The 5 Best GBA Emulators For Android

Play even more with these emulators

Best Emulators For Android

Whether you're looking to relive your childhood with old favorites, or discover a new addiction, you can capture the joy of the GBA on your Android device. There are several excellent GBA emulators for Android that make playing GBA games super easy.

RetroArch: An Ever-Evolving GBA Emulator With a Steep Learning Curve

RetroArch
RetroArch.

RetroArch is first on this list because it's something a bit different. RetroArch is more of a complete emulation solution than just a GBA emulator. That's in large part because it's a larger open source project with versions spanning multiple operating systems.

RetroArch operates with what it calls "cores." These cores are different emulation platforms that enable you to play games from a whole range of retro consoles, including the Game Boy Advance. With RetroArch's core system and the continual development being carried out on the project, you'll never run out of things to play.

While RetroArch does offer a polished interface, its still an open source project, and may have some rough edges. Some reviews have users reporting it might not be beginner friendly, but if you can work through the learning curve, you'll be well rewarded.

What we like:

  • Open Source.
  • Supports Multiple Consoles.
  • Continued Development.

What we don't like:

  • Learning Curve.

GBA.emu: The Most Polished GBA Emulator on Android

GBA.emu
GBA.emu.

GBA.emu is a dedicated Game Boy Advance emulator for Android. It's $4.99, but it's definitely worth it for a polished emulator. This emulator is also open source, but it takes all of the work out of the equation; there's no need to configure it or download BIOS files.

GBA.emu supports a range of formats, including the .gba extension and most popular archive formats. For controls, it features an on-screen control system but leaves the option open for USB and Bluetooth controllers.

What we like:

  • Great Interface.
  • Supports Multiple Formats.

What we don't like:

  • A Bit Pricey.

John GBA: A Great, Free GBA Emulator that Utilizes External Storage

John GBA
John GBA.

John GBA is a fantastic free option that allows you to play your Game Boy Advance games from either your phone's internal storage or an SD card. It enables you to play with either an on-screen virtual keypad or an external controller of your choice.

John GBA is a popular option because of how full-featured it is without any cost. You get access to game saves and restoration, turbo keys, customization, and even fast forward. With this emulator app, you can also take advantage of popular cheat engines like GameShark and CodeBreaker.

What we like:

  • Tons of Features.
  • Great Cheat Support.

What we don't like:

  • Ads.

My Boy!: The Most Well-Known GBA Emulator Around

My Boy!
My Boy!.

My Boy! is probably the most popular Game Boy Advance emulator. It has over half a million downloads on the Play Store, and it doesn't seem like it'll slow down any time soon. My Boy! features fast and efficient emulation that makes use of your phone's capabilities to their fullest.

My Boy! features nearly all of the advanced features of the other entries on this list, allowing you to take absolute control of your games in ways that would've never been possible on the actual Game Boy Advance.

My Boy! includes cheat support such as ActionReplay, adds more customization options with key mapping, and even screen layout options. You can also create your own shortcut icons to launch your favorite games straight from your phone's home screen.

For a free app, you're really not going to beat the rich array of features My Boy! has. This is an absolutely fantastic option!

What we like:

  • OpenGL Rendering.
  • Great Cheat Support.
  • Customization Options.

What we don't like:

  • Ads.
  • Paid Version is Pricey.

ClassicBoy: A Fully-Featured, All-In-One Emulator

ClassicBoy
ClassicBoy.

ClassicBoy is another more unique option, as it's an all-in-one emulator that supports eight consoles, including the Game Boy Advance. This one is a fully featured emulator with a fair amount of polish and graphical controls, as well as support for both virtual on-screen controls and external controls for all systems.

ClassicBoy doesn't offer as many options as some of the others on this list when it comes to GBA support, but access to other Game Boy platforms and other popular consoles, like the PlayStation and N64 might be a bigger selling point to some.

What we like:

  • Supports Multiple Consoles.
  • Great Interface.

What we don't like:

  • Fewer GBA Features.
  • Some Features Exclusive to Paid Version.