Guide: Hatching Shiny Pokémon in Gold/Silver/Crystal

Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal are structured a bit differently to every game thereafter, with one of the biggest differences being in its stat values. Stats had a hidden value from 0-15 that would determine how good a stat could possibly be (called determinant values, or DVs), and it was these values that also determined shininess.

The fun part of this is since stats are partially passed down to eggs, this means there's an increased rate of hatching shiny Pokémon in G/S/C as long as you have a shiny parent or a parent with specific stats. Good thing G/S/C gives you a free shiny, huh?

I will aim to make this guide as simple to follow as possible, with clear explanations on just how shininess and breeding in G/S/C works.

What IS a shiny?

Basics first! A Pokémon in Gold/Silver/Crystal will be shiny if its DVs are the following values:

HPAttackSpeedDefenseSpecial
Any - HP is calculated via other stats. Either 2, 3, 6, 7, 10, 11, 14, or 15101010

One thing of note is that Special Attack and Special Defense share the same DV, due to Gold/Silver/Crystal being backwards-compatible with Red/Blue/Yellow (which only had the single Special stat).

In a regular wild Pokémon encounter, it would have a 1/8192 chance of having these stats, and thus being shiny. The famed Red Gyarados is the sole exception, and will always be shiny and male.

[Pictured: A shiny male Eevee's stat screen.]

Interestingly enough, DVs in G/S/C also determines a Pokémon's gender, if it is indeed capable of being either male or female. This matters because female members of the Eevee, starter, fossil, Snorlax and Togepi species can only ever have an attack DV of 0 or 1, meaning that it is unfortunately impossible to hatch a shiny female of them in G/S/C.

How breeding works

This is important, I promise!

When you breed Pokémon in G/S/C, stats are also passed down. There's a small set of rules for this:

  1. A female child will inherit stats from a male parent.
  2. A male child will inherit stats from a female parent.
  3. If a parent is Ditto, the child will always inherit Ditto's stats.

As for how the stats of an egg are inherited, here's a handy chart:

HPAttackSpeedDefenseSpecial
HP is calculated via other stats. RandomRandomDefense is always passed down.Special has a 50% chance to remain the same, and a 50% chance to differ by 8.

This is very important, as it means your parent Pokémon doesn't necessarily need to be shiny to increase the chances of producing a shiny egg. At most, you need a Pokémon with a Defense DV of 10 and a Special DV of either 2 or 10. For ease of reading, let's refer to this as the shiny gene.

[Pictured: Pictured: In the daycare center yard, with two Pokémon and the dialog box: 'It's brimming with energy.']

When a Pokémon shares both the same Defense DV and a Special DV that is either the same or differing by 8, they will refuse to breed and give the message "It's brimming with energy" when you check them. You can therefore do a small trick with the Red Gyarados, and keep catching Ditto in Route 34 to see how they feel about each other. The odds of finding a Ditto with the shiny gene is 1/128, which isn't too bad, all things considered.

Even with just the Red Gyarados, however, it's still very possible to hatch shinies. It just requires a bit of planning!

Preparations and Limitations

[Pictured: The red Gyarados from the Lake of Rage, in its stats screen.]

With a Red Gyarados in hand, you're more than ready to begin what we call the Gyarados method. Using this Gyarados, you can plan a route via egg groups to the Pokémon you really want a shiny of. There are, however, a few limitations to this method:

Now, there is a trick to get a shiny Ditto using the Red Gyarados, but in this day and age it requires at least two Nintendo 3DS systems. For now I'll consider it impractical for most people, and will potentially make a separate guide for it. I didn't forget, I promise!

Below is an interactive chart of egg groups for every breedable Pokémon in Gold/Silver/Crystal, should you choose to click on the buttons. They are all shown as their base stage except for the red Gyarados, due to its status as the only Pokémon that will always be shiny. Egg groups are represented by background and border colours, and may also be checked by hovering over the Pokémon on desktop browsers.

Pokémon with an unbreedable baby form (like Togetic and Pikachu) are shown in their evolved, breedable form. Also note that Nidorina and Nidoqueen cannot be bred but Nidoran female can. This does not apply to Nidoran male, Nidorino, and Nidoking - they can all breed.

Bulbasaur (Monster/Grass)
Charmander (Monster/Dragon)
Squirtle (Monster/Water 1)
Caterpie (Bug)
Weedle (Bug)
Pidgey (Flying)
Rattata (Field)
Spearow (Flying)
Ekans (Field/Dragon)
Pikachu (Field/Fairy)
Sandshrew (Field)
Nidoran Female (Monster/Field) [Nidorina and Nidoqueen cannot breed]
Nidoran Male (Monster/Field)
Clefairy (Fairy)
Vulpix (Field)
Jigglypuff (Fairy)
Zubat (Flying)
Oddish (Grass)
Paras (Bug/Grass)
Venonat (Bug)
Diglett (Field)
Meowth (Field)
Psyduck (Water 1/Field)
Mankey (Field)
Growlithe (Field)
Poliwag (Water 1)
Abra (Human-Like)
Machop (Human-Like)
Bellsprout (Grass)
Tentacool (Water 3)
Geodude (Mineral)
Ponyta (Field)
Slowpoke (Monster/Water 1)
Magnemite (Shiny Ditto only)
Farfetch'd (Flying/Field)
Doduo (Flying)
Seel (Water 1/Field)
Grimer (Amorphous)
Shellder (Water 3)
Gastly (Amorphous)
Onix (Mineral)
Drowzee (Human-Like)
Krabby (Water 3)
Voltorb (Shiny Ditto only)
Exeggcute (Grass)
Cubone (Monster)
Hitmonlee (Shiny Ditto only)
Hitmonchan (Shiny Ditto only)
Lickitung (Monster)
Koffing (Amorphous)
Rhyhorn (Monster/Field)
Chansey (Fairy)
Tangela (Grass)
Kangaskhan (Monster)
Horsea (Water 1/Dragon)
Goldeen (Water 2)
Staryu (Shiny Ditto only)
Mr. Mime (Human-Like)
Scyther (Bug)
Jynx (Human-Like)
Electabuzz (Human-Like)
Magmar (Human-Like)
Pinsir (Bug)
Tauros (Shiny Ditto only)
Magikarp (Water 2/Dragon)
Red Gyarados (Water 2/Dragon)
Lapras (Monster/Water 1)
Eevee (Field)
Porygon (Shiny Ditto only)
Omanyte (Water 1/Water 3)
Kabuto (Water 1/Water 3)
Aerodactyl (Flying)
Snorlax (Monster)
Dratini (Water 1/Dragon)
Chikorita (Monster/Grass)
Cyndaquil (Field)
Totodile (Monster/Water 1)
Sentret (Field)
Hoothoot (Flying)
Ledyba (Bug)
Spinarak (Bug)
Chinchou (Water 2)
Togetic (Flying/Fairy)
Natu (Flying)
Mareep (Monster/Field)
Marill (Water 1/Fairy)
Sudowoodo (Mineral)
Hoppip (Fairy/Grass)
Aipom (Field)
Sunkern (Grass)
Yanma (Bug)
Wooper (Water 1/Field)
Murkrow (Flying)
Misdreavus (Amorphous)
Wobbuffet (Amorphous)
Girafarig (Field)
Pineco (Bug)
Dunsparce (Field)
Gligar (Bug)
Snubbull (Field/Fairy)
Qwilfish (Water 2)
Shuckle (Bug)
Heracross (Bug)
Sneasel (Field)
Teddiursa (Field)
Slugma (Amorphous)
Swinub (Field)
Corsola (Water 1/Water 3)
Remoraid (Water 1/Water 2)
Delibird (Water 1/Field)
Mantine (Water 1)
Skarmory (Flying)
Houndour (Field)
Phanpy (Field)
Stantler (Field)
Smeargle (Field)
Hitmontop (Shiny Ditto only)
Miltank (Field)
Larvitar (Monster)

An example of chaining with this method could go as follows (once again, colours represent egg groups, hover for more info on desktop):

Female Male Shiny Gene Child
Ekans (Field/Dragon)
Red Gyarados (Water 2/Dragon)
Ekans (Field/Dragon)
A female Ekans and a shiny male Gyarados produce a shiny gene female Ekans.
Ekans (Field/Dragon)
Ekans (Field/Dragon)
Ekans (Field/Dragon)
A shiny gene female Ekans and a male Ekans produce a shiny gene male Ekans.
Snubbull (Field/Fairy)
Ekans (Field/Dragon)
Snubbull (Field/Fairy)
A female Snubbull and a shiny gene male Ekans produce a shiny gene female Snubbull.
Snubbull (Field/Fairy)
Snubbull (Field/Fairy)
Snubbull (Field/Fairy)
A shiny gene female Snubbull and a male Snubbull produce a shiny gene male Snubbull.
Hoppip (Fairy/Grass)
Snubbull (Field/Fairy)
Hoppip (Fairy/Grass)
A female Hoppip and a shiny gene male Snubbull produce a shiny gene female Hoppip.
Hoppip (Fairy/Grass)
Hoppip (Fairy/Grass)
Hoppip (Fairy/Grass)
A shiny gene female Hoppip and a male Hoppip produce a shiny gene male Hoppip.
Paras (Bug/Grass)
Hoppip (Fairy/Grass)
Paras (Bug/Grass)
A female Paras and a shiny gene male Hoppip produce a shiny gene female Paras.
Paras (Bug/Grass)
Paras (Bug/Grass)
Paras (Bug/Grass)
A shiny gene female Paras and a male Paras produce a shiny gene male Paras.
Scyther (Bug)
Paras (Bug/Grass)
Scyther (Bug)
A female Scyther and a shiny gene male Paras produce a shiny gene female Scyther.

For longer chains it will take a while, but there's a clear pattern and you can accomplish it with a lot of patience. Plan your route and check what kinds of Pokémon you can catch in the version you have. Additionally, I recommend nicknaming your Pokémon so you can keep track of whom has the shiny gene.

The actual process

[Pictured: The entrance to Goldenrod City.]

The daycare center in G/S/C is south of Goldenrod City. Aside from the Pokémon you want to breed, it's a good idea to have a strong Pokémon with Fly in case you need to travel, and because it's easy to accidentally run into wild Pokémon near the daycare. Additionally, having a Bicycle is mandatory.

[Pictured: In the daycare center yard, with two Pokémon and the dialog box: [Pictured: Pictured: In the daycare center yard, with two Pokémon and the dialog box: 'It's friendly with ABRA.']

To avoid wasting your time, make sure to check how friendly your Pokémon are with each other. Depending on how well they get along, it could speed up the process of getting eggs or it could prevent you from getting eggs at all. The dialogs and their meanings are listed below:

Quote Criteria Chance to generate an egg per 256 steps
"It appears to care for [partner]." Same species, different OT/ID. 39.1%
"It's friendly with [partner]." Same species, same OT/ID. 29.2%
"It's friendly with [partner]." Different species, different OT/ID. 22.1%
"It shows interest in [partner]." Different species, same OT/ID. 9.5%
"It has no interest in [partner]." Same gender or incompatible egg groups. 0%
"It's brimming with energy." Their stats are too similar - same Defense DV, and Special DV differing by 0 or 8. 0%

Information courtesy of Bulbapedia.

It's inevitable that you will need to cross-breed different Pokémon at some point, but as long as the shiny gene is passed down then you need not linger. Be sure to breed the same-species if possible for your actual shiny hatching, as acquiring eggs can take a really long time otherwise. Keep in mind the rules of inheritance for genders!

If your Pokémon are compatible, you're ready! Begin biking up through Goldenrod City and back, and check whether the old man is in the daycare yard on every pass through.

[Pictured: The daycare yard is empty.] [Pictured: The old man is in the daycare yard.]

If he's in there, go through the building and claim your egg from him. The fun part begins!

Whilst the shiny chances are indeed increased from having a shiny parent, it still takes a long time to hatch eggs in G/S/C, and thus a long time to get the right shinies. I highly recommend multitasking and/or listening to music whilst you're hatching to help ease some of that time. Sadly, there's no abilities and no Magma Armor or Flame Body in Gen 2, so it's the long way all the way. It can also take forever for an egg to appear... be very very patient!

As the shiny gene is passed down to differently-gendered eggs, this also means that the shiny chances themselves are based upon gender ratios. Isn't gender fun?

Gender Ratio Shiny Egg Odds
Genderless (i.e. Staryu)1/64 chance with a shiny gene Ditto parent.
100% male (i.e. Tauros)1/64 chance with a shiny gene Ditto parent.
87.5% male (i.e. male Eevee)1/64 chance with a female shiny gene parent.
75% male (i.e. male Abra)3/256 chance with a female shiny gene parent.
50% male (i.e. male Meowth)1/128 chance with a female shiny gene parent.
25% male (i.e. male Vulpix)1/256 chance with a female shiny gene parent.
100% female (i.e. Miltank)1/64 chance with a male shiny gene parent.
75% female (i.e. female Vulpix)3/256 chance with a male shiny gene parent.
50% female (i.e. female Meowth)1/128 chance with a male shiny gene parent.
25% female (i.e. female Abra)1/256 chance with a male shiny gene parent.
12.5% female (i.e. female Eevee)Female Pokémon with this gender ratio cannot be shiny.

Be sure to look up the gender ratios of the Pokémon you're hatching to be absolutely certain of your chances. Aside from that, it just takes a whole lot of patience.

[Pictured: A shiny Abra has just hatched from an egg.] [Pictured: The shiny Abra's stats screen - it has the sparkle symbol and is female.]

Do your best, and may your eggs be very lucky!

Page last updated on 7th July 2018 at 14:41 GMT.