Friday, March 28, 2014

The Great Pokemon Rom Migration of our time! Gen 1 to Gen 2 to Gen 3 to Gen 4 to Gen 5 to Gen 6 to Gen 7

The Great Pokemon Rom Migration of Our Time! Gen 1 to Gen 2 to Gen 3 to Gen 4 to Gen 5 to Gen 6

When I first made this guide I had been playing loads of Pokemon on emulators with roms and my motivation was Twitch Plays Pokemon and the desire to transfer my Mons from the very first games to the more recent ones. This guide is built on my personal experience with migrating pokemon from game to game. I know this guide will work 100% if you use the games I have and do exactly as I do. I have been updating this guide since March of 2014 and I update it when I find out easier ways to do things and when I know for sure that the method works.

Currently Citra is the only legit emulator for the 3DS.

A little background first… Pokemon Generations and their Games.

Gen 2:
Gen 3:
Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald & Fire Red/Leaf Green
Gen 4:
Pear/Diamond/Platinum & Heart Gold/Soul Silver
Gen 5:
Black/White & Black 2/White 2
Gen 6:
X/Y & Alpha Sapphire/Omega Ruby
Gen 7:
Sun/Moon Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon

Where do I find pokemon roms? Just Google it.

Support the series and buy the games. I own a copy of every pokemon game I have played via emulator.

The Great Migration Guide:
If a link is dead for a transfer tool a great place to start searching is the Project Pokemon forums: making any changes to your pokemon save files aka “battery file” (.sav) make sure you make a backup. I always have a backup file and sometimes backup/ backups when testing tools.

Gen 1 to Gen 2
I played Red/Blue and Crystal with the VBA LINK 172 emulator

Tool Transfer:
PKHeX is a fantastic tool and the Master tool used these days for managing your pokemon Gen 1 to 7.
Emulation Transfer:
Gen 1 to Gen 1 / Gen 1 to Gen 2 / Gen 2 to Gen 1
As Luke Freeman in the comments stated:
TGB Dual can trade between RGBYGSC without any problems, and .sav fiels are completely compatible with VBA Link, which can’t trade between those versions.

So if you wanted to do some trading without using an outside program other than an emulator you can use TGB Dual.

To trade between Gen 2 and Gen 1 you will need to first meet “Bill” in your Gen 2 game and then wait “24 hours” to unlock the interface in the poke-center.
Keep in mind:
TGB Dual was created initially in Japanese. So make sure you look for an English version. I was able to find TGB Dual Vol. 8.3.1 in english.

Thanks Luke!

Possible Legit Transfer:
Gen 1 to Gen 7 and ???
So the E-Shop versions of the Gen 1 and 2 games can transfer up to the PokeBank.

Gen 1 & 2 to Gen 3
Keep in mind:
As you may have heard transferring pokemon from Gen 1 & 2 to the Gen 3 games is impossible. Well that is only half true. When the people at Nintendo made the Gen 3 games they made the IV/EV stuff more complex. These are the hidden values on your pokemon that determines nature and how they will grow stats wise as they level. The “Metropolis” can convert the Gen 1 & 2 pokemon to Gen 3 with this in mind but you must also input the caught location manually and their trainer ID may need a re-roll. PKHeX will allow you to import this converted Gen3 pokemon but you will have to do some editing to make it legit.

So if you want your legit pokemon to ever leave emulators and make it into a legit cartridge you may want to start with Gen 3 instead of 1 &2.

I played Red/Blue/Crystal and Emerald with the VBA LINK 172 emulator

Tool Transfer:
Download: PKX Delta:
PKX Delta will load a .sav file and will allow you to open multiple game .sav files and right click / copy and paste pokemon from Gen 1 & 2 to Gen 3.(mixed results)

If you can't get PKX Delta working go for the Metropolis to PKHeX method.

Keep in mind:
Emerald, by default, will not save out correctly with VisualBoyAdvance or VBA LINK to edit with PKX Delta or A-Save. Also to just play it normally with VBA LINK you need to make some changes to your settings.
Under Options/Emulator check:
Real Time Clock
Save Type>
Flash 128K
Image of my settings in VBA:

If you messed up on using the correct save file type you can try converting it here:

Gen 3 to Gen 3

Emulation Transfer:
If you want to avoid using an outside emulation program you can trade with yourself using VBA LINK. I have traded successfully with myself with Fire Red and Leaf Green.
Keep in mind:
I have read that a bunch of people are having a hard time getting VBA LINK to work. I think this is a problem with what version of VBA LINK they are using. The version I have been using is 1.7.2.
Tool Transfer:
PKHeX is my preferred method for save editing BUT for Gen 3 there is also this awesome tool:
Trigger's PC is a box management tool for all things Gen 3, you can open multiple saves and once and easily move and trade/evolve without all the fuss. There are loads of great features for any Gen 3 pokemon fan.

Gen 3 to Gen 4 Pal Park Optional

Tool Transfer:
Use PKHeX : 
Super easy! or... if you want to know what real pain feels like:

Emulation Transfer:
I played Emerald and Platinum with the VBA LINK emulator and the DeSmuMe emulator
Just to be clear:

One does not simply transfer from Gen 3 to Gen 4 via Pal Park
For starters you need to beat your Gen 4 game. All Gyms, Elite 4, and get the National Pokedex for at least Seeing all the pokemon in the game. This means you need to do a lot before Pal Park becomes available.

Ok so… DeSmuMe has a GBA slot for your Gen 3 rom…
  • So there are a lot of issues with getting DeSmuMe to do this correctly.
  • For starters the new version of DeSmuMe 0.9.10 will not work so you need to use the older version: 0.9.7
  • The Gen 3 .sav file needs to be saved out as Flash 128 in VBA LINK 1.7.2
  • Export a battery file (.sav) from VBA LINK 1.7.2
  • Ok using the correct programs and settings…
  • You can’t transfer pokemon that know HM moves so delete the moves.
  • In Emerald the move deleter is in Lilycove City, east of the PokeMart.
  • You can only transfer 6 pokemon a day to pal park so changing your computer time/day is a must.
  • You can’t transfer pokemon that are currently in your party in Gen 3 so get them in the boxes.
  • Process for Transfer:
  • Place the gen3.gba and gen3.sav file in the roms folder of the Old DeSmuMe from VBA LINK 1.7.2
  • (*_*) Open Old DeSmuMe and open your Gen 4 game.
  • In the menu go to Emulation -> GBA slot
  • Change it to Guitar Grip, this will reset the game
  • Now change it to GBA game and select your gen3.gba in the Old DeSmuMe roms folder.
  • This will reset the game again.
  • If everything was done correctly you will now be able to migrate 6 pokemon over via the main menu
  • Good ol’ “Save Failed” can still happen for what seems like no reason. Anyways No worries! Just ReSave and export from VBA LINK and try, try again.
    Check your versions and make sure you are exporting your save correctly.
  • Pal park is stupid easy. Just walk around till your pokemon spawns, might need to surf, and throw a ball.
  • Transfer new pokemons to box via guy working there.
  • Save game and close DeSmuMe
  • Change your data to the following day on your computer and repeat the process starting at (*_*)
  • Good ol’ “Save Failed” can still happen for what seems like no reason. Anyways No worries! Just ReSave and export from VBA LINK and try, try again.
  • Once you have a stable save for Gen 4 transfer with it stays stable.
Keep in mind:
When Save Failed happens the game will tell you upon opening next time that the save was corrupted and that it reverted to an earlier version. No worries! It just recognized that the save failed and it’s cool.

PKHeX is really the way to go these day! Even if you want to bring rom pokemon to a legit 3ds title.
Scythe Ironclaw gives a clear tutorial on on how to achieve this.^

Gen 4 to 4, Gen 4 to 5, Gen 5 to 5
This guide got a lot easier when PKHeX got a lot better. Thank you PKHeX <3
Gen 5 to 6
PKHeX works just like PokeGen and can even use .pkm files from PokeGen.

Currently for most people:
You can move your pokemon to a DS flashcart and then move it to another Gen 5 game. Then using a DS and a 3DS to the PokeBank using the Pokemon Transfer tool on the 3DS. You do risk losing your pokemon if it is caught by a filter to weed out hacked pokemon from a tool like PokeGen. If you pay for the PokeBank it is an easy way to manage your pokemon for any legit copy of Gen 5 / 6 / 7 pokemon.

Hardware Trade Up
If you are interested in semi legit transfer of non-emulated pokemon from Gen 1 to Gen 6 / 7 beyond check out this video by Linkara-AtopTheFourthWall
Keep in mind:
Some of the save editing tools in the video are out of date and have been replaced by PKX Delta and PKHeX.


  1. Emulators I use: TGB Dual, VBA Link, and DeSmuME.
    TGB Dual can trade between RGBYGSC without any problems, and .sav files are completely compatible with VBA Link, which cannot trade between those versions (just rename the .sav file (TGB) to a .sa1 file (VBA) or vise versa.)
    VBA Link can trade between RSEFRLG without any problems, and it can even play the older games, but cannot trade between them.
    DeSmuME can play (but not trade between) DPPtHGSSBWB2W2, and it can use the .sa1 file from VBA Link to Migrate your Gen 3 Pokemon over to Gen 4.
    as for editor's, I use: Pikasav (GBC Pokesav), Metropolis, Pokemon Encyclopedia (GBA Pokesav), and Pokegen (NDS Pokesav).
    Pikasav and Metropolis you seem to already be familiar with, and you also seem to have found a similar GBA Save editor, but as for Pokesav or Pokegen, I recommend Pokegen because it is compatible with all the Gen 4 and Gen 5 games. Pokesav requires a different version for each game and does not have a Black 2 and White 2 version. the only reason I can see people using Pokesav is because it's more user friendly.

    also one last thing, Metropolis is not perfect, if you have a Max EV pokemon (which you could get in Gens 1 & 2) it will try to make it as evenly spread out as possible; in other words, 85 EVs in every stat...

  2. I just wanted to point out that someone recently made a cool video tutorial on the subject for anyone that's interested:

    1. Good Find! That video is very helpful for all the hardware stuff. :D

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