RNG Manipulation of Method 1 Pokémon

By Arseus.


The term "method 1" refers to the way a Pokémon's IVs and PID are created; those wanting a more technical explanation should check out X-Act's article on PID Creation. For the sake of RNG manipulation, you only need to know that the nature and IVs on any given frame for Pokémon generated through method 1 will differ from those generated by any other method. A list of Pokémon that are generated by method 1 in Pokémon Emerald is as follows:

Voltorb1, Electrode1, Mew2, Chikorita, Cyndaquil, Totodile, Sudowoodo, Lugia, Ho-Oh, Treecko, Torchic, Mudkip, Lileep, Anorith, Castform, Kecleon3, Wynaut4, Beldum, Regirock, Regice, Registeel, Latias, Latios, Kyogre, Groudon, Rayquaza, and Deoxys
1Only Voltorb and Electrode disguised as Poké Balls are generated by method 1; the rest are generated as wild Pokémon.
2Mew is only obtainable in Japanese versions of Pokémon Emerald; other regions never received the Old Sea Map.
3Only the six Kecleon revealed by the Devon Scope are generated by method 1; the rest are generated as wild Pokémon.
4Only the Wynaut Egg from Lavaridge Town is generated by method 1; Wynaut found on Mirage Island are generated as wild Pokémon.

Many of these Pokémon can be obtained through breeding; it is possible to get much better spreads within a reasonable amount of time through breeding than through method 1 resetting. For some players, their main motivation for resetting these Pokémon through method 1 is to generate rare shiny versions (see the section on shiny spreads in the Introduction). For Pokémon not available in the wild, such as Beldum or Sudowoodo, their method 1 forms are used to get parents with good IVs.

It is important to take note that some method 1 Pokémon only become available at certain points in the game, and others need to be obtained in order to progress. Namely, your starter, Castform, and either Latias or Latios must all have their spreads set before you can move forward. The former two are all but impossible to reset for; your starter is obtained at the very beginning of the game, when no Rare Candies are accessible, and Castform succeeds a battle with Team Aqua, which toys with the RNG, giving reset times greater inconsistency. In the case of Latias or Latios, one of these Pokémon must be set via the TV news report in your character's living room, shortly after loading a game upon defeating the Elite Four. In this case, you should be prepared with Pokémon to trap and capture it before defeating the Champion. Of the three, Latias or Latios is most worthy of RNG manipulation; your starter and Castform can both be bred later for better results.

Spread Selection

The first step to resetting for method 1 Pokémon is selecting the spread you want. Here are some decent method 1 spreads to help get you started:

Frame Time Nature Ability HP Atk Def SpA SpD Spe Hidden Power 50 12.5 25 75
22980:38.30Adamant0272529112831Steel 45MMMF
116453:14.08Adamant0203130132731Ice 59FMFF
300758:21.25Adamant0302727183131Grass 70FMMF
184015:06.68Bold1301329262619Ground 66MMMF
4330012:01.66Bold1303131213130Psychic 59FMMF
6989519:24.91Bold0301328233018Rock 66MMMF
118963:18.26Brave0302927292615Steel 58FMFF
4167111:34.51Brave027313082727Grass 59FMFF
6175617:09.26Brave027252642729Grass 53FMMF
6682618:33.76Brave02627305252Electric 39MMMM
73852:03.08Calm0262324263130Fire 67MMMF
121623:22.70Calm12882873029Bug 60FFFF
192815:21.35Calm029153026315Grass 64FMMF
6862019:03.66Calm1273127212924Ice 34FFFF
94312:37.18Careful0282926112927Ice 47MMMF
315328:45.53Careful030263002924Steel 34MMMF
4084211:20.70Careful1303130242913Grass 34MMMM
100702:47.83Hasty025302728730Fire 59MMMF
340469:27.43Hasty0303027262530Fire 49MMMM
6090216:55.03Hasty022301629231Bug 57FFFF
117363:15.60Impish027312528280Flying 31FMMF
216086:00.13Impish029303115315Dragon 64FMMF
5181414:23.56Impish1293128212627Ghost 56MMMM
312438:40.71Jolly1252929232531Dark 45FMFF
6428417:51.40Jolly0222622293030Ground 59FMMF
249716:56.18Lonely1292828242631Poison 55FFFF
335419:19.01Mild0303027282527Grass 39FFFF
207835:46.38Modest1313122252628Rock 54FFFF
4060011:16.66Modest124525312722Psychic 65FMFF
5494515:15.75Modest1222321312030Bug 47FMMF
6725918:40.98Modest121820253130Electric 55FMMF
168674:41.11Naive1292819311631Ghost 47MMMF
319178:51.95Naive1193126302730Fire 70MMMF
4510112:31.68Naive13029227330Electric 68MMMF
4720213:06.70Naive1222721302231Ground 67MMMM
7024519:30.75Quiet028182822310Steel 61MMMF
6627118:24.51Quiet130303028273Water 59MMMM
6689718:34.95Quiet0293126262810Fighting 49MMMF
49611:22.68Relaxed128252762930Water 47FMMF
201105:35.16Relaxed026262983114Fire 57FMMF
295948:13.23Relaxed131302982827Ground 36MMMM
4488612:28.10Relaxed0301828212619Bug 57FFFF
5185014:24.16Relaxed0271929223119Electric 67MMMM
5428715:04.78Relaxed026273112296Water 39FFFF
6334417:35.73Relaxed031926252922Psychic 38FMMF
6407217:47.86Relaxed13053010270Fire 63MMMM
35020:58.36Sassy0272928112823Ghost 45FMFF
130773:37.95Sassy0282227233021Ghost 64FFFF
145264:02.10Sassy12823303298Electric 43FMMF
214595:57.65Sassy1301029212630Rock 57FFFF
3878410:46.40Sassy131243123268Bug 63MMMF
4986613:51.10Sassy027302812618Rock 57FMMF
5153614:18.93Sassy0312428312827Bug 45FMMF
6383617:43.93Sassy0312031242723Grass 58MMMM
64781:47.96Timid126422282431Flying 38FMFF
73102:01.83Timid0302711222631Ground 70FMMF
4501012:30.16Timid0282131243127Grass 57MMMM
4884313:34.05Timid125024262131Water 45MMMF

For a complete list of frames up to and including 100,000 please download this .csv file.


Once you have selected your spread, you may wish to calculate the stats of your desired Pokémon, using the level at which it is encountered (for this, use your spread's IVs and Metalkid's Stat Calculator). Although optional, when used in tandem with the "IV man", it will effectively ensure that you will not need to use any rare candies if you obtain a Pokémon with the requisite stats. However, there are exceptions to this rule; the stats of Pokémon obtained at low levels give only the most rudimentary information.

A benefit to calculating the Pokémon’s stats beforehand is that you can obtain the desired "one under Pokémon" to test your target’s Speed and HP. To test Speed, make sure that the Pokémon you send into battle has one less Speed than the Pokémon you want to catch, after taking a Badge Modifier into account; after obtaining the badge that boosts Speed, all your Pokémon's Speed stats are given an invisible modifier of x1.1. For HP, have a Pokémon with one less HP than the maximum of your target use Endeavor. These tricks are most useful when trying to obtain legendary Pokémon; the battles against other method 1 Pokémon do not tend to be as drawn out, so it is not necessary to make sure that you are battling the correct Pokémon. Of course, this is a non-issue for Pokémon that are obtained without a scuffle.

Before you set off to obtain a method 1 Pokémon, be sure to have your party assembled (if you need to engage in battle) with a Pokémon to lull to sleep or paralyze your target, something to False Swipe, and any other utility Pokémon you need. Last but not least, don’t forget your Poké Balls, especially if you are using a special kind for aesthetic purposes. Make your way to the Pokémon, and save your game so that you are in an optimal position to generate the Pokémon when your spread occurs. Here is a list of where to save, and the last input for spread generation for all the method 1 Pokémon:

Save in front of Professor Birch's bag. Spread selected after selecting "YES" on the screen that says "Do you choose this POKéMON?"
Save in front of Aqua Admin Shelly. Spread selected with a press of the A button when the Weather Institute Researcher says "It might be an odd way of thanking you, but take this POKéMON."
Latias/Latios (Television)
Save in front of the stairs in your character's room. Spread selected after selecting the appropriate colour for the Pokémon mentioned on the news story; "RED" for Latias, "BLUE" for Latios.
Save in front of the Devon Researcher who was working on reviving fossils. Spread selected after pressing A when he says "The fossil was an ancient POKéMON. [LILEEP/ANORITH], it was!"
Save in front of the old lady who is raising an Egg near the Hot Springs. Spread selected after pressing A when she says "Good! I hope you'll walk plenty with this here EGG!"
Save in front of the invisible Kecleon. Last input is a press of the A button when the message "The startled POKéMON attacked!" is shown.
Save in front of the Poké Ball on Steven’s desk, in his home in Mossdeep City. Spread selected after selecting "YES" when asked "Take the POKé BALL?"
Save in front of the "weird tree" in the Battle Frontier. Last input is a press of the A button when the message "The weird tree attacked!" is shown.
Save in front of the appropriate Poké Ball. Spread selected after choosing "YES" when you are asked either "So the [CHIKORITA/CYNDAQUIL/TOTODILE] is your choice?" or "So you'll take the [CHIKORITA/CYNDAQUIL/TOTODILE]?" depending on the Pokémon.
Save one space of land away from it. Last input is a press of the directional button that places you in front of it.
Save on the first space of the peak of the cliff. Last input is pressing up on the directional pad to place yourself on the second space of the cliff.
Save in the area it appears in. Last input is a press of the A button to "tag" it.
Save directly in front of the Pokémon’s overworld sprite. Last input is a press of the A button to "activate" the battle. In the case of Southern Island Latias or Latios, the strange rock serves as the overworld sprite. In the case of Deoxys, the red-hot rock serves as the overworld sprite.

Calibration and Soft Resetting

Excluding Kyogre, Groudon, and Ho-Oh, a simple press of the ever-versatile A button is the action that will ultimately cause the RNG to select a spread for your Pokémon. However, in most cases, the RNG does not choose a spread at the instant you perform any of the above actions; the exception is when "spread selected" is listed instead of "last input". For a Pokémon where you only have control over the last input, the RNG keeps cycling through spreads right up until you enter battle. This discrepancy between input and spread selection is caused by the Pokémon’s overworld animation or cry. For example, if you press A in front of Rayquaza's overworld sprite, it will utter a cry, then its markings will cinematically flash on the screen before there is a fade to darkness. The RNG is running the whole time, and only chooses Rayquaza's spread once the darkness sets in, immediately before the battle.

All this means for you as the resetter is that you must adjust the time when you input the final command, from the time the spread is normally associated with. Since many good method 1 spreads occur after a considerable amount of time, it is wise to undergo a calibration process before going after a high frame. To do this, select a spread that occurs after a relatively short amount of time; not so short that there is not enough room to adjust, but short enough to let you calibrate fairly quickly. Taking the game's startup into account, a spread that occurs at around 40 seconds or so should do nicely (if you wish to calibrate for the Latias or Latios from the TV, a later spread may be required). Castform is the exception to this rule; it is erratic, and therefore difficult to even calibrate.

Once you have selected a spread to aim for, make sure that the game is on, then grab your stopwatch or timer. Ensure that your stopwatch is set to 0, and that your timer is at the appropriate time. Position your fingers in such a way that you are pressing three of the four buttons to soft reset (A+B+Start+Select), then are able to press down the fourth (A or B is the easiest) and start your stopwatch or timer simultaneously, so the time starts alongside your game. Once the game is reset, mash the A button to skip the introduction sequence and load your file.

How you proceed from here depends on which Pokémon you are resetting for. If you are resetting for a Pokémon that succeeds dialogue boxes, press A to initiate dialogue with the Pokémon or what or whoever gives it to you. In the case of the Latias or Latios set via the television, you must walk down the stairs to initiate dialogue with your parents, and with Castform, you must talk to and subsequently do battle with Aqua Admin Shelly. Press A at a somewhat slower pace to skip through the dialogue until you reach the final box as defined by the list above, and if necessary, make sure your cursor is hovering over the correct option.

The process is similar for Pokémon where you must interact with an overworld sprite to engage in battle. However, in this case, stop pressing A as soon as you load the game, lest you accidentally activate the battle prematurely. Do not worry about this for Kyogre, Groudon, or Ho-Oh; they are activated by pressing a directional button, so you may mash the A button to your heart's content.

Wait at the dialogue box, or wherever else specified, until your stopwatch reaches the time of your spread, or your timer runs out. This is the instant that you press A, or in the case of the aforementioned Kyogre, Groudon, and Ho-Oh, the appropriate directional button; if you are using a stopwatch, be sure to stop it at the same time. If you must capture the Pokémon, now is the time to do so; if it fails the Speed or HP checks you choose to subject it to, feel free to simply chuck a Master Ball to end the battle quickly.

Once the Pokémon is in your possession, take note of its nature, and proceed to calculate its IVs. Depending on the Pokémon in question, this can take a couple or a copious amount of Rare Candies. If you are going after your starter, the only way to get its IVs is to battle an obscene amount of wild Pokémon to level it up, meticulously noting the EVs it accumulates; a similar approach may have to be taken with Castform if you cannot trade over any Rare Candies before you reach the Weather Institute. The Battle Frontier's "IV" man is unlikely to be of much help if you did not hit your spread, unless he concludes your Pokémon has a "flawless" IV; he cannot narrow down your Pokémon’s IVs more than an IV calculator the majority of the time.

After your Pokémon's IVs are determined, locate the frame its spread corresponds to. You will then take this frame, and the one you wish to hit, and calculate the difference between the two. For instance, if frame 3,000 was hit while you were aiming for frame 2,700, you would subtract 3,000 from 2,700, leaving a difference of -300. Using the 60 frames per second rule, divide -300 by 60 to get a result of -5. This means that there is an offset of approximately 5 seconds from the time of your input to when your spread was generated; to counterbalance this, you will want to give your input 5 seconds earlier.

From here, you have two options: you may choose to test again to try to get as close to your calibration frame as possible, or you may choose to go after the spread you really want. Once you are ready to do the latter, take the time (or times) you calculated during calibration, and make adjustments as necessary. This is pretty much the same as what you did during the calibration phase, only this time you want to make all the adjustments at once. That is to say, if you found you needed to give your input 5 seconds earlier, then 0.2 seconds later on a subsequent attempt, you would reset 4.8 seconds earlier. Be sure to record this final time; it should not change much as you are resetting for the same Pokémon. However, each method 1 Pokémon has a different pre-battle animation; you cannot use the same results for Rayquaza and Groudon, as their animations do not take up the same amount of time. However, each time you reset for Rayquaza, you can use the same time, if it is close enough to your spread.

It should be said that the calibration phase is not imperative. It is merely an option to save time; it is extremely unlikely to hit a method 1 spread on the first try, due to the offset caused by the Pokémon's cry or other such delays. It is simply quicker to make large adjustments on a spread that occurs after 40 seconds than one at the 40 minute mark. Of course, given that the RNG does not run at precisely 60 frames per second, more adjustments will likely be needed at higher frames, regardless of test runs.

When you are ready to pursue your method 1 Pokémon, repeat the above steps, only use your desired frame, ignoring any references to calibration. Continue to refine your timing until you are hitting frames within close proximity of your spread. Through trial and error, you will be able to hit your spread and obtain the perfect method 1 Pokémon.