VisualBoyAdvance 1.8.0

VisualBoy Advance is an emulator that allows you to play GameBoy Advance games on your PC

  • Category:


  • Version:


  • Works under:

    Windows ME / Windows 98 SE / Windows 2000 / Windows 95 / Windows NT / Windows 98 / Windows XP

  • Also available for:


  • Program available in:In English
  • Program license:Free (GPL)
  • Vote:
    6.3 (748)

VisualBoyAdvance is a game emulator designed to simulate the handheld Game Boy Advance that was released in 2001. The emulator makes it possible to play the read-only memory (ROM) files that were originally sold as cartridges for the device. It also plays classic Game Boy and Game Boy Color ROMs just like the handheld unit. VisualBoyAdvance does not come with an installer. It is a single file that can be run from anywhere on a computer. The emulator has not been actively improved by the developer for some years. It is an open-source program, however, and a few offshoots now exist for different purposes.

The interface for VisualBoyAdvance is very simple. The program opens a small window on the screen when first started. Starting a new game is as simple as selecting the open option from the file menu and loading the ROM. The emulator has windowed and full-screen modes. One oddity is that the emulator window can be stretched to any dimensions without preserving the aspect ratio of the display. This can cause the games to appear distorted. The sound and graphics in the VisualBoyAdvance are exactly like those from the original gaming system. The sounds translate surprisingly well to modern speaker systems.

Nearly every part of the VisualBoyAdvance interface can be customized. The keyboard can be mapped in any way that feels comfortable. The different sound channels can be enabled or disabled for better clarity. A number of graphics options are included that can make animation appear more smoothly while playing. These customization options are all easily accessible from the menu bar and are simple to understand.

VisualBoyAdvance has a number of features that were not included in the original Game Boy Advance. Something that many gamers will notice first is the cheat menu. It is possible to load and apply cheats for many popular games for the emulator. The cheats let players get through difficult parts of the game without having to play for hours or repeat levels endlessly. There is also a disassembler in the emulator. Users can actually step through the original code of the ROM in order to see how it was made or how certain game mechanics operate. A very useful new feature is a save and load option. This saves the current state of the game in memory even if there is no in-game way to save progress.

There are a few problems with VisualBoyAdvance. The emulator cannot handle every ROM. There are certain functions and pieces of code that cause the emulator to freeze or crash. The emulator also has problems with in-game saving and loading. It often throws errors when trying to write data to the hard drive. A final disadvantage is that there are no ROMs included. It can be difficult to get ROMs for the emulator, especially if the game was not very popular. The VisualBoyAdvance is still a fun and robust emulator with enough features to make playing old games fun.


- Simple and fast emulation

- Fully customizable

- Good graphics and sound


- Many bugs and errors

- Some popular ROMs will not load

- No ROMs are included

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