GameBoy Emulator for iPhone Is Back, No Jailbreak Required

You may remember when GBA4iOS snuck its way into the iTunes App Store using a loophole, and then was eventually released outside of the App Store once it was quickly patched up by Apple. With the release of iOS 8.1, GBA4iOS was once again patched up and wouldn’t work with iPhones, but that’s once again no longer the case as version 2.1 of the GameBoy Advance emulator has been released.

GBA4iOS allows you to play GameBoy Color and GameBoy Advance games on your iPhone and iPad without requiring a jailbreak. Many gaming emulators on the iPhone require a jailbreak, so this is something that is quite unique for sure.


The developer of the emulator released version 2.1, which is an open beta right now, but anyone can download it and give it a spin by heading to

To install the emulator, iPhone and iPad users will simply just need to open the above link in the Safari mobile browser and just follow the instructions at the top of the page to install it. Since it isn’t available in the iTunes App Store, you can’t just one-click download, but the process is actually fairly easy for what you have to do instead.

2014-11-17 11.12.54


One thing that you should take as a warning is that Apple could and will eventually patch this version up as well in the near future, so don’t be surprised if you find that the emulator doesn’t work one day.


Luckily, though, GBA4iOS will also be available on Cydia for the first time in the near future, meaning that jailbroken devices will be able to download the emulator through Cydia and play it on their devices, even if Apple does patch it up on non-jailbroken iPhones and iPads.

Furthermore, the updated version comes with all the same great features as the previous version, including the all-new look that goes right along with the iOS 8 design, iOS controller support, full iPad support, a built-in web browser to make it easier to search and download ROMs, a bank of cheat codes, Dropbox support, and backwards compatibility with other GameBoy platforms, making it the all-in-one solution for GameBoy emulation.

2014-11-17 11.12.59

There’s even a new feature introduced in this new 2.1 version, and it’s multiplayer, which allows you to trade items in certain games with other players.


Most gaming emulators require that your iOS device be jailbroken, and then you can download all sorts of emulators from the Cydia app store. Apple obviously doesn’t allow any such software to run on iOS, mostly because of copyright issues and such.

Even though you can get this emulator without a jailbreak, there are a ton of other emulators that you can try out if your iDevice is jailbroken, as well as a host of other tweaks and apps that you can download that you wouldn’t be able to get otherwise. We have a convenient guide you can follow that will take you through the steps of jailbreaking your iPhone or iPad.