Most Pokémon games are rather easy to play.

It’s not easy at first, but after beating what is effectively the same game so many times, most of us know what to anticipate.

Knowing terms like “quick spinner,” “dual screener,” and “bulky sweeper” indicates that you have advanced well beyond the game’s first difficulties.

The Nuzlocke Challenge is a fun way to spice things up for seasoned Pokémon players.

There are two key guidelines for this risky sprint:

Any Pokémon that faints is permanently lost, and you may only catch the first Pokémon you encounter on each map.

Nuzlocke can be done with pretty much any Pokémon game, but for the purpose of diversity, let’s look at some Pokémon ROM hacks that work well.

10. Pokémon Polished Crystal

If you want a throwback experience with a slew of new features, go no farther than Pokémon: Polished Crystal.

All the Pokémon from Generations 1 and 2 may be obtained in a single playthrough of this improved ROM hack of Pokémon Crystal.

As well as the new Eeveelutions, Togekiss, Magnezone, and Magmortar, the types and move sets of all Pokémon have been modified to reflect Generation 6.

The built-in Nuzlocke mode in Polished Crystal, which enforces all the typical regulations such as perma-faint, only capturing the first Pokémon in every region, and the dupes/shiny clause, is what drew me to the hack rather than any of the other similar offerings for Gen 2.

It’s useful for any Nuzlocke run because it heals your Pokémon of Poison when they’re at 1 health.

9. Pokémon Radical Red

Up next is a challenge for the true masochists out there.

As a result of its high level of polish and complexity, Pokémon Radical Red has gained a lot of notoriety.

By enhancing trainer AI, adjusting your opponents’ teams, and giving the Elite IV members their own Legendary, this FireRed ROM hack significantly increases the difficulty of Pokémon matches.

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And that’s only the beginning…

To help you concentrate on building the best Pokémon team possible, it also includes a plethora of new features and quality-of-life enhancements.

8. Pokémon Insurgence

Pokémon Insurgence is another fan-made Pokémon adventure that has gained notoriety for its extreme difficulty.

The area of Torren is accessible in this fun game, and it has every Pokémon up to Generation 6. However, some of the routes and trainer challenges in this region are unlike anything the original games had to offer.

Because of these two factors, I prefer Insurgence to Radical Red.

For starters, the difficulty has increased significantly.

Second, it includes a Nuzlocke mode by default.

An Iron Man run, a random run or a solo run are the other options. Only the most dedicated Pokémon battlers should play this game.

7. Pokémon Sacred Gold & Storm Silver

Next, we’ll look at several hacks that are excellent in every way and would be great for a Nuzlocke just because of how well they’re made.

With Pokémon Sacred Gold and Storm Silver, the developers aimed to rebalance the games, including some new mons from later generations, and offer a number of surprises and quality-of-life enhancements.

All 493 Pokémon from Generations 1-4 are included in this Pokémon HGSS hack, and the vast majority of them may be caught or obtained before challenging the Elite IV.

Since your cherished, permanently faintable Pokémon won’t be able to follow you about while you dodge obstacles, you’ll have to face every difficulty head-on with this hack.

Moreover, if the files from the aforementioned URL don’t work for you, you can always check out this discussion instead.

6. Pokémon Blaze Black & Volt White

Pokémon Blaze Black and Volt White, again from the same developer, essentially do the same thing, except for Pokémon B&W.

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Every one of the 649 Pokémon in the game is 100% catchable in a single session.

The difficulty curve is higher but more rewarding, and trainers have access to stronger teams and more aggressive AI.

It’s ideal for a competent player’s Nuzlocke run because of the increased Pokémon diversity and difficult battles.

If you go to the very last page of the thread linked above, you should be able to see this post, which contains a functioning download link.

5. Pokémon Clover

Comedic FireRed ROM hack Pokémon Clover was created by the /VP/board on 4chan and has a crazy scenario, humorous dialogue, and 386 Fakemon.

Because of these factors, you can be assured that every Pokémon you see in the wild will be completely unexpected, and you’ll have to roll with it if you hope to capture any throughout your Nuzlocke playthrough.

Adding insult to injury, you can die at the hands of a comical character or become so offended by a joke that you have to stop playing the game.

Pokémon Clover is the way to go if you want to challenge more than just your Pokémon trainer abilities while also getting your abs in shape (by laughing).

4. Pokémon Crystal Clear

The goal of Pokémon Crystal Clear is to unlock the beloved Gen 2 RPG.

You may create your own unique character, select from 24 different “starters,” and start your journey in any major city in Johto or Kanto.

You may travel to any of the 16 gyms without using any HMs, and the trainers and gym leaders will adapt to your Pokémon as you level up.

This unconventional structure promises to be a refreshing change from the typical Nuzlocke format.

3. Pokémon Saffron

The saying “variety is the spice of life” rings true.

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More biological variety also increases the game’s unpredictability, which is especially welcome during a Nuzlocke run.

The continent of Azira, modeled on South America, is home to Pokémon Saffron and is renowned for its extraordinary biodiversity.

As a result of something called the “Great Migration,” all Pokémon from generations 1 through 8 are now a part of it. There are new Aziran regional variations in addition to the Alolan and Galarian types.

Additionally, Mega Evolutions, Dynamax, and Gigamax are all playable in this FireRed ROM hack.

2. Pokémon Red: Blood & Tears

We ranked a straightforward Gen 1 cheat as #2 in our Nuzlocke competition.

For those unfamiliar, Pokémon Red: Blood & Tears is a Nuzlocke hack that only modifies the game to make it more difficult to beat the game under the Nuzlocke regulations.

It’s much like the original Pokémon Red, only your Pokémon will perish if they faint, you’ll be obligated to catch the first Pokémon you encounter on each route, and you’ll have to give them all names.

This hack is neither the most original nor the most difficult to implement.

But I’m sure that’s what a lot of you are hoping to find.

On top of that, it’s a one-off on the market.

1. Pokémon Emerald Trashlocke Edition

It’s not too difficult to enforce the regulations of a Nuzlocke…

And now, the Trashlocke.

Trashlockes are a subset of Nuzlockes in which players are limited to using weaker Pokémon.

A brilliant ROM hack, Pokémon Emerald Trashlocke Edition changes the game such that you encounter only “bad” Pokémon.

Your initial Pokémon, for instance, Goldeen, Slugma, and Sunkern aren’t the usual reliable Pokémon that can help you get through the game.

I agree with Sunkern.

Taking on the Elite IV with Sunflora should be a lot of fun.