Pokemon Legends: Arceus – Everything You Need To Know About Shiny Hunting
Pokemon Legends: Arceus takes Pokemon trainers on an unexpected journey through time, all the way to the ancient region of Hisui. With many adventures to face and mysteries to uncover, there is no end to the fun you will find at exploring, capturing, and combating across these vast lands.
While you can find common, legendary, and mythical Pokemon in this game, a separate category is the incredibly rare shiny Pokemon, different-colored versions of your usual pocket monsters that you can find roaming around in the wilderness if you're lucky enough.
Updated March 25, 2022: With the Daybreak update bringing massive mass outbreaks to the game, as well as making some changes to existing methods of shiny hunting in Pokemon Legends: Arceus, we've updated this guide to keep you in the know on all the best ways to catch shinies.
What Is A Shiny Pokemon?
Shiny Pokemon are differently-colored variants that you can find very, very rarely in the wild. Initially introduced in the Gold and Silver games, their rate of appearance was so ridiculously low that, back in the day, obtaining one was an immense feat worth flexing in the face of all your friends and also meant that you were either incredibly lucky or inhumanely persistent.
Across the decades and after many generations of Pokemon games, several changes in the overall quality of life were recently introduced to acquire a shiny pokemon at least a bit more accessible for trainers. From breeding pokemon belonging to different regions to unlocking the prized Shiny Charm, these changes mean there's no better time than this to obtain these rare pokemon, and Pokemon Legends: Arceus takes things even further with the various outbreaks across the region of Hisui.
How To Find Shiny Pokemon In Pokemon Legends: Arceus
The base shiny rate in Pokemon Legends: Arceus is one in 4096, the same as it's been since Gen 6. This means that any given Pokemon spawn has around a 0.02 percent chance of being shiny. Shiny Pokemon are still therefore incredibly rare, but not as much as you might think. This game sees the return of overworld shinies from the Let's Go games, meaning that a shiny Pokemon will appear shiny before you even enter an encounter with it, making it easier to spot a shiny when one spawns in.
Furthermore, PLA features an audio cue for a shiny spawn. It sounds similar to the "research completed" noise, and if you hear it the best thing to do is save your game and start looking for the shiny. Saving your game is another great quality of life feature in PLA – if you accidentally knock the shiny out, or it flees, you can simply load the save and it'll be there again. Very little can make a shiny go away – you're free to fast travel around the area or even get knocked out. Just don't sleep or return to Jubilife.
The final major advantage PLA has in terms of how often you'll stumble across a shiny is sheer numbers. While the Let's Go games featured the same overworld shinies at the same odds as PLA, the newer game loads several times the number of Pokemon. Because of this, you see far greater numbers of Pokemon in the same amount of time, meaning that in spite of the longer despawn time, the average time to encounter a shiny is much, much lower – an hour of travelling an area on a ride Pokemon will probably net you a shiny or two.
How Does Pokemon Spawning Work In Pokemon Legends: Arceus?
This seems like as good a time as any to address PLA's unique system for handling Pokemon spawns. While previous games with overworld spawns – namely Sword & Shield and Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl – would simply pop Pokemon in and out of existence at random, things in PLA are a little more complex.
Whenever you enter an area, the game generates a "seed" for that area. This determines the exact Pokemon that will spawn in every spawn location – their species, gender, size, and crucially, shininess. However, the seed generates more than just the Pokemon that spawn in straight away.
In addition to this initial batch, the seed comes up with a "queue" of Pokemon that will take the spawning spaces as they're freed up. Spawning spaces can be freed up by catching or knocking out Pokemon, nightfall causing daytime spawns to despawn to make room for ghost-types, or simply waiting for Pokemon to despawn naturally. The despawn timer in PLA is incredibly slow, however, so don't stress about a shiny despawning, and if you're trying to clear out spawning spaces, KOing wild Pokemon will be a far more efficient method.
There are two remaining parts of the spawning puzzle. The first is sleeping, which does change the wild Pokemon, but not in the way you might think. Instead of generating a new seed, sleeping jumps the line, despawning some existing wild Pokemon and filling their spaces with those further down the queue. This means that you can use sleeping to change the Pokemon you're seeing, but it's not perfect as it doesn't cleanly reset everything.
This is where returning to Jubilife Village comes in. By returning to Jubilife and then travelling back to the area you were in, you generate a new seed and a completely new set of Pokemon spawns. This is therefore the best way to get new Pokemon after you've completed a scan of the area.
Essentially, if you just care about getting a shiny, and don't care about it being a specific Pokemon, the best way to go about it is to pick an area, travel around that area, check every Pokemon you want to, and then travel back to Jubilife to reset the seed before repeating the process. With how many Pokemon you see in PLA, this should yield shinies pretty quickly.
How To Increase Shiny Odds In Pokemon Legends: Arceus
In addition to PLA being a generally easier game to find shinies in, there are a couple of things you can do to passively boost your odds of getting a shiny spawn while you hunt:
The main aim of Pokemon Legends: Arceus is to complete the Pokedex, and while unlocking the game's ending only requires you to catch an example of every species of Pokemon, each species' Pokedex page has levels you can unlock by completing further research tasks. A page is considered "complete" when it hits level ten, and if you really want to go above and beyond and complete every single task, the page is considered "perfect".
Each of these levels of completion comes with a bonus for your shiny odds – a level ten dex page will get you one extra shiny roll for that species, while a perfect one will give you three extra rolls. We'll be crunching all the numbers nice and clearly at the end of this guide, so don't worry about figuring out how everything combines and compares!
The Shiny Charm
If you achieve a research level of ten on every single Pokemon in the game, Captain Cyllene will reward you with the Shiny Charm, a mainstay of the franchise for shiny hunters since Black 2 and White 2. This key item further boosts shiny odds from the minute you pick it up. It's another three rolls on top of the one you'll already be getting from having level ten research in everything.
What Shiny Hunting Methods Are In Pokemon Legends: Arceus?
There are two main methods of hunting shinies in Pokemon Legends: Arceus, although one of them doesn't quite work anymore due to changes made by the Daybreak update.
Mass outbreaks show up on the map as you leave Jubilife Village, and are clusters of four Pokemon of a certain species that appear on the map. As you catch or KO the Pokemon, more will spawn in, until you've seen a total of around 12-16.
Mass outbreak Pokemon have a whopping 25 extra shiny rolls, meaning that if you see one for a Pokemon whose shiny you're interested in, you're in luck, as they're by far the best chance you have at catching a shiny in PLA.
It used to be possible to repeatedly visit an outbreak until you find a shiny by saving, but this feature was removed in the Daybreak update. Now, if you try returning to Jubilife while the outbreak is still active, it will simply change or disappear when you go to leave Jubilife. All you can do is clear out the mass outbreak while you're there and hope that your 12-16 Pokemon include a shiny.
Mass outbreaks operate on a seed system too, although it's slightly different from that of regular Pokemon spawns. The seed is generated as soon as the game decides the outbreak will occur, meaning that if you were to save before travelling to the area with the outbreak, clear out the horde, then load the save and do it all again, you'd just be seeing the exact same Pokemon, meaning you can't shiny hunt by resetting on the same horde.
Massive Mass Outbreaks
The big brother of regular mass outbreaks, massive mass outbreaks were introduced in the Daybreak update and spawn numerous hordes around the map – roughly 15 or so separate hordes in total. Each of these hordes individually functions like that of a regular mass outbreak, but when you finish clearing one out by catching or KOing all its Pokemon, there is a chance for a second horde to spawn, which can consist of fully evolved versions of the original species, or even alphas. Some of the hordes within a massive mass outbreak are even guaranteed to produce a second horde, indicated by a sparkle symbol next to their icon on the map.
Massive mass outbreaks are seeded the same way as regular mass outbreaks, meaning you can't reset before travelling to the area to see different Pokemon in the hordes. However, the aforementioned secondary hordes work a bit differently. These are determined by what happened to the Pokemon of the first horde, meaning that you can see different Pokemon in your secondary horde depending on how many Pokemon you caught or knocked out in the first horde.
It's a viable hunting method to save before encountering the primary horde, and with each reset try different combinations of catching and knocking out the Pokemon it contains.
Each permutation of how you handle the initial horde will give you a different secondary horde, giving you plenty of chances to see an exciting shiny Pokemon. Massive mass outbreaks give 12 extra shiny rolls, which, while not as generous as regular mass outbreaks, is still a fantastic boost to the odds, so you should be catching some awesome shinies in no time!
Pokemon Legends: Arceus Shiny Odds
As you've no doubt picked up from this guide, Pokemon Legends: Arceus features numerous ways to change your shiny odds, many of which can be combined to stack their effectiveness. To save you doing the maths yourself, you can refer to this handy table to work out exactly what your odds should be for any given scenario. All that's left to do is pick a method of hunting you like the sound of, and go catch yourself some shinies!
|Passive Odds Boost||Regular Spawns||Mass Outbreaks||Massive Mass Outbreaks|
|None||1 in 4096||1 in 158||1 in 316|
|Level 10 Dex research for that species||1 in 2048||1 in 153||1 in 293|
|Perfect Dex research for that species||1 in 1024||1 in 141||1 in 256|
|Level 10 Dex research AND Shiny Charm||1 in 820||1 in 137||1 in 241|
|Perfect Dex Research AND Shiny Charm||1 in 586||1 in 128||1 in 216|
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