The well-received Water Festival in Pokémon GO brought with it drastically increased rates of rare Water Pokémon spawning out on the Augmented Reality streets, and though spawn rates have fallen back down at the festival’s conclusion, that latest game update low-key introduced something else into the game: Shiny Pokémon. With it comes the opportunity to get yourself a fan favorite Red Gyarados.
In traditional Pokémon games, Shiny Pokémon are ultra-rare color variants of any and all Pokémon with no differences beyond the cosmetic. Some variations are subtle, but in cases like Red Gyarados, the entire main color of the Pokémon changes. You’ll encounter a catchable Shiny Red Gyarados as part of the story in Generation II Pokémon games, so it makes sense that Pokémon GO would lump Red Gyarados in with the recently added Johto Pokémon. But the odds of encountering a Shiny version of Gyarados in the wild of most games happens in one out of every 8,192 Gyarados encounters … which are exceedingly rare to begin with. During the Water Festival, developer Niantic put out a PSA notifying players that Shiny Pokémon had indeed been introduced to the game, and they followed it up a few days later with a helpful hint on Twitter:
So how can you get your hands on a Shiny Gyarados? The short answer isn’t exciting: You’ll have to go out there and find yourself a Shiny Magikarp, and the odds are pretty slim, especially now that the Water Festival is over. On the plus side, Shiny Magikarp were definitely not exclusive to the Water Festival:
In theory, it should be possible to find a Shiny Gyarados in the wild as well, but among the millions of people playing, nobody thus far has reported finding one, so it might not even be possible. In fact, it seems like Shiny Magikarp might be the only catchable Shiny currently in Pokémon GO. That leaves finding a Shiny Magikarp as your only option. And whereas the difference between a regular and a Shiny Gyarados is glaring with the shift from ocean blue to bright red, Shiny versions of Magikarp are a bit more subtle, so you have to know what to look for.
You’ll notice that a traditional Magikarp is a burnt orange hue whereas the Shiny is more golden-colored. Maximize your time by catching every single Magikarp you can find, because you’re going to need a whopping 400 Magikarp Candies just to evolve it. Be sure to make good use of the tracking mechanic while you’re out there. So it’s time to get catchin’.