Best Shiny Starter Pokémon From Every Gen (All Ranked)This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
Getting a shiny Pokémon is very difficult. But it’s even harder when that Pokémon is your starter.
Since you usually can’t catch a bunch of them to start a train, you’ll usually have to try and breed for one or just keep resetting until you get lucky.
So if you’re going to go for this, you gotta make sure it is worth your time. But that’s why I’m here: to look into which starter Pokémon has the best shiny form design out there.
And for fun, I’m even going to include the Let’s Go starters here!
So without further ado, these are the best shiny starter options from every gen.
Unfortunately, we’re going to start this list out with Cyndaquil.
I liked Cyndaquil’s design as a kid because it was a rodent with literal fire bursting out of its back.
But the people at Game Freak did Cyndaquil dirty by making that fire only appear sometimes.
Now, it’s just a generic rodent with a black line on its back.
Unless Cyndaquil is shiny. Then that black line is turned to brown.
And frankly, whenever I see a brown line going down, I think of track marks in underwear.
And if your design makes me think of a bodily function, then you’re the perfect Pokémon to be at the bottom of this list.
Froakie is a cute little frog that gained enormous popularity based on its final evolution Greninja.
And Greninja has a really cool shiny, too!
Its blue skin becomes black, and its tongue scarf becomes bright red! It’s a nice combo.
It’s just a shame that Froakie doesn’t follow in its footsteps.
Froakie’s shiny form takes its blue skin and changes it to a very VERY light blue.
This makes it blend in with all of the white bubbles on Froakie, making it look really generic.
Instead of being able to see all of the cool details on the Pokémon, we’re now pretty much looking at a blank slate which is just boring.
Squirtle falls into a different category of bad shiny:
The shiny where nothing changes at all!
What really happens is Squirtle’s blue skin is made lighter. But if you put the two forms side by side, there really isn’t a difference.
Actually, upon further research, there is a bigger difference from the original form. You just never see it because all of the sprites online are from the front.
Squirtle gets a greenish shell instead of brown.
However, this does not work well at all with the other colors on Squirtle, so it still keeps its spot here near the back of the pack.
Here we have another Water starter that doesn’t really have that much of a change, albeit more than Squirtle.
This time, it’s Piplup!
Piplup has its dark blue accents changed into more of an aquamarine.
But once again, I can barely tell. Yes, the change is a bit more obvious than with Squirtle, but it still isn’t enough!
When am I gonna see some Pokémon that take some risks?
And now we have yet another Water starter that doesn’t really change.
What is it with Game Freak? Did they look at all of the starting types and decide that the Water ones would be the most boring?
However, Oshawott does look a bit better than the previous Water-types mentioned, because its shade of blue got darker instead of lighter. So that’s pretty nice, I guess.
I just wish that the designers would take more of a risk with these shiny forms.
Less shiny Squirtles and more shiny Charizards.
Finally we’re moving away from Water-types that barely change, to a Grass-type that barely changes!
However, I have to admit this looks nicer with Snivy than any of the previous Pokémon.
Since Snivy is much more snake-like, changing into a more emerald green makes it look just a bit more reptilian to me.
So even though this isn’t a drastic change, it is a decent one.
Tepig is an adorable little fire pig that looks like it belongs in Moana.
And while I don’t think its shiny form is the greatest, especially when compared to its evolutions, I do appreciate it.
Especially after all of those boring forms.
Shiny tepig has its black accents turned into a reddish-brown, while its orange skin becomes yellow.
While these don’t necessarily work well together, they do give off the feeling of fire and heat, so that works out pretty well!
Also, I just noticed that all of the Unova starters entered the list right in a row. Weird.
Charmander has the exact same design choice in its shiny as Tepig – with its formerly orange skin now becoming yellow.
But it works even better than with Tepig, since there isn’t the weird reddish-brown working against the yellow.
However, I can’t help but be disappointed with this shiny.
Charizard, the final evolution of Charmander, has arguably one of the best shiny forms in all of Pokémon.
Why couldn’t Charmander and Charmeleon also have changed to black? That looks awesome with the flame!
I’m not gonna lie, I thought Pikachu was going to be a lot farther back on this list.
Its yellow changed to a slightly different yellow.
That fits the category of nothing really changing, right?
Well, not in this case.
Pikachu changes from a nice happy yellow, to a dark and intense yellow. It kind of looks like Pikachu spent too much time in the sun and got a tan!
No, it really isn’t that much of a change. But now I can’t help but think of Pikachu over on the Jersey shore.
This Pikachu is all about GTL, baby:
Gym. Tan. Lightning.
I’ve always liked Popplio’s design.
This circus seal’s combination of blue fur with a light blue ruff makes it look like it is always ready to perform.
And I personally think it’s shiny adds to that.
In the shiny form, Popplio’s blue fur is made much darker while the ruff is changed to a light pink.
This makes Popplio seem even more like a clown than before! So this is a great and subtle choice that makes this cutie pie even more adorable.
Now this is a water shiny done right.
Take notes, Squirtle.
Since Totodile is based off of crocodiles, its skin was turned a bit more green than blue. But instead of keeping its red spikes on its tail and back, they turn blue.
While I normally think this color combo doesn’t look good at all, it really works here! It feels subtle and not in your face with it.
Nicely done, Totodile.
Turtwig is another turtle-like Pokémon that adds more green to its look.
However, since it’s a Grass-type and it was already green, it actually works really well here.
In its original design, Turtwig’s green was lighter and a lot more natural.
In the shiny form it’s closer to emerald in color.
This makes Turtwig’s brown and yellow accents stand out even more than before.
I guess I like it because it makes Turtwig seem even more cartoony, which I’m always a fan of.
With Grookey, we have the opposite of what happened with Turtwig.
Grookey’s bright green fur was made lighter with a tint of yellow.
Normally this wouldn’t be enough to place a Pokémon this high.
But the real change is with Grookey’s ears and tail.
While they were brown before, they’re now more of a reddish-brown.
Yes, this is the same reddish-brown that we saw with Tepig, but it works a lot better here.
Since there’s some green to Grookey, the reddish-brown actually compliments the new fur color well. I approve!
We’ve reached the halfway point, so why not talk about yet another Galarian starter?
Scorbunny is an adorable little rabbit that loves to play soccer.
This fire-type is all about speed – and its shiny form reflects that.
While the bright orange accents are toned down a bit, it seems that that orange was put into the white fur. For some reason, and I can’t explain it, this makes Scorbunny seem that much faster.
It’s kind of like painting flames or lightning bolts on a go kart.
I don’t know why it’s faster. It just is.
Bulbasaur is a prime example of one of the simplest concepts in shiny Pokémon:
Just change the two main colors around.
And it works to perfection here.
For Bulbasaur, its dark green skin is replaced with its bright green bulb.
And since both colors work for reptiles and plants, this switcheroo works great with Bulbasaur.
It’s simple, it’s effective, and I love it.
Now this is what I’m talking about when I say take a risk!
Normally Litten has the classic color combo of red and black.
All they do with the shiny form is change the black fur to white.
This gives Litten a completely different energy simply by not being a black cat.
It just seems nicer, doesn’t it? No, the fact that I have a white cat does not make me biased.
Even though Chikorita is probably the worst of all the starters, it does have an excellent shiny form.
Chikorita’s green skin is changed to a yellow-green and its vines and leaf are changed to brown.
This gives Chikorita design a nice autumnal theme that’s perfect for September/October.
I can easily see myself grabbing a pumpkin spice latte and relaxing with Chikorita right next to the fireplace.
But not too close. Chikorita is a sweetheart that needs to be protected.
Although Sobble is my least favorite of the Galarian starters, I have to admit it does have its charms.
And for me, that main charm is having a real punk rock shiny!
Although the main change is switching its light blue skin with its dark blue eyes, the thing that stands out to me is that fin.
Instead of being yellow it is now a hot pink.
Suddenly that’s not a fin to me. Now it’s a mohawk.
This also compliments Sobble’s sad attitude perfectly.
It’s so upset because it keeps having to stick it to the man!
Chimchar is one of the most popular starters – and I can see why.
It was featured heavily in the anime, it’s pretty decent competitively, and it’s also just a fun monkey!
What’s not to love?
Its shiny form is also great.
Changing Chimchar’s orange fur to red is a great choice here, because of how it makes its other features pop.
I’m not paying even more attention to Chimchar’s adorable little face.
This shiny color change sticks with each member of the Chimchar line, and it is just as effective with all of them.
And that’s the absolute truth, no monkey business.
In my opinion, I think that Eevee should have even more evolutions.
There are still 10 more types to explore!
And I think the reason I like Eevee’s shiny so much is because it gives me hope.
When I see this all white Eevee, I can’t help but think of a Ghost-type Eeveelution. Yes, most fan concept art makes this Pokémon purple or gray, but I really think white is the way to go.
This plays up Eevee’s adorable nature while making it stand out from other Ghost-type Pokemon.
Even without this, I think this is still a good shiny.
Eevee is just that darn cute.
Torchic is one more starter that just changes its two colors.
However, it’s so high on this list for two reasons:
One, this color combo is just really good. Orange next to yellow-orange complement each other really well.
Two, this shiny form is so much better than its evolutions.
Combusken and Blaziken don’t have bad shinies per say – but Torchic stands out way more.
Imagine if this color swapping pattern continued with Blaziken. How cool would that look?
Chespin is an adorable rodent that is based on chipmunks and chestnuts.
And this is reflected perfectly in its shiny form.
Chespin normally has brown fur and a spiky green helmet (?) around its head.
In its shiny form, the biggest change is changing that green helmet also to brown. And frankly, that makes Chespin even more adorable.
I see this shiny and I just want to hug it and keep it with me at all times.
It’s like having Chip and/or Dale on a Pokémon adventure! Love it.
I always love when a Pokémon’s shiny is a drastic change from its original look – and that’s especially true with Fennekin.
Normally sporting yellow fur with orange fur coming out of its ears, shiny Fennekin has that yellow fur changed to gray with the ear fur becoming red.
This gives Fennekin a much more mystical feel, instead of just being a really cute fox.
Fennekin’s final form Delphox is said to be based on a witch.
And with Fennekin’s excellent shiny, I believe it.
When I look at Rowlet, I see an adorable little gentleman.
Those sweet eyes and adorable bow tie make for a Pokémon that captured the love of everyone as soon as it was revealed.
And its shiny makes it look even better.
Its brown feathers are replaced with the green of the bow tie. Meanwhile, that bow tie is made an even darker green.
This makes it somehow stand out AND blend in at the same time!
This shiny not only makes Rowlet look even better than before – but it makes it look even more like a Grass-type instead of just a bird.
And I am all about it.
In all of the articles I’ve written here, I’ve gone into deep detail why Mudkip is my favorite starter.
Not only is it unbelievably cute, but it’s final evolution Swampert is strong both in-game and competitively.
And its shiny form is unbelievably good, too!
Shiny Mudkip changes the blue skin to purple, while still keeping its orange whiskers. This is also perfect for me because purple and orange are easily my favorite combination of colors.
Then why is this not #1? Well, it’s simple:
While this is one of my personal favorite shinies of all time, I don’t think this is the best shiny starter.
No, that honor goes to another Hoenn pick.
Treecko is often the forgotten starter of the Hoenn region.
While Torchic and Mudkip are incredibly popular because of how good their final evolutions are, Treecko gets left to the wayside.
And I think that has a bit to do with its design.
Treecko just looks like a generic lizard.
Yes, it’s based off of a gecko.
But the green seems just a little too dull to be memorable.
Fortunately, its shiny form fixes this.
Instead of that generic green we see all the time, Treecko now has that beautiful emerald green that makes so many other Grass-types look better.
And this is accented by that awesome red tail that used to be almost the same green as Treecko’s skin.
All of a sudden, I want this Pokémon.
This shiny design takes Treecko and updates it closer to the geckos it’s supposed to look like.