From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
- If you were looking for the item, see Mystery Dungeon evolutionary items#Link Cable.
A link cable is a cable used to transfer data between two Nintendo consoles, such as the Game Boy, Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance. They can also connect Game Boy consoles with other devices including the Game Boy Camera and Game Boy Printer.
The link cable was part of Satoshi Tajiri's original concept for the Pokémon games. He said early on that he imagined his creatures crawling through the cable from one game to another. With technological developments, including wireless technology, link cables have become obsolete on newer consoles.
There are several types of link cables, depending upon the model of Game Boy used. For instance, the original Game Boy link cable had much larger ends than that of the Game Boy Pocket/Game Boy Color link cable. Also, a Game Boy Color cable is not compatible with a Game Boy Advance cable.
The Game Boy micro uses another sized cable, so there is some incompatibility among the different models over the years. Ideally, each player should have the same Game Boy model to prevent this. The Game Boy Advance and Game Boy Advance SP use the same link cable. A Game Boy Color link cable may be used with a Game Boy Advance, but it can only link GBC games, as GBA games require more bandwidth.
Pokémon special editions
A special Game Boy Color link cable was released with a box decorated with Pokémon; however, the cable itself was exactly the same as a regular cable.
A yellow link cable featuring a Pikachu on each connector has also been released.
Standard link cable with Pokémon box
Uses in the Pokémon games
Generations I and II
In the first generation of Pokémon games, the link cable's two main functions were established: inter-player battles and the trading of Pokémon. These exchanges took place in the Cable Club, which is included in every Pokémon Center.
Up to two players can link together.
Although more link opportunities were incorporated into the games of the later generations, link cables had limited use. The cable remained the sole means of communication for Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, but the advent of Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen introduced wireless technology. The Game Boy Advance Wireless Adapter that was shipped with copies of these games plugs into the same socket as the link cable, but allows for less cumbersome interactions.
Up to four players can link together with the Game Boy Advance model link cable.
Generations IV and V
The console for Generation IV and V, the Nintendo DS, has built-in wireless technology, and does not support any physical link cables. As such, link cables have become redundant.
The trading and battling component of side games is not as prevalent as it is in the main series. In the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series, there is an item with this name that is used to evolve Pokémon that would normally require a trade to evolve.