Any number of things can serve as personal distractions in Pokémon Legends: Arceus, but one I’m sure a lot of folks will enjoy is shiny hunting. Searching out with these alternately colored pocket monsters is half the fun of these games for many hardcore fans, and Arceus offers up an interesting way to do so with its mass Pokémon outbreaks.
Despite remixing the franchise formula in several ways, Pokémon Legends: Arceus still features shiny Pokémon. The added benefit of the open-world format, with wildlife walking freely through the environments, means that you don’t need to waste time entering battles to check if Pokémon are shiny or not. They even make a unique sound when they spawn so you don’t miss them during your excursions. But what really has shiny hunters excited are mass outbreaks.
Pokémon Legends: Arceus’ mass outbreaks are unique events that, much like swarms in previous games, see large amounts of the same species appear in an area for a short period of time. Upon being alerted to an outbreak on the world map, the smart play is reportedly a repetitive process of saving in the field and seeing if you can get a shiny to appear by catching and/or defeating the outbreak species until they stop respawning.
If it doesn’t, you reset your game, briefly return to Jubilife Village (reloading again if the outbreak disappears), and head back to the area with the outbreak. In this way, you’ll refresh the Pokémon in the field, giving you several chances of finding an elusive shiny.
Of all the Pokémon Legends: Arceus mechanics that improve your chances of seeing a shiny, outbreaks provide the biggest boon. As noted below by Pokémon scientist Anubis, shiny appearance rates improve dramatically during mass outbreaks. And that only compounds as you fill out your Pokédex and equip the shiny charm, which the game rewards after reaching research level 10 for every Pokémon.
Oh, and once a shiny appears, you’ll want to immediately go into settings, turn off auto-save, and save manually just in case it runs or you knock it out. The rare Pokémon will still be waiting for you on reload. There have also been claims of shinies up and disappearing for no discernible reason, so better to be safe than sorry.
Shiny Pokémon were first introduced in 2000’s Pokémon Gold and Silver as ultra-rare variations to Pokémon species’ typical color schemes. This was long before the concept of regional forms or even gender differences altered the appearances of Pokémon, providing a new layer to the “catch ‘em all” mentality promoted as the franchise’s tagline. No longer was completely filling out a Pokédex enough; players were now desperate to obtain a full catalogue of shiny Pokémon as well, which was easier said than done.
The odds of encountering a shiny Pokémon differ from game to game. Casual players could expect to run into one of these rare monsters once out of every 8,192 random Pokémon encounters from Generation II (Gold and Silver) to Generation V (Black and White). Starting with Generation VI (X and Y) the ratio improved to 1:4,096. That said, techniques like the Masuda method and chaining are employed by dedicated hunters more often than not to make finding shiny Pokémon less reliant on luck.
As folks are still experimenting with the feature, it may be some time until we get a clear picture of the perfect sequence or technique to maximize shiny chances. But at the moment, mass outbreaks seem to be far and away the best method to ensure you find these rare Pokémon in a timely manner. Well, apart from guaranteed appearances like the shiny Ponyta, of course. Happy hunting!