8 Best Pokemon FireRed ROM Hacks (2024)

Explore a brand new Kanto!

Amirul Annuar
Amirul Annuar - Writer
1 Min Read

Being the remake of Pokemon Red, Pokemon FireRed brought all the best features of Gen-2 Pokemon games during its release in 2004. Nearly two decades later, it still offers outstanding replay value, especially when expanded upon by fan-made ROM hacks.

While all of them have their unique takes on the game, a few of them boast the most impressive changes, such as the addition of the latest Pokemon, and even entirely new regions to visit! If those sound good to you, here are the eight best Pokemon FireRed ROM hacks you might want to try out right now.

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Pokemon DarkViolet

<p><strong>Creator:</strong> Chaos Rush, hacksrepairman</p>

Creator: Chaos Rush, hacksrepairman

<p><strong>Base ROM:</strong> <em>Pokemon FireRed</em></p>

Base ROM: Pokemon FireRed

<p><strong>Region:</strong> Kanto</p>

Region: Kanto

Among the oldest ROM hacks on this list, Pokemon DarkViolet is a great reimagining of the original game based on the creator, Chaos Rush’s, personal vision. The game was actually canceled in 2014 before it was continued by hacksrepairman four years later.

Although Dark Violet might look and feel like FireRed, the game introduces a plethora of new changes to make it relevant for new-generation fans. We’re talking around 460+ moves in-game, not to mention new scripted events and characters to revitalize your intrigue in the game’s storyline.

Certain mechanics that remain from FireRed can sometimes be infuriating, like Pokemon fainting in the Overworld due to poison, but they’re only minor complaints compared to the many additions implemented.

Good Stuff Improved catalog of Pokemon moves More story characters and rivals Expanded in-game plot and events Refreshed environments and maps No trade evos
Bad Stuff Gen 1 and Gen 2 Pokemon only Less modern features (permanent HMs, Overworld fainting from poison, etc.) Slightly harder and frequent trainer battles
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Pokemon Mirage Of Tales

<p><strong>Creator:</strong> Avara, mgriffin</p>

Creator: Avara, mgriffin

<p><strong>Base ROM:</strong> <em>Pokemon FireRed</em></p>

Base ROM: Pokemon FireRed

<p><strong>Region:</strong> Avlar (new)</p>

Region: Avlar (new)

Fancy yourself becoming a Pokemon researcher like Professor Oak? Well, in Pokemon Mirage Of Tales, you can! In fact, you can even become a Pokemon Ranger if you’re the adventurous type.

In Pokemon Mirage Of Tales, everything about FireRed is nearly completely changed. Inns replace Pokemon Centers now, charging you a certain fee to let you stay and heal your Pokemon (tip: it’s free if all your Pokemon have low HP or many have fainted).

Besides that, you now battle Pokemon that actually spawn in the Overworld (like Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu!), letting you decide exactly what Pokemon to capture or train against. Those are just the tip of the iceberg, amongst many other new mechanics, such as the alignment system and NPCs with different daily routines!

Good Stuff Permanent running shoes (auto-run, toggleable) Lively NPCs (life-like behaviors) Career choices (different playthroughs) Pokemon up to Gen 6 Alignment system (Good, Evil, etc.) represented by text colors
Bad Stuff Renamed items (confusing) Inns replace Poke Center (healing costs money) Unpolished UI design (difficult item management, missable dialogue swiping options, etc.)
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Pokemon Unbound

<p><strong>Creator:</strong> Skeli</p>

Creator: Skeli

<p><strong>Base ROM:</strong> <em>Pokemon FireRed</em></p>

Base ROM: Pokemon FireRed

<p><strong>Region:</strong> Borrius (new)</p>

Region: Borrius (new)

An original storyline, a brand new protagonist (customizable), and an entirely unknown region; you get all of this and more in Pokemon Unbound!

It’s a complete overhaul of FireRed but done right, brimming with so much detail and love that you can’t stop appreciating. Many gameplay settings can be changed/ toggled on the fly, the wild Pokemon variety is great, and you can even heal and manage your party outside of Pokemon Centers by interacting with special NPCs!

The Borrius region itself is well-crafted, with every town feeling distinct yet tied together brilliantly. Truly, Pokemon Unbound deserves to be recognized as one of the best Pokemon FireRed ROM hacks ever made.

Good Stuff Intriguing and original storyline Powerful starter Pokemon choices Unbelievable amounts of customizations (character creation, difficulty settings, etc.) Gorgeous graphics All Pokemon up to Gen 7
Bad Stuff Higher difficulties are extremely punishing (changeable) The Battle Frontier version isn’t finalized/ complete
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Pokemon Vega

<p><strong>Creator:</strong> Pokemon Vega Team</p>

Creator: Pokemon Vega Team

<p><strong>Base ROM:</strong> <em>Pokemon FireRed</em></p>

Base ROM: Pokemon FireRed

<p><strong>Region:</strong> Tohoak (new)</p>

Region: Tohoak (new)

Pokemon Vega is another complete FireRed makeover. However, unlike others on this list, it can be quite brutal, so it might be more suited for long-time Poke fans who truly want to challenge themselves.

There are many Fakemon in this one, some of which are exceptionally designed, while others might just rival the ugliest Pokemon ever created. Still, the game is actually quite enjoyable due to its impressive story and characters, but be wary of its glaringly unpolished Pokemon-leveling design (weak Pokemon areas, nightmarishly slow grind).

Plus, if you came into this after beating either of its predecessors, Pokemon Altair and Pokemon Sirius, you’ll definitely know what you’re signing up for.

Good Stuff Unique Fakemon New locations and areas Entirely new Pokemon moves Fresh storyline with new characters
Bad Stuff Unchanged past mechanics (poison-fainting, etc.) Tougher AI with access to powerful Pokemon moves (even in the early game) Bad leveling spots for training Pokemon
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Pokemon Adventures – Red Chapter

<p><strong>Creator:</strong> Aethestode</p>

Creator: Aethestode

<p><strong>Base ROM:</strong> <em>Pokemon FireRed</em></p>

Base ROM: Pokemon FireRed

<p><strong>Region:</strong> Kanto, Johto (more depending on content)</p>

Region: Kanto, Johto (more depending on content)

Everybody knows the legendary trainer, Red, by now. He’s probably THE most iconic Pokemon trainer since the franchise began in 1996 (even before Ash Ketchum!).

If you’re among those who’ve been following his journeys throughout the Pokemon Adventures manga, then Pokemon Adventures – Red Chapter is ideal for you. Created by Aethestode, this FireRed ROM hack puts you in the shoes of Red, experiencing his trials and tribulations according to the manga series (from befriending his cute Pokemon starter, Poliwhirl, to defeating his rival in the Pokemon League, and so forth).

From time to time, you’ll change perspectives to his rivals-turned-allies, Green and Blue, who also play important roles throughout Red’s story. There are plenty of chapters for you to complete, guaranteeing hours upon hours of game time!

Good Stuff Close representation of the manga’s expansive story See the perspectives of different characters (Red, Green, Blue, etc.) Clean, beautiful UI (character faces, colorful tiles, etc.) Encounterable Pokemon up to Gen 8 (depending on in-game progress)
Bad Stuff Occasional grammar mistakes/ weird texts Limited exploration freedom (areas are normally restricted to the current character’s storyline) Mature and violent themes
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Pokemon Shiny Gold Sigma

<p><strong>Creator:</strong> Alex Sanchez/ Zel</p>

Creator: Alex Sanchez/ Zel

<p><strong>Base ROM:</strong> <em>Pokemon FireRed</em></p>

Base ROM: Pokemon FireRed

<p><strong>Region:</strong> Johto, Kanto</p>

Region: Johto, Kanto

Pokemon Shiny Gold Sigma is an amalgamation of many of the community’s best quality-of-life features requested. While the main storyline hasn’t changed, it’s expanded upon by way of custom events and NPCs, such as a mysterious new rival.

Not many FireRed ROM hacks offer Mega Evolutions too, yet this one does! Apart from that, you can even capture Gen 7 and Gen 8 Pokemon to mix up your battling strategies. Even the graphics are top-notch now, with dynamic weather effects complementing the game’s day-night cycle.

Caution: the game seems to consistently freeze/ crash when you’re in certain stages in-game (for me, it’s the Ruins of Alph). So, remember to save your game OFTEN, just to be safe.

Good Stuff Redesigned maps, buildings, etc. Mega Evolutions present Available Pokemon up to Gen 7 New characters u0026 rivals Noteworthy NPC dialogues (some offer in-depth explanations/ details)
Bad Stuff Random freezes/ crashes (SAVE OFTEN!) Inconsistent trainer AI (sometimes smart, sometimes dense)
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7 /8

Pokemon FireRed Rocket Edition

<p><strong>Creator:</strong> colonelsalt</p>

Creator: colonelsalt

<p><strong>Base ROM:</strong> <em>Pokemon FireRed</em></p>

Base ROM: Pokemon FireRed

<p><strong>Region:</strong> Kanto</p>

Region: Kanto

Bored of being the good guy? Dive into the criminal world by joining Team Rocket instead!

In Pokemon FireRed Rocket Edition, you do just that; begin your new life as a Team Rocket Grunt, making your way up the ranks by stealing other trainers’ Pokemon, completing ‘favors’ for notable characters, and uncovering underground businesses that really take place behind the scenes.

It’s a cheeky take on Pokemon FireRed‘s innocent backdrop, but Rocket Edition does them so well that you might actually think they’re canon! You might need to adapt to a new playing style, though, because you’re no longer getting money from battling other trainers anymore.

Plus, you’ll need to get a bird Pokemon a.s.a.p. because you can use the hidden machine (HM), Fly, right from the get-go now!

Good Stuff Rise the ranks of Team Rocket (new storyline) Steal NPCs Pokemon (optional u0026 based on rank) Updated Pokemon moves u0026 typings (including Fairy) Bounty system (decisions matter, different rewards, etc.) Boosted EXP gains
Bad Stuff Confusing storyline progression (frequently lost) Certain trainer-exclusive restrictions (no Pokedex, Trainer ID, etc.)
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Pokemon Liquid Crystal

<p><strong>Creator:</strong> linkandzelda</p>

Creator: linkandzelda

<p><strong>Base ROM:</strong> <em>Pokemon FireRed</em></p>

Base ROM: Pokemon FireRed

<p><strong>Region:</strong> Johto, Kanto</p>

Region: Johto, Kanto

Lastly, Pokemon Liquid Crystal is an intricate representation of the classic Pokemon Crystal (released in 2000) that many of us Pokemon lovers still reminisce about today. Taking us back twenty years ago, this ROM hack reinvigorates that wistful feeling when we first played the game during our pre-teens or childhood.

Using FireRed as the base, the creator (linkandzelda) and his team of passionate developers transformed the game into what it is now: the art style is purposefully made slightly retro, the day/ night cycle returns, new events and characters have been added, and so much more!

The trainers are a bit harder to beat, though, but that adds to the realism of playing an old-school Pokemon game. Things weren’t so streamlined back in the day, and Pokemon Liquid Crystal is just a taste of them!

Good Stuff Nostalgic vibe (graphics, music, etc.) Dynamic weather Redone maps, sprites, and tiles New characters and events
Bad Stuff Outdated mechanics (faint from poison, etc.) Painstakingly slow Pokemon leveling (EXP gains fluctuate according to level difference) Tougher battles (higher-level NPCs, different move sets, etc.)

Conclusion

There you have it; the eight best Pokemon FireRed ROM hacks you might not have played before! Are there other entries that you believe deserve to be here? Share them in the comments section below!

If you’re also looking for Pokemon Emerald or Pokemon Platinum ROM hacks, make sure to check them out here at WhatIfGaming as well!

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By Amirul Annuar Writer
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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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