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RNG Abuse - A Gentle Introduction


For years up until the release of Pokemon Emerald, trainers have been given the agonizing 1 in 8,192 chance of ever knowing what a shiny Pokemon looks like. Naturally, a trainer would become very excited when they find one, and hate themselves for the rest of their days if they have the misfortune of not catching it. Even worse, many times their prized shiny that they do manage to capture is nothing that a competitive Pokemon battler would consider 'usable' in competitive battling! Another problem up until Pokemon X and Y was the fact that getting a Pokemon with a good nature and very high IVs was extremely time-consuming - it would take hundreds if not thousands of game resets to get the Pokemon that you want. Through a new method, anybody can get almost any Pokemon - shiny or not, perfect IVs or not - they desire. With a bit of patience and practice of course! Even things as difficult as IV-breeding are to an extent relieved.

You have likely heard of RNG-abusing, watched a video or two about it, and still are completely confused on how it works. This guide is a complete spoonfeed of how to get nearly any shiny Pokemon you desire! Let's get started.

How does this all work?

When you start the game, there are two different pieces of data that the game looks at (more on this later). Normally these values are impossible to find, but with a special computer program, we can find out what they are. These pieces of data determine the IVs, nature, ability, gender and shininess of the Pokemon that you encounter or breed.

"RNG" stands for Random Number Generator. Computers can produce numbers on their own and from those random numbers, a computer program (in our example it's actually a Pokemon game) can do different things - in our situation it determines the information of Pokemon that you find. The results are supposed to be random, but when it gets right down to it, they are not! What this means is that the numbers are predictable, we can change them to what we want and we can get any IV / shininess / nature / ability combination on any Pokemon that we can encounter.


Before we go any further, there are a few terms that you MUST be familiar with.

  • Delay - You have probably already heard about this. The delay is the amount of time it takes the game to start (the black screen that you see before 95 - 2009 Nintendo Creatures Gamefreak) to when you actually hit A on the Continue option to start the game.

    Pokemon Platinum Delay

    When you see this screen, a timer inside the game starts and increments once per millisecond. When you hit Continue to continue your game, the timer stops. The result will be a number, which is the delay. It is typically at least 600 and it can go much higher by simply waiting at the Continue screen and not hitting A.

    It can be difficult to start the game at the correct time (which many refer to as "hitting your delay") because of how fast the "timer" increases. It's one of the more boring and difficult parts of RNG abusing, but it is very important.

    Delay is most important for RNGing with generation 4 games.

  • Calibrating - This is just a fancy word for finding out exactly how long it takes you to go from the "95 2009" screen to hitting Continue on your game's screen. A Nintendo DS with a normal Pokemon Diamond or Pearl game will take you 12 seconds to hit the Continue option if you hit A at the fastest time possible to skip the starting screens, which translates to a delay number of 627. Pokemon Platinum takes you 10 seconds.

  • Seed - Remember those "two different parts of data" that I mentioned earlier? One is the delay that you get, and the other is the Nintendo DS's system time, down to the second (for example, 12:44:04). When your game gets these two pieces of data, it makes a new number based on what they are. We refer to this new number as a Seed. Here's an example:

    We start a Pokemon Diamond game on January 11, 2014 at exactly 3:00:12 PM. By mashing A and starting the game as fast as possible, we hit the Continue option at exactly 3:00:24 PM (the 12 seconds we noted above about Diamond and Pearl). Because of human reaction time, you will likely not get 627 as your delay and instead get something higher - that's the FASTEST one can start the game. In this example's case we hit 639.

    The Pokemon Diamond game sees January 6, 2014 3:00:12 PM and the number 639, and from these two pieces of data, it spits out 1E0F028D, which is the seed.

    We refer to seeds as a hexadecimal value, which is why you see the letters E, F and D in that seed. You can read more about hexadecimal values online if you wish, but the important point here is whatever seed you get, it can only contain the numbers 0-9 and letters A-F in it.

  • Frame - Within each seed (there are literally hundreds of thousands of them), different IV spreads, Natures and ability data is stored. Each one sits on a frame. To get a Pokemon with that IV spread, nature and ability, the game must load that frame.

    Frame Seed boxes

    A good way to think about the relationship between seeds and frames is a huge warehouse of boxes that each have a set of long paper lists in them. Each box has a seed label on it, and there is a separate list for each possible method. When we open the box with "810B03E3" stamped on it, we find a stack of very very long paper lists. Let's say we started the game with the seed 810B03E3 loaded. The game will open that box and get the list. If you get the game to look at frame 1, the next Pokemon you find will be Modest with IVs of 31/31/0/3/3/14.

    Important: When you start the game and talk to a legendary, you will not start out on frame 0, as you may presume. What Pokemon you're encountering will determine what frame you start out on. Most legendaries start at 1, but some will start you off on frame 3, 4 or 5!

  • Advancing the Frame - In that picture, frame 7 looks awfully nice, doesn't it? A Bold Pokemon with those 31 IVs. The problem is when we start the game, we usually start on a frame between 1 and 5. To get to frame 7 and get that Bold Pokemon we have to make the game "go down the list". This is referred to as advancing the frame.

    To advance the frame in Pokemon Diamond, Pearl and Platinum, you have a few options.

    • When you flip to a Journal page that says you caught or defeated a Pokemon, the frame increases by 2.
    • When you move 126 steps, the frame advances by how many Pokemon you have in your party.
    • Throwing a fishing rod into the water and pulling it out advances the frame by +2

    In HeartGold and SoulSilver, it's not as easy.

    • Move 126 steps to add the amount of Pokemon in your party to the frame (Just like in DPPt)
    • Toggle to a radio station to advance the frame by +1.

  • Method - Each box has a list for each method. If you open your RNG reporter you will notice methods 1, 2, 3, J and K to name just a few. Each box in our analogy has a list for each method. Method J would have completely different nature and IV spreads for frame 1, 2 and 3 than what is listed in the picture. Using the correct method is very important, otherwise you will not get the right frame and when you go to catch the Pokemon, it will not have the nature and IVs that you want!

    Which method you should use depends on how you plan to catch the Pokemon. In Diamond, Pearl and Platinum, most stationary legendaries such as Heatran, Giratina and Azelf use Method J. Roamers like Mesprit and Cresselia typically use Method 1. If we have the game load seed 810B03E3 (aka "opening the box 810B03E3") and we move to frame 7 (aka "looking down the list to number 7"), we can get a Bold Cresselia with some pretty nice IVs, but if we tried to catch Heatran or produce an egg, we would get a completely different IV spread and Nature.

But we haven't answered the question yet - how does RNGing work?

What we do in RNG abuse is choose a target seed that we want the game to load, and force the game to load it (by starting the game at the right time). We then purposefully advance the frame to the one that we want (in the analogy, we make the game look at a certain numbered spread in its "paper list" of IV and nature spreads that it loaded). We deliberately start the Pokemon game at a specific time so that the game loads a certain seed (in the box example above, 810B03E3). Once we do that we purposefully made the game look at frame 7 so that the next Pokemon we find will be Bold with IVs of 31/0/31/31/31/31. We are no longer taking what the game randomly gives us, instead we are abusing the fact that the seed and delay that the Pokemon game loads are predictable and that we can make the game load whatever seed and frame we want.

But isn't that cheating?

It depends who you ask. RNG abusing does not require ANY extra hardware or cheats - you can RNG abuse with just a Nintendo DS and a Pokemon game. The game itself is producing the Pokemon info that you want, and with no artificial changes, so any Pokemon you get from RNG abusing cannot possibly show up as hacked. It's more like an exploit than a "cheat" - Pokemon games use a Pseudorandom Number Generator (like ALL computer software) to obtain numbers that SHOULD be random, but are actually predictable. Pokemon RNG abuse is how we get a certain IV spread, Nature, gender and shiny status by predicting how the game will work. Those are the facts; you are free to make your own conclusions on the legality of RNG abuse.

So How do I Do This?

Once you fully understand how the box analogy works, we can get started! The first thing to do is download the RNG Reporter program. We RNGers use this tool to find the seed that the Pokemon game makes and what frame the Pokemon we want is on. It is impossible to RNG abuse without this program!

To illustrate how everything works, we will be RNGing a Bold Cresselia with the best IVs we can get. Here is the basic jist of what we will do:

  • Find a seed that will give us a Bold Pokemon with IVs of 31/xx/31/31/31/31.
  • Set the Nintendo DS's time so that when we hit Continue, the time and delay that we get will be EXACTLY what it has to be so that the seed we want gets loaded.
  • Confirm that the correct seed was loaded.
  • Advance the frame so that when we talk to Cresselia, its Nature will be Bold and its IVs will be 31/xx/31/31/31/31
  • Catch the Cresselia to confirm that it has the nature and IVs we want
  • Squee in joy or release an evil laugh when we get the Cresselia that we want

What We Need

  • The coin flip app [If you are using Diamond, Pearl or Platinum]
  • A journal that has at least one page that has an entry of (Pokemon) was caught (Morning/Day/Night) or Defeated a (Male/Female) (Pokemon) [If you are using Diamond, Pearl or Platinum]. As we mentioned before, flipping to a page with this message advances the frame by +2. This is the fastest way to advance frames.
  • A certain team setup:

        -Two Chatots with custom Chatters recorded is the recommended setup. When you view Chatot's summary screen, it will advance the game's frame by 1 if it has a custom Chatter recorded. If that is not possible:
            -If you are using Diamond, Pearl or Platinum, an odd-numbered amount of team members. When we walk 128 steps in any generation 4 game, the frame will advance by however many Pokemon are in our party. Viewing the summary of a Chatot with a custom chatter recording advances the frame by 1.

        This will ensure that no matter what frame your target Pokemon appears on, you can get to it. Journal flips add +2, so any Pokemon that would appear on an odd-numbered frame would be impossible to encounter!

        -If you are using HeartGold or SoulSilver AND you cannot use your Radio where you plan to RNG (Whirl Islands, etc.), an amount of Pokemon that is a multiple of the frame you want
  • The ability to call Prof. Elm (If you are playing HeartGold or SoulSilver) is very helpful. Unfortunately this isn't possible in all circumstances, such as when you are RNGing Lugia.

Next just click the type of Pokemon that you want to RNG and we can get started!

I want to RNG....


Common Problems

I get a seed but when I advance the frames, the hatched Pokemon isn't shiny, and it has the wrong Nature!
-This happens when you somehow advanced the RNG somewhere between catching the wild Pokemon and talking to the Day-care man. Do not talk to anybody in the game other than the breeding man / woman. If you are using an Action Replay to immediately produce an egg, DO NOT use the egg producing code until you are one step away from the day-care man. Make sure that the app BEFORE the happiness app is set on your Poketch.

Resources and Help

Quick Egg Hatching Action Replay Code for Diamond and Pearl

IV Check Action Replay Code for Diamond and Pearl
When opening up a Pokemon's stat screen, hold Select and Start. The Pokemon should bounce like an egg and its cry should not play. Then exit the Pokemon menu and go into your TM bag. The first 6 TMs will list the Pokemon's IVs in order of HP/Atk/Def/Speed/Special Attack/Special Defense. If a TM disappears, it means that stat is 0. If that happens and you still need to know other IVs, first check another party Pokemon's IVs (to give you back the TMs you had), give a Pokemon a TM that is AFTER the first six, check the target Pokemon's IVs again, and then remove the TM from the holding Pokemon. This will show the rest of the IVs from where the others were cut off.

Quick Breeding Action Replay Code for Diamond and Pearl
Hit L + R to instantly produce an egg. Remember to NOT use this before you are one step in front of the old man, or you will get the wrong frame!

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