Visual Boy Advance has long been the leading GBA emulator since its launch early in the 2000s and it continues to be the major player in the GBA emulation world. Originally only designed for Windows, VBA has evolved throughout the years and now supports most platforms with constant updates and changes to their code. With Windows being the most popular OS that VisualBoyAdvance gets installed on, this page will be focusing on downloading, setting up and using VisualBoyAdvance on a Windows PC.
First up, we need to install a few dependencies on Windows for VisualBoyAdvance to operate correctly. As noted below, under requirements, install them in order and reboot your computer afterwards.
Once you have completed the required installations and restarted your PC, we can begin the process of downloading and installing VisualBoyAdvance. To get started, simply click on the ‘Download’ button in the upper right corner or visit this link. From there, head to the Windows section and click ‘Download’ once more to access the most recent version of VBA.
After the download, extract the file using 7zip or by using the built-in Windows extractor. Right click > Extract All…
For best results, ensure that the location you choose to extract the program has read/write access enabled; we recommend Desktop, Documents, or Downloads folders for this purpose.
Once you have extracted the application, double-clicking it on your device will launch VisualBoyAdvance. You’ll then be presented with a black screen, as displayed below, to signal that all necessary setup steps have been successfully completed!
In VBA, go to File and select one of these options:
Open… – to open a Game Boy Advance game file.
Open GBC – for Game Boy Color games.
Open GB – for classic Game Boy titles
Locate your downloaded game file and click ‘Open’ to begin playing (you will see all ROM files in either GB, GBC or GBA format).
At Visual Boy Advance, we have a wealth of helpful information in our Knowledge Base that can help you take advantage of all the features VBA has to offer. Our manual contains plenty of useful tips and guidance, plus if you do run into any problems, our troubleshooting page is an invaluable resource.
Be sure to stay connected by following us on social media for more useful information and upcoming updates within the Game Boy community!