Raspberry Pi Hunts Shiny Pokémon While You Sleep

Raspberry Pi
(Image credit: Dinones, Nintendo)

Have you ever wanted to catch a shiny Pokémon that wasn’t just the red Gyarados from the Lake of Rage? We feel you. Catching an off-color Pokémon is hard to do and shiny hunting can be a time-consuming process. That’s why this maker and developer, known online as Dinones, has automated the process using our favorite SBC, the Raspberry Pi. The idea behind his project was to totally automate the process so his Nintendo Switch (an actual Switch not just an emulator) would run all night hunting "shinies" while he sleeps.

The end result is a custom program that can run on a Raspberry Pi that uses the power of artificial intelligence to identify shiny Pokémon. If it detects a shiny, it then proceeds to catch it with a Master Ball. If you’re not familiar, this is a special type of Pokéball that automatically catches any Pokémon without fail. You typically get just one per game, but Dinones explains he has a few thanks to cloning items. If you don’t use a Master Ball, there’s a good chance your shiny Pokémon will escape capture.

The Raspberry Pi is able to send input to the Switch thanks to a Python-based application called NXBT. This application acts as a fake controller that communicates with the Switch using Bluetooth. With this, you can program any custom response to whatever Pokémon pops up on screen (shiny or not).

The Raspberry Pi is able to see what’s on the Switch thanks to the use of a capture card. This sends images to the Pi which allows it to process the input and make a decision about how to respond. If a shiny is present, it catches it. If not, the game soft resets and the process starts over.

In this case, Dinones is using OpenCV for image processing. There are a few ways you can go about training it to recognize "shinies". He delves deeper into this process in the demo video of the project over at YouTube. You can also find the source code for the project at GitHub.

We highly recommend checking out this Raspberry Pi project in action in the demo video. It’s too cool to ignore—especially if you’re a Pokémon fan with sore thumbs from shiny hunting. If you want a team of legit "shinies" to blow your friends away, this is definitely one project you should check out.

Ash Hill
Freelance News and Features Writer

Ash Hill is a Freelance News and Features Writer with a wealth of experience in the hobby electronics, 3D printing and PCs. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting while also finding the best coupons and deals on all tech.

  • 1_rick
    "You typically get just one per game, but Dinones explains he has a few thanks to cloning items."

    Ah, a filthy duper.