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  #1    
Old May 16th, 2014 (10:53 PM). Edited August 25th, 2014 by Danny0317.
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Oh you just started ROM hacking and don't know what to do, or where to start off? Well, I was in the same boat one year ago. Had a great idea for a hack, but didn't know how to hack. Well, since there's a lot of noobies here in PC wanting to learn to hack, I wrote this little document for you guys..


Okay, so first off, you need to download a ROM. I can't link you to one because it's against the rules, but google is your friend. Choose the ROM you want to hack, I say you should go for Fire Red.
I used to be a sapphire hacker, and that didn't go well. The two ROMs that you DON'T wanna hack are Leaf Green and Sapphire.
There's less ASM routines for them, and have less support from tools.
The reason I hack Fire Red is because of this that my friend sent me last year:


"Well, I don't mean to be a bug on your shoulder, but you see what FR is capable of?:
http://www.pokecommunity.com/showthread.php?t=302476
http://www.pokecommunity.com/showthread.php?t=293704
http://www.pokecommunity.com/showthread.php?t=267584
http://www.pokecommunity.com/showthread.php?t=298934
http://www.pokecommunity.com/showthread.php?t=240183
http://www.pokecommunity.com/showthread.php?t=257647
http://www.pokecommunity.com/showthread.php?t=301711
http://www.pokecommunity.com/showthread.php?t=206197
http://www.pokecommunity.com/showthread.php?t=304077
http://www.pokecommunity.com/showthread.php?t=291023
http://www.pokecommunity.com/showthread.php?t=246740
And the best of them all:
http://www.pokecommunity.com/showthread.php?t=194241

I used to be a Ruby hacker, but I then I realized that even though RSE were good games, on the inside they aren't. You know?
I've never even played FR (nor will I) but still. You can change FR into Ruby by appearance if you wanted (and very easily).
So RSE aren't as great as they seem. I don't want you to change, but think about it. Plus, not everyone carries Sapphire ROMs. I've seen before that people are attracted to the hack, just that it's Sapphire or Leaf Green, and they don't play it for that reason alone."
-gogojjtech



Also keep in mind that was before they expanded the Pokedex, and allowed more mons to be added, but that can be done in emerald too. After you decide the ROM that you're gonna use (Please use Emerald or Fire Red, and if you don't wanna use those for any stupid reason, then at least Ruby) you're ready to download some tools

Also, someone wrote this, this might help you decide as well:
However, someone wrote this, this can help you decide:
Quote originally posted by Deokishisu:
I'd like to add that Ruby is also a very poor base ROM to start on. The engine is such a mess that it's just not worth it.

Emerald should be your base ROM of choice if you want to keep any of the RSE exclusive features, like contests, the Battle Frontier, Secret Bases, and the like.

In fact, I'd go so far as to recommend Emerald to new hackers over Firered. The main reasons Emerald hacking has been held back are rumors of its instability (which are false) and tools historically not supporting it. In today's hacking environment, those are non-issues. Now, as research focus begins to shift to Emerald, I believe it will eclipse Firered in usage. Might as well jump on the bandwagon now!
Alright, so let's start with the most important tools. Those two are Advanced Map (which will soon be replaced my MEH) and XSE (Extreme Script Editor). With XSE you can make a script, which can do many things, like the most basic of scripts: a talking script, or a complex script full of trainer battles and movements, and more. The other tool is Advanced Map. That tool is used for mapping (which is, if it wasn't obvious enough, making maps), adding people, giving scripts to people, giving scripts to signposts, putting Pokemon in the wild, and much much more.
Here are the best scripting tutorials in my opinion:


http://www.pokecommunity.com/showthread.php?t=279345

There's some mapping, and other types of tutorials HERE you can click that and find them there

*also, I don't expect you to learn scripting in a day, it's gonna take like a week, but trust me it's worth it. A hack needs new scripts to be a good hack.

Once you have those tools, you can get other tools that would be helpful.
Here's a list of some tools, and for some, a download link.
  • Advanced Series - Edits Pokemon sprites, icons, and battle positions. It is a must have if you are inserting new sprites. Link here
  • FSF (Free space finder) - Finds free space in your rom. Link here
  • G3T (Gen 3 Tools) - A pretty new, but awesome set of tools. It has a moves editor, trainer editor, pokemon editor, item editor, and more, all in one. Link here
  • PGE (Pokemon Game Editor) - A really really useful tool, edit's pokemon base stats, has a move edtior, and more, but sadly the download link got taken down. You'll have to find it on your own, but it's not that hard to find
  • Item manager - Helps you do stuff when editing, or adding new items. Link here
  • Jambo51's tools. One of the is a battle script editor, which is very useful for different things related to battling, and a trainer editor. Link here
  • NSE - can edit ANY graphic in the game. There's two versions, link and link. It's good to have both.
  • Gen 3 Hacking Suite - This tool is the bomb diggity 101 amazing 10/10. With this tool you can edit Pokemon's base stats, movesets, pokedex data, and even expand the amount of pokemon in the game. It is found here

There's a lot more tools, but those are just some important ones you're gonna need. After all this is an introduction to hacking.

If there's something you don't know how to do, just ask people to HELP you, not to do it for you, or just make a thread in the begginer's lounge or look in the tutorials or something.

Also here's some resources that can help you out:
  • DS styled 64x64 Pokemon sprites
    Now you may be wondering why 64x64, and that's because that's the GBA's sprite size limit, and some people were nice enough to resize a BUNCH of sprites from generation 1-5!
  • MrDollSteak's rom base
    This rom base has new moves, the fairy type (which you can choose to take off), P/S split, P/S split icons, decapitalization and much much more! It is for Fire Red only.
  • There's a bunch more in Pokecommunity's resources section

Now that's about it, now go explore around the internet and make your rom hack
However, if there is no one thing that I absolutely must say it is that the best way to learn ROM hacking is through experience..

This is some important stuff too
Quote originally posted by Platinum Lucario:
May I also add that it really doesn't matter what ROM base you use, any kind of ROM you use for creating your own hack pretty much has the same difficulty as any other ROM. The only difference? Game Boy and Game Boy Color ROMs take the least amount of time, Game Boy Advance ROMs take a moderate amount of time, and finally Nintendo DS ROMs take the longest, due to their 3D models in the game (if they have any, that is).

Some people may think that the newer ones are more harder just because they take longer, right? Not exactly, it's just about the same difficulty as any other ordinary ROM.

Whatever ROM you feel like hacking is entirely up to your own decision. Just because someone says it's too hard doesn't mean you shouldn't give up on the ROM you really want to hack and change to some other ROM, 'cause that's not really a good way to start. Otherwise it can lead to you having to try and adapt to a different way the ROM is coded and it requires learning more about that ROM and stuff like that. What I recommend is to stay with that ROM base and follow your dreams about developing a ROM Hack of that game, don't let anyone else's opinion let you down on it.

For anyone who is wishing to hack the Nintendo DS ROMs, such as Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, Platinum, Heart Gold, Soul Silver, Black, White, Black 2 and White 2, there are some very good tutorials out there in which will definitely come in handy. Don't worry about what other people say about 'how difficult the ROMs are', instead... try to focus on what you feel like doing and follow your dreams of creating your ROM Hack. It can take more time than earlier ROMs, so it's pretty much slow and steady wins the race, right? Take your time, no need to rush. There are plenty of tutorials to show you on Nintendo DS ROM Hacking, and yes this includes editing models too. And I'm giving so much credit to all those people out there that made those tutorials (including myself). Thank you so much for all these tutorials!

Modeling/Map Editing


Scripting


Hex Editing


Hex Editing

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  #2    
Old May 17th, 2014 (09:31 AM).
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Ummm...grate resource for beginners but yah the pokemon game editor...couldn't find a link anywhere...even googled it but no results...

Good for beginners though...
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Old May 17th, 2014 (09:46 AM).
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Quote originally posted by parth9:
Ummm...grate resource for beginners but yah the pokemon game editor...couldn't find a link anywhere...even googled it but no results...

Good for beginners though...
I can't help you out there, sorry, I'm not allowed to put that link up.
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Old May 17th, 2014 (10:52 AM).
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You don't really need PGE. It's really only good for its Move editor, and Kurapika's tool for that works far nicer anyway.
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Old May 17th, 2014 (12:18 PM).
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Nice tutorial Dark Sneasel! I'm sure it will help beginners well!
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Old May 18th, 2014 (08:06 AM).
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This is a better way to show the ropes. This should be a sticky thread but it's better if new hackers find want they wanna know themselves or else, they'll never learn. Great job!
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Old May 18th, 2014 (04:53 PM).
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I'd like to add that Ruby is also a very poor base ROM to start on. The engine is such a mess that it's just not worth it.

Emerald should be your base ROM of choice if you want to keep any of the RSE exclusive features, like contests, the Battle Frontier, Secret Bases, and the like.

In fact, I'd go so far as to recommend Emerald to new hackers over Firered. The main reasons Emerald hacking has been held back are rumors of its instability (which are false) and tools historically not supporting it. In today's hacking environment, those are non-issues. Now, as research focus begins to shift to Emerald, I believe it will eclipse Firered in usage. Might as well jump on the bandwagon now!
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Old May 19th, 2014 (07:00 AM).
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Quote originally posted by Spherical Ice:
You don't really need PGE. It's really only good for its Move editor, and Kurapika's tool for that works far nicer anyway.
The pokedex order editor is cool too.
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Old May 19th, 2014 (08:35 AM).
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May I also add that it really doesn't matter what ROM base you use, any kind of ROM you use for creating your own hack pretty much has the same difficulty as any other ROM. The only difference? Game Boy and Game Boy Color ROMs take the least amount of time, Game Boy Advance ROMs take a moderate amount of time, and finally Nintendo DS ROMs take the longest, due to their 3D models in the game (if they have any, that is).

Some people may think that the newer ones are more harder just because they take longer, right? Not exactly, it's just about the same difficulty as any other ordinary ROM. ;)

Whatever ROM you feel like hacking is entirely up to your own decision. Just because someone says it's too hard doesn't mean you shouldn't give up on the ROM you really want to hack and change to some other ROM, 'cause that's not really a good way to start. Otherwise it can lead to you having to try and adapt to a different way the ROM is coded and it requires learning more about that ROM and stuff like that. What I recommend is to stay with that ROM base and follow your dreams about developing a ROM Hack of that game, don't let anyone else's opinion let you down on it. ^^

For anyone who is wishing to hack the Nintendo DS ROMs, such as Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, Platinum, Heart Gold, Soul Silver, Black, White, Black 2 and White 2, there are some very good tutorials out there in which will definitely come in handy. Don't worry about what other people say about 'how difficult the ROMs are', instead... try to focus on what you feel like doing and follow your dreams of creating your ROM Hack. It can take more time than earlier ROMs, so it's pretty much slow and steady wins the race, right? Take your time, no need to rush. There are plenty of tutorials to show you on Nintendo DS ROM Hacking, and yes this includes editing models too. And I'm giving so much credit to all those people out there that made those tutorials (including myself). Thank you so much for all these tutorials! ^^

Modeling/Map Editing


Scripting


Hex Editing


Hex Editing

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Old May 29th, 2014 (03:56 PM).
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Thanks! This will help me alot. I wish all other starters Good Luck and Good Future!
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Old May 29th, 2014 (06:04 PM).
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Great job. Very beginner friendly.

What's wrong with hacking LeafGreen though?
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Old May 29th, 2014 (06:25 PM).
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Quote originally posted by The Void:
Great job. Very beginner friendly.

What's wrong with hacking LeafGreen though?
Less ASM routines, less support from tools, less documentation.
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Old May 29th, 2014 (06:27 PM).
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Quote originally posted by Dark Sneasel:
Less ASM routines, less support from tools, less documentation.
Ohh I see. I'm quite embarrassed to not have known that. I've never tried hacking LG before.
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Old May 30th, 2014 (07:16 PM).
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Quote originally posted by The Void:
Ohh I see. I'm quite embarrassed to not have known that. I've never tried hacking LG before.
Don't hack LG.

The reason no one hacks Sapphire and Leafgreen is because there's no point. Firered is exactly the same as Leafgreen functionality-wise. When Game Freak compiled both games, they basically scrambled where things are located between the two, and then redid LG's titlescreen and encounter tables. That is to say, the games are essentially the same, but the same table/map/music/etc. in both games are located in different areas. Firered was researched, while Leafgreen wasn't. Therefore, we know exponentially more about where things are in Firered than in Leafgreen. There won't be a reason to choose to hack Leafgreen over Firered in the near future (and I doubt ever, really).

It is the same deal when comparing Ruby and Sapphire, except they changed a little more for the story differences between the two. But, if you're hacking and want RSE exclusive features, don't hack Ruby or Sapphire, go straight for Emerald. I outlined the main reason why a few posts up, but Emerald is preferable for a plethora of other reasons as well. I'll quote my earlier post at the end of this one.

Either way, good luck! Whichever you choose, Emerald or Firered, definitely do your best and ask questions in the main ROMHacking section. Don't be embarrassed or scared of learning!

The post:
Quote originally posted by Deokishisu:
I'd like to add that Ruby is also a very poor base ROM to start on. The engine is such a mess that it's just not worth it.

Emerald should be your base ROM of choice if you want to keep any of the RSE exclusive features, like contests, the Battle Frontier, Secret Bases, and the like.

In fact, I'd go so far as to recommend Emerald to new hackers over Firered. The main reasons Emerald hacking has been held back are rumors of its instability (which are false) and tools historically not supporting it. In today's hacking environment, those are non-issues. Now, as research focus begins to shift to Emerald, I believe it will eclipse Firered in usage. Might as well jump on the bandwagon now!
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  #15    
Old May 30th, 2014 (07:32 PM).
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lol thanks.

I'm actually very experienced in hacking, which is why I was embarrassed to not know that.
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Old January 28th, 2015 (03:18 AM).
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I was just searching the threads Dark Sneasel made (sorry, I'm a stalker ), and I found this: http://www.pokecommunity.com/showthread.php?t=326609
I think that I can make one like that, too, so, here, let me start rolling.

I'm sure that you already have downloaded an English Emerald ROM, right? If so, proceed.
If not, well, search Google, and by the way, do not ask for a ROM here. It is strictly prohibited.

Basically, Emerald is a very excellent ROM Base to use. Some people say Emerald is unstable, but, I have a different opinion: meh. Anyway, some people I know said that Emerald's so-called title "unstable" is not true. Okay, back to the features. Emerald has many features, the Pokemon Contests to name one.

To start, many hacks, that I'm sure, you have already played, is made of Emerald, like:
Pokemon Glazed
Pokemon CrystalDust
Pokemon Fluorite (Best Emerald hack that I've played, along with Glazed and the hacks 1158 made.)
The three hacks 1158 made:
Pokemon Victory Fire
Pokemon Resolute Version
Pokemon Mega Power
(Sure they have grammatical errors, but they're still enjoyable)

And, the famous Pokemon Flora Sky
Pokemon Blackened Night
Pokemon Discovery (no beta, but its still awesome)

See? They used Emerald, and they did not died of insanity xD

Anyway, here's some good tutorials and such for Emerald:
Emerald ROMBase by mamamama
This is one heck of a resource. Helped me a lot, even though I had an issue (but its fixed now).
Adding New Types into Emerald by MrDollsteak
Not easy to do, I tell you!! But I managed to do it :D Yay to me, I guess? If you wanna add Fairy types in Emerald, this is the tutorial for you.
[Emerald]Expanding the Pokedex by Chaos Rush
This is incredible, right? Not easy to do, too. I didn't actually managed to do it, but what if you can do it?
Emerald Decap. Patch by Le Pug
This is a very nice resource, too. It decapitalize almost everything in your Emerald ROM.
Change OW in script by Dark Sneasel
Scroll down to the bottom part to see the Emerald part. Very easy to do, too. You just need some scripting knowledge.
Controllable Boats in Gen. 3 games by Dark Sneasel
A script Dark Sneasel made. Its actually very impressive if you actually try it in-game. A bit slow, but fine. :D

There are many things in the Quick Research & Development for Emerald, such as:
http://www.pokecommunity.com/showthread.php?p=7993745#7993745
http://www.pokecommunity.com/showthread.php?p=8444249#8444249[PART2][PART 3]
http://www.pokecommunity.com/showthread.php?p=8444386#8444386
http://www.pokecommunity.com/showthread.php?p=8384600#8384600[PART 2]

There's some good 'uns in the Research & Development forum, too. Such as:
http://www.pokecommunity.com/showthread.php?t=321951
http://www.pokecommunity.com/showthread.php?t=324207
http://www.pokecommunity.com/showthread.php?t=207026
http://www.pokecommunity.com/showthread.php?t=308411

And, THIS:
http://www.pokecommunity.com/showthread.php?t=336430
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