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The 6 Best GameBoy Advanced Emulators (With Cheat Links)

Let’s all admit it:

These Best GameBoy Advanced emulators are used to grace our childhood days with game titles like Pokémon and Grand Theft Auto.

With smartphones gaining momentum in the industry nowadays, game consoles gradually decreased in popularity and eventually, lost their luster.

If I can remember it right…

I used to play the Pokémon Blue and Pokémon Diamond versions on my game console when I was a kid. Just like me, you might be looking at the best GameBoy advanced emulators with nostalgia and wishes to revisit the games it offered back then.

Lucky for us, we can go back to our glory days just by using our own mobile devices!

But how?

We have to download these GameBoy Advanced emulators and start reliving our childhood.

Must Read: Android Emulator

Being a Pokémon fan, I still want to play Pokémon games on my phone using these best GameBoy Advanced emulators. I’ve decided to try the Pokémon Emerald version as I haven’t played it before (or maybe I forgot about it).

I’ll be using several GameBoy Advance emulators and telling you what’s the best and the worst about each one.

Model Used: OPPO F1 Plus

Best GameBoy Advanced Emulators

I have listed the best Gameboy advanced emulators you can install on Android, iOS, or even PC and enjoy playing your favorite GBA games.

Please note that I only tested the free versions of these best GameBoy Advanced emulators.

1. Visual Boy Advance

Visual boy advance
IMAGE SOURCE: Visual Boy Advance

Visual Boy Advance emulators are the best and oldest, even after 20 years in the industry. It is an open-source and one of the best Gameboy advanced emulators for Android, iOS, Linux, MACOS, and Windows. With regular updates and features added, the functionalities of VBA support multiple ROMs for all Game Boy versions of GB, GBA, GBC, SGB, and SGB2.

Enable turbo mode to blast through your favorite retro games or bypass tedious tasks. VBA makes your progress easy in saving and loading your ongoing process and acts as an additional backup system. It guarantees you a seamless experience of GBA games by easily connecting and using a joystick for Xbox, Nintendo, PC, or PlayStation controller on VisualBoy Advance. 


  • VBA supports multiple ROMs for all game boy versions.
  • Enable turbo mode to blaze your favorite games.
  • VBA simplifies your save and load states as user’s preferences.
  • It can easily connect and play games with a joystick and controller support.


  • Difficult to understand for beginners. 
  • There is a chance files might get corrupted if you keep changing the save file settings.

2. Boycott Advance – Best GameBoy Advance Emulators

2. Boycott Advance - Best GameBoy Advance Emulators
IMAGE SOURCE: Boycott Advance 

Boycott is one of the most reliable and best GameBoy advanced emulators for MacOS users. Its straightforward user interface provides a seamless experience of playing their favorite GBA games. Boycott is easy to use and requires BIOS support to play all the commercial and personal ROMs on your PC. It supports GBA video features like scaling and rotation for a comprehensive experience of playing such games. 

It can provide add-on features such as USB joysticks, gamepads, opening recent games quickly, full-screen play mode, and much more. The highly optimized CU emulation can attain full speed on all supported Mac products. Save or load your games anywhere you like, so you’ll never lose any progress in any game. 


  • This support full GBA videos like full-screen mode.
  • GBA direct sound support
  • Partial support for the GBA direct sound channels and Gameboy PSG.
  • It supports USB joysticks and gamepads.


  • We commonly found several bug reports.
  • It prevents some titles, particularly newer ones, from working currently. 

3. John GBA

John GBA

The term John Gameboy advanced emulators may sound strange but at the very least, its performance will move us to pat the developer’s back (purportedly named John). Kidding aside, John GBA is easily one of the best Gameboy advanced emulators.

The GBA emulator aims to make the experience as authentic as possible by using the original GBA engine that was used in the game console. Of course, you’ll be using your smartphone all this time, but still get that authentic experience you want.


  • The John GBA is built on a simple interface and is user-friendly.
  • The emulator uses the original GBA engine for an authentic experience.
  • Users can opt to slow down and speed up the game anytime.
  • It has on-screen controls, auto search, and cheat codes, and works in offline mode.
  • It supports cloud backup via DropBox.
  • The paid version costs cheap and can guarantee an ad-free experience.


  • No support for a hardware controller.
  • Ads can be annoying on the free version.

Download the free version:

Download at Google Play

Download the paid version:

Download at Google Play

4. My Boy

My Boy

Another popular Gameboy advanced emulators on our list are available on the Google Play Store, My Boy is compatible with tons of GBA ROMs and is downloaded by hundreds of thousands of players around the world.

GBA games play smoothly on the My Boy emulator.

The features available on My Boy include superior link cable support, high game compatibility, fast forward and slow down modes, cheat codes, hardware controller support, BIOS emulation, and OpenGL rendering for better graphics.


  • My Boy boasts a smooth gaming experience.
  • There are a ton of features on offer.
  • It comes with support for a hardware controller.
  • It is compatible with a wide range of smartphones.
  • The emulator comes with link cable emulation support.
  • It has quick save options and support for cheat codes.
  • Decent developer support and frequent updates.


  • None.
Download at Google Play

5. GBA Emulator

GBA emulator

The Emulator For GBA is yet another simple option among the Gameboy advanced emulators available in the Google Play Store. It doesn’t bring anything special to the table but can still function as an emulator just fine.

There are some advanced features you could only find on paid versions that are offered by this emulator. For instance, it comes with support for link cable emulation, cheat codes, and quick save mode.


  • Its simple interface makes it easier to use for beginners.
  • The GameBoy Advanced Emulators allow users to integrate cheat codes.
  • It has quick save support and lets you load/save the game anytime.
  • The emulator supports link cable emulation.
  • It can be downloaded from the Google Play Store for free.


  • Ads can get annoying and alter the gaming experience.

6. Pizza Boy GBA 

Pizza Boy GBA

Are you looking for the best Gameboy Advanced emulators specially designed for Android? Pizza Boy GBA is smooth, fast, light, and battery friendly. This ultimate GBA emulator for Android users guarantees 60 fps on old hardware. You have the most precise, compatible, and use ads-free gba emulator. 

It has many features slow motion, fast forward, hardware joypads controller support, capture screenshot in jpg format, save and restore states, shaders, and more. Enjoy playing your favorite retro games, and take benefit of openGL and openSL native library’s video and audio performance high. 


  • It offers even 60 fps on hardware.
  • Customizable skins.
  • It supports a joypad hardware controller.
  • It allows saving and loading the game at any time. 


  • This emulator can run only on GBA ROMs. 
  • Multiple bugs are found and reported.
  • No recent updates. 

How to Add Cheat Codes

The Gameboy advanced emulators above all promise cheat code compatibility so it’s my turn to test it out. I opted to add cheat codes to the Pokemon Emerald game using the My Boy emulator. Check this out!

Step 1

Open the My Boy emulator and load the Pokemon Emerald ROM.

Open My Boy Emulator Pokemon Emerald

Step 2

Once the game loads, look for the Menu icon on the top part.

Menu Icon Pokemon Emerald

Step 3

Click the Menu icon and you should choose the Cheats option.

Cheats Menu Pokemon Emerald

Step 4

Tap New Cheats. You should now see the Cheat name, Cheat type, and Cheat Code menus.

New Cheat Option Pokemon Emerald

Step 5

I searched the web and found several cheats. I recommend the website Pokémon Coders because their cheat codes are all working. The site’s interface is easy to use and you can immediately spot the code you want to integrate into your game.

Max Attack Cheat Codes

Step 6

I tried to use the Max Attack cheat which would make my Pokemon attack at its maximum level. I named the cheat Max Attack.

Max Attack Pokemon Emerald

Step 7

Next, I clicked the Cheat type and a drop-down menu popped up. I chose GameShark v3 (Action Replay) as instructed on the site. You shouldn’t worry about this one because most cheat codes available on the web also specify the cheat type.

Cheat Type Gameshark v3 Action Replay

Step 8

Then, I copied the cheat code from the website and typed it in the Cheat Code space. Make sure that you have copied the right code and you won’t make any bit of a mistake. Remember that the code is case-sensitive.

Max Attack Cheat Code

Step 9

After you have filled in the necessary information, don’t forget to click Save.

Max Attack Cheat Code

Step 10

This is what my Cheats menu looked like after I typed in several cheat codes.

List of Cheat Codes in Cheats Menu

After I entered the cheat codes, this is what my Pokemon battle looks like:

Pokemon Emerald Battle with Cheat Codes

Related Reads:

Frequently Asked Questions

How to use a Controller?

Simply plug into your controller via Bluetooth or USB cable. Open VBA and go to Options> Input> Configure. Now load your GBA ROM and enjoy playing GameBoy advanced games with the controller.

Are GBA emulators illegal?

Yes, you can download and legally use Gameboy advanced emulators on your device.

What are the best Gameboy Advanced emulators for Android?

Among all the Gameboy advanced emulators crowding the tech space, the following apps are considered to be the best, especially for beginners. These have possessed simple to elaborate interfaces that require testing. Without further ado, let’s have them checked.

Can I download a GBA emulator on my PC and then move it to my phone?

Yes, you can. But you must use the software on your PC to run the apk file.

Is it possible to get a Nintendo 3DS emulator for Android?

Just like the GameBoy Advance, you can also get a Nintendo 3DS emulator for Android.

Can I get GBA emulator cheats?

Yes, you can. Most GBA emulators support cheat codes.

My Conclusion

All of those emulators mentioned above are good in their own way with some of them excelling in their field. Whichever one you choose, you’ll surely be sent back to your glory days and ease the longing you have for the GBA games.

Which one is the best GBA emulator for you? Do you still have more questions? Tell us in the comment, then share this post on your favorite social media platforms.

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    1. Rob,
      I would just say that although we recommend using emulators, we can’t recommend certain ROMs or show how to implement the use of ROMs, since they are typically considered illegal. Although we understand that many people use emulators for this purpose, emulators can be used for legal purposes, similar to torrent engines. Sorry, about the lack of advice, but we try to avoid sharing any illegal information on the site.

  1. Awesome article! Thank you guys, I’ll try this emulators on my phone, I really want to play old pokemon games 😀

  2. I’ve tried everyone of these and there is a fatal flaw for all of these emulators. it is near impossible to do an input command of holding down the button and then the a button at the same time or right after another. Biggest example would be in Legend of Zelda Link’s Awakening. You are required sometimes to hold out your shield and then while holding B to have your shield out you use your sword with A. Unfortunately with a touch screen it’s almost impossible to hold both shield and sword up at the same time. The input for these buttons are severely lacking. I’ve also tried other stuff like bokutai the sun is in your hands to double equip and input is frustrating.

  3. Hey Dani good article but which emulators allow you to speed up games and also allow to use multiple lines in a single cheat.
    I also need the emulator to be free.
    Thanks in advance.

  4. try to find MY BOY EMULATOR on the app named ‘Mobogenie’ u will get the free version of MY BOY EMU.

    I just want to ask which of these are capable of linking (e.g. pokemon link trades) when in free versions.

  6. Hey, was just wondering which emulator is best for Android if I want to use cheats? I have the paid version of my boy, but I still can’t get gameshark or code breaker cheats to work. Please help!

  7. Hey Dani good article but which emulators allow you to speed up games and also allow to use multiple lines in a single cheat.
    I also need the emulator to be free.

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