Stars or Squares Show the Difference
There appear to be two different types of Pokemon Sword and Shield shiny Pokemon. The dedicated fans who have been working hard to get the special sprite recolors of their favorite 'mons have discovered a subtle difference between the two types of Pokemon.
One kind of Pokemon Sword and Shield shiny is surrounded by golden squares, while the other type is surrounded by stars. Other than that, the models of these rare Pokemon appear to be exactly the same.
What is a Shiny Pokemon?
Before we go on, it might be best to explain what a shiny Pokemon is for people who might be a bit out of the loop.
Pokemon can typically be acquired by capturing wild ones in the field, getting them as rewards for a very small handful of quests, or hatching them with eggs earned via breeding.
A small portion of these Pokemon might be "shiny". Despite the name, they might not actually be "shiny"; rather, the term is used for Pokemon that have a different set of colors as compared to the usual model. They're quite rare, although otherwise functionally identical to a regular Pokemon of the type.
Understandably, fans like to acquire them however they can, and recent efforts to figure out the mechanics behind Pokemon Sword and Shield shiny Pokemon have revealed that there are actually two different kinds.
The Differences in Pokemon Sword and Shield Shiny Pokemon
The differences between "star-type" and "square-type" shiny Pokemon are highlighted in a submission on the /r/PokemonSwordAndShield subreddit.
The most obvious difference is the particle effects on the Pokemon's animated background image: one type has stars, and the other has squares. But what's the difference?
First, @Kaphotics points out the above table in a tweet which shows that your chances of getting a shiny go up as you battle the same Pokemon. If you really wanted that shiny Wooloo, your best bet is to keep battling Wooloo until one spawns (unless, of course, you get tremendously lucky).
However, that same dataminer's information was further detailed in the Reddit thread. After much discussion, the following conclusion was reached: shinies acquired via "chains" — that is, battling the same Pokemon over and over again to increase your odds — will have squares, whereas shinies acquired through breeding will have stars.
Ultimately, it seems that the star-type shinies are much rarer than the square-type. Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.
What do you think of the differences between Pokemon Sword and Shield shiny Pokemon? Would you be disappointed if you got a square-type shiny instead of a star-type, or would you be happy with a shiny Pokemon regardless? Let us know in the comments below!