How to Fix Not Working and Glitchy Cheats for Pokemon GBA Games

When playing with Pokemon GBA ROM hacks and activating cheats for Pokemon Game Boy Advance games can sometimes be tricky.

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Some readers complain that our listed cheat codes don’t work for them, while others say it works, however, they noticed some weird glitches.

What could be the main reasons for this? In my over ten and counting years of experience playing different Pokemon game titles and Pokemon ROM hacks using many emulators across several devices, there are several possible reasons why a particular cheat cannot work.

And what we are going to discuss in this article. I made a list of common problems players may have when using cheats and created guides to help them fix these problems.

Gameshark code not working fix

Reasons Why Cheats Don’t Work as Expected and How To Fix Them

Note: This article applies to Pokemon GBA games but can also be applied to other related games on Game Boy Advance.

You Missed Entering and Activating the Required Master code

Solution: Some cheats need to have a master code enabled before the main cheat, so when a cheat requires a master code, add it first before the main cheat. You can find more information by reading this guide.

The Cheat Isn’t Compatible with your Pokemon Game Version

Solution: Double-check your game title. See our collection of Pokemon game cheats.

You Have 1.1 ROM Version

Solution: Look for the V1.0 ROMs, as this version supports most of the cheats. You can easily find downloadable ROMS by a simple Google search, but most ROMs have version 1.1.

Unfortunately, most cheats will not work for this version. Please keep in mind that we don’t share rom files or give out information about roms. Sharing rom files is considered piracy.

Your Emulator Does Not Support GameShark Code, Action Replay, or CodeBreaker

Solution: Use recommended emulators such as My Boy for Android users, Visual Boy Advance for Windows (Use this version), Delta Emulator for iOS users, or mGBA for Mac users.

You entered the cheat code in the wrong format

Solution: Some emulators, such as open emu, require “+” to be entered to separate a line of code. Read FAQs, Instructions, and Help articles regarding your emulator.

You have the Free version of Emulator

Solution: The popular GBA emulator for Android – My Boy, offers a paid and free version of the app. The free version works perfectly, but you may need to pay for the premium version if you use cheats.

But if paying for the app is not an option now, the simple trick of adding multiple-liner codes as a separate cheat works well in many cases.

Too Many Enabled Cheats

Your ROM will get confused when too many cheat codes are activated at once, and this could result in various bugs, glitches, random crashing, and game freezing.
Solution: Disable unused cheats and activate only the cheat you need.

You Have Chosen the Wrong Cheat Type

This problem is prevalent in emulators that don’t have “auto cheat type” detection feature, and chances are, you have chosen the wrong cheat type.

Solution: The quick solution for this is knowing the appropriate type for your cheat; it could be GameShark/Action Replay, or Code Breaker.

Common Cheating Problems

Question Mark Sprite on Encountered or Caught Pokemon?

This is a common issue for two possible reasons; First, more likely that you entered the wrong Pokemon encounter code. Second, the Pokemon code and sprite don’t exist in the game.

This issue happens a lot when playing ROM hacks. Solution? Double-check if the code or the Pokemon exists in the game.

Glitchy Name for Captured Pokemon

This bug usually happens when using the shiny Pokemon cheat, and the possible reason it occurs is that cheating is not fully supported in Pokemon GBA games.

But there is an effective fix for this problem that has been tested for many players.

Solution: To fix the glitchy Pokemon name, you must disable the shiny cheat just before capturing a Pokemon or give your it an empty name.

Item Not Appearing in the PokeCenter?

You entered the item cheat, and after checking your PC, there’s nothing in there. Or perhaps your chosen item is not on the list. There are a few possible reasons for that.

  • You have v1.1 rom version. Solution: Find and use v1.0 rom version.
  • Emulator or the game not recognizing the item cheat. Solution: Go in and out of the PokeCenter at least five times, and recheck your PC.

Invalid Cheat Messages

There are three possible reasons why this error message pops up.

  • Wrong cheat type
  • Wrong cheat code
  • Empty spaces before or after the code

Solution: Select the correct type for that cheat; the majority of cheats are either CodeBreaker or Action Replay codes type, so if the first one didn’t work out, switch to the other one.

Be sure to check the cheat if it is compatible with your game version. For FireRed-based rom hacks, typical FireRed cheats could work, and for Emerald-based rom hacks, regular Emerald cheats could also work.

Empty spaces could also result in an invalid cheat issue. When copying a cheat, make sure not to include empty spaces. When entering the cheat, make sure to eliminate any empty spaces before and after the code.


It’s frustrating when you can’t activate a cheat, and there are plenty of reasons why this thing is happening.

Hopefully, the solution and information above give you the insights to solve your problem finally.

Just in case the solution above doesn’t work, feel free to drop your comments below, and I will do my best to help you as humanely as possible.

About PokeCoder

I'm a Pokemon fan since childhood, and I love watching Pokemon movies and TV series. When playing Pokemon games, I use emulators, and I very much enjoy a game when I use a cheat. Join me exploring the world of Pokemon gaming using cheat codes.

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243 thoughts on “How to Fix Not Working and Glitchy Cheats for Pokemon GBA Games”

  1. Hi there I’m using a rg405m with gamma os loading fire red into retro arch but can’t seem to get the cheats to work is there any way we could maybe talk on discord and you could give me a hand to get these to work ?

  2. I have been using your website for over 10 years. The only code I use is the ‘Infinite Exp’ cheat. But all this time I have been using modded emulators. But recently I bought John GBA from play store as it is a lot cheaper than MyBoy, I couldn’t activate the master code. There was an option in MyBoy to bypass that error by pressing ‘ignore’ option. But in John’s case there is no option to ignore the error message. Any help?

    • Hi Anirban, wow! that’s so sweet! Thank you for always coming back here and to your support. To answer your question, sad to say John GBA’s cheating feature isn’t great. I have tried it myself and had the same situation as you. MyBoy is a tried and tested android app when it comes to cheating and emulation, you can’t go wrong with it. For my suggestion, I suggest switching to Myboy if possible.

  3. I’m unfortunately having an issue of the encounter codes not working. ANY of them. I’m on ver 1.4c of Mega Moemon FireRed, using mGBA on my 2dsXL. Any ideas on what to do? I’ve been through your FAQ, and can’t seem to find a solution.

    • For which game are you referring? Did you turn the cheat off after using them? If not, make sure to turn off any cheats after using. Also, try not to mix a cheat from another.

  4. I’m sorry, but i tried many times and it’s still not working.
    I use FireRed 1.1 and want to input Wild Pokemon code, but the emulator is just like “Cannot Set Code. No cheats will be loaded”

    • Use recommended GBA emulators such as Myboy for Android, VBA or mGBA for Windows PC. Also, I have updated the codes for Wild pokemon modifier cheat and now includes the cheat for FireRed V1.1, see it here. Let me know if my answer helps.

  5. I am playing Pokemon FireRed v1.1 on the myBoy app on my phone, and I wanted to get a TM so I looked up a cheat for the specific one. I entered the master code first in the cheats list and then the code for the TM cheat, now a random amount of the TM appears in my bag but when I want to use it nothing happens.

  6. I’m using My Boy 1.8.0 version (free). Been using the walk through wall cheat mostly and master ball cheat. It’s been fine until the last badge (Leader Blue) coz the match can’t be started even after talking to him in his gym. does anyone know how to fix this? I’m just one badge away from collecting all the 16 badges huhu

  7. i got a glitch in fire red in which shiny pokemon all come with the same nature regardless of being of a difrent specie etc. anyone with the same issue when using the shiny cheat ?

  8. Pokémon AlteRed cheat codes are not working for me I’m using on verison 1.11.2 of AlteRed I’ve used the previous websites by the same creators and haven’t had problems before

  9. I am using the physical hardware, code breaker for Leaf Green and no codes work but strangely Fire Red works fine. Any reason why leaf green doesn’t seem to work at all… ?

  10. I use Pokémon emerald through open emu, and used the codes for wild Pokémon modifier and it worked great and I fought lots of Pokémon. Then I logged off and came back and the codes no longer work. Any suggestions? I did everything the same.

  11. Hi. I tried to use a cheat to get brick break in my pc, it didn’t work and now I have a glitchy tm 31 in my item bag that I can’t get rid of. How would I go about removing it from my bag?

  12. The Max IV’s “shared cheat” doesn’t seem to work on MyBoy, just freezes the game on black screen as soon as a wild pokemon encounter happens, on both V1.0 and V1.1. (Not using free version btw)

    • Hi GreyMan, thanks for coming here. Do you have any other cheats enabled besides the max IV cheat? If yes, turn it off. Freezing usually occurs when two or more cheats are simultaneously enabled at once. Hope this helps.

    • Hey Joy, thanks for coming here. Perhaps the cheat is still activated. After getting the items you need, turn off the cheat immediately. Let me know if this works for you.

  13. the infinite rare candy cheat isn’t working for EK (emerald kaizo) using VBA emulator and has worked before but isn’t working now.

  14. The spawn cheat will no longer work and instead glitch the name of the normal route pokemon if their is a way to fix this please tell me

  15. I’ve encountered a strange glitch after using the Pokeball item codes from for Pokemon Crystal. The Master Ball shows up, but the rest of the list shows ?? x 0. Any time I try to empty the Ball portion of the bag, or a Pokeball is added to my bag and I attempt to go down the list, the game freezes. Not sure if you’ve seen this before or not. Thanks for reading!