Home Tips & Tricks How to Fix Not Working and Glitchy Cheats for Pokemon GBA Games

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 different 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, be sure to 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. Doing a simple Google search, you can easily find downloadable ROMS, but most of these 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, 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 FAQ’s, 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 if you use cheats, you may need to pay for the premium version. But if paying for the app is not an option at this moment, 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 exist in the game.

10. Glitchy Name for Captured Pokemon

This bug usually happens when using the shiny Pokemon cheat and the possible reason why 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 glitchy Pokemon name, all you have to do is disable the shiny cheat just before capturing a Pokemon.

11. Invalid Cheat Message

There three possible reasons I can see 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, 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, a typical FireRed cheats could work and for Emerald based rom hacks, a regular Emerald cheats could also work.

Empty spaces could also result to invalid cheat issue, when copying a cheat make sure not to include empty spaces. When entering the cheat, make it 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.

Got tips or cheats you want to share? Email tips@pokemoncoders.com

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  1. 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 work for the latest
    what could be the problem? :V thank you so much in advance

    • Hi there, may I know which GBA emulator are you using? How about restarting your emulator?

      Or perhaps there’s a new update of the app and you installed the latest version, sometimes that can cause problem just like what you’re experiencing right now.

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

    I’m playing pkmn dark violet final.

    Pls. Help. Ty

  3. 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

  4. 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?

    • Have you tried turning off the cheat before catching the Pokemon? This method works for MyBoy users but I’m not quite sure for non MyBoy users.

      • 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.

  5. 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?

    • Hey there, which GBA rom hack or Pokemon game are you playing? maybe that game didn’t have sprite for that evolved Pokemon?

  6. 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 the code doesn’t work. Any ideas?

    Also, I just want to confirm, are all the codes listed on this site Gameshark codes? I see on this page that it could matter.

    • ^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.

  7. 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

  8. 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


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