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

When playing with Pokemon GBA ROM hacks and activating GameShark code cheats for Pokemon Game Boy Advance games can sometimes be tricky. Some of our readers complain that our listed GameShark codes don’t work for them, while some said it works, but they noticed some weird glitches.

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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.

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

Gameshark code not working fix

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 Activate the Required Master code

Solution: Some cheats need to have a master code enabled before the main cheat, so when a cheat requires master code, add it first before the main cheat. More information you can find 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), GBA4iOS for iOS users, and BlueStacks or Nox App Player for Mac users.

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.

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.

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 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.

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

  1. I have an issue, I use VBA on mac OS Monterey and I’m having trouble using the rare candy and other PC related cheats. I’m just fine using overworld and encounter based cheats but I can’t do anything with my PC. Do you have any suggestions or fixes for them.

  2. Hi. I’m new to both emulators and cheats. I have pizza boy pro playing unbound 2.1.0. Not generally a fan of heavy cheat usage, but I’m trying to just get a couple of things, like a fire stone and link stone. I’ve looked up codes specific to my game and version, using a master code and an item code. I’ve tried game shark, code breaker etc. When i go to the pokemart to buy the item, it slightly glitches the name of the first item, but doesn’t make the change to a stone.
    Any ideas?

    • Thanks for being here Stew. There are two possible causes why the cheat glitched and failed to work. One, perhaps you enabled multiple cheats at once (Use one cheat at a time). Second, Pizza boy might not support the cheat (We use MyBoy, myboy works well with cheats).

  3. I used the Rare candies in the pc cheat, it worked, but it cannot be withdrawn.
    Tried, turning off/on the cheat, restart the emulator/game, still the same thing.
    I use VBA -M 2.0.1

  4. I used cheats and now I can’t catch any Pokemon it shows it dodged the ball and it can’t be caught and i disabled the cheats also but still its not working help me please.

    • Thanks for coming here Tyler, if you can provide more information and describe more about your issue with cheats maybe I can help.

  5. I used the cheat for move tutor for a while I stopped paying for like a few months I come back and it doesnt work anymore how do I fix this?

  6. When I look at the cheats folder on my emulator, the files typing is “AutoCAD Dictionary”. I thought maybe that has something to do why it’s not working. Could that be the case?

  7. the walk through walls cheat for crystal clear isn’t working for me. it just makes this weird sprite come up on the screen but doesn’t freeze or work. please help

  8. Hi, I’m entering the code for one hit kill and I cant one shot the other trainers pokemons i tried several things but doesnt seem to work.

  9. Hi, I’ve found that my John GBA emulator doesn’t recognize CodeBreaker codes starting by 0 (0xxxxxxx yyyy) do you people know any way to input these codes?

    I’ve tried the following: 0xxxxxxx yyyy , xxxxxxxyyyy , xxxxxxx yyyy , 0xxxxxxxyyyy , /0xxxxxxx yyyy , /0xxxxxxxyyyy , \0xxxxxxx yyyy, \0xxxxxxxyyyy , ‘0xxxxxxx yyyy’ , ‘0xxxxxxxxxxx’ , “0xxxxxxx yyyy” ., “0xxxxxxxyyyy” , “0xxxxxxx” “yyyy” and ‘0xxxxxxx’ ‘yyyy’ but nothing works.

    thanks in advance 🙂

  10. I used the cheat All items 999 in pokemon unbound but now whenever I want to open cube the game crashes. I did everything I save the game before applying the cheat. Please help me I don’t want to loose my save file. 🥺🥺

  11. Hi, I am able to get some cheats working but they have issues. I use the wild pokemon modifier, caught a Beldum lv2, and his speed was 596. The game also crashed shortly afterwards. I have tried this multiple times with the same result. These are the only cheats active. Any thoughts? Thank you. I will try other pokemon in the meantime, maybe it’s a Beldum problem

  12. Hello, good evening, I need help. I have the pokemon unbound stuck. The character cannot be seen. I can access all menus and pokemon, but I am in the pokemon center and I cannot use escape rope or anything that you suggest I do?

    • Hi Alejandro, perhaps you enabled two or more cheats at once. As a rule of thumb, enable one cheat at a time only, and after using be sure to disable them. Some emulators needed to restart to take effect any changes made in the cheating function.

  13. Is there any way to disable the game freeze thing from my gba emulator in Android which is happened by the cheat code i entered and when i started my pc it just frozen..
    I am playing pokemon emarald
    And i can’t go back because i actually save file when it is freezed by mistake…
    Now i am stuck

    • Sorry to hear the situation, I know how it feels when your game freezes. My suggestion is that, enable one cheat at a time. Cheating varies per emulator, I highly recommend Myboy if you’re planning to use cheats with your game.

  14. Is there any way to disable the game freeze in gba emulator in my Android but i actually save the freezing condition and now i am stuck…
    It happens because of cheat code i entered in it and when i went to my pc it just frozen…
    Help me…

  15. I used the shiny code I already stopped using it and it still keeps coming and I already tried to save and reset I tried to go back in saves before using the code and it still appears

  16. I copy and paste the codes and it doesnt work for most of them. I’ve only been able to get 999999 money. Infinite rare candy and infinite master balls to work

  17. 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

  18. 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 use CUT to get into Vermillions Gym, and I cant.
    So I figured I’d just use the walk through walls cheat but it didn’t work.

    • 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

      • To get rid of name glitch, all you have to do is turning off the cheat before catching the shiny Pokemon. But regarding the gender issue, there’s no fix for that yet unfortunately 😢.

  19. 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

    • Hey there Kiki, thanks for visiting Pokemocoders. That happens to some emulators, in that case save any progress you made and restart your emulator.

    • You may have other cheats enabled besides the mega stone. Turn them off while leaving the mega stone cheat enabled alone.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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)

  23. 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?

  24. 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.

    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

  26. 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

  27. 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.

    • Have tried disabling your cheats if you have one enabled and doing a restart? Which emulator are you using to play the game? Some emulator doesn’t respect new changes that’s why restarting is needed. Give it a try.

  28. 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.

  29. 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

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

    I’m playing pkmn dark violet final.

    Pls. Help. Ty

  31. 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

  32. 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.

  33. 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?

  34. 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.

  35. 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

  36. 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