In Pokemon, cheating is huge. And it’s a very sensitive topic. On one side, you see people saying that it devalues the game, and on the other, you see people making excuses for it because that’s what they do. Being someone who plays Pokemon, I have an opinion of cheating, and it’s not really favorable.
If you hack your games but don’t connect to online competitions or trade online, then this might not apply to you, because what you’re doing doesn’t really have an impact on online competitions or what people get in trades. If you’re ruining the game for anyone, it would only be yourself, but you probably have your own reasons for doing what you do. It’s not like you’re trying to trick anyone into thinking you’re putting a lot of effort forward or using illegitimate means to gain a competitive advantage. Competitive cheaters, on the other hand, are different.
Most people don’t need an explanation of just how obvious it is that when a competitive environment is governed by rules and regulations, when participants circumvent or attempt to defeat those rules in an attempt to gain a competitive advantage for themselves, that’s unfair for those of us who played by the rules. Such cheating isn’t just defiant to the established rules of the competition, it disrespects the efforts of those who play by the rules.
Therefore, when a Pokemon video game competition forbids pokemon or save files that have been obtained or modified with an external device or outside normal gameplay, to enter such pokemon or games with such save files into competitions would be considered cheating. Obvious.
So obvious, in fact, that it can be quite surprising how far cheaters go to insist that they’re not cheating.
Of course, they don’t want to be called cheaters. That’s a very unpleasant-sounding word. It implies what they pretty-much do. So you’ll see some of them try pretty hard to explain why they think that what they’re doing isn’t cheating. Similarly, people who lie don’t like being called liars, even though that’s what they’re going. If they’re outed, they lose the advantage that they’d gain from their cover-up.
In some cases, you might hear something like: “It’s not like I’m giving myself something unobtainable. I’m just saving myself a little time.” Is that so? So then, if you make yourself the finest set of competitive battling pokemon that you could
raise Xerox, buy a plane ticket and travel to some place like Vancouver so you can participate in Worlds, then get banned from the competition and are turned away, how much time did you actually save? You could have instead bred and raised a team of six competitively-viable pokemon from eggs in just a few hours each to save yourself from being humiliated in front of a bunch of other Pokemon players that don’t even want to look at a cheater.
Yes, obtaining competitively-viable pokemon is easier in the sixth gen games than it ever has been. It only took me a few hours to hatch a 5IV (except SpA) Torchic with Speed Boost and an Adamant nature. Even if it only takes a few hours, hatching a competitively viable pokemon from an egg is a rewarding experience. In sixth gen, it’s so easy to get wild pokemon with high IVs thanks to things such as Friend Safari in XY or Dexnav in ORAS, and use items like Destiny Knot and Everstone so natures and stats are passed on with breeding. Then there’s the fact that pokemon generated in the sixth gen that are in the Undiscovered egg group have a guaranteed 31 in at least three of it’s IVs, which includes legendary pokemon. If someone still cheats up pokemon for themselves just to have some that are competitively viable, just how lazy are they?
Some cheaters complain that if they have to play fair, then they’d be at a disadvantage compared to players that put more time into the game. That actually sounds like an opportunity to learn a life lesson. If someone puts more time into something, then they’re more likely to be better at it. Professional athletes spend hours most days of the week conditioning themselves so they’d perform well when it comes time to play. A student who studies for an hour every school day is more likely to do better in exams. If you think it would be fun to raise pokemon, you’d spend time doing it. If Pokemon is your favorite game, then why not play it?
Cheating has become so widespread, that some players have felt justified in doing so because there are so many other players that do it. That’s some faulty reasoning. If a player is one of the thousands that might be turned away from a single event for bringing a cheated pokemon, they’ve still been turned away. Some that cheat might be getting away with it because they are using a hacked pokemon that can pass the checks. But that doesn’t make that pokemon legit, it means that the player discovered a way to get around the system.
It might seem like I’m explaining why cheating is wrong to a bunch of kids. I remember seeing numbers representing disqualifications for a single competition by division, and the highest number of disqualifications was for the Masters division, which represents the oldest Pokemon players, with over a thousand disqualifications. It might be that the numbers were skewed more towards the Masters division because there may have been more participants in that division. However, that’s a huge number of grown-ups turned away for cheating that should have known better. Considering that Pokemon has what is easily the biggest eugenics simulator that gaming has to offer, one would think that grown-ups would be more interested in learning the rules so that they don’t come off as unfit.
I posted a couple days ago that stricter hack checks are going to be implemented for Rating Battles and Battle Competitions. It wouldn’t be surprising if the same checks would be in place for Worlds this year. Depending on how strict these checks are, there might be quite a bit of drama from players that are sent home because they were found to have something ineligible in their party.