How to Catch and Farm Shiny Pokemon – Pokemon Go Guide

In Pokemon Go, shiny Pokemon are easier to catch than ever before. Boasting alternate coloration from the usual sprites, shiny Pokemon are highly sought after by avid collectors and aesthetics enthusiasts alike. However, how do you actually get shiny Pokemon in Pokemon Go? Well, there are quite a few methods, actually. 

Ever since shiny Magikarp appeared back in 2017, Pokemon Go has offered trainers the opportunity to catch shiny variations of their favorite Pokemon at Community Day events interspersed throughout the year. For instance, Totodile day had little blue crocodiles roaming the world of Pokemon Go in force.

Shiny Pokemon in the Wild

Shiny Pokemon in the wild have an incredibly low spawn chance–1 in 450. However, if you play smart, you can still farm shinies efficiently in the wild.

  • Only target Pokemon that have shiny variants, ignoring the rest.
  • If you’re short on time, cancel out of encounters with non-Shiny Pokemon.
  • If you are checking a clump of Pokemon and forget which you already previewed, toss a berry onto each.

Make sure to keep incubators running if you are out walking for a while–eggs can hatch into Shiny Pokemon too.

When you do encounter a Shiny Pokemon in the wild, take all precautions to ensure you’ll make the catch, as they have a chance to flee. Use Golden Razzberries, Ultra Balls, and aim for an Excellent Curve throw.

Hatching Shiny Pokemon

Pokemon with shiny variants can be hatched from 2k, 5k, 7k, and 10k eggs. Look for Super Incubators and egg-boosting holiday events to hatch those eggs faster.

We have an entire guide dedicated to Hatching Eggs in Pokemon Go and what Pokemon are found in each type of egg.

Trading Shiny Pokemon

Does your friend have a shiny Pokemon you really want? With the Friendship system in Pokemon Go, you can trade your buddies for Shiny Pokemon. However, there are a few caveats:

  • You can only receive one Shiny Pokemon per day.
  • If you have low friendship with your friend, the Stardust cost may be prohibitive.

In spite of these restrictions, trading is an efficient way to regularly get shinies, especially if you have a group of local friends that also enjoy the game. If you are looking for people to trade with, consider finding people at Community Day Meetups or your region’s Discord server. Perhaps you have a rare regional Pokemon, or one with a high IV, that others may be willing to trade a Shiny Pokemon for.

Field Research

The daily and seven-day Field Research rewards have a small chance to reward a Shiny Pokemon. Acquire Field Research from spinning Pokestops, and make sure to complete Field Research on seven different days do unlock a special reward, usually a legendary Pokemon. These Pokemon cannot flee, so you do not need to worry about losing a Shiny.

Gym Raids

Pokemon from gym raids have a chance to be shiny, and the batch available in gyms generally changes every few weeks. For max-level players, Level 1-3 raids can be soloed, while Level 4 and 5 will take more coordination.

The limiting factor for Gym Raids are Raid Passes and other players. While you don’t need help on easier raids, you will need a Raid Pass for every encounter. One can be acquired from hopping into your first gym of the day, and additional ones can be purchased from the shop.

Pokemon Go periodically offers special Gym Raid events, featuring increased Legendary Pokemon spawns in gyms for a short duration. Many players will form groups to walk around towns for three hours, taking down as many raids as possible during the holiday window.

The good news about encountering a Shiny Legendary Pokemon from gym raids is that any catch is a guaranteed success!

Community Day, Research Events, and Safari Zones

Community Days offer trainers a greatly-increased chance of encountering a specific Pokemon, as well as high chances to encounter shiny variants. So while you encounter more of a certain Pokemon on their Community Day, every single encounter is also assigned boosted shiny odds. Many people who take part in Community Days actually finish with a whole haul of shiny Pokemon, which can be incredibly valuable in the long run as their evolutions also have special movesets.

Community Days are just one kind of event, though. Pokemon Go has also started to run Safari Zone events all over the world. These turn various real-world locations into the fan-favorite, catch ‘em all minigame that was embedded in the mainline franchise ever since Generation 1. Safari Zones offer trainers the chance to catch a plethora of rare Pokemon and (you guessed it) feature substantially boosted shiny encounters.

Only a handful of Safari Zone events have taken place so far, but they’ve been so successful that fans will surely want more in the near future. Developer Niantic is usually pretty good to its fans, too, so you’ll likely see a few more Safari Zone events in 2019 and beyond.

It’s unlikely that you’ll travel halfway around the world to attend a Safari Zone event. Fortunately, Pokemon Go offers small perks to players worldwide during Safari Zone events. Usually, a handful of Pokemon with shiny variants appear with greatly-increased spawn rates for a few days, letting everyone join in on the fun.

More recently, Pokemon Go has introduced special Research Event Days dedicated to one type of Pokemon, including a small chance at the shiny variant. The challenge here is finding a location near many Pokestops, as you can only get one research task per Pokestop so you’ll need to keep moving and finding more stops. Plan accordingly to complete the best research for your playstyle–for example, many players were stymied by Feebas research tasks in Winter 2019 requiring them to walk many kilometers in the freezing cold.

If you haven’t got the gist yet, there are all kinds of community events orchestrated by Niantic specifically designed to offer shiny hunters a chance to add some new colors to their collection. Although events are a rare occurrence in some gaming communities, Niantic usually has at least one event running at all times, keeping trainers’ hands full with plenty of tasks and shinies to hunt.

Which Pokemon are Shiny?

At present, not every Pokemon in Pokemon Go has a shiny form. Only the ones made available in one of the many ways shared above (events, raids, challenges) have a chance to appear as a shiny. Some of them don’t even have that anymore, due to the fact that their shiny sprite was only available as part of a limited-time event. However, new shinies have consistently appeared in Pokemon Go over the last two years. It’s safe to say that 2019 will have its fair share of shiny events for you to take advantage of. Even if you have no shinies in your collection at present, you could finish out the year with quite a few — if you’re vigilant!

How to Tell if a Pokemon Is Shiny

All Shiny Pokemon have a different color than their normal variant, but some have easy-to-miss distinctions. If you aren’t sure if a Pokemon is shiny or not, look for a sparkly animation when first encountering the Pokemon. If you’re still not sure, look for an icon with three diamonds next to the Pokemon’s CP on the catch screen.

To quickly browse your collection of Shiny Pokemon, simply type in the word “Shiny” into your Pokemon search.

Evolving Shiny Pokemon

Should you find yourself lucky enough to catch more than one Shiny Pokemon, consider evolving duplicates as shiny evolutions maintain their unique alternate colors. Some shiny evolutions even look wildly different from their predecessors, making evolutions an essential part of the collection mini-game.

If you aren’t interested in every color variation, consider looking up what are the coolest-looking Shiny Evolutions, targeting those for potential trades.

It’s especially important to evolve Shiny Pokemon during Community Days, as the final evolutions benefit from a unique event-only ability, making them extremely valuable for collectors.


If you’re keen on catching yourself some shiny Pokemon in Pokemon Go, take part in all of the events. And challenge Raid Bosses with shiny chances as often as possible! If you keep up with Niantic’s event schedule, you’ll find that some of the events may even end with you catching a plethora of shinies. And remember that most shiny Pokemon have immense trade value after their event ends. Not to mention they look nice with their alternate color schemes. So go out, have fun, and catch as many shiny Pokemon as you can!