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This guide contains methods on how to tell if a Pokemon game is a fake/bootleg/counterfeit (For the following game versions: Black, White, HeartGold, SoulSilver, Platinum, Diamond, and Pearl). Some of the methods can also be used for other Nintendo DS games.

Ban-Ebay.jpgMethod 1 – Where the game was purchased.
Games purchased online and shipped from East Asian countries are likely bootlegs (e.g., China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Philippines). Japanese Versions are almost always safe if you buy them from Japan.

eBay is probably the worst place to purchase Nintendo DS games. A very large number of Nintendo DS games are fake. One clear sign to look for is where the game is being shipped from. China or one of the other countries mentioned above (excluding Japan) is probably fake. It’s illegal to sell counterfeit games in the United States, but eBay doesn’t enforce any policies to prohibit them. Sometimes, U.S. sellers will sell fake games that they bought in bulk or have them “drop shipped” after you complete your payment with them. You won’t always be able to tell if it’s a fake from the picture either, because most of the counterfeit sellers use pictures of actual genuine games. If you are going to purchase from eBay, I recommending finding a seller that looks as if they're selling off their old video games or other goods and use real pictures (not stock photos). Sellers that have many of the same Nintendo DS and GBA games for sale and only use stock photos are, often times, selling fake games.

Method 2 – The Look of the game.
If your game cartridge doesn’t look identical to the following images then it's a fake:

genuine_pokemon_platinum_game.jpggenuine_pokemon_diamond_game.jpggenuine_pokemon_heartgold_game.jpggenuine_pokemon_soulsilver_game.jpggenuine_pokemon_pearl_game.jpggenuine_pokemon_black_game.jpggenuine_pokemon_white_game.jpg

Here’s a couple examples of fake games:

fake_pokemon_diamond_game.jpgfake_pokemon_pearl_game.jpg

With new games, you should be able to tell before you even see the game cartridge. If the plastic wrapping around the game doesn’t have a Y-Fold, then it’s probably a fake (or at the very least, it isn’t actually a brand new game). Most bootlegs come in a much cheaper plastic wrapping and don’t have the perfect Y-Folds at the corner of the case.

This picture shows a genuine new game.  See the neatly folded seal in the corner of the case?

real_new_game_seal.jpg

This game does not have a Y-Fold at the corner of the game case.  It is either a counterfeit game or a re-seal job.

fake_new_game_seal.jpg

If you buy a sealed game and there isn't a manual inside the case then it’s probably a fake. If it has a manual, you might not be able to tell if it’s fake by the quality of the paper it’s made from. (Especially HeartGold and SoulSilver; because Nintendo Used a cheaper, newspaper-like paper for those manuals).

A bulging game cartridge is a clear sign of a fake game. Genuine games should not have a bulge in the plastic on the front or back of the cartridge. Also, if the front part of the plastic casing seems loose then it might be a fake. This is usually true for brand new games. Used games may have this problem from heavy use, so it might not be the best way to check if it’s a fake.

Method 3 – The game case.
*This method will only work for United States and Canada (maybe some other regions).
If the game comes in a wide, clear plastic case then it’s a fake. All official NTSC Nintendo DS Pokemon games sold in the U.S. and Canada come in a thinner, black case. If the game is in PAL format than this method will not help in determining if it’s real or not.

Thick, clear case.  Either a fake NTSC or a PAL version.
clear_game_case.jpg

Thin, black Plastic Case.  The real deal.

black_game_case.jpg

This method may not work for PAL format games. I believe that games sold in Europe and Australia come in this kind of case.

Method 4 – Wifi and Online functionality.
Counterfeit games cannot be used on Wifi or Online play. If your game doesn’t work when trying to use any of the Wifi or online features then your game is a fake (assuming all of your DS settings are correct).

Conclusion
It’s import to know if your game is genuine because the files that our editor creates are only compatible with genuine Pokemon games. Make sure that you have a genuine copy of the game before using our Send-In Services. This also means that all of the games we sell are genuine. You can count on it! 100% Guaranteed Ultra Genuine Smooth!

Until Next Time, See Ya

Celery_big-195x300.jpg
53 Comments
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Fudge
Thank you for the site, showing the real and fake cartridges. I now know what to look for. 
I recently got caught out purchasing a fake on lineangry sun
Main one to look for is the authentic nintendo white code on rear of cartridge on pcb board.
Looking at your pics of the cartridges, I know all ours are authentic now.laugh

Thank you
RegalReshiram
I purchased a Pokemon Heart Gold game used at GameStop a few weeks ago as a Christmas present for my sister. Upon opening it today, we discovered it was a counterfeit. The two things we noticed were the bulging plastic, the loose front of the casing, and the code "SE03K1008" instead of IPKEXXXXX. I will return it on Friday.
RegalReshiram
Sorry, I meant THREE things. My bad.
RegalReshiram wrote:
I purchased a Pokemon Heart Gold game used at GameStop a few weeks ago as a Christmas present for my sister. Upon opening it today, we discovered it was a counterfeit. The two things we noticed were the bulging plastic, the loose front of the casing, and the code "SE03K1008" instead of IPKEXXXXX. I will return it on Friday.

You have to be careful at GameStops too. If you know how to spot fakes, you can avoid problem in your future. 
IronicTitanium
Cake wrote:
RegalReshiram wrote:
I purchased a Pokemon Heart Gold game used at GameStop a few weeks ago as a Christmas present for my sister. Upon opening it today, we discovered it was a counterfeit. The two things we noticed were the bulging plastic, the loose front of the casing, and the code "SE03K1008" instead of IPKEXXXXX. I will return it on Friday.

You have to be careful at GameStops too. If you know how to spot fakes, you can avoid problem in your future. 
Only if it's used. If you're buying a game NEW, it should be fine. If it's a used one, it's possible that it could be fake.
IronicTitanium wrote:

Only if it's used. If you're buying a game NEW, it should be fine. If it's a used one, it's possible that it could be fake.

Well, I've mistakenly purchased fake "new" games on eBay too. They come wrapped the way that I showed in the guide.
Giraffe girl
The European version cartridges look different to these. I bought my Pokemon Black brand new from Amazon I think, anyway in the EUR versions the Nintendo seal is round and on the bottom left and the bottom right has CE in large letters. Just so people from Europe don't worry about their games being fake!
Wha... wh... whaaaaa.... WHAT?



NNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOO!!

My... my... my first game... Pok'e Mon Diamond... you're a f***ing FAKE? The world is so cruel... I'm serious. angry sunangry sunangry suncryingcryingcryingcryingcryingcryingcrying I have to rethink a lot of things now...
@Poke' Woman

I'm sorry to hear that. You have to be very very careful when buying games on eBay. A majority of them are fakes. I'm actually preparing to write another article on this issue because there is a new wave of GBA counterfeit games that look closer to the real thing.
 Yeah, I learned this the hard way. About a year back, I bought SoulSilver & FireRed. After 108 hours on SoulSilver, the sound went all crazy. Plus the game said Finding Nemo before started it. And FireRed, well it just forgets your save everyday. sickangrysick

@Cake

 What's up with the picture of celery? XD
Cake wrote:
@Poke' Woman

I'm sorry to hear that. You have to be very very careful when buying games on eBay. A majority of them are fakes. I'm actually preparing to write another article on this issue because there is a new wave of GBA counterfeit games that look closer to the real thing.
It wasn't on eBay. We went on a trip to the Philippines... further proof that it's a bootleg... sad
hayden
I like chocolate
hayden wrote:
I like chocolate
That's great...
Poke' Woman wrote:
hayden wrote:
I like chocolate
That's great...

 Lol! Well that was random! I can't stop laughing. XD
This is so comlicated! It is also the reason I don't buy games online, because...   ...I feel like I can't trust people...    Why people...  ...why...    ...do you really need that money?   Is your niece in the hospital? If so, this is not the way to get money.  And all the jerks who just want money to be rich jerks...    ...the legendary pokemon are gunna be after your blood! Seriously though, this is wrong. Counterfeiting games, not alright.  Awww, man! Now I'm all emotional! I need some water...
FoxPokemonFan99 wrote:
This is so comlicated! It is also the reason I don't buy games online, because...   ...I feel like I can't trust people...    Why people...  ...why...    ...do you really need that money?   Is your niece in the hospital? If so, this is not the way to get money.  And all the jerks who just want money to be rich jerks...    ...the legendary pokemon are gunna be after your blood! Seriously though, this is wrong. Counterfeiting games, not alright.  Awww, man! Now I'm all emotional! I need some water...
It's rare, but there have been instances of bootlegs slipping through to gamestop. They don't really pay to much attention. They'll turn the game on, if it loads and looks right thats as far as they go with it, they don't check the labels etc really. So you have to be vigilant in your awareness no matter where you buy from
FoxPokemonFan99 wrote:
This is so comlicated! It is also the reason I don't buy games online, because...   ...I feel like I can't trust people...    Why people...  ...why...    ...do you really need that money?   Is your niece in the hospital? If so, this is not the way to get money.  And all the jerks who just want money to be rich jerks...    ...the legendary pokemon are gunna be after your blood! Seriously though, this is wrong. Counterfeiting games, not alright.  Awww, man! Now I'm all emotional! I need some water...
Well, Pokedit's games are genuine!
Before I knew these facts, I ALWAYS got genuines.
Poke' Woman wrote:
Wha... wh... whaaaaa.... WHAT?



NNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOO!!

My... my... my first game... Pok'e Mon Diamond... you're a f***ing FAKE? The world is so cruel... I'm serious. angry sunangry sunangry suncryingcryingcryingcryingcryingcryingcrying I have to rethink a lot of things now...
I have a legit diamond, and if I could, I'd give it to you! It was my first, but black 2 is more important to me! Seriously, I would!
GlitchMaster wrote:
Poke' Woman wrote:
Wha... wh... whaaaaa.... WHAT?



NNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOO!!

My... my... my first game... Pok'e Mon Diamond... you're a f***ing FAKE? The world is so cruel... I'm serious. angry sunangry sunangry suncryingcryingcryingcryingcryingcryingcrying I have to rethink a lot of things now...
I have a legit diamond, and if I could, I'd give it to you! It was my first, but black 2 is more important to me! Seriously, I would!

 I have Pearl version if you want it. wah
RadicalBrendan! wrote:
GlitchMaster wrote:
Poke' Woman wrote:
Wha... wh... whaaaaa.... WHAT?



NNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOO!!

My... my... my first game... Pok'e Mon Diamond... you're a f***ing FAKE? The world is so cruel... I'm serious. angry sunangry sunangry suncryingcryingcryingcryingcryingcryingcrying I have to rethink a lot of things now...
I have a legit diamond, and if I could, I'd give it to you! It was my first, but black 2 is more important to me! Seriously, I would!

 I have Pearl version if you want it. wah
No, guys, it's cool. I mean, though it's fake, it still has that sentimental value.

It's like if I was Luke Skywalker and I just learned that my father was Darth Vader. Or something. I couldn't think of a better analogy off the top of my head...
Poke' Woman wrote:
RadicalBrendan! wrote:
GlitchMaster wrote:
Poke' Woman wrote:
Wha... wh... whaaaaa.... WHAT?



NNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOO!!

My... my... my first game... Pok'e Mon Diamond... you're a f***ing FAKE? The world is so cruel... I'm serious. angry sunangry sunangry suncryingcryingcryingcryingcryingcryingcrying I have to rethink a lot of things now...
I have a legit diamond, and if I could, I'd give it to you! It was my first, but black 2 is more important to me! Seriously, I would!

 I have Pearl version if you want it. wah
No, guys, it's cool. I mean, though it's fake, it still has that sentimental value.

It's like if I was Luke Skywalker and I just learned that my father was Darth Vader. Or something. I couldn't think of a better analogy off the top of my head...

Lol.
Poke' Woman wrote:
Wha... wh... whaaaaa.... WHAT?



NNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOO!!

My... my... my first game... Pok'e Mon Diamond... you're a f***ing FAKE? The world is so cruel... I'm serious. angry sunangry sunangry suncryingcryingcryingcryingcryingcryingcrying I have to rethink a lot of things now...
http://nooooooooooooooo.com/
Ilitsa wrote:
Poke' Woman wrote:
Wha... wh... whaaaaa.... WHAT?



NNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOO!!

My... my... my first game... Pok'e Mon Diamond... you're a f***ing FAKE? The world is so cruel... I'm serious. angry sunangry sunangry suncryingcryingcryingcryingcryingcryingcrying I have to rethink a lot of things now...
http://nooooooooooooooo.com/
OMG I saw the link and thought, "What the... LOL is that a real thing?" XD
Poke' Woman wrote:
Ilitsa wrote:
Poke' Woman wrote:
Wha... wh... whaaaaa.... WHAT?



NNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOO!!

My... my... my first game... Pok'e Mon Diamond... you're a f***ing FAKE? The world is so cruel... I'm serious. angry sunangry sunangry suncryingcryingcryingcryingcryingcryingcrying I have to rethink a lot of things now...
http://nooooooooooooooo.com/
OMG I saw the link and thought, "What the... LOL is that a real thing?" XD

I LOVE THAT SITE!
Nooga wrote:
Poke' Woman wrote:
Ilitsa wrote:
Poke' Woman wrote:
Wha... wh... whaaaaa.... WHAT?



NNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOO!!

My... my... my first game... Pok'e Mon Diamond... you're a f***ing FAKE? The world is so cruel... I'm serious. angry sunangry sunangry suncryingcryingcryingcryingcryingcryingcrying I have to rethink a lot of things now...
http://nooooooooooooooo.com/
OMG I saw the link and thought, "What the... LOL is that a real thing?" XD

I LOVE THAT SITE!
ohyeah
Poke' Woman wrote:
Nooga wrote:
Poke' Woman wrote:
Ilitsa wrote:
Poke' Woman wrote:
Wha... wh... whaaaaa.... WHAT?



NNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOO!!

My... my... my first game... Pok'e Mon Diamond... you're a f***ing FAKE? The world is so cruel... I'm serious. angry sunangry sunangry suncryingcryingcryingcryingcryingcryingcrying I have to rethink a lot of things now...
http://nooooooooooooooo.com/
OMG I saw the link and thought, "What the... LOL is that a real thing?" XD

I LOVE THAT SITE!
ohyeah

 Wow! Lol! XD XD XD
guys do you have any idea how the Japanese games look like? cuz i bought one but it seems a bit diffrent than the eng ones! help plz! thx.
ahmad wrote:
guys do you have any idea how the Japanese games look like? cuz i bought one but it seems a bit diffrent than the eng ones! help plz! thx.
IDK why don't you look at the packaging details and stuff? I think the only difference would be the cover artwork and the writing.
Although it wasn't a pokemon game, I did buy a fake/bootleg copy of a game off ebay. It was Digimon World: Dawn.  Ilitsa had always told me the game would be good and that I should get it to counter her Dusk version.  I ordered the game off Ebay for like, 6 or 7 bucks.  That prolly shoulda been my first tip off but it was my first time buying a game online.  After that I began to get smarter about it and I've bought a few PS2 games since.  Mine had the clear bulky case, a fake cover, a fake booklet...even the cartridge was a lighter shade of black than a regular DS one. It's like...they didn't even TRY to fake it!  It makes a great constant reminder of my shame...
ahmad wrote:
guys do you have any idea how the Japanese games look like? cuz i bought one but it seems a bit diffrent than the eng ones! help plz! thx.

 @ahmad

 I edited one of your words. I changed this certain word to the word "Japanese." The way you cut it in half, could be taken as offensive since that was an offensive term used in World War II. I know you may have not meant to cause harm, but nonetheless, do be careful in what you say. Thank you. mmm

@Poke' Woman

 I changed this same word in your quote of his post. smile
Ilitsa wrote:
Poke' Woman wrote:
Wha... wh... whaaaaa.... WHAT?



NNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOO!!

My... my... my first game... Pok'e Mon Diamond... you're a f***ing FAKE? The world is so cruel... I'm serious. angry sunangry sunangry suncryingcryingcryingcryingcryingcryingcrying I have to rethink a lot of things now...
http://nooooooooooooooo.com/
Wow, I just looked at the link again.

So, I always have my computer muted, and when I got on just now I realized it was a button. I clicked the button and nothing happened. Then I clicked it again a bunch of times. Then I checked to see what would happen if I unmuted it.

And my volume was on max and I freaked out for half a second. XD

And I just realized that my analogy and that site are both Star Wars themed!
I just bought these off ebay. They are fake correct?
http://i.imgur.com/MfoPX9g.jpg

Guest wrote:
I just bought these off ebay. They are fake correct?
http://i.imgur.com/MfoPX9g.jpg
Well, it's a bit blurry, but they seem legit at first glance. The most obvious fakes are the ones with the picture of the mascot Pok'e Mon on the Game Card.
hellmetal789
wrote:
I just bought these off ebay. They are fake correct?
http://i.imgur.com/MfoPX9g.jpg
i just bought those after realizing that heart gold and soul silver are grey instead of being a black cartridge ;/ and they are IR so if u hold them up to a lamp light u should see a rent see through tint to them if they are red :( sadly shipping back to hong kong to get 40$ back will cost u 40$.
trevor11004
I am cool You I Am Cool Yo I Like To spam Yo

yah
http://i.imgur.com/IZx2f8q.jpg
Clearly fake.
trevor11004 wrote:
I am cool You I Am Cool Yo I Like To spam Yo
Watch it, we take that VERY seriously.
it would suck that if he got forumed banned, then the next time he got on the site, nothing worked except the forums. we do take spam seriously. no spam= healthier forums=less people leaving the site for good= spam is no good=dont do it
trevor11004 wrote:
I am cool You I Am Cool Yo I Like To spam Yo

 Not cool dude! I'd advise you not to spam us, or you shall be removed. We do our best to keep these forums clean. We do not appreciate people making our job harder.
RadicalBrendan! wrote:
trevor11004 wrote:
I am cool You I Am Cool Yo I Like To spam Yo

 Not cool dude! I'd advise you not to spam us, or you shall be removed. We do our best to keep these forums clean. We do not appreciate people making our job harder.
excactly. spam too often and we wont be seeing a lot of more of that person. WE appereciate ALOT of things. what we DON'T appreciate is people doing something that THEY know will cause us more work
phantom911 wrote:
RadicalBrendan! wrote:
trevor11004 wrote:
I am cool You I Am Cool Yo I Like To spam Yo

 Not cool dude! I'd advise you not to spam us, or you shall be removed. We do our best to keep these forums clean. We do not appreciate people making our job harder.
excactly. spam too often and we wont be seeing a lot of more of that person. WE appereciate ALOT of things. what we DON'T appreciate is people doing something that THEY know will cause us more work

 Well said, Phantom! wah
RadicalBrendan! wrote:
phantom911 wrote:
RadicalBrendan! wrote:
trevor11004 wrote:
I am cool You I Am Cool Yo I Like To spam Yo

 Not cool dude! I'd advise you not to spam us, or you shall be removed. We do our best to keep these forums clean. We do not appreciate people making our job harder.
excactly. spam too often and we wont be seeing a lot of more of that person. WE appereciate ALOT of things. what we DON'T appreciate is people doing something that THEY know will cause us more work

 Well said, Phantom! wah
Too bad I can't get like that in a more detailed way.
trevor- if you do it again, you have been warned of the consequences.
k. think we are done with this for now finally
phantom911 wrote:
RadicalBrendan! wrote:
phantom911 wrote:
RadicalBrendan! wrote:
trevor11004 wrote:
I am cool You I Am Cool Yo I Like To spam Yo

 Not cool dude! I'd advise you not to spam us, or you shall be removed. We do our best to keep these forums clean. We do not appreciate people making our job harder.
excactly. spam too often and we wont be seeing a lot of more of that person. WE appereciate ALOT of things. what we DON'T appreciate is people doing something that THEY know will cause us more work

 Well said, Phantom! wah
Too bad I can't get like that in a more detailed way.
trevor- if you do it again, you have been warned of the consequences.
k. think we are done with this for now finally

 Agreed! Hopefully he'll heed our warning. wah
i guess we'll find out sooner or later
phantom911 wrote:
i guess we'll find out sooner or later

 Yup! We sure will. XD
RadicalBrendan! wrote:
phantom911 wrote:
i guess we'll find out sooner or later

 Yup! We sure will. XD
now a random question popped into my mind, did you guys ever had to ban someone from the forums?
phantom911 wrote:
RadicalBrendan! wrote:
phantom911 wrote:
i guess we'll find out sooner or later

 Yup! We sure will. XD
now a random question popped into my mind, did you guys ever had to ban someone from the forums?

 Yeah, but we actually let Cake know before we do. I actually don't like doing it, but it's my duty to keep these forums clean... So... Yeah. wah
phantom911 wrote:
RadicalBrendan! wrote:
phantom911 wrote:
i guess we'll find out sooner or later

 Yup! We sure will. XD
now a random question popped into my mind, did you guys ever had to ban someone from the forums?
Yeah, mostly (actually I think all) spambots.
I hate spam bots. At the very least... they don't get in that often. There was a stage during the life of PokEdit where every morning I would wake up and every single section of the site would be completely flooded with multiple pages of spam. It was unbearable actually.

btw,

This old post still gets brought back to the top of the list quite often.... hmm  I'm going to try and deal with that issue when designing how the new news section will work. Maybe a cut off date for posting in news posts would be better to keep the news section relevant. Oh!, and I don't think the news will display in the boards on the new version... but not sure yet.
Cake wrote:
I hate spam bots. At the very least... they don't get in that often. There was a stage during the life of PokEdit where every morning I would wake up and every single section of the site would be completely flooded with multiple pages of spam. It was unbearable actually.

btw,

This old post still gets brought back to the top of the list quite often.... hmm  I'm going to try and deal with that issue when designing how the new news section will work. Maybe a cut off date for posting in news posts would be better to keep the news section relevant. Oh!, and I don't think the news will display in the boards on the new version... but not sure yet.

 Oh Lord! I remember dealing with the spam bots like crazy too. It was so annoying! Also, I agree with the highlighted section. That would be a smart idea.
The Bird
Hi, I am currently trying to buy a pokemon heart or gold version on ebay, but I am in wonder if they are fake or not?

ebay sells mainly fakes. I would only buy them if the comments on the seller are only positive or atleast they sell the genuine thing. Its not prefered to buy the games there but those games you will have a hard time finding in stores(actually its pretty imposible)
Cake- how can you tell when a user is a spambot? i remember seeing tumpa in the ban list and i never thought he spammed
:
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