At this point, we all know and love Pokemon. With so many different games, expansions, and versions, you could play Pokemon for hundreds of hours and not get bored. But if you want to play it on a console, you’re going to have to pay a pretty penny for it.
On the other hand, scouring the web looking for good ROM hacks out of the thousands out there seems exhausting. That is why we wanted to put together a list of the top 10 Pokemon ROM hacks so you can play only the best versions of the legendary game.
What are Pokemon ROM hacks?
In essence, Pokemon ROM hacks are created by dedicated fans and modified as Advance ROM files for the Game Boy console. A ROM hack can be different from the original game in many ways, such as music, plot, design, skills, and maps.
Since most of them are distributed in .ips or .ups file formats, you’ll have to patch them using different tools. The two most popular patching tools are Tsukoyami and the Lunar IPS Patcher.
Depending on what device you’re using to play the game, there are a few different ways you can do it. If you’re playing on a Mac or iOS device, you can download the Multipatch patching tool. On the other hand, Android users can download one of these three apps:
- John GBA Emulator
- My Boy
- Rom Patcher
The Best Pokemon ROM Hacks for 2021
- Pokemon Glazed
- Pokemon Prism
- Pokemon Adventures: Red Chapter
- Pokemon Liquid Crystal
- Pokemon Gaia
- Pokemon Ash Gray
- Pokemon Clover
- Pokemon Cloud White
- Pokemon Dark Rising
- Pokemon Flora Sky
Pokemon Glazed is an Emerald-based hack, developed by redriders180, and completed in 2018. It has one of the highest qualities of any completed ROM hack in the Pokemon ROM world. Some of the regions you’ll be able to play are Rankor, Johto, and Tunod.
Instead of the usual three, you’ll get five starter Pokemon in the game and Two World Modes — the Real World and the Pokemon World. The game features new, out-of-battle effects, and the special and physical moves are pretty split. You’ll also get to play with Pokemons from Kalos, Unova, and Sinnoh.
The ROM hack uses a Pokemon Crystal codebase and was developed by Coolboyman. Pokemon Prism follows the story of Lance’s son, who, after playing in the mines, gets lost and ends up in the Najlo region. Prism’s mission is to collect all eight Najlo badges and fix the corrupted region.
You’ll be able to play in the Najlo region, which includes 10 brand new towns. What’s more, you can choose between 252 different Pokemon from 4 different generations. In Pokemon Prism, you’ll get three new moves, a new clock system, and a few extra items. It also features some new mini-games and sounds.
POKEMON ADVENTURES: RED CHAPTER
Pokemon Adventures: Red Chapter was developed by Aethestode, and it’s a part of the Pokemon FireRed codebase. It is based on the Pokemon Adventure Manga and follows the story to the letter. With this ROM hack, you won’t get a Pokemon when you first start the game. But you will be able to catch all of them a bit later in the story.
You can explore plenty of different regions, such as Orre, Sinnoh, Hoenn, the Orange and Dicolore Archipelagos, and many more. The Red Chapter has numerous main quests, but you can also get a reward when you finish sidequests.
POKEMON LIQUID CRYSTAL
Just like the Red Chapter, Liquid Crystal is a ROM hack written in the FireRed codebase. The hack was developed by Linkandzelda, and the last update was in July 2019. In the Liquid Crystal, you’ll be playing in the Johto Region with numerous different rivals and trainers.
You can also explore a brand new region, the Orange Islands, and gain access to some new features and improvements. The latest update in the game includes Day and Night modes, weather effects, new music, and hidden areas. In essence, if you enjoyed playing the original Pokemon Crystal, we’re sure this hack will be right up your alley.
Pokemon Gaia is one of the biggest and most popular ROM hacks on the internet right now. It’s a part of the FireRed codebase and has countless different features and expansions. One of the biggest differences between Gaia and other FireRed hacks is that it has Mega Evolution.
Also, you’ll be able to play with Pokemon from the fourth and fifth generations, and many others are on the way. The hack has new sprites for both trainers and Pokemon, as well as contests, sounds, and features. In fact, for the first time in any ROM hack, you can run inside buildings and houses.
POKEMON ASH GRAY
The Pokemon Ash Gray ROM hack follows the Pokemon anime storyline almost exactly. But the biggest difference between the two is that this game has new sprites, maps, and tiles. It was developed by metapod23, and is in the FireRed codebase, just like the previous three games.
You will get to play around 116 events that are from the anime, and two new ones from the Pokemon movie. In fact, you can catch every Pokemon that Ash catches in the show, as well. What’s more, you can improve your abilities to Generation 5, and your moves to Generation 7.
If you’re looking for an extremely creative and challenging ROM hack, the Pokemon Clover is just what you need. The creators of the Clover, CloverCamerupt, have designed 386 Fakemon you can play with. What’s more, you can upgrade all of your trainers in the game to make the quests more difficult and interesting.
You’ll also get the chance to play in a new region, Fochun, and have access to eight new gyms. After you’ve explored the Fochun region, you’ll get to see a second one, the Ebin Islands. In the Pokemon Clover, you will have the Battle Facility, where you can buy rare items and have rematches with other players.
POKEMON CLOUD WHITE
With one of the biggest selections of Pokemon, this FireRed ROM hack is one of the most popular around, right after Gaia. Shogun created and developed the game, and you can easily hack and edit the game to create the things you want to see.
In Cloud White, you can catch Pokemon from generations 1 through 6. You’ll also get new sprites for Pokemon and your trainers. The PokeMart has been updated in the latest version and you can finally access the PokeCenter. You can play in three different regions: Johto, Mangan, and Azur.
POKEMON DARK RISING
As part of the Dark Rising Series, the first installment features 386 Pokemon from every generation. As soon as you finish your first quest with the Professor, you will get your Pokemon to accompany you on your travels.
Dark Rising has a Day and Night mode included, and you’ll be able to explore a new region. You’ll also get some new moves and a few mini-games to play. If you’ve already played the game and loved the first part, you’ll be happy to know that you can play three more extensions from the same creator.
POKEMON FLORA SKY
The last version update came out in 2018 and a creator named Sky developed the game. There are two versions of the Sky Flora you can play: the main one and the Complement Dex version.
The Flora Sky is in the Pokemon Emerald codebase, which features new Pokemon from the fourth and fifth generation. It follows the plot of the Pokemon movie and your mission is to close the portal that divides the two worlds. With the Flora Sky, you will get new sprites for your trainers and Pokemon, as well as some new missions.