The three Pokemon Sun Moon starter Pokemon.

How to Get Shiny Starter Pokemon in Sun and Moon

Warning: Only the most hardcore and dedicated of Pokemon Masters need apply. Good luck – you’ll need it!

So, I’m assuming if you’re reading this article you already know what Pokemon Sun and Moon are, and you either own one or will do as soon as your country allows you to buy it (why do Nintendo hate us Brits??).

Trainers in Pokemon Sun and Moon are given the option of starting the game with either Rowlet, Litten, or Popplio (we’ve written an article helping you choose the best starter for you) to accompany them through the world of Alola.


So, you should know what starter you want.  The question is, do you want that starter Pokemon to be shiny?

Yes, adult gamers, things have moved on a long way since we hit up the Celadon Game Corner in Pokemon Red and Blue.

The good news is, you can have that shiny Pokemon.  The bad news is, it’s going to take some serious grinding and a pinch of luck.

Still want to do this?  Let’s go.

Your only opportunity (save for an exceptionally unlikely trade) of obtaining the shiny starter Pokemon you really want comes in the opening stages of Pokemon Sun and Moon.  This choice is a staple of the Pokemon franchise; the three starter Pokemon cannot be found in the game outside of these opening moments.

Start the game and play until you reach the bridge encounter with your Tapu Koko guardian Pokémon before you speak to Lillie.  If you speak to Lille, it’s too late – you’ll have to restart.

Save the game. Now, save it again, then once more for luck (y’know, just in case).

Now that you’ve saved the game (you did, didn’t you?), speak to Lillie and trigger the cutscene that allows you to pick your starting Pokemon.  Remember, the Pokemon won’t look shiny in the cutscene, so you’ll need to actually choose the Pokemon to see if it is shiny or not.


If the Pokemon isn’t shiny after selecting it, then do a soft-reset and try again. Repeat.  Repeat.  And, repeat again.

If you own a 3DS, the soft-reset can be done by holding the L and R buttons and pressing the Start or Select button; this restarts the game and bypasses the boot-up time and opening screens. You can also speed things up further by increasing the text speed in the settings and getting very quick with hammering the A button to get through the text.

As I said, only the most hardcore and dedicated Pokemon Masters need apply.  You have about a one out of 4,100 chance of encountering a shiny Pokemon at the best of times, and that applies when selecting a starter Pokemon also.

Some trainers have successfully obtained a shiny Pokemon within an hour.  Others have taken 24 hours.  Some have blistered thumbs and are 48 hours in without an end in sight.  The odds are there, but it ultimately comes down to the luck of the draw.

Good luck