A USB-rechargeable battery kit for the original Gameboy Advance
Don't know how to solder?
Don’t fret! We’re now working hard on a pre-soldered version. Be sure to sign up for product updates so you can be among the first to know when it’s ready!
Assembly & Usage Guide (PDF)
- 850mAh battery provides 6‑7 hours of play time per charge*
- Native GBA low-battery warning light compatibility (20‑40 min warning time)*
- Play and charge at the same time
- Detailed assembly instructions
- Optional light pipe add-on, for charging status LEDs
* Tested with a standard game cartridge, AGS‑101 backlit screen mod, average volume, and an 850mAh lithium-ion rechargeable battery. Your mileage may vary.
Included in Kit
- Custom-designed circuit board
- Micro-USB charger board
- 850mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery (if purchased)
- Adhesive mounting square
- Solderable board components
- Voltage regulator
- Socket and header
- Spring contacts
- Light pipe (if purchased)
- This is a kit, not a fully assembled product. We’re working hard on a pre-soldered version. Be sure to sign up for product updates!
- If you plan to provide your own battery, be sure to read the back of our Assembly & Usage Guide for important details
- Basic through-hole soldering skills required
- Assembly requires minor trimming of your GBA shell’s battery compartment
- Console, tools, and charging cable are not included
PowerUp Advance can be charged with any typical 5V micro-USB wall charger, like those used by many cell phones or other electronics. Additionally, you can charge PowerUp Advance from a computer using a standard micro-USB cable plugged into a powered USB port. You can play your Gameboy Advance while it’s charging.
Installing PowerUp Advance requires simple modifications to your Gameboy Advance battery compartment, namely removing a metal battery clip and a small amount of plastic. This trimming is necessary to ensure the rechargable battery fits neatly, without pinching wires or shorting itself. In addition, because safety is a top concern when developing battery products, we opted to coat the battery in a PVC wrapping to add more protection. This slightly increases the size and rigidity of the battery (especially where the wires protrude), requiring additional trimming in the upper left corner of the battery compartment, as described in our guide and video.
Absolutely! If, for any reason, you want to revert back to using AAs, simply remove PowerUp Advance, replace the metal clip that was removed when trimming the battery compartment, and pop in your AAs. Even without the plastic that was trimmed off from your battery compartment, your AAs will still make full contact to power your Gameboy Advance.
Definitely! You can buy a battery‑less version of PowerUp Advance for a cheaper price than the battery-included version, allowing you to supply your own battery. Do this at your own risk! You must make sure that the battery you use has the correct specifications and polarity for safe use, as outlined in the back of our guide. Also note that if you use a larger battery, you'll likely need additional battery compartment trimming.
First off, we’re now working hard on a pre-soldered version. Be sure to sign up for product updates so you can be among the first to know when it’s ready!
That said, soldering is an extremely useful skill to have. If you don’t know how to solder, we recommended SparkFun’s Learn to Solder - Simon Says kit. It’s a blast to assemble (and to play with afterwards), and it gives you all the basic tools and skills you’ll need for getting started with through-hole soldering. After getting comfortable assembling that kit, you’ll know enough to assemble your own PowerUp Advance! In addition, searching YouTube will give you lots of useful tutorial videos.
The original Gameboy Advance (AGB‑001) is favored by many Nintendo fans for its combination of ergonomic form factor and wide game cartridge compatibility. It’s also an extremely popular choice for backlit screen mods (i.e. replacing its screen with an AGS‑101 backlit LCD), making it worthy of our focus as the first recipient of our battery mod kit. We don’t currently have plans to support other handhelds, but that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t do it. If you’d like to see a similar device for a different handheld, let us know!