Last modified on 5 February 2015, at 02:14

Game freeze

Freezing redirects here. For the status condition, see Freeze (status condition).

A Generation I game freezing

A game freeze occurs when the data completely stops flowing to the system, thus causing the game to lock up. During a game freeze, the player cannot move, speak to other characters, select an object, or use any buttons. The only way to escape a game freeze is to simply turn the power off and restart the game from the player's last save file.


Game freezes can occur due to the lack of information input into the game, such as when walking out of the boundaries of an area. They also occur when performing glitches such as the Mew glitch incorrectly. Older cartridges and systems are also more prone to freezing than newer ones.

The most common cause of a game freeze is the game being given too many tasks at once. For instance, there is a higher probability of the game freezing when the player tries tweaking.

Incorrect cheat codes used on cheating devices such as Action Replay or GameShark can result in game freezes. On rare occasions, incorrect cheats may possibly render the save file unplayable and permanently damaged.

Game freezes are often accompanied by an odd buzzing sound; however, sometimes the normal music for wherever the player was before the game froze can be heard. Frequently, a loop or constant replay of whatever sound was being played prior to the freeze will be played. Sometimes, a freeze will play no sound, even if there was a sound being played before the freeze. In very rare cases, the music (and not the remaining sounds) can be the only thing to freeze, leaving the game still playable. Sometimes game freezes are accompanied by garbled sprites or various vertical lines.

The game may occasionally freeze while playing some copies of Ruby and Sapphire when a player's Pokémon uses Thunderbolt or Thunder, or when fleeing from a wild Pokémon; however, cases of the glitch actually occurring are exceedingly rare. The problems caused by the glitch occurring can be rectified by turning off the battle effects. The moves only cause a temporary repeat of the sound, and it will go away if the Pokémon taking the damage is defeated.

The game may also freeze if it is dropped, hit by any major force, has a dirty game cartridge/card, has been physically removed from the slot, or even if it is played on a faulty system (such as a Game Boy Color with low battery level). Game freezes are not limited to handheld systems, and it is possible for some home consoles to freeze up during gameplay.


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Certain glitches do not cause the game to outright crash ('hard' lock), but rather make it so that no buttons have any effect even though the game continues to function in other ways. Examples of this include the music still being played, sprites still being animated and NPCs continuing to move. All inputs do not work and the player must reset the game.

In Generation I

  • In Generation I, a level 1 Pokémon or a level 171 using Psywave will cause the game to softlock. The level 0 soft lock occurs as the game attempts to generate a random number between 0 and 1.5 × the user's level (rounded down). No such number exists (floor 1×1.5 is still 1), preventing the game from continuing. [1]
  • Glitch experience groups with an equation that involves a division by 0 can cause a soft lock for a glitch Pokémon that uses it[2] after:
    • Capturing it.
    • Leveling it up.
    • Viewing the first page of its summary if it is not level 100.
    • Withdrawing it from a box.
    • Winning a battle with it gaining experience.
    • Talking to the Pokémon Day Care man after the Pokémon was stored there.

The Pokémon Yellow glitch Pokémon 4(h4? (hex:ED) uses the glitch hex:FF experience group with a division of 0 in its current experience equation so it is affected by the glitch.[3][4]

As the path the person walks is dependent on the side the player talks to him from, the game attempts to look up a path based on the player's coordinates. Specifically, the game looks in the memory and tries find the coordinates (y=16, x=36 or hex:10 24) at an address ending in 2, 6, A or E. It then executes a path based on a two byte pointer following the coordinates, but the game may seemingly never find the coordinates at an applicable address and soft lock.


  1. Level 1 and level 171 Psywave infinite loop video by Crystal_.
  2. Glitch City Laboratories post by Torchickens regarding glitch Pokémon experience groups.
  3. Glitch City Laboratories forums, post by TheZZAZZGlitch.
  4. 4(h4? causing the lock-up.

Cloning glitchesGlitch PokémonGlitch types
Generation I: --0 ERRORCable Club escape glitchError codesExperience underflow glitchGlitch CityGlitch dimension
Glitch movesGlitch TrainersItem duplication glitchJohto guard glitchMew glitchOld man glitchPewter Gym skip glitch
Pokémon merge glitchRhydon glitchSelect glitches (dokokashira door glitch, second type glitch)
Super GlitchZZAZZ glitch
Generation II: Celebi Egg glitchCoin Case glitchesError codesExperience underflow glitchGlitch Egg
Johto guard glitchSketch glitchTeru-samaTrainer House glitchGlitch dimension
Generation III: Berry glitchDive glitchPomeg glitch
Generation IV: Acid rainGlobal Terminal glitchesMimic glitch
Pomeg glitchRage glitchSurf glitchTweaking
Generation V: Sky Drop glitchFrozen Zoroark glitch
Generation VI: Lumiose City save glitch
Glitch effects: Game freezeGlitch battleGlitch song
Gens I/II only: Japanese characters in the international versions
Gen I only: Glitch screenTMTRAINER effectInverted sprites
Gen II only: Glitch dimension
Lists: Glitch movesGlitch types
Glitch Pokémon (Gen IGen IIGen IIIGen IVGen VGen VI)
Glitches (Gen IGen IIGen IIIGen IVGen VGen VISpin-off)

Project GlitchDex logo.png This article is part of Project GlitchDex, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on glitches in the Pokémon games.