red Shiny Gyarados.

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

We'll answer that and cover all the other important stuff, like how to find Shiny Pokémon and how Shinies work, below.

Shiny Magikarp, Shiny Gyarados, how to find Shiny Pokémon and which Shinies are available in Pokémon Go?


The only Shiny Pokémon currently available in Pokémon Go are Magikarp and Gyarados, in a callback to what was, for most players, the first Shiny they ever caught: the Red Gyarados at Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal's Lake of Rage.

They're found by simply trying to catch Pokémon and seeing if they display as an alternate colour in the battle and post-battle screens.

The Shiny variation of Magikarp can be seen in this comparison image, courtesy of Silph Road subreddit user skinnysnorlaz, and the evolution into a Red Gyarados below:

There are also some signs that they'll be coming to other Pokémon soon, in the form of new symbols found in a data mining of Pokémon Go's APK.

These symbols are set to appear in a Pokémon's Pokédex entry, which will indicate which gender of the Pokémon you've caught so far. What they'll also do, however, is add an additional symbol to indicate that you've caught a Shiny varient of that Pokémon, if and when you do so.

The new symbols haven't gone live for us at the time of writing, with the Water Festival event that brought the changes still rolling out, but here's what they'll look like according to the Silph Road, again. Credit for this image goes to Silph Road member, Dronpes.

Pokémon Go tips and tricks UPDATE: Huge Gym revamp, Raids and how to get Legendaries explained. Pokémon Go tips and tricks

Want more help with Pokémon Go? As well as our Pokémon Go tips, tricks and guides page, you can look up the Gen 2 Pokédex on how to catch the most recent creatures, using Special Items such as the Dragon Scale and other methods. We also explain big the Gym rework update, Raids, Raid Battles, and Raid Bosses, how to get Legendary Pokémon, and promo codes, and there's also info on changes to how to get PokéCoins, Eevee evolutions, Egg hatching distances, the tier list and best Pokémon, the best moves and movesets and Buddy distances. Plus, you can read about the Pokémon Go Plus accessory works, and even our XP chart.

Other things to know about Pokémon Go Shinies - independent Shinies, Shiny Ditto and more

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

  • Shiny Pokémon are independent - in other words, two people can go to the same place and catch the same Magikarp, which has the same stats and IVs, but they won't necessarily both be Shiny. This is generally seen as a good thing by the community: it means people won't all be rushing to the same place after a Shiny is spotted, and 'spoofers' who cheat the system to change their location won't be able to instantly grab a Shiny as soon as one is located.
  • Ditto pretending to be Shiny Pokémon aren't Shiny themselves - that's right, if you find yourself a rare Shiny Magikarp and it suddenly transforms into a Ditto, the Ditto itself won't be Shiny. If you do suffer such incredibly bad luck, it might be worth holding onto it though, just in case that Ditto is retrospectively changed to Shiny once the game is updated to include Shiny variants for all Pokémon.
  • Shiny Pokémon's evolutions will be Shiny too - the good news, at least, is that Shiny Pokémon will evolve into Shiny Pokémon. So that means a gold Magikarp will turn into a red Gyarados when evolved, and so on. Another reason to hold onto those Candies for any Pokémon you encounter!
  • Shiny Pokémon show up as standard colour Pokémon on the map - they only reveal themselves as Shiny once you start the battle sequence with them, which means checking every Pokémon you see now if you want to find Shinies, even if you've already caught plenty of that Pokémon!
  • There's a new warning if you try to transfer a Shiny - if you try and send a Shiny to Professor Willow, you'll get an additional pop-up warning checking that you definitely want to transfer this Shiny Pokémon. A nice touch to stop any fat finger issues!

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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