Pokemon Sun and Moon Shiny Chaining Guide

One of Pokemon’s most popular feature is shiny Pokemon – ultra rare Pokemon that come in different colors to the standard Pokemon. With very low chances of catching one (1/4096), they are extremely hard to find and encounter in the wild, and often people go to great lengths to find one.

All ways of shiny hunting are time consuming and take many hours, however one of the most popular ways is SOS chasing. In Pokemon Sun and Moon, a new feature was brought in, where Pokemon call for help during battle when they have low HP, and an ally Pokemon may appear.

SOS chains takes advantage of this. As the number of ally Pokemon you have called increases, the chance of finding a shiny Pokemon also increases. As you set up a shiny chain, you are more and more likely to catch the shiny Pokemon you are looking for.

You don’t need to know much about Pokemon to get starting with shiny chains – they are pretty simple, and this guide will guide you through the process of understanding chains, building your own chaining Smeargle, and then catching that shiny Pokemon.

Keep reading to find a complete guide on how to catch a shiny Pokemon!

Things To Know

The chances of catching rarer Pokemon change as the chain continues. For example, as the chain length increases, the number of guaranteed perfect IVs increase, as do the chances of a hidden ability, and as does the shiny chance. After a chain length of 70, you are much more likely to catch a shiny Pokemon. If you want to find more about chances whilst chaining, you can check out this page.

The maximum length of a chain is 255. This is because the game uses an 8-bit counter. Whilst you can chain past 255, your chances (as discussed above) will be reset. If you reach a chain length of 254, I would recommend catching the Pokemon instead of just resetting the chain as its pretty likely it will have some great stats.

The Pokemon you are chaining against may eventually run out of PP, and you don’t want this to happen. You’ll need to take out that Pokemon to prevent it from using Struggle and ending the chain. Make sure to only knock out the original caller if there is another Pokemon that is of the same family. For example, if I am chaining against a Lillipup, and it calls out a Pichu (I know this won’t happen with Lillipup, its just an example), and I knock out Lillipup, the chain will end.

Knocking out all Pokemon in the field and ending the battle will end the chain.

However, switching Pokemon in battle will not end the chain, and as described above, knocking out the original caller as long as the ally that has been called is of the same family will also not break the chain.

Adrenaline Orbs also have another use, and can be used to skip turns. If the Pokemon did not call for help and attacked, or if the Pokemon called for help and failed, you can use an Adrenaline Orb to skip that go. The Adrenaline orb will not be used up when you do this.

Getting The Gear

There are a few things that you will need to complete first to start shiny hunting. Note that you will have wanted to finish the game by this point, so if you haven’t make sure to do so.

First, head over to the Pokemon Center and pick up some adrenaline orbs. These orbs increase the chance that a Pokemon will call an ally, so you’ll want these to try and increase the said chance, and this may make the chain go at a faster rate and save you time. They also have another use, which you’ll find in the next section of the post.

Then, you will have to complete the Alola Pokedex. You’ll need to catch all 300 Pokemon, including ultra beasts and legendary Pokemon (note this does not count Magearna and Marshadow). It’s actually quite fun completing the dex, and the GTS is a very easy way to get it done. Places such as the Reddit Sun and Moon subreddit can also help you out. Once you have done this, go talk to the Game Freak boss. You’ll find him on the middle floor of the tower in Heahea City, between the Pokemon Centre and the Dimensional Research Lab. He will then give you a shiny charm after giving you stamps for your other four completed dexes.

You’ll want the shiny charm as it reduces the very low odds of encountering a shiny Pokemon (1/4096) to relatively high odds (1/1024 without the shiny charm, 1/683 with it). Whilst it does require the completion of the Pokedex, completing the Pokedex is actually pretty fun, and you can complete it quickly by using the GTS and trading forums.

Finally, Leppa Berry’s will come in very handy for chaining. Leppa Berries restore 10 PP to a move you choose, and as you’ll be in a battle for a very long time, you’ll probably run out of PP for a move you’ll use. The Leppa Berry will allow you to restore the PP of that move.

This step is optional, but I really recommend tracking your chains, and the Chain Counter website is a great way to do this. Every time you take out an ally Pokemon, press the plus button. You’ll see the count goes up. As the chain number increases, you’ll see the message below starts changing with your live chances. It’s pretty handy!

Once you have all this, you are ready to move onto the next step, where you catch and train a chaining Smeargle that will aid you in SOS chaining. To do this, you need a Pokemon with False Swipe (I’ll explain why in the next section).

Getting A Chaining Smeargle

To catch a shiny Smeargle, head over to route 2, where you’ll be able to find one near the graveyard entrance. Make sure to have your Pokemon with False Swipe equipped, and then outspeed the wild Smeargle and use False Swipe. This will cause the wild Smeargle to sketch False Swipe. Then, catch the Smeargle.

You now have your chaining Smeargle, with one move that it already need to know – False Swipe! Go over to Malie City, and catch two Trubbish. Then, breed them – do this as you want a level 1 Trubbish. Level this Trubbish up to level 3, when it learns Recycle.

Level up your Smeargle to level 11 (to learn another Sketch), and then get into a battle with a Smeargle, and make sure to have your Trubbish out first. Outspeed the Smeargle, and use Recycle. This Smeargle will sketch it. Switch to your Smeargle, and sketch Recylce off the wild Smeargle.

Level your Smeargle up to level 21, then find a Corsola that is above level 8 by fishing in the Melemele sea. Sketch the recover move to your Smeargle.

Finally, level your Smeargle to Find a Shellder by fishing at Kala’e Bay, and make sure it is above level 13. Sketch the Icicle Spear, and now your Smeargle has a complete moveset!

Equip your Smeargle with a Leppa Berry so it can regain PP during battles.

Your Smeargle is now complete! Read onto the next section to find out how to set up chains and catch Pokemon with your chaining Smeargle.


First, find the Pokemon you want to get a shiny of. Make sure that your party is adapted to this Pokemon – for sample, if you are going to catch a Lillipup, note that one of its ability reduces accuracy of your Pokemon. You’ll want a Pokemon with an ability such as Keen Eye to combat this.

When you get into your battle, use False Swipe on the Pokemon to get its HP to 1. Then, use the Adrenaline Orb to increase the chances hat the Pokemon will call an ally. When the ally Pokemon comes, Icicle Spear it if it’s not shiny.

Adrenaline orbs can be used o skip a move. For example, if the Pokemon you are chaining with attacks or calls for help and nothing comes, you can use the Adrenaline Orb to do nothing in your turn. The adrenaline orb will not be used up.

Once your Smeargle’s PP starts to run low, the Smeargle will use the Leppa berry to get back 10 PP for that move that is running low. Use Recycle to get that Leppa berry back, and then keep doing this process until you get that shiny Pokemon.

Eventually, the Pokemon you are using to call allies may start to run low on PP for its moves. It then may start to use struggle, which will kill it and end the chain. Make sure that every so often you take out the main caller. Make sure that you only take it out when it has called another species of the same Pokemon out to the field, otherwise you will lose your chain (as talked about in the second section).


SOS chaining is a great way to catch a shiny Pokemon. Whilst its time consuming, when you finally catch that shiny Pokemon in the end, its pretty rewarding.

Make sure you give yourself enough free time to chain – it can take 30 minutes, and it can take the whole of the day. Sometimes, you may not even encounter a shiny Pokemon.

Shiny Pokemon are also very useful for trading – they are rarer than legendary Pokemon, and people will trade almost anything for them. It’s pretty useful if you are building up a team and need a certain Pokemon that is quite rare.

I hope this guide has helped you, and enjoy chaining!