FAQ - How to use hacks in this forum Written by Anthony Jake La
First, the utterly humiliating dedications!
With a very good look at what people do and how they do things in the forum, it seems people have no idea what they're looking for, how, or what to do. People are constantly having problems playing hacks, so it's time to assist the situation! Hence, this FAQ is dedicated to the poor little morsels who continue to bug the hell out of me asking "how do I play an IPS file!?" before I decide to give them a randomly rude answer. And because I pity you guys, I'm writing this.
Now to the serious stuff. I am offering zero technical support for how to patch a game if it's not for help on my own hacks.
This means, I will not answer any PMs asking me how to patch [insert game here].
Working with patches (IPS and APS files)
It's a very simple task to work with patches, whether they be IPS files (applied to a ROM with Lunar IPS) or APS files (applied to a ROM with A-Ptch). Both APS and IPS files are, essentially, game patches, but for ROMs. They will not work unless you have the original ROM. If you don't have a ROM to patch the game to, you can't play. It's that simple. Also! The PokéCommunity members are NOT allowed to distribute ROMs, so do not ask where to get one.
Assuming you have the original ROM though, here's a simple way to play the ROM with the patch file through the most common emulator for Game Boy, Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance games, VisualBoyAdvance. You must first download VisualBoyAdvance from the official website.
1. Place the ROM and IPS file (or APS file) in the same folder.
2. Rename the IPS or APS filename (before the .ips/.aps extension, respectively) to match that of the ROM.
3. Load the ROM up. The game should start working.
The efficiency of using this system is that the ROM is left intact. For a more permanent solution, see the alternate method below.
Working with patches (IPS and APS files) - Alternate method
It's not as quick but somewhat more efficient to do. Working with patches using VisualBoyAdvance is not as destructive as this method - should you wish to retain the original ROM, it is suggested to use VisualBoyAdvance only.
IPS patches such as ipsXP are self-explanatory to use, but these are the general steps you'll need to take. Additionally, the APS patcher, A-Ptch (found in HackMew's Tools Factory,) is a very straightforward tool with an easily-to-understand interface.
1. Load the patch application up.
2. Click the "Apply Patch" (or similar) button.
3. Select the patch file you wish to use and click Open.
4. Select the ROM you wish to apply the patch to.
5. Load the ROM up. It should then work and changes are permanently applyed to the ROM. You may delete the IPS/APS file as it will no longer be needed.
Saving the game
When attempting to save with Pokémon games, particularly FireRed, LeafGreen and Emerald, you may encounter saving errors. These should not be ignored as there are points in the game that will save and reset the game. As the game will fail to read the save data after the game resets, you'll lose data.
It's simple to fix, however. Navigate through the menu bar and select Options. Go through the emulator and save type submenus. In Save Type, there should be the option Flash 128K. Select this.
You may have to discard previous save data for this to work, however.
Fixing the Real-Time Clock
When starting up Ruby, Sapphire or Emerald, you may receive a message indicating that the battery has run dry. The message appears like this:
The internal battery has run dry. The game can be played. However, clock-based events will no longer occur.
Clock-based events may or may not be important to you. Should you wish to fix this, it can simply be fixed by navigating through the menu bar, selecting Options, opening the Emulator submenu and selecting "Real Time Clock".
Fixing the Real-Time Clock
Sometimes there are less vexing methods to do things. Rest with peace of mind by downloading the file below to fix the real time clock and save the game properly. Place this file in the same folder as VisualBoyAdvance.exe is located.