9 Best GBA Emulator For Android In 2019

Do you look on the Game Boy Advanced and Game Boy Color with nostalgia? Both had a lot of great titles, perhaps titles that introduced you into the video game worlds. Titles that were some of your first great experiences with adventure and storytelling. Those are hard memories to forget, and you might look back on it with a little sadness, unable to play those games anywhere.

But there’s good news for you: there’s still a way to revisit your favorite Game Boy Advanced and Game Boy Color titles, and that’s with an Android emulator. Yes, you can relive those glory days right here on Android.

Emulators and ROMs

There is an important distinction to make between an Emulator and a ROM. An emulator is essentially the vehicle or virtual environment for a console like the Gameboy Advanced, and then the ROM is the actual game. A ROM would be something like Animal Crossing or Super Mario Bros.

That said, you will need one of the below emulators to even play a game. But after that, you’ll need to find a ROM that you can load into one of the emulators — you can generally find those all around the ‘net. Once you have the emulator on your phone, hit the Internet and look for Gameboy Advanced ROMs for Android.

From there, just about each emulator below will have an option to “load” the ROM into the emulator, which then allows you to play your GameBoy Advanced game of choice.

Emulator For GBA 2

Coming in as number one on out countdown, we’re looking at the aptly named Emulator For GBA 2. This one might not have nearly as well built and designed of a UI as some others on our list, but it’s basic functions actually work really well. This emulator only supported the Game Boy Advanced 2, so you’ll have to find ROMs specifically for that machine. There’s no other emulators mixed inside of it that you can play around with.

You have your basic load and save state functions, as well as a network mode that allows you to play with other players on the network. It has easy to use virtual keypads, and unfortunately, it isn’t know whether or not this one has controller support.

Download it now: Google Play

VGBAnext

VGBAnext comes up as second on our countdown, and actually offers multiple types of emulators inside — for the Gameboy Advance, Game Boy Colour, and even the Nintendo Entertainment System. This one runs really great, and allows you to play your favorite ROMs from those three consoles seamlessly.

One of the highlights of this one is that it actually has controller support. Tired of using on-screen digital controls? VGBAnext has MOGA support, allowing you to play your favorite games on GBA, GBC, and NES with modern, physical controller support. Another thing that’s actually unique with it is that there’s a button that allows you to rewind gameplay by 16 seconds.

It even has Network Play feature for playing your favorite games with friends over wireless networks.

Download it now: Google Play

GBA.emu

Next up on our list is GBA.emu, developed by Robert Broglia. GBA.emu is packed full of different features that you would hope an emulator would have. There are save/load game states, BIOS emulation, support for cheat codes, and it even has support for a controller if you want to hook up some external hardware.

GBA.emu has a ton of support for ROMs as well, so you can play most Game Boy Advanced games on this ROM. There’s cross-platform support with the PC, too. You can try it out for yourself at the link below.

Download it now: Google Play

GemBoy

GemBoy is another great emulator available — it actually functions as a dual-emulator, offering both Game Boy Advanced and Game Boy Color emulators. It doesn’t offer nearly as many features as the GBA.emu, but you still get save/load states, hardware support, and a few other features.

Most Game Boy Advanced and Game Boy Color ROMs will work with this emulator. For offering two emulators in one, GemBoy is a surprisingly lightweight application.

Download it now: Google Play

GBC.emu

GBC.emu is a Game Boy Color emulator, developed also by Robert Broglia. He made the GBA one, so the GBC.emu emulator has many of the same features — save/load states, BIOS emulation, hardware support (for controllers), support for cheat codes, and more. This emulator actually has support for the original Game Boy as well, so you can download ROMs for that, too.

Similar to GBA.emu, it offers support for cross-platform play on the PC. There is no free version, so you’ll have to pay the $2.99 to get it. ROMs seem to work really well with GBC.emu, even the original Game Boy ROMs available. You will run into the occasional bug, but overall, GBC.emu is phenomenal with playing your favorite ROMs.

Download it now: Google Play

John GBA

John GBA is another Game Boy Advanced emulator available. It works similar to GBA.emu, and is super feature-rich. You get things like support for cheat codes, fast forward and slow down modes, save/load states, and more. There doesn’t seem to be any really good hardware support for it, which is disappointing for those that prefer playing with a controller.

It costs $2.99, which isn’t too pricey and means that you won’t experience any ads while playing. Unfortunately, there isn’t any cross platform support available. Overall, it’s a cheap way to get into playing a Game Boy Advance

Download it now: Google Play

My Boy

My Boy is another GBA emulator available on the Google Play Store. It’s actually one of the more popular options available, being downloaded by hundreds of thousands of players. It has a ton of features packed into it — support for cheat codes, external hardware, save/load states, fast forward, you name it.

You might find some better graphics with My Boy, as it does employ OpenGL rendering — it’s also a lot easier to setup as it has BIOS emulation, so you won’t need a BIOS file in order to play your favorite ROMs. Speaking of ROMs, games play really well in My Boy.

There are very few bugs, and if you do run into a glitch, it’s almost never something game breaking.

My Boy also has some decent developer support. It hasn’t been updated in about a year, but the developers always seem to update it every so often so that the latest versions of Android stay compatible with it.

Download it now: Google Play

MyGBA

MyGBA comes up next, and is one of the more reliable ways to play your favorite Gameboy Advanced ROMs. You should get smooth performance, excellent sound, easy save and load states, and more.

In reality, MyGBA is similar to just about any other emulator out there. The one thing that’s different is that the ROMs that you use with it must be in .gba or .zip formats.

Download it now: Google Play

Pizza Boy GBA

Pizza Boy GBA might be last up on our countdown, but it’s still one of our favorite choices. It’s one of the few GBA Emulators on the market that don’t annoy you with adverts everywhere.

Another unique thing about Pizza Boy is that it was written with the C and Assembly programming languages, which makes this one one of the better performers out there. That also makes it lightweight, which makes it easier on your battery life as well.

The developers say that you should be able to easily playback your favorite games in 60 frames-per-second, even on some of the older Android devices on the market.

Download it now: Google Play

Verdict

As you can see, there are a lot of phenomenal Game Boy Advanced (and Game Boy Color) emulators available on the Google Play Store. Unfortunately, there aren’t a whole lot out there that are free of charge, you’ll have to spend a couple of bucks in order to play any of these. However, if you’re going to pay for a GBA emulator, we recommend picking up My Boy.