The quest to "catch 'em all" has driven some Pokémon fans to band together and unlock an easy way to catch shiny, rare, and even some unreleased Pokémon. The hacking technique is known within the community as "injecting" and can be used to manipulate the game to do anything from obtaining a Shiny Pokémon to altering your avatar.
Even though Nintendo regularly gives away free Pokémon at events and with special download codes, it simply does not seem to be enough to satiate fans who are eager to complete their monster collections. Gamers on Reddit are using a third-party hacking program to create customized Pokémon. Then, they share their Frankenstein-esque creations with the community by generating a QR code that any player can use to inject the Pokémon into their own copy of the game. They are also using this system to give players access to Pokémon that have not been officially released, including Hoopa and Volcanion.
As an important note, these methods are a step above the typical glitch or exploit and should only be used at your own risk. Some players have reported game corruptions, and in some cases, attempting to obtain hacked Pokémon has bricked their games.
If you're ready to throw caution to the wind, to catch Pokémon via QR code all you need is a copy of Pokémon X, Y, Omega Ruby or Alpha Sapphire. Plus, an original Nintendo 3DS or 3DS XL. The "new" Nintendo 3DS XL will not work.
In your system's settings, clear the internet browser history and cookies. Then, start up your desired Pokémon game. Make sure your PC Box 1 is empty. Exit the PC. Then, on the 3DS, press the "Home" button. Open the 3DS Camera by pressing the L + R buttons. Scan the QR code for the desired Pokémon. After the link opens your browser will crash. Do not follow the prompts and return to the game instead. Open the PC and voila! You've successfully injected a Pokémon into your game.
What kinds of rare Pokemon has the Pokemon community made available via QR Code?
Those looking for an edge in competitive tournaments should also approach catching Pokémon with QR codes with caution. Players are responsible for the Pokémon and items in their teams. Any player found to have an illegal Pokémon in his or her party at a local, regional, or national tournament can expect to be disqualified. For this reason, Pokémon Organized Play recommends players only use items and Pokémon obtained first-hand through normal gameplay in tournaments.
The ethics of hacked Pokémon is hot debate topic within the trainer community. As the old saying goes, just because you can does not always mean you should. The QR codes are created via a hack that edits the game's RAM to place a Pokémon into the player's current game. Some would argue that, as a RAM hack, it only moves the game's available resources around (as opposed to a ROM hack, which actually edits, adds and removes core components of the game).
Even in offline or casual play, some purists are loathe to battle against anyone who uses cheats or hacks. The time and dedication it takes to catch and train Pokémon is nothing to sneeze at and is a source of gaming pride for many sincere players. Others are happy to trade and share their customizations, noting that strategy and tactics are what separate the masters from casual players. Before catching a bunch of these critters with QR codes, it might be a good idea to check where your Pokéfriends stand on the issue.
[Images courtesy of Nintendo]