9 Things You Didn’t Know About Cheating In Pokémon

People have been cheating at Pokémon for as long as the franchise has been around, and the various glitches and tricks are as varied as can be.

The Pokémon franchise is the largest media property in the world. It appeals to players of all ages with likable characters, fun gameplay, and a huge variety of products. Like any popular game franchise, Pokémon has attracted hackers and cheaters since its inception.

While cheaters are often a negative for a community, there are actually some legitimate reasons for Pokémon players to cheat. Since cheating has been around since the beginning of the franchise, there is a lot of information and history for players to keep track of.

9Cheating Has Been Around Since The Beginning

Pokémon’s featured several glitches that allowed players to manipulate the game to cheat. The dokokashira door glitch allowed players to skip right from the start of the game to any other town, including the Hall of Fame. The Second type glitch allowed players to transmute one Pokémon into another. Many of these glitches were partially removed by a hidden patch added to Red and Green known as revision A. The discovery of these glitches is a testament to the immense and immediate popularity of the Pokémon games.

8Generation II And III Improved On Previous Cheat Prevention

The Japanese version of Pokémon Crystal featured a code at its Battle Tower that turned any glitched Pokémon into Smeargle and any glitched moves into Sketch. Pokémon Emerald featured a similar code in its Battle Pike, also converting illegal moves to Sketch. Pokémon Gold and Silver feature a cheat-prevention tactic in that Clair will not accept a Dragon Fang that wasn’t obtained in Dragon’s Den. In fact, she will expressly accuse the player of cheating if offered one that doesn’t match.

7Generation IV Introduced Online Countermeasures

The advent of wi-fi enabled consoles and online trading necessitated extra counter-cheating mechanisms in Pokémon. The Generation IV and V games included systems to prevent certain Pokémon from taking part in online battles or from being traded online.

These countermeasures were not as intense on local trades, however. Early versions of Diamond and Pearl featured glitches that made it possible to transfer glitched Pokémon from the Generation III games.

6Generation VI Introduced Regular Updates

Starting with Pokémon X and Y, the main series game received regular digital patches to fix any potential glitches. Players looking to play online needed to have the most up-to-date version of the game to help prevent cheating. Games as recent as Sword and Shield have featured exploitable glitches, like the Exp Candy glitch that allowed male Combee to evolve into female Vespiquen or Eggs to evolve directly into Pokémon.

5What Is Cheating Exactly?

Attempting to manipulate glitches and actively hack the game is clearly an example of cheating, but the Pokémon games feature lots of practices that aren’t as easy to define. A common way players will hunt for shiny Pokémon, for instance, is by saving immediately before the Pokémon in question is generated and quitting without saving if they don’t get what they wanted. This is not explicitly a cheat, but it is clearly not an example of playing the game as intended.

4Cheating Has Its Proponents

Though cheating is actively discouraged by Nintendo, it also has plenty of proponents. Cheating can be a way to acquire Pokémon that are otherwise restricted to time-limited or geographically specific events.

When used for purely personal reasons, there is arguably nothing wrong with this practice. Additionally, some players enjoy playing tournaments with custom rules or otherwise unobtainable move sets.

3Nintendo Once Tried To Outlaw The Game Genie

The Game Genie was a line of video game cheat cartridges first released in 1990. These devices attached between a cartridge and its console and enable the user to enter certain cheat codes to alter the data present on the cartridge. In a 1992 court case, Lewis Galoob Toys, Inc v. Nintendo of America, Inc, Nintendo tried to outlaw the manufacture and sale of the Game Genie, claiming that the product allowed for the creation of a derivative work using Nintendo’s intellectual property.

2Pokémon GO Has Its Own Unique Cheating Ecosystem

Pokémon GO is a mixed-reality game using cellphone data and real-world artifacts to replicate the Pokémon experience. The unique structure of Pokémon GO means that it has a very specific set of anti-cheat measures. Niantic, the company behind Pokémon GO, has kept fairly tight-lipped about their anti-cheat measures to keep hackers from learning their systems.

The use of a VPN is prohibited while playing Pokémon GO, as it can interfere with the game’s location tracking. This leads to an interesting interaction with nations where the game does not have an official release. Some Iranian Pokémon fans used VPNs to access the game, leading the government to outlaw the game completely.

1Pokémon Goes Through Ninteno’s Quality Control Teams

A group called Mario Club Co., Ltd. is responsible for debugging and quality control of several Nintendo games, including Pokémon. Also referred to as the Kyoto research center, this group has been responsible for bug testing the Japanese versions of games all the way back to the NES with Super Mario Bros. 3 and as recently as New Pokémo Snap for the Nintendo Switch. This group is joined in its QA efforts by Nintendo of America Product Testing and Nintendo of Europe Product Testing.

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