The Gameboy and Gameboy Advance were/are one of the best handheld gaming consoles ever made, in my opinion. And they were home to some of the best games ever made including Pokemon, Final Fantasy, Mario, Golden Sun and so many other awesome games.

With a Jailbroken iOS device, you can install a Gameboy Advance (GBA) emulator that will allow you to play all those amazing Gameboy games.


Disclaimer: This is for educational purposes, AppDucate does NOT condone downloading copyrighted material illegally.


Properly Setup Gameboy Advance Emulator

For the method that I’m going to go through, we are going to need to need a jailbroken device. If your device is not yet jailbroken I’ve written up simple articles on how to do that here:

gba emulator working iOS 7

Download gpSPhone

Once it’s jailbroken we are going to first download the free GBA emulator then download the GBA BIOS file that is required to get it working properly.

Open Cydia, search for and download the free Gameboy Advance emulator which is called gpSPhone. By the default the emulator should automatically be available for download from Cydia. If it isn’t tap Manage -> Sources -> Edit -> Add:

You’re not done yet though, there is one more file needed to get gpSPhone working properly. In previous versions of gpSPhone the developer added the GBA BIOS file (gba_bios.bin), in this revision he has excluded it. Because of that we need to add it ourselves. You can download the file then copy and paste it to /var/mobile/Mobile/ROMs/GBA using an application like iFile.

gba_bios.bin source

Download gab_bios.bin

To make things simpler however we’ll take a different, easier approach. We’ll add another source to Cydia and just download the gba_bios.bin file from there and let it automatically add it to the correct location. While in Cydia:

  • Tap Manage
  • Edit -> Add

Now that the new source is added, search “GBA Bios” then simply download and install it.

With all of that done, we can finally get to downloading the GBA roms (games). Open gpSPhone and tap the Search icon located at the upper right. Now just search for any Gameboy game you want to download and play.

gameboy advance rome for iOS 7

One more thing I should mention, you don’t need to have a jailbroken device in order to play GBA roms on your iPhone and iPad. TouchArcade goes over a method that doesn’t require a Jailbreak. This article goes over the Jailbroken method simply because it’s the method I prefer.