How to Run Old Pokemon Games on Your Android Device

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How to Run Old Pokemon Games on Your Android Device
How to Run Old Pokemon Games on Your Android Device

Pokémon Go swept the globe, enticing new players while fostering a deep sense of nostalgia in others. This is due in large part to the title including the original group of animals from Pokémon Red and Blue, which debuted in 1998.

While there are Pokémon games on Android, many of them lack the same charm as the originals.

Don’t worry if you miss any of the older Pokémon games. Today, it’s really pretty simple to play them on your Android phone or tablet. This is how.

Which Pokémon Games Are Playable on Android?

There is no one-size-fits-all Pokémon emulator, but Android supports everything from the earliest Game Boy games through Nintendo DS releases. This includes the following:

  • Game Boy (GB): Red, Blue, and Yellow
  • Game Boy Color (GBC): Gold, Silver, and Crystal
  • Nintendo DS (NDS): Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum; HeartGold and SoulSilver; Black and White; Black and White 2
  • Game Boy Advance (GBA): Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald; FireRed and LeafGreen An emulator for the system on which the game was first released.

Each system will need its own emulator. These are the core series games, although you may also replicate subsidiary titles such as Pokémon Pinball if you choose.

As one can assume, the more difficult it is to replicate a newer console. The 3DS can be emulated on Android, however it is presently unstable. While recent games like Pokémon X and Y, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, and Sun and Moon may be emulated on Android, this page concentrates on the classics.

If you have an iPhone or iPad, we’ve also looked at how to play Pokémon games on those devices.

How to Play Pokémon Games on Android

Once you’ve determined that the game you want to play is realistic, you’ll need the following to download Pokémon on Android:

  • An emulator for the system the game was originally on.
  • A ROM of the game.

An emulator is software that mimics a certain gaming system. You’ll need an emulator for each to play GB, GBA, and NDS games. The fact that the consoles were backward-compatible does not necessarily imply that the emulators are.

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Most emulators enable custom save states and fast-forwarding, which are quite handy in Pokémon games. Custom save states allow you to utilize several save files at once and save at moments when the game ordinarily does not allow it, such as in the midst of a combat.

Fast-forwarding eliminates the problem of people speaking too slowly and enables you to go about swiftly without being informed “this is not the place to ride your bicycle.”

A ROM is just a file that contains all of the game’s data. You’ll need a Pokémon Red ROM and a Pokémon HeartGold ROM to play Pokémon Red and Pokémon HeartGold.

You’re now ready to dig in. Following that, we’ll look at which emulators to utilize and how to get ROMs.

Which Emulator Should You Use for Pokémon?

The solution varies on the console you want to simulate, so let’s look at each one individually.

If an emulator isn’t on this list, it’s usually better to avoid it. Unfortunately, there are a number of spam emulators on the Play Store that are basically duplicates of current emulators with adverts in every place, which will not provide you with a pleasant Pokémon Android experience!

We tested the options below to guarantee that they operate properly; check more of our top Android emulators if you want to play other consoles as well.

Game Boy and Game Boy Color

My OldBoy is the only viable option for imitating both the Game Boy and Game Boy Color. It is available in both free and paid editions; the free version should enough for casual usage. It supports frequent in-game saves, fast-forwarding up to 2x speed, cheat codes, and control customization.

Upgrading for $4 enables you to exchange Pokémon with other users, fast-forward quicker than 2x, and save at any time. That’s worth a few bucks in our opinion, particularly if you intend on playing several rounds.

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Because these systems are so ancient, both the free and premium versions offer great performance—and there are no adverts during gaming.

Download: My OldBoy! Free (Free) | My OldBoy! ($3.99)

Game Boy Advance

The GBA, like the GB/GBC, has one outstanding emulator: My Boy! This emulator from the same creator is very similar to My OldBoy!, but it only supports GBA games.

While the app’s free version is no longer accessible, the paid full version enables you to save at any moment and fast-forward up to 16 times. You may even connect with your pals to trade or combat.

If you want to play GBA Pokémon games but can’t afford them, John GBAC offers a free alternative that emulates both GBC and GBA games.

Download: My Boy! ($4.99)

Download: John GBAC (Free, in-app purchases available)

Nintendo DS

We’ll start with the free option, nds4droid. This emulator is fully free and open-source, and it contains no advertisements. It contains repositionable controls, allowing you to place the buttons or D-pad anywhere you choose. While the performance isn’t spectacular, it’s adequate for most devices. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been updated in a few years.

It allows custom save states and cheat codes, like other emulators, but there is no fast-forwarding. However, it is enough for playing games at standard pace.

However, if you’re prepared to spend a few money, you should definitely check out DraStic. It performs substantially better and allows fast-forwarding.

DraStic is currently under continuous development and supports Android TV, smartphones, and tablets. It’s worth it if you have a few dollars to spend on playing Pokémon games on your phone.

Download: nds4droid (Free)

Download: DraStic DS Emulator ($4.99)

How Do You Get Old Pokémon Game ROMs?

We are unable to give information on where to get game ROMs. While they are widely accessible on the internet, be aware that downloading ROMs for games that you do not own is considered piracy. Nintendo strongly opposes the usage of ROMs, thus you do so at your own risk.

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We can, however, provide you with some pointers for parsing ROMs.

Make sure you receive the correct version for your location. Depending on the game, most ROM names will include a (J), (U), (E), or other letter. J represents Japan, U represents the United States, and E represents Europe.

Any area should function with an emulator, but you’ll want to purchase one that corresponds to where you reside. It won’t make much sense if you don’t speak Japanese and download the Japanese version of a game.

Also, keep an eye on the file that downloads. ROMs are often sent as ZIP files that do not need unzipping; however, some are delivered in RAR files. Delete any APK or EXE files provided by a website. That is malware, ready to infiltrate your device.

ROM files are modest in comparison to the age of the console. Pokémon Red is just 380KB in size, but Pokémon Black is roughly 110MB.

Which Pokémon Games Will You Play?

You now understand how simple it is to get Pokémon games on your Android device. On the road, you may start reliving your favorites or attempting a generation you missed.

If you want to take things a step further, consider completing a fun Pokémon challenge in one of these games. After you’ve finished the entire main series, try some awesome fan-made Pokémon titles next.

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