Pokémon Scarlet and Violet DLC's new 'Synchro Machine’ can lead to failed shinies, players warn

Key art for Pokémon Scarlet and Violet's The Indigo Disk DLC.
(Image credit: Nintendo, The Pokémon Company)

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s second wave of DLC, The Indigo Disk, released today (December 14), and although it’s generating a lot of excitement online, players are also warning others that the new 'Synchro Machine' feature could cause you to miss out on capturing ultra-rare shiny Pokémon.

For those unfamiliar, a shiny Pokémon is an exceedingly uncommon, sparkly variation of a Pokémon with an alternate color palette. They’re no stronger than the regular monsters, but their rarity (in Scarlet and Violet, the base odds of finding one are 1 in 4096) makes them incredibly exciting finds. And hey, who doesn’t want a silver Eevee or golden Magikarp?

In Scarlet and Violet, shiny Pokémon appear in the world just like any other creature - players just have to keep their eyes peeled if they want to capture them - but one feature that’s always flagged if one of the sparkly fellas is on the screen is the auto-battle function. If players send out their own Pokémon to fight everything on the field, they’ll refuse to knock out any shinies, allowing you to catch them safely. 

That same idea, however, has seemingly not been applied to the Synchro Machine feature in The Indigo Disk. In the latest expansion, players can use the Synchro Machine to wander the world as their own Pokémon, fighting others and exploring as they please. It’s a brilliant idea, but unlucky players have already taken to social media to note that it is possible to encounter shinies in this mode, and if you do, you can defeat them if you’re not paying attention or get too close to them. Moreover, even if you do notice in time, others have reported that ending the synchronization often places the player too far away from the shiny in question, causing it to despawn. 

“WARNING FOR SHINY HUNTERS. [In] synchro mode - your Pokémon WILL DEFEAT SHINIES. Just learned this the hard way. I didn’t notice it was shiny until I saw the gray eyes, and if you get close to a Pokémon, you’ll fight it,” Twitter user @shinyycatherine posted

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Another user reported finding a shiny Scyther, which despawned when they exited the mode: “Unfortunately I couldn't get Scyther to stay close enough and he disappeared,” @HiksBR wrote

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This same despawning issue was flagged by @XenoMods, who shared a clip of them encountering a shiny Tyrogue, which they were unable to catch.

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Needless to say, anyone worried about missing out on these particularly rare encounters might want to exercise caution when using the Synchro Machine, as it’s not currently known if this shiny-catching issue might be patched out in a future update.

If you love Pokémon, be sure to check out our ranking of every generation in our best Pokémon games list. You can also find more fantastic games to play on Nintendo Switch with our recommendations for the best Nintendo Switch games.

Catherine Lewis
News Writer, TechRadar Gaming

Catherine is a News Writer for TechRadar Gaming. Armed with a journalism degree from The University of Sheffield, she was sucked into the games media industry after spending far too much time on her university newspaper writing about Pokémon and cool indie games, and realising that was a very cool job, actually. She previously spent 19 months working at GAMINGbible as a full-time journalist. She loves all things Nintendo, and will never stop talking about Xenoblade Chronicles.