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Pokémon Go Shinies - how to catch Shiny Magikarp, Red Gyarados, and what we know about other Shiny Pokémon such as Shiny Pikachu

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.

More recent months have seen the reveal of new shinies, including Shiny Pikachu, suggesting more creatures will see 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 Pokémon Go Shinies, and how do you catch them?

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

The first Shiny Pokémon in Pokémon Go were 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.

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Normal (left) vs Shiny (right). Credit reddit user skinnysnorlaz

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 - 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:

Shiny Pikachu and other shinies in Pokémon Go

Around five months after Shiny Magikarp was first sighted, August 2017's Pokémon 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.

As soon as the event ended, Shiny Pikachu was made available around the world. The rarity difference between it and Shiny Marikarp, but going by some trainers on the ground at the Japan event, it's likely to be similar:

Meanwhile, the release of Legendary Pokémon Zapdos had its Shiny look as the default appearance, seemingly by accident. It's unknown whether this will be permanent change, or if after a certain point it'll be changed back.

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 Pokémon 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.

Pokémon Go tips and tricks UPDATE: Huge Gym revamp and Legendaries explained, and how Legendaries will work. Pokémon Go tips and tricks

Want more help with Pokémon Go? As well as our Pokémon Go tips and tricks page and how to catch Legendary Pokémon like Articuno and Lugia, you can look up the Gen 2 Pokédex on how to catch the most recent creatures, including those requiring Special Items. We also explain the recent Gym rework, how to get PokéCoins, Raids, Raid Battles, and Raid Bosses, and what we know about the addition of promo codes. Elsewhere, read about Eevee evolutions, Egg hatching distance charts, best Pokémon tier lists, best moves and movesets and the XP chart. Plus, sice their release you can read everything we know about the Halloween event and Ghost Types Duskull, Dusknoir, Shuppet, Sableye and Banette, and all the other Gen 3 Pokémon that are expected to be on their way.

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!
  • Shinies have their own entries in the Pokédex - Once you have found a Shiny, visit that creature in the Pokédex and you can view its unique appearance, alongside any gender differences. The following image by Dronpes explains this in closer detail:
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Credit: reddit user Dronpes

  • 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!

Additional reporting by Matthew Reynolds.

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