8 Best Pokemon Emerald ROM Hacks (2023)

Super-ancient beasts all over again!

Amirul Annuar
Amirul Annuar - Writer
11 Min Read

To many long-time Pokemon fans, the third-generation games – consisting of Pokemon Ruby, Pokemon Sapphire, and Pokemon Emerald – are commonly seen as the easiest and most linear of all mainline Pokemon games. Among the three, Pokemon Emerald offers the ultimate package, and it’s also the most popular when it comes to ROM hacks focusing on the Hoenn region.

Released for the Game Boy Advance back in the day, ingenious fans have since been able to recreate the game in various magnificent ways. If you’re interested in visiting Hoenn in a new light, check out these eight best Pokemon Emerald ROM hacks playable today!


Pokemon R.O.W.E.

Creator: rioluwott
Base ROM: Pokemon Emerald
Region: Hoenn

An ambitious project created by rioluwott, Pokemon R.O.W.E. is an open-world instance of Pokemon Emerald, sharing similarities to Pokemon Crystal‘s ROM hack, Pokemon Crystal Clear.

You can begin your adventure from anywhere across Hoenn, including the sea-faring colony of Pacifidlog Town! Story-wise, the game had to make countless compromises to adjust to this, meaning a lot of removed narrative sequences.

In exchange, you’ll enjoy many new features, such as a completely new starter Pokemon, Mega Evolutions, different game modes to test, and actual Pokemon followers by your side! This time, maybe consider catching awesome Pokemon canines to be your loyal sidekicks instead, like the much-dependable Electrike, during the early game.

Open-world exploration (choosable starting location)
Capturable Pokemon up to Gen 8 (only selected ones)
Proper Mega Evolutions
Plethora of customization settings (AI difficulty, avatar colors, etc.)
Overworld Pokemon follower
Unlockable achievements
Easily confused on what to do without linear story progression
A few uncatchable legendary Pokemon
Inaccessible Battle Arena


Pokemon Blazing Emerald

Creator: struedelmuffin1
Base ROM: Pokemon Emerald
Region: Hoenn

For a more intuitive storyline experience, Pokemon Blazing Emerald is a splendid ROM hack that uplifts Pokemon Emerald‘s dated looks to accommodate a more modern vibe.

Many of the original game’s plot and gameplay progression are respected. Still, the creator, struedelmuffin1, streamlines your experience by implementing gorgeous visual refreshes, like a personalized dialogue interface, making you feel closer to the characters.

Other than that, incredible new Pokemon forms have also been introduced, besides different Pokemon starters, retouched Pokemon moves, and many quality-of-life improvements making your playthrough a more pleasant run overall.

Unique Pokemon starter choices
Beautiful UI and tile updates
Special Hoenn forms (including shinies)
Gen 7 Poke Ball types
Improved Pokemon moves
Harder-to-beat AI
Difficult to capture lower-level Pokemon due to the ease of over-leveling (100% party-wide EXP gain)


Pokemon Wally Quest

Creator: Sofie
Base ROM: Pokemon Emerald
Region: Hoenn

Have you ever wondered what your rival’s Pokemon journey is like? In Pokemon Wally Quest, you fill in the shoes of none other than Wally himself!

The aspiring young trainer from Petalburg has his own story to tell, considering he’s known to be a sickly boy with huge aspirations and loves Pokemon. Fun fact; Wally is the first-ever Pokemon rival that doesn’t start with a Pokemon starter, capturing his own Fairy-type Pokemon, Ralts, on his own in the wild.

In Pokemon Wally Quest, you’ll meet new characters, explore alternate stories, and capture diverse Pokemon not normally seen in Hoenn. It’s going to be quite a ride!

Play as Wally (new perspective)
Alternate timeline/ universe (different story progression)
More story-related characters
All Pokemon up to Gen 7
EXP gains for fainted Pokemon
Overal leveling progression isn’t well-designed
A lot more trainer battles to grind for


Pokemon Inclement Emerald

Creator: Buffel Saft
Base ROM: Pokemon Emerald
Region: Hoenn

Difficulty ROM hacks are among the most played by the fanbase, and Pokemon Inclement Emerald is up there with the best of them. Essentially the same game with modified Pokemon battle mechanics, the added challenge results in a more satisfying experience when revisiting Hoenn.

Don’t worry about struggling, though, because you can decide on the game’s difficulty very early on (can’t be changed later). So, if you’re interested in a more casual playthrough yet enjoy battling slightly smarter Pokemon trainers, you can opt for the easiest setting first.

Other features of Pokemon Inclement Emerald include various Pokemon up to Gen 7, starter Pokemon from your favorite region, renewed locations, and even custom Mega Evolutions!

Revamped areas/ maps
Starter Pokemon from different regions (choosable region)
Wide assortment of Gen 1 – Gen 7 Pokemon (not all)
Mega Evolutions (including custom ones)
Shared EXP for Pokemon not in battle (1/4 EXP gain)
Noticeable difficulty spike (can’t be changed once the difficulty is chosen)
Harsher weather effects during battle
Inaccessible Battle Frontier and Trainer Hill


Pokemon Emerald Horizons

Creator: BrandonXL
Base ROM: Pokemon Emerald
Region: Hoenn

Pokemon Emerald Horizons is similar to Pokemon Inclement Emerald in scope but differs in its improvements and additions. At its core, the creator, BrandonXL, wanted to recreate Pokemon Emerald into a more mainstream experience befitting casual fans, all while increasing the game’s difficulty a couple of notches.

It’s still a ton of fun, though, because you’ll be seeing Gen 8 Pokemon, Hisuain forms, updated moves, and so much more! Not a fan of the min-maxing grind for Pokemon EVs and IVs? Both of them are removed entirely here!

Still, expect to adapt to new rulesets, such as maximum leveling caps, restricted bag use during battle, more trainers, etc.

Additional Pokemon up to Gen 8 can be captured
Added Hisuian forms to selected Pokemon
Updated Pokemon typings (including Fairy), moves, and abilities
Tons more special trainer battles (Kanto gym leaders, rivals, etc.)
Changed battle mechanics (Set mode, capped levels, removed bag use)
Only vanilla legendary Pokemon are available
EVs, IVs, and Nature don’t affect Pokemon anymore


Pokemon Altered Emerald

Creator: luuma
Base ROM: Pokemon Emerald
Region: Hoenn

Pokemon Altered Emerald is another impressive Pokemon Emerald ROM hack that usually comes to mind for many dedicated Pokemon gamers out there.

It introduces tremendous enhancements to many Pokemon that are normally underutilized, besides amazing changes to vanilla Pokemon moves, and even custom ones.

On top of those, multiple in-game systems have been revised, such as removed trade evolutions (affected Pokemon evolve through leveling or by holding their respective items), better shiny Pokemon rates, and more. Be prepared to capture cute mythical Pokemon, like Celebi, too!

Nature Power (Pokemon move) replaces the use of many HMs
New and sensible Pokemon dual typings
Custom Pokemon moves and abilities
New maps, routes, and areas
Multiple patch/ game versions provided
Slightly higher-leveled trainers
Confusing move changes and type charts
Unpolished mechanics (Poison’s Overworld effect seems more potent, etc.)


Pokemon Theta Emerald Renev

Creator: LCCoolJay95
Base ROM: Pokemon Emerald
Region: Hoenn

If you’re a keen follower of Gen 6 Pokemon, then Pokemon Theta Emerald Renev should be your cup of tea.

While Pokemon Emerald‘s primary plot isn’t redone too much, you’ll find many things to like, such as the presence of every Pokemon up to Gen 6 (including legendaries), a cleaner UI borrowed from Pokemon Black and Pokemon White, etc.

Both Mega Evolutions and Primal Reversions are here as well, working correctly as they do in the mainline Pokemon games. What’s more, Alolan-form Pokemon are now encounterable in the wild, setting up diverse team compositions for you to test out.

Mainstream Pokemon, moves, and abilities relevant to Gen 6 (including the Fairy type)
Proper implementation of Mega Evolutions
EXP from successful Pokemon captures
New and fresh Pokemon redesigns/ forms
Tougher AI making smarter decisions
Significantly higher level cap (Level 250)


Pokemon Elite Redux

Creator: darkyy92
Base ROM: Pokemon Emerald
Region: Hoenn

For Nuzlockers, Pokemon Elite Redux is a supreme Emerald ROM hack boasting an unbelievable array of customizable options. Fundamentally, it’s a difficulty-enhanced ROM hack, turning Pokemon Emerald into a challenging playground.

Now, every Pokemon is different because each can have up to four distinct abilities simultaneously! This makes every catch personal because they all come with specialized ability sets dissimilar to one another, even for the same species (e.g. two Charmanders are caught but each has four different abilities, literally).

You’ll have tons of utility to change things around for different runs as well, such as setting up a level cap system, choosable regions for the Pokemon starters, a more comprehensive Pokedex, and so many more!

Impressive array of changeable settings (Pokemon randomizer, difficulty modes, etc.)
Mega Evolutions added
Up to 4 unique abilities for every Pokemon
Auto-heal Pokemon after every battle
New locations and expanded maps
Scarier trainer AI with powerful Pokemon
Overwhelming sandbox options (diminishes story importance)
Can’t visit the Battle Frontier


Offering immense value and replayability, these are the eight best Pokemon Emerald ROM hacks you need to check out right now. For more useful suggestions, consider browsing our list of ROM hacks for Pokemon Platinum too, if you like playing in the Sinnoh region instead.

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By Amirul Annuar Writer
Amirul is a proud gamer, always busy writing articles, scripts, and guides when he’s not with family or connected in-game. Extremely friendly, chill, and laid back, Amirul always looks towards the positive side of things when the going gets tough.
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