Created By: Desertopa on November 20, 2011 Last Edited By: Arivne on July 26, 2015

Item Duplication Trick

A method for replicating potentially unlimited numbers of an item within a game

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Trope
An item duplication trick (or dupe trick, as they are often called) is a method of exploiting the programming in a game to obtain additional copies of items in your possession. Almost always the result of unintentional bugs, the specific methods needed to invoke dupe tricks can vary widely, but they can be found in one form or another in many games, and are often game breaking if abused by players.

In order to qualify as a duplication trick, the method must be available without tampering with the game's files directly, such as by using devices like a Game Genie, or editing the game's code as can easily be done on an emulator.


Examples

  • Pokémon:
    • Pokémon Red and Blue. Infamous as an exploitation of Missingno. in the first-generation games.
    • In the second generation Pokémon Gold and Silver, there was a dupe trick that let you copy Pokémon, along with the item they were holding, by depositing them into the PC, saving the game, and shutting off the power while the game was saving.
    • Pokémon Emerald had a dupe glitch similar to Gold and Silver involving the Battle Frontier.
    • Pokémon Diamond and Pearl could clone Pokémon by messing around with the online trading system. Early copies of Diamond And Pearl also had another duplication glitch, where if Ditto participates in a double battle, transforms into something, then its partner takes the item Ditto is holding, the battle would end with both Ditto and its partner holding the item.
    • No such glitches have been found for Pokémon Black and White as of this writing, which means save file editing is the only way to do it.
  • Final Fantasy
    • The DS version of Final Fantasy III had a glitch that allowed duplication of any item consumable in battle.
    • Final Fantasy IV contains a dupe trick that lets you duplicate any non-key item...and the main character's most powerful sword is thus duplicable. Then you have another character who is a ninja who can throw things...
    • A glitch in Final Fantasy V which could be triggered with the Throw and Steal abilities allowed unlimited duplication of nearly any item.
    • The infamous Sketch Bug in Final Fantasy VI could duplicate large amounts of valuable items, as well as potentially screwing with your save file.
    • Final Fantasy VII allows unlimited duplication of any item using the W-Item materia.
    • It's possible to duplicate unlimited quantities of items in Final Fantasy VIII, but only if you have the Chocobo's World Pocket Station game.
    • Final Fantasy Tactics allows the duplication of any one handed weapon in the game (however, this includes some of the most valuable items in the game, such as Orlandu's auto-hasting, holy boosting sword.)
  • The Legend of Zelda
    • Ocarina Of Time allowed duplication of Empty Bottles: First you go find a fish on the playing field and equip an empty bottle. Use the bottle to swipe out and catch the fish. Quickly open the start menu and equip another item in place of the bottle. Then when you reopen the menu, a bottle will be in the place of the equipped item. Just remember, the item you chose is never coming back.
    • In Majora's Mask, by going to the Curiosity Shop with a bottle containing something (like a fish or a bug) on a C button, you can attempt to sell it. By pausing right before you have received your money but after you have chosen the item you have sold, you can choose another item (i.e a mask, deku nuts, sticks, etc.) and it will be replaced by a bottle. This can be done until you have all bottles. This is also the key to Tool Assisted Speedruns of the game, as you can skip the alien Side Quest at Romani Ranch and have enough bottles to complete the egg collection in Great Bay.
  • Resident Evil
    • The North American Version of the Gamecube Resident Evil 1 had a trick whereby Jill could duplicate 200 grenade launcher rounds.
    • Resident Evil 5 has a duplication trick available in online play for the PS 3 and through local co-op for the X Box 360.
  • Wild ARMs
    • The original game has an extremely easy to use one involving moving items around in one's inventory during battle.
    • In Wild ARMs XF, you could duplicate any item you had only one of. Step One: Equip the item on Labrynthia. Step Two: Enter a battle with a Harpy. Step Three: Have Labrynthia use her ability to clone herself. Step Four: Let the Harpy steal your item off the clone. Step Five: Use the item Labrynthia has equipped. This will cause the game to subtract 2 of the item from your inventory, but since items use an unsigned integer, this just wraps around to the item Cap.
  • Azure Dreams has a dupe trick requiring the use of a familiar that can steal items (Picket) and a familiar that can change shape (Manoeva).
  • Both Diablo and Diablo2 contained item duplication tricks (many different methods in 2) which were never fully removed in all the successive patches of the games.
  • In a rare case not caused by an unintentional bug, the first two Star Ocean games both contain a skill that can be used to replicate most items in the game, including some extremely valuable ones, which can be raised to a 100% success rate if used in conjunction with another skill.
  • RuneScape had an infamous bug where a small group of players discovered how to duplicate items. It was quickly patched, but not before a large volume of valuable items entered the game's economy.
  • A dupe trick can be used in Golden Sun: The Lost Age, available only at the Trial Road location.
  • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion originally had an item duplication trick involving bows and arrows. When this was changed in a patch, another item duplication trick involving identical spell scrolls became available.
  • Demon's Souls has a duplication trick that will turn one copy of an item into a thousand copies, usable in both single player and online.
  • Dragon Age: Origins allows the duplication of any stackable item, as well as the production of unlimited gold.
  • Dead Island has an easy to use duplication trick in co-op mode.

Web Comics

Community Feedback Replies: 47
  • November 20, 2011
    GlennMagusHarvey
    A notable dupe trick in Final Fantasy IV lets you duplicate any non-key item...and the main character's most powerful sword is thus duplicable. Then you have another character who is a ninja who can throw things...
  • November 20, 2011
    Desertopa
    The Final Fantasy Wiki lists dupe tricks which appear in Final Fantasies III, IV, V, VI (certain items only through the famous Sketch Bug,) VII, VIII (requires the Chocobo World Pocket Station game,) and Tactics (only usable for one handed weapons.)
  • November 20, 2011
    Bisected8
    The second generation Pokemon games had a dupe trick that worked on both items and Pokemon which involved switching the game off as it was saving after you transfered a pokemon from one box to another. This would leave a copy of the Pokemon (and an item if it held one) in both boxes.
  • November 20, 2011
    azul120
    The Final Fantasy 7 W-Item glitch is particularly infamous.
  • November 20, 2011
    Desertopa
    Golden Sun: The Lost Age has one, available only at the Trial Road location.
  • November 20, 2011
    TechUnadept
    A certain Super Mutant in Fallout New Vegas spawns a plasma shotgun every time the dungeon his corpse is in resets.
  • November 20, 2011
    GlennMagusHarvey
    ^ Not sure that counts.
  • November 20, 2011
    billybobfred
    The first Diablo game also had a dupe trick, one that never did end up completely fixed.
  • November 20, 2011
    Stratadrake
    Pre-established term? Unfortunately when I see "dupe" the first thing that comes to my mind is "to con or swindle".

    Maybe Duplication Trick, or if we want to be very precise, Item Duplication Trick.
  • November 20, 2011
    Desertopa
    Yes, it's a pre-established term.
  • November 21, 2011
    GlennMagusHarvey
    I'd go for Item Duplication Trick myself, actually. I haven't heard a conventional term for this, but it's usually something along these lines. Or maybe Item Duping.
  • November 21, 2011
    cityofmist
    Oblivion had a glitch where if you killed a certain guy and looted the body, any money that was in his pockets you could take over and over again with it appearing in your pockets but not disappearing from his.
  • November 21, 2011
    robybang
    Another trick in Pokemon: In Fire Red, if you challenge the Team Rocket member at the end of Nugget Bridge, he gives you a gold nugget, then challenges you to a match. If you keep losing, he'll keep giving you nuggets before the fight.
  • November 21, 2011
    Stratadrake
    According to google, "dupe trick" (with quotes) fetches about 26,000. Not bad, but personally I've never seen the phrase in print.
  • November 22, 2011
    TheChainMan
    It could always be a redirect.
  • November 22, 2011
    GlennMagusHarvey
    Dupe Trick should be a redirect, yes.
  • November 22, 2011
    surgoshan
  • November 22, 2011
    JohnDiFool
    The Elder Scrolls:Oblivion let you summon endless numbers of watermelons (among other things).
  • November 25, 2011
    AndersK90
    Saving a game of Divine Divinity while holding an item, and then loading that game would have you holding the item while it was also in your inventory. Combined with a trick that allowed you to put infinite runes into any item that supported even one rune, allowed you to become invincible before reaching level 10.
  • November 25, 2011
    dug428
    In Majora's Mask, by going to the Curiosity Shop with a bottle containing something (like a fish or a bug) on a C button, you can attempt to sell it. By pausing right before you have received your money but after you have chosen the item you have sold, you can choose another item (i.e a mask, deku nuts, sticks, etc.) and it will be replaced by a bottle. This can be done until you have all bottles. This is also the key to TA Ses of the game, as you can skip the alien sidequest at Romani Ranch and have enough bottles to complete the egg collection in Great Bay.
  • November 25, 2011
    korpse_man
    The North American Version of the Gamecube Resident Evil 1 had a trick whereby Jill could duplicate 200 grenade launcher rounds.
  • November 25, 2011
    Aspie
    Legend Of Zelda Ocarina Of Time had a version of this for Empty Bottles: First you go find a fish on the playing field and equip an empty bottle. Use the bottle to swipe out and catch the fish. Quickly open the start menu and equip another item in place of the bottle. Then when you reopen the menu, a bottle will be in the place of the equipped item. Just remember, the item you chose is never coming back.
  • November 27, 2011
    Desertopa
    Dragon Age: Origins allowed the duplication of any stackable item, as well as the production of unlimited gold.
  • December 3, 2011
    Desertopa
    Resident Evil 5 has a duplication trick available in online play for the PS 3 and through local co-op for the X Box 360.
  • December 6, 2011
    Desertopa
    Dead Island has an easy to use duplication trick in co-op mode.
  • January 25, 2012
    ZombieAladdin
    Early copies of Pokemon Diamond And Pearl had another duplication glitch, where if Ditto participates in a double battle, transforms into something, then its partner takes the item Ditto is holding, the battle would end with both Ditto and its partner holding the item.
  • January 26, 2012
    Koveras
    Dunno if it counts, since it is hardly an exploit: In Final Fantasy XIII, you could triplicate the extremely rare catalyst Trapezohedron by fully upgrading one of Vanille's weapons (which consumed a Trapezohedron), then dismantling it again (which produced three more). Of course, this was extremely expensive (2.5M gil) but still cheaper than buying two Trapezohedrons for 2M apiece.
  • January 26, 2012
    henke37
    These bugs tend to attract a lot of developer attention in online games.
  • January 26, 2012
    ccoa
    • In Wild ARMs XF, you could duplicate any item you had only one of. Step One: Equip the item on Labrynthia. Step Two: Enter a battle with a Harpy. Step Three: Have Labrynthia use her ability to clone herself. Step Four: Let the Harpy steal your item off the clone. Step Five: Use the item Labrynthia has equipped. This will cause the game to subtract 2 of the item from your inventory, but since items use an unsigned integer, this just wraps around to the item Cap.

    Actually, this example and others are on GoodBadBugs/RolePlayingGame. This would be a subtrope of Good Bad Bugs.

  • January 26, 2012
    Desertopa
    Good insofar as having additional copies of items is useful, anyway. I'm considering spoilering out explicit descriptions of actual methods on the page, because dupe tricks can kill the challenge of a game, and many players (myself included) find it hard to resist using them once they know how. Or possibly I should add a warning that the examples may contain instructions that will remove challenge from the games if followed.
  • January 27, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    So did Jesus exploit a glitch with the loaves and fishes? ;-)
  • January 27, 2012
    ZombieAladdin
    Jesus was a Matrix hacker, hence the turning water into wine.
  • January 27, 2012
    billybobfred
    Kingdom Of Loathing has had quite a few of these, though the devs are usually good about fixing them before they damage the economy. One of Jick's primary concerns with all the places items can be stored (your inventory, your closet, your display case, your store, your ancestral storage, your clan stash...) is that adding new and convenient ways to move things between them tends to introduce these.
  • August 7, 2012
    flaktrooper
    Arrow duplication in Elder Scrolls V Skyrim is seemingly one of the Good Bad Bugs left alone by the devs. You just need to find a place where you see NPC(s) practicing archery on a target dummy. You need to remove their original arrow and replace it with just 1 arrow of the type you wish to duplicate (like Daedric Arrow). You can do both of these at the same time if you have the proper pickpocketing perk (which allows you to steal equipped items). Otherwise, you have to wait until they go to sleep when they unequip their original arrows. The next day, the NPC should be firing at the dummy with your arrow and you can just stand next to it to collect your arrows.
  • August 7, 2012
    DaibhidC
    In Sub Machine Network Exploration Experience, there's a glitch that causes Wisdoms Gems to "regenerate" in some areas. Since there's no area where you need more than three Wisdom Gems, the rest just hang about in your inventory.
  • August 9, 2012
    beamerpook
    In the original Diablo game, you can duplicate an item by throwing it onto the ground, walking over to pick it up, and right at the moment your character picks it up, hit "I" to open your Inventory. The item will be automatically transferred to your inventory as normal, but you will also have a copy at your cursor.

  • September 22, 2012
    whtjunior
    In what seems to be a rare non-RPG version, some Madden games use cards that you collect, allowing you to unlock certain things. Creating a second game save allows you to trade loads of cards back and forth, only saving the receiving profile each time, and then reloading both profiles This allows a massive card dump over time, where you then sell off the duplicates to buy more packs of cards.
  • March 6, 2013
    Desertopa
    Bumping this back from the depths.

    I'm torn about whether to make a policy suggestion in the description (and accordingly revise the examples to reflect it,) that no example should describe the specific steps necessary to complete the trick. Many players find it difficult to refrain from cheating once they already know how. Anyone who wants to know the specifics of a particular dupe trick should easily be able to look it up.

    Opinions?
  • March 7, 2013
    henke37
    I think the real concern is about the page being bogged down with the long descriptions. I propose a rule against generic memory corruption instead. It needs to specifically be a way to duplicate items, not do random memory pokes.
  • March 8, 2013
    Arivne
    • Wizardry. It was possible to gain duplicate items by using an extra character disk and the following technique: (1) Change the characters' names (2) Give all their items to one character (3) Switch to your original character disk and add that character to the party (4) Give the extra items to one of your original characters.

    • A standard trick for older games. The character Alice has an item that you want to duplicate. Add both Alice and Bob to your party. Have Alice give her item to Bob and then remove Bob, thus saving him to disk. Then turn off your computer. When you reboot the game, Alice will still have the item (since you didn't save her after she gave her item away) and Bob will have the item too. This worked for (among other games) The Bards Tale and Wizardry.
  • January 23, 2015
    Prfnoff
  • January 23, 2015
    Tunic
    It's not an example in and of itself, but RPG Maker VX Ace on Steam has a collectible card that I think would be an ideal image for this trope. All three versions of it can be found on the Steam Trading Cards Wiki.
  • March 21, 2015
    DAN004
    Bump, maybe
  • March 22, 2015
    Trogdor
    • In Bio Shock Infinite, a glitch exists where going returning to "The Halls of Heroes" after reaching the gondola to the First Lady Airship will reset all items in between those two points, allowing for maxed out ammo, cash, gear, and lockpicks.
  • July 26, 2015
    Prfnoff
    I see most of the examples still lack sufficient context. With tropes like this, avoiding the peril of Walkthrough Mode as well as Zero Context Example can seem like Scylla And Charybdis. I think it's better to put in technical info that will go over some reader's heads than do without sufficient context.

    Perhaps the description should include a summary of the typical programming bugs that lead to these exploits.
  • July 26, 2015
    rcmerod52
    • Team Fortress 2 dupes are a big thing in the market. Many people consider dupes to not be as valuable as genuinely-obtainable items, even though technically they are the same.
  • July 26, 2015
    StarSword
    Simulation Games:
    • A glitch in X3: Terran Conflict allows you to get around shortages of some types of supplies such as weapons (especially in Terran space where the game economy is badly broken). In sectors featuring both an equipment dock and a shipyard, you buy multiple ships, which allows you to equip them in bulk, and then buy the item you want to clone. This puts copies of the item on all the ships you bought (e.g. 10 ships x 2 guns from the dock = 20 guns total). You can then sell the items back to the dock and repeat to multiply them even further. Note that this still costs the same as having bought the total number of items the normal way (you still pay for 20 guns). This trick is removed in X3: Albion Prelude.
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