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Encountering the glitch Pokémon ゥL ゥM 4 by using the Mew glitch

A glitch, also known as bug, is a software error that can lead to unintended behavior in software like the Pokémon games. It can be triggered from mistakes within the game's code or by exploits that were not anticipated by the programmers, thus causing the game to react unexpectedly. Glitches present in Pokémon games can have a variety of effects, such as the disruption of graphics or audio effects, the appearance of glitch Pokémon, the corruption of save data, or a game freeze where the game must be restarted to continue.

When noticed, glitches may be fixed by its developers in later releases of a game or derivative games. In some games, such as Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire and Pokémon X and Y, patches are released that fix glitches in Pokémon games directly.


Glitch Pokémon

Main article: Glitch Pokémon

Glitch Pokémon are caused by glitches that have the game erroneously read placeholder data or non-Pokémon data as Pokémon data. Although many glitch Pokémon draw all their characteristics from data intended to be used elsewhere, some glitch Pokémon may have partially defined characteristics that are not intended to be accessed in-game: for example, in the case of MissingNo., its name is well-defined, but its base stats are read from data intended to represent the parties of several Bikers.

Glitch moves

Main article: List of glitch moves

A glitch move is a move not intended to be part of the game, but accessible via glitches or cheating devices. While some glitch moves have no effect whatsoever, others may cause the game to freeze when attempting to perform them.

Usually, only glitch Pokémon will learn glitch moves. However, Ditto can be taught the glitch move -- by a glitch in Generation I. Additionally, another glitch present in the Time Capsule allows Pokémon that evolve by trading to be taught several glitch moves.

Glitch types

Main article: List of glitch types

Glitch types are types that are solely used for glitch Pokémon or glitch moves. The Bird type is a leftover type thought to be a beta version of the Flying-type. All other glitch types are caused by erroneously reading other data as a type. Unlike regular types, glitch types often do not have any weaknesses, resistances, or immunities.

Glitch locations

There are several glitch locations which can only be reached by means of glitches or hacks. One of the most well known glitch locations is Glitch City. Several glitch locations part of the Sevii Islands are retrievable by their index number pointers and do not have any other data; only Sevii Isles 8 and 9 have actual map data. There are also other beta locations such as an unused Safari Zone in Generation II.

Glitch items

Main article: List of unobtainable items

Placeholder items are often intentionally left in the game's code to prevent the game from crashing if the data is accessed, but without the intention to be accessible in-game. Placeholder items, such as the Teru-sama item in Generation II, often appear at the end of the games' internal item lists.

Placeholder items may become regular items in later games of a generation: The GS Ball, Clear Bell, and Egg Ticket, which only appear in Pokémon Crystal, are programmed into the games' internal lists in places of Teru-sama items in Pokémon Gold and Silver; if a corresponding Teru-sama is held by a Pokémon in those games, it will transform when being traded to Crystal.

Glitch items that will become regular items in a later game appear in Generation II and Generation IV. In Generation III, all items introduced in Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen or Pokémon Emerald are stored in a section of the internal item list that is not accessible in an earlier game. Except for the Griseous Orb (which replaces a glitch item from Pokémon Diamond and Pearl), the same holds for all items introduced in Pokémon Platinum and Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, as well as for all items introduced in games of a later generation.

Glitch Trainers

Main article: Glitch Trainer

Glitch Trainers exist in Generation I and Generation II. They result from the game erroneously reading Trainer or party information from game code that is supposed to contain other information.

Glitch characters

In Generation I and Generation II, invalid values being interpreted as text (common in the names of glitch Pokémon and items) can cause portions of graphical assets, such as overworld tiles or HP bars, to be displayed as text.

See also

Cloning glitchesGlitch PokémonGlitch Trainers
Error messagesArbitrary code execution
Generation I: --0 ERRORBroken hidden itemsCable Club escape glitchExperience underflow glitch
Fight Safari Zone Pokémon trickGlitch CityItem duplication glitchItem underflowMew glitch
Old man glitchPewter Gym skip glitchPokémon merge glitchRhydon glitch
Select glitches (dokokashira door glitch, second type glitch) • Super GlitchTime Capsule exploitZZAZZ glitch
Generation II: Bug-Catching Contest data copy glitchCelebi Egg glitchCoin Case glitchesExperience underflow glitch
Glitch dimensionGlitch EggSketch glitchTeru-samaTime Capsule exploitTrainer House glitchesGS Ball mail glitch
Generation III: Berry glitchDive glitchPomeg glitchGlitzer Popping
Generation IV: Acid rainGTS glitchesMimic glitch
Pomeg glitchRage glitchSurf glitchTweakingPal Park Retire glitch
Generation V: Sky Drop glitchFrozen Zoroark glitchChoice item lock glitchCharge move replacement glitch
Generation VI: Lumiose City save glitchSymbiosis Eject Button glitchChoice item lock glitchCharge move replacement glitch
Generation VII: Choice item lock glitchCharge move replacement glitch
Generation VIII: Charge move replacement glitch
Glitch effects: Game freezeGlitch battleGlitch song
Gen I only: Glitch screenTMTRAINER effectInverted sprites
Gen II only: Glitch dimension
Lists: Glitch movesGlitch types
Glitch Pokémon (Gen IGen IIGen IIIGen IVGen VGen VIGen VIIGen VIII)
Glitches (Gen IGen IIGen IIIGen IVGen VGen VIGen VIIGen VIIISpin-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.