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Brilliant Diamond And Shining Pearl Crack Down On ‘Illicit’ Clone Pokémon

BDSP devs try to stop the spread of fake monsters on the popular Switch game months after launch

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Pokemon BDSP trainers have a picnic with their Pokemon.
Image: The Pokémon Company

Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl had a ton of glitches when they came out. Some were funny, most were harmless, but a few made it extremely easy for players to clone rare and powerful Pokémon en masse. It was an absolute feeding frenzy. Now the developers behind the Gen 4 remakes are fighting back with a new line of code that blocks players from trading or battling with their duped Pokémon.

Patch Ver. 1.2.0 went live last night, adding Colosseum battles and expanded Union Room functionality. But Nintendo’s vague patch notes also pointed to an important gameplay change. “Some Pokémon acquired via unintended methods or illicit modification now cannot be used in Link Trades or Link Battles,” they read.


According to Pokémon datamine expert Kaphotics, this was achieved by way of a “PokeDupeChecker,” that looks at every Pokémon a player owns and flags suspected clones. “When is this clone check triggered? Opening the trade window with another player, or loading into the game” he wrote on Twitter. Kaphotics also noted that the checker only flags the second clone, leaving players free to trade and battle with their originals.

Players started noticing the change shortly after it went live and were confused when large parts of their squad had a big banned sign over them.

A screenshot shows a Reddit post of someone waking up to their Pokemon being banned.
Screenshot: The Pokemon Company / Accomplished_Drag550 / Kotaku (Fair Use)

Unlike traditional “hacked” Pokémon, clones using BDSP’s duplication glitches are exact copies of naturally occurring Pokémon. The only marker of their being “illicit” is if they perfectly match other Pokémon the player already owns. As such, the move seems designed to stop the spread of more clones by locking existing ones to the game card they currently exist on.


It’s already been months since the mass cloning glitches were discovered, so in some ways the damage has already been done. Still, the new PokeDupeChecker will help mitigate the effects for new and returning players. This is Pokémon we’re talking about though, so players are obviously split over the new patch, with some happy to see Game Freak and ILCA finally take action, while others saw the clones as fun wrinkle in an otherwise underwhelming paint-by-the-numbers pair of remakes.

As far as timing, the patch is likely coming out now to pave the way for the Global Wonder Station fans have been eagerly waiting for. The original version in the DS games included an auction trading house, but players are hoping the revamped area will contain some new surprises. The Sinnoh region location has been “under construction” since launch.