10 Best Pokemon GBA ROM Hacks (2024)

Endless Poke-mania on the Game Boy Advance!

Amirul Annuar
Amirul Annuar - Writer
15 Min Read

For many Pokemon enthusiasts, ROM hacks are the definitive experience when it comes to complete content in a Pokemon game. The Game Boy Advance (GBA) probably has the largest catalog of Pokemon ROM hacks available to date, but in terms of to the most beloved, these are arguably the ten best Pokemon GBA ROM hacks ever made!

Do note that the best ROM hacks chosen for Pokemon Emerald and Pokemon FireRed might not be present on this list due to their inclusions in those two categories respectively. With that out of the way, let’s get started!


Pokemon Emerald Crest

Creator: Aaghat
Base ROM: Pokemon Emerald
Region: Hoenn

Kicking things off strongly, Pokemon Emerald Crest is an amazing Pokemon Emerald ROM hack that’s chock-full of features. You get to capture up to Gen 9 Pokemon, customize your playthrough according to your preferred experience, have your Pokemon follow you in the Overworld, and so much more!

Pokemon Emerald Crest is among the newest Emerald ROM hacks to be made by the community, with the creator, Aaghat, to thank for. Its quality-of-life (QoL) improvements are also to die for, such as a detailed Pokedex and a portable PC directly accessible from the menu, among the many cool things that are just too numerous to list down!

Clean customization options for multiple different playthroughs
Nearly all Pokemon up to Gen 9 (including Mega Evolutions)
Rebalanced all Pokemon for better competitive use (updated stats, moves, types, etc.)
Unbelievable amounts of QoL changes
Some Gen 9 Pokemon sprites and cries are still incomplete


Pokemon Radical Red

Creators: soupercell, koala4
Base ROM: Pokemon FireRed
Region: Kanto

Turning our attention to the Kanto region, Pokemon Radical Red is another glorious Pokemon GBA ROM hack that revolutionizes Pokemon FireRed into a modern representation of the classic Pokemon Red adventure.

Mascoted by the beastly dog Pokemon, Mega Houndoom, you can already expect a few things; tons of settings to be personalized (especially for Nuzlockers), a more challenging AI, and quicker access to powerful moves for many Pokemon.

In terms of features, numerous QoL enhancements await you, not to mention Mega Evolutions! In fact, Radical Red has been covered by many YouTubers since its introduction in 2020, proving its credentials on this list.

Capturable Pokemon up to Gen 8 (except a few legendaries)
Gen 8 Pokemon moves and types
Significant QoL additions (instantaneous texts, beautiful graphics overhaul, etc.)
Proper Mega Evolutions
Many randomizer settings
Important NPC and trainer battles can be punishing
Many post-game content is still being worked on


Pokemon – The VytroVerse Series (Saiph, Sors, Saiph 2)

Creator: Vytron
Base ROM: Pokemon FireRed
Region: Colen (new), Hupest (new), Regris (new)

Are you longing for a more long-winded, story-driven Pokemon journey spanning multiple entries? Well, the VytroVerse is the one for you, specifically Pokemon Saiph, Pokemon Sors, and Pokemon Saiph 2!

Each of the three ROM hacks has a different plot yet they are all interrelated in more ways than one. That being said, you can still play them in any order you like, each involving a different region with unique Pokemon and characters.

The creator, Vytron, and many talented individuals helped build this magnificent universe, adopting a charming art style, easy-to-understand story, and intriguing new people to befriend. Granted, some things still need polish, such as the occasional grammar oddities or in-game glitches, but the grandeur of the VytroVerse’s overarching narrative more than makes up for them.

Pleasant 2D art style with regional themes
Extensive new maps and locations
Infinite TM use
Deep story encompassing three different regions
Pokemon battles are enjoyably challenging (harder but fair)
Grammatical errors in certain texts and dialogs
Presence of visual bugs or gameplay glitches (obstructed menu text, broken Pokemon cries, etc.)
Unusable Pokedex


Pokemon GS Chronicles

Creator: Overlord Kaktus/ Gold/ Ruki Studios
Base ROM: Pokemon FireRed
Region: Johto, Kanto

While many Pokemon ROM hacks have been made to replicate the nostalgia of Pokemon Gold, Silver, and Crystal, not many are as impressive as the popular Pokemon GS Chronicles. It implements a host of the current generation’s gameplay mechanics to elevate your playthrough closer to modern times.

Not only will you encounter the usual legendaries, such as the bird Pokemon, Ho-Oh, and the sea Pokemon, Lugia, but others up to Gen 8 are also present!

Furthermore, the people behind GS Chronicles have tried their best to polish the game as much as possible, with graphical revamps to the UI, expanded locations, new plot twists, and even Mega Evolutions being just a fraction of what’s really on the table.

Updated UI, environments, maps
Varied wild Pokemon encounters (including day/ night rotations)
Inclusion of Mega Evolutions
Pokemon and moves up to Gen 8
New characters and storylines
Work-in-progress post Elite Four
Occasional in-game bugs or glitches reported (save often)


Pokemon Vega Fairy Edition EX Minus

Creators: Pokemon Vega Team (Pokemon Vega), the_teenag_villain
Base ROM: Pokemon FireRed
Region: Tohoak (New)

An entirely new region, original characters, custom music, and loads of Fakemon; all these and more in Pokemon Vega Fairy Edition EX Minus! That’s a mouthful for a ROM hack title, but it explains exactly what it is: an extension of another previous ROM hack, Pokemon Vega.

Despite its cult following, the initial Pokemon Vega had major flaws that many everyday fans couldn’t quite get into. In the Fairy Edition EX Minus version, a lot of them have been improved upon, such as more diverse wild Pokemon per area, the introduction of the Fairy type, slightly better leveling spots, and more.

Some Fakemon designs are still nearly as bad as other ugly Pokemon, though, but at least their moves and types have been adjusted for more competitive use.

New region, characters, environments, etc.
Multiple wonderful Fakemon
Current-gen Pokemon moves and typing (including new ones)
Improved wild Pokemon distribution
Intriguing story (connected to Pokemon Altair/ Sirius)
Incorrect cries for some Pokemon
Pokemon catch rate seems harder
Annoying old-school mechanics (fainting from Overworld poisoning, etc.)
Random bugs/ glitches (missing texts, weird UI, etc.)


Pokemon Gaia

Creator: Spherical Ice
Base ROM: Pokemon FireRed
Region: Orbtus (New)

Another Pokemon GBA ROM hack that’s rich in lore and adventure is Pokemon Gaia, created by Spherical Ice back in 2014. Set in the fictitious Orbtus region, there’s a new conspiracy to be uncovered, brought forth by dangerous tremors that threaten the safety of everyone present.

There are a lot of pleasant surprises to discover here, guaranteeing hours of fun and mystery (unless you’re replaying it, of course). Plus, many Pokemon up to Gen 6 are present, with an emphasis on the Regis being central to the overall plot.

Apart from the story, the game continues to be updated every few years, adding streamlined features to make it relevant for current-gen fans, such as Mega Evolutions, mainstream Pokemon moves and typings, and even underwater exploration like in the traditional Hoenn games!

Exciting new universe, story, and characters
Correct implementation of Mega Evolutions
Modernized Pokemon moves, typings, and animations
Secret areas around the region (Hidden Grottoes, Secret Temples, etc.)
No post-game (yet)
Battles can be a bit tough (due to changes to the type-effectiveness chart)


Pokemon Blazed Glazed

Creators: redriders180/ Lucbui (Pokemon Glazed), tudou
Base ROM: Pokemon Emerald
Region: Tunod (New), Rankor (New), Johto

Are there still not enough Pokemon regions to visit? Then, download Pokemon Blazed Glazed to explore not just one, but three different continents in one playthrough (two during the post-game)!

Continuing from the first Pokemon Glazed ROM hack, Blazed Glazed can be considered a soft reboot of the old version, enhancing many of its predecessor’s shortcomings, like redesigned leveling grind, increased wild Pokemon variety, improvements to Pokemon moves, and many others.

The main story is quite good too, primarily revolving around the cute Mythical Pokemon, Mew. Add current-gen mechanics into the mix, such as Mega Evolution (only for a handful of Pokemon, though), and you’re bound to have an explosive time!

Custom regions, stories, events, etc.
Retouched tiles, environments, visuals, etc.
Revised Pokemon moves, typings, and uses
Friendlier Pokemon leveling curve (than the original)
Lack of present-day QoL features (no EXP from catches, Overworld faints from poison, etc.)


Pokemon Blazing FireRed

Creator: Silverstanfan04
Base ROM: Pokemon FireRed
Region: Kanto

Every Pokemon fan has their opinions on which region is the best to play in, and for some like myself, Kanto holds a very dear place in our hearts. So, when an open-world Pokemon Blazing FIreRed came into being, this was a massive appeal!

Generally, the main story isn’t affected albeit the way you complete them differs depending on which town you start in. You can even decide on which regional starters to pick (between Kanto, Johto, and Hoenn)! Once you’ve finalized your decisions, the entire Kanto region is completely unlocked for you to explore barring situational in-game events.

Many systems and mechanics have been tweaked to adjust to the game’s open-world change, with trainers’ and wild Pokemon’s levels scaling according to your party. Certain routes and locations have also been altered to let you pass between areas smoothly, among others.

Open-world Kanto
Reworked maps, tiles, routes, etc.
Pleasantly challenging Pokemon battles (unique Pokemon comps, move sets, etc.)
Different in-game events
Abundant QoL additions (portable PC, infinite TMs, etc.)
Difficult to train weaker Pokemon during the early game (opponents’ levels scale to the party’s highest-level Pokemon)
Outdated mechanics (Overworld poison fainting, etc.)
Random game-breaking glitches (save regularly)


Pokemon Stranded

Creator: Entaro Ceraphenine
Base ROM: Pokemon FireRed
Region: Kanto

Pokemon Stranded offers one of the most distinct ROM hack experiences ever (literally!). Unlike the typical setup where you travel around a region besting trainers everywhere, Stranded shoves you directly onto an unnamed island without any prep whatsoever.

Don’t worry, though; the game isn’t too punishing, and there are multiple endings for you to unlock, each relatively straightforward depending on a few decisions you make in certain circumstances.

There is limited hand-holding in this game, so you need to interact with EVERYTHING to see what works/ prompts the next story sequence. Still, Stranded‘s gameplay length isn’t too long, so you don’t have to be concerned about getting stuck on a quest because progression is somewhat linear barring a few instances.

A brand new perspective (surviving on a Pokemon island)
Witty and amusing themes
Different endings available
Simple yet enjoyable puzzles
Rare bugs/ glitches (remember to save once in a while)
Relatively short storyline
A few quests can be confusing


Pokemon Elysium

Creator: BlackKaiser
Base ROM: Pokemon FireRed
Region: Ambrosa (New)

Finally, Pokemon Elysium is an underrated GBA ROM hack that was recently shared with the public in October 2023. Created by BlackKaiser and co., Elysium tells the tale of an aspiring Pokemon trainer who aims to become the latest Pokemon Champion.

The concept might be a dime a dozen, but the story itself lands closer to how actual people would normally behave in the real world, such as scamming people of their Pokemon (slight spoilers).

If you’re looking for a fresh narrative to dive into, Pokemon Elysium is a good option among the many more famous bunch. Features include selected Pokemon up to Gen 6, special Fakemon, and even Mega Evolutions!

A new cast of characters
Visiting a whole new region
Original story spanning two ROMs
Various Pokemon up to Gen 6
Mega Evolutions (permanent)
A few missing QoL essentials (can’t run indoors, etc.)
Slightly mature themes
Niggling bugs/ glitches (obscure menu texts, unusable Pokedex, etc.)

Are you a dedicated Pokemon Diamond/ Pearl fan? Consider checking out our list of the best Pokemon Platinum ROM hacks too!

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By Amirul Annuar Writer
Amirul is a proud gamer, always busy writing articles, scripts, and guides when he’s not with family or connected in-game.Extremely friendly, chill, and laid back, Amirul always looks towards the positive side of things when the going gets tough.
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