Forget legendaries. The rarest Pokemon, aside from certain event Pokemon, are shiny Pokemon—as in, Pokemon with a different color scheme from that of its bretheren.
What are they? Well, we can think of 'shinies' like a palette swap (like say, the famous 'Red Gyarados' would be one—that Pokemon is typically Blue), except finding a shiny Pokemon is so uncommon that it's possible to play the Pokemon games for years and not find a single shiny.
Well, unless you know the trick for it. Provided enough patience and the right equipment, you, too can be the owner of a shiny Pokemon of your own. It's a method that has existed in Pokemon for a while now called 'chaining,' though not only has yellowfur drawn up an easy-to-understand visual guide for it, there are some new quirks on the method present in Pokemon X & Y too.
Take a look.
First, there's the prep—the items you need, what sorts of areas you should be looking for, what have you:
Then you gotta learn what types of grass you can and cannot go to:
And some X & Y specific things—this is especially relevant for those of you who have chained before. For everyone else, this'll all be new.
And some things to watch out for:
If done right, it should look a little like this:
Doesn't something like a shiny Skiddo look rad?
Of course it does. However! There are some caveats, exceptions and all that, which go along with this guide. The visual guide is mostly on-point, except that the rule of 4 and the stuff about borders isn't quite correct. If you do everything right, you can in fact step in grass next to you and in border glass—which is good news! Reddit user T3HN3RDY1 adds some more to this guide, in terms of what does and doesn't matter in your search for shinies:
What DOES matter is stepping in the correct grass. Make sure you get grass that is shaking in the same way every time. Look for the loudest, shakiest grass possible to be able to spot it more easily, and never use the grass that barely shakes. It doesn't count. Ever. It ALWAYS breaks your chain.
Speaking of the barely-shaking grass. It's hard to see sometimes. Pay CLOSE attention, never step behind sight-obstructing barriers including your head. Don't step into the grass directly above you. I've broken several chains by being an idiot, stepping straight up and realizing that it barely shook. I get a "There doesn't seem to be a pokemon here" message, and the chain is broken. I lost a chain of 32 Houndours stepping on that.
Here are some other kinks you should consider while chaining:
- Here's what to do if you get the message from your mom telling you you can't use the Pokeradar.
- What about Pokemon who show up in small patches of grass?
Sometimes if you enter a patch of grass on accident that does not fit the criteria, you may still encounter the pokemon you were chaining. In this case, you are very lucky. However, next time you may not be so lucky.
"Hey, I accidentally entered a patch of grass that had a different shaking than the one I've been using and I still found the same pokemon!" If you happen to notice when this happens (which you likely won't) you have two choices. Essentially, what has just happened is you have "reset" the type of grass your chain is associated with. This means you could continue the chain with the new grass shaking and everything is fine. However, if you're like me and cannot notice one patch as well as the other, I would suggest just resetting your chain, if it's still a pretty small chain.
After the Elite Four, you may have noticed a certain legendary bird occasionally occurring in wild grass. These guys are unaffected by repels, so many have come to believe that encountering a bird messes up your chain. THIS IS NOT TRUE, PRAISE GOOMY. The legendary bird runs away and has no effect on your chain. Zip. Nada. Zilch.
"Help! The pokemon I've been using to KO the others is out of PP!" Calm down. Using the menus for anything does not break your chain, even if you save. However, saving in the middle of a chain does nothing because when you reset your game a chain is broken."My power died!" Sorry, chain broken. Next time pay attention to the lovely notification on the bottom screen when your battery is low.
And hey! There's even a fishing chaining guide too. Since, you know...not all Pokemon are on land.
In case you think this cheapens shinies, catching shinies like this is not exactly something you can just do in a pinch—but it's actually a legit method that doesn't require cheating. That's worth something, right? And the effort required to do this means that shinies are still relatively rare—they belong to either those that randomly luck out, or those that have 'earned' them. Just know that not all shiny Pokemon look better than the original monster—you may want to look 'em up before you commit to trying to find a shiny version of something!
Now go out there and get the awesome versions of all your favorite Pokemon.
(Want the guide in written form, instead of through a visual guide? Here's an extensive write-up.)
Top image: yellowfur