With many Pokémon gamings being remade, such as Pokémon brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl because that the Nintendo Switch, a the majority of people, consisting of me, space looking back to previous periods of Pokémon games. Some human being will argue the the Pokémon games released during this era are several of the best games ever released. Indigenous the well-known Kanto region in Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow, to the initially misunderstood however now revered Black and White, and their sequels, black 2 and White 2 — Pokémon gamings are constantly in demand.

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However, this, unfortunately, means that a lot of people want come take benefit of that popularity and also demand by creating and selling reproduction cartridges, unbeknownst come buyers. I finished up no doing mine due diligence as soon as purchasing a second-hand copy of Pokémon Platinum and also ended up v a bootleg copy. This deceit occurs most with Pokémon games, regardless of being some of the best-selling games on the console, which means that over there is no shortage that physical game cartridges.


GameSystemUnits sold
Pokémon Red and also BlueGame Boy31.37 million
Pokémon YellowGame Boy14.64 million
Pokémon Gold and SilverGame young Color23.10 million
Pokémon CrystalGame young Color6.39 million
Pokémon Ruby and also SapphireGame young Advance16.22 million
Pokémon FireRed and also LeafGreenGame boy Advance12.00 million
Pokémon EmeraldGame young Advance6.32 million
Pokémon Diamond and PearlNintendo DS17.67 million
Pokémon PlatinumNintendo DS7.06 million
Pokémon HeartGold and also SoulsilverNintendo DS12.72 million
Pokémon Black and WhiteNintendo DS15.64 million
Pokémon black 2 and also White 2Nintendo DS7.63 million

Pokémon games exist on every Nintendo handheld consoles from the original video game Boy to the Nintendo 3DS and the Nintendo Switch, therefore we\"ll have a section dedicated to game Boy, video game Boy Advance, and Nintendo DS games.

Fake video game Boy and also Nintendo DS gamings do exist. However, fake Nintendo 3DS and also Nintendo switch games at this time do not. The game Boy, video game Boy Advance, and also Nintendo DS have sold millions of units, and during the time since its release, gamers have worked tirelessly to disclose fake games and inform every other.


Take note: The copy of Pokémon Platinum the you will check out throughout this article is a reproduction copy — everything else displayed here is genuine. Be sure to pay fist to exactly how it differs from the genuine copies featured together it.


How do you know if a Pokémon video game is fake?


Fake Pokémon games: game Boy and also Game boy Color


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Source: Rebecca Spear / tasiilaq.netFrom peak to bottom: Pokémon Yellow (real), Pokémon Red (real)


The game Boy is wherein it every began, means back in 1996 with Pokémon Red and Green in Japan, and also in 1998 through Pokémon Red and also Blue in the united States. Fake game Boy games are reasonably easy come identify, so you shouldn\"t have any issue knowing your method around.

Remember: if it\"s not too difficult to recognize fake video game Boy and also Game Boy color games based on outward appearance alone, it\"s always best to have actually a grasp of tools with which you can open increase games. Friend can find special tool kits online that offer defense screwdrivers, which are needed to open game Boy cartridges.

Cartridge color and embossed text


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Source: Rebecca Spear / tasiilaq.netFrom left to right: at sight Mario floor 2: 6 golden Coins (real), game Boy shade with Wario floor 3 (real), Pokémon Red (real)


If you check out a north American or europe Pokémon game in a gray cartridge, operation away. Nintendo has never produced any type of Pokémon title on the video game Boy or video game Boy shade in a gray shell. Each game\"s cartridge color synchronizes with their name — Pokémon Red, Blue, and also Yellow have actually red, blue, and yellow cartridges. Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal have actually golden, silver, and also icy blue cartridges. In Japan, Pokémon Red, Blue, Yellow, Gold, and Silver games were developed in gray cartridges, through Gold having a darker cartridge than the others. If you see a gray cartridge with a sticker showing any kind of language other than Japanese, it\"s no authentic.

There\"s a concave ignorance grip in ~ the height of every game Boy game with message that reads \"Nintendo game BOY™\". Meanwhile, game Boy shade games have a convex ignorance grip the reads \"Game young COLOR\". Fake games often don\"t have this text or may just say something prefer \"GAME.\" Make sure you check for this text, together it\"s one of the simpler ways come tell a dud indigenous the real deal.

Battery and circuit board


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Source: Rebecca Spear / tasiilaq.netFrom left to right: Pokémon Yellow (real), Pokémon Red (real)


The battery dimension of each video game Boy and also Game Boy color Pokémon video game will it is in etched on the plank itself. Pokémon Red, Blue, Gold, Silver, and also Crystal use a CR2025 battery, if Pokémon Yellow supplies a CR1616 battery. Your batteries are not encased in any kind of metal cage, so stay away from those.


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Source: Rebecca Spear / tasiilaq.netFrom left to right: Pokémon Yellow (real), Pokémon Red (real)


Game Boy gamings that Nintendo produced will never have any type of black soldering goop top top them. If you open up a Pokémon game and also are greeted by a large black blob, it\"s a reproduction copy. There room online databases that attribute both the exterior and circuit board of all Pokémon gamings from Red come Crystal, therefore if you\"re buying one digital or in person, keep picture of the circuit board handy come compare.

Remember: because these games are out of production, over there is a possibility that you might be purchasing a copy from someone who changed the battery. It\"s thus recommended to check all of the box if the battery looks like it\"s third-party — your the person who lives may have just replaced it.

Fake Pokémon games: game Boy Advance


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Source: Rebecca Spear / tasiilaq.netFrom height to bottom: Pokémon LeafGreen (real), Pokémon FireRed (real)


Starting in 2002 in Japan and 2003 in the remainder of the world, Pokémon Ruby and also Sapphire do their video game Boy development debut, with the an initial remakes in the series, Pokémon FireRed and also Leaf Green adhering to shortly after. At the end of the video game Boy Advance\"s life, the definitive version of the Hoenn region was released: Pokémon Emerald.

Cartridge color and also embossed text


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Source: Rebecca Spear / tasiilaq.netPokémon FireRed (real) through embossed number on the sticker


Like the video game Boy and also Game Boy shade titles, Pokémon gamings on the video game Boy advancement have a distinct look and feel. Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, and also Emerald sports a deep, translucent red, blue, and green, while Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen have actually bright red and also green cartridges that are an ext opaque.

Game Boy advance cartridges attribute a smaller sized thumb tab on the front, with \"GAME boy ADVANCE\" in bolder letters simply underneath it. On the earlier of each cartridge room two screws bordering a rectangle v the Nintendo logo, AGB-002 model number, and \"PAT. PEND. Make IN JAPAN.\" Ensure that none the this text is misspelled prior to buying.


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Source: Rebecca Spear / tasiilaq.netA fake Zelda arsenal GBA cartridge, featuring an inexplicable cartridge color and also sticker


Unique to game Boy breakthrough cartridges is the visibility of part numbers that are \"stamped in\" top top the best side the the sticker. These numbers are featured on every video game Boy development cartridge and also can endure some wear. As long as the sticker is undamaged on everything product you\"re buying, it\"s an ext than likely to it is in legitimate. Of course, there space manufacturing distinctions in every batch of games produced, therefore if her copy doesn\"t have the embossed letter on the sticker, save calm and also look the end for any type of other signs prior to ruling that a fake.

Battery and circuit board


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Source: Rebecca Spear / tasiilaq.netFrom left come right: Pokémon FireRed (real), Pokémon LeafGreen (real)


Game Boy breakthrough cartridges deserve to be opened up with a tri-wing screwdriver. The batteries in Ruby, Sapphire, and also Emerald will not be maintained in a cage however may have actually a yellow or blue ring about them. FireRed and LeafGreen, ~ above the other hand, carry out NOT have a battery, together there room no time-based occasions in the game.


Each cartridge additionally has a collection of numbers and letters just above the pins on the board. While various batches of cartridges might have various model numbers, as a general ascendancy of thumb, Ruby, Sapphire, and also Emerald will have the design number AGB-E05-01. FireRed and also LeafGreen will check out AGB-E02-20 or AGB-E02-30. These space all published in white text in a specific font and can it is in seen even if girlfriend don\"t have a tri-wing driver if you tilt the cartridge.


Arguably the most fail-proof means of authenticating your video game is by detect the gold rectangle ~ above the circuit board, situated on the upper-left corner of the ago of the cartridge. This rectangle is comprised of 4 smaller rectangles, v each smaller sized rectangle having actually one to three dots top top them. This can be watched on any type of GBA Pokémon game without opened the cartridge. If you\"re in doubt, check for this rectangle.


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Source: Nadine Dornieden / tasiilaq.net and Rebecca Spear / tasiilaq.netFrom left to right: Pokémon Emerald (real), Pokémon FireRed (real), Pokémon FireRed (real), Pokémon LeafGreen (real)


Remember: since these games are out of production, there is a opportunity that you may be purchase a copy from someone who replaced the battery. It\"s thus recommended come check all of the crate if the battery looks choose it\"s third-party — your buyer may have actually just changed it.

How to recognize if you\"ve to be duped

If you\"ve come throughout a GBA Pokémon game at a flea market and also are unsure if it\"s legit or not, there are two an easy ways come test for authenticity:

1. The text prior to the save-select screen

Place your game in your GameBoy advancement or Nintendo DS Lite. Top top booting up the game, a fake GBA Pokémon game will simply read, \"The ahead save document will it is in loaded. The video game can it is in played.\" before the save-select screen appears. Authentic games will not present that message, yet simply direct you come the save pick screen.

An yes, really copy that Ruby, Sapphire, or Emerald v a dried battery will display the message, \"The interior battery has actually run dry. The video game can it is in played. However, time-based occasions will no much longer occur.\" Your game is fine; the battery simply needs instead of to complete details tasks that call for a day-night bike to it is in running.

2. Compatibility with Generation 4 games

If you very own an initial Nintendo DS or DS Lite and also an really copy that Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, Platinum, HeartGold, or SoulSilver, you can test whether her GBA Pokémon video game is authentic. Simply location both gamings into your DS or DS Lite and also boot up the DS title. There will be a \"Migrate from (Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, FireRed, LeafGreen)\" choice on the save select screen as long as a GBA Pokémon game is inserted. Fake GBA Pokémon games will not create this menu option.

Remember: for the migration alternative to be obtainable in Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum, players must have seen (not caught) all 150 Pokémon in the Sinnoh Dex — excluding Manaphy — and talk to Professor Rowan to attain the nationwide Dex. In HeartGold and SoulSilver, players need to have defeated the upstream Four, gone into the hall of Fame, and obtained the nationwide Dex prior to they\"re may be to migrate Pokémon native the GBA Pokémon games.

Fake Pokémon games: Nintendo DS


From left to right: Pokémon HeartGold (real), Pokémon SoulSilver (real), Pokémon Diamond (real), Pokémon Pearl (real), Pokémon White (real), Pokémon black 2 (real)

The Pokémon games accessible on DS are Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, Platinum, HeartGold, SoulSilver, Black, White, black 2, and also White 2. These games, especially the generation 4 games, room arguably the most-faked Pokémon gamings on the market. HeartGold and SoulSilver have actually increased in value on the secondhand market, for this reason while you might want a deal, it\"s also important to it is in safe. These games have numerous tells, so there are rather a couple of things to store an eye out for.

1. The ESRB rating and Nintendo Seal the Quality


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Source: Nadine Dornieden / tasiilaq.netFrom left to right: Pokémon HeartGold us version (real), Pokémon HeartGold EU version (real)


If you\"re purchase Pokémon gamings for the Nintendo DS, you should understand that you aren\"t restricted to gamings from her region. Nintendo DS gamings from Europe and Australia (PAL) will job-related on systems from the north America (NTSC-U) and Japan (NTSC-J) regions. However, the language can not be readjusted in most games, therefore make sure you can speak the language of whatever game you\"ve bought.

If you\"re to buy an out-of-region game, you may notification that the stickers look different. Pictured right here are my (extremely win up) NTSC-U copy of Pokémon HeartGold together my fairly brand-new PAL copy the HeartGold. Both gamings are genuine, yet they both sport really different-looking stickers.

Here\"s what you can look because that in north American and also European/Australian games:


NTSC-U gamesPAL games
ESRB rating in the bottom left-hand cornerCE marking in the bottom right-hand corner
Oval-shaped \"Official Nintendo Seal\" in the bottom right-hand cornerRound \"Official Nintendo Seal the Quality\" in the bottom left-hand corner
\"The Pokémon Company\" placed over the official Nintendo logo\"The Pokémon Company\" placed below the main Nintendo logo

The distinctions are subtle, however there nonetheless. In addition, games have a different three-digit password in the bottom right-hand edge of the sticker. Phibìc American games display screen \"USA\", European and Australian games present \"EUR\", and Japanese games function \"JPN\". If you check out a game with a north American code that doesn\"t have an ESRB rating, the game is fake.

2. The game\"s distinctive code

As formerly mentioned, every Nintendo DS video game has a 10-digit password at the bottom of the cartridge\"s sticker. The code can be damaged down as follows:

System code — The an initial three digits display the letters NTR. This means \"Nitro,\" a password name for the Nintendo DS throughout its development. Every game features these letters at the start of the code.Game code — Every video game has a four-digit, game-specific code family member to their region. As deserve to be viewed above, Pokémon HeartGold has actually a video game code of IPKE in phibìc America and also IPKP in Europe and Australia. Keep in mind your game\"s an ar when buying, and compare the game code to various other cartridges being offered online.Region code — Make certain the an ar code corroborates the game code. USA for North America, EUR because that Europe/Australia, and JPN for Japan. A actual North American copy of Pokémon HeartGold should constantly have the code NTR-IPKE-USA in ~ the bottom that the sticker.

3. The code on the back

Does the sticker look legitimate? Great! Now, look at the back of the cartridge. Psychic that video game code us spoke around earlier? If your game is legitimate, it will constantly match the serial password on the ago of the cartridge. The serial code is found listed below the embossed text, and the very first four digits will constantly be the same as the game code in ~ the bottom that the sticker top top the front.

However, we understand that you might be purchasing a second-hand copy the the game, so don\"t worry if that password is rubbed off! the may just mean the the video game was well-loved.

4. The embossed text


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Source: Nadine Dornieden / tasiilaq.netFrom left to right: at sight Mario 64 DS (real), Pokémon Platinum (fake)


If the code on the back of the cartridge is missing, the embossed message should provide you some understanding into the game\"s legitimacy. This message looks \"pressed into\" the cartridge, yet ever so slightly. As result of cheap production, reproduction copies usually have actually embossed message that is pressed in means too deep. Have actually a look at the above cartridges. If friend look closely, the fake cartridge top top the best (my bootleg copy of Pokémon Platinum) walk not function the registered trademark prize in the upper right-hand corner of the \"Nintendo\" logo. This inconsistencies can give a reproduction cart away.

Beware that the message itself, together well. Every Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum games, and also every various other grey-cartridge Nintendo DS game, will feature the message NTR-005 PAT. PEND. However, all Pokémon games that have actually infrared (IR) use — those gift Pokémon HeartGold, SoulSilver, Black, White, black color 2, and also White 2 — will attribute the message NTR-031 PAT. PEND.. Store this in mind when you\"re looking for an IR-functionality Pokémon game to avoid being deceived.

5. The circuit board and also pins


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Source: Nadine Dornieden / tasiilaq.netFrom left come right: at sight Mario 64 DS (real), Pokémon Platinum (fake)


Have a look at the game\"s circuit board. In ~ the topmost part of the visible area of the board, you can see some white numbers and also letters that have the right to vary from game to game. Notification how the left game in this picture shows numbers, but the appropriate one doesn\"t. The contact pins of genuine gamings are a gold color as well, when reproduction cartridges\" call pins are often made that a cheaper tin, which can wear out more quickly. Provided that the contact pins permit your system to check out the game, you constantly want to have the ideal quality to ensure longevity.

6. The cartridge\"s optimal indent


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Source: Nadine Dornieden / tasiilaq.netFrom left come right: supervisor Mario 64 DS (real), Pokémon Platinum (fake)


This is maybe the fool-proof means of determining even if it is a Nintendo DS cartridge is fake. Have a look at the top component of the cartridge, i m sorry peeks out when you\"ve placed it right into your system. The molds which make genuine Nintendo DS gamings are created in such a method that over there will constantly be a rectangle-shaped indent of varying length and width in ~ the peak of the cartridge. Have a look in ~ the two above images. On the left, we have actually a continuous grey Nintendo DS cartridge v an indent, revealing that authenticity. The photo on the right attributes a reproduction cart, which is totally smooth.

If you\"re purchase a game in a brick-and-mortar store, friend can always ask to inspect the cart. Any type of respectable seller understands exactly how precarious these cases are and also will show goodwill by allowing you to look over a product prior to buying it. Not all sellers ~ above second-hand storefronts like eBay will post pictures the the height of the cart, however this is always an excellent to keep in mind if you desire to check for the authenticity top top arrival.

7. The shade of the cart


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Source: Nadine Dornieden / tasiilaq.netFrom left come right: Pokémon HeartGold (real), Pokémon black 2 (real)


As previously mentioned, the majority of Pokémon gamings on the Nintendo DS have IR functionality. Due to the fact that these gamings rely ~ above infrared light to connect with an innovation like the Pokéwalker, their cartridges room made of a various material. Under regular conditions, these cartridges look black color to the nude eye. Shine a shining light through them, though, and you\"ll see that the material is a dark reddish-purple in color.

Nintendo has actually never, ever developed a grey-cartridge variation of the Generation 2 remakes or any type of of the Generation 5 games. Every IR-compatible Pokémon game has a reddish-purple cartridge. Pokémon HeartGold and also SoulSilver are some of the most famous games in the franchise and also can be rather expensive. If you\"re in search of one that those games and also it\"s grey, stop. It\"s fake. Don\"t give your money to scammers uneven you specifically wish come buy a reproduction copy. If you\"re fine with buying a reproduced copy, think about that this cartridges room not authorized through Nintendo and also may not work as well as official copies do.

Fake Pokémon games: things to look the end for


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Source: Nadine Dornieden / tasiilaq.netFrom left to right: Pokémon Pearl (real), Pokémon Platinum (fake), Pokémon Diamond (real)


Here room some points you should generally look the end for when identifying whether your video game is genuine or not. This an ext or less applies to any type of games on these systems, for this reason feel totally free to use this advice to every little thing retro handheld video game you\"re right now browsing for.

1. The seller


None that these gamings are in official production anymore, and as such, you\"ll always have to be wary of that you\"re buying castle from. Now, reproduction copies and fakes pass through even the many seasoned the hands, for this reason if you come throughout one from someone you trust, you don\"t necessarily have to assume they to be trying come deliberately cheat you. What matters most is the no matter where friend buy from, even if it is it\"s a brick and mortar store, GameStop, Amazon, eBay, or otherwise, don\"t instantly assume it\"s legitimate. If a video game being sold online is gift shipped the end of China, instantly assume it\"s a fake. Reproduction copies come from Chinese sellers in droves, and it\"s unlikely that legitimate American duplicates of Pokémon games were being marketed at sleeve in China in the 1990s or 2000s.

If you\"re buying from secondhand platforms prefer eBay, make sure you uncover a seller who supplies eBay\"s Money back Guarantee. This likewise goes for any online platform you shop on. If you\"re purchasing native a brick-and-mortar store that selling retro games, ask if they do returns before purchasing. Any type of seller worth your salt will allow you to either return the game if you find out it\"s a reproduction copy or open up it increase in former of lock to research it. It\"s your money, therefore don\"t it is in shy to ask because that reassurance! simply remember to it is in respectful at all times.

2. The listing

Be wary of gamings that are method too cheap to be true uneven you\"ve been able to inspect the dare thoroughly. It\"s a tough toss-up — it may be a shady scammer, or it\"s a parent looking to market their child\"s old things without feather into exactly how much this is worth. You may see cheaper gamings at flea markets and garage sales, so world may be more hesitant come let you open it in former of them, yet it doesn\"t hurt come ask.

Don\"t purchase games from any online sellers who just use stock images of the game\"s box art. Reputable sellers understand how important reassurance is to potential buyers and also will always show multiple photos of their products from assorted angles. If girlfriend can\"t watch it, don\"t buy it.

3. Sticker vibrance and composition


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Source: Nadine Dornieden / tasiilaq.netFrom left come right: supervisor Mario 64 DS (real), Pokémon Platinum (fake)


When you first gaze upon her potential purchase, have actually a look at the game\"s sticker.

Before click the \"Buy Now\" button, there room a couple of questions you must ask yourself:

Does the sticker seem short or malaligned?Are the white strips at the top and bottom of DS stickers unusually thick/thin?Are the GBA sticker labels shiny or sparkly enough?Are the colour vibrant? Is all of the message sharp?Are the fonts used similar to other games?Does the sticker look like other DS games you\"ve seen online?

Because reproduction carts are, well, reproductions, it way that their imitations will never be perfect. Check the sticker for anything that appears off. If you\"ve been collecting Pokémon gamings for part time, her tingly sticker senses must be shooting off. Reproduction dare stickers, as result of the low publish quality, often function blurry text and washed-out colors. If you\"re can not to review what\"s top top the sticker, that\"s an indication of the cartridge\"s authenticity.

You\"re a Pokémon Master!

And... That\"s it! you are currently an main Pokémon video game detective. A Detective Pikachu, if girlfriend will. Once purchasing items native sellers both online and in-person, mental to save your wits around you and also be on the lookout for any kind of shady behavior. A trustworthy seller will constantly entertain your wishes to prove a game\"s authenticity before buying. Understand your games, and look at some previously sold games online to have a feeling for what an really copy look at like. Shortly you\"ll it is in a Pokémon master in no time!

Have you ever before purchased a reproduction game, thinking it to be authentic? permit us recognize in the comments below!


Tools because that collectors

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Vastar 17Pcs Triwing Screwdriver collection for Nintendo

All the devices a retro collector needs


If you\"re interested in collecting retro Nintendo solution from the Nintendo Entertainment mechanism to the Nintendo Switch, this toolset is simply what you\"re spring for. Usage these unique screwdrivers and tools come examine and repair games and also consoles to ensure your beloved systems space in tip-top shape.

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