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With just a couple of days to go before the release of the hotly anticipated seventh generation of Pokémon handheld games, Sun and Moon, it seems that Nintendo is cracking down on players who are using pirated copies of the games to use online features before the games are officially released.

Multiple users of pirated copies of Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon have been reporting receiving Error Code 002-0102, “This device’s access to online services has been restricted by Nintendo,” after using the online features of pirated copies of the 3DS titles. This not only keeps players from using the online access of other 3DS titles but restricts them from accessing features such as the eShop.

Pokémon Moon, Pokémon Sun, Nintendo - error code example

Just one of many users who has had their online access restricted (source:

This follows after the massive data mining of the games earlier this month, which led to players gaining access to the full PokéDex and also individual Pokémon stats, items, and movesets.

Players who have used pirated copies and have found their online access restricted can contact Nintendo support and try to have their restriction overturned. Some players have allegedly found methods to get around the online restriction, but these methods likely won’t last long as Nintendo becomes aware of them.

This isn’t the first time Nintendo has tried to stem the flow of pirated copies. Those who played a pirated ROM copy of the fifth generation of Pokémon titles, Pokémon Black and Pokémon White, likely remember how the game detected you were using a pirated ROM and stopped your Pokémon from gaining any experience points, making the game (theoretically) impossible to beat.

Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon will be releasing for the Nintendo 3DS on November 18th for Japan and North America, and on November 23rd for European countries.

Stay tuned to TechRaptor for further news and information on Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon and on the Pokémon franchise.

What are your thoughts on Nintendo removing online access for those with pirated copies? Is this a fair punishment? Let us know in the comment section below.

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Brandon Bobal

Partner Manager

Brandon writes articles with focuses on video and board games, and Magic: The Gathering. When he isn't doing research for his weekly Magic: The Gathering column, he can be found enjoying the outdoors.

  • Brandon Bobal

    That’s a fair question to ask. The people who have been reporting receiving Error Code 002-0102 have said that they were playing pirated copies – I haven’t seen anyone report being banned while also having a legitimate early copy.

    I believe Nintendo has the ability to detect the difference between a legitimate cart and a pirated copy, but there could be some false positives.

  • Casey

    This actually isn’t new. For people who are familiar with flash carts, this is sort of an old problem. Every game is assigned a header, and when that header goes online, it needs to fall within a certain range. When someone dumps a rom, the header is usually dumped with it, so if nintendo finds a dumped rom online and bans the header, those people using that header will get banned as a result. Another way of detection is that someone at Nintendo is watching servers and they’re probably
    seeing a high number of people using the same header. Banhammer on that header follows.

    Some people use flashcarts as a legitimate means to play their games without lugging them all about. Those people usually dump the headers from their legitimate copies of the game into the rom and don’t experience these issues.

  • Casey

    Not unless you share your header with tons of people online, but there’s no real way to do that accidentally. You’d need some sort of hardware to do that. For playing early on a legitimate copy, the most they would do is block access to that game’s specific online functions until launch, not block your ds itself. To my knowledge, they’ve never taken that step before.

  • Daryl Corey

    The theiving little shits deserve it so why worry