What is a ROM File

Where to Download Roms

Loading ROMs on VBA


Knowledge Base

How to Load ROMs on VisualBoyAdvance

Without ROMs, VisualBoyAdvance can’t emulate Game Boy files – thus ROM files are crucial for emulating Game Boy Classic, Color and Advance games. Here we will dive more into what a ROM file is, how to download and use it on the best GBA emulator.

What is a ROM file?

A ROM file is a data file that contains an exact copy of the read-only memory (ROM) chip for a hardware device, typically from a computer or a video game cartridge. ROM files may be created for various purposes, including software emulation, updating the firmware on a certain device, or backing up or archiving ROM data.

GBA ROMs or Game Boy Advance ROMs on the other hand is a ROM image of a Nintendo Game Boy Advance (GBA) video game, such as Pokémon, Zelda, or Final Fantasy. It contains an exact copy of a GBA game saved in a format that can be played using a Game Boy Advance emulator such as the popular VisualBoyAdvance emulator.

Where to Download ROMs

A simple google search will reveal a lot of websites where one can download and find ROMs for Game Boy. However we recommend using our GBA ROM section on to get high quality and original Version 1.0 ROMs that fully supports our GBA Emulator.

How to Load ROM Games on VisualBoyAdvance

Loading roms are fairly simple, however first you need to download roms. You can access our roms section here or download gba files from third party sites.

Within VBA go to File and select one of the following options.

  • Open… – To open Game Boy Advance ROM.
  • Open GB – To open Game Boy Color ROM.
  • Open GBC – To open Game Boy Classic ROM.
Locate your downloaded rom game and click open to start playing (note that a rom file will always show as a GB, GBC or GBA file)

Open you ROM file and go to "File" > "ROM Information". Notice the 00 or 01 next to ROM Version.

  • 00 indicates its a Version 1.0 ROM
  • 01 indicates if its a Version 1.1 ROM

how do i know which ROM version i have

Downloading ROMs are considered illegal If you do not own a game physically, if you do, you may legally emulate or own a ROM of the game.

Our GBA ROM section is a mirror of Vimm's lair

This usually comes down to two things; Either you downloaded an outdated version of VisualBoyAdvance or you have a corrupted ROM file.

Use this guide for detailed instructions.