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Running Game Boy Advance Games on the Hardware



Running games on the emulator is preferable for testing and development, but it is cool to run them on the real hardware too. This page contains instructions on doing exactly that.

This is all optional for doing this class!


Necessary Tools

In order to run your games on the actual Game Boy Advance, you will need the following things:


Setting up the Game Boy Advance

  1. Download the GBA OS

    This is a very small operating system of sorts that allows us to choose which game on the EverDrive we want to run. You can download the latest version from the EverDrive website. Then unzip the file.

  2. Put it on your SD card

    Move the "GBASYS" directory which you downloaded onto your micro SD card. Then unmount and remove the micro SD card.


Writing the Game

You are now ready to write your GBA ROMs onto the SD card so that they can be run directly on the hardware.

Copy any .gba programs you want to be able to run onto your micro SD card. Unmount the card and remove it.


Running the Game

  1. Load the SD card into the GBA

    Place the micro SD card into the EverDrive cartridge, and then the cartridge into the GBA.

  2. Turn it on

    Power on the GBA, this should bring you to the GBA OS menu. You can move with the arrow buttons and select with the "A" button. Navigate to your ROM with the arrow buttons, and select the ROM you want to run with the "A" button.

  3. Run it

    Now your GBA game will be running directly on the hardware. From the GBA's perspective, your game is running on a cartridge by itself. All the EverDrive does is load one of multiple ROMs into the GBA with a menu. Your code is running directly on the hardware.

    Here is the GBA running the Test program I loaded which just displays the UMW logo:

    Enjoy running your own games on the GBA!

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