PSA: Hacked Pokémon!!

  1. theredmarker
    Heya peeps,

    Been wanting to post about this for a while. Want to send a word of caution to any Pokémon players who are in (or interested in) the online and/or competitive Pokémon scene. And that's about hacked Pokémon.

    What is a hacked Pokémon?

    Hacked Pokémon aren't anything new. People have been fiddling with the series' games' codes ever since Red/Green. Most famously, to find/get the mythical Pokémon Mew. Needless to say, hackers are still around. Sometimes, hacks are to modify the game just for laughs, or to customize how things look, etc. But I want to talk specifically about hacked creatures.

    Hackers can create pretty much any Pokémon they want, with illegal stats, abilities, moves, etc. More cautious hackers will keep the stats within the normal range (though at their maximum), give the creatures legal moves, and legal abilities. Often they will make the Pokémon "shiny", a rare colour that, while possible to find normally in-game, is highly unlikely, statistically.

    Why is this a problem?

    Most of the time, it isn't. If you find yourself in the possession of a hacked Pokémon, think it's pretty neat, and just want to use it within your own game, that's totally fine. You have fun in your own way.

    The problem arises in online play. Hacked Pokémon are illegal in online trade and battles. If the game detects that the creature is hacked, you will not be allowed to offer it up for trade on the GTS, nor will you be able to battle with it online against other players.

    If you use hacked Pokémon in an official competition, you will be disqualified, and you risk being banned from participating in future online competitions.

    How to tell if a Pokémon is hacked:

    If you suspect a Pokémon you received in Wonder Trade is hacked, look for the following indicators:
    - Is its level impossible? (e.g., a lvl10 Dragonite whence catching one in the wild is impossible)
    - Is it an unreleased/unobtainable Pokémon?
    - Does it have 6 maxed IVs?
    - Is it shiny?
    - Are its moves/ability legal?
    - Is it lvl100 or lvl1?

    Note: lvl 100 and lvl 1 Pokémon exist and are legal, shiny Pokémon exist and are legal, and Pokémon with 6 maxed IVs exist and are legal. However, if the Pokémon is lvl1/100, shiny, and has 6 maxed IVs, you're probably dealing with a hacked Pokémon. Unobtainable Pokémon, impossibly-leveled Pokémon, and Pokémon with illegal moves/abilities are definitely hacked.

    What should I do with hacked Pokémon?

    Again, if you have no intention of using your hacked creature in online play, then by all means, play with it to your heart's content in your game.

    However, if you're someone who is part of the online and/or competitive sphere, a hacked Pokémon is an enormous risk ill-advised to take. That's why I would suggest releasing it from your game's PC Box. It erases it from your game, and, contrary to simply sending it back our for recirculation in Wonder Trade, doesn't put another person at risk. Plus, given the game's lore, you can just think of it as setting this interesting and unique creature free to roam the wilderness in your game.

    Young players don't necessarily know about the risks of using hacked Pokémon. Please do not send hacked Pokémon back out into Wonder Trade!

    Known hackers:

    The one hacker I know of that I have come across several times in my Wonder Trading is AuSLove.TV. He frequently holds events where he Wonder Trades a ton of hacked, shiny, competitively-programmed Pokémon, including legendary/mythical Pokémon. He has bots of the same name Wonder Trading 24/7.

    While I'm sure he just does this for fun and to give people cool Pokémon, the risks are still there.

    Additional thoughts:

    Shiny Pokémon, especially legendaries, are rare. They are highly sought-after and beloved forms of our favourite creatures. By flooding Wonder Trade with shinies, hackers are causing the value of shinies to nosedive. This kind of thing really up-ends the "economy" of Pokémon trading. Because of this, a person may not necessarily be willing to trade with you for a "mere" shiny.

    Thanks for reading, and I hope you guys have tons of fun (safely) playing Pokémon!!
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