Dedicated Pokemon player makes "the greatest advancement in shiny hunting history" by using a DDR mat to control two games at once

A blue shiny Psyduck seen in the Pokemon anime.
(Image credit: The Pokemon Company)

Pokemon shiny hunting is serious business. Ever since Gold and Silver's launch, trainers everywhere have been drawn into lengthy, grindy quests to encounter thousands upon thousands of Pokemon in desperate attempts to find ultra-rare, sparkly versions of their faves with alternate color palettes. It's definitely an activity where those who get it, get it, and every single time a new Pokemon game is out, you can count on the community to discover every new shiny hunting method to boost their chances of encountering an illusive find.

In this same spirit, one Pokemon content creator has now harnessed the power of the last tool you'd expect in order to assist him on his hunts. PaPaSea took to Twitter this week to show off his new setup – a Dance Dance Revolution mat linked up to his copy of Pokemon Emerald – which allows him to control the game completely hands-free.

It might sound finicky to control the game with your feet, but PaPaSea has optimized his hunt to require as few button presses as possible. By equipping the Acro Bike, he can hold the B button (or rather, its DDR mat equivalent) to hop repeatedly in one spot. Conveniently, hopping in the tall grass can still encounter wild Pokemon, so he can sit in a patch of grass without having to run around, only having to navigate through the menu to run away (or catch a shiny when he finds one).

Being hands-free allows PaPaSea to play on his Nintendo Switch at the same time, for ultimate multitasking possibilities. You might think he'd use this opportunity to play something different while the hunt goes on in the background, but no. Instead, he's choosing to do two simultaneous shiny hunts for maximum shiny-catching efficiency. Now that's dedication. Of course, this doesn't actually raise PaPaSea's odds of finding a rare Pokemon, but simply by encountering more at a time, it should – in theory – speed up the process.

Doing multiple shiny hunts simultaneously isn't an uncommon thing within the shiny community, but normally it involves setting up a plethora of consoles and trying to control them all with your hands, which, as you can imagine, isn't particularly easy. In years gone by, some have utilized slightly less groovy tools to assist them – a popular method in the DS and 3DS games involves placing a rubber band around your handheld to constantly hold down the L and R buttons, for example. This means you can 'soft reset' (bring the game back to its title screen) just by pressing the Start and Select buttons (or just one or the other on 3DS), which is perfect if you're resetting your game to find a shiny starter or legendary Pokemon. The bands make this button combination easier to execute, especially on multiple handhelds at once, but it's still not as efficient as PaPaSea's new setup. 

Whether the DDR mat strategy will take off within the community remains to be seen, but this week, PaPaSea has been streaming his efforts to find a purple shiny Wurmple or a pink shiny Lotad in Emerald with the mat, while hatching Magikarp eggs in Pokemon Sword/Shield. So far, the mat hasn't made any shinies appear, but surely it's only a matter of time before it happens. Here's hoping that using the unconventional controller won't cause an unfortunate shiny fail when it does.

Be sure to check out our ranking of the best Pokemon games to find your next adventure.

Catherine Lewis
News Writer

I'm one of GamesRadar+'s news writers, who works alongside the rest of the news team to deliver cool gaming stories that we love. After spending more hours than I can count filling The University of Sheffield's student newspaper with Pokemon and indie game content, and picking up a degree in Journalism Studies, I started my career at GAMINGbible where I worked as a journalist for over a year and a half. I then became TechRadar Gaming's news writer, where I sourced stories and wrote about all sorts of intriguing topics. In my spare time, you're sure to find me on my Nintendo Switch or PS5 playing through story-driven RPGs like Xenoblade Chronicles and Persona 5 Royal, nuzlocking old Pokemon games, or going for a Victory Royale in Fortnite.