How to Use Your iPhone or iPad to Play Pokémon Games. The Pokémon Company has produced some of the most well-known titles in gaming history. These epic games have shaped many of our childhoods since 1996. But you don’t have to stop playing Pokémon because you no longer have a Game Boy.
Whether you’re looking for the latest iOS games or classic adventures like Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue, there are plenty of ways to play Pokémon on your iPhone.
Emulate Classic Pokémon Games on Your iPhone
Downloading and installing an emulator is the best way to play classic Pokémon games on your iPhone. This type of app functions similarly to a computer system, such as an old video game console.
You also can play Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, Game Boy Color, and Nintendo DS games on your iPhone using the best iPhone emulators. Newer consoles like the Nintendo Switch are typically unavailable to emulate because your iPhone lacks sufficient processing power.
How to Install an Emulator on Your iPhone
Unfortunately, Apple does not permit emulators to be downloaded from the App Store. However, numerous alternative methods exist for installing an emulator on your iPhone. None of them require you to first jailbreak your device.
Delta, iNDS, or the browser-based Eclipse emulator are the best for playing Pokémon on iOS. All of these are free, and when combined, they allow you to play Pokémon games on all of the following consoles:
- Game Boy Advance or Game Boy Color
- Nintendo Game Boy Advance
- The Nintendo 64
- The Nintendo DS
Most emulators are open source, which means they are free and legal to use, even if Apple does not approve.
Installing the AltStore on a paired computer is the most dependable way to get an emulator on your iPhone.
Don’t worry. It’s easier than it appears. We have a separate post that explains how to install emulators on your iPhone.
Where to Get Pokémon ROMs for Your iPhone
After installing an emulator on your iPhone, you still need a software version of the game you want to play.
These are known as ROMs. While emulators are free and legal, ROMs are not so simple.
If you own a game legally, you may be able to create your own ROM version for backup purposes in some cases.
However, according to an old version of Nintendo’s legal FAQ, even archival use is illegal.
Because video games are copyrighted, sharing ROMs with anyone else is a crime, regardless of how you obtained them.
Still, all it takes is a Google search to find the ROMs you’re looking for that others have shared. If you’re unsure which ones to play, check out our mainline Pokémon games ranking.
Play Pokémon in Safari With Game Play Color
If installing an emulator on your iPhone sounds too difficult, you could use a web-based emulator instead.
The best option for this is Game Play Color.
You must still download ROMs for the Pokémon games you wish to play. However, you do not have to jump through as many hoops to get that emulator to work on your iPhone.
Game Play Color is the quickest way to get started with Pokémon on your iPhone, but it has a few limitations:
- When you switch apps, the emulator may reset.
- Only Game Boy and Game Boy Color games are supported.
- Because Game Play Color does not support save states, you must save your games to the ROM file, just as you would with a physical game.
If none of those disadvantages bother you, here’s how to get started:
- First, download and save any ROMs you want to play to Google Drive.
- Launch Safari on your iPhone and navigate to the Game Play Color website.
- Then, tap Play Now and select Add to Home Screen from the Share menu.
- On your Home Screen, you should see a Game Play app icon.
- Sign in to your Google Drive account before launching the Game Play app.
To sync your account, you must copy the access code it provides.
- Game Play looks for compatible ROMs in your Google Drive and displays them on the screen.
To begin, tap the game you want to play.
Pokémon Games on the App Store
Most of you are probably looking to play the classic Pokémon games mentioned above. But we also wanted to highlight some other Pokémon games available for download directly from the iOS App Store.
It’s an augmented reality game that uses your iPhone’s camera to locate Pokémon in the real world. You can collect over 900 Pokémon, participate in gym battles, and face off against Team Rocket grunts.
Best of all, Pokémon GO encourages you to get outside and explore your neighborhood in search of the best Pokémon.
Pokémon Masters EX
This game takes a unique approach to the Pokémon experience by requiring you to collect different Pokémon trainers rather than the Pokémon themselves. Because each trainer is already paired with a specific Pokémon, you get a little of both.
Pokémon Masters is more episodic than the classic games, with chapters to complete and game-wide events now and then. This makes it simple to pick up and put down, but it lacks the sense of adventure you might expect from a Pokémon game.
This cube-style Pokémon game encourages you to carefully select the best moves and abilities to round out your squad. It’s not the same as what you’re used to with Pokémon, but that doesn’t make it any less addictive.
Collect items, decorate your base camp, and attempt to capture all 150 original Pokémon. It’s not difficult to spend a lot of time playing this game.
Pokémon UNITE is all about the battles, allowing you to take part in team arena battles with four other trainers. You can battle wild Pokémon or opposing teams in a quest to level up, evolve, and score points.
Each match runs on a 10-minute timer, during which time you need to gather energy from defeating Pokémon and which you then bank by taking it to an enemy base.
Mix Up Your Gaming With Some Pokémon Challenges
You now understand how to play Pokémon on your iPhone. Whether you use an emulator or a modern Pokémon game, your iOS device can provide hours of entertainment.
As you probably know, the Pokémon games aren’t difficult to complete. Most of the fun comes from exploring the world and finding new creatures to join your team. If that isn’t enough, you could add a challenge to spice up the game.
Of course, we all know that catching every Pokémon is the most difficult challenge. But did you know about the Nuzlocke or Monotype challenges? There are numerous exciting Pokémon challenges you can set for yourself to demonstrate your mastery of the classic games. Each challenge promises to alter your gameplay and introduce a new level of fun.