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Old 19th May 2014, 03:26 AM  
Dark Sneasel
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Miami, FL
Age: 22
Posts: 30
Dark Sneasel
Default Starting out with Rom Hacking? Click here

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?:
And the best of them all:

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."

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:
Originally Posted by Deokishisu View Post
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 two in my opinion scripting tutorials:

Tajaros's XSE Tutorial (which I used to learn)
Diegoisawesome's scripting tutorial which is longer, and really good

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..
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