Top 10 Hardest Pokemon ROM Hacks

This is a somewhat arbitrary list of the Hardest Pokemon Romhacks out there. I may be missing some because I haven't played them all.

I try to keep hacks that mostly avoid fake difficulty tactics, which is what Dark Rising did, using level spikes only, and bad AI.
The Top Ten
1 Pokemon Crystal Kaizo

Very few people have ever beaten this fully and legitimately. Some even resort to save states in casual play, and in one case, walk through walls and hacking in movesets. Only two successful Nuzlockes even exist as of this time of writing.

It also has some cruel map layout changes, such as ice puzzles, trainer gauntlets, and an absolutely brutal endgame. Bosses have the best possible movesets and a really good AI to abuse them. This AI is far superior to Gen 3 AI, since they can actually use Hidden Power effectively. You cannot use revives, Ethers, or X items in battle, only outside it.

2 Pokémon Stadium Kaizo

No contest. This is bar none, the absolute hardest Pokémon romhack ever. Especially the Cups - you will lose many times before you reach the end. No Nuzlocke of any hard hack is as cruel and brutal as this game.

3 Pokemon Vega

This is a game that has genuinely hard movesets, saddled with some unfortunate level spikes. However, it remains interesting and engaging with some new movesets, fakemon, and some Japanese map puzzles. A new translation is out.
This game also doesn't seem to give you the chance to purchase revives or full restores, making the endgame gauntlet very tense.

I picked the fire starter and now I can't get past the Shuckle in the first gym. Every mon on the way is weak to rock except the useless Togepi.

4 Pokemon Blue Kaizo

This has a unique aspect compared to many difficulty hacks, most notably taking advantage of near-infinite items, infinite power points, following synergy, and even switching. It also seems to "predict" your switches near perfectly, unlike future-generation hacks.

There are also map layout changes designed to punish players for backtracking, forcing them to either navigate carefully or be cockteased.

There are more successful nuzlockes, and if you know how to predict exploits and type match, it may be easier than some other notorious hacks like Vega. No revives or x-items are allowed during battle.

5 Touhoumon Lunatic

Out of all of the Touhoumon hacks out there, many claim this one to be the hardest of all of them. It mostly avoids the common fake difficulty traps like level spikes and excessive base stats (going above 720 with competent movesets). World Link is also up for contention, feel free to add.

It's great! I've already beaten it though. Try making it harder?

6 Pokemon Fire Red Omega

The difficulty hack that inspired many difficulty hacks. The boss teams use a lot of wildcards that have references to Pokemon media, like Vulpix for Brock, Togetic for Misty, Electrode for Koga, etc. The movesets are extremely competent, while following a steady difficulty curve and level curve. Attempting to capture outside legendaries will be complicated when powerful post-game trainers are guarding them.

7 Pokémon Dark Rising

It was such a hell. But I nuzlocked it. Anyone who wants to play this hack, I have nothing but blood and fear to offer you...

What is the first gym? No, just no.

8 Pokemon Pyrite

This has a very interesting handicap of using no items in battle. In the gym, you gain no experience points and cannot escape until you defeat the gym leader. The level curve is smooth. While you are up to your neck in trying to survive the gauntlet, the enemy rosters are reasonable compared to more brutal lineups. This game should not be underestimated under any circumstances, though.

9 Pokemon Yellow Strike

Inspired by Blue Kaizo, this is a Gen 1 difficulty hack of Pokemon Yellow, with some improved graphics, and even some shifts in who you face (you fight Blaine after Brock, and Misty after Sabrina, which does make the game a lot more difficult). The movesets are competent, and it even added some extra super-effective moves and fixed the Psychic-type weakness oversight. It is quite a fun Gen 1 hard hack.

10 Pokemon Reborn

There is a sheer forced curve in this one, by far the worst level setting I've seen. Every gym match only allows up to a certain level. And don't forget, there are about twenty gyms. The last gym's level cap is set to be Lv. 95, and no doubt that leader's going to have Lv. 100s. I've never seen a successful Nuzlocke of this game, and I've only seen two come close. Also, don't forget the knock-off evil Megas and terrain effects. That's the real thorn in your side.

I loved it! It gave me a real challenge. If you want a really story-driven game that still gives plenty of stuff on the side to do, I recommend it. It's a fantastic, well-made Pokémon game with whole new characters. Choices affect the game somewhat. I absolutely enjoyed it - the great struggle was worth it to get to the end, though.

The Contenders
11 Pokemon Snakewood

I'm not particularly fond of this hack. The Shyamalan twists in the story are atrocious. A nearly admirably cruel puzzle was ruined because the traps were from your allies instead of your enemies. And some of the boasts from the creator about being a better storyteller...

There are nasty boss-level spikes, some occasionally nasty fakemon with higher stats - some predictable, others not. Meanwhile, some battles are pathetically easy. You may fight some buffed legendaries as well.

But the scripting is really well done. There are some cruel mazes by your secret allies, and some different kinds of exploration. However, it is starting to veer into fake difficulty territory with obscene base stats, ability abuse, and level spikes.

12 Kaizo Emerald

It could have been the single hardest romhack if it didn't have the utterly terrible Gen 3 AI. Seriously, Gen 1 AI could perform better.

Still, it's a powerful contender for the hardest Gen 3 hack. The game will kick your ass if you aren't careful.

This hack broke my will to live as a casual player.

13 Pokemon Insurgence

At Hard difficulty, important trainer battles starting from the 4th Gym have max IVs, some EVs (unsure of amount), decent movepools and strategies, and also carry beneficial items. There's also a level cap for each main trainer battle. I had to retry a lot and bring backups in case my main team was countered.

Has lots of content. Includes delta Pokemon (different typing), custom moves, new Mega Evolutions, new Pokemon abilities, hidden grottos, online secret bases, and doesn't require HMs.

Incredible game. So cool. Awesome.

14 Pokemon Glazed

Whitney is appropriately an Elite Four member in this game. There are tons of battles around, some easy and some hard. The game is very long, but it has a lot of interesting content.

By far one of the best hacks, especially on the current update. So much to achieve! I highly recommend IV training - it makes it easier.

This was a good playthrough with a good storyline and some fairly difficult battles.

15 Pokémon Clover

This is one of the hardest Pokemon games known to man. This game made me sick.

The anti-cheating makes it much more difficult than Pokemon Emerald Kaizo.

16 Pokemon Renegade Platinum
17 Pokemon Light Platinum
18 Pokemon Apollo

You are a part of Team Rocket and trying to stop Red (your rival) from destroying Team Rocket. The game is kinda hard and fun.

19 Pokemon Blaze Black 2
20 Pokémon Mega Power

One phrase: "the shady". You have to fight this guy three times straight without healing your Pokemon.

21 Pokemon Crystal Enhanced

One of the earliest Crystal hacks, this game creates tough movesets and lineups for teams, while also giving you variety and options. Sometimes, the options are too good, allowing you to overpower even strong enemies. The levels of the post-game bosses can go above level 100, so be cautious.

22 Pokemon Cawps
23 Pokemon Fuligin

I got smashed in the first gym. Never thought a Furret could be so terrifying.

24 Pokemon Sweet
25 Pokemon Naturia
8Load More
PSearch List