Game FAQs

Game FAQs 2023-03-23

Pokémon Essentials Version
Non-applicable
Hello! If you've been linked here, your question is something that comes up frequently enough in the community to get put on this FAQ page! No hard feelings for asking it - nobody starts off knowing everything, after all! It's just a little easier to have one place to link people to rather than repeat an answer!

The only section that will be relevant to you is FAQs about Pokémon Essentials games- everything else here is to help developers build a specific FAQ for their own game!
Hello! This is a resource meant to give you a starting point for FAQs!

At the top of this is Essentials-based FAQs, stuff that's generally the same across every game. Please note that pretty much every question could have an alternate answer. (You might have changed where the save is located, updates might have changed save compatibility, etc.) If you're linking a player here, make sure the answers here are correct for your game, or clarify which questions are different.

Below those questions are some common game-specific FAQs - you can be sure they'll come up a lot, but the answers are game-specific, so I can't exactly write them all on one post. This is just there as a nice list you can copy+paste and fill out for yourself, then post on your thread/discord server/etc.

Further down below that is a discussion about what to do when unique FAQs start coming up - what that can say about certain elements in your game, and what you can do to keep them from being asked so often!

FAQs about Pokémon Essentials games​

Q: What emulator do I use to play this?
A: This is not a ROM hack, it’s a fangame made with RPG Maker XP and Pokémon Essentials. It doesn’t use an emulator, it runs its own .exe. RMXP was designed to played on Windows systems, but you may have some luck trying to run this on Linux systems with WINE, or on Android devices with JoiPlay.

For more information, see
Q: Do I need the (game name) resource pack?
A: No. Resource packs are just collections of game assets that were made public for other developers to use. Developers release them with games that they enter in our community's Game Jams. You don't need to download the resource pack, all the assets should be in the regular download link.

Q: How do I install the fonts?
A: Evan has a tutorial for this here!

Q: When will this be released/updated/finished?
Fangame development is done by hobbyists for free. Because of that, fangames don't have development schedules like professional games, and they don't really have any reason to hold off on releasing a product when it's done. Some developers will give estimates if they feel confident they can get something done in a certain amount of time, but otherwise, the only answer to "When is this fangame going to come out?" is "Whenever it's finished."

Q: How do I update without losing my save file?
Your saved game is located in a separate folder from the game itself. You don’t need to do anything to transfer it, just download the new version.

For more information, see How to update a Pokémon fan game as a player.

Q: Where is my save file located?
A: If the game uses Essentials v19 or later, it should be in C:\Users\(Your name)\AppData\Roaming\(Game name)
(AppData may be hidden at first - see here for showing hidden folders on Windows)

On macOS, it's in $HOME/Application Support/(Game name), and on Linux, it's in $HOME/.local/share/(Game name). (Thanks to Riley for getting these!)


If the game uses Essentials v18 or earlier, it should be in C:\Users\(Your name)\Saved Games\(Game name)

Q: What are the controls for this game?

If the game uses Essentials v19 or later, you can press F1 to open the keybind menu.

  • Arrow keys - movement
  • C/Enter/Space bar - Confirm/interact
  • X/Esc - Cancel, hold to run/walk (whichever isn't the default movement in options)
  • Z/Shift - Open the menu, used as the Special key in other functions
  • F8 - Takes a screenshot, stored in the same folder as the save file
  • D - Open the ready menu (field moves and registered items)
  • F12 - Soft reset
  • Arrow keys - movement
  • C/Enter/Space bar - Confirm/interact
  • X/Esc - Cancel, open the menu in the overworld
  • Z/Shift - Hold to run/walk (whichever isn't the default movement in options), used as the Special key in other functions
  • F8 - Takes a screenshot, stored in the same folder as the save file
  • D - Open the ready menu (field moves and registered items)
  • F12 - Soft reset
  • Arrow keys - movement
  • C/Enter/Space bar - Confirm/interact
  • X/Esc - Cancel/open menu
  • Z/Shift - Hold to run/toggle running (depending on options), used as the Special key in other functions
  • F8 - Takes a screenshot, stored in the same folder as the save file
  • F/Tab/F5 - Open the ready menu (field moves and registered items)
  • F12 - Soft reset

Q: Can I play with a controller?
A: Essentials v18 and earlier doesn't have native controller support, but the app JoyToKey can be used to map controller input. Essentials v19 and later should be able to reconfigure controls with the F1 button to use controller input.


Q: My game keeps scrolling to the top/bottom of menus!/My game won't let me type anything in the naming screen!
Pre-v19 versions of Essentials tend to have this problem when you click out of the game window to do something else and come back. The game thinks you're still holding onto a key, usually a letter ley, and behaves accordingly. (The A/S keys also work as PgUp/PgDown keys, so that's why this can happen even when your arrow keys work fine) Try pressing the key that's being repeated so the game registers it's not being held anymore. If that still doesn't work, you can try restarting your computer.

This one courtesy of the Bushido team -
Q: Why are there green lines/glitches on my screen?
A: 1) Open the Start Menu and search for Settings. Open Settings
2) Now click on "System". In the left pane, select "Display", then scroll to the bottom in the right pane. Click on "Graphics Settings"
3) Under the "Choose an app to set preference" drop-down menu, select "Desktop App". Once selected, browse for the Game.exe in the Littleroot Researchers folder.
4) You will now be able to see the application in the Graphics Settings. Click on "Options"
5) You will now see the "Graphics Preference" window, from where you can set which GPU to be used for the Game.exe. First, try selecting "Power Saving", then select "Save", then run the game. If the issue persists then select "High Performance", then select "Save", then run the game again.

Game-Specific FAQs​

  • What language(s) is this game playable in?
  • Is this game complete?
  • How long is this game?
  • Is there a speedup button?
  • Can I have multiple save files?
  • How many gyms? If there aren't gyms, how is progress measured?
  • What levels are the gym leaders (or other major trainer battles) at?
  • How many Pokémon are in this game? Are any of them new?
  • What are the shiny odds? Are any Pokémon shiny-locked? Do starters appear shiny when you check them?
  • How do I evolve this Fakemon?
  • How do I evolve trade mons?
  • Which generation does this game use for Pokémon learnsets?
  • Is there a wiki for this game?
  • Are there online functions?
  • Where can I find…
    • Exp Share?
    • Lucky Egg?
    • Soothe Bell?
    • Destiny Knot?
    • the Move Reminder?
    • the Name Rater?
    • the friendship checker?
  • Is there...
    • a randomizer?
    • a Nuzlocke mode?
    • difficult settings?
  • Can I...
    • Change my Pokémon's ability?
    • Change my Pokémon's IVs?
    • Change my Pokémon's nature?
    • EV train my Pokémon?
  • Is there...
    • Mega Evolution?
    • Z-Moves?
    • Gigantamax?
    • Terastalization?
  • Is there a postgame? How long is it?

New FAQs​

Let's say you've got a server for your game up and running, and you keep getting people coming in and asking the same question. It's not one of those "How do I play this," "Do you have X feature" kind of things, it's a question that's very specific to your game. ("Where did this character go?" "Where do I go after this happens?", "How do I get past this obstacle?")

Obviously, your first step should be to add this to your list of FAQs. But I think you shouldn't just stop there - this is a sign that something in your game isn't being communicated clearly. Sure, some people just miss things or just weren't paying attention, but if the same issue keeps coming up, there's probably something you can do on your end. Maybe you need to make certain dialogue more clear or concise, or add some stronger visual indicators. Aki had a great post a while back about including visual cues in dialogue -
Even the same type of cue can be doubled on itself, like two visual ones. An example would be in Fable, we had apricorns in the overworld to show hidden items. To make extra sure they attracted the player's attention enough to be picked up, we also added an animated sparkling effect. This can also be easilly done in text as well, if an NPC says something like, "Bring me three oran berries and I'll let you pass." then that's a pretty straightforward way of telling the player what needs to be done, right? It can get better though, by making the important things more eye catching like, "Bring me 3 Oran Berries and I'll let you pass." which makes the number clearer, and both highlights and capitalizes the important item. It might seem redundant, but honestly that second text is letting me know it's important, while that first example looks like any old flavor text that an NPC might just say.

I'm also very in favor of letting people refer back to things! That can mean
  • Letting the player replay tutorials in-game
  • Having a readme file with information like the controls
  • Having an important NPC that the player can talk to and find out what to do next
  • Having a quest log of some sort
These can all be helpful for players who return after a long break, too!


You'll probably never completely rid yourself of people missing cues or asking FAQs - you can't force people to pay attention, after all. But it's always a good idea to pay attention to why those questions are coming up, and think of easier ways to deal with them, be that through game design or documentation!

Related​

Credits
Thanks to Sploopo, Ekat, the Phoenix Rising team, and the Infinity team, I picked through their FAQ lists for some of these questions.
Thanks to Riley for letting me know about MKXP's controller input.
Author
TechSkylander1518
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Really well-written, as well as insightful on the "why" FAQs happen.
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