Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advanced Emulator
SkyEmu, a brand-new Game Boy Advance emulator, claims to emulate the hardware of the Game Boy Advance with extreme accuracy and be able to play games that other programs cannot.
What is SkyEmu?
SkyEmu is a free and open-source emulator for the Game Boy Advance, Game Boy, and Game Boy Color, Licensed under the MIT license. For Windows, Linux, and macOS, there are native builds available. It also has a progressive web app build that can be installed on Android or iOS without the need for a jailbreak or played directly in a web browser.
Along with some great features like save states with screenshot previews and rewind capability, it claims to be a “very accurate” emulation of Game Boy Advance hardware. It may be used from a desktop browser on Windows, Mac, and Linux computers as well as from a mobile device. It is also accessible as a web app (opens in a new tab). Additionally, it was designed to function with the Steam Deck (opens in a new tab).
But SkyEmu’s main selling point is that it can run games that other emulators can’t since it accurately simulates the actual GBA hardware. SkyEmu can handle a variety of games that mGBA, VBA, and even the very accurate NanoBoyAdvance can only support on staging builds. This is demonstrated by a test(opens in a new tab) across ten particularly challenging games to replicate. Even though it may not be your top concern, SkyEmu makes sure the option is available so you may play the Attack of the Clone titles from THQ from 2002.
It’s important to remember that accuracy isn’t necessarily what you want from an emulator because creators of more well-known emulators frequently forego some features of the original hardware in order to make games run more effectively on a wider range of devices. However, extremely accurate emulators can aid in the better understanding of the hardware by developers, enhance support for unusual titles, and aid in the preservation of systems like the GBA for the future.
Features of SkyEmu
- Incredibly precise Game Boy Advance emulation.
- Emulations for the Game Boy and GameBoy Color.
- Tested on Nintendo DS assistance (only capable of running homebrew currently).
- Platform Crossing: Web App, Windows, MacOS, and Linux (with touch screen controls for iOS and Android).
- both a gamepad and rumble Keybinding support that is configurable.
- With screenshot preview, there are four save slots.
- Support for pausing and pausing in games (supporting very long rewind times).
- Support for imitating the Real Time Clock.
- Debuggers for the CPU, MMIO, and memory
- Themes of Light and Dark.
- Support for loading official BIOS dumps.
- WASD: D-Pad
- J: A button
- K: B button
- ‘: Select button
- Enter: Start button
- U: L shoulder
- I: R shoulder
On mobile platforms an onscreen touch screen controller is provided.
Loading save files and BIOS
On web builds save files and the BIOS can be loaded by dragging them onto the page or loading them using the ROM file picker. The GBA BIOS must be named
gba_bios.bin for the emulator to pick it up. Save files must be named the name of the rom file with the extension
.sav. So for example if the ROM was
MyRomFile.gba the save file must be called
On native builds the above naming convention still applies, but the save/BIOS files must be instead located in the same folder as the ROM file, instead of being dragged or loaded in the emulator itself.
Note: The latest version of the emulator can be played at the following address as a progressive web app: https://web.skyemu.app/and action-adventure games from Rockstar Games.