Game Link Cable

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If you were looking for the item, see Mystery Dungeon evolutionary items → Link Cable.
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Reason: Pictures of official Game Link Cables for the GB, GBP, and GBC.

A Game Link cable (Japanese: 通信ケーブル link cable) is a cable used to transfer data between two Nintendo consoles, such as the Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance. They can also connect Game Boy consoles with other devices, including the Game Boy Camera and Game Boy Printer.

Two Game Boys connected with a Game Link cable

The Game Link cable was part of Satoshi Tajiri's original concept for the Pokémon games. He said early on that he imagined his creatures crawling through the cable from one game to another. With technological developments, including wireless technology, Game Link cables have become obsolete on newer consoles.


There are several types of Game Link cables, depending upon the model of Game Boy used. For instance, the original Game Boy Game Link cable had much larger ends than that of the Game Boy Pocket/Game Boy Color. Also, a Game Boy Color Game Link cable is not compatible with its Game Boy Advance equivalent.

The Game Boy micro uses another sized cable, so there has been some incompatibility among the different models over the years. Ideally, each player should have the same Game Boy model to prevent this issue. The Game Boy Advance and Game Boy Advance SP use the same Game Link cable. A Game Boy Color Game Link cable may be used with a Game Boy Advance, but it can only link Game Boy Color games, as Game Boy Advance games require more bandwidth.

Pokémon special editions

A special Game Boy Color Game Link cable was released with a box decorated with Pokémon; however, the cable itself was exactly the same as a regular cable.

A yellow Game Link cable featuring a Pikachu on each connector has also been released.


  This article is incomplete.
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Reason: Pokémon Puzzle Challenge, Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team

In the core series games

Players battling with Game Link cables at the Pokémon 2000 Stadium Tour

The Game Link Cable is the primary inter-game communication method in the Generation I, II, and III games. From Generation IV onward, the core series games have been released for game systems with built-in wireless communication, so this is used instead of a Game Link Cable.

Generations I and II

In the Generation I and II core series games, the Game Boy Game Link Cable is primarily used for communication between games at the Cable Club in Pokémon Centers. At the Cable Club, players can trade and battle with other games.

Additionally, the Game Link Cable is also used to connect games to the Game Boy Printer. Pokémon Yellow, Gold, Silver, and Crystal are compatible with the Game Boy Printer.

In the Virtual Console releases of these games, the Cable Club uses Nintendo 3DS wireless communications to simulate the Game Link Cable's functionality. The Game Boy Printer functionality is not available in these releases.

Generation III

Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, FireRed, and LeafGreen use the Game Boy Advance Game Link Cable for communication between games at the Pokémon Cable Club in Pokémon Centers. At the Pokémon Cable Club, players can trade and battle with other games. Two players can trade with each other or battle each other in a Single or Double Battle, while four players can battle together in a Multi Battle. In Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald, at the Pokémon Cable Club players can also mix records with up to three other players.

In Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald, the Game Link Cable can also be used at Contest Halls. Up to four players can use the Berry Blender together to make Pokéblocks. Ruby and Sapphire require four human players in order to participate in a contest, Emerald allows contests to be played with 2-4 players.

The Game Link Cable is used to connect the games to the e-Reader to receive data from Pokémon Battle e cards. In Japanese, the e-Reader is compatible with Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, FireRed, and LeafGreen; in English, it is only compatible with Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire; the e-Reader was not released in other languages.

Pokémon FireRed, LeafGreen, and Emerald are also compatible with the Wireless Adapter, which is bundled with Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen. This adapter allows all of the games' communication features that use the Game Link Cable to be conducted wirelessly instead; some communication features, such as the Union Room and Berry Crush, require the Wireless Adapter. However, because Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire are not compatible with the Wireless Adapter, all communications with these games require the Game Link Cable.

Pokémon Colosseum and Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness can trade with Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, FireRed, and LeafGreen via the Nintendo GameCube Game Boy Advance Game Link cable. They can also communicate with Pokémon Box Ruby & Sapphire to deposit and withdraw Pokémon.

Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, FireRed, and LeafGreen can receive event distributions via Game Link cable. In Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, these distributions are always sent directly to the player's party or received via trade; in Pokémon FireRed, LeafGreen, and Emerald, some distributions can be received via Mystery Gift. The Pokémon Colosseum Bonus Disc and the PAL region (Europe and Australia) version of the GameCube game Pokémon Channel can also send gift Pokémon via Game Link Cable.

The Game Link Cable can also be used to send the Berry Program Update to Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire. It can be sent from Pokémon FireRed, LeafGreen, Emerald, Colosseum, XD: Gale of Darkness, Channel (PAL region only), and Pokémon Box Ruby and Sapphire (non-Japanese versions only) as well as the Pokémon Colosseum Bonus Disc.

Trading Card Game series

The trading and battling component of spin-off games is not as prevalent as it is in the core series. In Pokémon Trading Card Game and Pokémon Trading Card Game 2: The Invasion of Team GR!, the Game Link cable is required for players to battle each other head-to-head. Players may also transfer cards and deck configurations by using the Game Boy Color's infrared port.

Pokémon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire

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Reason: Needs information about trading high scores.

In Pokémon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire, it's possible for two players to share the Pokédex to some extent by connecting their games via the Game Link Cable and then pressing Start at the Pokédex screen. This brings up a confirmation screen to finish this procedure. Once this is done, if either player has a captured Pokémon that the other player does not have, the name, image, and description of that Pokémon become visible to the latter player. However, the image of shared Pokémon is darkened and other information (category, height, weight, and description) is still not shown, indicating that the Pokémon was not captured yet. The category of that Pokémon is shown only if the Pokémon was seen by normal means. (that is, by attempting to capture or hatch a Pokémon but ultimately failing to do so or closing the game before doing so, which causes the Pokémon to count as "seen") This procedure does not affect the number of captured and seen Pokémon of either player. A Pokémon that was just seen (that is, not captured) in normal play or that is visible in the Pokédex just because of Pokédex sharing can't be shared with other players. This procedure works normally between games from different languages.


Sometimes, the Link Cable itself appears or is mentioned in the games.

Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire

In Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, during the Delta Episode, the scientists at the Mossdeep Space Center intend to use a device called the Link Cable to direct the destination of the wormhole they intend to open to take the meteor off of collision course with the planet.

Pokémon Legends: Arceus

In Pokémon Legends: Arceus, an item known as the Linking Cord can be used to evolve certain Pokémon that would otherwise require trading to evolve.

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series

In the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series, the Link Cable is an Evolution item that is used to evolve Pokémon that would normally require a trade to evolve.

Pokémon Pinball series

In Pokémon Pinball and Pokémon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire, the Link Cable is an in-game item used to evolve Pokémon that would normally require a trade to evolve. Like other methods of evolution in the Pinball series, the player gets three Link Cable symbols under the time limit in order to complete the evolution. Seadra and Clamperl do not need any other items to evolve.

The three Link Cable symbols can be used to evolve any of the Pokémon below. The Pokémon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire manual calls this method "Evolution by Transmission".

Evolves from Evolves into Pokémon Pinball Pokémon Pinball:
Ruby & Sapphire
Kadabra Alakazam
Machoke Machamp
Graveler Golem
Haunter Gengar
Seadra Kingdra
Clamperl Huntail


Link Cable sprite
from Pinball
Link Cable counter
from Pinball
Link Cable sprite
from Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire

In the manga

Pokémon Adventures

Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire arc

A device called Link Cable was first mentioned in Swampert Smashes, when Professor Cozmo explained that the dimensional shifter will create an entrance and an exit connected by Link Cable.

In Omega Alpha Adventure 21, the Link Cable was fitted on the Magma Suit and the Aqua Suit to teleport Ruby and Sapphire back to the ground once Grand Meteor Delta was destroyed. However, it ended up becoming nonfunctional once the life support system was destroyed by Organism No. 1.

In other media

Madoka Akagi with a Game Link Cable

Pack Your Pocket With Adventure

In PPA06, Madoka Akagi and Kageaki Hiyama used a Game Link Cable to battle each other on their Game Boy. Madoka eventually managed to win the match, despite Hiyama's strategies.

In other languages

Language Title
  French Câble Link (Game Boy)
  German Linkkabel (Zubehör)
  Italian Cavo Game Link
  Portuguese cabo Game Link

Communications media
Gen I Game Link CableTransfer Pak3DS Wireless (VC)
Gen II  Game Link CableInfraredTransfer Pak
Mobile Game Boy Adapter3DS Wireless (VC)
Gen III Game Link CableWireless AdapterDual-slot mode
Gen IV DS WirelessWi-FiDual-slot modeInfrared
Gen V DS WirelessWi-FiInfrared
Gen VI 3DS WirelessNintendo NetworkInfraredStreetPassSpotPass
Gen VII 3DS Wireless/Switch WirelessNintendo Network
InfraredNintendo Switch OnlineBluetooth
Gen VIII Switch WirelessNintendo Switch Online
Gen IX Switch WirelessNintendo Switch Online

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