Gameboy Gaming without the Gameboy

Hello again everyone. Here lately I have been on this retro gaming kick. Always on my family vacations I bring my GameBoy Advanced SP and all my games. This year I wanted to try and get MORE GBA games with out having the hastle of finding and purchasing them. Not to mention old games are costly in working condition. So my first thought was emulators.

I have breifly mentioned emulators in my Wii Homebrew post. Click HERE to read. Emulators are used to memeic video games from a console on a PC or other device. I am sure many people have tried to run emulators on a PC. Emulators have been around for sometime. You can find an emulator for just about every console. Some emulators work better than others and some are paid while most are free. But today we are looking at installing emulators on an Android and Apple device. More specifically this post will highlight how to get emulators playing on these devices. While this process will be different for both devices, the end product is the same.

Before we begin let me answer some questions:

Will I need interenet to play the games once loaded?

No. Just to install the app. If you get paid version there are Wifi linking features

Will I have to buy anything to get this working?

Maybe. Some emulators have a paid app version. But this all can be done for free.

Do I have to jailbreak or Root the device to do this?

No you will not. But if you want to use USB gamepad you might have to.

Will this hurt, break, or brick my device?

No this is similar to downloading an app from the app store

I’m not very technical, is this hard to do?

No this is not hard to install and setup.

If you have a question I did not address please comment below and I will reply back.



First we will look at getting the Gameboy advanced working on your Android powered device. Open the Play Store and search for My Boy. This is the GBA emulator app. It is free. The free version will allow you do play and save games like you would normally on your GBA. If you get the paid version for $4.99 you can use the save state feature. There are other apps you can choose for emulators, even for NES and SNES. Choose which one you prefer. Once the app is downloaded now you need to get your ROMS. You will have to save the ROMS to your SD card. I suggest you create a folder that you can save ALL the GBA games in on the SD card.

iPhone or iPod Touch

Getting GBA emulator on your Apple device will require a little more effort. There is only one app that will work. This will all be done on your mobile device no computer required. There are limitations for OS and device you can use for this emulator. First you MUST use a device that is loaded with iOS 7 or earlier. Before you download the app the devs say you MUST changed the time and date of the device. Set the time and date to sometime before today in 2014. In safari go to GBA4iOS. Once you successfully downloaded the app you will have to get your ROMs installed in the app.Follow the instrustions below for how to do that. If you have questions please comment below.

You will have to ALWAYS have the date changed to before 2014 to make the app work. The site devs say you are able to set the date and time to auto AFTER you have GBA4iOS open. But I found it ONLY works with an older date. Just to keep that in mind. GBA4iOS has some other features to check out and change. Like Dropbox Sunc and custom controller skins. But those features may take some extra troubleshooting and tweaking to get working.


I suggest this site because if wont limit amount of ROMs you download. The site is easy to use (even on mobile device) and its got ROMs and ISOs for every system there is.

For Android the easiest way to get ROMs on your phone is to use Dropbox. You will have to go on PC, download the ROMS, extract them on a folder on dropbox. So that you have the GBA file only in the dropbox folder. Load the dropbox app on the Android, navigate to the file, save to device. I would also suggest you create a folder on your device for GBA games.

For iPhone or iPad you will have to go to the site above on the device. Navigate to where you download the ROM and select open with GBA4iOS and it will load into the app.


You want the classic feel of playing the games with a physical controller in hand? Well you still can with these emulators. You can purcahse a bluetooth gamepad. Bluetooth should be easy to setup and use in the emulator. Note: only specific bluetooth gamepads will work with GBA4iOS.
If you want to use a USB controller, this will require a little more effort. Now I have not been able to setup a USB controller with my emulator yet, it is possible. For android you will have to Root the device and make sure it can pair. You will also have to map the controls in the emulator. The iOS will not allow a USB controller.


Thanks for reading my post! Let me know what you think! Comment below, tell everyone what your favorite GBA games are and what emulator you use!

Here is a link of all the GBA games I downloaded. There are other I would recommend that I didnt download because I already owned the game.

Click Here to download my dropbox folder of GBA games

Click here for my Top 10 GBA games post


~ by rjslick88 on October 22, 2015.

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