Pokeradar Shiny Chaining Guide
The Library


Red Gyarados was one of the first Shiny Pokemon
A new feature incorporated into the Pokemon games with the release of Diamond and Pearl was the Pokeradar. In Diamond and Pearl, the Pokeradar is received from Professor Oak upon visiting the Pal Park for the first time.

The immediate suggested purpose of the Pokeradar is to catch rare Pokemon. There are many Pokemon from the other regions in Pokemon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum (DPPt) that can only be caught with the Pokeradar. Therefore, the Pokeradar can be a useful tool in completing the Pokedex. However, when asking Dawn or Lucas about Pokeradar tips, trainers may notice mention of special patches that contain different colored Pokemon. This means one thing: yes, Pokeradar can catch shinies with a chance better than the typical 1/ 8,192.


Alright, so you have your brand new Pokeradar, and you walk into some random patch of grass. You use the Radar and some patches start moving. Walk into a patch, faint the wild Pokemon, and everything seems normal. But wait, more patches are moving!

And you walk into another one of the moving patches, and you see the same Pokemon again! Or maybe not. Okay, so maybe you already knew what chaining was. Maybe not. Either way, chaining Pokemon with the Pokeradar is using the Pokeradar to see the same Pokemon over and over again. And when you stop seeing the same Pokemon with Pokeradar, you've broken your chain. That means when you've just fainted a wild Pokemon and don't see anymore moving patches of grass, you've broken your chain.

In order to continue a chain, you must either catch or faint the last wild Pokemon of the chain you saw. This means running away will break your chain. Also, turning off your game will break your chain. To easily check whether your chain is broken or not, check on Poketch App 20. This app shows your records of longest chains, and if you're currently chaining, it shows your current chain at the top. If the top is empty, you don't have a chain.

What's so good about a big chain?

Alright, so you know you can see like 100 of the same Pokemon in a row if you make a Pokeradar chain and keep on making it longer. Remember when I mentioned how shinies can actually be caught with Pokeradar? Well, the longer your chain, the better your chance of seeing a shiny.

However, you don't just want an infinitely long chain because --like all good things-- the increase of shiny rate with Pokeradar has a limit. When you chain reaches a length of 40, the chance of seeing a shiny Pokemon becomes 0.5% or 1/200. The chance never gets any better than this, but 1/200 sure is better than 1/8,192.

Calculate Shiny Chance

As mentioned previously, the highest shiny chance obtained with Pokeradar is 0.5% or 1/200, but even without a chain of 40, the chance of a shiny increases as the chain size increases. This means you could stop before a chain of 40 if you do not wish to risk breaking your chain, or you could run into a shiny Pokemon before reaching a chain of 40.
There is an unconfirmed formula to calculate the chance of a shiny in a chain:
P(shiny) = (14,747 - 40 * n) / (2,621,440 * (41 - n))
P(shiny) = chance of a shiny
n = length of the chain
Chain length: || Shiny Chance: 0.5%
41 times better than the typical shiny chance.
**NOTE: The calculated shiny chance is per a patch. On each Pokeradar reset, a maximum of 4 patches may be shaking.

Okay, I'm interested

Great. Well, obviously now, if you want to catch some shinies you'll probably want to get to a chain of 40. Now, if you just venture into the wilderness you might be able to get a chain of around 7 Pokemon--or maybe even more-- just by trying the Pokeradar, but when you're trying to catch a shiny, it helps to know a few things.


Yes, you can still see normal wild Pokemon while walking to the shaking patches of grass. And the worst part is, these wild Pokemon aren't part of the whole Pokeradar thing, so even if you see wild Bidoof from an unmoving patch of grass while you're chaining Bidoof, it'll break your chain. Simple solution. Repels. Note that while Max Repels last for 50 more steps (250 total) than Super Repels (200 total), Max Repels are 700 Pokedollars while Super Repels are 500 Pokedollars. This means that with Max Repels, you're paying 40% extra money for only 25% extra steps. It might not seem like a big difference, but when chaining, it's advisable to have at least 100 Super or Max Repels if not more.

Types of Patches

You've probably noticed that there are different ways the patches of grass move. In general, you'll want to always go into a patch that moves in the same way as the first patch you had walked into. Walking into a different type of patch has a high chance of breaking your chain. However, it's not an absolute chance, so if you walk into a different type of patch and still see the Pokemon you're chaining, you're probably safe.

However, note that when you walk into a different type of patch you 'switch over.' In other words, start trying to enter only the patches that move in the same way as the different type of patch you entered. If you find yourself accidentally entering different types of patches often, a simple rule to remember is to try to enter the type of patch that's the same as the last one you entered. Also, if you're unsure about the last patch you entered, note that the dominant patch, the type you see the most of, usually is the right one.

The Zones

X 4 4 4 X 4 4 4 X
4 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 4
4 3 2 2 2 2 2 3 4
4 3 2 1 1 1 2 3 4
X 3 2 1 0 1 2 3 X
4 3 2 1 1 1 2 3 4
4 3 2 2 2 2 2 3 4
4 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 4
X 4 4 4 X 4 4 4 X
See the grid above? It may seem like just a bunch of numbers, but it's a map of the 'zones' or areas that Pokeradar patches can be in. Imagine that 0 represents where you, the trainer, is standing. The 1-zone represents all the patches of grass that are either 1 tile vertical or horizontal of you. The 4-zone represents all the patches of grass that are at either 4 tiles vertical or horizontal of you. The areas marked with an 'X' represent patches that have a good chance of breaking your chain.

Alright, but the important thing is that the patches of grass that appear in the 4-zone give the highest chance of continuing your chain, and 3-zone patches give a higher chance of continuing your chain than 2-zone patches and so on.

Everytime you see patches moving after either battling a Pokemon from your chain or resetting the Pokeradar, there will always be one moving patch of grass in each zone unless you are not completely surrounded by grass in a 9x9 box. In any case, this means you will not see more than 4 moving patches of grass, and you will never see two grass patches in the same zone.

**NOTE: Although always entering 4-zones is a generally safe bet for Pokeradar chaining, you may wish to consult 13mjvr's Chaining Guide for a more indepth analysis of the patch patterns.


Resetting the Pokeradar means using it again while you're in a chain. In order to reset your Pokeradar, you must walk 50 steps to recharge the Pokeradar battery. The action of resetting your Pokeradar doesn't break your chain; it simply causes new patches of grass to move instead of the last ones. Resetting is great if you don't see any patches of grass that are appealing. For example, if you don't see any 4-zone patches of grass, you might want to reset the Pokeradar. The ability to reset the Pokeradar is the main argument that makes it fair to say that success in Pokeradar chaining is more dependent upon patience than luck.

Many people who chain for shinies choose to repetitively reset the Pokeradar at the center of the patch after reaching a chain of 40.

Picking the Best Spot

When you pick a field of grass to chain in, you'll want to pick one that surrounds (or comes as close as possible to surrounding) you in a 9x9 box as frequently as possible. You want a field to grass to be this way because you want to have the 4-zone patches available to you as frequently as possible. On most routes, there's an obvious field of grass bigger than the others, but when it's less obvious, you should pick the field that's the closest to square in shape.


You can get pretty far with a chain just by knowing to go to the further patches of grass that shake in the right way and to reset your radar when the odds seem against you, but there are a few other minor points that might save you some frustration in chaining.

If none of the patches that shook are within the view of your screen, your chain breaks. This means if you run far past the view of your field of grass, you've lost your chain. However, even if you stay within the same field of grass, this means you should be careful when moving to reset the radar, particularly in large fields of grass. When you're getting your steps or moving to the center of the patch to reset your radar, always try to visualize where the patches that moved were, so your chain doesn't mysteriously break because you moved out of the range of all the moving patches!

You should also be very careful when going to the corners or edges of the field of grass. Remember the zones? If you're in an edge or corner, you're not very well surrounded by grass. The designated tiles for the different grass patches to shake in might not have grass on them, and if this happens for all four patches of grass, you're left with no grass patches and your chain breaks. To be safe, you should try to always stay at least 1 tile from the edge. If you're completely surrounded by grass in the 1-zone, you'll never break your chain this way because you will always at least still have the 1-zone patch.

A good rule of thumb is to not go into the patch one step directly above you, especially if you haven't seen any 1-zone patches. Simply speaking, the tile above you is covered with the head of your trainer, so it's often difficult to tell whether it's shaking or not. It's very easy to break a chain by accidentally moving into the patch of grass one step above you that you didn't realize was shaking at all!

Key Points Quick Summary

  • Use repels while chaining.
  • Keep entering the same type of moving grass you started your chain with.
  • Go to patches of grass furthest away from you.
  • If none of the patches look promising, reset.
  • Chain in an area with a lot of grass.
  • Don't move into the grass patch directly above you.
  • Avoid the edges and corners of the grassy area.
  • Don't wander too far from the shaking patches.
  • A chain of 40 will get you the highest shiny chance possible.

About the Pokemon

Chaining Swarms

Yes, Pokemon that have a higher natural appearance rate are more likely to appear again and again in a chain. And, swarming Pokemon tend to have a higher natural appearance rate than your average Pikachu. The swarm Pokemon changes every day, and you can find out the current swarm Pokemon by talking to Dawn/Lucas's sister in her house at Sandgem Town. One thing to note about swarms is that you can keep chaining them even when the day of the swarm is over. This means you don't have to hesitate about starting a chain of swarming Pokemon right before midnight!

Static and Magnet Pull

Static increases the chance of seeing a wild Pokemon that's electric and Magnet Pull increases the chance of seeing a wild Pokemon that's steel. So, if you're trying to chain an electric or steel Pokemon, you can use a Pokemon with one of those abilities to increase your chances of keeping a chain. It's notable that a Static or Magnet Pull Pokemon have to be at the beginning of your party to work. However, if your Magnet Pull or Static Pokemon can't take on the Pokemon your chaining, you can let it faint. The abilities still work if the Pokemon with the ability is fainted and at the start of the party.


Synchronize is great for competitive players who want to show off shinies in battle because it allows you to capture wild Pokemon with a 50% chance of having the same nature as the Synchronize Pokemon. Like Static and Magnet Pull Pokemon, a Synchronize Pokemon has to be put at the start of the party but can be fainted. A convenient thing to note about Synchronize Pokemon is that they only have to be in the start of your party when you enter a patch of grass for their ability to work. This means if you don't fancy fainting your Synchronize Pokemon and see a shiny patch before a chain of 40, you can walk one patch before the shiny patch and move your Synchronize Pokemon to the first slot right before entering the patch.

Intimidate and White Smoke

While not as useful as the forementioned abilities, Intimidate and White Smoke are notable. An Intimidate or White Smoke Pokemon placed at the front of the party will lower the rate of appearance of normal wild Pokemon. This means, if you think you might run out of repels and can't conveniently stock extra, you can bring an Intimidate or White Smoke Pokemon to use when you do run out of repels. Otherwise, if you run out of repels and happen to have an Intimidate or White Smoke Pokemon around, you can switch it to the first slot.

Remember...You're catching these!

It's too easy to forget. Of course, you should usually want to bring a False Swiper and a status Pokemon, but you shoud also always consider the Pokemon you're chaining for a bit. If you're chaining Abras, you better be prepared to deal with their infamous move: Teleport. Also, if you're chaining Beldum, one of the swarm Pokemon, you should note that they have a catch rate of 3 (comparable to most legendaries in catch difficulty) and know Take Down, effectively ruining your attempts to weaken them to 1 HP. Now you may not want to memorize the fact that Pokemon like Raticate know Double Edge, so you should remember to keep Masterballs around if you can incase you realize there was something you overlooked in the difficulty of catching your chain Pokemon.

Pokemon Key Points

  • Swarms are good Pokemon to chain.
  • Magnet Pull and Static are useful when chainining steel and electric Pokemon, respectively.
  • Synchronize can get you the natures you want.
  • Intimidate and White Smoke are useless except in the situations when they're slightly useful.
  • Make sure you are prepared to catch the Pokemon you're chaining.

Have Fun

To some people, chaining can be rather boring and tedious. It's easy to rush into any old shaking patch of grass then get frustrated as your chain breaks. That's why chaining really is something that takes a bit of patience. While chaining, don't be afraid to take breaks, but remember that turning off the game or leaving the area will break your chain!



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