There are a number of Pokemon that do have their Shiny versions in Pokemon GO. As new events are held, new Shinies are released, whether event limited or fully available in the wild. Among these are some Pokemon with exceptionally rare Shiny versions. Whether it’s due to being time limited or the Pokemon is a rare encounter itself, these are the rarest Shiny Pokemon in Pokemon GO.
Rarest Shiny Pokemon in Pokemon GO
Event Limited Shiny Pokemon
Event Pokemon that have their Shinies in the game, like Pikachu and the other regional starters, are among the rarest of all Shiny Pokemon in Pokemon GO. Their appearances in game are time limited, and sometimes region limited. The following Pokemon are the rarest of the rare event Shiny Pokemon.
Shiny Detective Hat Pikachu
Getting a Shiny Detective Hat Pikachu was either a glitch or a stroke of luck. During the release of the Detective Pikachu movie, you could encounter a Detective Hat Pikachu once a day by it photobombing a snapshot you take. On top of that limitation was the fact that Pikachu was shiny-locked for the event, meaning no Shiny Pikachus of it could spawn.
Some clever players figured out that getting the encounter right before the end of the event, then waiting until the shiny-lock was lifted, could perhaps cause a Shiny Detective Hat Pikachu to spawn. They were right, causing this to be the rarest Shiny Pokemon in Pokemon GO to date. Maybe a new event featuring Detective Pikachu will occur when Detective Pikachu Returns releases.
Shiny Ash Hat Pichu
Players were able to get a Pichu wearing Ash’s Hat during the Pokemon GO anniversary event in 2017. The only way to get one was to hatch it from a 2km egg during the event. A couple years later, the Shiny Ash Hat Pichu made its debut, though it still could only hatch from eggs. Nowadays, you can spend real money to add it to your collection.
Shiny Unown C
Unown in general have extremely low spawn rates, making them one of the rarer Pokemon in the game. While they do pop up in events frequently, encountering a Shiny Unown of any type is still pretty rare. Shiny Unown C was released in a paid event that occurred in three cities during 2020, and is the rarest of them all. This is the only time that Shiny Unown C has been available, and even then the spawn rates for it during the event were said to be abysmal.
Lunatone is the crescent moon Pokemon often found while exploring at night. It’s not available as a Shiny, but it was when it was region locked during the March 2019 Equinox event. Before the event, players in North America and Africa were able to catch Lunatone. During the event, the regions switched to Europe, Asia and Australia. One player in all of those regions was able to catch a Shiny Lunatone. The most recent event a Shiny Lunatone could be caught was the 2023 Solstice Horizons event.
Shiny Azelf, Mesprit, and Uxie
Along the same lines as Lunatone, Azelf, Mesprit and Uxie are regional legendary Pokemon. They’ve only released in 5-Star Raids, and while you can catch a shiny one upon its defeat, it’ll only be the one available in your region. Uxie was found in Asia-Pacific areas, Mesprit in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and India, while Azelf was encounter in The Americas and Greenland. You have to trade to get all three, and finding someone to trade Shiny Lunatone, Shiny Azelf, Shiny Mesprit, or Shiny Uxie with is no small task.
Zubat is one of the most prolific Pokemon of the franchise. Encountered just about everywhere in the main games, as well as being a staple team choice of Team Rocket, it’s no surprise that Zubat was an early addition to the game’s roster. What is a surprise is that Shiny Zubat has only been released in game once in 2019 during a Team GO Rocket event. If you didn’t get one then, you’ll have to hunt someone down willing to trade theirs to obtain it now.
Rarest Non-Event Shiny Pokemon
While event Pokemon are rarer than their regular counterparts, that doesn’t mean there aren’t rare Shiny versions. Though the following can often be caught in the wild or hatched from eggs, their Shiny versions are difficult, or impossible, to get.
If you’ve got a Shiny Abra in your collection, count yourself lucky. Shiny Abra was released by mistake during GO Fest 2019, and promptly disabled once Niantic realized their mistake. During this time, not only did you need to encounter a Shiny Abra, you had to catch it on the first turn since Abra just runs off. This double whammy makes Shiny Abra super rare.
Much like Abra, the Shiny Clefairy was an accidentally release. You can’t catch a Shiny Clefairy in game anymore, but you can still obtain one. You’ll need to hatch a Shiny Cleffa from a 2km egg. Once you have it, you’ll need to feed it 25 candies to evolve it to a Shiny Clefairy. That’s a lot of hatching you’ll have to do to get this one!
Shiny Spinda is rare enough to find, but that’s not all to this Pokemon. Spinda has nine different swirl patterns it can spawn with, each one being featured during different times of the year and different years. Getting a shiny of each of the different swirls is hard enough. The ninth pattern, a heart design, is exclusive to Valentine’s Day events in 2021 and 2022, with no sign of it coming back to the game since. That means this particular Shiny Spinda was only around for a total of 10 days if you wanted to encounter it.
Shiny Alolan Grimer
Alolan Grimer is one of the rarer Alolan Pokemon that have been released in Pokemon GO. When first released, it was only available by hatching it from 7km eggs. Currently it can only be encountered as a Shadow Pokemon when defeating Team GO Rocket Grunts. This makes it one of the only Alolan versions you can’t catch in the wild or hatch from eggs.
Shiny Alolan Marowak
Alolan Marowak is an extremely rare Pokemon to encounter. Alolan Cubone doesn’t exist in Pokemon GO, and the mechanics to evolve into Alolan Marowak were only available during a special event. Now, if you want to encounter Alolan Marowak in hopes of catching it, you’ll need to defeat it during Raids when it appears. The last time it graced 3-Star Raids was in June 2023, during the Dark Flames event. It could also be encountered when completing certain Field Research tasks. Who knows when its next appearance may be.
Ditto is one of the hardest Pokemon to catch in PoGO simply due to its rate of appearance. Since it hides itself as other Pokemon, you have to get ridiculously lucky to get a Shiny Ditto. You have to catch the Pokemon it’s hidden as, have that turn out to be a Ditto, then be lucky enough to have that Ditto be Shiny. That’s chance on top of chance. Ditto’s encounter rate is roughly 3% and its Shiny rate is about 1 in 64, making it a luck of the draw if you get one. I’ve been Ditto hunting for months and still haven’t seen one, nevermind a Shiny Ditto.
Those are the rarest Shiny Pokemon you can encounter in Pokemon GO. The pattern is pretty clear that event exclusive Pokemon, such as those wearing specific hats, costumes or only appearing during an event are the hardest Shiny Pokemon to catch. Add in different forms, only having the base Pokemon as Shiny or trying to find a Ditto, Shiny hunters have their work cut out for them with these guys. For more on Pokemon GO, check out our extensive guide library of event walkthroughs, Raid tips, and Battle League team compositions.