5 Free Best GBA Emulators for Windows

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Fans of Gameboy Advance games can re-live their childhood memories once again in 2020. The Gameboy Advance console might have discontinued, but its legacy will live on for years to come. You can enjoy all the Gameboy Advance classic titles on your Windows PC via the best GBA Emulators. I have listed down 5 free best GBA Emulators for Windows. Before you get your hands on the Gameboy Advance emulators, let me refresh your knowledge about the console.

Best GBA Emulators for Windows

Gameboy Advance

As a part of the 6th-gen gaming consoles, the Gameboy Advance came out back in 2001. It was a bulky handheld emulator with buttons surrounding a tiny screen that wasn’t illuminated. Gameboy Advance supported the Gameboy Advance software, which was also supported by a number of other gaming consoles. Nintendo sold over 81 Million Gameboy Advance devices. The console was succeeded by Nintendo DS in 2004.

Even after discontinuing, the Gameboy remained on the shelves of stores for quite a while. If you happen to be a 90’s or early 2000’s kid, chances are you had this console or you’ve seen it/checked it at the least. Gameboy Advance was fun, a handheld emulator back in those days seemed like a technological wonder. Super Mario Advance was the most popular game among the GBA players. The emulator supported hundreds of games that are still available in the form of ROMs.

GBA Emulators

To give a chance to the GBA owners to experience their childhood once again, developers have come forward with their GBA Emulators. The emulators support the GBA software. GBA classic titles are available in the form of ROMs. These ROMs are basically the setup files of the games that the GBA Emulators can read. You can find a handful of GBA ROM sources and download your desired games. To run those games, you have a bunch of emulators. We have picked up the 5 best GBA emulators for Windows users and listed them below.

mGBA – Currently Active GBA Emulator for Windows

mGBA tops our list because it just got an update back in January. It’s active, and its developers keep trying to improve something every other day. mGBA also happens to be the most diverse and colorful GBA Emulator. It has loads of features that will give a modern touch to your favorite GBA games. mGBA supports High-resolution OpenGL graphics renderer. It tries its best to provide you the best possible graphics.

mgba best gba emulator for windows

mGBA has discord integration. It also adds a color palette for original Game Boy games. The emulator has a debugger incorporated. It’s got a map viewer too. There is a Switch option to use the built-in brightness sensor for some games. It also supports GBA cheats. mGBA is self-explanatory for the most part. It supports a huge library of good old games.

NO$GBA

NO$GBA is also an active GBA emulator. It’s a GBA and Nintendo DS emulator means if you can run the games from both the devices using the NO$GBA emulator. It takes a very different approach and comes with a little bit of complexity.

nogba gba emulators for windows

Users have to set up the NO$GBA emulator according to their own requirements. It’s not a feature-rich emulator, however, one feature that puts it ahead of all the emulators is the external controller support. This is the only emulator on our list that supports hardware controls. 

Higan GBA Emulator

Higan is another currently active GBA emulator. It’s a very simple and one of the most popular emulators equipped with all important features like saving a game, recording the gameplay, screenshots, framerates, controls configuration. It doesn’t support an external controller, you will have to use your keyboard’s arrow keys or just choose your own configuration. 

best gba emulators for windows

The best part of Higan is that it’s not just a GBA Emulator. When you launch it, you have to create your own system. It supports systems including ColecoVision, Famicom, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, PC Engine, Wonder Swan, SC 1000 and SC 3000, and many others. After creating a system, you can load the cartridge/ROM of that system.

best gba emulators for windows

BatGBA

BatGBA is a rather simple GBA emulator. It’s a straight-forward emulator with no complexity involved at all. When I say straight-forward, I do not mean that it’s not feature-rich. It’s loaded with all important features like the ability to save the games, loading the information of GBA ROMs, capturing screenshots, recording videos.

best gba emulators for windows

It also shows you framerate on the lower-right corner of the emulator screen. Users can use their keyboard to play the games. The keys configuration appears under the options tab. Keys can be re-configured as well. Users can further tweak the framerate of the games. BatGBA also has a zoom option. If you are not liking the current zoom in a game, you can increase it. 

VisualBoyAdvance Emulator

VisualBoyAdvance Emulator is similar to the BatGBA Emulator. There is no difference at all. The UI is the same, the functionality is the same, even the options and features are the same. These two are the best emulators in terms of usability as these do not confuse the user for a single moment. Since these are dedicated GBA emulators, users find it easy to run the GBA ROMs. You can just download any GBA ROM, load and play the desired game.

best gba emulators for windows

Conclusion

That’s all. Remember that these emulators do not come with the GBA ROMs pre-loaded. You will have to find the GBA ROMs from credible sources, it’s super easy to do that, and load them. The ROM files are in KBs or MBs so they will not consume a lot of time while downloading. GBA Emulators do not require any installation, these are the stand-alone packages that run straight-away on a Windows-powered computer. If you have any questions/queries regarding the best GBA Emulators for Windows or the games, feel free to use the comment box below. I will try my best to help you out ASAP.

 

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Usama M, a software engineer by profession, is the founder and editor-in-chief at Techbeasts. At Techbeasts, he uses his expertise to craft solutions to solve everyday consumer tech problems. His main areas of interest are Android, iOS, and Windows. You can find him on YouTube at "Tech with Usama".

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