Game freeze

(Redirected from Game crash)
Freezing redirects here. For the status condition, see Freeze (status condition).

A game freeze is an event where a game stops responding to player input as a result of a game glitch or hardware failure. 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.

A Generation I game freezing


Game freezes can occur due to invalid or unrelated information being 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 corrupted.

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). A Game Boy Advance Pokémon game may freeze if the GBA itself is shocked by static electricity. Game freezes are not limited to handheld systems, and it is possible for some home consoles to freeze up during gameplay. Games on modern consoles may show an error message and then quit, instead of showing a frozen screen and looping or frozen sound effects.

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, various vertical lines and other scrambled graphics pixels and/or tiles.

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.


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Certain glitches do not cause the game to completely freeze, but rather make it so that no buttons have any effect despite the game continuing to function in other ways. Examples of this include the music still being played, sprites still being animated, and NPCs continuing to move. During such a "softlock," all inputs fail to work and the player must reset the game. However, the game can still be soft reset.

In Generation I

  • In Generation I, a level 1 or 171 Pokémon using Psywave will cause the game to softlock. The level 1 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. Similarly, 1.5 × 171 = 256 (0x0100), but because the game only retains the least significant byte, it treats the product as 0.[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.
  • Using the Mew glitch incorrectly (Not making the second Trainer move)
  • Another division by 0 glitch is caused while battling another Pokémon. If the attacker's Attack or Special stat is higher than 255 and the defender's Defense or Special stat, respectively, is lower than 4, or if the defender's current Defense or Special stat is 512 or 513 and the defender has used Reflect or Light Screen. Also if its current Defense or Special stat is 514 or higher when Reflect or Light Screen, respectively, is up, it will be treated as if it was much lower due to a roll-over glitch.
  • 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]
  • The Pewter Gym skip glitch allows the player to bypass the person blocking the path out of Pewter City prior to defeating Brock and then talk to him from the right side, an action the developers did not anticipate. 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.
  • The glitch Pokémon 9 will softlock while being sent out by the player.

In Generation IV

  • Performing the tweaking glitch can sometimes trigger a softlock or a game freeze.
  • When accessing the Void through either tweaking or the Surf glitch, if executed improperly it is possible to become trapped and unable to escape.
    • This also occurs when reloading the map over areas with water if the player hasn't obtained Surf and/or Fly.

In Generation VI

Main article: Lumiose City save glitch
  • When saving in the North and South Boulevards of Lumiose City, the game may become unresponsive when it is reloaded. Some textures will not load properly and it is impossible to move or use the touchscreen even though the background music still plays normally. This is fixed in version 1.1.

In Generation IX

"Bar freeze"

A "bar freeze" is caused when a "rst 38" instruction is run in Generation I. Most of the RAM is corrupted during this freeze with all accessible memory bytes being replaced with a "00 39" pattern. As a result of overwriting the VRAM with this pattern, vertical bar patterns appear on the screen for a split second before the screen turns blank, giving the name "bar freeze". This also corrupts SRAM which can damage the save data if SRAM was enabled. If the game was in SRAM bank 0 the Hall of Fame data will be corrupted, replacing the Pokémon in the Hall of Fame with level 57 Glitch Pokémon. If the game was in SRAM bank 1 the Continue option will disappear from the main menu without a "The save data was destroyed!" message showing up. If the game was in SRAM bank 2 or 3 Pokémon in boxes 1-6 or 7-12 respectively in the Pokémon Storage System, excluding Pokémon in the currently selected box, will be deleted.

In Generation II, a similar freeze is caused when a "rst 38" instruction is run. Bars will appear for a split second and then disappear. Like in Generation I most of the RAM is corrupted during this freeze, including SRAM, but SRAM is not damaged in Pokémon Crystal Version. If the game was in SRAM bank 1 the game will show "The save file is corrupted" error message when attempting to continue if there was a saved game. If the game was in SRAM bank 2 or 3 boxes 1-7 or 8-14 respectively of the Pokémon Storage System will be corrupted and the only Pokémon in each of these boxes will be a level 57 Primeape Glitch Pokémon.


Transform glitchesGlitch TrainersCloning glitchesError messagesArbitrary code execution
Generation I GlitchesBattle glitchesOverworld glitches
--0 ERRORBroken hidden itemsCable Club escape glitchDual-type damage misinformation
Experience underflow glitchFight Safari Zone Pokémon trickGlitch CityItem duplication glitchItem underflow
Mew glitchOld man glitchPewter Gym skip glitchPokémon merge glitchRhydon glitchRival twins glitch
Select glitches (dokokashira door glitch, second type glitch) • Super Glitch
Time Capsule exploitWalking through wallsZZAZZ glitch
Generation II GlitchesBattle glitches
Bug-Catching Contest glitchCelebi Egg glitchCoin Case glitchesExperience underflow glitch
Glitch dimensionGlitch EggTeru-samaTime Capsule exploitTrainer House glitchesGS Ball mail glitch
Generation III GlitchesBattle glitchesOverworld glitches
Berry glitchDive glitchPomeg glitchGlitzer Popping
Generation IV GlitchesBattle glitchesOverworld glitches
Acid rainGTS glitchesPomeg glitchRage glitch
Surf glitchTweakingPal Park Retire glitch
Generation V GlitchesBattle glitchesOverworld glitches
Charge Beam additional effect chance glitchCharge move replacement glitchChoice item lock glitch
Frozen Zoroark glitchSky Drop glitch
Generation VI GlitchesBattle glitchesOverworld glitches
Charge Beam additional effect chance glitchCharge move replacement glitchChoice item lock glitch
Lumiose City save glitchSymbiosis Eject Button glitchToxic sure-hit glitch
Generation VII GlitchesBattle glitches
Charge Beam additional effect chance glitchCharge move replacement glitchChoice item lock glitch
Toxic sure-hit glitchRollout storage glitch
Generation VIII Glitches
Charge Beam additional effect chance glitchCharge move replacement glitchChoice item lock glitch
Toxic sure-hit glitchRollout storage glitchParty item offset glitch
Generation IX Glitches
Glitch effects Game freezeGlitch battleGlitch song
Gen I only: Glitch screenTMTRAINER effectInverted sprite
Gen II only: Glitch dimension
Lists Glitches (GOMystery DungeonTCG GBSpin-off)
Glitch Pokémon (Gen IGen IIGen IIIGen IVGen VGen VIGen VIIGen VIII)
Glitch moves (Gen I) • Glitch types (Gen IGen II)

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