Best GBA Emulators for Android

Best GBA Emulators for Android in 2021

Quick answer: The Best GBA Emulator for Android in 2024 is EmuBox!

The Game Boy Advance is considered one of Nintendo’s most popular handheld consoles ever. It was one of the few handheld consoles at the time to feature-rich colorful games in 32-bit glory as well as a decorated lineup of fun and enjoyable games.

These days it can be hard to get a hold of the console and the games in good condition as its well past its 18-year-old prime.

However, should you feel the need to boot up Metroid Fusion or Pokémon Ruby & Sapphire, then emulators are the solution for you.

It used to be that only computers were capable of emulating GBA games in the early 2000s but these days you don’t have to hunch over a keyboard to play amazing GBA titles.

These days it is easy to load up your favorite Game Boy Advance games on your Android smartphone by using a GBA emulator. We will be looking at some of the top GBA emulators for Android down below.

  1. EmuBox
  2. ClassicBoy
  3. GBA.emu
  4. GBAoid
  5. John GBA
  6. My Boy!
  7. RetroArch

1. EmuBox


Get EmuBox for Android

EmuBox is a notable option for Android users seeking a versatile and efficient GBA emulator. Here’s an overview of its advantages and limitations:

  1. Multi-Platform Emulation: EmuBox stands out for its ability to emulate not just GBA games but also Nintendo DS, PlayStation, SNES, and Game Boy Color games. This multi-platform capability is a significant advantage for users interested in a range of classic games.

  2. Performance and Compatibility: For GBA games, EmuBox performs exceptionally well, emulating the entire GBA library effectively with minimal stuttering or frame drops. However, emulating more demanding platforms like DS or PlayStation might require a more powerful smartphone.

  3. Free with Basic Features: The app is completely free and includes all the basic emulator features such as save states, cheat support, hardware controller support, and the ability to take screenshots.

  4. Ease of Setup: EmuBox is user-friendly in terms of setup. Its straightforward installation and simple UI make it accessible for users who prefer a no-fuss approach.

  5. Pros:

    • Free to use, with no in-app purchases.
    • Support for multiple gaming platforms.
    • Basic but essential emulator features like save states and cheat support.
    • Hardware controller compatibility enhances the gaming experience.

  6. Cons:

    • Lacks advanced customization and features that might be available in other emulators.
    • Some resource-intensive games may not run smoothly on less powerful devices.
    • The presence of ads might be a distraction for some users.
    • The user interface is relatively simple and might not appeal to users looking for a more engaging experience.

In summary, EmuBox is a good choice for Android users looking for a free, multi-platform GBA emulator with basic features and easy setup. While it may not cater to the needs of power users seeking advanced features and customization, its straightforward design and compatibility with various gaming platforms make it a solid option for casual gamers and those new to emulation.

2. ClassicBoy


Get ClassicBoy for Android

ClassicBoy stands out as a versatile and feature-rich GBA emulator for Android users, catering to a variety of gaming preferences. Here’s why it’s a good choice:

  1. Near-Perfect Emulation: ClassicBoy offers excellent emulation for the majority of games, ensuring a smooth gaming experience for most titles. While a few games with higher requirements may not work as well, the overall performance is commendable.

  2. Support for Multiple Platforms: This emulator supports various gaming platforms including NES, Sega Genesis, PlayStation, Nintendo 64, SNK Neo Geo, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance, making it an all-in-one solution for classic gaming enthusiasts.

  3. Innovative Control Options: ClassicBoy integrates unique features like sensor support and advanced gesture controls. These allow players to use their phone’s sensors for game control and create touch gestures that translate into game inputs, enhancing the gaming experience for those without physical controllers.

  4. Customizable Control Layout: The ability to customize the control layout is particularly beneficial for playing complex games on a touchscreen, providing a more user-friendly interface.

  5. Standard Features Included: The emulator includes all standard features such as save states, fast forward, hardware controller support, and cheat codes.

  6. Pros:

    • Offers a decent range of features in the Lite (free) version.
    • Multi-platform support enhances its versatility.
    • Innovative sensor and gesture control options for a better gaming experience.
    • Customizable controls for ease of use on touchscreens.

  7. Cons:

    • Advanced features are only available in the premium version, requiring users to pay for full access.
    • Some games, particularly those with higher requirements, may not run optimally.

In summary, ClassicBoy is a strong contender for those seeking a multi-platform GBA emulator with a blend of standard and innovative features. Its ability to emulate a variety of gaming platforms, combined with unique control options, makes it a versatile choice for Android users. While the full range of advanced features requires purchasing the premium version, the Lite version still offers enough functionality to provide a satisfactory gaming experience.

3. GBA.emu


Get GBA.emu for Android

GBA.emu is a highly competent GBA emulator for Android, known for its accuracy and compatibility. Here’s an overview of its advantages and limitations:

  1. Near-Perfect Emulation: GBA.emu offers near-perfect emulation for all GBA games, ensuring a seamless gaming experience with minimal issues.

  2. Advanced Emulation Features: The inclusion of BIOS emulation enhances the accuracy of game emulation, providing an authentic gaming experience.

  3. Comprehensive Standard Features: The emulator includes all standard features such as cheat code support, hardware controller support, save states, and backup memory, catering to various gaming preferences.

  4. Wide Hardware Controller Support: GBA.emu supports a variety of USB and console gamepads, including Wii controllers. This wide range of hardware support allows gamers to use their preferred controllers for an enhanced experience.

  5. Multiplatform Save Sync: Based on a PC release, GBA.emu offers multiplatform support, enabling users to sync their saves between PC and phone seamlessly. This feature is particularly beneficial for gamers who play across multiple devices.

  6. Pros:

    • Excellent compatibility with GBA games.
    • Advanced emulation features like BIOS emulation.
    • Supports a wide range of hardware controllers.
    • Allows syncing saves between different platforms.
    • Backup memory feature for safe data storage.

  7. Cons:

    • No trial or free version available, meaning users have to purchase the app to try it.
    • Lacks some advanced features found in other emulators.
    • No sensor support, which might be a downside for users who prefer gesture or motion-based controls.

In summary, GBA.emu is a robust and reliable emulator for GBA games on Android, particularly suitable for those who value accurate emulation and broad controller support. Its multiplatform save sync feature adds to its versatility. However, the absence of a trial or free version means that users need to commit financially to experience its capabilities, which may be a drawback for those looking to test the emulator before purchasing.

4. GBAoid


Get GBAoid for Android

GBAoid, while an older and less advanced option in the realm of GBA emulators for Android, has certain aspects that may appeal to specific users. Here’s an overview of its advantages and limitations:

  1. Compatibility with Low-Spec Devices: One of the key advantages of GBAoid is its ability to run on lower-tier Android phones. This makes it accessible for users with older or less powerful devices.

  2. Cost and Advertisements: GBAoid is completely free, with no ads or in-app purchases. This is beneficial for users looking for a straightforward, no-cost gaming experience without the interruption of advertisements.

  3. Basic Features: The emulator includes basic features necessary for playing GBA games, making it suitable for users who do not require advanced functionalities.

  4. Pros:

    • Free of cost, providing an affordable option for users.
    • No ads or in-app purchases, offering an uninterrupted gaming experience.
    • Compatible with low-specification Android phones.

  5. Cons:

    • Lack of advanced features found in more modern emulators.
    • The emulator is outdated and no longer actively maintained.
    • Not available on the Google Play Store, requiring users to rely on third-party sites for downloads.

In summary, GBAoid may be a suitable choice for users with older Android devices or those seeking a simple, cost-free emulator. However, its outdated nature and lack of advanced features mean that it may not provide the best emulation experience compared to more current offerings. The necessity to download it from third-party sites also poses potential risks and inconveniences.

5. John GBA

john gba

Get John GBA for Android

John GBA is a solid choice for Android users looking for a simple yet effective GBA emulator. Here’s an overview of its benefits and drawbacks:

  1. Wide Game Library Compatibility: John GBA effectively emulates a broad range of GBA games without significant issues, making it a reliable option for classic game enthusiasts.

  2. Advanced Rendering Support: The emulator offers advanced rendering options to enhance the quality of emulation, which can improve the overall gaming experience.

  3. Customizable Audio and Graphics: Users have the flexibility to tweak audio and graphics settings to their preference, allowing for a more personalized gaming experience.

  4. Essential Features Included: John GBA includes all the necessary features for emulation, such as save states, cheat code support, and hardware controller compatibility.

  5. Cloud Save Support: The emulator offers cloud save support, including services like Dropbox, which is a convenient feature for backing up game progress and accessing it from different devices.

  6. Pros:

    • User-friendly and straightforward to use.
    • Cloud saving feature adds convenience for game progress management.
    • Standard emulator features like save states and cheat support.
    • Hardware controller support enhances the gaming experience.

  7. Cons:

    • Lacks advanced features that might be available in other emulators.
    • The on-screen keyboard layout is not optimal and may require adjustments to be usable.
    • Contains ads, which might detract from the user experience.

In summary, John GBA is a good option for those who prefer a simple and easy-to-use emulator with essential features and cloud saving capabilities. Its compatibility with a wide range of games and the ability to customize audio and graphics settings are significant advantages. However, the lack of advanced features and the presence of ads, along with a subpar on-screen keyboard, are potential drawbacks to consider.

6. My Boy!

my boy

Get My Boy! for Android

My Boy! is a highly regarded GBA emulator for Android, known for its exceptional performance and comprehensive feature set. Here’s why it’s an excellent choice for GBA gaming:

  1. Outstanding Emulation Performance: My Boy! is renowned for its fast and accurate emulation capabilities, successfully running every GBA game without issues. This reliability is crucial for a seamless gaming experience.

  2. Extensive Feature List: The emulator comes packed with a wide range of features, including cheats, save states, hardware controller support, BIOS emulation, ROM patching, fast forward, and more. These features enhance the gaming experience by offering flexibility and customization.

  3. Sensor Support for Special GBA Titles: My Boy! stands out for its support of various sensors (light sensors, accelerometers, tilt sensors, and rumble), making it ideal for playing GBA games with special sensor-fitted cartridges like “Boktai: The Sun Is in Your Hand” and “Yoshi Topsy-Turvy”.

  4. Multiplayer Support with Link Cable Emulation: One of the emulator’s standout features is its multiplayer support through link cable emulation over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. This feature allows for multiplayer gaming and item trading in games like Pokémon.

  5. Battery Efficiency: My Boy! is designed to run games efficiently, saving your phone’s battery life during extended gaming sessions.

  6. Pros:

    • Excellent emulation accuracy and speed.
    • Broad range of features for an enhanced gaming experience.
    • Unique sensor support for specific GBA games.
    • Multiplayer capabilities via link cable emulation.
    • Efficient battery usage while running games.

  7. Cons:

    • Advanced features are locked behind a paid version.
    • The free version includes ads, which might detract from the gaming experience.

In summary, My Boy! offers a robust and feature-rich platform for GBA emulation on Android. Its perfect track record in running GBA games, combined with an extensive array of features, makes it a top choice for gamers. While the free version offers a lot, users looking for the full range of features without ads will need to opt for the paid version.

7. RetroArch


Get RetroArch for Android

RetroArch is a unique option in the realm of GBA emulators for Android, known for its versatility and technical capabilities. Here’s why it’s a good choice for certain users:

  1. Versatile Platform with Libretro Interface: RetroArch uses the Libretro API, enabling it to support a wide range of emulators (or ‘cores’). This versatility allows users to play games from various platforms, including not just GBA but also Sega Game Gear, Sega Saturn, Nintendo 64, and more.

  2. Accurate Emulation: Once set up, RetroArch provides accurate emulation for GBA games, ensuring a high-quality gaming experience with minimal issues.

  3. Customization and Technical Options: RetroArch offers extensive technical options for those who like to fine-tune their emulation settings. This level of customization is ideal for advanced users who want more control over their gaming experience.

  4. Free to Use: RetroArch is completely free, making it an attractive option for users who want a versatile and powerful emulation platform without any cost.

  5. Pros:

    • Supports a wide range of emulators through different cores.
    • Offers highly accurate emulation.
    • Extensive customization and technical options for advanced users.
    • Free with no hidden costs.

  6. Cons:

    • Lacks usability features found in more straightforward emulators, which might be a drawback for casual users.
    • The setup process is complex and requires a good level of technical knowledge.
    • The user interface is not user-friendly, which can be off-putting for those who prefer a simpler, more intuitive experience.

In summary, RetroArch is an excellent choice for users with technical expertise who appreciate a high degree of customization and control over their emulation experience. Its ability to emulate a wide range of gaming platforms is a significant advantage. However, its complex setup process and challenging UI may make it less suitable for casual users or those new to emulation.


There are tons of options out there, from which you can choose great GBA emulators. Each provides something different from the other. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide which emulator you personally like and will work best for your needs.

We earn commissions using affiliate links.

14 Privacy Tools You Should Have

Learn how to stay safe online in this free 34-page eBook.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top