The Best GBA Flash Cart

the best gba flash cart

What is the best GBA flash cart?

In this article, I am going to go over the differences between to the two major flash carts for the GBA, the Everdrive X5 mini by Krikzz and the EZ Flash Omega.

Other flash carts are available, but these two are the only ones I would recommend. They both offer great functionality and as far as I can tell work flawlessly with all Game Boy Advance games. I have recently been using the GameCubes Game Boy Player with Game Boy Interface a lot and decided it was time to invest in a proper flash cart for my GBA games.

I dump my games using a tool called the GBxCart RW, check it out here if you are interested.

First up, let’s have a look at the features of the X5 Mini, the newest version of the Everdrive which finally fits into a standard size GBA game shell. The X5 Mini is the same as the Everdrive GBA X5, just a smaller form factor.

Everdrive X5 Mini

Features: -

Game Compatibility: Plays all Game Boy Advance games as far as I can tell, barring those which require special cartridge-based hardware like Yoshi Topsy—Turvy or WarioWare Twisted. These games can still technically be loaded but will be essentially unplayable.

GB & GBC Compatibility: Plays Game Boy and Game Boy Color games through emulation, meaning they can be played on the Game Boy Micro and DS.

Cartridge Size: Unlike the older models, this is now a regular size GBA cart and you can really tell the build quality is very high.

Hardware Compatibility: Works on GBA, GBA SP, GBA Micro, Nintendo DS, DS Lite, GameCube’s Game Boy Player and should work on FPGA solutions such as the Analogue Pocket.

Battery Life: Over 4 hours of battery life with Game Boy Micro at max brightness, which is not far off the 5 hours or so you get using a regular Game Boy Advance cartridge.

Real-Time Clock Support: The X5 Mini has a battery installed, the battery in the Everdrive is easily changeable and is not hard soldered to the PCB.

Loading Speed: Games load quite fast. It’s not instantaneous, but it’s quick!

GUI: Very basic, yet perfectly function menu system which is uniform between other Everdrive devices.

Active Support: The developer Krikzz has a history of putting out firmware updates long after initially releasing his products. You can be assured that any problems will most likely be fixed and even new features may be added.

Customer Service: I have personally had no dealings with Krikzz myself, but I can see he is active in the community. Also, the Everdrive X5 mini seems to be sold by better-established retailers instead of Amazon and eBay sellers like the EZ Flash Omega so if you have any problems there will be fewer headaches.

Drawbacks:-

The Price: The Everdrive is almost three times the cost of the EZ Flash Omega.

RTC Issues: I’ve been told the Real-time clock has a habit of resetting if you try to play too many games that use it. A workaround has been to load the game Boktai and change it in the options, not a deal-breaker, but annoying!

Save State Support: You cannot make save states with the X5 mini

Changing games: You must power off your console to switch games.

Cheats: There are no cheating options, once loaded you are essentially playing a real unmodified game.

EZ Flash Omega

Features: -

Price: EZ Flash Omega is about a third of the price of the Everdrive X5 mini

Game Compatibility: Plays all games I’ve thrown at it, no issues found. Like the Everdrive X5 mini, Special hardware carts will not work. But possibly through the use of cheats, these games could be playable.

Hardware Compatibility: Works on GBA, GBA SP, GBA Micro, Nintendo DS, DS Lite, Game Boy Player & Should work with FPGA based systems like the Analogue Pocket.

GB & GBC Compatibility: Plays Game Boy and Game Boy Color games through emulation, meaning they can be played on the Game Boy Micro and DS.

Save State Support: Unlike the X5 mini, EZ Flash Omega offers support for save states which might interest some people.

Real-Time Clock: The EZ Flash Omega had real-time clock support and a nice feature is you can choose to enable or disable to the Real-Time Clock, saving a good chunk of battery life in the process.

Speed: The EZ Flash Omega instantly loads your games.

GUI: Nice simple menu system, with added functionality via custom firmware

Resetting Your Game: There is a nice configurable button combo you can set to return to the EZ Flash Omega’s menu.

Sleep Mode: Button combo to enable sleep functionality, saving some precious battery life.

Form Factor: The EZ Flash Omega comes with additional shell housing so fits flush into to a DS lite console, perfect for anyone who is thinking of making a Game Boy Macro.

Drawbacks: -

Saving: Saving takes a few seconds to write to the Micro SD card, you will need to wait after saving about 5 seconds to make sure you save does not get corrupted. I have had no issues with this, but it’s something to be aware of.

Battery Life: Higher power drain than the Everdrive. With a full charge Game Boy Micro at full brightness, the EZ Flash Omega only lasts around 2 hours and 10 minutes before draining your system of battery. This is nearly half the amount of playtime you would get on an Everdrive X5 mini, However, I found disabling the RTC in the options will give you closer to 3 hours on a single charge with a Game Boy Micro.

Customer Service: Bad/non-existent customer service. I contacted the manufactures in March, asking a couple of questions and initially requesting a sample unit for review and they never replied to my emails. Later, I re-emailed them again in June asking where I can buy their product from, they once again ignored my email. When you try to give a company your money and they ignore you, you know you’re off to a bad start.
On their website, they list a ‘UK’ seller, whom I ended up purchasing from, but they turned out to be based in France delaying my order. (Not the seller’s fault at all)

Battery life: Everdrive X5 vs EZ Flash Omega

*Tested in an original GBA with AGS-101 backlight mod using 2 x AA batteries*

A regular game cartridge uses 80mA @ 3v = Around 19:15 hours Battery Life

The Everdrive uses 100mA @ 3v = Around 15:30 hours Battery Life

EZ Flash Omega uses 150mA @ 3v = Around 10:20 hours Battery Life

With battery life, there are a few things to mention. IPS screen mods drain the most amount of battery when compared to the AGS-101 mods out there, this is approximately 30% more consumption so take about 30% off the total times listed above to get a rough idea of how you would long you console would last. Also, it’s worth noting that the Game Boy Micro battery size is a tiny 460mAh so you will be charging it more often with the EZ Flash Omega.

In Conclusion:

So, What GBA flash cart should you buy? For me, the EZ Flash Omega is a must-have. It performs similarly to the Everdrive X5 mini but will drain your battery quicker. That said, if battery life is a real pain for you and you have a little more money to burn, then get the Everdrive X5 mini.

The build quality of the Everdrive is ever so slightly higher than that of the EZ Flash Omega, however, the EZ Flash Omega has no cartridge sticker to worry about and slightly more functionality. So, ultimately the choice is up to you. I prefer the EZ Flash Omega, but if someone was to gift me an X5 mini I would not say no!

I hope this helps!

You can pick up either of the two Flash carts here: –

Everdrive GBA X5 mini

EZ Flash Omega

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *