How to evolve pokemon that only evolve by trade and trade + item in Pokemon GBA without hacks and/or cheats!

Hey guys,

Today I will show you how you can evolve certain pokemon in Pokemon Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, Fire Red and Leaf Green that only evolve by trade (Haunter, Kadabra, Seadra, etc) without the use of any hacking tools or cheats!

What you need:

  • Visual Boy Advance with linking support (search on google for ‘Visual Boy Advance Link’).
  • A clean ROM of Fire Red, Leaf Green, Ruby, Sapphire or Emerald (those with decapitalization/physical special split patches only are fine, as long as the evolution methods of pokemon are not changed).


  1. Get the required items (download Visual Boy Advance with linking support and/or Pokemon GBA ROMs).
  2. Load up Visual Boy Advance by running the .exe file (the only one that doesn’t have a generic application icon). The file should be called ‘VisualBoyAdvance.exe’.
  3. Configure the emulator (sound, graphics, controls, etc but more importantly, make sure that you enable the link functionality by going into the options menu, selecting the link option and configure it for single computer (the 1.8 build supports wireless linking).
  4. Load up another instance of Visual Boy Advance, and configure everything as well. For controls, make sure you configure the second instance to use a different set of controls! Also the pause when inactive option needs to be disabled for both instances!
  5. Load up a Pokemon ROM on both instances. You will notice that you don’t have the option to continue your save. This is because the link build uses the .sax extension (x is the instance number of Visual boy advance; .sa1 = first instance, .sa2 = second instance, etc). To continue with your current save, copy it to the same folder as the Visual Boy Advance link folder, and rename it to the .sa1/.sa2 extension (you need to have the hide file extensions option disabled in the Windows folder options first).
  6. Load up your renamed saves in the 2 instances of Visual Boy Advance. If you choose not to use the same save for the second instance, you will need to start a new game on the second instance. Progress up until you can catch a pokemon. Catch anything you can find, it doesn’t matter.
  7. For both saves, go to a pokemon center (location doesn’t matter), and go to the second floor.
  8. Go to the counter on the far right, and talk to the lady behind the counter. Select trade center and select to save the progress for both instances (you need to do this at the same time for both instances).
  9. If done correctly, you should be in a trade room. Go to the center and the trading screen should appear with pokemon from both instances visible on both instances of Visual Boy Advance. From here, you can start trading pokemon between the 2 instances. So go ahead and trade whatever you want!
  10. Once you’re happy of what you got, select cancel from the trading screen and then exit the room.

Note: Trading between games (E.G. Fire Red to Emerald) is not possible unless you obtained the national dex for both games! However trading between, say, both instances of Fire Red or Emerald works just fine without getting the national dex.

Note 2: If pokemon require an item to be traded in order to evolve, make sure that you equip the correct item before trading!

And…there you have it, the ability to evolve pokemon that only evolve through trading without an actual hardware, cheats or the use of any hacking tools.

Enjoy trading and evolving!

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