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 dreamed 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 never to 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 a straightforward rundown of all shiny locked Pokemon in Sword and Shield.
Updated on May 5th, 2022, by Kim Dailey: With the inclusion of the Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra Expansion Passes, Pokemon Sword and Shield hold the most significant number of shiny-locked Pokemon out of any Generation. Not to mention many of the legendaries and other "illegal" shinies that may be ported in from Pokemon Home. With such a long list of shiny restrictions, we have revisited this article to better highlight each shiny-locked Pokemon and ensure you're not wasting any extra time shiny hunting where there are none to be found.
The Galarian Starters
Starting off the list is the very first Pokemon trainers receive during their journey in the Galar region. Many players would soft-reset their games to hunt for shinies of the starter Pokemon in past Pokemon games. 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 never to be shiny, marking the first occasion of Game Freak shiny-locking beginning-game starters. Any other Grookey, Sobble, and Scorbunny obtained through breeding have a regular chance of being shiny, just not the ones obtained from Leon in the player's hometown of Postwick at the beginning of the game.
Leon's Gift Charmander
Another specific exclusion from the shiny pool is the Charmander gifted to players by Leon upon returning to Postwick after becoming the new Champion. This comes as a big disappointment to fans of shiny starters everywhere. Still, just because Leon's gift Charmander is shiny-locked doesn't mean a similar loophole to breeding for shiny Galarian starters couldn't prove fruitful.
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.
The Type: Null in Sword and Shield 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.
The Daycare's Baby Toxel Gift
Another Pokemon banned from shiny status is the Toxel 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.
Gigantamax Pikachu & Gigantamax Eevee
These huge hits were the stars of their 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 a save file 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 chunky Pikachu at its full glory, neither Gigantimax-capable fan favorite is capable of being shiny, as they are specifically programmed Pokemon. They also can't evolve, in keeping with the starter Pikachu and Eevee from the Let's Go series.
|Zacian/ Zamazenta||It's the sad truth: the box legendaries, Zacian and Zamazenta that encouraged every player to buy Pokemon Sword and Shield cannot be shiny, at least not currently. Perhaps once they become obtainable through other methods, shiny hunters will rejoice. But for now, it's just not in the cards (or the code.)|
|Dialga/ Palkia||Sinnoh legendaries, Dialga and Palkia are available in The Crown Tundra DLC for Sword and Shield respectively. Trainers can capture one or the other along their Dynamax adventures while in the Max Lair, which guarantees a successful catch no matter the Pokeball that has been thrown. Unfortunately, Dialga and Palkia are also a guaranteed non-shiny catch.|
|Victini||Though technically not a box legendary, this mythical Pokemon from Unova worked its way into this section by association, because it's all about who you know, you know? Victini was made available for use when The Crown Tundra DLC rolled along, however, the only way to get one into the game is via Pokemon Home.|
Shiny locks are common among legendaries nowadays. 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. However, Victini has never been released in any manner that allows it to be shiny, making it an "illegal" Pokemon, and it looks like that will remain so for the time being. Other examples include X and Y's main story with Xerneas and Yveltal.
Eternatus is 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 precipice of the main storyline.
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. Still, as of right now, the Master Dojo has a few shiny-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. And while we're on the topic of Kubfu's evolution, Urshifu is also coded not to appear shiny, even if you were to get it into the game through another means.|
|Porygon||This classic Gen I Pokemon can be obtained if the player defeats Mustard at the Battle Court, which allows for Dynamax battling. But, despite this Pokemon being held in such esteem, it has still been denied shiny rights in Sword and Shield.|
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 help finding all of them. Just like an epic Korok quest, players must hunt down 150 Diglet to be rewarded with rare pokemon periodically for their efforts. Too bad all of the Pokemon he gifts are shiny locked!
|Pokemon Gift||Level||Hidden Ability||Objective|
|Alolan Meowth||Lvl. 5||Rattled||Find 5 Diglett|
|Slowpoke||Lvl. 10||Regenerator||Find 10 Diglett|
|Alolan Vulpix||Lvl. 5||Snow Warning||Find 20 Diglett|
|Alolan Sandshrew||Lvl. 5||Slush Rush||Find 30 Diglett|
|Alolan Raichu||Lvl. 30||NA||Find 40 Diglett|
|Alolan Marowak||Lvl. 30||Rock Head||Find 50 Diglett|
|Alolan Exeggutor||Lvl. 30||Harvest||Find 75 Diglett|
|Rowlett, Litten, or Popplio (NOTE: The Pokemon you receive correlates to your Galarian starter (e.g., Litten and Scorbunny.))||Lvl. 5||Long Reach (Rowlett) Intimidate (Litten) Liquid Voice (Popplio)||Find 100 Diglett|
|Alolan Diglett||Lvl 20||Sand Force||Find all 150 Diglett|
Pokemon Home Imports and Event Exclusives
With the help of Pokemon Home, trainers have been able to settle down in Galar alongside many if not all of their befriended Pokemon throughout their generations of adventures. But unfortunately, several shiny counterparts missed the Galar-bound train. Along with Victini who we discussed earlier, here is a list of the other shiny-locked Pokemon Home Transferees.
|Ash Cap Pikachu||Codes for all eight Cap-wearing Pikachu variations were made available with The Crown Tundra Expansion release, but those codes were only valid through that November. It's one of those should've would've could've situations, but if you did and were wondering if you had missed out; you didn't.|
|Magearna||It should be noted that only Magearna's alternate form 'Original Color' is coded for the possibility of being shiny in the first place, but that's unimportant as both forms are shiny-locked in Sword and Shield anyhow.|
|Marshadow||We've written up a handy guide on how to get Marshadow into Sword and Shield, but unfortunately, we don't have any tricks for getting around its shiny lock.|
|Gigantamax Melmetal||Thanks to the wonders of Pokemon Home and a couple of Mystery Gifts, Melmetal can now be brought to the Galar region from Pokemon Go! Though these event-based gifts give Trainers a Gigantamax Melmetal delivered straight into their Pokemon Home, the shiny lock remains in place.|
|Volcanion||If you've managed to get your hands on this X and Y legendary, certainly don't waste your efforts trying to obtain another for the sake of the shiny hunt.|
|Zarude||Zarude and its alternate form Zarude Dada were part of a Trainer Club promotional event, so if you redeemed your code for this aggressive primate before the cutoff and have caught yourself wondering if there had been a chance for a shiny, you can rest easy knowing there wasn't.|
The Crown Tundra Expansion Pass
The Introduction of The Crown Tundra Expansion Pass brought a plethora of new content and Pokemon to catch. However, it also brought shiny restrictions for nine individual Pokemon, all of them being legendaries.
Unova's Mythical Pokemon: Keldeo
Keldeo is a Wanderer Pokemon that has certain requirements 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.
Alolan Legendaries: Cosmog and Poipole
|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.|
Galarian Legendary Birds: Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres
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.|
|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.|
|Zapdos||This striking blood orange 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.|
The Crown Tundra Legendary Debuts: Calyrex and Glastrier or Spectrier
The three brand-new legendaries introduced in The Crown Tundra are Calyrex, Spectrier, and Glastrier, though players cannot obtain all three in one game. The player's actions determine which steed can be captured alongside Calyrex, though unfortunately, all three are shiny locked.
|Spectrier||Obtainable from planting a Shaderoot Carrot.|
|Glastrier||Obtainable from planting an Iceroot Carrot.|
These carrots come from planting the Carrot Seeds in either the Snowslide Slope's crop plot or the Old Cemetery crop plot. 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