clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

A definitive guide to shiny hunting in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet

How to make shiny sandwiches, use mass outbreaks, and breed with the Masuda method

Shiny Girafarig, Scream Tail, Zangoose, Jumpluff, and Tinkatuff gather around for a picnic Image: Game Freak/The Pokémon Company, Nintendo via Polygon

Hunting shiny Pokémon has gotten easier over Pokémon generations, and Pokémon Scarlet and Violet make it the easiest it’s ever been.

While the rate at which shiny Pokémon appear is initially very low, using things like the Shiny Charm, shiny sandwiches, or the Masuda method (which involves using foreign Pokémon to breed) will help you snag your desired shiny in no time. Using the catching methods below, we’ve been able to find shiny Pokémon in less than 30 minutes.

If you’re new to shiny hunting, we list out the best methods to do this below, including using Mass Outbreaks, picnics, shiny sandwiches, and breeding.


Shiny Rates

The base rate for finding a shiny Pokémon is 1/4096, which is miniscule. However, with sandwiches, the Shiny Charm, and Mass Outbreaks, the chances rise dramatically:

  • Base shiny rate: 1/4086
  • Shiny rate with Shiny Charm: 1/1365.67
  • Mass Outbreak rate (after defeating at least 60 Pokémon): 1/1365.67
  • Mass Outbreak rate (after 60 Pokémon) with Shiny Charm: 1/819.6
  • Shiny rate with Lv. 3 Sparkling Power sandwich: 1/1024.38
  • Mass Outbreak rate (after 60 Pokémon) with Lv. 3 Sparkling Power sandwich: 1/683.08
  • Mass Outbreak rate (after 60 Pokémon) with Shiny Charm and Lv. 3 Sparkling Power sandwich: 1/512.44
  • Shiny rate when breeding with Masuda method: 1/682.6
  • Shiny rate when breeding with Masuda method and Shiny Charm: 1/512.44

If you put in the effort to grab Herba Mystica from raids (to make Sparkling Power sandwiches) and get the Shiny Charm, you will end up with lots of shiny Pokémon.


How to get the Shiny Charm

To get the Shiny Charm, you have to complete the Pokédex, which means you have to have at least one of each of the 400 Pokémon of Paldea in your possession at one point (trading Pokémon back and forth between players is fine). Some regional Pokémon that are obtainable in Scarlet and Violet don’t count toward the Pokédex, such as Charmander, Quagsire, or Perrserker.

Once you complete your Pokédex, you can talk to Jacq in the biology room of your respective academy to get the charm.

A Pokémon trainer claims a Shiny Charm from Jacq Image: Game Freak/The Pokémon Company, Nintendo via Polygon

Completing the Pokédex isn’t too bad, as you can catch most Pokémon — even evolutions — in the wild. You can also get version-exclusive Pokémon fairly easily using specific trade link codes (though this method requires Nintendo Switch Online).


Shiny sandwich recipes

If you’re trying to find shiny Pokémon in the wild, using sandwiches is a must. You’ll need Herba Mystica, which you can only get from high-level raids. Using specific ingredients in “Creative Mode,” you can make sandwiches that both boost the encounter rate and the shiny rate to find specific types of Pokémon.

There are two types of recipes we recommend using for shiny hunting:

One set (which we’ll refer to as the “simple recipe”) uses specific Herba Mystica (mostly Salty), so if you have lots of Herba Mystica, then you can use these recipes to make the sandwiches quickly without fear of the sandwich tipping over or losing ingredients.

The second set (which we’ll refer to as the “complex recipe”) uses almost any Herba Mystica, so if you don’t have many, you can use these recipes. That said, this set of recipes has lots of ingredients inside, so it’s easy to make a mistake while building if you’re not careful.

You can also make these recipes with friends in a Union Circle to share the buff. Once you make the sandwich, everyone will have the buff, so it’s a great way to minimize Herba Mystica usage. We recommend disbanding the Union Circle after making the sandwich (which won’t remove the buff) in order to maximize Pokémon spawns.

Regardless of which sandwich recipe you use, make sure to save before you make the sandwich. This way, you can just restart your game if you mess up or if you don’t find your desired shiny Pokémon.

Minimizing your game by pressing the Nintendo Switch home button does pause the time on the sandwich powers, but closing or restarting the game will make the effects of any active sandwich end immediately, which is why you should save before you make the sandwich. You can check how much time you have left on the sandwich by pressing right on the D-pad.

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet Sparkling Power sandwich recipe list

Recipe type Pokémon type Base ingredients Specific ingredients Herba Mystica
Recipe type Pokémon type Base ingredients Specific ingredients Herba Mystica
Complex Normal One cucumber and one pickle Three tofu Any two except one Sweet and one Sour, two Sweet, or two Sour
Complex Fire One cucumber and one pickle Three red peppers Any two except one Sweet and one Sour
Complex Water One cucumber and one pickle Three cucumbers Any except one Sweet and one Sour or two Sweet
Complex Electric One cucumber and one pickle Three yellow peppers Any two except one Sweet and one Sour
Complex Grass One cucumber and one pickle Three lettuce Any two except one Sweet and one Sour
Complex Ice One cucumber and one pickle Three Klawf sticks Any two except one Sweet and one Sour or two Sour
Complex Fighting One cucumber and one pickle Three pickles Any except one Sweet and one Sour or two Sweet
Complex Poison One cucumber and one pickle Three green peppers Any two except one Sweet and one Sour
Complex Ground One cucumber and one pickle Three ham Any two except one Sweet and one Sour
Complex Flying One cucumber and one pickle Three prosciutto Any two except one Sweet and one Sour
Complex Psychic One cucumber and one pickle Three onions Any two except one Sweet and one Sour
Complex Bug One cucumber and one pickle Three cherry tomatoes Any two except one Sweet and one Sour, two Sweet, or two Sour
Complex Rock One cucumber and one pickle Three bacon Any two except one Sweet and one Sour
Complex Ghost One cucumber and one pickle Three red onions Any two except one Sweet and one Sour or two Sour
Complex Dragon One cucumber and one pickle Three avocados Any two except one Sweet and one Sour, two Sweet, or two Sour
Complex Dark One cucumber and one pickle Three smoked fillets Any two except one Sweet and one Sour
Complex Steel One cucumber and one pickle Three hamburgers Any two except one Sweet and one Sour
Complex Fairy One cucumber and one pickle Three tomatoes Any two except one Sweet and one Sour, two Sweet, or two Sour
Simple Normal - One chorizo Two Salty
Simple Fire - One basil One Salty and one Sweet
Simple Water - One cucumber Two Salty
Simple Electric - One yellow pepper One Salty and one Spicy
Simple Grass - One lettuce One Salty and one Sour
Simple Ice - One Klawf stick Two Salty
Simple Fighting - One pickle Two Salty
Simple Poison - One noodle Two Salty
Simple Ground - One ham Two Salty
Simple Flying - One prosciutto Two Salty
Simple Psychic - One onion Two Salty
Simple Bug - One cherry tomato Two Salty
Simple Rock - One jalepeno Two Salty
Simple Ghost - One red onion Two Salty
Simple Dragon - One avocado Two Salty
Simple Dark - One smoked fillet One Salty and one Sweet
Simple Steel - One hamburger One Salty and one Sweet
Simple Fairy - One tomato Two Salty
Complex recipes courtesy of tak2525tak/Twitter and simple recipes courtesy of I_Kissed_Cereal/reddit

How to find a shiny Pokémon using Mass Outbreaks

Shiny hunting in Mass Outbreaks is advisable (if you have an outbreak of interest) as shiny rates are higher. To do so, you’ll need to do the following.

  1. Find the Mass Outbreak that you want to shiny hunt. (You can change the date on your Nintendo Switch to get a different set of outbreaks. They also change at midnight.)
  2. Save your game in case something goes wrong.
  3. Defeat 60 of the mass outbreak Pokémon. There is no way to 100% track this in game, so you’ll need to manually count and keep tabs on it. There will be messages that note that the number of Pokémon in the outbreak is decreasing every 20-30 Pokémon defeated, so you can use this to help keep track. When it says the number of Pokémon is “definitely getting lower,” that means you’ve knocked out at least 50 Pokémon. Be careful not to overhunt the Pokémon, as this can cause the outbreak to end. This typically requires you to defeat over 100 of the Pokémon. (Restart your game if this happens.) Note that this is not a “chain” as used in previous Pokémon games. You can battle other Pokémon between the 60, run from battles, leave the outbreak and come back, etc. There is no “chain” to break.
  4. Save your game again once you’re sure you’ve defeated at least 60.
  5. If you have Herba Mystica, make a sandwich for the outbreak Pokémon’s type using the recipes above. Rates are quite high even without the Sparkling Power sandwich, so don’t stress if you don’t have any Herba Mystica.
  6. Run in and out of the outbreak area to despawn and respawn the Pokémon, refreshing for shinies. If you’re hunting for a Pokémon where it’s hard to tell if it’s shiny, you can use the auto-battle feature, as your Pokémon will refuse to fight the wild Pokémon if it’s shiny.
  7. If the outbreak ends (from accidentally defeating too many) or if your 30-minute sandwich window expires, close your game and repeat steps 5-7 until you get your desired shiny.

If the Pokémon is in a place where it’s convenient to set up a picnic, you can set up and then quickly take down a picnic to despawn and respawn all the Pokémon in the area, allowing you to quickly look for shinies. This method is referred to as the “picnic method,” but it obviously doesn’t work in water or on some inconveniently steep cliff sides.

Nearly every Pokémon can have an outbreak (excluding legendary Pokémon and Paradox Pokémon) according to Serebii.net. However, we noticed that some Mass Outbreaks seemed to be more common than others. For example, we’ve never seen a Zangoose or Mareep outbreak, but we’ve seen tons of Flittle and Drifloon outbreaks.

If you don’t want to wait for an outbreak of your target Pokémon, you can try the method below (which we’ve had tons of success with).


How to find a shiny Pokémon in the wild (without Mass Outbreaks)

This method is almost the same as the above method, just without the Mass Outbreak. You need to make a sandwich for this method.

  1. Find an area with your desired Pokémon. It’s best if your Pokémon has a unique type in this area. For example, shiny hunting Klawf (a rock-type) in the rocky canyon area may be hard because there are other rock-type Pokémon in the area. Finding an effective spawn location is not possible for every single Pokémon, but do your best.
  2. Save your game.
  3. Make a sandwich that attracts and increases the shiny rate of your desired Pokémon’s type using the recipes above.
  4. Either auto battle the target Pokémon or despawn/respawn them (by using picnics or by just leaving and reentering the area) until you find your desired shiny.
  5. If you do not find your shiny within the 30-minute sandwich period, restart your game.

This method is a bit easier depending on the Pokémon, as you don’t have to worry about the Mass Outbreak going away and you’re a bit more free to choose whatever Pokémon you want. This method will also work on Paradox Pokémon, but you’ll need to make the sandwich before heading to Area Zero.

However, this method can still be cumbersome depending on the area. For example, shiny hunting Finizen in the ocean can be a pain, as it’s only water-type, and using a water-type sandwich will boost the appearance of many other Pokémon in the ocean as well. (Also, our frame rates consistently tank while in water, so it makes shiny hunting in the water extremely unpleasant.) If you don’t want to deal with that, you can always try to breed a shiny Pokémon.


How to breed a shiny Pokémon

The “Masuda method” is a shiny breeding technique that involves breeding a foreign Pokémon with your own. This means that the Pokémon comes from a game that uses a different language, which it will say on its profile as seen below.

A Ditto’s summary screen. It says “JPN” by the Ditto’s name to note it is from Japan. Image: Game Freak/The Pokémon Company, Nintendo via Polygon

The best way to use the Masuda method is to grab a foreign Ditto, which you can do somewhat quickly by using the link trade code 4448-4448. There are lots of English speakers searching for foreign Ditto, so it may take a few tries before you get a non-English Ditto. You can try trading late at night or early in the morning, depending on your time zone, when players in other countries may be more available in order to get a non-English Ditto faster.

Once you have the foreign Ditto, all you need to do is breed the target Pokémon with the Ditto. However, to avoid having hundreds of dud eggs, we specifically do the following:

  1. Set up your party to only have your desired shiny Pokémon and the foreign Ditto.
  2. Head somewhere that’s easy to travel around. Medali is good, as we haven’t experienced too many frame-rate drops there and it’s nice and flat.
  3. Open your boxes and find a completely empty box. Close your boxes with the empty box selected. (This will be where your eggs will go.)
  4. Save your game.
  5. Open a picnic.
  6. Make any Egg Power sandwich. We normally use the Great Peanut Butter Sandwich (#17).
  7. Wait by the picnic basket at the end of the table.
  8. Check on it periodically until you have 30 eggs total. Once the basket has 10 eggs, it won’t get any more, so make sure to clear it out.
  9. Take the Ditto and Pokémon out of your party and replace them with a Pokémon that knows Flame Body (which hatches eggs faster). We use Talonflame.
  10. Use the minus button to select an entire column of five eggs at once and put them in your party.
  11. Run around until all five eggs hatch.
  12. If you did not get a shiny Pokémon, repeat step 10 until you hatch all 30 eggs.
  13. If you still did not get a shiny, restart your game and start again from step 5. If you don’t mind having lots of Pokémon to release or trade, you can just start again without restarting your game.

Whether or not an egg will hatch into a shiny Pokémon is decided when the egg is created, not when it is hatched, so you need to make sure to create 30 new eggs, rather than saving and hatching the same 30 eggs.

We found that it took almost exactly 30 minutes to breed 30 Wooper eggs and hatch all of them, allowing us to use the Egg Power from the sandwich to both decrease the time it takes for egg creation (lol) and egg hatching. However, Pokémon that require more steps to hatch, like Bagon or Goomy, may take longer and may require multiple sandwiches.

Note that if you want specific stats, natures, or other things like that on your bred Pokémon, you’ll need to take some other measures. Check out our breeding guide for more specific information there.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Patch Notes

A weekly roundup of the best things from Polygon