The Pokemon Company gives Sword, Shield, and Home hackers an ultimatum

People have been hacking Pokemon games since Red and Green first arrived on the scene in Japan back in 1996, and that remains true for Pokemon Sword and Shield – the two latest games in the series – and Pokemon Home, an application for Nintendo Switch and mobile devices that allows players to manage their Pokemon collections and trade with others. The Pokemon Company has decided to clamp down on hacking in Sword, Shield, and Home, recently publishing a notice that explains the actions it may take if it discovers players using "illegally modified data."The notice (as discovered by Eurogamer) was published the The Pokemon Company's Japanese site last week. In it, The Pokemon Company noted that playing Pokemon Sword and Shield or Pokemon Home using "illegally modified data," could result in restrictions on internet play in Sword and Shield or restrictions on the "exchange functions" Pokemon Home.

That bit about the exchange functions of Pokemon Home is a bit unclear, because it could mean a restriction on trading with other players or a restriction on transferring Pokemon from different games. Regardless of what, specifically, The Pokemon Company means by that, such a punishment would only apply to the smartphone version of Pokemon Home.

In some cases, The Pokemon Company says that it might even suspend access to Pokemon Home across the smartphone and Switch versions, and in those cases, it won't be issuing refunds on the subscription fee. So, if you don't want to have your access to online features in Sword and Shield or the functionality of Pokemon Home restricted, it's probably best to steer clear of hacked Pokemon – perhaps even if you weren't the one who hacked them yourself.

The Pokemon Company ends its notice by saying that it "will regularly monitor and respond to fraudulent and annoying acts so that our users can enjoy themselves with peace of mind." This will likely be a never-ending battle for The Pokemon Company, as hacked Pokemon make their way onto the Global Trade System with alarming frequency, but hopefully the company can quell the number of illegitimate Pokemon nevertheless.