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Best Free Gameboy Advance (GBA) Emulators for Mac in 2024

Best Free Gameboy Advance (GBA) Emulators for Mac in 2023

A Game Boy Advance or GBA emulator is a display application that displays game content from your gaming console on a third-party display platform. This can be a computer, smartphone, or other gaming device or platform. These emulators provide you with the best gaming experience. With the built-in functionality of GBA, these emulators allow users to play GBA games on their home devices without needing the actual console.

In modern days, for gamers, especially in Game Boy Advance, the rule of this technology is at its peak. With an emulator, you don’t need the actual gaming console, but rather, you use any of these to run games with the same gaming experience on your host device. Plenty of GBA emulators for Mac are available, but you need to look at specific elements before choosing. The most important thing is the game compatibility. 

A good GBA emulator for a Macbook should be compatible with all GBA games. Similarly, controls and customization options in a GBA emulator allow users to customize controls such as keyboard input customization, touchscreen options, and other customized gameplay controls. 

Mac GBA emulator should be able to save a game at a certain point, called the “save state” feature. Without this feature, you will never enjoy the best gaming experience on your chosen emulator for Mac. Similarly, screen enhancement and cross-platform compatibility should be there. 

Based on these critical features of GBA emulators, it is essential to opt for the best emulator for the best gaming experience. Considering this, we have researched in more detail while exploring the best GBA emulators for macbook devices.

The emulators in this article have full gaming compatibility, provide save states, cross-platform compatibility, and best overall performance. Only free GBA emulators for Mac are listed in this review article. 

Best GBA Emulators for Macbook

If you are looking for your next GBA emulator for Macbook, this post is for you. It provides a list of free emulators for GBA that will help you enjoy countless games on your favorite device.


OpenEmu is a multi-system GBA emulator designed for macbook systems. It is free and can be used on various platforms. With the help of OpenEmu, different gaming consoles can be emulated, such as Genesis Game Boy, Nintendo Entertainment System, and more. For Macbook users, this emulator is quite famous for providing compatibility and other features necessary for any gaming emulator. 

OpenEmu is compatible with a wide range of GBA games. You can find ROMs in a sequence. It provides various features such as screen recording, an organized system for everything in one place, and much more.

All the USB or Bluetooth game controllers compatible with HID should work with OpenEmu. It controls the Nintendo Switch Pro, Xbox One S Wireless controller, Horipad Ultimate, Gravis GamePad Pro, N64 Adaptoid, SteelSeries Nimbus, and more. 

Download OpenEmu Emulator


Among all the GBA emulators for Mac systems, VisualBoyAdvance is considered the most reliable and trusted Game Boy Advance emulator available on the Internet. Alongside the regular features and updates, it provides debugging tools such as loggers, editors, and viewers. It also supports GameShark and Codebreaker. It includes customization features for the display of your gaming screen. VisualBoyAdvance provides a lining option for multiplayer games. Some of its core features include but are not limited to; 

  • Turbo Mode (to bypass some tasks) 
  • Stable GBA Emulator (it guarantees 100% performance for free) 
  • Multi-ROM support (for all GBA versions) 
  • Screen Recording (allows you to record and capture screens with sound and other effects)
  • Save & Load States (Save the game at any point) 
  • Cheat Codes (codes from industry-leading cheat code providers such as GameShark and Codebreaker) 
  • Local and remote Linking (for multiplayer games) 

Download VisualBoyAdvance for Mac


RetroArch is a free and open-source emulator for GBA games. It is compatible with various platforms such as macbook, iOS, Windows, Android, Linux, webOS, tvOS, FreeBSD, and Unix-like. Using RetroArch, gamers can play and run classic games on other devices, including computers, smartphones, and consoles. It also supports original game discs. Some of its advanced features include shaders, netplay, next-frame, machine translation, and more. 

If you are looking for a multi-platform supported emulator, RetroArch is made for you. In the RetroArch emulator for cross-platforms, you will find multiple GBA games and games from other platforms. The user interface is easy to use, with built-in animations and background display wallpapers. 

Some critical aspects for which RetroArch is famous are cross-platform support, advanced features such as netplay and controller support, a unified interface, an option for customization, and open-source. 

Download RetroArch Emulator


Unlikely other emulators for Macbooks, BatGBA is a new Game Boy Advance Emulator that focuses on classic games rather than fancy ones. 

This emulator is included because some users only look for lightweight, straightforward Mac or Windows emulators. 

The backend team of BatGBA has not had active ROM for a long time, but the latest news and updates regarding this less-famous emulator for GBA games can be found on this link: https://batgba.zophar.net/.

Download BatGBA

Boycott Advance

For all those games who think about optimizing CPU performance and high-quality gameplay speed on their macbook systems, Boycott Advance is for them. It is a popular macbook GBA emulator with some advanced features and maximum compatibility for GBA games on Mac. It provides a feature called “Emulator Enhancer”; the purpose of this feature is to unlock additional features in the Boycott Advance system. 

Boycott Advance emulator is specially designed and developed for macOS; hence, you will find a complete range of features when you run it on your macbook. It is one of a few emulators that is developed specifically for macOS. 

Some of the important features of this emulator include scaling, rotating, emulator enhancer plugin, support for USB joysticks, gamepad support, multiple audio effects, full-screen support, and advanced settings for various game elements. 

Download Boycott Advance Emulator 


mGBA is a cross-platform supported emulator for GBA games. It is a free emulator for GBA on Mac systems and supports Android, MS Windows, iOS, Linux, and other popular operating systems. 

mGBA allows you to play games from almost every gaming console through a single emulator. Popular GBA games can be played through mGBA on your macbook system. It has top features such as cheat code functions, advanced accuracy, full performance, and more. 

It is a free emulator for playing GBA games on Mac devices without issues. Developers of this emulator work hard to make it error-free. The latest release, mGBA 0.10.2, released on April 23, 2023, focuses on bug fixes. Some of the several fixes include crashing on start on old graphic cards, Nvidia GPUs flickering issues, and many more like these. 

The developers actively maintain the mGBA emulator and send continuous updates to fix significant issues whenever they occur. The new version of mGBA can be found on https://mgba.io/ for improved performance, functionality, and bug fixes. 

Download mGBA

Final words; 

These are some of the best free GBA emulators for Macbooks available there. All the emulators listed in this article are free to use, and they are the best in compatibility, overall performance, and other features necessary for playing a game. We have listed these Macbook GBA emulators for our readers after completing research.

If any of these are not working for you, feel free to try them individually, and we are sure you will find results from the list. If you want to give us your findings and share your recommendations on our list of best free GBA Macbook emulators, please use the comment section or our Facebook page.  

Masri serves as the Chief Content Editor at BestKodiTips. With three years of experience, she excels in creating technical content, focusing on how-to guides, Android and Kodi tutorials, app reviews, and addressing common technological challenges. She ensures to stay abreast of the latest tech updates. Outside of work, Masir finds pleasure in reading books, watching documentaries, and engaging in table tennis.

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