We’ve been buying Gameboy Mods for years now, and it seems like every few months a better more advanced mod gets released.
So we thought we’d put together a regularly updated article dedicated to showing off the best Gameboy mods that you can get your crafty hands on.
We have personally used a majority of the Gameboy mods featured in this video. The Retro Dodo team have a passion for Gameboy modifications and accessories, so rest assured, you’ve came to the right place.
This article isn’t for those of you that want to buy a modded Gameboy, it’s for those of you that want to make one yourselves. If you want to buy one pre-made, we suggest checking out Retro Modding, they make some of the finest modded Gameboys around.
Modding your own Gameboy will need some investment, expect to spend around $100 to modify your Gameboy properly.
What Do You Need To Mod A Gameboy?
Before you start modding your Gameboys, you’ll need a set of tools to get you through the process. You’ll be opening up the shell, removing screws, popping off screens, and possibly soldering so the right equipment is mandatory.
- Tri Wing & Cross Wing Screwdriver – $5
- Soldering Kit (possibly) – $20
- Utility Knife – $8
- Sand Paper
- Your Old Gameboy
The following modifications feature the original Gameboy DMG, Gameboy Color, Gameboy Pocket and the Gameboy Advance. The GBA SP and Gameboy Micro are a bit more awkward to mod, so we advise looking elsewhere for that.
We’re not teaching your how to modify your Gameboy here, we’re simply showcasing the best accessories to mod with. So let’s jump in with the best Gameboy Mods that turn your old crusty handheld, into a fresh modern day games console.
To start with you’re going to need a new Gameboy shell, be it a new one for your Gameboy advance, or one for your Gameboy Color. A new shell is the biggest change to your new modded gameboy, so choose wisely.
Custom shells are sold everywhere, you can find them cheap on eBay, or support artists in the community with higher end, and slightly more expensive shells.
When you buy a shell, there is a few things you need to look at before pressing the order button. Firstly, does it come with the buttons and silicone pads? Or is it literally just a shell? Does it come with the screen cover?
Some even come pre-cut to hold backlight displays, making it easier to mod, these obviously cost more, but help out beginners.
One of the best Gameboy Mods you can do to your old outdated Gameboy is to add a backlight. This is simply a brand new display that slots into your Gameboys in order to create a bright, vivid display.
Don’t mistake this for front lit displays, they light it from the front and are very low quality. Backlight displays are very high quality, and create a crispy, saturated gaming experience.
The only problem with these is that new ones are constantly being released, with easier installation, better quality and better prices every few months. We highly recommend an IPS display, it’s so dang crispy!
So, we advise going with Retro Modding and looking through their library of backlight displays in order to find one that fits your Gameboy.
However, with most displays, it will require snipping of the plastic inside of your Gameboy Shell, this is just to allow for extra space, and a place for your screen to sit tightly. We advise using a utility knife to slowly slice away the plastic.
BEFORE CUTTING MAKE SURE YOU’VE DONE YOUR RESEARCH, IT NEEDS TO BE A VERY SPECIFIC AREA OF THE INTERNAL SHELL. IF DONE INCORRECTLY YOU MAY NEED A NEW SHELL ENTIRELY.
Also make sure to check if the display you are looking at requires soldering. If it does, remember to have a soldering kit in handy. You can buy some backlight displays that slot perfectly into a pre-trimmed shell, for those of you that don’t want to cut your own shell.
Some of you may like the fact that you have to lug around batteries when you take your Gameboy out, some of you may not.
We are the latter, and to solve that problem, Retro Modding has released a USB-C battery pack mod that allows you to charge the internal battery via USB-C.
It sounds as good as it looks, and for us, it revolutionised the way we use our Gameboy Advance. It allowed us to play more of the best Gameboy Advance games on the go, as we never lost our batteries ever again!
Installing one isn’t simple, it will require soldering and patience. So for those of you that don’t know how to solder, it’s a good time to learn.
This is one of the better Gameboy accessories, because it turns your old Gameboy Advance into a new, modern day games console.
BoxyPixel has niched themselves by creating metal Gameboy mods, and boy do they know what they’re doing.
We’ve had hands on with their metal Gameboy before and holding it feels like something from the future. The weight and the craftsmanship is something that we’ve not felt in a long time.
If you really want to mod your Gameboy into something special, then this is honestly, one of the craziest Gameboy mods around. It’s also fairly easy to build too, as you buy all of Boxypixel’s parts, and they fit like Lego.
Yes, they even sell metal buttons too, so you can mix and match to your style. The basic model also comes with USB-C charging, making it feel even more modern.
You can buy all of the parts yourself, or get a pre-made one for around $220. Obviously, we advise doing it yourself, because not only is it cheaper, it also makes the handheld feel more sentimental.
This is a cheap, but effective mod, and it’s one that usually goes unnoticed by the average Gameboy fan. Standard Gameboys have always came with plastic displays.
These are good for keeping the handheld durable, and stops it from cracking but it makes the overall look and feel of a Gameboy outdated. So, one of the best Gameboy mods to buy is a glass display.
This won’t really do anything, but you’ll notice a higher quality feel to your handheld, and turns your Gameboy into what feels like an incredibly valuable unit.
You can pick these up for as little as $5, or you can go over the top and go for expensive, shatterproof screens for approximately $20, but a cheap one will do!
Just make sure if you’re buying an IPS display, you choose the IPS Glass panel, they’re slightly thinner around the edges.
Now this isn’t exactly a “mod” but it’s one of the most useful accessories you can buy for your Gameboy or Gameboy Advance, heck these even work with a Nintendo DS!
If you’ve been following Retro Dodo for some time, you know we talk a lot about ROMs. This EZ-Flash cartridge allows you to load your own ROMs to a SD card, and then place it inside the cartridge to use it as a “2000 in 1” cartridge.
This is perfect for those of you that can’t afford all of the old cartridges, or for those of you that like to create your own Gameboy games.
Depending on how big your SD card is depends on how many games you can load on the cartridge. You can pick these up for around $50, and as much as it feels expensive, it will save you plenty of mullah down the line!
There’s two faceplates in the box which allows you to make the cartridge sit flush with either a Gameboy Advance or a Nintendo DS.
Take your Game Boy restoration to the next level with the custom built, ultra-efficient and clean audio class D amplifier designed in-house by RetroSix.
The CleanAmp replaces the original audio amplifier and speaker of the Game Boy Original, Color, Pocket or Advance with a modern smooth and crazy loud class D amplifier and speaker.
This makes your handheld feels like it packs a punch. The speaker is incredibly loud, and you can feel the vibrations through the handheld.
It’s clearn, detailed and somewhat easy to install. All you need is some soldering skills and you’ll have a modern speaker inside your old school gameboy.
RetroSix has plenty of tutorials on how to do this yourself, so if you want to get your hands dirty and do something that not make Gameboy collectors do, then this is one of coolest Gameboy mods to pick up.
Another BoxyPixel product! This time, it’s a bit cheaper and allows for you to turn your favourite game into a seriously awesome collectible.
The metal cartridges from BoxyPixel cost only $18 a pop. You will obviously have to install your own game, your own battery and your own speakers, this is quite easy to source online.
You will need to buy a Gameboy cartridge screwdriver to get into your old cartridge, and then simply do the swap. Once you’ve added your new stickers your first response will be “dang!”.
This goes well with any Gameboy, but it goes incredibly well with a Boxy Pixel metal case. Just be prepared to spend a pretty penny!
If you’re pimping an old Gameboy it’s most likely that your stickers on the back of the device are scratched, or even peeled off completely, don’t worry that’s normal.
You can now pick up new stickers, and this simple touch turns your old beaten up handheld, into one that looks as if its never been touched.
These only cost $2, and it’s one of the most effect Gameboy mods you can do. Even if you are buying a new shell, you will need stickers. So make sure you pick some up.
You thought we forgot about the Gameboy Micro? Oh no. The Gameboy Micro is one of the most sought after Gameboys. They’re becoming increasingly popular and as you may know, not many were made compared to its older brothers.
Admittedly there was not many accessories or mods made for the Micro either, because it already have a backlight display, it was portable and had really nice buttons.
But, the Gameboy Micro was famous for having switchable faceplate, and what better way to customise your handheld than by switching up the faceplates?
You can go for normal colours, chrome designs or even Nintendo characters, the choice is yours and there’s plenty to pick from, plus they only cost $12 a pop!
There you have it, a look at our favourite Gameboy mods! We’ll update this article as regularly as we can, because there’s constantly new products coming out for us Gameboy modders.
A 29 year old fella that’s had a Gameboy addiction ever since he was a child. Brandon is the founder of RetroDodo and created a YouTube channel with 240,000 subscribers dedicated to retro gaming products. He now wants to create the No.1 site to showcase the latest retro products from around the globe.