pokemon-yellow-iosA new way to install emulators without jailbreaking has once again appeared online. Similar to the last time this happened, the new method seems to sidestep the previous shutdown via a next-level exploit: Changing the date on your device.

Installation is as simple as launching your device settings, heading to the “General” section, then delving into “Date & Time”. Turn off “Set Automatically”, and roll the date back to 2012. From there, load up this web site and go nuts installing Gameboy Advance, Super Nintendo, Game Gear, NES, iDOS, and tons of other emulators.

WARNING: Installing these sorts of things from a web site you’ve never heard of is super risky. I installed both the SNES4iOS and GBA4iOS emulators on my iPad mini, and they seem to at least launch without issue, but it’s entirely possible that they’re doing something shady under the hood. Install these at your own risk, and, if nothing else, I wouldn’t run them on a device that has anything you care about keeping private. When you bypass the App Store to install software, you’re skipping over all the protection Apple’s walled garden offers. While it’s equally possible that these emulators are entirely innocuous, it’s impossible to say for sure.

  • Thunder13

    Had it for 2 months now and no issues yet (:

  • defunct32

    Nice, been using the recording app for a while.

  • toxiccheese

    The controls for these games always leave a lot to be desired.

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      Yeah, it seems like a lot of the "value" in these emulators is to basically just be able to say, "Oh hey neat Super Mario is running on my iPhone." I suppose it's entirely possible to play through simpler games like turn based RPG's and such but the experience is so terrible I'm not sure why you'd want to.

      • rhinofinger

        I've found that while the controls are generally horrible for games like Super Mario where you might need to press a lot of buttons at once (running), they work fairly well for games like Zelda where that isn't really the case.

      • curtneedsaride

        Yeah, I am enjoying going through Golden Sun for the first time and enjoying Super Mario Golf Advance, LOTR: TT, and a few others that I've since packaged up in storage!

      • michaelfields

        Ah Golden Sun! That was a great game. The second one was awesome too.

      • Onikage725

        I play, for example, super robot wars and final fantasy advance games on mobile emulators (my galaxy phone, jailbroken iPad 1). As long as the emulator itself is stable, he experience is just fine. Not much different from any virtual joystick option square enix puts in their ports.

        And blah blah morality disclaimer, I own all these for GBA. I just don't have a working GBA anymore.

      • Womble

        Playing pokemon and the final fantasies and golden sun series etc work fine. The controls really seem as good as many ios only rpg games, so I don't think they are as bad as you are making out at all.

      • http://rekzkarz.com/ REkzkaRZ

        Or the "value" is playing really old games on really new hardware -- and earning a NERD hat and bonus goober points.
        Sometimes you gotta move on!

  • Ponycakes

    Well, SNES4iOS hard locked my 4S.

  • http://about.me/KrisEscobar Kris

    I can't install more than one at the time 🙁

    • Zaraf

      I have the same problem. Anyone know what is wrong?

      • Matthew Rossman

        Check the FAQ's - it has to do with keeping this from being shut down by Apple, somehow.

      • Nick

        It was the case before it stopped working as well. It's.... strange indeed.

      • C. Stubb

        The publishers use what's called an Enterprise License (a certificate mainly used by companies who want to put special apps on their employees' smartphones). When Apple shuts down the 3rd-party's certificate, (and that -is- when, not if) the ability to install the app can only be used if the device thinks that it is in a time prior to the Certificate's shit-down.

        Now, all of this tech stuff with digital certificates and timestamps and what not eventually leads to the invariable affect that any attempt to install a new app from the 3rd-party published writes -over- any existing app from the publisher already installed. Don't ask me to explain why; I'm not really sure what the link between the cause and effect is myself. All I know is that A leads to B and stuff happens in between 🙂

    • greatnoob

      They share the same bundle identifier and thus when installing it, your iOS device thinks its actually updating the app.

    • thestapler

      if you have to make a Sophie's Choice on this, I'd recommend GBA considering the amount of overlap.

  • SensibleGamer

    Snes4ios doesn't seem to work properly on iPad. Just a little heads up. Gba4ios is fine though

    • Matthew Rossman

      Use SiOS, not SNES4iOS. That one works.

      • Womble

        Yeah sios is the most complete emulator out of these, until gba4ios2 is available.

      • Luigi442wii

        SiOS is the best one, I have it on iPad Mini, and I found Donkey Kong Country and Super Mario Kart ran at full speed. (The roms were both European v1.1, and good dumps.) Doperoms is the best place for ROMs for me.

  • lhymes

    Has anyone been able to install more than one? They seem to overwrite each other as you try to install a second. I've tried changing the time and it doesn't make a difference.

    • Nick

      It won't, you can only install one at a time. It's strange, but it's always the way this has been, even before iOS7

  • terryterryd

    Yep. Only one at a time. Your roms stay intact etc. So as you swap out your emulators, all your stuff is still there for each one.

  • zergslayer69

    Sad, DS one for nonjailbroken is fairly out of date according to the site. =

  • Smaug

    Uhhhhhhh the emulators are pretty trustworthy. Hell the website to download them wasted by some random kid who happened to know HTML

  • addicted2games

    Hmmm, I'm wondering how installing through safari is possible without the need of an ipa installer. You sure it isn't just bookmarking a web address which is then used as an icon and you are streaming the gameplay over the Internet?

    I was going to install one of the apps and check how it works and also take a look at the apps processes, to see if it is in any way malicious. But I saw a warning to not install the app through safari with a jailbroken device, which mine is.
    The warning is probably rubbish, as being jailbroken shouldn't make a difference. Further raises my concern as jailbroken devices can easily detect if the apps are malicious.

    Could someone please test one of these apps while their device is in airplane mode? Would answer whether or not the app is being played over the Internet.

    • Matthew Rossman

      I have used it many times away from wifi on my iPod. It works just fine. I know what you mean, I one had a GBA emulator that was just a bookmarked web application, but that is not the case here. It runs locally on your device.

      • addicted2games

        Yeh your right I can't believe it! The developers are using MacBuild to sign the apps for non jailbroken devices.
        Now I'm puzzled as to how safari is installing the app. I'll look into it.

        Anyway happy emu-gaming dudes! Enjoy and make sure you download quick before apple patches 🙂

      • Marvin

        Apple did patch but as long as you roll back before the patch date it means squat.

    • roguewaver

      That warning was just saying to use the other method if you're jailbroken to install these. There's an alternate.

  • goldsushi4444

    Yes they are safe and a new ios 7 made gba4ios 2.0 is actually coming out soon. :). They do overwrite each other though which kind of sux, but for 2.0 the dev said u will be able to have more than one. Also the main website with the easiest place to get these emulators was hacked literally 2 days ago, but they are working on a new better site.

    • Womble

      Yeah, gba4ios 2 is going to be excellent. Most of these emulators are flawed in someway or another but I'm really looking forward to gba4ios2!

  • Taclys

    This may have been a bizarre fluke, but I had this emulator on iOS 7 beta, and when I tried upgrading to official iOS 7, my phone went into total lockdown. I had to put it in DFU mode, and reformat my phone. iTunes couldn't sync because of an "unknown app" which I think was the emulator.

    That aside, it worked great for me

    • darkprophet2088

      can the emulator be deleted like a regular app? if so it'd be a good idea to remove any installed emulators before updating OTA. I wonder if this'll interfere somehow with the upcoming ios 7 jb

      • Taclys

        Yes they can, but you lose all your data. No iCloud backup for an unofficial app.

  • eventide

    Where's a good place to download roms for iOS?

    • rednekzomby


      • Love!

        You're so kind. 🙂

    • addicted2games

      Emuparadise is a great site fir all your emulation needs 🙂

    • Jacob Gehman

      Posting ROM sites is against site rules.
      Some good googling will help you out.
      It's a bit of a learning curve, but I have faith.

      • rednekzomby

        Ha you said it more eloquently than me. Forums are never the place to discuss where to get them from.
        If your smart enough to load an emu, 20 seconds of searching will be all you neeed.

      • Lazer Kat

        I also don't think its appropriate for a sight that promotes games and developers to also promote illegally downloading them, but if TA can promote emulators I don't see why someone can't post where to get the ROMS.
        Just my $.02.

      • mako9227

        Yeah I was thinking the same thing. I'd always thought emulators were illegal so I've never tried using one. I get that it's technically the ROMs that are illegal to download, and I was surprised that TA would promote such behavior. Does anyone know if emulators can be used to play games legally too?

      • Jacob Gehman

        I suspect legally ROM downloading is a no-no all the way around. The common-sense morality is the ROM download being acceptable if one already owns the cartridge/whatever of the game being emulated.

        Of course, the tricky thing with following morality is that there are varying degrees based on the person in question.

      • Luigi442wii

        Sorry I just have!

        I hadn't read this comment before posting.

    • roguewaver

      Try running one of these and see if you still have that question. I know the gbadvance one is literally idiot proof. Will you prove it wrong?

    • Luigi442wii

      DopeROMS - I would use them for SNES and GBA. GB ROMs from CoolROM and NES ROMs from CoolROM too. DS ROMs would be good from Romulation but sadly they use RARs, but Emuparadise offer kiosk demos in .zip format.

  • lordyokomoto

    Wish they would put a Psx emu on

    • BulkSlash

      Same here. Sadly the only iOS PS1 emulator is currently broken for anything after iOS5. The author (ZodTTD) is working through getting all his emulators working again on iOS7, but at present he's concentrating on his GBA emulator.

      • KevinZOMG

        RetroArch works just fine on 6.x

      • BulkSlash

        You're right! Thank you so much, I had no idea it supported PS1. I've just given Ridge Racer Type 4 a try on my iPad Mini and it runs full speed and supports the 8-bitty controller! 😀

  • Superatomic

    Sadly there is no genesis emulator.. Wanted to play phantasy star 4.

    • squabs

      Yes dammit!

    • Onikage725

      Never heard of the Mega Drive, huh?

  • Anthony

    Copy and past this into Google:
    rileytestut GBA4ios
    Second result should help you out.

  • psj3809

    No Genesis ? Hello ! The Megadrive was the european name for the Genesis so simply try the MD app. The buttons are a bit out of place but once you get used to it its fine

  • Onikage725

    Where should I place my files? Using iexplorer

    • themostunclean

      You don't need to use iexplorer, just use iTunes file sharing under your devices App Menu. Just click "add" in the app's file menu then direct your computer to the stored game file.

      • Onikage725

        Thank you! I actually went in Iexplorer to the app folder, like I used to with griddle/imame

  • Gustav

    Doing this, what could go wrong in the worst case scenario when the apps are malicious? What EXACTLY can they do? Aren't they sandboxed?

  • Obidab

    When I change my date back, I have problems running any emu. Anyone have the same problem or is this supposed to happen?

  • vic_viper_001

    Too bad none of them seem to work properly...

  • renzy18

    Instead of using website alternative app would be nice if IOS developer made official app to allow us play emulator games without piracy, legal crap and blah blah blah just let us play the game, we pay for it we want our happiness to be fulfilled if they let is play mario, Pokemon and many old school 80s/90s games

  • LORE

    Yeah! Why isn't pokeman on ios?!

    • Taclys

      Nintendo has said they will not port any of their games to any device except official Nintendo devices.

  • Th3R3n3gad3

    Is this safe and legal?

    • Taclys

      Sorta and sorta

  • Kakishikimoto Mikachi

    Can you install multiple apps from this site, or still just one app?

  • Luigi442wii

    I'm using SiOS, it's awesome on my iPad Mini! On iOS 7.0.4 you don't need to change the date anymore.

    • http://www.mozzarellashop.it MasviL

      SiOS is better than SNES4IOS since is based on SNES9x EX

  • Misakachi

    The app works great, until I change the date back. Then the ipad refuses to open the app!!
    PLEASE HELP! I don't want to be stuck in 2012!!!!

  • Justin Shepherd

    If your stupid, they are risky but my ipad mini is jailbroken

  • bearmon2010

    I disliked it because it will write over it if I want other emulator. And you have to change the date for those to work. Its annoying. You can't have all of them too. No thanks.

    The emulators for PC/LAPTOP is way better than on the smartphones.