GBA Emulator Downloads For Pocket PC

You're in the right spot if you need some GBA emulator info for your Pocket PC.

I conducted some tests on the most popular emulators on my iPAQ 4150.

My 400 mhz processor is considered standard at the time of this article, but this should give you a better understanding of the best GBA emulator download choices.

I tested each Pocket PC emulator with the same set of Gameboy Advance ROMs to accurately gauge performance. Here's my take on the pros and cons of each.

MorphGear

The MorphGear interface is simple but quite functional. There's a slick 'pause ROM' feature, as well as slots for save games.

You can halt a ROM or even perform a reset of the game. These options are in a bar at the top of your PDA screen.

The default key configuration settings assigned to my iPAQ is intuitive and functional. All buttons worked well regardless of game played.

You can configure screen size, image

smoothing and audio settings, amother others. You can even configure frame rate settings.

One feature unique to this emulator is that you can even choose to display the frame rate of the GBA game ROM being played.

Graphical frame rate is surprisingly good. I've experienced a couple of crashes which I can't possibly blame on the actual GBA ROM.

This is because I've played the same ROMs (in this case Army Advance, Bombermanand other popular GBA emulator for Pocket PC titles) without a problem with the other games.

It looks like MorphGear may be to blame for this. MorphGear may have been a bit too ambitious.

Its many configurable options put it ahead of other GBA emulator downloads for Pocket PC in this sense, but actual performance is not great.

I received many access code violation errors for several ROMs immediately after the introduction.

The ones that I could load past the title screen and menu executed at a decent clip.

Another big drawback is browsing for ROMs. If you have your GBA ROMs on your SD card with MorphGear in main memory, you're in trouble.

There is no discernible way to effectively browse to the files, forcing you to copy the ROMs to main memory instead (or risk running this emulator off of your SD card).

As with almost all GBA emulators, sound is mostly non-existent or poor. If you don't mind sacrificing some audio to turn your PDA into a Gameboy Advance console, then go right on ahead. Hey, as long as it's fun and not cost-prohibitive, it's appealing.

I would still advise against MorphGear at this time (for GBA emulation, anyway) as there are better GBA emulators out there for your Pocket PC.

Try your luck with this emulator if you like as it may cooperate better with your hardware than it did with mine. New updates seem to be continually coming out, so maybe these issues will be fixed for the iPAQ Windows Mobile 2003 series.

Bear in mind that MorphGear can also run SNES, NES and a variety of other type game ROMs as well. I'll update this site as I test each gaming ROM platform.

PocketAdvance

PocketAdvance with GameBoy Advance ROMs is the winner, hands down, for performance. I tested Pitfall Harry: The Mayan Adventures among some other popular ROMs.

It doesn't come close to the numerous configuration options of MorphGear, but unlike the other GBA emulator downloads (besides VBAdvance) it allows you to map your Pocket PC keys to corresponding GBA buttons.

The fully customized keys work excellently. PocketAdvance immediately scans for all your ROMs and displays them in a list format, ready for launch. Quick, slick and easy to use.

The only pitfall (no, not the Mayan Adventures Pitfall!) is that a double-digit percentage remains at the bottom of the screen. At first it's

distracting but you get used to its presence.

This is a small price to pay for one of the fastest GBA emulators available for the Pocket PC right now.

Another more serious glitch is the occasional memory allocation error when attemptingto load ROMs. This GBA emulator did notcrash as often as MorphGear did, and its processing way outperformed it anyway.

Konami Krazy Racers performed admirably under this emulator with an insanely quick frame rate. Kind of surprising with my middle of the road iPAQ 4150!

PocketGBA GBA Emulator

The PocketGBA GBA emulator has a slick interface and title screen. Its menu blends
in and appears like many Pocket PC applications. This makes it marginally easier to navigate.

There are no button mapping configuration options. By far, PocketGBA has the fewest options out of the GBA emulators that I've reviewed for this article.

A few good things: the frame rate issuesimproved considerably after a soft reset.

Without a frame rate checker it's hard to tell, but I would place it between MorphGear and PocketAdvance in turns of processingpower.

The other emulators did not seem to mindabout being executed continuously.

VBAdvance / VisualBoyAdvance

The VBAdvance or VisualBoyAdvance does not have any extra options to be excited about. This particular gets low points for

user-friendliness.

Here's some quick tips for the VBAdvance video settings:

  • Scanline: Values range from "x1 FULL" to "x2 Interless". This option didn't seem to make sense. The scanline is just the number of pixels or dots used on the horizontal axis. You may experiment with other settings, but I left this at the x1 default. Larger settings resulted in the image being too large for my PDA screen.

  • DrawMode: Only choose 'use frame buffer' if you have more than 16 MB of RAM on your Pocket PC. This refers to the usage of RAM to store the data for a single screen image used in the animation for the game. You'll experience optimum performance this way.

As well, you can also map GBA buttons to PDA buttons.

Emulator Roundup

If you opt for performance over functionality, these are the emulators ranked by speed:

  • PocketAdvance

  • PocketGBA

  • VisualBasic or VBAdvance

  • MorphGear

For sheer configuration power, here are the rankings for options available:

  • MorphGear

  • VisualBasic Advance / VBAdvance

  • PocketAdvance

  • PocketGBA

If you're looking for the best balance, I find that PocketAdvance has rarely crashed.

In spite of audio issues for the majority of the emulators, I found that VBAdvance makes an attempt to port the sound over.

Like the majority of these emulators, you should really avoid enabling audio for GBA roms (unless you think you can get them working for your unit).

Users have been reporting sound issues with GBA emulator audio for quite a while.

If you want tips on searching for GBA emulators, this page helps you with GBA emulator search criteria if you are interested.


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