How to Use Cheats on Visual Boy Advance (VBA): A Complete Guide

Do you love using cheats in video games like Pokemon? There’s nothing wrong with cheating as long as you’re playing on your own. It adds a layer of fun and excitement, especially if you’ve already played and finished the game.

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That’s where our guide on how to use cheats on Visual Boy Advance comes in.

The Visual Boy Advance or VBA is considered the number one Game Boy Advance emulator around. See our VBA review for more details about this emulator.

If you’re not using it, then have no fear because we’re going to hype it in a moment. We’ll hype it up and why you can use cheats effectively using the VBA.

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How to use cheats on visual boy advance

VBA: Brief History and General Details

The Visual Boy Advance is an emulator designed to function as to what the Gameboy Advance would do.

The GBA came out around 2001 and the very first version of the VBA came out around 2004. This allowed people to play GBA games on their computers at the time without the need to buy a GBA.

How to use cheats on vba main

The game files or ROMS came in a .GBA format and that has never changed ever since.

Even though it’s been 20 years since its creation, VBA has undergone numerous updates and it is still considered as one of the best GBA emulators for desktop computers and laptops.

What Makes VBA so Great?

Whether it’s number one or not, the VBA is indeed a very popular emulator.

A lot of players want to use it and not just for Pokemon games. It has a lot of good features other than the basic function of emulating GBA games.

One of those features is the central topic of this whole discussion which is the ability to use cheats.

Other great features include:

  • Speed Button
  • Save States
  • Quick Save and Quick Load
  • Recording of Gameplay (with Audio)

Usable Cheats On VBA

Usable cheats on vba

If you take a look at the image above, there are four options for you to choose on which type of cheat you want to use.

You will notice on the left are CODE and CHEAT. Those two cheat types aren’t really used.

If you’re looking for cheat codes for GBA games, those two won’t pop up any codes, so let’s just ignore them.

The two types of cheats that you would want to use are the GAME SHARK and CODE BREAKER types.

To give you an idea, the Game Shark and Code Breaker were peripherals that were used back in the console days.

It’s like Game Genie for the NES where you can put in codes for cheats.

Game shark device
Game Shark device (photo source: Amazon)
Code breaker device
Code Breaker device (photo source: Amazon)

The Game Shark is a bit more popular since it was used in other consoles like the PlayStation 1 and others.

In terms of the VBA, the Game Shark and Code Breaker cheats were the same ones used for the actual GBA handheld devices.

This is more of a categorization of the two which means if the cheat is a Game Shark, then you use it as such.

There are newer cheats nowadays for certain games that were added later. This meant that people made original cheats to be able to be used today.

They weren’t available back then during the time codes for the peripherals existed. Putting one cheat on the other will not make them work.

How to Use Cheats on Visual Boy Advance

We’ll now discuss a step-by-step process on how to use cheats on Visual Boy Advance.

STEP 1: Click on CHEAT LIST under TOOLS.

How to use cheats on vba step 1 - cheat list option

STEP 2: Choose GAME SHARK or CODE BREAKER, depending on what kind of cheat you want to use.

How to use cheats on vba step 2 - choosing between gameshark and codebreaker

STEP 3: On the DESCRIPTION box, name the cheat whatever you want it to have.

How to use cheats on vba step 3 - typing the name of the cheat

STEP 4: On the CODE, type the cheat code.

How to use cheats on vba step 4 - typing the cheat code

STEP 5: Check if the cheats are working.

How to use cheats on vba step 5 - checking cheat codes

If you did everything correctly, then that’s what the image would look like. The name of the cheat, the code, and the letter E which indicate that the cheat is active.

If the letter is D, then it means that the cheat is disabled or it isn’t working until you turn it back on. Press OK and you’re done.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Possible Causes of Cheats Not Working As Intended?

There are a plethora of reasons why the cheat may not work and here are the following cases why.

  1. The cheat code is fake, or simply not designed for the game.
  2. The cheat isn’t inputted correctly (i.e. the Game Shark is used as Code Breaker, and vice versa).
  3. The version of the ROM is different. A good example is Emerald cheats because there are different versions of the ROM. A lot of older cheats do not work on newer versions of Emerald.
  4. There are certain conditions that the cheat must undergo to work. One of the cheats “CATCH THE ENEMY TRAINER’S POKEMON” requires the player to press the L and R buttons so that the cheat will work, even if the code is inputted correctly.

Negative Effects of Cheating on VBA

Name glitch

These effects aren’t usually just common on the VBA, but they are potential negative effects.

  1. The game might crash.
  2. You might experience bugs/glitches (the image above shows the Name Glitch when using SHINY POKEMON CODE).
  3. The game won’t function properly as it used to without cheats.

How to Fix and Avoid Cheating Issues

  1. Don’t use too many cheats all at once.
  2. Turn off the cheats that you don’t intend on using.
  3. Remove the unused cheats that you no longer need. (You can use them again anyway)
  4. Save first (quick save is fine) before using any cheat.

You can read our detailed guide on fixing problematic cheats, see How to Fix Not Working and Glitchy Cheats for Pokemon GBA Games.

Is It Alright to Use Cheats?

First of all, there are legal problems when you want to use cheats.

You don’t pay for the cheats, to begin with, so you’re not breaking any laws when you want to use the cheats on a VBA. You also won’t be involved in legal battles just for using cheats.

Second, there’s nothing wrong if you use cheats. These games are meant for single-player use. Using a cheat is fine since you’re not harming anyone.

Plus, using cheats can be fun for a lot of people who have already played the game.

In Closing

Now that you know how to use cheats on Visual Boy Advance, then what are you waiting for? There are different versions of VBA, but the one that works best for us during testing, especially when using cheats, is this version of Visual Boy Advance.

More and more cheats will be available for your favorite games like Pokemon FireRed, Emerald, Ruby, and more. Using the cheats on a VBA is easy and hassle-free as long as you do everything correctly.

If you want to look for some reliable and usable cheats for your favorite Pokemon game, we have that all here.

We even have a list of cheats for ROM hacks that can be used for the VBA are available. Just make sure you know what you’re doing and everything will be fine.

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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