Pokémon’s Shiny-Breeding Masuda Method: Origins & Technique Explained

Pokémon director Junichi Masuda once revealed a now-famous secret to increasing the chances of breeding a Shiny, involving an international Pokémon.

Breeding Shiny Pokémon is one of the most time-consuming tasks in the Pokémon video games, but a now-famous strategy to increase the odds was once revealed by Game Freak’s own Junichi Masuda. The odds of breeding a Shiny Pokémon without help are astronomical, to the point where it’s likely to never hatch one naturally.

There are a few ways to increase the chances of encountering a Shiny Pokémon in the wild or through breeding, and these differ from game to game. In Pokémon Sword and Shield, the player can acquire the Shiny Charm, which dramatically increases Shiny encounter odds, by completing the Galar Pokédex. Pokémon that appeared in the Friend Safari in Pokémon X and had an increased chance of being a Shiny. In the Pokémon Let’s Go games, the player can perform catch combos in order to increase their chances of finding a Shiny. There are some Pokémon that are Shiny-locked, but these are usually Mythical or Legendary Pokémon.

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Related: What Brilliant Pokémon Are (& How They Increase Shiny Odds)

Players who want a Shiny version of a specific Pokémon can breed one, but doing so would feel all but impossible without the Masuda Method, named for the longtime Pokémon series composer/director/producer. Masuda first referenced the strategy in a 2007 blog post on the Game Freak website, almost a year after Pokémon Diamond and Pearl were released in Japan. Although he did not name the method himself, the Pokémon community has titled it after the man who revealed its secret.

How To Increase Shiny Pokémon Breeding Odds With The Masuda Method

In order to increase the chances of breeding a Shiny Pokémon, the player needs to acquire a parent Pokémon that comes from a different-language region. Pokémon from different real-world regions each have a three-letter word on their summary page that denotes that region, such as “JPN” or “ITA.” Many players seek out foreign Ditto for this reason, as they can breed with almost any Pokémon. In Pokémon Sword and Shield, using this method will increase the chances of a Shiny Pokémon hatching from 1/1365 to 1/683. This effect can also be increased even further by owning the Shiny Charm.

Masuda mentioned this method was added to the game to encourage players to use the Global Trade System, which debuted in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl. The Masuda Method is still used by fans to this day, with professional Shiny breeders actively hunting foreign Pokémon to use for the express purpose of creating more Shinies.

Next: Pokémon: The 10 Worst Shiny Pokémon Introduced in Sword and Shield

Source: Junichi Masuda

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