About Visual Boy Advance
This tutorial is to help you with Visual Boy Advance. Visual Boy Advance is considered by most people to be the #1 emulator for Gameboy Advance. It's emulation quality is practically perfect. It comes equipped with all the usual features we expect emulators to have.
*If you would like to download Visual Boy Advance, I have it in my emulators page.
Extracting & Placement
I suggest you make a new folder called "Gameboy Advance" within a folder called "Emulation". You don't have to, but it makes things a little easier for you if you're not too computer literate. Extract all the contents of this emulator's zip file into the Gameboy Advance folder. If you don't know how to extract files from a zip file then read this. Put all of your Gameboy Advance ROMs into the Gameboy Advance folder too. Visual Boy Advance has zip support, so you do not have to extract ROMs from their zip files. Double-click on "VisualBoyAdvance" (the file with the purple GBA icon) to open it.
Setting up the keyboard or gamepad
1. Go to Options > Joypad > Configure > 1..., as shown here.
2. You will arrive here. By default, automatic reconfiguration is enabled, so just press away and all your keys will be reconfigured. It starts at the top where the highlight is, at "Up". When you're done click Ok.
Loading a game
Click on the File menu then Open, or press Ctrl+O. If you placed Visual Boy Advance in the same folder as your games then you will see them there. Double-click on a game to play it.
Save states is a feature that saves the exact spot you are in a game.
• Once a game is open, go to File > Save Game > 1, as shown here. Or you can just press Shift+F1. Visual Boy Advance allows you to save up to 10 different states per game.
• When you wish to recall your saved state, go to File > Load Game > 1. Or you can just press F1.
Side Note: All the RPG shrines in my FantasyAnime offer complete collections of periodical game saves so that you can continue at any significant point in the game. If you'd like to learn more about how to use somebody else's saves or transfer saves between emulators, check out my Game Saves Tutorial.
Screen filters (video modes)
My favorite part! Screen filters makes the graphics looke nice and smooth. To enable them:
1. Before you enable a screen render you need to enlarge the screen. Go to Options > Video > x2.
2. Then to enable a screen render, go to Options > Filter, and then choose which ever one you'd like. Look below for thumbnails of the best looking filters.
Full screen mode
To enable full screen mode:
1. First you need to enable "Fullscreen stretch to fit" or else the game screen will not completely expand to fill the screen. To do so, choose Options > Video > Fullscreen stretch to fit.
2. Next choose Options > Video > Full screen (640x480). To exit full screen mode, choose Options > Video > 2x.
Simply press F12 and Visual Boy Advance will drop a screen shot into the same directory where Visual Boy Advance resides. By default it saves the screen shot as a PNG image.
Enabling the "Low pass filter" helps improve the sound quality. To enable it go to Options > Sound > Low pass filter.
Visual Boy Advance lets you cheat using your favorite Gameshark or Codebreaker codes. It's easy. To put in Gameshark codes:
1. First go to Cheats > Cheat list... to bring up the cheats window.
2. Next click on the Gameshark button. In the little window that pops up, fill in the "Description" and "Code" boxes.
3. Click OK when you're done. Then click OK to exit the Cheats window. Then restart the game so the cheats can take effect.
Sound & movie capture
Visual Boy Advance has the ability to capture sound as WAV or capture your game play as an AVI movie clip.
To record sound:
1. Go to Tools > Record > Start Sound Recording...
2. Choose a filename, then click Save for the recording to begin. Expect Visual Boy Advance to lagg a little bit. But rest assured that the sound it's recording won't sound nasty and skippy.
To record a movie:
1. Go to Tools > Record > Start AVI Recording...
2. Choose a filename, then click Save for the recording to begin. Expect Visual Boy Advance to lagg a little bit. But rest assured that the movie it's recording won't come out nasty and choppy.
3. When you're done recording what you wanted, go to Tools > Record > Stop AVI Recording.... To edit the movie you can use Windows Movie Maker.
Q: I get the error “Saved data is corrupted”
Upon loading a game (particularly a Pokemon game) you might get this error: “Saved data is corrupted”. Here's how to resolve this:
1. Delete any SRM or SAV files associated with the game that is giving you this error. For example, if your ROM is called “Pokemon Leaf Green (U).zip” then you'll see “Pokemon Leaf Green (U).srm” or “Pokemon Leaf Green (U).sav” in the same folder where the ROM resides. Delete them.
2. Click here to download vba-over.ini (1.91 KB)
3. Extract “vba-over.ini” from the zip file you just downloaded and place it in the same directory that Visual Boy Advance resides.
4. Move the ROM of the game you're trying to play to Visual Boy Advance's directory.
5. Open Visual Boy Advance (if it's already open, close it and re-open it) and go to Options > Emulator > Save Type and make sure Automatic and Flash 64k are selected; as shown here.
6. Load the game and you should no longer see that error.
Chapter 2: The History of Video Game Emulation (not affiliated with this site)
Chapter 3: Downloading & Setting Things Up
Chapter 4: Video Game Emulator Tutorials (below)
Chapter 5: Gamepads
Chapter 6: Extracted Video Game Music