Pokémon Go – Variocolor: How To Catch Shiny Magikarp, Red Gyarados, And What We Know About Shiny Pokémon

The Pokémon Variocolor / Shiny entered the game in March 2017 with the surprise appearance of Magikarp Shiny and its evolution, the Gyarados Red.

In recent months we have seen new Variocolors, such as Shiny Pikachu, with new variants.

The Variocolor are especially rare, as any veteran of the main series can tell you, so now we are going to explain everything we know about the Variocolor from Pokémon Go and how to capture them.

On this page you will find:

How to find Pokémon Variocolor including Magikarp Shiny and Gyarados Red in Pokémon Go

The first Pokémon Variocolor in Pokémon Go were Magikarp and Gyarados, a tribute to what, for most players, was the first Shiny they captured: the Red Gyarados from Pokémon Gold, Silver and Crystal.

Normal (left) vs Shiny (right). Credit: Reddit user skinnysnorlaz

They are simply trying to capture Pokémon and see if they have a different color during combat and subsequent screens, as they will not appear in a different color on the map. You will have to try to capture them first.

A Shiny creature is extremely rare, so you will have to test with all the Pokémon that you find of that type (Magikarps, for example) with the hope that one of them is of a different color.

Often the variation is subtle. You can see the difference between the two Magikarps in this comparison, courtesy of user skinnysnorlaz from the Silph Road subreddit.

Pokémon Go – Pokémon Variocolor list and rarity scale

About five months after the first sighting of a Magikarp Shiny we started to see the first signs of other Variocolors.

Although the list has expanded greatly since the arrival of Magikarp and the Red Gyarados, the number is still small compared to the number of creatures without Variocolor.

Here you have, at a glance, all the Variocolor creatures that you can get in the game (except those added since last February, although you can see a detailed list in chronological order a little below) and their rarity according to a survey among users (thanks to AirbenderProdigy on reddit for the research and image):

Credit: AirbenderProdigy on reddit

When and how each Shiny came to Pokémon Go

Shiny Pikachu: It was unveiled at an event in Japan in August 2017.

Those who were in the vicinity of the event had a chance to capture a Shiny Pikachu which, like the Red Gyarados, could evolve into a Raichu Variocolor.

They have since been available worldwide, and we also saw a Shiny Pikachu wearing a hat on Pokémon Day 2018.

Wild shiny Pikachu has been found spawning at The Pokemon Company’s “Pikachu Outbreak” event in Yokohama! No word yet on worldwide release! pic.twitter.com/d3dqoutCPf

– The Silph Road (@TheSilphRoad) August 9, 2017 Manage cookie settings

Shiny Gen 3 Ghosts: Since the 2017 Halloween Event – which introduced the first Gen 3 creatures, we’ve seen Shiny variants of five Pokémon (Duskull, Dusclops, Shuppet, Sableye, and Banette). Here you can see Duskull Variocolor in action:

Shiny from Gen 3 Raids: With the arrival of the first 50 Gen 3 creatures in December 2017, two exclusive specific versions of Raids appeared, both Variocolor. The other 48 also have Shiny models in the game code, but none have been found yet.

Shiny from the Gen 3 Desert update: The Aron family of creatures have had Variocolor versions as of January 2018, with the Gen 3 Desert update.

Shiny from the Gen 3 Dragons update: Swablu is one of the creatures that has a Variocolor version, changing from blue to yellow.

When evolving to Altaria it will keep the color yellow, as you can see in this video from Cychreus Gaming:

Valentine’s Day 2018: More Luvdisc began to appear alongside its Variocolor version:

It’s Valentines Day in Pokémon Go and I got a peepee-colored heart
? pic.twitter.com/qVHa4p2BJq

– Tom Phillips (@tomphillipsEG) February 14, 2018 Manage cookie settings

Lunar New Year 2018: More dog Pokémon appeared and the Shiny Poochyena was added:

Community Day: Community Days usually coincide with the launch of a new Variocolor. So far we have had:

  • Dratini (and his Dragonair and Dragonite evolutions)
  • Bulbasaur (and his Ivysaur and Venusaur evolutions)
  • Mareep (and his Flaaffy and Ampharos evolutions)
  • Charmander (and its evolutions Charmeleon and Charizard)
  • Larvitar (and its Pupitar and Tyranitar evolutions)
  • Squirtle (and his Wartortle and Blastoise evolutions)
  • Eevee (and its evolutions Vaporeon, Jolteon, Flareon, Espeon, Umbreon)
  • Chikorita (and her Bayleef and Meganium evolutions)
  • Beldum (and its Metang and Metagross evolutions)
  • Cyndaquil (and its Quilava and Typhlosion evolutions)
  • Totodile (and its Croconaw and Feraligatr evolutions)
  • Piplup (and its Prinplup and Empoleon evolutions)

My #PokemonGOCommunityDay haul:
– 147 Dratini caught
– 1x 100% IV and 1x 98% IV catches
– 4 shinies
– 96k XP
– 78k Stardust? pic.twitter.com/jrGh9TRuEa

– Matthew Reynolds (@Crazyreyn) February 24, 2018 Manage cookie settings

The following Shiny Pokémon have been added in 2020:

  • Heatran on January 7
  • Piplup as part of the January Community Day
  • Minccino (and Cinccino) as part of Minccino’s limited research, which was, in turn, part of the 2020 Lunar New Year event
  • Riolu (and Lucario) as part of the Sinnoh region celebration event in February 2020
  • Hipopotas (and Hippodown) as part of the Sinnoh region celebration event in February 2020
  • Happiny, Chansey and Blissey as part of the 2020 Valentine’s Day celebration event
  • Lickitung (and Lickilicky) as part of the 2020 Valentine’s Day celebration event

Note that Abra Shiny and its evolutions and Clefairy Shiny and its evolutions are not in the game yet technically, despite being temporarily released by accident at the 2019 Chicago Go Fest.

Here’s everything you need to know about Go Beyond, including the arrival of the Gen 6 Pokémon from the Kalos region (X and Y), the level cap increase to 50, the Legacy Challenge 40, the new Candy XL and the Season of Celebration, which includes the arrival of the Deerling and Sawsbuck Forms, the Espurr Raid, and the Kalos Celebration Event.

We also have the new Field Investigations, two Community Days that retrieves all the Pokémon from Community Days 2019 and 2020; the classic Pokémon Featured Hours and the start of Season 6 of the Go Fighting League. In addition, the monthly Team Go Rocket missions are back with an interesting novelty along with some new ‘Strange’ Red Eggs and changes in the Pokémon lineup of Leaders Cliff, Arlo and Sierra as well as Giovanni.

Other things to know about Pokémon Go’s Variocolors – Standalone Variocolor, Ditto Shiny, and more

Once we’ve covered the basics, there are other important things to know about Shiny Pokémon and how they work:

  • The Variocolor Pokémon are independent – in other words: two people can go to the same place and capture the same Magikarp with the same stats, but they don’t have to be both Variocolor. In general, the community sees it as a good thing: people do not run to get a Shiny when they find one and you can not cheat by changing the location of the mobile to get a Shiny.
  • Shiny Pokémon can have other categories – that means they can be Dark or Purified, for example.
  • Ditto imitating a Shiny Pokémon is not a Variocolor – Well yes, if you meet a Shiny Magikarp and it transforms into a Ditto, the Ditto will not be Shiny. If you have such lousy fortune, maybe you should keep it to yourself in case that Ditto is retrospectively changed to Shiny if Variocolor is ever added.
  • The evolutions of Pokémon Variocolor will also be Variocolor – The good news is that if you have a Pokémon Variocolor its evolution will be too. A golden Magikarp will always transform into a red Gyarados. Take advantage of the candies!
  • Variocolor have their own entry in the Pokédex – When you have a Shiny you will see the creature in the Pokédex with its unique appearance and gender variants. This image from reddit user Dronpes explains it in detail:

Credit: Reddit user Dronpes

  • Variocolor Pokémon appear as normal Pokémon on the map – they only reveal themselves as Shiny when you start fighting them, so you will have to check all the Pokémon to find the Shiny, even if you already have that Pokémon repeated.
  • There is a new warning if you try to transfer a Variocolor – The Professor will warn you if you try to transfer a Shiny Pokémon so that you are completely safe and do not exchange it by accident.

This is all you need to know … the rest is luck, so take heart in your search.