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.
Method 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:
Here’s a couple examples of fake games:
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?
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.
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.
Thin, black Plastic Case. The real deal.
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).
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
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