From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
|| 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 for the increased chance of Shiny Pokémon being produced when breeding Pokémon with different languages of origin.
While the standard encounter rate for a Shiny Pokémon (either in the wild or by breeding) is 1/8192 from Generation II to Generation V and 1/4096 in Generation VI onwards, the Masuda method multiplies this rate by 5 (to 5/8192 or about 1/1638) in Generation IV, by 6 (to 6/8192 or about 1/1365) in Generation V, and by 6 (to 6/4096, or 1/683) from Generation VI onwards.
The method is named after Game Freak director Junichi Masuda, who described the method in his blog in December 2007. The blog post lists various ways that Game Freak decided to incentivize using the GTS in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, describing this bonus as "rare colored Pokemon’s Egg can be found little easier".
The summary of an English Bulbasaur
in an English game.
The summary of an Italian Bulbasaur in an English game. The Pokémon is differentiated by an additional "ITA" language tag.
The Masuda method involves breeding two Pokémon created in games of different languages. 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 language different to the language the game is being played in.
If both Pokémon are foreign to the language the game is being played in but are both of the same language, 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 language as the game they were generated in, so they cannot be bred with another Pokémon from the same language for the Masuda method.
In Generation IV only, if the Masuda method applies, the Everstone will fail to increase the chance of passing on a Nature. This is due to Nature and Shininess both being determined by the Pokémon's personality value in Generation IV, so manipulating one would interfere with the other. From Generation V onward, Nature is not determined by personality value, so this restriction is removed.
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 game 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.
Mechanics and reasoning
An internal marker on each Pokémon (at 0x17 prior to Generation VI, 0xE3 thereafter) identifies their "original language". If the game recognizes the two Pokémon in the daycare as having different languages, then when an Egg is generated, the game will generate extra personality values in an attempt to find one that results in a Shiny Pokémon. This stacks with the Shiny Charm's effect.
In Generation IV, the game tries four extra personality values (resulting in approximately five times the probability of receiving a Shiny Pokémon, or 5/8192). In Generation V the game instead makes five extra attempts (resulting in six times the probability, or 6/8192). Generation VI appears to work the same as Generation V (generating a probability of 6/4096 due to Generation VI's increased Shiny odds).
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.
The Masuda method is appealing to players due to allowing them to obtain Shiny Pokémon with specific Egg Moves, Natures and IVs.