Generation 1 Shiny Hunting
This guide assumes that you have a basic understanding of what a shiny Pokémon is and how shiny Pokémon are generated in their generation of introduction, generation 2! If you're confused, please check out the Basics of Shiny Hunting guide first.
Shiny Pokémon were introduced as a feature in Pokémon Gold and Silver versions three years after Red and Blue's initial release, and yet shiny hunting in generation 1 is possible. In generation 2, shininess is determined by a Pokémon's DVs, or Determinant Values. Between the two generations, the DV system remains largely unchanged, which means that if the player were to find a Pokémon with the right DV combination in Red, Blue, or Yellow, that Pokémon would become shiny when traded to Gold, Silver, or Crystal. Therefore, shiny hunting in generation 1 can be done by catching Pokémon or resetting until the desired target has the proper stats, and then traded to generation 2 to become shiny properly.
Does this mean any Pokémon caught in Red, Blue, or Yellow could potentially be shiny?
Unfortunately, no. Red, Blue, and Yellow have a faulty way of determining randomness for wild encounters which prevents certain wild DV spreads from being possible, and this excludes all eight possible shiny DV spreads from being given to a wild Pokémon. However, this faulty randomness does not apply to any stationary Pokémon that can be interacted with on the overworld, any Pokémon received as a gift, any Pokémon received from the Game Corner, any Pokémon received in a trade, or specifically wild fishing encounters. Below you can find every naturally huntable shiny Pokémon in generation 1 alongside their generation 2 shiny sprites for easy target-choosing.
Every naturally shiny huntable Pokémon in generation 1
Please keep in mind that while these lists include encounters in the Japanese versions of Pokémon Red/Green/Yellow and the Japanese exclusive Blue when applicable, Japanese generation 1 and 2 games CANNOT safely trade with any other language games. This is due to the character sets for the languages being completely incompatible. The games will not stop you from trying, but if you try it can corrupt your save file. Don't go for a Japanese target if you like to keep all your shinies on the same file! If you enjoy transferring your shinies from the Virtual Console releases of generation 1 into the modern generations, that is possible without issue on a Japanese 3DS, and your Japanese shinies will no longer be dangerous once transferred.
The shiny sprite displayed in the table is from Pokémon Gold version. As for the non-shiny sprite, Red/Blue is chosen at default, but the Yellow sprite will be displayed if that Pokémon encounter is only found in Yellow version.Select an encounter type to view:
How can I tell when my Pokémon has shiny stats?
A Pokémon's DVs are not readily available to the player to see, and instead have to be calculated in reverse from the Pokémon's stats on its summary screen, the base stats of its species, and its level. Unfortunately, this calculation is often not accurate at lower levels and sometimes isn't accurate until around level 50! Additionally, gaining any stat experience can complicate this calculation, making effective and quick encounters seem impossible. However, BMF has a on-site tool to automate this process, that can do the math automatically and figure out if your Pokémon is shiny for you. All you need to use it is a good handful of Rare Candies, especially if the Pokémon you're hunting is at a very low level when obtained. More information on how to use the tool can be found on the tool's page.
Click here to go to the Generation 1 Shiny Tool.
There are a good amount of Rare Candies that can be picked up during the main story of Red/Blue/Yellow, and this can be massively multiplied by using the Item Duplication Glitch. As for shiny hunting Pokémon before more Rare Candies are obtainable, the only options are using a cheating device to inject them into the inventory, or ACE, also known as Arbitrary Code Execution, which is essentially a very elaborate glitch that lets you change what the game does by swapping items around in your inventory or through other methods. At a later date there will be detailed ACE instructions on BMF for optimizing all generation 1 shiny hunts and getting Rare Candies at any point (even before picking the starter), but until then, an auditory/visual guide to the process can be found in this YouTube video by user Nautoum. (Pay attention to the pinned comment, this video is old and there are a few errors.)
What if I don't want to deal with all this stat checking stuff?
If you own a copy of Pokémon Stadium 2 and a Transfer Pak, there is a way to shiny hunt in generation 1 without checking the stats of your target Pokémon. The Game Boy Tower mode in Stadium 2 allows for the Game Boy Pokémon games to be played on the television, and even allows for the generation 1 games to be played at double or triple the speed with the Doduo/Dodrio Game Boy upgrade rewarded to the player after beating Stadium 2's Gym Leader Castle and Stadium Cups in Round 1. Combined with the Pokémon Lab feature, which allows the player to view and organize their Pokémon PC boxes en masse, applicable generation 1 hunts can actually go relatively quickly.
To use this method, simply capture many instances of your target Pokémon in the Game Boy Tower, save in a Pokémon Center, exit to the Pokémon Lab, check your PC boxes for a shiny, release them if none of them are, then rinse and repeat until you find one. This unfortunately does not work for one-time stationary, gift, or trade Pokémon because you must save your game to look at them in the Pokémon Lab. However, this method works great for fishing encounters, and still works pretty well for Game Corner Pokémon, though I think at that point you may as well just check the stats instead.
The Pokémon I want to hunt for isn't possible to be shiny!
You're in luck! There is actually a way to shiny hunt any Pokémon in generation 1... including Johto Pokémon! Well, except for Celebi, but all of the rest of them are possible. That may sound shocking, but it's actually pretty simple - there are a hundred leftover internal ID numbers in generation 1's code that never actually had proper Pokémon assigned to them. These obviously usually aren't obtainable, but if the player were to find a way to get their hands on one of these glitch leftover Pokémon and then trade it to generation 2, it would then become a Johto Pokémon, because the generation 2 games filled in all those unused IDs with new Pokémon. It could even, ideally, become a shiny Johto Pokémon. This leads us to the Fossil Conversion Glitch, which is a very elaborate glitch that lets the player convert a revived fossil on Cinnabar Island into any Pokémon desired from Pokédex numbers 1-250. Of course, since the fossil Pokémon are gift Pokémon, which are capable of being shiny, so are their glitchy, converted counterparts. Other than sometimes having glitch moves or moves the Pokémon cannot usually learn (which can be overwritten if desired), the Johto Pokémon obtained with this glitch function perfectly normally within generation 2. The glitch works on both original hardware and Virtual Console, so VC players aren't left out either. More detailed step-by-step instructions on how to perform the Fossil Conversion Glitch can be found on the Generation 1 Shiny Tool page after picking a Pokémon target.
Good luck with your hunts and happy hunting!
Generation 1 shiny hunting can be a somewhat complicated and technical subject. If there's anything not mentioned in this guide that you think should be, feel free to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your feedback. It's much appreciated! I want any random person to be able to read the information on this site and try out a generation 1 shiny hunt for the first time. They're just so unique and very worth the setup.
Last updated 12/14/22. Page created.