As part of the latest Pokémon Go event, the Water Festival, players across the globe have reported seeing their first shiny Pokémon in-game. Although they'd long since been spotted in data mines, players were pleasantly surprised to find shiny yellow Magikarp and red Gyarados showing up in-game. But the real question now that the Water Festival is ending is whether shiny Pokémon are here to stay, or will they disappear with the event itself?
Pokémon Go Water Event End: Are shiny Pokémon permanent?
While we're always prepared for a surprise from Niantic, we believe that yes, shiny Magikarp and red Gyarados are here to stay. Let's take a look at the timeline: At no point during the announcement for the Water Festival was it teased that shiny Pokémon would be appearing at all — they just happened to appear during the event and just happened to be of a species that would be affected by the increased spawn rates.
Additionally, prior to its shiny subspecies' introduction, Magikarp had been phased out of egg groups entirely. This meant that if you wanted one, you'd have to catch it in the wild. You really couldn't ask for a better dry run for shiny Pokémon than one that was not only seeing an increase in spawns, but one that could only be obtained through catching it.
We think that if shiny Magikarp was meant to be a limited time deal, there's no way Niantic wouldn't have pushed it harder in the marketing for the Water Festival to get the maximum number of players out and looking for it. Sure, your chances of finding one post-Water Festival will probably be much reduced if you don't live in a water biome, but there's no reason to suspect that shiny Magikarp was a temporary addition.
Pokémon Go shiny Pokémon: What will the future of Pokémon Go look like if more shiny Pokémon are introduced?
It's tougher to speculate on this because we still don't know what Niantic's plan is regarding shiny Pokémon. We know through leaks (and now from the physical proof of shiny Pokémon being in the game) that they've got the code in place to implement it. It's just a matter of time before we start seeing more colorized variants of everyone's favorite Pocket Monsters.
Pokémon Go Hub thinks that we might be seeing shiny Pokémon introduced as a way to stimulate interest in the proximity trading update that's been teased. Their argument seems to be that — going by main series percentages — each shiny Pokémon has a spawn chance of 1 in 4,096, making it over 4,000 times harder to collect a full shiny Pokédex than it is to collect a full normal one. As a result, the trading economy might be centered around the exchange of shiny Pokémon.
Trading for shiny Pokémon will probably be a part of the trading economy when (or if) that update is introduced, but we suspect that people might also trade for more mundane, strong Pokémon as well if Niantic CEO John Hanke's teased gym update is successful in getting more people to engage in the game's battling aspect. Maybe the full implementation of shiny Pokémon is the third big update for 2017?
It's probably a little soon to start speculating about what the "next" step is for shiny Pokémon, since as far as we know only yellow Magikarp and red Gyarados will be in-game for the foreseeable future. Until more data starts surfacing post-Water Festival, why not indulge yourself by thinking about what your favorite Pokémon's shiny form will look like buddied up with you as you traverse Pokémon Go?
More Pokémon Go guides, tips and tricks
If you're booting up the game for the first time in a while to get ready for Gen 2, be sure to check out Mic's guides on how to get stardust, how to determine how long it will take you to reach level 40, the kind of Pokémon you get from 10-kilometer eggs, how to create new PokéStops, how to maximize your chances of catching Pokémon and how PokéStops distribute Pokémon eggs. Also check out how to catch Gen 2 baby Pokémon, our analysis of post-balance update Chansey and Rhydon and everything you need to know about finding the long-awaited Pokémon Ditto.