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    About ROM Hacks Studio / Submission Guidelines

    Welcome to ROM Hacks Studio! This section is the showcase for some of PokéCommunity's best and/or most complete ROM hacks.

    Threads in this section are limited to ROM hacks, and are subject to approval — we review every ROM hack submitted in this section for its suitability and its adherence to the global PokéCommunity rules and ROM Hacks Studio submission guidelines (this thread). Threads requesting general help with your own hacks must be posted in their relevant sections — threads seeking ROM hacking help or help with specific hacks will be deleted from the moderation queue.

    In addition to threads, all posts in this section are subject to the PokéCommunity rules.

    Submission Guidelines

    All threads for hacks in this section must meet the following criteria. ROM hack threads may be rejected from the approval queue if they do not meet these requirements, or may be delisted if they fail to meet these requirements after the fact. The interpretation and qualification of this criteria is subject to moderator discretion.

    1) Progress requirements

    Games submitted in this section must follow our trial submission requirements. This means:
    • Games with minimal progress or are not yet complete that are progressing and may not have a download must be tagged with "in-progress". These must have six screenshots to show the content of your game at a minimum.
    • Games with substantial progress, with playable demos with at least 80% completion, do not require a tag, but we encourage the use of "full-game". These will require a download (see below). These must have twelve screenshots.
      • "80% completion" can be, but is not limited to, having 6-7 gyms playable in a regular Pokémon scenario, or a significant amount of playable story approximating 80% of the content you've planned for your game.
    • Games that are enhancements hacks also require a download (see below) and must be tagged with "improvements-hack" or "enhancements-hack". These must have a minimum of two screenshots demonstrating the game.
      • An enhancements hack is one that makes changes to a base Pokémon game but is does not stand as its own independent game in nature; for example, a game that changes the battle engine but leaves the story intact.
    Hacks without appropriate tags may not be approved, subject to discretion.

    The legacy Progressing Hacks and Sideshow Showcase sections will be retired at a later date.

    2) Screenshots

    Hacks submitted to ROM Hacks Studio must have screenshots — see above for the minimum number required. These screenshots cannot simply be battle screens, Pokédex entries, stat screens, or showcase areas which have not been significantly edited. Screenshots which have been manipulated to inaccurately portray the ROM hack, or are otherwise fraudulent, will not count towards this minimum and may lead to your hack being rejected.

    3) Story or overview

    Include a story or overview of the themes of your game, or perhaps your goals in creating it.

    4) Credits

    Submit explicit credits for all work by others, whether that be for art assets, music, custom code, maps, etc. The user which submits the thread should have contributed a significant amount of work to the ROM hack.

    5) A playable release as a download

    Hacks submitted in this section must have a download of a patch for a playable release. These must be in the form of a patch (such as .bps, .ups or .xdelta) or a collection of files intended to replace the original game files (i.e. modified romFS files). ROMs, ISOs or otherwise complete playable copies of games are copyrighted content and are not permitted to be posted. You must also indicate the game being patched (the base game).

    This download must be in the form of a direct download link, an attachment, or a page on a website that provides the download. Affiliate links (including ad-supported pay-per-click links) are not permitted. Links to sites or online communities (i.e. other forums, Discord servers, etc.) that require a signup to download your game are not permitted.

    This can be supplemented with, but not replaced by, a link to the source code.

    6) Monetization is not allowed

    You are not permitted to monetize your game in any way. This includes microtransactions, linking to donation platforms such as PayPal, Ko-Fi, Kickstarter, and any other platform that allows you to make money. Any attempt to monetize your game will be promptly removed and your account may be actioned.

    Optional Guidelines

    These are not required in hacks you submit, but will greatly aid users in playing your games.

    Features in your game

    What sets your hack apart from others' hacks? Consider listing the notable features your game has. This may include the amount of Pokémon available, changes to the game's battle engine, or other changes which can help differentiate your ROM hack from others for the player.

    Use the BPS, UPS or xdelta patching formats

    The IPS format is incredibly old and obsolete, can't do 32-bit addressing (so it can't handle ROMs larger than 16 MB), is broken when its patches exceed 8 MB, and includes no checks to ensure users are patching the correct ROM. UPS removes these limitations, and formats like BPS introduce bit-shifting, allowing for patches to account for data being moved around and hence be a lot smaller. Consider using BPS or UPS for games.

    Include MD5 or CRC32 hashes

    Patch formats such as BPS and UPS include hashes of the base game, which helps verify if users are patching the correct ROM. As well as including the game to be patched, the region/language and the version of the game (1.0, 1.1, etc.), consider including an MD5 or CRC32 hash of the base game and your compiled ROM. You can get a hash of your files using Get-FileHash (Windows), the crc32 or md5 tools on your Mac or Linux device, or the hashes provided by ROM Patcher JS.

    Test your games on actual hardware, or accurate emulators

    If you have a flashcart that matches the game cartridge your game was designed for, test it on them and make sure things work, so people aren't reporting glitches that shouldn't be happening. Do not test with VisualBoyAdvance (or VBA-M) exclusively, as it is considered obsolete and inaccurate. Crashes on hardware that don't occur in VBA are a VBA issue.

    Consider compatibility with emulators such as mGBA (for GB/GBA games) or MelonDS (for DS games).

    Contact a moderator for help in this section

    Feel free to get in touch with the ROM Hacks team and we'll help you as best as we can if you need help with posting in this section, including the criteria shown above.

    If you're waiting for your thread to be approved, and it has been more than 48 hours since submission, feel free to contact us so we can review it.

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