Pokemon Sun and Moon Guide: How to Get Shiny Starter Pokemon


Pokemon Sun and Moon players can start the game off with a shiny Rowlet, Litten, or Popplio starter; but the task is going to take some serious grinding.

Pokemon Sun and Moon have been out for a few days now and 3DS players all over the world are exploring the tall grasses of the Alola region to find a whole new batch of Pokemon. As always, the game features special, rare shiny Pokemon to make the trainer's team stand out, but capturing one of those takes a lot of luck and patience. For trainers who are addicted to shiny Pokemon, Sun and Moon also offers an opportunity to begin the game with a shiny starter. It's going to take some work though...

A few minutes into the game's opening storyline, the player is offered the choice to select a starter Pokemon to be their primary companion on the journey through the Alola region. This choice is a staple of the Pokemon franchise and these three Pokemon cannot be found in the game outside of this decision point. This means that trainers will not have the chance to find a shiny Rowlet, Litten, or Popplio out in the wild and will need to obtain a shiny during this encounter if they really want one. Fair warning, this trick does not guarantee success and can take hundreds of hours to actually deliver a shiny. The odds are not in the player's favor, so this task is only for the extremely hardcore. Here is how to make that happen...

First, players need to save the game after the bridge encounter with their Tapu Koko guardian Pokémon, but before talking to Lillie. Starting the conversation with Lillie will trigger the cutscene that allows the player to select their starting Pokemon. Because players will need to live that moment over and over again until they successfully obtain a shiny, this is the best save point. Once that save has been made, get ready for some déjà vu...


There is about a one out of 4,096 chance of encountering a shiny Pokemon and that chance exists in the starting choice as well. This means that players can enter the starting Pokemon cutscene, see if the Pokemon they want is shiny, and then reboot if not and try again. If it sounds like a lot of work, that's because it is. Keep in mind that the Pokemon won't look shiny in the cutscene, so players need to actually select the Pokemon to see if it is shiny or not. If the player lucks out and the Pokemon is shiny, then carry on with the game. If the Pokemon isn't shiny after selecting it, then it's time for a soft reboot and another attempt.

3DS users can perform a soft-reset by holding the L and R buttons and pressing the Start or Select button. This trick reboots the game, but bypasses all of the boot up times and opening screens that would slow the process down. Players can speed things up even more by entering the settings and increasing the text speed to fast. After that, players just need to hammer the A button to fly through text and rinse and repeat this process. Some users have reported that this took about 24 hours of in-game time, but there is always the chance that you'll get lucky and it will be faster... Though there's also the chance you'll be unlucky and it will take much longer.

This task is clearly for the hardcore only, so we don't recommend it unless you are a shiny-addict and need to have the coolest team to show off to other players. Sun and Moon (which we loved) are both full of amazing adventures, so playing through the actual game before trapping yourself in this loop is highly recommended. For those who now plan to attempt this crazy grind, best of luck and godspeed!

What do you think of this approach to getting a shiny? Are you crazy enough to try it? Let us know in the comments.

Pokemon Sun and Moon are available now for 3DS.

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