GBA4IOS – A Visual Guide to Side Loading

Reddit Post:


GBA4IOS is a Game Boy Advance emulator for iDevices. This is a tutorial for side-loading GBA4IOS, which simply means loading the application onto your device from your personal Mac.

I installed a Mac Virtual Machine on my Mac (I know) and documented the process which I used to side-load GBA4IOS on my iPad. My Virtual Machine was a completely new installation of OSX 10.12 (macOS Sierra) and my iPad had been formatted prior to this guide. The process is exactly the same as on the iPhone.

This guide is based off this post on Reddit by /u/psa-gba4ios.

Notes (for the Less Tech Savvy)

This guide was written for you. Side loading may seem like a very complicated task and I know Terminal looks daunting if you’re unfamiliar with it. This is a visual guide so I made sure to include a lot of pictures.

  1. When you see “run the command” in this tutorial, simply copy and paste the command into Terminal and hit enter once. Sometimes Terminal may prompt you for verification or to input your password. You’ll know when Terminal has completed the command when the bottom most line is in the form of

    In my computer, for example, it would show

    Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 8.07.31 AM

  2. Certain key words are underlined to make it easier to identify them on your machine.
  3. I’m using the beta of an upcoming version of macOS, do not worry if the screenshots do not look exactly like what is shown on your screen.


  1. Apple ID
  2. Mac with Xcode Installed (Found in the App Store)
  3. An iDevice
  4. An active internet connection
  5. Patience (literally the most important thing)

Step 1 – Install Xcode

Go to the App Store and download Xcode. Once it is downloaded, locate it in your Applications folder.

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 11.58.47 AM

Open it and Accept the License Agreement. A pop up will appear and display Installing components…, wait until the installation is completed.

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 12.01.52 PM

Once completed, you will presented with the Welcome to Xcode window.

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 12.03.04 PM

Close Xcode.

Step 2 – Install Homebrew

Open Terminal (Found in /Applications/Utilities/

Run the following command.

You may be prompted to hit Enter or to enter your password into the Terminal window. Note that your password will not appear as you type it in Terminal (unlike in a text box).

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 12.04.17 PM

When the process is completed, the Terminal window will look as so.

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Step 3 – Set Up

Run the following command.

Run the following two commands. You’ll be prompted to enter your password. During these two commands, Terminal may seem unresponsive, but you have to be patient.

Once the commands have completed, the Terminal window should look as so.

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 2.32.47 PM

Step 4 – Download the Source Code for GBA4IOS

Create a folder on your Desktop called GBA4IOS. Run the following command.

This will change the directory to the newly created folder.

Run the following command.

This may take a while depending on your internet speed. When it is completed, the Terminal window will look as so.

Run the following command.


Step 5 – The annoying CocoaPods part

This is the most annoying part of the process. Mainly because Terminal will appear unresponsive while it downloads a roughly 488MB file.

The Terminal window will look like this for a long time. Be prepared to wait.

To keep your morale high, open Activity Monitor (found in /Applications/Utilities/Activity Monitor.App) and click on the Network tab. Find  git-remote-https and notice as Rcvd Bytes  increases. This is how you know it’s working.

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 12.40.23 PM

When it is completed, the Terminal window will look as so.
Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 12.46.49 PM

After this, you can finally close Terminal.

Step 6 – Open GBA4IOS in Xcode

Open the GBA4IOS folder on your Desktop and locate a file called GBA4iOS.xcworkspace (not GBA4iOS.xcodeproj).

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 12.48.44 PM

Xcode will open. At the very top Xcode will display Indexing. Leave it alone to complete.

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When complete, the text will change to GBA4iOS: Ready.

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Step 7 – Plug in your iDevice

Plug your iDevice into your computer. On Xcode, click the dropdown box as shown below and select your device [1]. You may need to wait for Xcode to complete Processing symbol files [2].

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 10.33.42 PM

Xcode will show GBA4iOS: Ready when it’s ready.

Step 8 – Side-Load GBA4IOS

In Xcode, click the folder icon [1], click GBA4iOS [2] and change the Bundle Identifier to something unique to you (literally anything). For the sake of this tutorial, I’m going to change it to com.fuzzicode.GBA4IOSTutorial.

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Click Fix Issue [1] and Add… [2].

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 10.45.56 PM

A pop up will show. Login with your Apple ID.

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After signing in, you’ll see your Apple ID show up on the left bar. I have censored personal information.


Take note of the item under Team. Close the window and go back to Xcode. In Xcode, click on the dropdown box and select your created Team.

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 10.46.26 PM

Click Choose, there should be no more Code Signing issues.

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On the same page, scroll all the way down until you see Linked Frameworks and Libraries. Locate libPods.a and click on the button.

Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 10.32.45 AM

Find the following button at the top left corner of Xcode and click it.

Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 10.24.42 AM copy

You may be prompted to Enable Developer Mode on your Mac. Click Enable.


You may also be prompted to allow codesign access to your keychain. Click Always Allow.

Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 10.35.12 AM

After some time, Xcode should look as so. Don’t worry, this is normal.

Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 10.35.28 AM

Click OK.

Step 9 – Onto Your iDevice

Back on your iDevice, you should see GBA4iOS. Do not open it yet.


Instead, head over to Settings. Click on General and find Device Management. It will have a label of your Apple ID.


You should see a screen like so.


Click on the item with your Apple ID under Developer App. On the next screen, locate Trust (your Apple ID) and click it. On the next pop up, click the red Trust.


Step 10 – Launch that Sh*t

Exit out of Settings and open GBA4IOS.


If everything is successful, you have successfully side loaded GBA4IOS. Congratulations and enjoy!

If possible, do leave a comment on the Reddit thread.