15 Best Pokémon GBA ROM Hacks of All Time

Are you a diehard Pokémon fan looking for new and exciting ways to experience the game you know and love? Then look no further – we’ve compiled our top picks of the best GBA Pokémon ROM hacks around, guaranteed to provide countless hours of fun! With these classic titles reimagined as never-before-seen adventures, explore a wide variety of awesome environments filled with beloved characters, intense battles, action-packed challenges and more. Dive into these unforgettable worlds full of surprise twists that will keep your gaming heart racing and put your PokémonGo skills to the test head on!

What is Pokemon GBA ROM Hack?

Pokemon GBA ROM hacks are fan-made modifications of classic Pokemon games. These ROM hacks can include changes to the game’s graphics, storyline, and/or gameplay mechanics. Some popular examples of these GBA ROM hacks include Emerald Crest, Ultimate Fusion, and Stone Dragon etc. Each of these games has been given a significant overhaul from their original versions – with new graphics, story elements, and more – to create a unique gaming experience.

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A Brief History of Pokémon ROM Hacks

The history of Pokémon ROM hacks is a fascinating journey that showcases the creativity and dedication of fans who wanted to reshape and enhance their favourite Pokémon games. Here’s a brief overview of the evolution of Pokémon ROM hacks:

  1. Early Modifications (Late 1990s – Early 2000s):
    The concept of modifying video games emerged shortly after the release of the original Pokémon games. Early attempts at modifying Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow on the Game Boy involved basic changes like altering text, graphics, and encounter rates. These modifications were often shared within small circles of enthusiasts.
  2. Pokémon Gold and Silver Edits (Early 2000s):
    As the second generation of Pokémon games arrived, fans started experimenting with more complex modifications. Basic editing tools allowed players to change wild Pokémon encounters, trainers’ rosters, and gym leader teams. These edits paved the way for more intricate hacks.
  3. Deeper Modifications (Mid-2000s):
    The release of tools like AdvanceMap for the Game Boy Advance games (Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, FireRed, and LeafGreen) marked a significant milestone. This allowed hackers to modify maps, events, and scripts, enabling the creation of entirely new stories, regions, and characters. More ambitious projects started emerging during this period.
  4. The Emergence of Full-Fledged ROM Hacks (the Late 2000s – Early 2010s):
    The late 2000s saw the rise of ROM hacks that resembled entirely new Pokémon games. These hacks often featured original stories, characters, and gameplay mechanics. Some notable examples include “Pokémon Light Platinum,” “Pokémon Flora Sky,” and “Pokémon FireRed Omega.” These hacks showcased the potential for fan-created content to rival official games in quality and creativity.
  5. Diverse Innovations (The mid-2010s):
    During this period, hackers pushed the boundaries even further. ROM hacks introduced innovative features like Mega Evolution before their official introduction in mainline games, expanded rosters with Pokémon from multiple generations, and new gameplay mechanics inspired by other RPGs.
  6. Increased Popularity and Sharing (The late 2010s):
    The increasing accessibility of information and online platforms facilitated the sharing and distribution of ROM hacks. Communities and forums dedicated to ROM hacking flourished, allowing creators to collaborate, share knowledge, and showcase their projects to a wider audience.
  7. Continued Evolution (2020s and Beyond):
    Pokémon ROM hacking continues to evolve with advancements in tools and technology. Newer generations of Pokémon games are being explored for modification, and hacks are becoming more polished and sophisticated. Some ROM hacks have even garnered attention from mainstream gaming media.

Overall, the history of Pokémon ROM hacks reflects the dedication of fans who sought to breathe new life into their favorite games. These hacks have evolved from simple modifications to complex and innovative creations, showcasing the passion and creativity of the Pokémon community.

List of Best Pokemon GBA ROM Hacks 2023

  1. Pokemon Glazed
  2. Pokemon Light Platinum
  3. Pokemon Dark Rising
  4. Pokemon Ultimate Fusion
  5. Pokemon Better Than Better Emerald 2
  6. Pokemon Liquid Crystal
  7. Pokemon GS Chronicles
  8. Pokemon Emerald Crest
  9. Pokemon Let’s Go Lugia
  10. Pokemon Stone Dragon/ Stone Dragon 2
  11. Pokemon Sword and Shield
  12. Pokemon Gaia
  13. Pokemon Dark Workship
  14. Pokemon Unbound
  15. Pokemon Radical Red

1. Pokemon Glazed

Based On:Pokemon Emerald
Developed By:Redriders 10


  • Choose from five starters instead of three!
  • Travel across the regions of Tunod, Johto, and Rankor
  • Dream World Pokemon
  • Pokemon from the Sinnoh, Unova, and Kalos regions
  • Travel in the Pokemon World and the Real World
  • Capture all five starters
  • Rematches with trainers, as well as all Gym Leaders
  • All legendaries from Kanto to Sinnoh, as well as eight from Unova
  • New out-of-battle effects
  • Physical/Special Split – Moves do Physical or Special damage depending on the move, not the type!

2. Pokemon Light Platinum

Based On:Pokemon Ruby
Developed By:Wesley FG


  • New Regions – Zhery and Lauren
  • Included New Leaders and Elite Four
  • Included New Rivals
  • Pokémons of all Regions (Johto, Kanto, Hoen, Sinnoh)
  • You can have trips to another areas
  • Can catch all Pokemons Legendaries
  • Included All New sprites
  • Included All New events
  • Included All New Tiles
  • New Final Event: Pokemon World Championship
  • And the final, easy to play

3. Pokemon Dark Rising

Based On:Pokemon FireRed
Developed By:DarkRisingGirl


  • 386 Pokemon available from across generations 1-5
  • Pokemon can be found in the wild with the gen 5 Dream World Abilities
  • Moves from across generations 1 – 5 are available within the game
  • Some Pokemon can learn certain egg moves as part of their level-up move sets now
  • All new original story
  • Doctor Roy is introduced and will heal your Pokemon instead. Helping Doctor Roy is Nurse Joy, she will team up with Doctor Roy and battle you in a double battle!
  • Various characters from the anime series make appearances like Ash and Brock and even some characters from other series like the Pharaoh from Yu-Gi-Oh!
  • Gym Leaders have signature Pokemon only available for them!
You might find useful: Best GBA Emulator for Pokemon Games 

4. Pokemon Ultimate Fusion

Based On:Pokemon Emerald
Developed By:Migueon22


  • Fusion Pokemon.
  • Revamped Trainer Teams.
  • Updated Stats & Moves.
  • Some Minor Changes.


This game is basically an emerald hack with fusion Pokemon instead of the normal ones and some minor changes to improve the gameplay experience. Now, some of the features of this game are fusion Pokemon including genet fusion improved trainer teams, updated stats and moves and much more.

If you’re looking for a game with cool fusions then this game is for you.

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5. Pokemon Better Than Better Emerald 2

Based On:Pokemon Emerald
Developed By:Huplabombasnow


  • 80 new Pokémon
  • 41 new regional forms
  • 396 Pokémon to catch
  • Fairy types
  • New region
  • New characters
  • All new story
  • 100% completable Pokédex with one save file


In this Pokemon ROM hack, where you invited the region of Betreon by it’s professor Jim Pittsburgh. Soon enough it becomes clear two flying Pokemon are around the region and called the people of Iosan including one more Pokemon. Who is he? for that you have to play this game and find out.

6. Pokemon Liquid Crystal

Based On:Pokemon FireRed
Developed By:LinkandZelda


  • Updated graphics, maps and music
  • Day and night system
  • Includes Johto, Kanto and the Orange Islands
  • Real season-based weather effects
  • Explore new & hidden areas


Pokémon Liquid Crystal is a ROM hack of Pokémon FireRed developed by a fan known as LinkandZelda. It aims to recreate the experience of playing Pokémon Crystal, a classic Game Boy Color game, with enhanced graphics and additional features. The hack was inspired by the popularity of Pokémon Crystal and the desire to bring its nostalgic charm to a newer generation of players.

In Pokémon Liquid Crystal, players embark on a journey through the Johto region, just like in the original Pokémon Crystal. The game features a faithful recreation of the Johto map, including cities, routes, and landmarks. However, it also incorporates elements from Pokémon FireRed, such as the updated mechanics, battle system, and Pokémon sprites.

7. Pokemon GS Chronicles

Based On:Pokemon HeartGold & SoulSilver
Developed By:Kevin


  • Experience new plot points in the game
  • Pokemon roster from Gen 4 rounding off to 494
  • All new Gen 4-8 Moves are included, and a few custom moves are included.
  • Mega Evolution is also included
  • Dynamax and Gigantamax are available
  • Day and Night cycle
  • Different Pokemon will appear depending on if it is day or night
  • Move Tutors in every Poke Center
  • Updated types like Fairy
  • PokeRides are introduced, which replace the outside HM mechanics


Pokemon GS Chronicles story is inspired by the Pokemon HeartGold & SoulSilver. It is only inspired by the Pokemon HeartGold & SoulSilver, it doesn’t follow the story point by point but the game follows the familiar formula of catching, training, and battling with an expansive roster of hundreds of different Pokemon spanning multiple generations from Kanto to Galar.

Now, some of the features of this game are mega evolution, Z moves, Exp share, randomizer, good graphics, pokemon from gen 1-7 and much more. If you want to go back and experience playing in the Johto region then this game is for you.

8. Pokemon Emerald Crest

Based On:Pokemon Emerald
Developed By:Aaghat


  • Open World Mode
  • 27 Starters
  • Teleportation Service
  • Mega Evolutions
  • Generation 1-8
  • Dexnav
  • Pokedex Plus
  • Randomizer
  • Nuzlocke mode
  • Mirror Mod/Thief Mod
  • Auto Run
  • Primal Forms
  • Z-Moves
  • Shared Experience (Exp. All)
  • Reusable TMs
  • Alolan Forms
  • Galarian Forms
  • Hisuian Pokémon
  • Follow Pokémon
  • Side Missions
  • Pokémon storage system in the Start menu
  • A dynamic trainer levelling system
  • New summary screen
  • New climb feature
  • Wild boss updates (more wild bosses)
  • Chain fishing
  • Chaos Mode
  • All Moves
  • Run indoors
  • Increased the dexnav hidden search probability by 10%
  • Bag capacity increased (Max – 499 Items)
  • Improved battle engine
  • Item expansion.

9. Pokemon Let’s Go Lugia

Based On:Pokemon FireRed
Developed By:Ricardo Stone Team


  • New Maps.
  • Updated moves.
  • Pokémon from Johto are visible on the map, Kanto is only on grass.
  • Pokédex with information on how to evolve the Pokémon.
  • Exp.All (Shared Experience).
  • Reusable TM’s.
  • Egg on Route.
  • Elite 4 (Can battle 5x merging with the Battle Tower).
  • Items hidden in routes and houses.
  • Remastered Johto Region.
  • All Pokemon in the game are catchable.
  • All Johto characters.
  • Moves updated.
  • New sprites.
  • Protagonist Ash (kalos) and May (hoenn) .
  • Exclusive Pokémon depending on your choice of character (eggs).

10. Pokemon Stone Dragon/Stone Dragon 2

Based On:Pokemon FireRed
Developed By:Criador – Jose Ricardo


  • Many new maps for exploring.
  • The graphics is updated.
  • All Pokemon from the Gen V and Gen VI.
  • You can also Mega Evolve your Pokemon in this game.

11. Pokemon Sword and Shield

Based On:Pokemon FireRed
Developed By:PCL.G


  • Gigantamax
  • Dynamax
    Mega Evolution
  • All Pokemon from Generation 8
  • Galar Forms
  • Galar Region
  • Sword & Shield Story
  • New & Improved Tiles
  • Sword & Shield Sprites
  • New Moves
  • Physical/Special Split
  • New Music
  • Fairy Type Added
  • BW Menus
  • Exp Share
  • Raid Battles
  • Pokemon in Overworld
  • Sword & Shield NPCs
  • IV & EV System

12. Pokemon Gaia

Based On:Pokemon FireRed
Developed By:Spherical Ice


  • Pokemon from Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, Sinnoh, Unova and Kalos
  • Updated move sets, accurate to OmegaRuby and AlphaSapphire
  • Modern competitive items- Choice Specs, Assault Vest, Ability Pill, etc.
  • Modern abilities- Mega Launcher, Sheer Force, etc.
  • Physical/Special split
  • In-battle Mega Evolution
  • Fairy-type and the new-type chart
  • Updated Pokemon sprites
  • Updated Trainer sprites
  • Original songs
  • Rock Climb-able walls
  • Dive and underwater maps
  • Hidden Grottoes and Secret Temples
  • The Bug-Catching Contest
  • The Battle Marsh
  • B2/W2 Repel system
  • Reusable TMs

13. Pokemon Dark Worship

Based On:Pokemon FireRed
Developed By:André Freitas


  • New Region
  • New Story
  • 24 Starters
  • Mega Evolution
  • Z Moves
  • Dynamax/Gigantamax
  • YouTubers as NPCs
  • DexNav
  • Exp. Share
  • Several Side Quests that will give you important items
  • NDS-style graphics
  • Items that replace HMs (Crazy Axe, Crazy Mass, Crazy Climber e Crazy Hammer)
  • Possibility to choose the starter Treecko with Physical or Special Split
  • Pokemon up to Hisui
  • Puzzles during the journey and inside the gyms
  • All TMs available
  • Poke Center with item shop and NPC with some options. (Name Rater, Move Relearn, Move deleter e Move Tutor)
  • You can choose the difficulty level at the start.(Easy, Normal, Hard & Expert)
  • NPCs with reference to real people

14. Pokemon Unbound

“Pokémon Unbound” is a fan-made Game Boy Advanced Pokémon ROM hack that has garnered attention for its innovative gameplay and unique features. With an original storyline, a custom-designed region, and potentially new gameplay mechanics, the ROM hacks offer players a fresh and captivating Pokémon experience. The game showcases the creativity and dedication of fans within the ROM hacking community, who work passionately to bring their visions to life. While challenges like maintaining gameplay balance and respecting copyright considerations exist, “Pokémon Unbound” stands as an example of the vibrant fan-made Pokémon game landscape.

15. Pokemon Radical Red

“Pokémon Radical Red” is a notable Pokémon ROM hack known for providing a challenging gameplay experience. This fan-made creation introduces elevated difficulty through advanced AI strategies and a diverse roster of Pokémon from various generations, complete with up-to-date movesets and abilities. The game accommodates Nuzlocke challenges and integrates quality-of-life improvements, enhancing gameplay without compromising the challenge. Community collaboration contributes to the game’s ongoing refinement, showcasing the passion of Pokémon fans. “Pokémon Radical Red” offers an engaging and demanding alternative for players seeking a unique and exhilarating adventure within the Pokémon universe.

Are Pokemon GBA ROM Hacks Safe to Download?

Yes, they are generally safe to download. However, it’s always important to be cautious when downloading files from the internet. Be sure to only download from legitimate sources and avoid any sites that could potentially contain malicious content. Additionally, be sure to scan downloaded files with a reliable antivirus program before using them on your device.

How do I play Pokemon GBA ROM hacks?

Playing a Pokemon GBA ROM hack is very easy. Let’s start with that!

  • Firstly, you need to download and Install the Gameboy Advance emulator such as Visual Boy Advance or mGBA (we are going with the mGBA emulator for this tutorial).
  • Now, click on the above link and download the mGBA emulator file. If you have a 32-bit processor then go with this file “Windows (portable .7z archive)“.
  • After that, extract the downloaded file. When you open that folder you will find the mGBA application file, double click and open it.
  • Now, above the left-hand side, you will see the “File” option, hover your mouse there and you will see “Load ROM”, and “Load ROM in Archive”.
  • If you have a single ROM file then use the “Load ROM” option, in case you have multiple ROMs in a single archive then use “Load ROM in Archive” so, you don’t need to add ROM manually every time or no extracting fuss.
  • And boom your game has started. Enjoy!

How to Use Cheat Codes in Pokemon GBA ROM Hacks

Using cheat codes in Pokemon GBA ROM hacks is a great way to make the game easier and more fun. Cheats can be used for a wide variety of purposes, such as accessing secret areas, getting rare items, or gaining extra experience points. Let’s have a look into that.

  • On the menu bar of the mGBA emulator, there is an option called “Tools”. Hover your mouse there you will see “Cheats”.
  • mGBA supports Gameshark, Action Replay, and Codebreaker. Now, you have a question in your mind where do I get cheat codes right? Simply google it. Search command to use on Google to find “Pokemon XXX ROM Gameshark cheat code”.
  • Now click on “Add Gameshark” Give that cheat a name and put it in “Enter Code Here” and now click on the “Add” button.
  • After doing all these things, to make the code affect the ROM just reset it. Go to the Emulation option and press Reset (Ctrl + R).


Are Pokemon GBA ROM hacks legal?

Generally speaking, Pokemon GBA ROM Hack is illegal though, using ROM hacks for personal or non-commercial purposes there is no issue. That means that as long as you don’t make a profit off of your ROM hack or distribute it, then it should be okay to use.

From Where I can download Pokemon GBA ROM Hack?

ROM hacks can be downloaded for free from various fan sites.

Can I use cheats or GameShark codes with Pokemon GBA ROM hacks?

Yes, you can use cheats and GameShark codes with Pokemon GBA ROM hacks

Can I transfer my progress from a regular Pokemon GBA game to a ROM hack?

Unfortunately, there is no way to transfer your progress from a regular GBA game to a ROM hack.

Final Words

With all the Best Pokemon GBA ROM hacks listed here, you have a great library to find your next favourite adventure. From modern takes on classic titles to amazing fan-made creations, there are plenty of immersive and fun gaming experiences waiting for you in the world of Pokemon GBA ROM hacks. Many of these rom hacks also introduce innovative changes such as expanded storylines, improvements in graphics, and the addition of new characters or features. Even better, all of these downloads can be found online with just a few clicks. So what are you waiting for?

Pick up your controller and play some of the best Pokemon GBA ROM hacks available! Not sure which ones to try first? Let us know which is your favourite Pokemon GBA ROM hack by leaving a comment below!

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