Escape Ropes are used, in places such as caves, to warp back to the entrance from which the player entered. This effect alleviates the necessity to have a Pokémon with Dig in the party, when a player wants to exit a cave or similar location quickly.
To date, Pokémon Colosseum and Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness are the only games that have no use for the Escape Rope; because of this, trading is required to obtain the Escape Rope in these games. Due to the different map system used in those games, the Escape Rope's only use in those games is to either sell it for money or trade it back to a handheld game.
The Escape Rope cannot be used to escape from Spear Pillar, the Distortion World, or the Hall of Origin, as they are all considered to be outside of Mt. Coronet by the games' programming. It also cannot be used in Turnback Cave.