Game Boy:Creating Game Backups

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Exclamation-triangle-fill.svgAlways verify your ROM/save file is working correctly in an emulator like BGB before proceeding with restoring another file or another cartridge. Genuine game cartridges can not be rewritten/flashed with a different ROM.

There is a wide variety of methods/hardware/software needed to backup ROMs and Save Game Files for Game Boy family games. Each major method/hardware specific guides will be broken down into subcategories below.

Dedicated Flash/Backup Devices

Joey JR/Joey Gen 4 (BennVenn)

This is BennVenn's "ultra rugged" and "ultra portable" cart reader. Unlike the gen 3, this unit does not require installing custom software and using unsigned drivers (on Windows PCs) and thus makes setup and use even easier. When plugged into a computer with a cart inserted, the Joey shows up as a removable drive with the game files on that drive. From there, you can just add or copy files to backup ROM/RAM or to restore RAM. Flashing support has been added to close the feature gap between gen 3 readers and gen 4 readers. The Joey Jr. will also

Resources required:

Joey JR (Joey Gen 4)
USB-C Cable
Compatible Cartridge

Exclamation-circle-fill.svgMost errors/issues with the Joey Jr. are the result of dirty contacts on cartridges. It is recommended that the contacts on the cartridge are cleaned before attempting to dump ROM/SAV files.

Backup Procedures:

  1. Ensure Joey Jr. is not connected to your computer
  2. Insert the game cartridge into the Joey Jr. and ensure it is fully seated.
  3. Connect the USB-C Cable from your computer to your Joey Jr.
  4. Your Joey Jr. should show up on your computer as a USB Drive labeled BENNVENN.
  5. Inside the drive you will see a handful of files. The only files we care about for the sake of dumping carts/saves are *.GB, *.GBC, *.SAV, *.RTC
    POKEMONR.GBC is the ROM. POKEMONR.SAV is the save file. Games that use the RTC clock will also have a *.RTC file.
  6. Drag the files you want to keep (GBC, SAV, RTC) to a folder on your computer.
  7. Utilize an Emulator such as BGB to verify that your SAV/ROM files were corrected saved/backed up and usable.
Exclamation-circle-fill.svgIt is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED that you test your ROM/SAV file using an emulator such as BGB to verify that the files were correctly saved/backed up.

Flashing Procedures:

  1. Follow steps 1-5 from the Backup Procedures above.
  2. Drag the files from your computer back to the "BENNVENN" USB drive. JoeyJr. will automatically delete the old files and replace them with the new ones you dragged over.

GBxCart RW (insideGadgets)

This is functionally similar to the Joey gen 3 except that the device is completely open source. Compatibility is largely the same but the GBx device does support a few carts that the joey gen 3 does not and vice versa. All original carts are supported on both devices. he Pro model is identical to the standard model except that the PCB is shaped differently to allow you to install the the reader in a Game Boy Advance cartridge shell (aftermarket shells fit better). You can buy one from insideGadgets.

A video of this process can be found on MrMario2011's channel.

Resources required:


Backup Procedures:

  1. Ensure that FlashGBX is installed and the software is opened on your computer.
  2. Without the GBxCartRW being connected to your computer, insert your cartridge into the GBxCartRW
  3. Plug the GBxCartRW in via the USB-C cable connected to your computer.
  4. Press the Okay button in the FlashGBX window.
  5. Select the GameBoy option in the top right, the cartridge information will appear.
  6. Press the BACKUP ROM button and select the location you would like to save the ROM file.
    1. If you would like to backup your SAVE FILE, press the BACKUP SAVE DATA button instead.
  7. FlashGBX will prompt you when the backup is complete.
  8. Verify that the ROM you backed up is functioning via an emulator such as GBG.

Flashing Procedures:

  1. Complete steps 1-5 of the Backup Procedures.
  2. Press the WRITE SAVE DATA button.
    • If you have a flash cart or repro. cartridge and would like to flash it with a new ROM press the WRITE ROM button instead.
  3. Press the Restore from save data file button.
  4. Navigate to the location of your save data file and select it.
  5. FlashGBX will prompt you to let you know that the save file has been restored.

Cart Flasher for GameBoy (J. Rodrigo)


This device is very similar to the Reiner Ziegler based flashers above and has similar compatibility and features. Does not support bootleg or repro cart flashing but will flash homebrew carts like the device above. See this site for more info or you can buy one from Retromodding.


The RetroBlaster allows for reading and writing of game ROMs and save data with specific mapper support.

The RetroBlaster supports:

  • NES / Famicom
  • SNES / Super Famicom
  • Nintendo 64
  • Game Boy / Game Boy Color
  • Game Boy Advance
  • Sega Genesis / Mega Drive
  • TurboGrafx-16 / PC Engine

For more information, check out the RetroBlaster page.

Open-Source Flash/Backup Devices

GB Cart Read (InsideGadgets)

Open Source Cartridge Reader (OSCaR) by Sanni This is a fully open source reader that supports both Game Boy (Color) and Game Boy Advance cartridges. Compatibility with OEM games is near 100%, just like the other readers above, but this reader actually supports a few other systems as well like N64, SNES, Megadrive, etc. Sanni is constantly updating the software and hardware to add support for more devices. Beyond the support for more systems (which is outside the scope of this wiki), this device has a few more things that set it apart from the other readers. The biggest difference is that it is not actually sold anywhere. If you want one, you'll have to DIY it or buy a home made reader from a third party. Another big difference is that this device does not interface with a PC for reading and writing carts. It stores games and saves on a (micro) SD card attached to the reader. Because of the modular design of this reader, you can also add a battery, buttons, and screen to it and eliminate the requirement of a PC altogether. This reader has the worst bootleg compatibility out of the Joey gen 3 and GBxCart RW but it does still support most of the common bootlegs.

Flash/Backup as secondary function

RetroN5 (Hyperkin)

The RetroN 5 multi-emulator device can be unofficially modified to add the ability to read game ROMs and saves.

The RetroN 5 supports:

  • NES / Famicom
  • SNES / Super Famicom
  • Game Boy / Game Boy Color
  • Game Boy Advance
  • Sega Genesis / Mega Drive
  • Sega Master System

For more information, see the Backups with RetroN 5 page.

Retro Freak

The Retro Freak multi-emulator device can natively back up game ROMs and saves — however, they are encrypted. Through use of a custom firmware, the Retro Freak can create normal unencrypted game ROMs and saves.

The Retro Freak supports:

  • NES / Famicom
  • SNES / Super Famicom
  • Game Boy / Game Boy Color
  • Game Boy Advance
  • Sega Genesis / Mega Drive
  • TurboGrafx-16 / PC Engine
  • SuperGrafx

For more information, see the rfdumper GitHub.

Nintendo 64 + Everdrive 64 + Transfer Pak (u/Saturnu)

Deprecated/Hard to find

These are listed for reference only:

SmartBoy Cart

GB Cart Shield (insideGadgets)

Retrode + GBx Plugin