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GameboyIcon Awesome Game Boy Development

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A curated list of awesome Game Boy (Color) Development resources, tools, docs, related projects and open-source ROMs. Inspired by the awesome list thing.




Although this documentation is focused on the original (1989) Game Boy (DMG), the Game Boy Color (GBC) and Super Game Boy (SGB) are very similar systems, with few important distinctions, such as:

  • Different hardware specifications
  • Specific hardware and software features
  • Specific registers
  • Specific bugs and exploitable behaviours

If you aim to develop your software for SGB or GBC, or you want to know how it runs on the other systems, you may want to take advantage and adapt to these differences, check the Game Boy Color category and look for specific references to GBC/CGB and SGB in the documentation.




Cheatsheets, Tables


Game Boy Color



Emulator Development


Open Source emulators

Name Language Details
Mooneye GB Rust Game Boy research project and emulator.
Binjgb C 5kloc emulator that passes most of the tests. Rewind feature. Runs in the browser using WebAssembly
Wadatsumi Arrow
cboy C
miniBoy C
Sameboy C
giibiiadvance C A GB, GBC emulator with GB Camera support.
mGBA C A modern cross platform GBA emulator which also runs GB/GBC games.
gnuboy C ANSI C
PlutoBoy C Cross platform (Windows, OSX, Linux/Unix, Android, iOS, Web Browsers, and Sony PSP) emulator
SuperGameHerm C 11 Cross platform emulator
Castor C#, Monogame
GameYob C++, C# GB, GBC emulator for Nintendo DS/3DS
jgilchrist C++
gameboycore C++ 11 C++ emulation backend. Dependency free library.
GameBoyEmulator-GBS C++ 14 with a single library dependency of SFML
oneup-gb C++ DMG. Currently provides SDL frontend and Retroarch integration
Gearboy C++ iOS, Raspberry Pi, Mac, Windows and Linux
SmartGear C++, SDL2 Focus on optimized performance for resource-limited devices. GTK or direct framebuffer build
PatBoy C++, SDL2 with a fully functional visual debugger
GameLad C++/SDL Almost fully featured emulator
GBE+ C++, SDL Focused on enhancements
hhugboy C++ Windows, based on GEST v1.1.1 by TM, with added support for unlicensed mappers, Unicode filenames, screenshots and some other stuff
gameboyGO Go
gomeboycolor Go Cross platform documented emulator
AndroidGameBoyEmulator Java
Coffee GB Java 8
weplay JavaScript Collaborative Game Boy emulation
GBRE JavaScript Game Boy Runtime Environment for iOS (iOS Safari and Chrome)
gameboy-Online JavaScript Uses HTML5 canvas and JavaScript audio APIs
node-gameboy Node.js
php-terminal-Game Boy-emulator PHP
PyBoy Python Mac, Linux and Windows
barnacleboy Rust
gb-rs Rust
scimitar Rust
rustboy Rust A basic DMG emulator written in Rust, using the Piston engine for window creation and graphics
Gambattye Swift macOS, powered by a fork of Gambatte
wasmBoy Web Assembly

Software Development


  • RGBDS - Assembler and linker package (a fork currently updated).
  • wla-dx - Yet Another GB-Z80/Z80/.. Multi Platform Cross Assembler Package.

Experimentals/Proof of Concepts

  • gbforth - A Forth-based Game Boy development kit.
  • gbasm - A JavaScript based compiler for Game Boy z80 assembly code.
  • tniASM - Macro Assembler.
  • Assembler - Assembler written in Swift.
  • llvm-gbz80 - LLVM port to the GBZ80 CPU (similar project, deprecated).


  • The Game Boy Developer's Kit (GBDK) - A set of tools that enable to develop programs for the Nintendo Game Boy system in C. Includes a set of libraries for the most common requirements and generates image files for use with a real Game Boy.
  • gbdk-osx - Patched GBDK 2.96a for the latest compilers on OS X.
  • clang-gbz80 - Clang port to the GBZ80 CPU.


  • BGB - Powerful Game Boy emulator and debugger. Provides an accurate hardware emulation.
  • Gambatte - Open-source, cross-platform and accurate emulator for Game Boy and Game Boy Color.


  • ZGB - A little engine for creating games for the original Game Boy (expands gbdk, more info here).
  • DevSound - Sound driver embeddable in homebrews which supports pulse width manipulation, arpeggios, and multiple waveforms.
  • Carillon Player - Music Engine for Game Boy & Game Boy Color.
  • Game Boy Tile Data Generator - HTML5 / JS web application that will convert bitmap images to hexadecimal data appropriate for use in tile based graphical applications, specifically GB.
  • Harry Mulder's GB Development - Some sources and home of Game Boy Tile Designer and Game Boy Map Builder tools.
  • GBTiles - Converts .GBR files created with Harry Mulder's Tile Designer (GBTD) and .GBM files created with Harry Mulder's Map Builder (GBMB) to different formats for use with the Game Boy and GBDK.
  • GBT PLAYER - A music player library and converter kit for Game Boy that can be used with RGBDS.
  • ROM Header Utility - An online tool to inspect and modify a ROM's header data, including the logo.
  • gbcamextract - Extracts photos from Game Boy Camera saves.
  • GBExtended - C library extending gbdk.
  • GBZ80 to items - An online converter, translates gameboy assembly into Pokémon R/B/Y items (Source).
  • bmp2cgb - Graphics converter for Game Boy Color development providing real time palette adjustments.
  • png2gb - CLI tool to convert image file to game boy .c array.
  • gbdk-lib-extension - A small set of sources and tools for the Game Boy Development Kit by Michael Hope.
  • GB-convert - Game Boy tile conversion and map editor tool (converts to assembly).
  • cart-dumper - Game Boy Cartridge Dumper ROM.
  • Game Boy LCD sniffing - Sniff your Game Boy's LCD using a logic analyzer.
  • Dot Matrix Game Editor - An IDE for Game Boy programming in a C-like language called GBL, with many other features like tile and map extraction, WLA-DX assembly, and more.
  • brewtool - A collection of primitive editor/converter tools for making assets used with homebrew ROM development.
  • Game Boy Text Tools - Set of tools for text manipulation and translation of Game Boy ROMs written in NodeJS
  • mmlgb - A MML parser and GBDK sound driver for the Nintendo Game Boy.
  • XPMCK - An MML-based music compiler with support for Game Boy & Game Boy Color.
  • mgbdis - Game Boy ROM disassembler with RGBDS compatible output.
  • Retr0 GB - An engine for creating games (expands GBDK).
  • awake - Gameboy decompiler.
  • swapdump - Diagnostic utility for Game Boy flashcarts.
  • Gameboy-LinkUp - Gameboy LinkUp serial cable networking project.

Syntax highlighting packages



Glitches and exploits



  • gb-template - A template with basic functions pre-made such as joypad input, DMA transfers, and map/tile data loading.
  • rgbds-template - Basic hello-world example for Game Boy using RGBDS.
  • Game Boy Assembly Language Primer - Simple template code with memory defines, copy routines and IBM font tilemap.
  • - An example Game Boy project.
  • Gameboy Boilerplate - Boilerplate project to move quicker into the actual assembly code for your game.



  • Homebrew Hub - Every unofficial homebrew ever produced for Game Boy playable online (mobile/touch too): a community-lead attempt to collect, archive and save every unofficial game, homebrew, demo, patch, hackrom for Game Boy (Color) produced by the community through years of passionate work.
  • Infinity - RPG developed by Affinix Software primarily between the years 1999 and 2001. The game never found a publisher and was eventually canceled. Got recently released with the full source, development tools and workflows.



Hack ROMs


ROMs Disassembly

Articles and tools

Related projects

  • ArduinoBoy - Serial communication (MIDI) from an Arduino to the Game Boy for music applications such as LittleSoundDJ, Nanoloop, and mGB.
  • papiGB - Game Boy Classic fully functional FPGA implementation from scratch.
  • fpgaboy - Implementation Nintendo's Game Boy console on an FPGA.
  • Piglet - A LUA-driven AI that plays classic Game Boy color games using experimentation. In active development.
  • gbdk-n - Aims to update the gbdk libraries to be compatible with new versions of SDCC and provide helpers for building roms.
  • Wiz - A high-level assembly language for writing homebrew on retro console platforms (Game Boy, NES, Atari 2600, and more).
  • Gatesboy - Non-gaming purposes applications development.
  • Ostrich - A Game Boy Sound System player written in Swift.
  • mGB - A Game Boy cartridge program that enables the Game Boy to act as a full MIDI supported sound module.
  • GBVisualizer - Demonstrating the use of two undocumented Game Boy Color registers, nicknamed PCM12 (FF76) and PCM34 (FF77), which can be used to read the current PCM amplitude of the 4 APU channels.
  • GBVideoPlayer - A technical demo demonstrating how the Game Boy LCD controller can be hacked to make a Game Boy Color play a full motion video in color, together with music.
  • ArduinoGameBoy - Arduino based Game Boy cartridge reader and writer.
  • gameboy-brainfuck - Brainf*ck interpreter.
  • gbfk - Brainf*ck interpreter, with input.
  • gb-save-states - Patches to add save state support to Game Boy games when playing on the original hardware.
  • gbcpu - A CPU and peripherals implementing the Game Boy instruction set and functionality.
  • Digitized Speech in Game Boy Games
  • Sniffing Game Boy serial traffic with an STM32F4
  • Virtual Game Boy Printer with an STM32F4
  • Printing on the Game Boy Printer using an STM32F4
  • Pokemon Pocket Computer: - What is it and how to use it to make cheat codes.
  • Booting the Game Boy with a custom logo - Bypassing the Nintendo logo check.
  • Making a Game Boy game in 2017: A "Sheep It Up!" Post-Mortem (part 1, part 2)
  • Nintendo's fake logos - Every cartridge has to show the authentic logo to be considered valid and be run, but obviously some companies managed to exploit the check system.
  • liblsdj - A cross-platform and fast C utility library for interacting with the LSDJ save format (.sav), song files (.lsdsng) and more.
  • Game Boy video effects - Some little experiments using the STAT interrupt to do funny video manipulations.





Take a look at Contribution Guidelines.


Licensed under GPLv3. See LICENSE for more information.


Thanks to every contributor of this project, Jeff Frohwein, Pascal Felber, KOOPa, Pan of Anthrox, GABY, Marat Fayzullin, Paul Robson, BOWSER, neviksti, Martin “nocash" Korth, Nitro2k01, Duo, Chris Antonellis, Michael Hope, Beware, Jonathan “Lord Nightmare” Gevaryahu, Carsten Sorense, Sindre Aamås, Otaku No Zoku, GeeBee.


Special thanks to our friends at DigitalOcean, sponsoring the open source activites of our Game Boy Development community (announcement).