How to Design Your Own Pokemon Game

By Seth Amery

Updated September 22, 2017

Items you will need

  • Pokemon game of your choice

  • Whack a Hack version 1.2

  • Advance Map version 1.92

  • Advance Text version 3.1.1

  • Poketronic version 0.7

  • Advance Starter version 1.4

  • YAPE (Yet Another Parser/Extractor software)

  • Personal computer with gaming capabilities

Designing your game will take quite a bit of time.
i gameboy image by Dron from

The Pokemon series is a popular one, in North America, in Europe and especially in Japan. As with any popular, mainstream game, there are several people who have always dreamed about designing their own installment in the series. Before you can successfully think about designing your own Pokemon game, it is important to understand the different mechanics behind each game and what they all have in common so that you can implement those ideas in your game.

Understand that Pokemon is not just a turn based role-playing game. There are many different variables hidden behind the scenes that make it very complex. There is a Pokemon fan site that offers a few tools that can make this process go by easier.

Download Pokemon ROMs. These are copies of games that have been released on the different consoles and are downloadable for free. This is legal provided that the ROM you download is for a game you have already legally purchased.

Download a ROM emulator, such as Visual Boy Advance. This will be necessary to run your ROM.

Open Visual Boy Advance. Click "Open" in the toolbar and locate the ROM you downloaded. Copy and paste it next to the original, and give it a different name. For example, if you downloaded a file called "PokemonFireRed.gba" then you should call it "PokemonFireRed2.gba".

Map out your world using Advance Map. You don't have to start from scratch, either; you can simply alter the tiles that are already present. Play with the tools and get familiar with them, and try new things. For example, you could throw a river into Viridian City or make a cave appear in Pallet Town.

Create a story using Advanced Text. You don't need to be a master storyteller, but you can easily change the text of each character, and build your new story from there with small or larger changes.

Alter the way characters move with PokeTronic. For example: Instead of walking into his lab to meet you, you might make Professor Oak wander around and meet you in Cerulean City.

Change the starting Pokemon with Advance Starter. If you get tired of the starters always being grass, fire and water types, you can make them psychic, rock and electric.

Change the technical stats using YAPE. Here, you can use websites, such as Serebii, to help you calculate the different variables behind the Pokemon.


Understand that this process can take a very long time. Try not to work on it too hard or you might get bored with it. Remember to save often, especially when making a big change.