As you've been wandering around the Galar region in Pokémon Sword and Shield, you'll probably have seen certain Pokémon with a glowing yellow 'aura' hanging around in the tall grass. What do those yellow glowing Pokémon signify? Well, settle down and relax as we lay it all out for you...

What does a yellow glowing wild Pokémon mean in Pokémon Sword and Shield?

The glowing yellow aura certain wild Pokémon display in Pokémon Sword and Shield denotes a 'Brilliant' Pokémon. No, we don't just mean a Pokémon that's really ace like Charizard or Grookey - we mean a Pokémon that is of a higher level than the average specimens found in the surrounding area.

Brilliant Pokémon also know 'unusual' moves (such as Egg Moves - moves which usually only appear in Pokémon you've bred) and a minimum of two out of their three stats will have the highest possible value.

Here's a Brilliant Rolycoly we spotted in the Galar Mine. Note the glowing yellow aura of brilliance.

In short, they're the 'best' versions of a specific Pokémon species you'll encounter in the wild.

Why should I bother catching Brilliant Pokémon?

If you're looking to build the strongest team possible, it's a good idea to seek out Brilliant Pokémon. They'll have better IVs than regular Pokémon (although you won't be able to check those until you've defeated all 8 Gym Leaders and beaten the game once).

Even if you're not too worried about getting into the nitty gritty with stats, battling Brilliant Pokémon earns you Watts, the special currency used to purchase stuff from special traders in the Wild Areas. Not only that, but battling the same species over and over increases your chances of encountering ultra rare Shiny Pokémon as well as Brilliant versions. And everyone wants Shiny Pokémon, right?

How do I find Brilliant Pokémon?

Once you've encountered and battled a Pokémon of a certain species, it unlocks the chance of a Brilliant version of that Pokémon appearing in the wild. The more you battle that species, the better the chance you'll see Brilliant versions - and even the coveted Shiny versions - in the wild.

You can double your chances of encountering a Brilliant Pokémon of a certain species by battling them 100 times (non-consecutively). The same number of battles also increases your chances of encountering a Shiny version of that species by three times, although the base percentage chance of encountering a Shiny is much lower than finding a Brilliant Pokémon. In order to maximise your chances of seeing a Shiny, you'll need to fight the same species 500 times - a feat which will make Shiny Pokémon six times more likely to appear than normal.

The following table from the official Pokémon website gives us the exact number of battles required to increase your chances of seeing Brilliant and Shiny Pokémon in Pokémon Sword and Shield:

Number of battles Effects on future encounters
At least one Brilliant Pokémon may appear
At least 20 Brilliant Pokémon 1.3x more likely to appear
At least 50 Brilliant Pokémon 1.6x more likely to appear,
Shiny Pokémon 2x more likely to appear
At least 100 Brilliant Pokémon 2x more likely to appear,
Shiny Pokémon 3x more likely to appear
At least 200 Shiny Pokémon 4x more likely to appear
At least 300 Shiny Pokémon 5x more likely to appear
At least 500 Shiny Pokémon 6x more likely to appear

Can I find Brilliant Pokémon while fishing?

Yes, you can. Brilliant Pokémon can be hooked on your fishing rod in the Wild Area - the glowing yellow aura appears on the fishing 'spot' on the water.

Thankfully, the encounter rate increase isn't locked to specific species in this case. Instead, you must hook and defeat multiple Pokémon (of any species) in a row to increase your Brilliant Pokémon encounter rate. 25 is the magic number which makes Brilliant Pokémon 16.6 times more likely to appear on the end of your hook.

Again, here's a table from the official Pokémon website with the stats:

Successful hooks Effects on future encounters
0–2 Brilliant Pokémon may appear
3–6 Brilliant Pokémon 1.3x more likely to appear
7–14 Brilliant Pokémon 3.3x more likely to appear
15–24 Brilliant Pokémon 6.6x more likely to appear
25+ Brilliant Pokémon 16.6x more likely to appear

It's important to note that the chain is broken if you fail to reel in and defeat a Pokémon (catching it in a Poké Ball will also break your chain). Leaving the Wild Area or turning off the game also resets the chain.

So there you are! Those annoying Electrikes and Yampers that keep bounding up and forcing you into battle after battle are actually doing you a favour and increasing your chances of coming across a Brilliant or Shiny Electrike or Yamper later on. They're good boys really.

Let us know how you've got on finding Brilliant and Shiny Pokémon below.