How to Use the GBA Gameshark

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How to Use the GBA Gameshark

The right cheat codes can totally change any game experience. They have been an integral part of gaming since the very earliest days when they were used to help debug games in the testing phase. It did not take long before they were everywhere, especially on portable devices like the GBA or Game Boy Advance . While the first codes were fairly difficult to input, the GameShark brought video game cheats to a whole new level. Not only does it bring a huge variety of cheats to the GBA, but it only takes a few simple steps to use one.

GBA GameShark Usage Basics

The GBA GameShark is an adapter that fits between the GBA and the game the user wants to play. Users plug the adapter into the GBA, plug the game into the adapter, turn it on, load the cheats they want to use, and start playing.

GameShark Insertion

Before inserting the GameShark, always power off the GBA. Then insert the GameShark in the game cartridge slot. Next, insert the game cartridge with its label facing the front into the GameShark slot and move the GameShark power switch to the on position. Finally, turn on the GBA.

GameShark Automatic Game Detection

Once the GBA powers up, it runs an automatic game detection routine. If the current game is on the list, it automatically brings it up so the user can select the cheats they want. The "A" button activates all available cheats, or the user can use the D-Pad to select or deselect specific cheats. Once satisfied with the chosen cheats, users press "Start" to play the game.

Adding Additional GameShark Codes

Out of the box, the GameShark is only as good as the codes it has loaded. GBA cheats only work if the GameShark has both the individual cheat codes and the master code for the game in its memory. Without these two critical pieces of information, it has no way to either recognize the game or apply the code. Luckily for users, adding new codes to an existing GameShark is easy.

Adding Codes on the GBA

The simplest way to add codes is through the GBA. Just scroll up to the top of the game list to where it says "New Game" and highlight that. Hit the "B" button to enter the edit mode. Follow the instructions on the screen to enter the game name. After creating the entry, the next step is to enter the 12-digit master code for the game, which can usually be found online. Then use the D-pad to navigate and enter the cheat descriptions and codes. Once done, press the start button to save the new code.

Adding Codes via Computer

The other method is to add the codes with the GameShark PC application.. To use the application, connect the GBA to the computer with the USB link cable.. Make sure that a game cartridge is inserted and that the GameShark is turned on before running the application. It is much easier to enter codes this way than through GBA, but it does require both the GameShark PC application and the USB link cable.

GBA GameShark Checklist

While it is very easy to use, there are a few key points to remember when using a GBA GameShark, based on the nature of the hardware. In all cases it comes down to the importance of knowing both the strengths and limitations of the system.



 GBA Power

Always power off the GBA before inserting the GameShark

GameShark Memory

GameShark has limited memory

Remove unwanted cheats to free up memory

Saves vs. Cheats

PC application can only work with one at a time

Keeping these factors in mind makes using the GBA GameShark that much easier. The most important things to remember are that the GBA must be turned off to insert or remove the GameShark and that it cannot function without a game cartridge.

How to Buy a GBA GameShark

It is easy to buy a GBA GameShark,, with or without the GBA , on eBay.. All you have to do is put "GameShark&" in the search box available on every eBay page to get a list of all the GameSharks available. You can filter out new and or used GameSharks or even limit your results to just the ones that fit with your pre-determined budget range. Once you have your GameShark, it is just as easy to use as it is to buy. If you can turn the GBA off to insert a new game cartridge, you can use a GameShark.

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