How to Identify a Fake Pokemon Game

Written by mandy slake
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How to Identify a Fake Pokemon Game
Piracy is one of the major issues in the video game industry. (pirate flag white image by Tomislav from

Fake Pokemon games are sold online and passed off for legitimate copies in video game stores. How can you be sure the Pokemon game you're buying is the real thing? While pirated games can be difficult to spot, counterfeiters often take shortcuts that allow you to identify whether the game you're buying is the real thing or not. Some fake Pokemon games won't run at all and others can cause problems when you go to trade Pokemon with other players.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Check the price and the seller's location. Fake Pokemon games are often sold for significantly less than the real versions. If you are buying from an auction site, be wary of sellers in Asian countries.

  2. 2

    Check the packaging. Counterfeit cartridges often show differences in the packaging from the original versions. Labels may be off centre or show a different image, the print quality may be lower or the paper used may be different.

  3. 3

    Look at the plastic used in the cartridge housing. Games that came with translucent plastic might be solid-coloured in counterfeits or vice versa.

  4. 4

    Check the model numbers. All official Nintendo cartridges have a model number printed on the label and on the back of the cartridge. If the model number of your Pokemon game doesn't match, it's fake.

  5. 5

    While it's not always possible, if you can do so open the cartridge and look inside. Official Pokemon cartridges for the Game Boy Advance used flash memory, so there is no battery mounted on the circuit board. With cartridges that have translucent plastic, sometimes you can see whether it has a battery without opening it. If you find a button battery in the cartridge, it's fake.

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