The Game Boy Advance or GBA is one of the most popular portable video game consoles of all time.
Followed by its predecessor Game Boy Color, the GBA had a better material and better color quality. It was one of Nintendo’s most popular handheld systems, which users could take anywhere to play their favorite Game Boy games.
If you want to play GBA games on your Windows PC or Android smartphone, you can use a GBA emulator.
In this article, we have selected for you the best Game Boy Advance emulators that can be used to play all popular Nintendo GBA games on PC or Android.
Best GBA Emulators for PC
1. Visual Boy Advance (VBA-M)
The first and one of the most stable GBA emulators for Windows on the list is Visual Boy Advance. It is one of the oldest emulators that has been around for over a decade now.
Visual Boy Advance is completely free and supports all GB (GameBoy), GBC (GameBoy Color) and GBA (GameBoy Advance) ROMs.
The progress of the game can be easily saved in VBA. In addition, this data can be exported to other emulators. Joystick support on VBA further improves gameplay.
Overall, VBA is a simple and easy to use emulator and all its clever features make it the best Gameboy advance emulator for PC.
The best features of Visual Boy Advance:
Supports all Gameboy Advance ROMs
Possibility to save the game according to the user’s preferences.
No$GBA or No Cash GBA is a reliable and feature rich Nintendo DS/DS Lite and GameBoy Advance emulator.
If you want to play multiplayer GBA games, No$GBA will certainly impress you. Load the ROM and you can play games immediately.
No$GBA can run almost all existing Nintendo DS and GBA ROMs. As with Visual Boy Advance, you can also use a controller with No$GBA.
This powerful emulator allows users to remap the keyboard keys according to their preferences. Overall, No$GBA is one of the best GBA emulators for PC that can be used to play Nintendo DS and GBA games.
The next GBA emulator on the list is BatGBA. This lightweight GBA emulator with limited functionality allows users to play the GBA without any problems. The BatGBA user interface may seem a bit outdated as it was updated on July 11, 2002.
Using BatGBA, you can play the GB (GameBoy), GBC (GameBoy Color) and GBA (GameBoy Advance) roms.
To fully enjoy the games on BatGBA, you will need an original BIOS file. Finally, BatGBA also displays the fps during the games. Overall, BatGBA is the simplest GBA emulator available.
This is mGBA, an emulator that sets a benchmark in Game Boy emulations for other emulators.
Offering the widest compatibility of games compared to others, there are very few games that will not run on this GBA emulator.
Besides ROMs, mGBA supports Game Paks, which are similar to cartridge images. To run Game Paks, you will need a solar collector emulator or a physical emulator capable of charging Paks.
As far as features are concerned, there is the image limiter, which comes in handy when you don’t want to overload your system.
It also helps to limit the fluctuations in frame rate that can affect the gaming experience in demanding games. This function is very useful when the computer does not have the best possible configuration.
mGBA is also available in portable form. Even when you launch the normal version, it can be converted to a portable version.
A few months ago, the Dolphin emulator (for GameCube games) added mGBA integration. This allows users of both emulators to play together in multiplayer mode.
Saving the best for last, in addition to recording gameplay, you can capture gameplay moments in GIF form. They are small in size and therefore easy to share on different platforms. Upload them anywhere, and you may go viral.
The best features of mGBA:
Convert the emulator to a portable form.
Full support for solar collectors and their emulation.
Boycott Advance impressed us with its neat user interface and efficiency. This reliable emulator is one of the best options for macOS users. Boycott Advance has a simple and easy to navigate user interface.
It should be noted that Boycott Advance cannot emulate the classic Gameboy. Boycott Advance supports external USB joysticks and gamepads.
Boycott Advance emulator is highly optimized and supports GBA video features like scaling and rotation. Overall, it’s an impressive GBA emulator that does its job.
Designed explicitly for speed-runners, you can play GBA games on PC and finish them in no time.
BizHawk has Tool-Assisted-Speedruns(TAS), which is technically not a hack cheat. So you can finish the game without using unfair means. Many niche speed runner content creators rely on such tools to create clips and tutorials.
In addition, you can automate various recurring functions and key requirements. Use the Macro tool with a full dashboard to help you with automation. An editor is also available for advanced macros.
Backup status, slow motion and key mapping are available by default, and can be accessed from the configuration menu.
RetroArch supports a wide range of game consoles, including the GBA with cores.
The kernels are basically plugins for different consoles that allow RetroArch to run games from other consoles.
This versatile GBA emulator is based on the mGBA core to emulate Game Boy games. It is, in fact, the most stable kernel to run the games of the corresponding console.
RetroArch supports a wide variety of platforms. This ranges from computer operating systems to consoles of all kinds. They even launched the browser-based GBA emulator, where you just select the console and load your ROM to start playing.
Unlike other emulators that offer poor quality gameplay recordings, we have built-in FFmpeg for lossless video recording.
That was for recording, but when you want to stream directly online, RetroArch has advanced integration for Twitch and YouTube.
Stream directly from the GBA emulator without having to configure multiple programs to make it work.
As for Netplay, we have the option for multiplayer games via Netplay. Create lobbies that can appear in the lobby browser. You can also join others in their lobbies by playing the same game.
One feature we really liked is the automatic loading of the save state that detects the need when the game progress has reached a wall.
A new feature has been added, RetroAchievements. As the name suggests, it is an achievement tracking service that allows you to unlock trophies and medals.
The best features of RetroArch:
Conversion of the emulator to a portable form.
Full support for solar collectors and their emulation.
Good news, you can also play Game Boy Advance games on your smartphone with the GBA emulator for Android.
The first Gameboy advance emulator for Android on the list is GBA.emu. This feature-rich GBA emulator offers high-level BIOS emulation.
GBA.emu allows users to save and export the game progress and transfer it to the PC version of VBA-M.
Using GBA.emu, you can run any GBA ROM stored on your phone as ZIP, RAR or 7Z files and even as .gba files.
GBA.emu is one of the many GBA emulators for android that support cheat codes. Finally, the ability to save game progress anywhere is another interesting feature. It should be noted that GBA.emu is a paid GBA emulator that fully justifies its price.
My Boy is another impressive GBA emulator for Android smartphone users. This free GBA emulator also has a high level BIOS emulation. My Boy allows users to use and customize the on-screen keyboard. This keyboard even includes shortcuts like load/save.
Using OpenGL rendering, My Boy offers visually appealing graphics. Like GBA.emu, My Boy also supports cheat codes.
The free version is perfect for playing GBA games, but the full version is completely ad-free, supports multi-line cheat codes and allows you to advance quickly through the game.
The best features of My Boy:
Ability to create game shortcuts on the home screen.
You can consider this one as the best GBA emulator for Android, decide for yourself if EmuBox fits your description of the best. Besides GBA games, EmuBox can run Nintendo DS, PlayStation, SNES, and Game Boy Color games.
Similar to other emulators on the list EmuBox also offers many clever features like cheat support, save and load states, and fast forward support.
EmuBox is a perfect all-in-one emulator that offers reliable performance and impressive stability.