Say you’ve found a great homebrewn ROM hack for the Nintendo 64 but it comes in a format that you can’t play because it’s distributed as a patch. No fear! This simple guide will help you patch it up so that you can get your hack up and running in no time.

A patch is a file that contains the differences between a ROM hack and the original game ROM. It can be seen like this:

Original + Patch = Hack

How to Play a ROM HackDownload the IPS file of the hack you want to play, and unzip it.Download an IPS Patcher here. Download a CLEAN ROM. Download an emulator. Double click on Lunar IPS.exe, click “Apply Patch”.Select the IPS file that you downloaded.Afterwards, it will ask you to select a ROM. Find your emulator, and double click it.

Since game hacks contain large portions of the original game, you can’t really distribute them without breaking copyright. For instance, a hack of Mario 64 would borrow assets such as characters, stage or even the game engine itself. Since all of this belongs to the original owner, the homebrewer only provides the new code that they developed.

xDelta

This is the most common type of patch used to distribute hacks online. It is very simple to use as well.

Step 1: Get Delta Patcher

Download Delta Patcher from the official website or from a mirror on N64 Squid by using the password “deltapatchmirror”.

Note that this is a Windows 32-bit program. I’ve tested it on Windows 7 and 10, but I’m not sure how well it works on Mac or Linux.

If you’re curious about whether to use the lite or full version, it doesn’t really matter. The only difference DeltaPatcher.exe and DeltaPatcherLite.exe is that the lite version only allows you to apply patches, while the full version lets you create them as well as apply them.

Step 2: Get your source ROM

Disclaimer: it is illegal in many places to download copies of games that you do not own. I will not be linking to any libraries/repositories for this reason. Make sure you source your ROMs ethically.

This is the hardest part in my opinion. Most homebrew developers publish their patches with the simple instruction of “Apply the patch to a [game] ROM”. However, there are many versions of that game floating around the internet: JP, USA, PAL, little/big endian versions…

Even if you create your own backup ROM, it likely won’t match. I usually mention which one to use in my posts, but it’s really a matter of trial and error.

Step 3: Patch your ROM

The moment of truth. Open up the Delta Patcher executable and select your source ROM and your .xdelta patch file.

As a security measure, be sure to check the “Backup Original File” option under the settings menu icon. Rather then updating the source file, it will create a copy which will be useful in case you want to patch it again.

Step 4: Complete!

If everything goes correctly, you got your hacked ROM all set! If you created a backup, the new version will be called “[filename]PATCHED.ext”, otherwise it will have the same file name.

BPS / flips

The BPS format is used by Kaze Emanuar to distribute his Super Mario 64 hacks, so you’re more likely to have to use this method for those kinds of games.

He explains how to run the patch quite well in this video:

The video is a bit low resolution, so I’ll walk you though it here as well.

Step 1: Download your ROM patch

First of all, you need to obtain the hack’s patch. You can obtain these from Kaze directly. The zip file should include a few files in it, but these are the ones you should be paying attention to:

  • Flips folder (patching software)
  • BPS file (game patch)

Step 2: Obtain the ROM

Similar to xDelta patches, you need to find the source ROM separately. The one I use for Super Mario hacks made by Kaze is called Super Mario 64 (U) [!].z64.

Step 3: Run the patch though Flips

Run flips.exe and click on the ‘Apply Patch’ button. It will prompt your windows explorer three times:

  1. Select the .bps patch file
  2. Select the source ROM
  3. Choose a save name for the patched ROM

Step 4: Success!

If you chose the correct source, you should have a successfully patched ROM. Enjoy!

PPF / PPF-O-Matic

This is a patching tool originally from 2001 that was primarily used for Playstation ISO patches, but some Nintendo 64 hacks use this as well.

Step 1: Obtain and open PPF-O-Matic

First you need to download the PPF-O-Matic from either the Rom Hacking website or from the N64 Squid mirror using the password “PPFpatcher”. No need to install it, the executable works fine on its own.

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It should open to something like this:

Step 2: Prepare your source ROM and patch file

Just like the other two methods, get your ROM for the game. Make sure it’s the correct version, as every game has a few slightly different dumps floating around.

Also make sure you have your .ppf file ready and uncompressed in a convenient location.

Step 3: Patch them up!

Once that’s done, put your source ROM in the top input. I know it says ISO (a format used for CDs), but that’s just because this was a patcher intended for Playstation games.

The bottom one should have your .ppf file.

Caution! The PPF-O-Matic will NOT back up your original file! Be sure to keep a copy handy! It also won’t rename the file after patching so make sure you rename it after giving it a test.

If you get an error, it is probably because the wrong source file was used. I tend to write the exact file name of the ROM we’re patching to avoid confusion, but mistakes can still happen. Try getting it from another source.

Precautions

Again, it’s important to remember that it’s illegal to have a ROM of a game you don’t own.

With most game hacks, be sure to set your emulator to 8MB mode for the correct compatibility.

The Pokémon games are always getting released, at least once per two years.

For any new system from Nintendo, there will be a new Pokémon game for it.

So, you can find plenty of Pokémon games right now if you just try to go back to the original Game Boy era. But there’s more.

The fans of this series are also actively creating their own Pokémon games.

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Whether it’s in the form of ROM hacks or original game made with a specific engine, you can find plenty of “off the shelf” Pokémon games that you can play today.

You can play them on various devices, not limited to the Nintendo consoles.

Best Pokemon Rom Hacks List

Here are the top 20 Pokémon ROM hacks that you can play today:

Pokémon Eclipse RPG

Pokémon Eclipse RPG is an online RPG game you can play on your browser, which has Pokémon as its main theme.

The game is regularly updated, and currently it is in version 1.5. In this game, you can explore the new region called Apholite, while catching different Pokémon creatures along the way.

You can also find many powerful Pokémon here.

Features:

  • The world in this game is constantly being expanded, so you can explore more areas as time goes by.
  • You can play this game online on your browser without the need to install any game software.
  • You will need to uncover the mystery of the Apholite region and fighting its creator along the way.
  • There are also various mini games you can play on Pokémon Eclipse RPG.
  • Plenty of Pokémon creatures can be found, trained, and battled in this game.

Pokémon Polished Crystal

Pokémon Polished Crystal is the ROM hack that is made from the Crystal version, which was released for the GBA system in the year 2000.

In this hacked version, there are plenty of improvements that make the Crystal version more polished to play.

The improvements include Pokémon, moves, battle mechanics, Overworld mechanics, Nuzlocke mode, maps, events, and more.

Features:

  • You can catch all the 253 Pokémon creatures in this game.
  • There are new moves that you can perform, such as Bug Buzz, Astonish, Avalanche, Disarm Voice, and many more.
  • There are many battle mechanics from Generation VI that have been added to this game.
  • There are many new locations, such as Viridian Forest, Celadon Hotel, Seafoam Islands, and more.
  • The additional in-game events are also being added to this hacked version, involving trading, Team Rocket, move tutors, prizes, and more.

Pokémon Mega Adventure

Pokémon Mega Adventure is a custom Pokémon game that retains the regular storyline of all Pokémon games, which is the journey of the protagonist to become a Pokémon champion.

This game features a region called Akito, where you can roam and explore to catch hundreds of Pokémon creatures and battling them with others.

You have 3 starter Pokémon to choose: Squirtle, Charmander, and Bulbasaur.

Features:

  • There are 721 creatures that you can catch in this game.
  • You can also use mega stones for Mega Evolution.
  • Some Pocket Monsters from Generation VII are available.
  • You can also get Mystery Gifts in this game.
  • You can explore the region called Akito to pave your way to become a Pokémon champion.

Pokémon Ash Gray

Pokémon Ash Gray is the ROM hack of the FireRed version, which faithfully follows the season 1 anime series.

Thus, you can find plenty of Pokémon creatures that are featured in the anime version, and additionally, some newer monsters as well.

The graphics are still very much the same as the graphics of FireRed on GBA.

Features:

  • It has monsters that you can catch from season 1 anime series, along with new creatures.
  • You will play as Ash, following the storyline of season 1 anime series in this game.
  • There are also contents that are included from the banned episodes of the anime series.
  • It includes only original Pokémon without any fake creatures.
  • You can play the side story titled Holiday Hi-Jynx in this game.

Pokémon Blazed Glazed

Pokémon Blazed Glazed is the ROM hack of the Emerald version, applying various improvements to make the Emerald version even better to play.

It is available for the Game Boy Advance system. In this game, you can expect to see new moves that are available from Generation IV to Generation VI, as well as new creatures, stats, and other changes.

Features:

  • It changes all the move sets and rosters from the Emerald version.
  • This hacked version gives you the new stats for your pocket monsters.
  • There are also new creatures being added, which are not available in the original Emerald version.
  • The wild distributions are altered, so you can see quite a bit of changes for wild creatures in this game.
  • It also has move-pool additions and some typing changes.

Pokémon Dark Rising

Pokémon Dark Rising is the ROM hack of the FireRed version, which you can play on the GBA system.

In this game, you can find 386 of creatures that you can catch and battle with, and you can also explore the regions of Kanto, Johto, Unova, Sinnoh, and Hoenn.

This ROM hack was released alongside the Kaizo Version.

Features:

  • It has moves that are included from the newer generation Pokémon releases.
  • You can get up to 8 badges in this game, with each gym leader having their own unique Pokémon for you to battle.
  • Egg moves can be learned by leveling up instead of breeding.
  • You can also add more experience points in your gameplay by battling Nurse Joy in the Pokémon Center.
  • There are DW abilities that you can learn in this game, such as Drizzle Poliwag, Speed Boost Torchic, and more.

Pokémon Light Platinum

Pokémon Light Platinum is the GBA ROM hack that is made from the Ruby version, and it has been completed and fixed of bugs.

In other words, you can play this game without any problems and without worrying about bugs and glitches.

It can give you the complete experience that is better than the original Ruby version of the game.

There are plenty of improvements you can enjoy in this game.

Features:

  • You can explore the new region called ZHERY.
  • In this game, you can meet with the new leads, new Elite Four, and new rivals.
  • You can find creatures from all regions in this game, and you can also catch legendary creatures from the Ruby version.
  • The game has new sprites, new events, and new tiles.
  • It has the Pokémon World Championship as the final event.

Pokémon Adventure Red Chapter

Pokémon Adventure Red Chapter is the ROM hack of the FireRed version for the GBA system, which follows closely the Pokémon Adventure manga.

Aside from following the storyline of the Pokémon Adventure manga, it also has updated graphics, and it has some events changed to make them longer.

It incorporates the original Red, Blue, Yellow, and Green version.

Features:

  • You can explore new regions in this game, with updated graphics and music.
  • You can increase your level up to level 255.
  • This game also has mega evolution, battle bond, and fusion Pokémon.
  • It has the cycling day and night system.
  • It allows you to customize your characters along with mugshots.

Pokémon Sage

Pokémon Sage is the fan-made game that is made from the RPG Maker XP engine, providing you the fan-made original gameplay involving Pokémon creatures.

This game can be played as a Windows game, and it gives you the original experience in the world of Pokémon.

You can play the demo from the official page.

Features:

  • It uses the RPG Maker XP engine along with Pokémon Essentials.
  • The game is playable on Windows, with very low minimum requirements.
  • It has a set of new fan-made Pokémon creatures that you can catch in this game.
  • You can play with original characters, Pokémon, and locations in this game.
  • The demo is available for you to play, which allows you to get up to the third badge.

Pokémon FireRed: Rocket Edition

Have you ever wondered how it will be to play as Team Rocket? In Pokémon FireRed: Rocket Edition, you can do it.

This ROM hack of FireRed gives you the opportunity to play as Team Rocket.

Yes, one of the villains in the Pokémon series.

Of course, as Team Rocket, you will be able to wreak havoc throughout the entire game and enjoy doing so.

Features:

  • Instead of playing as the protagonist, you will play as the villain in this game, which is Team Rocket.
  • This game is the ROM hack of the FireRed version on the GBA.
  • You will experience the entire storyline in the perspective of Team Rocket.
  • You can steal Pokémon creatures from every trainer in this game.
  • You can battle popular characters and uncover the true story behind Red’s adventure.

Pokémon Uranium

Pokémon Uranium is a unique fan-made Pokémon game built with Pokémon Essentials on the RPG Maker XP engine.

So, this game can be played on your Windows PC by installing it just like any other games.

In this game, you can find 166 new Pokémon and 34 Pokémon creatures available in the main series.

New skills and move-sets are also introduced.

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Features:

  • You can play this game on Windows PC.
  • New pocket monsters available in this game include Dunseraph, Dunsparce, Metalynx, Yatagaryu, and more.
  • You can also use various moves in this game, such as Absorb, Double Hit, Dragon Claw, and many more.
  • Various abilities are also available, including Anticipation, Natural Cure, Bad Dreams, and more.
  • Lots of items you can find in this game, such as Arbokite, Amulet Coin, Big Root, Nugget, and many more.

Pokémon Planet

Pokémon Planet is the free-to-play MMORPG with the Pokémon theme, which you can play online on your browsers.

In this game, you will take on an adventure as a trainer that has the aspiration to become a Pokémon champion.

Of course, you will play alongside other online players, and you can also battle them online.

You don’t need to download any software to play this game.

Features:

  • You can catch, train, and evolve hundreds of creatures in this game.
  • You can play this game online with your friends without spending any money for anything.
  • You can create clans with other trainers to determine the best trainers among you.
  • Compared to the regular Pokémon games, you can explore the areas that are big and wide in this game.
  • You can play this game on any browser without having to install anything.

Pokémon Phoenix Rising

Pokémon Phoenix Rising is the fan-made game that is made with the RPG Maker XP engine along with Pokémon Essentials, giving you the new experience of adventure in the world full of pocket monsters.

It features the storyline that can branch based on the choices that you make throughout the game.

Also, it still uses the traditional RPG style as common in the official releases.

Features:

  • You can explore the region called Hawthorne in this game, where there are plenty of pocket monsters to catch and train.
  • The storyline is full of choices that you can make, giving you different branches in the story.
  • You can perform Mega Evolution for your Pokémon creatures in this game.
  • Aside from regular pocket monsters, there are also relic Pokémon creatures you can catch in this game.
  • It offers rich characters with moral choices during the gameplay.

Pokémon Showdown

Pokémon Showdown is the Pokémon-themed battle simulator game that you can play online.

You can play this game either via your browser, or you can install this game directly on your computer.

In this game, you can choose Pokémon characters and battle other characters with other online players.

Features:

  • You can choose various Pokémon characters and battle with others in this online battle simulator.
  • The battles are fully animated, so you can enjoy each battle in this game.
  • You can build your own team, or you can choose the randomly generated team.
  • It is free to play, and you can play it on your browser or install it on your computer.
  • You can find plenty of Pokémon creatures from different generations in this game.

Pokémon MMO 3D

Pokémon MMO 3D is a free MMO game that you can play on your computer, featuring 3D Pokémon, world, and character models.

In this game, you will meet with other trainers from all over the world to explore the new region.

You can catch plenty of pocket monsters in this game, as well as battle other trainers in real time.

Features:

  • You can play this game completely for free, and the game is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
  • You can play this game with other trainers all over the world and explore the new 3D Pokémon-themed world.
  • You can catch plenty of creatures in this game and battle them with other trainers.
  • There are plenty of Easter eggs hidden in the game, which you can find as you explore the vast world areas in this game.
  • It features real-time battles between you and other players.

Pokémon Revolution Online

Pokémon Revolution Online is the online Pokémon game that you can play on your devices, featuring 2D graphics.

The game is available for multiple platforms, including desktop (Mac, Windows, Linux) and mobile devices (Android).

It allows you to start the journey of becoming a Pokémon master with other online players from around the world.

Features:

  • It is an online game that offers competitive player vs. player gameplay elements.
  • You can explore multiple new regions in this game, with in-game bosses spread all around them.
  • You can communicate with other players from within the game and establish your own community.
  • There are various events that you can participate in the game from time to time.
  • It also offers you the storyline that you can enjoy along the way.

Pokémon Mega Power

Pokémon Mega Power is the GBA ROM hack of the Emerald version, featuring plenty of improvements from the original version.

In this game, you can explore some new regions, such as Ivara, Sevii Islands, and Lande, as well as meet with new characters.

It features pocket monsters from up to Generation VII. The graphics are still mostly the same as the original Emerald version.

Features:

  • It has its own storyline involving the protagonist’s attempt to evolve a Pokémon without having to use mega stones.
  • You can explore new regions and meet with new characters in this game.
  • You can choose between male and female for your protagonist.
  • The Pokémon selection is expanded to include Generation IV to Generation VII.
  • It also includes some new tiles in the game.

Pokémon Emerald Kaizo

Pokémon Emerald Kaizo is the ROM hack of the Emerald version specifically designed for those looking for more challenges.

This ROM hack offers you the highest difficulty level that will guarantee to give you more challenges in playing this game.

The sole purpose of the game is to make the Emerald version even more difficult to play.

Features:

  • All aspects of the game have been changed to make it more difficult to play.
  • When you battle the other trainers in this game, you can feel that the battles are becoming even more difficult to win as you go along.
  • There are 386 Pokémon creatures that you can find in this game.
  • Some creatures are only available post games, meaning that you can’t catch them unless you’ve completed the game.
  • The gym leaders will give you even more challenges with more powerful Pokémon you need to defeat.

Pokémon Flora Sky

Pokémon Flora Sky is a ROM hack of the Emerald version, which is 100% completed.

It means that you can play the game from start to finish without having to wait for any more updates.

The game uses the graphics and most aspects of the Emerald version, but with certain improvements in various aspects of the game, such as new Pokémon creatures that you can catch.

Features:

  • It includes Pokémon creatures available in Generation IV and V.
  • You can play a new storyline in this game, as well as new events for the legendary Pokémon.
  • The creatures look better in this ROM hack because the sprites have been improved.
  • You can also find new moves, new maps, new mini games, and more.
  • New character is also available as the protagonist of this game.

Pokémon Gaia

As the ROM hack of the FireRed version on the GBA system, Pokémon Gaia delivers various new improvements that you can enjoy when playing this game.

In this game, you will explore the region called Orbtrus, which is the region that has a rich history.

Your character will follow the storyline that will uncover the history behind this region along with your adventure.

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Features:

  • You can find and catch Pokémon creatures usually available in regions of Kanto, Unova, Johto, Kalos, Hoenn, and Sinnoh.
  • It is jam-packed with new moves, modern abilities, and modern items.
  • It has the updated sprites for Pokémon creatures, trainers, Overworld, and more.
  • It has underwater maps that you can dive into.
  • It has original songs that you can enjoy throughout the game.

Conclusion

These are the best Pokémon ROM hacks that you can play on various platforms.

Whether you want to play it on the Nintendo system, emulator, browser, computer, or mobile device, you can find the game that fits with your preferences.

These hacked Pokémon games will offer the adventure and gameplay style that you would never experience on the regular releases.

So, you should try these games. Find the one that you like and start playing. Happy gaming!

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