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Masuda method

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Get it? Because the name is unknown. The subject of this article has no official name.
The name currently in use is a fan designator; see below for more information.

The Masuda method (Japanese: 国際結婚 international marriage), also known as Masuda's method, is a fan-made term which describes a way to obtain Shiny Pokémon more easily from Generation IV onwards. While the standard encounter rate for a Shiny Pokémon (either in the wild or by breeding) is 1/8192, the Masuda method multiplies this rate by 5 (to 5/8192 or about 1/1638) in Generation IV and by 6 (to 3/4096 or about 1/1365) in Generation V. It occurs whenever Pokémon of differing real-world geographical origin are bred.

The method is named after Game Freak director Junichi Masuda, who programmed it into Pokémon Diamond and Pearl. He documented the method in his blog,[1] where he mentioned a way that "rare colored Pokémon's Egg can be found little easier." The mechanics behind the method were discovered by Smogon.


The Masuda method involves breeding two Pokémon created in games of different countries. An Egg resulting from such a pairing will have a higher likelihood of being Shiny. The most common way to arrange such a pairing is to use one foreign Pokémon and one from the game in which the breeding occurs, although the method will work in any game provided at least one of the Pokémon in the pair is from a country different to the country of the game cartridge.

If both Pokémon are foreign to the cartridge but are both from the same country, then the Masuda method will not take effect. Foreign language Pokémon obtained via in-game trades, such as the Meister's Foppa and Lt. Surge's Volty, are treated as being from the same country as the game they were generated in, so they cannot be bred with another Pokémon from the same country for the Masuda method. In Generation IV, if the Masuda method is in effect, so both parents come from different countries, the Everstone will fail to increase the chance of passing on a Nature.

A Pokémon traded internationally while still in its Egg will retain the internal marking which recognizes it as a foreign Pokémon even though it appears to be native to the cartridge it was hatched in.

Some examples are illustrated below; Pokémon bred in circumstances which invoke the Masuda method and have an increased chance of being Shiny are denoted by their Shiny sprite.

Parents Offspring
Two Pokémon from the same country
095.png 208 f.png 095.png
US game Onix US game Steelix Onix
Two Pokémon from two countries
362.png 478.png 361 s.png
US game Glalie Japanese game ユキメノコ ShinyVIStar.png Snorunt ShinyVIStar.png
Breeding with an in-game trade
130.png 129 f.png 129.png
US game Gyarados US game Foppa Magikarp

Mechanics and reasoning

An internal marker on each Pokémon (0x17) identifies their "home location": if the game recognizes the two Pokémon in the daycare as having different home locations, then when an Egg is generated, the game will attempt to generate a personality value that results in a Shiny Pokémon up to four extra times in Generation IV and five extra times in Generation V.[2] If the player has the Shiny Charm, the game will make two further attempts to generate a Shiny Pokémon, bringing the total chance up to 1/1024, or eight times more likely than normal.

In Generation VI, the Shiny Charm combined with the Masuda method increases the chance of hatching a Shiny Pokémon to 1/512.

Reaction and purpose

From Generation IV onwards, trading with games from other countries became easier due to the Nintendo DS's ability to communicate through Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. The Masuda method was likely coded as incentive for players to use the GTS's international trading services.

Though the odds of obtaining a Shiny Pokémon are still fairly low, the chances have now been increased significantly enough that players have touted it as a more reliable method than the Poké Radar. The Masuda method is even more appealing, since it allows players to customize their team further, with specific Egg moves, Natures and IVs that would be either unavailable or harder to obtain.

See also


Project Games logo.png This game mechanic article is part of Project Games, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on the Pokémon games.