7 Best GBA Emulators for PC in 2024


Looking for the best GBA emulator for PC in 2024? You've come to the right place! Game Boy Advance (GBA) emulators allow you to enjoy your favorite retro games on your computer, offering enhanced graphics, performance, and features that weren't available on the original hardware. Whether you're a casual gamer or a hardcore enthusiast, our comprehensive guide will help you choose the best emulator to elevate your gaming experience.

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What is a GBA Emulator?

A GBA emulator is a software program designed to mimic the functionality of the Game Boy Advance console on your PC. These emulators allow you to play GBA games, save game states, use cheats, and enjoy enhanced graphics and performance that far exceed what was possible on the original hardware. GBA emulators have evolved significantly over the years, incorporating features that improve the overall gaming experience, making them a popular choice for retro gaming enthusiasts.

Benefits of Using GBA Emulators on PC

  • Improved Graphics and Performance: Modern emulators can upscale game graphics and offer better performance than the original console, providing a smoother and more visually appealing gaming experience.
  • Controller Support: Many emulators support various types of controllers, allowing you to customize settings and enjoy games with the input devices that feel most comfortable for you.
  • Save and Load States: With emulators, you can save your game at any point and load it whenever you want. This feature is especially useful for difficult games or for saving progress before challenging sections.
  • Larger Screen: Playing GBA games on a bigger screen with better resolution enhances the visual experience and allows for more detailed gameplay.
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How We Selected the Best GBA Emulators

To select the best GBA emulators, we considered several crucial factors:

  • Performance: Ensuring smooth gameplay and stability without crashes or significant bugs.
  • Features: Availability of advanced features like cheats, save states, and controller support.
  • Compatibility: Ability to run on different operating systems, including Windows, macOS, and Linux.
  • User Reviews: Feedback from the gaming community to gauge the overall satisfaction and usability.
  • Updates: Regular updates and ongoing support from developers to ensure the emulator remains functional and relevant.
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7 Best GBA Emulators for PC in 2024

1. mGBA

Introduction: mGBA is one of the most popular GBA emulators due to its high compatibility and regular updates. It's known for its reliability and extensive feature set.

Features: mGBA supports NES Classic series games, allows the use of cheat codes, and offers fast forwarding and rewinding capabilities. It also supports multiple platforms, including Windows, macOS, and Linux.

Pros: High accuracy in emulation, multi-platform support, and regular updates that introduce new features and improvements.

Cons: Users may encounter occasional bugs, but these are typically resolved quickly due to active development.

Why it stands out in 2024: mGBA continues to be a top choice due to its continuous development and excellent performance, making it reliable for both casual and hardcore gamers.

2. VisualBoy Advance -M

Introduction: VisualBoy Advance -M is a modern fork of the original VisualBoy Advance, offering improved stability and a host of new features that make it a robust choice for GBA emulation.

Features: This emulator includes sensor emulation, fixes for driver issues, and enhanced performance, ensuring a seamless gaming experience.

Pros: Actively developed, supports Windows, Linux, and macOS, and fixes many of the older issues present in the original VisualBoy Advance.

Cons: While it offers slightly lower accuracy compared to mGBA, it compensates with its ease of use and regular updates.

Unique selling points: The combination of enhanced features, user-friendly interface, and regular updates makes VisualBoy Advance -M a strong contender for the best GBA emulator.

3. No$GBA

Introduction: No$GBA is one of the oldest GBA emulators, originally developed as a debugging tool. It has since become a popular choice for playing GBA games due to its high accuracy and extensive features.

Features: No$GBA supports Link Cable and e-Reader functionalities, making it unique among GBA emulators. It also offers excellent debugging tools, which are beneficial for developers.

Pros: High accuracy in emulation, support for older games, and unique features like Link Cable.

Cons: The interface is outdated, and compatibility with newer systems is limited.

Notable improvements: Recent updates have improved compatibility with modern systems, ensuring it remains a viable option for GBA emulation.

4. NanoBoy Advance

Introduction: NanoBoy Advance is a highly accurate GBA emulator known for its cycle-accurate emulation, which ensures that games run as they would on the original hardware.

Features: It supports loading ROMs from ZIP, 7z, TAR, and RAR files, save states, and custom controller remaps. These features make it a versatile and powerful emulator.

Pros: High accuracy, regular updates, and robust support for various file formats and custom configurations.

Cons: Requires a powerful PC to run optimally, which may be a limitation for users with older hardware.

Why it's recommended: NanoBoy Advance is perfect for users who prioritize accuracy and want a reliable emulator that closely replicates the original GBA experience.

5. SkyEmu

Introduction: SkyEmu is known for its high accuracy and support for multiple platforms, making it a versatile choice for GBA emulation.

Features: SkyEmu offers fast forward and rewind functionalities, action replay cheat codes, and solar sensor emulation. It also supports multiple consoles, including Game Boy and Nintendo DS.

Pros: High accuracy, support for various consoles, and a range of advanced features.

Cons: As it is still in development, users may encounter occasional bugs.

Key benefits: SkyEmu's reliable performance and extensive feature set make it a great option for those looking to emulate classic games with high accuracy.

6. Ares

Introduction: Ares is a multi-console emulator that supports GBA, GB, GBC, NES, SNES, SEGA, and more. It has a large community of users and is actively developed.

Features: Ares offers ARM-based Windows support, a large game repository, and a user-friendly interface. It is versatile and supports a wide range of consoles and games.

Pros: Versatile, community-supported, and easy to use.

Cons: The setup process can be complex for beginners, requiring some technical knowledge.

Versatility: Ares's ability to support multiple consoles and its large game repository make it an excellent choice for those looking to emulate various systems on their PC.

7. BatGBA

Introduction: BatGBA is a simple and easy-to-use GBA emulator that offers reliable performance without the need for extensive configuration.

Features: It is lightweight, supports all ROMs, and provides a straightforward user experience. This makes it ideal for users who want a hassle-free emulator.

Pros: Easy to use, supports all ROMs, and offers reliable performance.

Cons: The interface is outdated, and it lacks advanced features compared to other emulators.

Simplicity: BatGBA's simplicity and ease of use make it perfect for users who prefer a straightforward and reliable emulator without the need for complex setup or configuration.

How to Install and Use GBA Emulators on PC

  1. Download the Emulator: Visit the official website of the emulator you choose and download the latest version compatible with your operating system.
  2. Install the Emulator: Follow the installation instructions provided by the emulator's developers. This usually involves running an installer or extracting files to a designated folder.
  3. Configure Settings: Once installed, configure the emulator's settings according to your preferences. This includes setting up controller inputs, graphics options, and audio settings to optimize your gaming experience.
  4. Load ROMs: Download GBA ROMs from reputable sources. Open the emulator, navigate to the 'Load ROM' or equivalent option, and select the game file to start playing.
  5. Start Playing: Enjoy your favorite GBA games with enhanced graphics, performance, and features on your PC.


Choosing the right GBA emulator can greatly enhance your retro gaming experience on PC. Whether you prioritize accuracy, ease of use, or advanced features, there's a GBA emulator on this list for you. Each emulator offers unique benefits and capabilities, making it easy to find one that suits your gaming style and technical requirements. Try them out and enjoy the best of GBA gaming on your PC in 2024.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. What is the best GBA emulator for Windows 11?

mGBA is highly recommended for Windows 11 due to its compatibility, high accuracy, and regular updates.

Q2. Are GBA emulators legal?

Emulators themselves are legal, but downloading ROMs of games you do not own is illegal and can lead to legal consequences.

Q3. Can I use GBA emulators on macOS and Linux?

Yes, many GBA emulators like mGBA and VisualBoy Advance -M support macOS and Linux, making them versatile options for users on different operating systems.

Q4. How to load ROMs on GBA emulators?

Download the ROM file from a reputable source, open your emulator, and use the 'Load ROM' feature to navigate to and select the ROM file. The game should start automatically.

Q5. Do GBA emulators support game controllers?

Yes, most GBA emulators support game controllers and allow you to configure custom settings for an optimal gaming experience.

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