Visual Boy Advance For Mac Alternative Emulators


Whenever you want to play Pokemon games (regular or ROM hacks), you need an emulator. The most popular emulator for these games would be the Visual Boy Advance or VBA. It can play GBA and GBC games even if they aren’t Pokemon. The VBA has numerous versions which specifically run for Windows, Android, and iOS. A specific version will only run for that system and that’s why there is a Visual Boy Advance for Mac.

The Macintosh or Mac is a series of laptops, and computers made by Apple. It runs on macOS as opposed to iOS. That’s why these are other suggestions when it comes to what emulator you can use to run those Pokemon games on Mac. We’ll list down important features, as well as pros and cons when it comes to these emulators.

List of Visual Boy Advance like GBA Emulators for Mac

01) VBA-M

Vba-m is visual boy advance for mac

The VBA-M or Visual Boy Advance M is a variation of the VBA. It is the same as the VBA, but at the same time, it has a lot of difference. They say that it improves the older version, but you would still be using the same one with minor differences. You need to download the version for Mac because there is apparently a version for Windows and other systems. It is free, so that’s always a good thing when you can use all the features.


  • Can run GBA and GBC games
  • It has save slots (quick save/quick load)
  • You can use cheats
  • Screen recording and screenshots available
  • Has a turbo or speed up option when playing the games
  • Clear visual screen resolution and sound


  • It is free
  • Fluent emulation (rare to never slows down)
  • Can save multiple slots


  • Some ROMs have a tendency to crash the emulator

02) RetroArch

Retroarch visual boy advance for mac

The RetroArch is an interesting piece because it isn’t just an alternative Visual Boy Advance for Mac, it is a multitude of different systems as well. First of all, the Retroarch can run different GBA and GBC games which obviously includes Pokemon games. It is capable of running different consoles and systems as well. Even if you download the version for Mac, you have the option to run other games from other systems.

To give you an idea, it can run games on old Nintendo consoles, SEGA consoles, and even the Sony Playstation. It can’t run recent and modern systems though like the PS3, Xbox, and newer Nintendo consoles so just keep that in mind. Perhaps, this is too much of an overkill if you just want to play Pokemon games on your Mac, but it is always a welcome addition since it can run those games smoothly.


  • Can run several games outside of the GBA and GBC systems
  • Has save features with multiple slots
  • Players can also use cheats


  • Can run other games in case you want more than just GBA or GBC
  • You can download it for other systems (i.e Windows, Android, iOS, and others)


  • Setting it up maybe confusing and a bit tricky due to the multiple systems it supports

03) OpenEmu

Openemu visual boy advance for mac

While the RetroArch is capable of running multiple systems, OpenEmu does the same but more. First of all, it is a good emulator to use when you want to run Pokemon games on either a GBA or GBC system. It has you covered and going to the part where it can run numerous systems, it can run a lot of them as well as those very old ones.

We’re talking about Nintendo consoles from the NES to the SNES as well as SEGA consoles. One thing it has going for it that the RetroArch doesn’t is that it can emulate systems as old as the Odyssey which includes older consoles like Atari, Coleco, and Intellivision. Once again, this is perfect if you want to play more than just GBA and GBC games because the emulation is smooth.


  • Can run multiple systems
  • Players can save game slots easily and load them
  • Cheats can be used for some systems


  • Easy to handle and light on the system
  • Configuring your controls and settings can be very easy
  • Emulation for each system can be very smooth


  • Several ROMs may not run depending on the system that you want to run especially the older ones and they may also crash

In Closing

These are just a couple of Visual Boy Advance for Mac alternatives. A lot of these emulators can pretty much run on your Macintosh. Just remember to always check their pages and see if they have been getting new updates. Then again, the recent versions are enough to run on your Mac.

Think of it as just a way to see if something new is around for you to check and use. Even if you’re just looking for a GBA emulator, you can use these in case you like playing other games for other systems. The important thing is that they run well and won’t give you any problems.

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