Character encoding

Character encoding refers to how text is stored in the Pokémon games.

In the core series games

Generations I to IV

Main article: Character encoding (Generation I)
Main article: Character encoding (Generation II)
Main article: Character encoding (Generation III)
Main article: Character encoding (Generation IV)

The core series games from Generation I to IV use proprietary character encodings. Each generation has its own set of character encodings. The encodings used in Generation I and II are similar to each other, with other largely different encodings used in Generation III and IV.

Prior to Generation IV, the character encodings are different according to the game language, although the Western language games of the same generation typically have very similar encodings to each other. The Korean version of Pokémon Gold and Silver uses its own character encoding. In Generation IV, there is a single proprietary character encoding containing all the needed characters to be used by all languages.

Generation V onwards

Main article: Character encoding (Generation V–present)

From Generation V onwards, the core series Pokémon games use the UTF-16 character encoding.

In the side series games

Pokémon Stadium series

In the Pokémon Stadium series, the Western games use an ASCII-based encoding. However, in the American English version, the character "é" is encoded as 0x60 (ASCII for @).

The Japanese games use the EUC-JP character encoding.

In the spin-off games

  This section is incomplete.
Please feel free to edit this section to add missing information and complete it.
Reason: Explain the character encodings of all spin-off games in all languages

Hey You, Pikachu!

The English version of Hey You, Pikachu! uses an ASCII-based character encoding. However, the "é" character is encoded as the two-byte 0xA1AD.

The Japanese version uses the EUC-JP character encoding.

Pokémon Pinball

The Japanese version of Pokémon Pinball uses the Shift-JIS character encoding.

Pokémon Trading Card Game series

Main article: Character encoding (TCG GB)

Pokémon Trading Card Game and Trading Card Game 2: The Invasion of Team GR! use proprietary character encodings.

The Western languages of the first game use an ASCII-based encoding. In the American English version, the text stored in the game data uses both uppercase and lowercase letters but they are all equally displayed as all-caps during gameplay. Conversely, the European English and other European languages have the text both stored and displayed in all-caps.

The Japanese versions of both games include a full set of kanji in their character encodings. They were the first Japanese Pokémon games to have kanji regularly used in the dialogue.

Pokémon Puzzle Challenge

In the American English version of Pokémon Puzzle Challenge, the Latin letters are encoded as ASCII with an offset of -1. For instance, "Grass" in ASCII would be 0x4772617373, but this word is encoded in this game as 0x4671607272 (equivalent to ASCII: Fq@rr).

Pokémon Tetris

The European versions of Pokémon Tetris use an ASCII-based character encoding. Special characters include:

  • ♀ is encoded as 0x2526 (equivalent to ASCII: %&)
  • ♂ is encoded as 0x2324 (equivalent to ASCII: #$)


Data structure in the Pokémon games
General Character encoding
Generation I Pokémon speciesPokémonPoké MartCharacter encodingSave
Generation II Pokémon speciesPokémonTrainerCharacter encoding (Korean) • Save
Generation III Pokémon species (Pokémon evolutionPokédexType chart)
Pokémon (substructures) • MoveContestContest moveItem
Trainer TowerBattle FrontierCharacter encodingSave
Generation IV Pokémon species (Pokémon evolutionLearnsets)
PokémonSaveCharacter encoding
Generation V–present Character encoding
Generation VIII Save
TCG GB and GB2 Character encoding


  This data structure article is part of Project Games, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on the Pokémon games.