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Pokémon Legends: Arceus players already perfecting the art of shiny hunting

Looking for shiny Pokémon? Try this

Nicole Carpenter is a senior reporter specializing in investigative features about labor issues in the game industry, as well as the business and culture of games.

Pokémon Legends: Arceus has been out for less than 24 hours, and players have already started dissecting the art of the shiny hunt. Of course, some players have had more than a few hours to check out the game — Pokémon Legends: Arceus leaked last week, and early adopters have been pulling the game apart since.

Shiny Pokémon are rare iterations on Pokémon that spawn in the world. They’re rare — if you’re not looking for them, you might not ever spot one. Shiny Pokémon have the same stats as the regular counterparts, but they come in unique colors: like a Gyarados that’s red instead of blue, or a Chancey that’s light yellow. Players have been searching for shinies for years, but Pokémon Legends: Arceus is a fundamentally different game than the mainline series. And that means there are new methods for shiny hunting.

Pokémon Legends: Arceus has an in-world event called Mass Outbreaks: Basically, they’re relatively large clusters of the same Pokémon. Earlier last week, players on Reddit began speculating that this is a good way to shiny hunt, pointing to an NPC interaction: “I could’ve sworn one of the Pokémon in that mass outbreak was a different color from the others ...” In Mass Outbreaks, shiny Pokémon rates are upped, which make them ideal for hunting.

From there, players started experimenting. Two days ahead of Pokémon Legends: Arceus release, Reddit user Pat-Man15 posted a method designed to exploit the Mass Outbreak feature to look for shinies. The steps basically allow players to “chain” together outbreaks using fast travel and saves from the village and outbreak locations. The steps are outlined on Reddit, but some users have created videos detailing the method.

YouTube creator PhillyBeatzU uploaded a video Thursday describing his three preferred methods of shiny Mass Outbreak hunting. The 21-minute video shows all the steps, with demonstrations.

“The biggest takeaway that I would recommend before heading into shiny hunting is to learn about the behavior of the Pokémon they are planning to hunt,” PhillyBeatzU told Polygon. “Knowing if the Pokémon will attack, runaway, or not react at all to you will help you prepare to bring the right items to each Mass Outbreak.”

Polygon hasn’t independently confirmed that this method works, but there seems to be ample evidence of it working for people on social media, on YouTube, and across Reddit. If you want stats on shiny rates, the internet’s got that for you, too.