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


Activating GameShark code cheats for Pokemon Game Boy Advance games sometimes can be tricky. Some of our readers complain that our listed GameShark codes don’t work for them, while some said it works, but some weird glitches are happening.

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

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 used to other related games on Game Boy Advance.

1. You forgot to enter and activate the master code

Solution: Some cheats need to have master code enabled before the main cheat and activate them. More information you can find by reading this guide.

2. The Cheat Isn’t Compatible with your Pokemon Game Version

Solution: Double-check your game title.

3. 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.

Update: I recently discovered this Reddit post wherein a member gives a link file for v1.0 FireRed rom, have a look at it before the file gets deleted.

4. 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), GBA4iOS for iOS users, and BlueStacks or Nox App Player for Mac users.

5. You entered the cheat code in a wrong format

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

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. You Have Chosen the Wrong Cheat Type

This problem is prevalent to emulators that don’t have “auto cheat type” detection feature, and chances are, you have chosen the wrong cheat type. The quick solution for this is knowing the appropriate type for your cheat; it could be GameShark, Action Replay, or Code Breaker.

9. Question Mark Sprite on Encountered or Caught Pokemon?

A common issue with 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.

10. 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.

11. Invalid Cheat Message

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 finally solve your problem.

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.

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I’ve been trying to get the cheat for unlimited money to work and for some reason I haven’t been able to get it I’ve tried several emulators and both cheats and I made sure to have any other cheat off


MyBoy user Pokemon Fire Red 1.1v So I’ve used the “all pokeballs” “rare candy” and “$1 pokeshop” cheats not sure which caused my issue but now anytime I open my TM case its all gibberish. Now I can scroll up and down the list and it gets worse as I go down and starts to overlap, the moment I try to exit it out of the TM Case, the game freezes and I either reset the game through the menu option or just close the app entirely. This is an issue because I’m at the point where I need to… Read more »

Jacob Quiñones

How come I can’t use walk through walls cheats on pokemon victory fire ? If you guys can help me with this ongoing problem


The market cheat for pokemon unbound doesn’t work. I use my boy full version. Followed all steps above

Alexander fleming

Shiny Pokémon cheat in Pokémon unbound is not working at all, please help.😭😫😫😩


It is working but you have to capture the pokemon first with the cheat fully enabled the whole time which will lead to a name glitch and female gender pokemons which sucks


I used a arceus code on light platinum, i already turned off that cheat code but when i step into grass i always get arceus. Plz help me


Why mega stone cheat doesn’t work anymore. It show sign ????? to screen

Brandon Caruso

Hey I’m using the paid version of My Boy GBA Emulator for Pokemon Emerald. Anyway I can’t get the berry codes to work and is there any way to have a code for maximum Score in contests? I checked other sites and the codes they provided don’t work. Anyway all the codes I tried on your site worked so far besides the berry ones.


Hi guys. Please somebody help me. My item menu is stuck when i used the enable scrolling for item menu. Now even i deactivate the cheat code, my item menu is messed up. I can’t even add new item since it always says no space.


Hello, i cannot use cheats with more than 1 line to them. I am unsure how to fix this, I’ve tried everything.
I am using “GBA emulator” by itakeapps
Please help!
(I lost lots of progress and want to use cheats to boost me back up lol)


Hi, I’m using a v3.3 action replay trying to enable the faraway island event on a Japanese copy of Emerald. I got the sea map just fine but the action replay will only save the first two lines of the enabler code when I input it. I’ve seen other people having the same issue under the same circumstances but haven’t encountered a solution yet. Any ideas?


I was using shiny cheat for
Need help Pokémon unbound to get a shiny gible in the beginning then I disabled it and later on enabled it to get a shiny ralts but the code stopped working I tried deleting it and entering it again but didn’t work I even erased every other cheat but it still didn’t work.


I use Matsu Player multi emulator, with a Pokemon sapphire rom, but none of the cheat codes work. I can’t figure out why.


So I was using a TM hack which lets me buy a TM from the shop for $3000 on the first time but I forgot to turn it off when I went to ONE ISLAND and bought something from the old lady. It became glitched with no price whatsover and just displays ????? as the name. Pls help me. Is there anyway to fix this.

P.S I am using VBA


My code breaker, after entering the code but using it, the error when I turn it on again is a line of code that is written immediately I try to find a way to make it have code gaps without being


My code breaker is just chained together and I don’t know how to fix it ???

Juan Benitez

I have fire red and I used a cheat a long time ago and wasn’t able to use the pc to get Pokémon ever again

Arthur Rodrigues Martins

I have version 1.0 and my boy paid but for some reason neither a code or Master code works


My key items are invisible and I’m basically unable to use them, not sure if it’s due to cheat code use or what. I’ve tried getting the item with a cheat code again it’s not working.


hi! me again! hehe. for some reasons??? my cheat is no longer working. it is working before. i tried different methods like load cheats clearing the cheats. removing the recently added cheat . i believe the only one that is no longer working is the walkthrough walls cheat. i can still get a level5 pokemon and modified encounter pkmn. but i can no longer walk through walls. i tried previous saves and load the same cheat file and it is working, what could be the problem ps: same cheat file from latest save was used and previous saves. but didnt… Read more »


anyways im playing pokemon ultra shiny gold sigma. thanks


Hi! I used the cheat for getting all the state pokemon, and it worked! I’m using the free version for Pokemon gold. But now that I got back from visiting Mr Pokemon, Prof Elm didn’t acknowledge the egg or my new pokedex, which means I can’t buy pokeballs or go to the next town. Any suggestions?? My Verizon is called Gold Emulator by leogonzales


The “Master Code” doesn’t work on john GBAC v1.06 (1060).

I’m playing pkmn dark violet final.

Pls. Help. Ty


Hi, may I ask question that not really related on this context?
I have a problem with Drayano Pokemon Blaze Black 2 Ver. 1.1
The only problem is, when I entered the Giant Chasm, Drayano mentioned “after battling/catching Kyurem, you will meet a veteran inside there”. The result, no one is there

Perhaps you know the problem? Because I only use 2 cheats simultaneously (exp + money multiplier) and accidentally using super repel before entering the cave.

I’m so sorry if this question out of context somehow


I’m playing Pokemon Sweet Version (Fire Red hack), and i’m using the Squirrels version of Fire Red. But whenever I enter the shiny code, i get a glitch name, whether I turn off the code or not, or the game just freezes. i KNOW it’s possible to get shinies via a code, i just don’t know how. Help, please?


yes, i tried. I’m playing it on VBA, and it’s just not working. My Windows version is Windows 10, if that helps any.


Okay, so I was having the naming glitch with the shiny Pokemon so I did as suggested and disabled right before capture. However, when I evolved the Pokemon the appearance was all glitchy and didn’t display properly. Is there a fix for that?


I switched to mGBA from OpenEmu at your recommendation and it does seem to be better for cheats. I was able to get some working that I previously wasn’t getting so thanks! I’m not having a weird issue where I’ll add the Wild Encounter Mastercode, then I’ll add a second code for the pokemon I want and enter in 3 lines of code (2 for First Code last line for the pokemon I want), but when I look at the code after it’s entered the first code of the lines of the First Code is always missing and of course… Read more »


^Unfortunate typo: it should read “I’m now* having a weird issue…”

It keeps deleting one line of code as soon as I enter it. Any ideas of what I’m doing wrong?


I’m having the same problem… I ended up entering the code under “Add CodeBreaker” and it saved all the lines of code, but I’m still having problems with getting the Wild Pokemon I want to appear.


Is there any solution yet? I’m having the same problem too

Chris Cary

So in other words “if you’re having issues its YOU or YOUR rom” this didn’t give me any information on how to FIX tyr problem… On emerald I take your codes, copy paste them, pick GS, GSV3 or CB and all give the same answer, CODE invalid


Hey Im playing LeafGreen(US) on GBA SP with a Gameshark Sp. The mastercodes didnt work. Any ideas?


So I’m playing on a Gba emulator call john gba they allow cheats from gameshark I put in the code for one of the cheats(rare candy cheat)but it isn’t working and the game in using is pokemon emerald