There are loads of fake Pokemon games around. With this guide I will try to make everyone aware that you can't trust everybody. I've bought some fake games before, simply because I didn't know that fake games existed. Well they do, and it's not just Pokemon games, but other games aswell.
What's wrong with fake games?
The problem with fake games and copies is that they don't work properly or that it's a completely different game with no Pokemon in it at all. For example I've got a copy of Pokemon Emerald and the time doesn't work. It takes away lots of nice things from the gameplay. Furthermore some fake games will corrupt your saved data and erase it. Another thing is that people who sell these games are just thiefs. They copy the games and sell them for their own benefit, while taking advantage of people who think the games are real.
How to recognise fake games
GBA games: With Pokemon games you can see that the game is fake when it doesn't have a colored cartridge. For example Pokemon Ruby has a see through red cartridge, pokemon silver has a silver cartridge with sparkles. Still be on your toes if it has a colored cartridge, because it may still be fake. Other ways to recognise fake games are pay attention to the stickers on the cartridge and pay attention to the box. The stickers on fake cartridges are badly printed and if you look closely at them you can see that the symbols of nintendo and such are vague. Sometimes the sticker isn't even the same as the original sticker that is on a real game cartridge. Most of the time the stickers aren't straight on the cartridge either. As for the box, it just looks fake, badly printed and sometimes it hasn't even been folded before. On some boxes it doesn't have the original image of the game on it. Sometimes there's a fake instruction book included, it looks crap and it has no useful information what so ever. It's very thin aswell.
*Update 2 july 2008*
I've noticed that the people who sell fake game are becoming better and better at trying to make the game look real. Ive seen some cartridges, for example pokemon emerald, of which the cartridge was see through green, the real box and booklet where included, the only thing off was that the sticker wasn't shiny. This game was fake aswell but hard to recognise, the only big giveaway was in the game itself, when you start it up it would say something about a battery pack, real games don't mention things about battery packs!
*Update 5 september 2009*
You can recognise real games if you look in the "hole" at the bottom of the cartridge. First you see the gold colored stripes, behind that is a green part. On the green part there should be white writing (it's a bit hard to see) saying "nintendo" and a number like "AGB-Y11-02" sometimes a year aswell like "2001".
Ds games: It's come to my attention that there are fake ds games about aswell. I haven't actually seen one myself, but I've looked on internet and found some information on this subject. The biggest differences to seperate a real cartridge from a fake one are on the back of the cartridge, on the real cartridge there's a grey or black number, while on the fake cartridge there isn't. The writing (nintendo logo etc) on the back of the fake cartridge looks a bit the same color like the rest of the cartridge, while on a real one the writing is more embedded and looks dark grey (when you turn it so the light shine's on it). Just like before, the instruction booklet and the box are big give aways too, the printing isn't as good as with a real game and the box doesnt have a nintendo logo embedded on the inside. Most of the time the instruction manual doesn't even contain the real instructions.
*Update 2 july 2008*
I've got my hands on a fake ds cartridge. The sticker is badly printed and the cartridge itself was thicker and more bended than a real cartridge.
These differences may vary per cartridge, I advise you not to buy anything from ebay unless you know for at least 90% sure it's a real game. Better options to buy games are in a second hand gamestore (there may be fake cartridges around there too but at least you can see them with your own eyes).
List of real games
Games for the Gameboy (color)
- Pokemon red - red cartridge
- Pokemon blue - blue cartridge
- Pokemon yellow - yellow cartridge
- Pokemon trading card game - black cartridge
- Pokemon pinball
- Pokemon silver - silver cartridge with sparkles
- Pokemon gold - gold cartridge with sparkles
- Pokemon crystal
- Pokemon puzzle challenge
Games for Gameboy Advance
- Pokemon ruby - see through red cartridge
- Pokemon sapphire - see through blue cartridge
- Pokemon emerald - see through green cartridge
- Pokemon pinball ruby/sapphire
- Pokemon firered - red cartridge/shiny sticker
- Pokemon leafgreen - green cartridge/ shiny sticker
- Pokemon mystery dungeon: red rescue team
Games for nintendo ds
- Pokemon diamond
- Pokemon pearl
- Pokemon mystery dungeon: blue rescue team
- Pokemon ranger
- Pokemon dash
- Pokemon trozei (US)/ link (Europe)
- Pokemon mystery dungeon: explorers of time/ darkness
- Pokemon platinum (hasn't been release just yet)
- Pokemon ranger: shadows of almia (hasn't been released yet)
If the game you want to buy is in this list, it doesn't mean that it is a real game. Some people copy the games and sell them on ebay too. If you want to recognise the copied games see the chapter "how to recognise fake games".
DO NOT buy these games, its a waste of your money.
- Pokemon jade
- Pokemon diamond (not to be confused with pokemon diamond that is supposed to come out on the nintendo ds this year)
- Pokemon chaos black
- Pokemon quartz
- Pokemon blue diamond
- *Update: there's a new fake game around: pokemon perla, dont buy it!*
- *Update 2* several new fakes have been seen on ebay (Thanks to ebay members for telling me about these games):
- Pokemon shinygold version
- Pokemon frigo returns
- Pokemon naranja
- Pokemon gold and silver in one cartridge (dont buy 2 in 1 games, for as far as I know Nintendo never published any 2 in 1 games of Pokemon)
- Pokemon arcoiris
There may be more fake games around that I haven't heard of. If your not sure if a game is real or if you don't know the game please look on internet to see if the game is real.
*Update* Some ebayers offer games that have all event pokemon, like darkrai, arceus etc. These games are probably real but the pokemon they offer like darkrai have probably been put on with action replay (cheat code device) or other cheat devices. You can buy one yourself and do the same thing if you've got the right codes. I don't advice you to do this, because other people can find out these pokemon haven't been caught "real".
What if you bought a fake cartridge?
Contact ebay with this link: http://pages.ebay.co.uk/help/tp/inr-snad-process.html , after which ebay will contact the seller. You can also report fake items with this link: http://contact.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ShowCUPortal . After you got your money back give the seller negative feedback so you can warn other people for this seller.
If you paid via paypal and the game you received is fake you can file a dispute: https://www.paypal.com/uk/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=xpt/cps/securitycenter/buy/Protection-outside
Other tips I can give you are that you've to look on internet if you doubt if the game is real. Always look on google for a picture of the box and see if it's not a fake. Look through the sellers feedback, not only the percentage!! Look at the sellers other items to see if there are any fakes between those. If you still doubt after all this, don't buy the game and look for another one. Listings where you can get a lot of games together for a cheap price usually have fake games, if the price is too good to be true be extra careful! You can also choose to not buy games on ebay and look in a second hand shop if you can find the game you want. I think that of all the pokemon games that are on ebay maybe half is fake, maybe even more. So watch out.
If you found this guide helpful please vote yes. That way more people will read it and be aware of these fake games.
If you've got any questions, feel free to contact me.