How to get a red scale in 'Pokémon Go': Debunking the Red Gyarados trick rumors

Prima Games

Pokémon Go trainers have been searching ruthlessly for the one special trick that could finally net them a Red Gyarados in-game, but their efforts have been fruitless thus far. The search for a Red Gyarados has ended up the topic of several videos and frenzied how-to guides on how to "really" do it this time, but, unfortunately, there does not seem to be a way to either get a Red Scale or another method to get a Red Gyarados. 

Here’s everything you need to know about Red Scale rumors in Pokémon Go

Pokémon Go Red Scale: What the Red Scale is and original appearance

Originally, the Red Scale was an item that players could only obtain in Pokémon Gold and Pokémon Silver as well as Heart Gold and Soul Silver. You receive it after capturing or defeating the Red Gyarados seen in those games. 

You would then take the Red Scale you received and hand it over to the Pokémon collector, Mr. Pokémon, who would reward you with an Exp. Share item. This would allow you to spread experience points throughout your Pokémon party without having to swap them into battle. You could also pick up the Red Scale item in Pokémon Crystal. Currently, however, there is no Red Scale item in Pokémon Go that can be utilized.

Pokémon Go Red Scale: Renaming Gyarados and other hoaxes

There have been several rumors floating around from Pokémon Go players that suggest you can give the Gyarados you’ve evolved from Magikarp a certain name to force an evolution into a Red Gyarados. This would be considered a special Shiny Pokémon — an alternate color version that typically appears with a very small rate for players. There was a video floating around recently that appeared to demonstrate that naming a Magikarp “Red Karp.” (with a period) and then evolving it would finally produce a Red Gyarados. 

A video purportedly showing off how to get Red Gyarados. YouTube

Unfortunately, there are several inconsistencies with the video that others have debunked already. The Country Caller tested the method, collecting over 100 Magikarps and evolving the Magikarp with the highest CP. 

Before evolving it, they named the Magikarp "Red Karp," as instructed (albeit without a period), and only a regular blue Gyarados resulted. It’s clear from this experiment and personal testing that the video is a hoax. From personal testing, I was unable to spawn a Red Gyarados with or without the period.

The result is not a Red Gyarados, but a regular blue Gyarados instead. The video demonstrates that the Magikarp named "Red Karp," which creator Khan Flicks stresses is "very important," has changed its name to "Red Gyarados," which would not happen if the Magikarp had been given a nickname to begin with. This is essentially proof that the video has been faked. 

Unfortunately, it has become abundantly clear that the Red Scale is not currently in the game and you cannot currently capture a Red Gyarados. Hopefully, that's something that changes soon!

More Pokémon Go news, tips and tricks

Want more Pokémon Go tips and tricks? You may also want to check out Mic's other Pokémon Go content. Here are guides on how to catch Gen 2 baby Pokémon, the 98 Gen 2 Pokémon that have yet to be added to the game, how to catch Pikachu and his adorable new Christmas hat, post-update Chansey and Rhydon, everything you need to know about finding the long-awaited Pokémon Ditto, creating new PokéStops, how to maximize your chances of catching Pokémon and fresh information about how PokéStops distribute Pokémon eggs.