Play Gameboy Advance Games on Windows Phone Using an Emulator

Edited by Batkingnz, Lynn, Eng, Dougie-1 and 8 others

Julian GBA 02.png

The Gameboy Advance (GBA), in its day, was one powerful piece of equipment. It made it possible for gamers to carry something as powerful as the Super Nintendo around in their pockets to enjoy high quality gaming at any time. At the end of its lifetime, the GBA had already surpassed sales of 80 million and having over 2500 games available, it's one of the perfect systems for gamers to revisit. But is it really practical today to carry your Gameboy around with you? Below we will detail how you can use an emulator on your Windows based smartphone to relive all of the GBA's past glory.

What You Will Need

  • A Windows phone.
  • Access to a computer.
  • ROM Backups of any of your games you want to play.

Installing The Emulator

  1. 1
    From your Windows phone, open the Store on the start screen
    If you have removed the tile, simply swipe left for your full apps list and open the store from here.
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  2. 2
    In the store, search for "VBA8"
    Julian VBA8 01.png
    There will only be one result - VBA8 by developer MK. Tap the icon to bring up the details page and then press "Install". The app is less than 1MB in size and will only take a moment. Once it has finished downloading, it will be available in your apps list. You can also add the app to your start screen by long pressing the app and pressing "Pin to Start".
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Setting Up the Emulator

  1. 1
    Now that you are all set with the app, it's time to configure all of the settings
    Begin by opening the app and pressing the settings wheel at the bottom of the main screen. This will bring up the configuration menus where you can choose from the following settings:
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  • 2
    General - Standard settings like enabling or disabling, save notifications and starting your games from the previous save when reloading the app.
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  • 3
    Input - In these menus, you have options to change the on-screen controller to the top of the screen instead of the bottom, configure the camera button on your phone to a GBA button, as well as changing the D-Pad style.
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  • 4
    Sound - Here you can enable or disable sound, as well as set synchronous audio for better sound quality.
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  • 5
    Video - The video settings allow features like frame skipping, turbo mode speed and changing the aspect ratio and screen orientation.
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  • Loading ROMs

    To get your backup games onto the emulator, you will need a ROM of that game. For legal reasons, we cannot direct link to ROMs but a quick Google search will get you on your way. Using ROMs is only considered legal if you own the original copy of the game and you are keeping the ROM for backup purposes.

    1. 1
      Uploading ROMs
      To get your games onto your phone, they need to be stored in your Skydrive account. Skydrive is the Microsoft cloud storage service and your account is active from the time you first set up your Windows phone. Go to this link on a PC and log in with your Microsoft credentials. You can upload your ROMs anywhere in the main folder of your Skydrive, or create a separate folder. Simply click "Upload" at the top of the window to upload your ROMs from any location on your computer.
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    2. 2
      Downloading ROMs to VBA8
      Now that your games are in your Skydrive, from your phone in the VBA8 app, swipe to the left of the main screen to get to the Skydrive menu. From here you can sign in to Skydrive and select "Import ROMs". Here you can just tap any ROM from your Skydrive to be saved on your phone.
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    3. 3
      Opening and playing ROMs
      Once you have downloaded any ROMs that you want to use, just swipe back right to the main VBA8 menu and open a ROM to start playing.
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    Tips, Tricks & Warnings

    • Unfortunately, at this stage, VBA8 is not compatible with external game controllers.
    • Some users have reported problems with downloads stopping when the screen is locked. Don't lock your screen when downloading ROMs from Skydrive. If you have a slow internet connection and your screen is timing out before the download completes, change the lock screen timeout setting on your phone: Settings > Lock screen > Screen time out.

    Questions and Answers

    How to use cheats on vba8.

    The Visual Boy Advance emulator uses Gameshark and Codebreaker compatible cheat codes, and they can be entered on the emulator itself. If you have the codes already, here's how you can enter them. Open the emulator and click on the Cheat menu and select Cheat list: Click on Gameshark button, enter your codes and then click OK: Once the codes are entered and enabled, restart the emulator and the codes will take effect.

    How do I get ROMs on my computer to OneDrive? or a different website?

    When you are downloading from the PC, choose to install it to OneDrive. Then you can go to the app on your device and use it in the emulator. OneDrive only has a limited amount of storage unless you pay for more. You will want to regularly clean out items from there so that you can have enough space to save the ROM.

    Could not find setting button in VBA8 on surface RT.

    I am trying to set input to my VBA game, but it seems that the setting button is not available on my surface RT. Please assist me with it.

    You will see in this Youtube Tutorial what the Settings icon looks like of the VBA8 on the Surface RT.

    If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.


    Article Info

    Categories : Gaming

    Recent edits by: Alma, Maria Quinney, Nuance

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