Scarlet and Violet mass outbreaks
Image: Nintendo Life

Mass outbreaks in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet are your chance to stock up on specific Pokémon species and, more importantly, maybe even find a Shiny variation.

This guide explains how mass outbreaks work and what you can do to increase your chances of finding a Shiny Pokémon.

What are mass outbreaks in Scarlet and Violet?

How do mass outbreaks work in Scarlet and Violet
Image: Nintendo Life

Mass outbreaks are gatherings of a specific kind of Pokémon that occur in random locations throughout Paldea each real-world day. They clear at the end of that day (midnight, in other words), and a new round of outbreaks starts for the next 24 hours.

Pokémon will continue appearing until you catch or defeat roughly 100 of them, and then the outbreak disperses. A new one doesn’t replace it. The Pokémon you find will also be at the same level as surrounding Pokémon, so bear that in mind when deciding which of your teammates to take along.

Not every Pokémon will have their own mass outbreak, but there are dozens that may, including Bramblin, Tinkatink, Frigibax, Rellor, and Greavard. If you can’t seem to catch them normally in the wild, check your map each day to see whether a Pokémon you’re after is running rampant in an outbreak.

Mass outbreaks show up on your map either as pulsing icons of the Pokémon in question if you’ve met that Pokémon or as outlines with a question mark if you haven’t added them to the Paldea Pokédex yet.

Mass outbreaks and Shiny Pokémon

Where to find mass outbreaks in Scarlet and Violet
Image: Nintendo Life

The big draw with mass outbreaks is that they increase your chances of finding a Shiny Pokémon, though the increase is, admittedly, small.

After you defeat anywhere between 20 or 30 Pokémon in an outbreak, a message pops up that says the outbreak is getting smaller. When this happens, you have one extra chance of potentially finding a Shiny Pokémon.

Entering a new area and returning to reset the available Pokémon won’t have any effect on your Shiny chances. You have to defeat enough of them to prompt the message about the outbreak reducing in size.

If you want specifics, a handful of dedicated players, including Serebii’s Joe Merrick, dug into the numbers and found that means you can potentially increase your chances of finding a Shiny to 1 in roughly 1,300 – which is still a slim chance, but it’s better than the base rate.

You can also boost the chance even further with a Shiny sandwich and the Shiny Charm to get the likelihood down to roughly 1 in 500.

Check out our Pokémon Scarlet and Violet walkthrough for more tips and tricks!