VBA-M Gameboy emulator

Nintendo Game Boy with Tetris.Based on the VirtualBoyAdvance (VBA) emulator, VBA-M is the best Game Boy emulator we have encountered so far to play Gameboy, Super Gameboy, Gameboy Color and Gameboy Advance games on a Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Vista or XP computer, as well as Mac OS X.

  • Latest version 2.1 (30 June 2018)
  • Works on Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Vista, XP (32/64 bits)
  • Needs DirectX 9.0c
  • Emulates the Game Boy, Super Game Boy, Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance
  • Supports .GB, .GBA and .GBC cartridge image files
  • Comments: works out of the box, keys are configured
  • Project website: http://vba-m.com

Play Game Boy games with the VBA-M emulator on Windows 10, Windows 8 and Windows 7

So, what do you need to do to play Gameboy games (like Tetris or Metal Gear Solid) on Windows with the VBA-M emulator?

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  • Make sure DirectX 9.0 is installed
  • Download the VBA-M 7zip file for Windows (VisualBoyAdvanceM1xxx.7z, from the Win32 - MFC folder)
  • Extract and copy the contents of the 7zip file (with either 7zip or WinRar) to an empty folder of choice, for example c:\emulators\vba-m\.
  • VBA-M needs Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 SP1 Redistributable Package (x86), if it's not installed on your computer, you can download it here
  • Create a folder for your Game Boy games in the VBA-M folder, in this example c:\emulators\vba-m\games\.


  • Start VBA-M by double clicking VisualBoyAdvance-M.exe, in this example c:\emulators\vba-m\VisualBoyAdvance-M.exe
  • When using Windows 7 or 8, you might want to set the video render API to OpenGL by clicking Options - Video - Render API - OpenGL. For use with Direct3D, see comment below.
  • You can change window size by clicking Options - Video - 1-6x window size
  • Check the joypad settings by clicking Options - Input - Set - Config 1. Default keys are:
    • Up - Up arrow
    • Down - Down arrow
    • Left - Left arrow
    • Right - Right arrow
    • A - X key
    • B - Z key
    • L - A key
    • R - S key
    • Select - Backspace
    • Start - Enter

Playing Game Boy games

  • Search for a Game Boy rom file, extract and copy it to the game folder you've created
  • Game Boy ROM: Click File - Open GB... and navigate to your game folder
  • Game Boy Color ROM: Click File - Open GBC... and navigate to your game folder
  • Game Boy Advance ROM: Click File - Open GBA... and navigate to your game folder

Windows 8 and 10: DirectX 9

VBA-M needs DirectX 9.0c when you want to use the Direct3D render API. As Windows 8 and 10 come with DirectX 11 and 12 by default (which does not include DirectX 9.0c and previous versions), you might need to install DirectX 9.0c manually. Download instructions for DirectX 9.0c are here.

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