How to Use Cheats in mGBA: A Complete Tutorial

There are a lot of Gameboy Advance emulators out there, such as VBA (Visual Boy Advance) for PC and MyBoy for Android devices.

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Those are good emulators, but mGBA isn’t so far behind. We even have a review for mGBA that you can check out.

Like many of these emulators, mGBA is free for PC and you can input cheats.

Cheats are always good and if you’re not familiar with using cheats for emulators, this guide on how to use cheats in mGBA is perfect for you.

It isn’t that hard and we’ll give you the details on how to easily use cheats.

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How to use cheats in mgba

What Is mGBA?

Let’s briefly discuss the emulator before we go to the actual steps on how to use cheats in mGBA.

The mGBA is an emulator that can run multiple ROMs from GBA to Game Boy Color and Game Boy ROMs. There are no issues with it and it can run those games smoothly. It also has a lot of features that other emulators have or don’t have.

This only works for PC at the moment and no plans for releasing a version on mobile devices. There is also a homebrew version for some existing consoles and systems.

These are just some features of mGBA that we listed below for you to use.

Notable Features of mGBA:

  • Using cheats
  • Speed boost (turbo button)
  • Save states
  • Quick save and quick load

Downloading and Installing mGBA

Mgba app logo

Download mGBA from their main website and choose the appropriate version according to your operating system.

It runs on Windows, macOS, Linux, and Ubuntu. If you also see the image below, it is available for existing systems like the PlayStation Vita, Nintendo Wii, 3DS, and Switch.

Installation is also easy since you just have to UNZIP the file, launch the icon (image above), and start configuring it so you can play.

Mgba website download

Understanding the Use of Cheats in mGBA

Cheating in emulators is a bit different from your standard cheating. That’s because you’re using a feature in a program rather than inputting codes in the game or utilizing the in-game cheat mechanics.

For a cheat to work, you simply use the CHEAT FEATURE that the emulator has. The other thing is that you need codes.

The codes are numbers and letters that were made by the programmers. We don’t need to get in-depth with how codes are made but with the right codes, they alter the game allowing the cheats to work.

Benefits of Using Cheats in mGBA

You’re not required to use cheats but if you do, one of the benefits is that the game becomes easier for you to play.

In the case of Pokemon, you can get items like Master Balls to catch all Pokemon right away. Getting Rare Candies can also level up your Pokemon faster, so that saves you time.

Whatever you need, the cheats may provide from saving time to making your life easier.

How to Use Cheats in mGBA

Let’s get to the part on how to use cheats in mGBA which is what you’re here for.

Here is the step-by-step process on how you can input those cheats for your mGBA emulator.

For this example, we’ll use the UNLIMITED MASTER BALL CHEAT for Pokemon FireRed.

Step 1: Click on “Cheats”

Click the Tools option and then click on “Cheats.”

How to use cheats in mgba step 1

Step 2: Add New Code

Click on “Add New Code,” so that you can add the code.

How to use cheats in mgba step 2

Step 3: Click “Untitled”

The word “Untitled” will appear. Make sure that you click on it and have it highlighted.

That’s because you will add more cheats later on and more Untitled will appear. Plus you don’t want to add a cheat under the wrong line.

How to use cheats in mgba step 3

Step 4: Adding the Cheat

Put the cheat code (Master Ball in this case) on the big blank box. Then click on “Add Lines” so that the cheat will be added to the Untitled line.

How to use cheats in mgba step 4

Step 5: Choose the Type of Cheat

Click on any of the options below based on what type of cheat it is. In this case, it is a Code Breaker type but it is important to input the correct type.

The cheat will not work if it isn’t placed as the correct type.

How to use cheats in mgba step 5

Step 6: Rename and Close

You can have the option to rename (untitled) to whatever you want. We renamed our code Master Balls and click on it to show that the cheat code had been placed correctly.

Click on the X on the upper right to close and save the cheat.

How to use cheats in mgba step 6

Step 7: Check the Cheat

Check the cheat in the game and see if it worked. In this case, it did work as we now have an unlimited amount of Master Balls in the Item PC.

How to use cheats in mgba step 7

About Load and Save

Mgba save and load

You’ll notice in the image above that there are two things called LOAD and SAVE.

When you input the code, in this case, the MASTER BALL code which is highlighted, when you click on SAVE, mGBA will save the code and you can give it whatever file name you want.

The purpose of this is that if you want to remove the cheat, you can just LOAD it again with ease.

In the image below you will see that we’re attempting to LOAD the saved Master Ball code. It makes it convenient for you to load cheats for other games that use the same cheat.

Mgba load saved cheat

Where to Get Cheats for mGBA?

First of all, cheats are always available on this website, Pokemoncoders.

The cheats are available for a multitude of games from Gameboy ROMs to DS ROMs and more. They are also available anywhere online if you just look up the game and the cheats that are available to them.

Even if you find bad or not working cheats from other sites, then it won’t necessarily destroy your game. Plus, never pay for cheats because they are free.

Potential Cheat Problems

There might be problems when it comes to using cheats for mGBA.

It isn’t entirely the emulator’s problem but here are reasons why they might not work and how you can fix them if needed.

  • Cheats are incompatible with the game version. A cheat will only work for a specific version. For example, cheats for HeartGold US/EU may not work for HeartGold JP. This is very rare but a potential problem.
  • Cheats may not work for different games. Naturally, if you want to use FireRed cheats, you use FireRed cheats. LeafGreen cheats will not work for FireRed and even worse would be using it for a different batch of games. Like FireRed cheats will not work for Sapphire.
  • Inputting the cheat incorrectly in terms of its type. You cannot input Game Shark cheats as Code Breaker. Just input them as the correct type for them to work.
  • The cheats are wrong in terms of the code. It could be that the characters in the code are incorrect.
  • The programmer intentionally made the game in a way that doesn’t allow the cheats to work. There are ROM hacks that are like that where the cheats are blocked.

Should You Use Cheats?

It’s really up to you, first of all, it’s not illegal to cheat. Cheating is fine for a single-player playthrough because you’re just playing on your own.

The other thing is that the cheats are very obvious, so that’s very risky if you plan on cheating competitively.

Just make sure to find the right cheats available and never pay for them. A majority of users of cheats pretty much do it for fun and self-entertainment anyway.


In Closing

Now that you know how to use cheats in mGBA, then by all means, cheat right away.

Cheats are always available for games under the GBA, GBC, and GB systems. We have those cheats available on this site as long as you find the title with the cheats.

Cheats are also available for ROM hacks since they use the original games for their base. Just like with a ROM hack like Pokemon Glaze.

Pokemon Emerald cheats will work for Pokemon Glaze since it uses Emerald as its base. Maybe some ROM hacks won’t have cheats as we stated that some programmers have blocked the usage of cheats.



About Taichee

Taichee is the ultimate writer for Pokémon gaming enthusiasts. With extensive experience, he expertly delves into popular Pokemon game series and ROM hacks for GBC, GBA, and NDS, meticulously testing cheats and sharing general gaming strategies on Pokemoncoders.

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