How to Get GBA Emulators on an iPhone or iPod Touch

By Spanner Spencer

The Game Boy Advance -- often referred to as the GBA -- is an obsolete handheld video game console designed and sold by Nintendo. It's hardware can be emulated on other systems -- such as your computer, iPhone or iPod touch -- using software that mimics the operation of the original console, allowing you to play its games on these alternate devices. Although only one GBA emulator exists for Apple's iOS devices, it is compatible with both the iPhone and iPod touch. Your apple device must be jailbroken, however, which unlocks it from iTunes and allows it to load software from the third-party Cydia app store.

Things You'll Need

  • Jailbroken iPhone or iPod touch
  • gpSPhone GBA emulator application
  • iPhone Explorer desktop software
  • iPhone USB cable

Step 1

Launch Cydia on your jailbroken iPhone or iPod touch by tapping its icon on the home screen. Tap the "Search" button in the menu at the bottom of the screen.

Step 2

Type "gpSPhone" into the search bar at the top, and tap the "Search" button on the on-screen keyboard. A list of search results will be displayed.

Step 3

Tap the entry for the gpSPhone application in the search results to open its full listing page. Tap the "Install" button, followed by the "Confirm" button on the next screen. The gpSPhone GBA emulator application will be downloaded and installed on your jailbroken iPhone or iPod touch.

Step 4

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

Step 5

Connect the iPhone or iPod touch to your computer using its USB cable. Open "My Computer" if you're using a Windows PC and click the "iPhone Explorer" icon to browse the iPhone's or iPod touch's operating system folders. Click the "iPhone Explorer" icon that appears on the desktop if you're using a Mac. These icons will appear automatically when the iPhone Explorer software has detected your iPhone or iPod touch.

Step 6

Navigate to the "/private/var/root/Media/ROMs/" folder in iPhone Explorer. Drag and drop your GBA game files -- often referred to as ROMs -- into this folder. You can now launch the gpSPhone app by tapping its icon on the home screen, and the games will be available through its ROMs library.

Tips & Warnings

  • You must legally own any ROMs you load into the GBA emulator, or ensure they are public domain games.
  • Jailbreaking your iPhone or iPod touch is entirely legal, but voids the device's warranty with Apple.
  • Not all game ROMs are 100 percent compatible with the gpSPhone Game Boy Advance emulator.