The Best Pokemon Fan-Made Games That Are Free

Gavin Phillips Updated 05-12-2019

If you’re reading this we’re guessing you’re a big fan of Pokémon games. Unfortunately, there are long gaps between official releases, but don’t despair, as there are a number of fan-made Pokémon games you can play in the meantime.


The Pokémon community has produced loads of fan-made games, which are packed with new adventures, features, and characters. Here are the best free fan-made Pokémon games you can play right now.

Play Pokémon Games Using an Emulator

Some of the fan-made Pokémon games on this list require you to use an emulator. An emulator being a computer program that emulates old games consoles on another device. For more context, learn what emulation is and how it works.

Emulators can play ROMs, which are computer images of games taken from a read-only memory chip (like a Game Boy cartridge). You can install an emulator on your computer or mobile device.

For the avid gamer who enjoys classic gaming as much as modern, AAA-rated games, an emulator is a must. There are a lot of different emulators available for every conceivable system.

This animated GIF shows a VisualBoyAdvance emulator running Pokemon


Many of the games on this list require a Game Boy Advance emulator (some are desktop games). we opted to use the Visual Boy Advance emulator for Windows. However, you can grab an emulator for your system from one of these links.

Download: Visual Boy Advance for Windows (Free)
Download: Open Emu for macOS (Free)
Download: Mednafen for Linux (Free) | Higan for Linux (Free)
Download: John GBA for Android (Free, with ads) | Android ($2.99)
Download: GBA4iOS for iOS (Free)

If you’re not interested in using an emulator then check out our list of official Pokémon games The Mega-List of All Official Pokémon Games You Can Play Love Pokémon or want to get started with the series? Check out this list of the official mainline Pokémon games, as well as how we rank them. Read More instead.

1. Pokémon Insurgence

We start with a formidable fan-made Pokémon game called Pokémon Insurgence. Insurgence boasts thousands of players. Furthermore, Insurgence shakes the traditional Pokémon adventure up with a gritty storyline filled with cultist leaders and Pokémon experimentation. All of this in an entirely new region too.


The sprite collection and general gameplay give an official feeling to the game. Add in mega evolutions and creative delta species, where a player can mix the DNA of two Pokémon to create a third, and there’s no way you can pass up the experience.

2. Pokémon Light Platinum

There’s nothing quite like pitting old-gen Pokémon vs. new-gen Pokémon. Pokémon Light Platinum is touted as one of the most complete Pokémon ROMs to date.

Based off of the popular Pokémon Ruby version, Pokémon Light Platinum features impressive graphics and a wide array of Pokémon along with new regions and gyms to keep any Pokémon fan occupied for hours.

With 16 gym badges, two Pokémon leagues, and a world championship, Pokémon Light Platinum has a lot to offer. If you’re looking for a familiar alternative to the official Pokémon games, Light Platinum is it.


3. Pokémon Ash Gray

Pokémon Ash Gray is a fan-made Pokémon game based off Fire-Red which simulates Ash’s journey in the original Pokémon animated series.

I was a huge fan of the animated series growing up, so Pokémon Ash Gray is a pleasant trip down memory lane. Train Pikachu and ward off mean sparrows yourself with this fan-made game.

4. Pokémon Dark Rising

Pokémon Dark Rising feels like the Dark Souls of Pokémon. With the difficulty level bumped up to 11, it’s typical to wipe out multiple times before getting to the first gym leader. The beginning of the storyline is enticing in itself:

“You are a young Pokémon Trainer in Core Region. The game plot starts when you sleep and have a strange dream. You see a strange Pokémon that appears incidentally in your dream but you don’t know or meet it before. This Pokémon says it chooses you to be its owner and wants you to save it and the world.”

From the rival battles to the random encounters, this game will leave you hanging on by a thread. Your starters are all Dragon-types for a refreshing early game experience as well, while the game itself spans the first five generations of Pokémon.


5. Pokémon Godra

While most fan-made ROMs attempt to make the most out of Pokémon characters rather than trainer development, Pokémon Godra tries to make that leap. In this popular fan-made ROM, you can lead a life outside the gym.

With a series of career paths set up for your trainer, you can be a War Party Leader, a Military General, a Safari Zone Warden, and more.

Besides being a quality game that spans generations of Pokémon, there are also Western and Eastern halves of Godra which include different storylines and quests for you to enjoy.

6. Pokémon Reborn

Pokémon Reborn is the first game on this list that isn’t a ROM. Unlike the other games, which are ROM hacks, Pokémon Reborn is an entirely new game created in RPG Maker.

The result is much higher resolution sprites, a plethora of vibrant colors, custom Pokémon, an enormous world to explore, and around 55 hours of gameplay. Pokémon Reborn is a desktop game, rather than a Game Boy Advance ROM.

You enter a world filled with black smog and acidic water. There is crime everywhere, and the world around you is crumbling. Luckily, you are the hero.

7. Pokémon Uranium

Pokémon Uranium is one of the few RPG Maker-based fan-made Pokémon games to receive cease-and-desist letters during development. By the time the cease-and-desist hit the desk of director and programmer “~JV~,” Pokémon Uranium had already hit 1.5 million downloads.

While the development team complied with the letter, the Pokémon Uranium fanbase picked up the mantle, releasing several patches and bug fixes for the game.

Pokémon Uranium focuses on the tale of a young Pokémon trainer attempting to uncover the secrets of a nuclear explosion in the Tandor region. On the way, strange occurrences surround the player, and the specter of an irradiated Pokémon looms large.

Like Pokémon Reborn, Pokémon Uranium is a desktop game.

8. Pokémon 3D

Pokémon 3D is a surprisingly refreshing fan-made project. A remake of Pokémon Gold and Silver, Pokémon 3D simulates the world of Pokémon in a popup 3D environment.

Although Pokémon 3D follows the typical Pokémon adventure format, the impressive popup effect gives the original game new life. Which makes it well worth playing.

Gotta Try ‘Em All!

There are a serious number of fan-made Pokémon games in development. The cycle of updates and new releases is nearly constant. Taking the time to develop, rearrange, and craft the world of Pokémon is painstaking. Yet thousands of artists and developers continue out of love for the games. You might also enjoy these fan-made Pokémon MMOs 9 Free Fan-Made Pokémon MMOs All Trainers Will Love Here are the best fan-made Pokémon MMOs available online. They integrate all of the familiar aspects of the core Pokémon games. Read More .

In addition to fan games, have you considered trying some Pokémon challenges 6 Fun Pokémon Challenges to Prove Your Mastery Do you love Pokémon but feel bored with the series? These Pokémon challenges will breathe new life into your favorite games. Read More to test your skills?

Related topics: Free Games, Game Mods, Nintendo, Pokémon.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. ShinKun
    December 1, 2019 at 2:02 am

    No one is going to mention that #8 isn't a Pokémon game but a mod for a *paid* game?

  2. Vitor Menezello
    May 4, 2019 at 10:47 pm

    I've decided to play a few romhacks/fan-made games and based myself on this list.

    Starting with Dark Rising, and boy what a horrible game. I'm playing the original and not the Kaizo version, which I heard fixed many bugs (I found out about this way too late and I'm not going to play from the start again), but it's so unpolished and untested.

    The maps are boring and many have wrong textures, which makes it feel unnatural. The connection between towns are always caves, which I guess it's because the creator couldn't find a smooth transition using just routes. Text all over the game is full of typos. The story is convoluted, there are so many characters, and all with 0 introduction and development to them. Not to mention how boring it is.

    Also, something that bothered me a lot was that most maps are basically the taken from the original game and have a little sprinkle on them. Taken out of the contest of the game, those maps made very little sense.

    The game has one thing going for it which is the premise of difficulty, which I have to say did make me work for those battles. I'm a fan of grinding, so I had no problem with that, but it just goes beyond with trying to make a tough fight in a way that I disagree. Giving every enemy pokemon from important fights a Leftovers is bad design.

    This brings the point of Marts that don't progress in the same way as the game does. By the third gym you already have level 40~50 pokemon, which have 150 HP+, and not a single Hyper Potion or Full Heal can be bought up to the sixth city or something. That may be justified with the argument of making the game harder, but it just made it feel uncomfortable.

    Anyway, I just thought I'd give my 2 cents about this game, since it made this list. I haven't finished yet, nor the other games in the list, but I will. Maybe the rest of the list is a bit better.

  3. 4getfull
    May 21, 2018 at 12:51 am

    Which pokemon fan game or rom hack transports you to the pokemon world by arceus and he also introduces you to the mechanics of the game ? It is very annoying that I can remember.

  4. SLCaster
    December 22, 2017 at 5:12 am

    Fanmade games are NOT ROM HACKS. The list above are romhacks, as you need a patch file and a rom, and an emulator to play them after you've patched the files.

    Fanmades are made in things such as RPG Maker, and there tends to be a whole lot more work put into them since they come with extra functions, play modes, and usually don't use JUST the Pokemon Essentials pack. Plus, you can mod them for special perks or effects in-game, like the Weather Mod or Hardcore Mod on Pokemon Reborn, or the Follower Pokemon in Pokemon Rejuvenation.

    • SLCaster
      December 22, 2017 at 5:14 am

      Also, there are a few on here that, while they aren't made in RPG Maker, and they are not made with rom hacks for use in emulators, they are now deceased. Thanks, Nintendo.

  5. Nexidal
    December 29, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    I might be a bit late, but my timing is not. So, just two words: "Pokémon Reloaded"
    You may haven't heard of it, mostly because is a spanish game (the new beta will have english option), but it redefines the genre:
    -No need for emulator, it's made in game-maker.
    -Real time battle. Easy to learn, frustratingly hard to master.
    -New background music (can be changed to classic)
    -Up to 5th gen (+ fairy type and mega) but new beta will be up to 7th gen.
    -Outside battle release (like HG/SS) with ability to mega-evolve/use HM/ ride with Ext. Speed.
    -A new region with new gyms and league + gyms and leagues from other games.
    -All legendary and evil teams have their stories + the new team: Team Requiem.
    -New Pokémon like Pryncice (Jynx evo), Mewthree, Crystalonix, and many Eevee evolutions.
    -Secret code to play as you want: Lance, Maxim, a Bug Catcher, a Rocket goon....

  6. Ult1m8_N00b
    December 22, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    Planet Pokemon has been abandoned and all servers have gone offline, making the game totally unplayable.

  7. Anonymous
    May 17, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    "Since all of these games require a Game Boy Advanced emulator and I am using a Windows computer, I used Virtual Boy Advanced."

    It's **Game Boy Advance**, not "Advanced." Geez.


    • Christian Bonilla
      May 19, 2016 at 12:17 am

      I am truly ashamed.

    • bill
      July 27, 2016 at 2:59 am

      Hes talking about a game boy advanced emulator for pc called visual boy advanced [he misspelled it though]

  8. Swanny
    May 17, 2016 at 4:19 am

    No mention of PokeMMO? https://pokemmo.eu/

    Works really well and has quite a large playerbase.

    • Christian Bonilla
      May 18, 2016 at 11:50 pm

      As much as it pained me not to mention PokeMMO (or Pokemon Revolution, my personal favorite: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cry-ac3iR9I) this article was primarily focused on fan-made ROMs. A game as awesome as PokeMMO is difficult to mention in passing; it really deserves its own article, don't you think?

  9. Anonymous
    May 17, 2016 at 1:33 am

    I've played three Pokemon fangames, I have four, and am seriously considering Pokemon Godra up there. I've started Pokemon Insurgence, Pokemon Uranium, and Generation 0. All are pretty cool, and Gen 0 is so different from the others it's really hard to compare. I love it and Pokemon Uranium about equally.

    • Christian Bonilla
      May 19, 2016 at 12:16 am

      I'm glad you mentioned these. I only played Uranium in passing, so I couldn't enjoy the nuclear types or the side-quests fully. The sprites and game play, however, are on par with most official Pokemon games out there! As for Gen 0, I found the story really clever but the game itself didn't meet the absurdly high expectations I had for it.

      For any curious readers out there, here are some information links on:

      Pokemon Uranium | Explore the highly volatile and irradiated region of Tandor (http://www.pokemonuranium.com/index.html)

      Pokemon Generation 0 | Play as young Oak or Agatha in ye olde Kanto (http://pokemongenzero.tumblr.com/faq)

      Have you tried Pokemon Pitch Black? I'm working through it currently and it's slowly reaching the top of my favorites list.

    • Anonymouse
      October 3, 2016 at 12:40 am

      Godra is a virus be careful I just tried it