How Will Niantic Handle Shiny Ditto In Pokémon GO?

Shiny Ditto is coming to Pokémon GO, but the way that Ditto is caught in the game has some wondering how Shiny Ditto can possibly be integrated as a wild spawn. Let's take a look at why some trainers are confused about this and then pose possible ways that Niantic may handle this release.

Shiny Ditto in Pokémon GO. Credit: Niantic
Shiny Ditto in Pokémon GO. Credit: Niantic

Currently, Ditto is caught by catching species in which Ditto is posing as on the map. For example, a Hoothoot you've just caught may surprise you by transforming into a Ditto after the Poké Ball shakes for the final time. However, Ditto can't currently appear as every species. Niantic has made it so only a select group of species, all of them non-Shiny capable species, can become Ditto in Pokémon GO. This was added to the game to avoid the disappointment of catching a rare Shiny Pokémon only for it to transform into a non-Shiny Ditto.

So, now that Ditto can be Shiny, how will it spawn? Here are some ideas.

  • THE SAME AS BEFORE: So, there's a chance that Ditto encounters won't change. It may only be encounterable through non-Shiny encounters and then, when you cut to the "Oh…?" screen that leads to the Ditto reveal, then you may have a Shiny Ditto. So essentially, perhaps a Shiny Ditto can hide as a non-Shiny Pokémon. The only problem here is that Ditto is going to be featured in its Shiny Form during the Pokémon GO Tour: Kanto, which will flood the game with Kanto species, making all of them Shiny-capable. How can Ditto hide out as any of them if they're all able to be Shiny?
  • A NEW MECHANIC: Perhaps Niantic can pull off a more complicated mechanic than they currently use, locking Shiny Ditto not to non-Shiny-capable species, but rather specifically non-Shiny encounters. For example, Pikachu can be Shiny. What if Niantic can find a way that Ditto, newly Shiny-capable, will be able to disguise itself as a regular Pikachu. This way, no one gets the bummer of a Shiny catch turning into a regular Ditto, and the problem of Shiny Ditto's role in the Kanto Tour, which seems to only feature Kanto spawns, is resolved.
  • SPECIAL RESEARCH: So, clearing up a bit of confusion I saw online first. The Pokémon GO Tour: Kanto Ticketed Research does not end with a Shiny Mew encounter. Completing the Ticketed Research unlocked the long-term Shiny Mew Special Research. We don't currently know what the Ticketed Research will offer. It would sure make things easy on Niantic, though, if it culminated in a guaranteed Shiny Ditto encounter…

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About Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.
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