Shiny Hunting is My Only Incentive to Keep Playing Pokemon Scarlet and Violet

There's nothing better than a shiny.

by Kara Phillips

The idea of an open-world Pokemon game is ideal in concept, and while Pokemon Scarlet and Violet desperately tried to scratch that itch and provide a unique yet Breath of the Wild-inspired take on the franchise, it doesn’t quite meet the mark. Although things are incredibly open compared to the traditional linear story of a Pokemon title, and there is a sense of freedom in working through the three major storylines at your own pace, there’s still a method to follow, and once you’ve finished, you might be lost at where to go from there. 

For the most part, players will use the end of a Pokemon game as an excuse to re-explore areas and face trainers to ensure their party is as strong as possible, re-matching Gym Leaders and the Elite 4 where possible, all while chipping away at their Pokedex until they’ve caught ‘em all. But after that, there isn’t much left to do for an average Pokemon player, but there is one incentive to keep players engaged with the game outside of Tera Raid events: shiny hunting. 

The Only Reason I Still Play Pokemon Scarlet and Violet is to Shiny Hunt

Due to the sheer level of Pokemon spawning in the overworld in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, it’s the first mainline game where shiny hunting is significantly easier. Although the odds are the same as in any Pokemon game, you don’t have to trek through long grass and pray you’re going to encounter the right species to continue a K.O. chain, and seeing any potential shiny Pokemon in the overworld is a mindless way to spend hours in the game outside of the storyline, which makes it one of the driving factors players continue to play even after completing the central campaign.  

The drive to start a Pokemon game from the beginning isn’t the same with Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, and I think that’s down to how much time you spend alongside the characters you meet and the Pokemon you develop a relationship with during your initial adventure. The sporadic yet somewhat restrictive story does provide a unique experience, but it’s not necessarily a story you’d want to sit through a second time, so finding an incentive to keep playing post-campaign can be a challenge, but for anyone who’s dedicated any time shiny hunting in previous titles, this one feels like a walk in the park. In addition, with Pokemon Home compatibility coming in Spring 2023, it’s a great way to stockpile any shiny species you want for safekeeping. 

Plus, for a new player who has never tried shiny hunting and doesn’t know what to expect from the grind, Pokemon Scarlet and Violet make it incredibly accessible and easy to understand through the Biology Classes run by Mr. Jacq, Mass Outbreaks, and Sandwich Recipes to increase your chances of an encounter. 

It’s an excellent way for new players to become familiar with the various methods of shiny hunting without needing to pour endless, frustrating hours into it, unlike previous games, so not only is it an incentive for veteran trainers to keep playing but for new players to reach for their Switch as well. Additionally, with rumors of a DLC releasing for Pokemon Scarlet and Violet in the future, shiny hunting is also a great way to stay close to the game without necessarily losing any enjoyment running off the back of finishing the story while we wait for any updates. So, if you’ve never tried your hand, there’s no better time than now.

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet are available on Nintendo Switch.