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Most reliable GameBoy emulators for Android

Most reliable GameBoy emulators for Android

You don't have to own that beloved handheld console to play anymore. There are GameBoy emulators on Android that work perfectly.

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Updated by Ivan Spasojevic on March 15, 2024 - reworked the list a bit. 

These days all you have to do is download one of the GameBoy emulators for Android and enjoy all these games from your mobile device. If you are one of the lucky owners of this retro console looking to play some of your favourite titles again, or if you just want to experience how gaming was on a GameBoy, you're in the right place.

Nintendo’s GameBoy, an 8-bit handheld game console was released in Japan more than 30 years ago. Since 1989, the GameBoy and GameBoy Color combined have sold around 120 million units worldwide. Ask some of these GameBoy owners a simple question. What’s their favourite game? You are going to get multiple answers.

From Donkey Kong and Pokemon (1998) to The Legend of Zelda, Tetris, Super Mario Land, Mega Man, Castlevania, and even Space Invaders, the list just goes on and on and on.

Which is the best GameBoy emulator for Android?

There are many Android GameBoy emulators available. It’s hard to just pick one of them and say that it’s the best among the others. But, we’ve put together a list of the best available ones (in our opinion) to present to you. Some are totally free while others are available for a price. So, without any further ado, let’s dive into our list.

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Nostalgia.GBC emulator

Android GBC emulator that you can get for free on Google Play store. It was last updated in May 2023 and it has an average rating of 4.2 stars with over 100k downloads. The emulator offers adjustable positions for each button, game progress saving and loading 8 manual with screenshots and an autosave slot. It also supports zip file extension, rewinding in case your character dies in-game, and special cheat codes. You can upgrade it to Nostalgia.GBC Pro for €1.49, if you are not keen to look at the ads. Understandably, the developer of the app has to make a living.



GBC Emu is a GameBoy/ GameBoy Color emulator that you can get from Google Play Store for €2.99. It was released in April 2021 and was last updated in March 2024, meaning that the developer is still keeping it operational. The emulator offers selectable colour patterns for original GameBoy titles and an option to save state. It also supports 7zip, and RAR file extensions plus Bluetooth/USB gamepad and keyboard support. You'll be able to use the cheat codes, but who needs those, right? I mean, we are all pros here.


GBCC emulator icon

GBCC is a GameBoy and GameBoy Color emulator that you can get for free on Google Play Store. The emulator offers save states, and autosave/resume, which is a handy option if you have to quickly turn it off. There is a GameBoy camera support, partial link cable support, turbo and slow-motion features. Those of you who still aren't accustomed to the touch controls will be happy to know that there's gamepad support.

It was released in March 2021 and it was last updated in May 2023. Of course, it doesn't have any pre-loaded games and you'll have to provide your ROMs, which is acceptable.

SuperGBC Emulator

SuperGBC Emulator icon

SuperGBC is a free GameBoy and GBC emulator on Google Play Store. It was released back in 2019 and it was updated in September 2023. The ads can be annoying at times, but it's a stable and free emulator that will run games without any issues. It also supports rewinding, to help you in case you die, and well, you can count it as a feature instead of a cheating engine.

John GBC Lite

John GBC Lite

You might be familiar with this one if you've ever downloaded other emulators for Android as John is the name that pops up really often. They are known to be rather steadfast. John GBC Lite has over a million downloads and an average rating of 4.4 stars on the Google Play Store. It's a free GameBoy emulator for Android 4.1+ devices. The app offers cheats, Bluetooth/MOGA controller support, and a save state. You'll be able to fast-forward or slow down a game, but you don't have to use it. You can however use it to test your skills in any game even further and to make hard games even harder. John GBC Lite received its last update in February 2024. There's a pro version of this app, John GBC.

My OldBoy! Lite

My OldBoy! - Free GBC Emulator

As of today, My OldBoy! has over 5 million downloads and an average rating of 4.2 stars on Google Play Store. It's a GameBoy / GBC emulator for Android with link cable emulation. It also offers a GameBoy camera and printer emulation and a tilt sensor emulation through Android's motion sensor. Save game progress is only available in the deluxe version (read: paid), but if you're really into it, that shouldn't be a problem. I mean, it is available as one save slot, but that's usually far from enough. Most importantly, there will be no ads to interrupt the gameplay, as they appear exclusively in the menu. My OldBoy! was last updated in 2018, which leaves traces of doubt if the developers are still around as it's been six years.

My Boy! Lite

My Boy! Lite

My Boy! Lite is a great GameBoy Advanced emulator for your Android device. This application is suitable for most devices and can provide the best experience in the world of portable set-top boxes. The main features of this emulator are simplicity and convenience, as well as the fact that it is supported on a large number of devices.

You won't have to download BIOS, and most games will work as intended. A save option is available. In case you wish to game with a controller instead of a touch screen, we have some good news, as that option is available as well!

VGBAnext GBA/GBC/NES Emulator

VGBAnext GBA/GBC/NES Emulator

VGBAnext is one of the best options and a fantastic Game Boy Advance, Game Boy Color, and even Nintendo Entertainment System emulator. It works great and allows you to play different games from these three consoles without any issues. One of the advantages of VGBAnext is controller support. This emulator has MOGA and iCade support, allowing you to play your favourite games on GBA, GBC, and NES using modern controllers. It even has a Network Play feature, therefore, you can play online with friends.

Is it legal to download GameBoy emulator(s) on Android?

It's been confusing for quite some time if it's legal or not to use an emulator with different people providing different answers.

The emulator itself is legal. So yes, you can download an emulator without any problems. Many emulators are available online and you can get them on your Android device (we will get into those in a bit).

Also read:

Downloading a ROM is not allowed whatsoever, even if it's so easy to download them. With just a simple search online you'll get a ton of links that you can get ROMs from. But, that still doesn't make it ok, or, at least it doesn't make it legal. So if you have a ROM, do not distribute it, do not share it with your friends, do not advertise it and do not host it on your site. Just keep it to yourself and you might be ok with Nintendo.

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Mihail Katsoris
Mihail Katsoris
I've enjoyed playing games ever since I was a kid (which was a long long time ago at this point). It all started off with an Atari 65XE, then came an Amiga 500+, a Sega Genesis, a 386, and the rest was history. I consider myself lucky to have been able to experience the gaming evolution over the years - this is my passion, and what I will continue to do for as long as I can.
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