A new GBA emulator called SkyEmu has arrived, promising hyper-accurate emulation of Game Boy Advance hardware that can run games that other solutions can’t handle.
SkyEmu version 1.0 launched this weekend and is available on GitHub (opens in a new tab). It promises “very accurate” Game Boy Advance hardware emulation, as well as great features like saving states with screenshot previews and rewinding support. It can run on Windows, Mac, and Linux PCs, and is even available as a Web application (opens in a new tab) you can use from a desktop browser – or from your phone. Moreover, it even designed to work on Steam Deck (opens in a new tab).
But SkyEmu’s main selling point is that it’s accurate enough against the original GBA hardware to run games that other emulators simply can’t handle. A test (opens in a new tab) out of ten particularly hard-to-emulate games shows that SkyEmu can handle a bunch of titles that mGBA and VBA can’t, and that even the highly accurate NanoBoyAdvance only supports on stage builds. Granted, being able to play THQ’s 2002 Attack of the Clone games might not be your top priority, but SkyEmu makes sure the option is there.
It’s important to note that accuracy isn’t always what you expect from an emulator, as developers of more popular emulators often forgo certain aspects of the original hardware in order to allow games to run more efficiently on a wider variety of devices. But highly accurate emulators can help developers better understand hardware, improve support for outlier games, and preserve systems like the GBA for the future.
It’s time to review the best GBA games once again.