Pokemon Legends: Arceus - What Are Mass Outbreaks?

Pokemon Legends: Arceus features a new twist to Shiny hunting that should make some Pokemon players very happy. The new Pokemon game, which came out earlier today, features the return of Mass Outbreaks, a game feature in which a specific species of Pokemon appears in a certain area of the game for an extended period of time. While Mass Outbreaks appeared in past Pokemon games, these new Mass Outbreaks come with an intriguing wrinkle – they have a boosted Shiny rate.

Mass Outbreaks are periodic events that occur in each of the game's five regions at random. Players are informed when leaving Jubilife Village that a Mass Outbreak is occurring. Players can then view which region (or regions) has a Mass Outbreak and which Pokemon is appearing in that Mass Outbreak. When a player chooses to enter a region with a Mass Outbreak, they can then view the exact spot of the Mass Outbreak on the map. From what we can tell, there's no time limit to a Mass Outbreak – a player can choose to visit the Mass Outbreak provided they don't return to Jubilife Village first. 

When a player visits a Mass Outbreak, they'll initially see a handful of the same species of Pokemon appearing in the wild. A pop-up caption will inform them that they've discovered the Mass Outbreak, and players can then attempt to capture or battle the wild Pokemon like they would any other Pokemon. After a Mass Outbreak Pokemon has been captured or defeated, another Pokemon of that same species will immediately spawn in the same area. From what we've experienced, a Mass Outbreak will produce between 10-15 Pokemon that match the levels of other Wild Pokemon found in that general area. 

Without any other modifiers, each Pokemon in a Mass Outbreak has about a 1 in 160 chance of being a Shiny Pokemon, compared to a normal Pokemon encounter having a 1 in just over 4000 chance of being Shiny. By completing the Pokedex and increasing a research level to 10, players can get that rate to as high as 1 in 141. When adding a Shiny Charm, the odds increase even more to a 1 in about 128 chance. 

Each region in Pokemon Legends: Arceus has its own group of Pokemon that can appear in a Mass Outbreak, but the gate guard at Jubilife Village will let you know if a Mass Outbreak is occurring before you depart. Mass Outbreaks will reset once a player returns to Jubilife Village, so you may want to make a detour when a Mass Outbreak occurs. 

Pokemon Legends: Arceus is available for the Nintendo Switch now.