Now that the Water Festival event is well and truly over, and Shiny Magikarp are finally a thing in Pokémon GO, I think it’s about time we attempt to answer a very important question. Just how rare is shiny Magikarp in Pokémon GO?
In the main-series games, shiny Pokémon are incredibly rare. From Generation 2 all the way through Generation 5, you had a 1/4096 chance of encountering a shiny Pokémon in the wild. From Generation 6 onward, the odds were doubled; giving the player a 1/8192 chance. But what about Pokémon GO?
At the moment, Magikarp is the only Pokémon in Pokémon GO that can be shiny. At some point in the future the other Pokémon will be added, but for now, all we have is the weak orange fish
Shiny Magikarp seem to be far more common than in the main-series games. Thanks to a poll from The Silph Road, we can see that out of 17,589 Magikarp that were seen, 75 were shiny. This comes out to be around 1/235, which is roughly 17x better than the current generation of main-series Pokémon games.
Of course, that’s not the end of the story. In reality, the odds of finding a shiny Magikarp are probably worse than this, simply because in a poll that asks you how many Magikarp you’ve seen (and how many were shiny), players who haven’t caught a shiny ‘Karp yet are less likely to answer than those who have.
Thus, the data is probably (almost definitely) skewed. That being said, Pokémon GO is a more casual game when compared to main-series Pokemon games, so it’s no surprise that the encounter rate of shiny Magikarp is much higher than we’re used to.
At the end of the day, we’re not 100% that the numbers above represent the actual rarity of shiny Magikarp. Until we can gather more data, and more specifically, more data from people who haven’t caught a shiny Magikarp yet, we’re not going to be certain of the exact encounter rate of shiny Magikarp.