Pokemon Sword and Shield players are going wild for extra rare "Square Shinies"

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Pokemon Sword and Shield cuts a lot of the tedium of previous games, but catching Shinies still takes a lot of time and effort - and thanks to a newly discovered breed of Square Shiny Pokemon, the Shiny hunt just doubled in scope. 

Over the past few days, hawk-eyed players noticed that when some Shiny Pokemon enter battles, the sparkly aura around them looks slightly different than others. Most Pokemon do a little splash of star-like sparkles, while some enter in a shower of square prisms. It's a small but noticeable effect, and as dataminer Kaphotics explained on Twitter, it's actually tied to certain kinds of Shinies. 

"Shiny Pokemon rarity has been split," Kaphotics said. "Same 1:4,096 odds to obtain a Shiny, but there are two types of Shiny. 15/16 show stars, 1/16 show squares. Square rarity is 1 in 65,536!" 

Those are some intimidating odds, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. If you're hellbent on catching Square Shinies, you can improve your odds by building up catch and battle chains. Repeatedly fighting and catching the same Pokemon not only increases the odds of Shinies appearing, it also dramatically increases the odds of encountering Square Shinies - seemingly to the point that the base odds of 1/16 are practically inverted so you have a 15/16 chance to get Square Shinies. The trade-off here is that normal Shinies will become rarer as you build up your chains, so good luck to the mad lads who will try for a full double Shiny Pokedex.  

If you're looking for Black Friday assistance as we get deeper into November, check out our roundup of the best Black Friday game deals. For starters, you can save a good bit on a Switch Lite plus Pokemon Sword or Shield while this deal lasts.  

Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a senior writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature, all while playing as many roguelikes as possible.