Shiny Pokemon hunting is just as popular as ever, perhaps even more so with Pokemon Sword & Shield having the most successful launch of any Pokemon game ever. Players have dedicated hours towards soft-resetting, chain fishing, and Masuda egg breeding for the exact shiny Pokemon they’ve been dreaming of.
Unfortunately, not every Pokemon out there is capable of being shiny, especially in Pokemon Sword & Shield. Some specific Pokemon, such as box legendaries and event Pokemon, are coded to never appear as shiny, giving them the dreaded term of being “Shiny Locked.” How can you know which Pokemon to avoid spending hours soft-resetting on? Just refer to this guide for info on the main games, Isle of Armor, and The Crown Tundra.
Starter Trio & Charmander
Starting off the list is the very first Pokemon trainers receive during their journey in the Galar region. In past Pokemon games, many players would soft-reset their games to hunt for shinies of the starter Pokemon. This means restarting their game without saving to try and achieve a difficult result, such as a shiny starter.
Unfortunately, Sword and Shield’s trio of Grookey, Sobble, and Scorbunny have been programmed to never be shiny, marking the first occasion of Game Freak shiny-locking beginning-game starters. Any other Grookey, Sobble, and Scorbunny obtained through breeding has a regular chance of being shiny, just not the ones at the beginning of the game.
In addition to this, the Charmander that is gifted to players by Leon after becoming the Champion can also never be shiny, a big disappointment to fans of shiny starters everywhere.
Gigantamax Pikachu & Gigantamax Eevee
These huge hits were the stars of their own games on the Nintendo Switch, Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee! Because of their arrival before the Generation VIII games, Game Freak thought to add a reward in Sword and Shield for players who played both games. If the player has save file data for the Let’s Go games stored on their Switch, then two NPCs will appear in a certain location offering Gigantamax Pokemon as gifts.
To find these trainers, go to the Wild Area train station and find the Meetup Spot where they’ll recognize that you’ve been on a Pokemon journey before and gift you a Pikachu or Eevee, depending on which game data you have saved. While it’s amazing to see chubby Pikachu at its full glory, neither it nor Eevee is capable of being shiny, as they are specifically programmed Pokemon. They also can’t evolve, similar to the starter Pikachu and Eevee from the Let’s Go series.
Zacian, Zamazenta, and Eternatus
It’s the sad truth: the box legendaries that encouraged every player to buy Pokemon Sword and Shield cannot be shiny, at least not currently. Perhaps once Zacian and Zamazenta become obtainable through other methods, shiny hunters will rejoice, but for now it’s just not in the cards (or the code.)
This is common nowadays with box legendaries: starting with Pokemon Black and White, Pokemon such as Reshiram and Victini obtained in their game’s original manner could not be shiny. Reshiram can be obtained as a shiny through other means, such as Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire’s Mirage Spots, but Victini has never been released in any manner that allows it to be shiny, making it an “illegal” Pokemon. Other examples include X and Y’s main story Xerneas and Yveltal.
Eternatus is also another legendary Pokemon that has been shiny-locked, though hopefully future games and events will see a non-locked release/appearance of the “Gigantic Pokemon.” Players can find and catch Eternatus at the Tower Summit of the Power Plant during the main storyline.
Type: Null and Toxel
Type: Null is an interesting creature introduced in Generation VII as Gladion’s Pokemon, which players would receive as a gift after becoming the Champion. That Type: Null had the potential to be shiny, whereas the one obtainable in Sword and Shield is surprisingly shiny locked. this Type: Null is also given as a gift after becoming the Champion, but it is given instead by a Macro Cosmos employee in the Battle Tower. Truly a loss for the Sword and Shield shiny hunters out there.
Another Pokemon banned from shiny status is Toxel, which can be obtained from the Daycare on Route 5. A Pokemon Breeder located inside the Nursery will give the player a Toxel they hatched as a gift. This is great, considering Toxtricity’s Gigantamax form was released in February of 2020, but also saddening since it cannot be shiny. Luckily, there are other Toxel out there waiting to be caught.
Master Dojo Gifts
With the introduction of Sword and Shield’s first Expansion Pass, Isle of Armor, Generation VIII now has the most shiny-locked Pokemon out of any Generation. Hopefully future content in the series won’t be so restrictive as to further hinder shiny hunters and other players looking for shinies, but the Master Dojo has a few locked Pokemon available to obtain.
Bulbasaur and Squirtle: Players can choose between these two classic Kanto starters after completing Mustard’s first trial, which involves chasing down and battling extremely fast Galarian Slowpoke. They both come at level 5 and are capable of Gigantamaxing once fully evolved.
Kubfu: Once completing all of the trials Mustard gives the player, they are awarded the “secret armor”, which is actually the Pokemon Kubfu. To evolve this Kubfu, it must read the scroll at the top of the Tower of Darkness or the Tower of Waters.
Porygon: This classic Gen I Pokemon can be obtained if the player defeats Mustard at the Battle Court, which allows for Dynamax battling.
Fields of Honor Gifts
Nearby the Master Dojo, players may come across an Alolan Diglett in front of a bridge. Once encountered, the Diglett’s trainer shows up and explains his 150 Diglett have gone missing and that he needs helping finding all of them. Just like an epic Korok quest, players must hunt down 150 Diglett, and doing so will grant rewards for their efforts, specifically Alolan Pokemon. Too bad all of the Pokemon he gifts are shiny locked!
Alolan Meowth: Given as a gift after finding 5 Diglett. This Meowth is level 5 and has its Hidden Ability Rattled.
Alolan Slowpoke: Given as a gift after finding 10 Diglett. Slowpoke is level 10 and has the Hidden Ability Regenerator.
Alolan Vulpix: Given as a gift after finding 20 Diglett. Vulpix is level 5 and has its Hidden Ability Snow Warning.
Alolan Sandshrew: Given as a gift after finding 30 Diglett. This Sandshrew is level 5 and has the Hidden Ability Slush Rush
Alolan Raichu: Given as a gift after finding 40 Diglett. Comes at level 30, though no Hidden Ability.
Alolan Marowak: Given as a gift after finding 50 Diglett. Marowak comes at level 30 and has its Hidden Ability Rock Head.
Alolan Exeggutor: Given as a gift after finding 75 Diglett. Exeggutor is also level 30 and has the Hidden Ability Harvest.
Rowlet, Litten, or Popplio: Given as a gift after finding 100 Diglett. Whichever Pokemon the player receives will be level 5 and match the type of their starter (e.g. Litten and Scorbunny). They all have their Hidden Ability: Liquid Voice (Popplio), Intimidate (Litten), and Long Reach (Rowlet).
Alolan Diglett: Given as a gift after finding all 150 Diglett. This Diglett is level 20 and has the Hidden Ability Sand Force.
Crown Tundra Shiny Locked Pokemon
The Introduction of Expansion Pass The Crown Tundra brought a plethora of new content and Pokemon to catch, though it also brought shiny restrictions for 9 Pokemon, all of them being legendaries.
- Cosmog: Given as a gift by an elderly woman in Freezington after defeating either Glastrier or Spectrier.
- Poipole: Given as a gift in Max Lair after the player catches Five Ultra Beasts.
- Keldeo: a Wanderer Pokemon that has certain requirements in order to be encountered. The player must have caught Cobalion, Terrakion, and Virizion already, and must have them in their party when making curry and showing Sonia. Once Keldeo appears, players can encounter it as many times as necessary until they catch it.
Galarian Legendary Birds
Galarian forms have brought an interesting spin to many existing Pokemon, and who other than the classic Legendary Bird Trio to get a new form? Though each bird has a new design and a shiny form to go with it, it is currently impossible to obtain said shiny form(s). Truly a shame, since the shiny variants resemble their original Kanto forms and colors. They can first be seen at Dyna Tree Hill, though your Rotom phone will scare them off and turn them into roaming birds.
- Articuno: This gorgeous, violet bird can be found roaming the Crown Tundra around Frostpoint Field. When players approach Articuno, it will split into three birds, so you’ll have to pay close attention to figure out which one is the real Articuno.
- Zapdos: This striking red and black Fighting/Flying-type can be found in the Wild Area, and it’s shockingly fast. You’ll have to engage in a high-speed chase just for the chance to battle Zapdos, let alone capture it.
- Moltres: The Galarian form of Moltres is now a Dark/Flying-type, sporting an appropriately black and red color palette for the new typing. Moltres can be found on the Isle of Armor, and players have had success flying to the Master Dojo and waiting for Moltres to fly by. Once you see it, ring your bell or whistle to get its attention and prepare for battle.
Glastrier, Spectrier, and Calyrex
The three brand-new legendaries introduced in The Crown Tundra are Calyrex, Spectrier, and Glastrier, though players cannot obtain all three in one game. What actions the player takes determines which steed can be captured alongside Calyrex, though unfortunately all three are shiny locked.
Spectrier can be obtained if the player plants a Shaderoot Carrot, while Glastrier is obtainable from planting the Iceroot Carrot. These carrots come from planting the Carrot Seeds in either the Snowslide Slope’s crop plot, or the crop plot of the Old Cemetery. Carrot Seeds can be traded in with an old man in Freezington for 8 pieces of Dynite Ore.
Once the player brings the carrot to the Crown Shrine, Calyrex will appear, fused with either Glastrier or Spectrier depending on the carrot type.
NEXT: Pokémon: Every Shiny You Can Get Without Hunting
- Pokémon Sword and Shield
Hayley Mullen is a writer, composer, and gamer from Toronto. While at McMaster University, they worked as 93.3 CFMU’s Production Coordinator, as well as radio show host of Study Jams. Having played over 700 hours of Pokémon Emerald, they are a true lifetime fan of the series. When not gaming, Hayley enjoys embroidery, poetry, and reading mystery novels.
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