An emulator that allows users to play Gameboy and Gameboy Advance games on their computer


932 Votes

  • Category Emulators
  • Program license Free (GPL)
  • Version 1.8.0
  • Size 659.80 kB
  • Works under: Windows NT / Windows 2000 / Windows 98 SE / Windows ME / Windows XP / Windows 95 / Windows 98
  • Program available in English
  • Program by Ngemu

VisualBoyAdvance provides portable emulation of Game Boy and Game Boy Advance games.

VisualBoyAdvance is an emulator that runs Game Boy and Game Boy Advance games. This is just an emulator, so in order to play games, you’ll require ROM files that the program can load. The program isn’t resource-intensive and doesn’t need to be installed, so you can carry it around along with ROM files on flash drive. VBA supports 148 KB flash as well as automatic IP patches, which means that the app will remain up-to-date and be able to increase its supported library as the emulation becomes more sophisticated.

Perhaps one of the neatest aspects of VisualBoyAdvance is that practically every facet of the program can be customized. Don’t like the default keyboard mapping? Simply remap it according to what you find most comfortable. There’s also a slew of graphical options that can skew performance toward authenticity for the purist and toward smoothness for those who prefer it.

VisualBoyAdvance also features a built-in cheat menu, which is akin to using a GameShark back in the day. You can easily give yourself more lives or increase your health, and you’ll find codes on websites across the Internet that you can use to achieve neat effects. The emulator also has a save and load feature that lets you maintain your game state. It basically dumps your game state to a file, then lets you restore your game exactly as you were later just by loading that file.

VisualBoyAdvance is not a perfect experience. As mentioned, games aren’t included, and ROM files are generally not legal unless you own the cartridge. If a beginner can or is willing to clear this hurdle, they may find the learning curve daunting. Emulators can be tricky to use and aren’t known for their help files. VisualBoyAdvance is no exception. In addition, VisualBoyAdvance does tend to be a little buggy, and performance can vary wildly from one ROM file to the next.


  • Emulates Nintendo Game Boy games
  • Emulates Nintendo Game Boy Advance games
  • Lightweight and portable


  • Difficult for beginners to use
  • No games included
  • Performance varies from one game to the next
Alternatives to VisualBoyAdvance
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