10 of the Best GBA Emulators for Windows PC and Android!

10 of the Best GBA Emulators for Windows PC and Android!

Written by thetechw, In Gaming, Published On
July 23, 2021
, 133 Views
Last modified on November 30th, 2021

Game Boy Advance or GBA is a globally acknowledged video game console! Well, with this, I am sure your ‘lots of memories’ have just flash backed in front of you. So, how about reliving those days without getting away from your Windows PC? 

Let me guess, you must be definitely ‘In’ with this plan! But, if you’re wondering how then, let me tell you that GBA emulators for PC are perhaps the best options for the same!

FAQ: What is GBA Emulator?
Ans: GBA emulator is a portable device with one of the finest game catalogs ever! GBA Emulators are widely used to enjoy iconic Game Boy Advance games— ‘the one of the most popular games in the gaming community’ —on both Windows PC and Android cell phones as they provide users with a privilege of having phenomenal games that fit in their pockets!

It’s more than a decade ago when the Game Boy Advance (GBA) handheld console was released, and no-brainer it was quite popular at that time. Eventually, the production of this gaming console stopped, leaving no scope for gamers to carry a portable game player and play games as and when they wish.

Well, that’s not the case anymore! All thanks to those programmers who invented the ‘Emulator’ technology, we all can still enjoy the bliss of playing those good old GBA games with GBA emulators.  How cool, isn’t it!

Knowing that, you all will definitely plan to look for the best GBA Emulator for your PC or Android but when you do so, you might get confused as there are a lot of options available!

However, you don’t have to worry about the same. I have already compiled a list of the best GBA emulators so that you can use the ones that are functional and have some advanced features –of which you can take advantage when it comes to enjoying the utmost gaming experience on both your android and Windows PC. 

So, start reading to decide upon best and free Game Emulator to download on PC | Android for playing Game Boy Advance Games.

[Note: The below-listed GBA Emulators work great for playing Game Boy Advance on PC and Android as they are ranked in our top-10 list according to their usability, compatibility, UI and much more!]

Visual Boy Advance (VBA-M)

Emulator NameVisual Boy Advance
Price Free
Supported PlatformWindows, Mac, Linux, and BSD
File Size659.80 KB
System RequirementsAny device running Pentium 3 or furtherMore than 500 MHz of CPU clock speed &2 GB of RAM with 1 GB of Integrated graphic card with Direct X

The first on the list I have is VBA-M. This emulator was launched as a replacement for the well-known VisualBoyAdvance, which was discontinued in 2004. It’s a kind of VisualBoyAdvance’s new version that has been branched out after being improved by other developers.

To be precise, it’s a very powerful emulator that practically lets you play all the Nintendo’s famed GameBoy devices. It works as a dynamic emulator that supports all the original GB (Game Boy), GBC (Game Boy Color) and GBA (Game Boy Advance) ROMs!

Well, in addition, VBA-M offers plenty of other interesting features and let me tell you the popular games you’ll be able to play on VBA-M includes: Pokémon, Metroid, Zelda, Resident Evil, Castlevania, Final Fantasy, and, Super Mario of course,  whose more than 12 titles are available there. 

All in all, VBA-M is perhaps the best portable gaming emulator option for Windows users. With this, you’ll definitely be able to enjoy 1000+ classic Nintendo games for Game Boy, Game Boy Advance and GameBoy Color during a hundred-thousand hours of fun!

Strength

  • It is seamlessly compatible with most of the known GBA ROMs.
  • It has a quick keyboard button that has custom Key Mapping.
  • It allows you to activate the cheat codes and enjoy some games’ hidden features.
  • It lets you save your game progress to continue later anytime.
  • It allows taking screenshots along with recording  your game play &
  • It has support for the Joystick also.

Weakness

  • It may crash or not work with heavy ROMs on old machines with very low computing power.
Download Visual Boy Advance (VBAM) from here: http://www.emulator-zone.com/doc.php/gba/vboyadvance.html

No$GBA

Emulator NameNo$GBA
PriceFree
File Size204.27 KB
Supported PlatformWindows 10, Windows XP and MS-DOS
System RequirementsAny industry-standard dual-core processor &1 GB of RAM

The next top choice in the list of GBA emulators is No$GBA. Albeit, it was started as a Game Boy Advance debugger but later, released as a normal emulator that offers support for Nintendo DS emulation along with GBA games! It means you can play both Nintendo DS/Lite portable and GBA games on this particular emulator.

Well, not many are aware of the fact that No$GBA is the very first Game Boy Advance emulator to feature multiplayer. Yes, even before Rascalboy Advance!

More interestingly, No$GBA, after many requests from fans, now began offering dedicated support for playing Pokémon Multiplayer for the GBA emulator. Besides these amazing features, this emulator also features a wide variety of customization for the sole motive of enhancing your gaming experience. 

In short, No$gba is a complete game emulator package for your Windows computer to enjoy the best possible gaming experience during ‘Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS’ play!

Strength

  • It’s a small-sized application (with only 210 KB) despite containing a large amount of options and commands.
  • It offers a smooth gaming experience with optimized game delivery.
  • It supports multiplayer games and is able to load numerous NDS ROM files for linking games.
  • It has an extensive control setup to not only configure your controller, but also to map your keys to your controller.
  • It includes customizable key mapping.
  • Like VBAM, it also saves your game progress to let you continue it later.

Weakness

  • It is not a cross-platform application.
  • And, it does not support Linux and Mac operating systems.
Download No$GBA from here: https://www.nogba.com/no$gba-download.htm 

BatGBA

Emulator NameBatGBA
PriceFree
File Size229.62 KB
Supported PlatformWindows O.S.
System RequirementsCPU clocked at 1 GHz or fasterDual-core processor1 GB of RAM and a graphic card

Another iconic emulator on the list of GBA emulators for PC is BatGBA. It is one of the oldest, lightweight and extremely compatible emulators that supports almost all new age ROMs without any difficulty. With BatGBA, you can easily play GB (Game Boy), GBA (Game Boy Advance) ROMs, and GBC (Game Boy Color).

Moreover, it is the simplest GBA emulator for PC that does not require any useless installations to render outstanding performance. Plus, it runs almost on any hardware with ease so, you don’t need to be a pro in using BatGBA.

And, besides being the simplest emulator in existence today, it also has all the required features to make it stand out of the crowd. So, that’s why BatGBA is undeniably on this list of best GBA emulators on whose performance you can blindfold rely upon!

Strength

  • It surprisingly offers smooth Gameplay.
  • It is simple to operate.
  • It displays FPS (Frame per Second) while you play the game.
  • It offers Reliable performance
  • Capable of playing all types of GBA games including Game Boy, and GBC ROMs.

Weakness

  • Compared to other emulators, it lacks in some advance features 
  • It only supports Windows and thus, it’s not cross-platform.
  • Its User Interface looks very old-school.
Download BatGBA from here: https://batgba.zophar.net/

mGBA

Emulator NamemGBA
PriceFree
Version0.9.1
Supported PlatformAndroid, Windows 7 or newer, OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion)[3] or newer, Linux, Mac, FreeBSD, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Switch, Wii, PlayStation Vita, etc.
System Requirements1 or 2 GB of RAM Core 2 Duo processorA significant amount of graphics memoryRequires Android (4.0.1 and up) version

Launched 8 years ago, this streamlined Game Boy emulator has been designed to work with older hardware systems of PCs without sacrificing on performance or experiencing any playback issues. 

Notably, mGBA, similar to Visual boy advance— supports Game Boy, Game Boy Color and GameBoy Advance ROMs hassle-freely. In addition, this application revolves around its open-source nature, so users will never have to pay for downloading it on their respective devices. In fact, updates regarding it, generally take place on a regular basis without bothering you for the same.

Apart from this, it aims to be faster and more accurate than many other existing Game Boy Advance emulators. Also, at the same time, it believes in timely adding features that other emulators certainly lack!

So, overall, mGBA is one of the fastest and most advanced Game Boy emulators on the market that supports a humongous catalogue of GBA ROMs and other major game titles such as Pokémon series, Mario Kart series, Final Fantasy, and The Legend of Zelda series, etc.  

Strength

  • It is extremely lightweight to run. 
  • It allows you to smoothly play games on low configuration hardware also.
  • It supports plenty of GBA ROMs.
  • You can save the game progress to continue later.
  • It allows you to enable ROM patches by overriding the game.
  • It also supports using cheat codes.
  • It has a good color emulation of the games.

Weakness

  • Lacking behind in some features.
  • There are few GBA ROMs that don’t boot with this emulator.
Download mGBA from here: https://mgba.io/downloads.html

Boycott Advance

Emulator NameBoycott Advance
PriceFree
File Size0.6MB
Supported PlatformWindows & Mac.
System RequirementsMid-range standard processor with 1 GB of RAMEquivalent graphics

The next Game Boy Advance emulator that has stood the test of time is none other than Boycott Advance. It is a highly optimized emulator that works virtually for Mac and all versions of Windows, starting from XP to Windows 10. Well, this is a kind of emulator for which you can use autofire for up to 5 keys in the game.

Also, you can run emulator applications on GBA ROMs available in ZIP, 7Z, RAR, and .gb file formats. Besides that, it allows automation of several moves in play, helping in completing achievements in the game. 

And, it is worthy enough to mention that, it has an option using which you can record audio from the GBS games also. In fact not only audio, it can be used to record music, game and other dialogues from the game in formats like WAV and MP3, etc.

Above all, what’s more interesting to know about Boycott Advance is that it has an online version, which eliminates the requirement to download the application on your PC to run GBA games.

Strength

  • It supports macOS apart from Windows and becomes cross-platform supportive.
  • It saves your game, and you can later on play the same game.
  • It has exceptionally optimized CPU emulation for a smooth gaming experience.
  • It is extremely lightweight to run.
  • It supports GBA video features like rotation and scaling.
  • It’s very simple to set-up and play.
  • Has support for Joystick and Key Mapping.
  • It quickly allows opening of recently played games.

Weakness

  • It has some known bugs.
  • Contains a few title-crash.
  • It requires BIOS support to run many GBA ROMs.
  • Some of its games do not load properly.
  • And, it is not available for Linux.
Download Boycott Advance from here: https://www.bannister.org/software/ba.htm

GBA.emu

Emulator NameGBA.emu
PricePaid [It comes with a price tag of $4.99]
Version1.0
Supported PlatformAndroid, Windows, Linux, & Mac.
System RequirementsRequires Android (4.0.3 and up)BlueStacks 4 – To Download and Install on Windows and macOS

This emulator is unique from the aforementioned emulators because it has a paid licensing with both the advanced and standard emulation features such as on screen controls, which a regular console emulator must need to play GBA games.

Not only that, it has many in-built features to give impressive performance across all devices. With GBA.emu you can easily run any GBA ROMs that can be stored on your android phone in the form of ZIP, 7Z files, RAR, and even .gba files. Yes! GBA.emu is one of the top GBA emulators for not only Windows, but also for Android.

All in all, GBA.emu boasts about cheat code support, configurable on-screen touch controls using VBA-M-compatible files and support for hardware controllers. Thus, you can run your favorite GBA without any hassle on this terrific (paid) GBA emulator that totally justifies its pricing.

Strength

  • It is based on VBA-M r1097.
  • It was designed and tested on numerous devices including Samsung, Sony, and Nexus.
  • It can work in both portrait and landscape orientation.
  • There’s no need for a BIOS file.
  • It supports save and load previous states of games.
  • It allows cheat code support.
  • It also offers screen orientation support.

Weakness

  • Nothing as such, just NDS games not run properly.
Download GBA.emu from here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.explusalpha.GbaEmu

My Boy

Emulator NameMy Boy
PricePaid
Version1.8.0
Supported PlatformAndroid, Windows, Linux, Mac.
System RequirementsMulti-touch requires Android 2.0 or laterBlueStacks 4 – To Download and Install on Windows and macOS

Moving onto the next promising Game Boy Advance emulator, My Boy is one of the fastest GBA emulators I have on the list.  It is hands down the most prominent android emulator and extremely popular in the android world for its terrific performance and over the top emulation qualities.

Albeit, its free version is enough for game lovers to play GBA games, but what mostly attracts users is –the full version of My Boy app that is completely ad-free and has visually appealing graphics.

Amongst the most notable feature of My Boy comes with an on-screen keypad. Wondering how? Well, unlike normal keypads, My Boy’s keypad comes with additional shortcuts that can help you to easily load and save your games, isn’t it amazing!

Strength

  • It supports multi-line cheat codes
  • It has the ability to fast-forward the gameplay.
  • It lets you create game shortcuts on the home screen.
  • It allows you to use external controllers in the game.
  • And, it does not involve a lengthy setup like many other android emulators

Weakness

  • In some games, chances of experiencing audio lag
Download My Boy from here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.fastemulator.gbafree&hl=en

John GBA

Emulator NameJohn GBA
PriceFree
Version3.93
Supported PlatformAndroid, Windows, Linux, & Mac.
System RequirementsRequires Android (4.1 and up) versionAt least 1 GB of RAM and 1 GB of VRAM.A fast CPU clocked at 800 MHz.A dual-core processor BlueStacks 4 – To Download and Install on Windows and macOS

Another unmatched android GBA emulator on this list is ‘JohnGBA.’ This terrific emulator has plenty of astonishing features that work flawlessly with your GBA ROMs for offering high-quality graphics rendering.

Besides that, John GBA is one such emulator that comes with the original GBA engine, and it requires you to have your own ROM files to run the games. Additionally, it also comes with turbo buttons, customizable keys, and more for the ease of users.

Well, that’s not it! There is one more really cool feature in the John GBA emulator according to which you can play GBA games in fast-forward or slow down mode, how amazing! 

Hence, this is one of the better GBA emulators that deserved to be on this list.

Strength

  • It offers zipped file support.
  • Has the ability to take screenshots.
  • It provides both Bluetooth and external controller support for MOGA/Wiimote, etc.

Weakness

  • It is slightly complicated.
Download John GBA from here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.johnemulators.johngbalite&hl=en_IN&gl=US

EmuBox

Emulator NameEmuBox
PriceFree
Version3.0
Supported PlatformAndroid, Windows, Linux, Mac.
System RequirementsRequires Android (4.4 and up)BlueStacks 4 – To Download and Install on Windows and macOS

EmuBox is an all-in-one emulator application that offers impressive stability and reliable performance. Like other popular emulators, it offers many nifty features like— “cheat support, fast-forward support, save and load states.” Well, that’s primarily the best of the basics.

Moreover, EmuBox, apart from GBA games, also runs on several consoles including Nintendo DS, SNES, PlayStation, NES, and Game Boy Color games, amongst others.

So, in short, EmuBox runs nearly all the GBA games without any hiccups. Furthermore, it supports the solar sensors, Gyroscope, and also the hardware sensors of your phone or computer to let you have the best gaming experience!

Strength

  • It’s a multi emulator with the material design.
  • It offers fast-forward support.
  • It can save to load/restore a game from any given point of time.
  • Supports up to 20 save slots for each ROM.
  • It has advanced settings to optimize gaming performance.
  • With EmuBox, you can play with external controller
  • And, can also take game screenshots anytime during play.

Weakness

  • It requires you to download the ROMs from the corresponding webs.
Download EmuBox from here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.emulator.box.aio&hl=en_IN&gl=US

Higan

Emulator NameHigan
PriceFree
File Size4.19 MB
Supported PlatformWindows, Linux, Mac.
System RequirementsAny Core 2 Duo, i3 or equivalent AMD chipAt least 2 GB of RAM and 1 GB of graphics support

Last but not least, Higan is like an all-in-one emulator that is also referred to as a multi-system emulator for playing GBA games on PC. 

Well, this particular emulator by nature is simplistic to its core, as it can run on almost all the hardware you throw at it! In fact, it offers so much ease that you can control the emulator however you want. 

And, apart from having support for just GBA games, it is one such good GBA emulator that even emulates other game systems like the NES, SNES, Game Boy, GBC, Mega Drive, Game Gear, Wonderswan Color, SEGA Master System, Genesis, Super Famicom, Famicom, Wonderswan, and the PC Engine. So, despite the fact that Higan lets you play GBA games with ease, you can also use this emulator for playing aforementioned games.

Overall, what makes it a remarkable emulator option is that it offers a plethora of options, has the ability to smoothly run games and is compatible with different ROMs. So, definitely you won’t regret considering it as one of your options!

Strength

  • It supports a huge list of GBA ROMS including all the known ones.
  • It runs smoothly in just a few clicks.
  • Supports Custom Key Mapping.
  • And, like others listed emulators, it also saves your game progress to play anytime later.

Weakness

  • Some of its ROMs may suffer boot error.
  • Also, there’s audio and visual lag.
Download Higan from here: https://byuu.org/higan/

In a Nutshell

That’s it! With the huge variety of GBA emulators that are available out there on the internet, these following listed are some of the best feature-packed GBA emulators –you can use for playing GBA games on both your Windows PC and Android.

Top 5 Best GBA Emulators on Android

  • GBA.emu 
  • My Boy! 
  • mGBA Console Emulator 
  • John GBA 
  • EmuBox

Top 5 Best GBA Emulator for PC

  • Higan 
  • Visual Boy Advance (VBA-M)
  • No$GBA
  • BatGBA
  • Boycott Advance

From the list, you can simply pick any emulator that suits your needs, taste and preference!

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