The latest batch of Pokémon games, Let’s Go, Pikachu and Eevee, are offering players the easiest and best opportunity to catch elusive Shiny Pokémon, but even at that, it’s not easy. How can players increase the odds?

Shiny Pokémon have been an odd phenomenon in the Pokémon games ever since Gold and Silver launched in 1999 in Japan (and a year later in America). The term was coined by fans to indicate a special — and incredibly rare — type of Pokémon that offers great stats and an alternate color scheme. In rare encounters, a Pokémon might spawn with a sparkling sound effect and special animation (hence the “Shiny” title).

Some players might go their whole lives without encountering one by accident, as the base rate used to be 1 in every 8192 until the frequency was doubled for Generation VI and VII. But with the Catch Combo mechanic in Let’s Go, and an item called the Shiny Charm, it’s easier than ever to shift the odds in your favor.

'Pokemon: Let's Go' Shiny Zubat
That creepy green Zubat is a super-rare Shiny.

The Shiny Charm

For any players that really want to optimize their hunt for Shinies, the quest is best left for the end-game after they can acquire the Shiny Charm. Here’s how to get one for yourself.

After you complete your Pokedex by capturing all 150 Pokémon, including Mewtwo, the Game Director in Celadon City will give you the Shiny Charm, which increases the odds of encountering a Shiny from 1 in 4,096 to 1 in 1,365 — making the odds at least three times more likely.

Sadly, because you have to catch Mewtwo first, that means you also have to beat the Elite Four and clear out Cerulean Cave. So the Shiny hunt is one of the final possible things to do in the game.

Catch Combos

Alternatively, you could attempt to use the Catch Combo tactic, but it’s best to use both of these strategies in conjunction.

In Let’s Go catching the same species of Pokémon over and over again builds up what’s called a Catch Combo. Doing so increases experience gains for each successive capture, gradually increases the odds of catching rarer Pokémon, makes it more likely to catch a monster with optimal IVs. As an added bonus, it also increase the likelihood of a Shiny Pokémon showing up.

'Pokemon: Let's Go' Catch Combo
This measly Catch Combo of two Spearow isn't worth much, but it's the beginning of something much greater.

There’s no real limit to how high a Catch Combo can go as long as you keep catching the same species of Pokémon. If you want a Shiny Bulbasaur, for instance, you could go to Viridian Forest and catch 100 Caterpie, deftly avoiding any Butterfree, Pikachu, etc. that mill around the area. Eventually, a Shiny Bulbasaur might spawn, and because it’s easy to tell by the alternate coloration, all players would need to do is catch it. If you do accidentally begin an encounter with a Pokémon that might interrupt a Catch Combo just run away.

Even with these bonuses, catching a Shiny is going to take a lot of time and dedication, so it isn’t for the faint of heart. Then again, no one ever said being the very best would be easy.

Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu and Eevee is now available for the Nintendo Switch.


Related video: Watch Ryan Reynolds voice a fuzzy Pikachu in the ‘Detective Pikachu’ trailer.

"PIKA PIKA!"