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Modder creates Pokemon X and Y shiny-finding machine

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

An enterprising Pokémon X/Pokémon Y player has figured out a way to automate the process of finding shiny Pokémon in the game — but it still takes some doing.

Normally, trying to seek out shiny Pokémon instead of happening upon them entails a painstaking process known as "chaining," through which players have to manually encounter Pokémon enough times in a particular area and hope to run into a shiny Pokémon eventually. But a Pokémon X/Pokémon Y player who goes by the moniker dekuNukem on Reddit realized the game provides a subtle signal of a shiny Pokémon, and the person used it to devise a shortcut of sorts.

When you begin a battle with a shiny Pokémon, the bottom screen of the 3DS stays dark for slightly longer than it does at the start of a fight with a standard Pokémon — approximately 12.6 seconds instead of around 11.4 seconds. So dekuNukem built an Arduino-based microcontroller that's soldered directly into the motherboard of the Nintendo 3DS to press the buttons required to continuously fish for Pokémon and detect how long the screen remains dark.

You can see dekuNukem's "hands-free shiny finder" in action in the video above.

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