How to Get a GameBoy Advance Emulator on an iPhone

By Spanner Spencer

An emulator is a piece of software that mimics the hardware of a computer or video game console -- the GameBoy Advance, for example -- on an alternative device, such as an iPhone. This can only be accomplished using a jailbroken iPhone, which has been unlocked from iTunes and is able to download software from the third-party Cydia app store. The "gpSPhone" app is then downloaded so you can play your GameBoy Advance games -- known as ROMs -- on the iPhone.

Things You'll Need

  • Jailbroken iPhone
  • gpSPhone application
  • Game ROMs
  • iPhone Explorer application
  • iPhone USB cable

Step 1

Launch the Cydia app store on your jailbroken iPhone by tapping its icon on the home screen.

Step 2

Tap the "Search" button in the menu at the bottom of the screen and type "gpSPhone" into the search bar at the top. As of the date of publication, this is the only GameBoy Advance emulator available for the iPhone.

Step 3

Tap the entry for the gpSPhone app in the search results, followed by the "Install" button. Tap the "Confirm" button on the next screen to download and install gpSPhone on your iPhone.

Step 4

Download and install the free iPhone Explorer application on your computer. This software allows you to browse the iPhone's files and folders as if it were a typical USB mass storage device.

Step 5

Connect the iPhone to your computer using its USB cable. Click the iPhone Explorer icon in "My Computer" if you're using a Windows PC, or the icon on the desktop if you're using a Mac. This icon is automatically provided by the iPhone Explorer software when it detects that a jailbroken iPhone has been connected.

Step 6

Navigate to the "/private/var/root/Media/ROMs/" folder in iPhone Explorer. Drag and drop your GameBoy Advance game ROMs into this folder.

Step 7

Disconnect the iPhone once file transfer is complete, and launch the GameBoy Advance emulator by tapping its icon on the home screen.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can copy multiple ROMs to the iPhone at once, and select which one you want to play from the menu in the emulator.
  • Jailbreaking your iPhone is entirely legal, but voids the device's warranty with Apple.
  • Not all game ROMs are 100 percent compatible with the iPhone GameBoy Advance emulator.
  • Do not breach any copyright laws when acquiring or using game ROMs.