Everything you need to know about square shiny Pokémon in 'Sword and Shield'

It's cool to be square. 

Pokemon Company, Nintendo, Game Freak

Pokémon Sword and Shield have been out for about a week now, and if you’re anything like us, you’ve already finished the main story and are moving on to post-game challenges, like catching legendaries and filling out your Pokédex. Since their introduction, rare, palette-swapped pocket monsters known as shiny Pokémon have been the holy grail among serious collectors. The name comes from the star-shaped sparkles they radiate when placed on the field. Finding shiny Pokémon has always been a difficult and time-consuming task. Now, with the release of Sword and Shield on Nintendo Switch, obsessive collectors have a new goal: square shinies!

Square shinies are an Ultra-Rare variant of these rare Pokémon. In terms of their color pallette, they appear essentially identical to the sparking Pokémon you’ve loved since Gen 2. However, their sparkle has quadrilateral appearance rather than the classic star. It’s subtle, but that’s what makes it rare and special. You can check out the distinctions between the two below — the square shiny is on the right.

Pokemon Company, Nintendo, Game Freak

How does one find a square shiny Pokémon?

First, a refresher on the basics of regular shiny hunting. When roaming the wild, there’s a 1 in 4,096 chance that any Pokémon encountered will be shiny. If you do meet the rare shiny Pokémon from a random encounter, there’s a 1/16 chance that shiny will have square sparkles. This means the chance of meeting a square shiny is essentially 1/65536, or what some folks call impossible. However, you can tilt the odds in your favor if you shiny chain.

The basics of shiny chaining

Shiny chaining is when you repeatedly encounter the same Pokémon in an attempt to find a shiny version. With each encounter, the likelihood that they’ll appear shiny next time increases. According to a Twitter user, meeting shiny Pokémon this way eventually increases the chance that of square sparkles to 15/16, which are much better odds.

Making shiny hunting even easier

Even with the increased odds from shiny chaining, it’s still a bit difficult to meet these alternately colored beasts. You can make things a bit easier on yourself by snagging the Shiny Charm. Once you’ve filled your Pokedex up completely, head over to the left-most hotel in Circhester City.

In one of the rooms on the second floor, you’ll come across a man in scrubs. He’ll look at your Pokedex and reward your hard work with the Shiny Charm. With this in your inventory, the chance that you’ll encounter a shiny Pokémon multiplies by three, becoming 1/1365.33. Those are much better odds if you’re having difficulty finding your favorite Pokémon in its shiny form. That should make it a lot easier for you to join the rarified group of trainers with a square shiny Pokémon.

Pokémon Sword and Shield are now available on Nintendo Switch.

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