How To: Get a Game Boy Advance (GBA) Emulator on Your BlackBerry, iPhone, Android, PSP, Mac, or PC

Get a Game Boy Advance (GBA) Emulator on Your BlackBerry, iPhone, Android, PSP, Mac, or PC

For those of you still using a BlackBerry smartphone, this article will show you the tips and tricks to installing emulators and playing some classic Game Boy Advanced games on your device.

You can find a few tutorials and videos out there on getting Game Boy Color or NES games on an Android device, but the most elusive mobile emulator is for Game Boy Advanced (GBA) on a BlackBerry.

Is it truly impossible to do?

How It Works

There is an emulator available for almost any gaming system you can think of, from Super Nintendo to the PS2. Depending on what system you're using, a Mac, Windows PC, Android device, or BlackBerry, each emulator will run differently or not at all (most sites list what devices are compatible with each emulator).

In order to play any of a particular system's games or ROMs (read-only memory files), you must first download an emulator that will allow your device to mimic the original device's attributes.

In this case, it's mimicking whatever gaming system you choose. So, if you want to play Pokémon Gold on your BlackBerry Pearl, you would download the Game Boy Color emulator directly to your phone or transfer the download from your computer. Once that's done, you can download the Pokémon Gold ROM and run it through the emulator.

Using Emulators on a BlackBerry

When it comes to BlackBerrys, the list of compatible emulators and ROMs is very similar to the other smartphones on the market—except when it comes to GBA. While some people have had minimal success launching a GBA ROM on the BlackBerry PlayBook, there have been many problems reported, including the inability to save games, only being able to play one ROM, and sluggishness. But it is indeed possible.

It has also been suggested that BlackBerry users download an Android emulator. That emulator would then allow you to download a GBA emulator for an Android device, since your BlackBerry is moonlighting as an Android. From there, you could theoretically run a GBA ROM by mimicking the Android system. This, of course, would take up a lot of space and would require a ton of work and patience, but if you really want to get that GBA emulator on your BlackBerry, then this is your best bet.

Check out these BlackBerry employees running an Android emulator on a PlayBook.

Why GBA?

So, you ask, what's so great about GBA that someone would want to go through all this trouble? Well, GBA had some pretty sweet games that would simply be bomb to play during downtime. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past & Four Swords, Pokémon Pinball, Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire are just a few of the games for those with GBA nostalgia.

While getting GBA on your BlackBerry may be difficult (if not impossible), there are a ton of different options to get your hands on a working emulator and a compatible device to play all the Game Boy games you want.


MeBoy is a relaible resource for those looking to find an emulator download for their phone. Their list of compatible phones is massive and the download allows all compatible phones to run Game Boy and Game Boy Color ROMs. Most BlackBerrys can run Game Boy Color and Game Boy ROMs.

MeBoy recently released another version of their Visual Boy emulator, which now lets Windows PCs play GBA games.

Other Devices That Can Run GBA Emulators

Macs Running OS X 10.5 or Later

Suggested emulator: Boycott Advance

Jailbroken iPhones or iPods (excluding the 5 or any device running iOS 6)

If you have a jailbroken iOS device, you can install a GBA emulator through Cydia that will let you play any GBA game. Check out the video to see how to get it.

Android Phones

Suggested emulator: Gameboid ($3.99)

You can find a huge list of BIOS files for different emulators for Android phones here, and a bunch of ROMs here.

You can also actually search Google Play for some other emulators as well.

Sony PSP

For the PSP, there's an emulator called gpSP that you can install (if you have custom firmware with 3.XX kernal). Check out the video and this guide for instructions on how to install it.

Most PCs and Desktop Computers

You can find a list of emulators for PCs over on Emulator Zone. Just download, unzip, and install. This video will take you through the process and show you a few places where you can find games to play once it's installed.

This list should help alleviate some of the withdrawal symptoms for those fiending for some GBA play. Good luck and Godspeed.

Know of Any Others?

Did you find another way to play GBA on a BlackBerry? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Photo by Pocket-lint

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