What are Android Emulators?
Android Emulator is an AVD, that is Android Virtual Device which means a particular Android device. The Android emulators listed in this article can be used as a platform to test and to run or use your android applications on your desktop or your personal computer.
Android Emulators are software programs that runs on the Android operating system on the laptop or the desktop PC for people who want to use Android. Android Emulator is commonly used for using applications without actually installing them.
The Android emulator allows you to test and develop and Android applications without having to use a physical device. Below is a list of the top twelve Android emulators which are the best and the most popular ones available.
1. Tendo64 (N64 Emulator)
This Android tendo64 (n64 emulator) is one of the few Nintendo 64 emulators which is still in the process of getting upgraded and still under active development.
This is made on Mupen64 open source project but with a few additions and changes so that it can be better. This application, however, does not come with ROM system and you will have to get the right ROM before you start playing.
It has a variety of features. You can have a customized button layout, cheat codes, vibration, OUYA support; it has a pretty fast emulation, a clear library, physical controller capabilities, better than an average game compatibility and more than twenty languages!
This is a great emulator for Nintendo 64, and you can now play all your favorite Nintendo games on this easily. What is more, this is absolutely free, so it does not hurt to download it and try.
The current version that is running is 1.3.2 and requires Android 4.0.3 and up. This keeps on getting updated, and now the newer version that is out has fixed a lot of bugs and removed unwanted and annoying advertisement as well! It is definitely a must-try Android emulator.
2. SuperRetro16 (SNES)
This SuperRetro16 (SNES) is a premier SNES emulator. It is developed primarily to give the fastest playing experience. You can easily play your favorite games from your installed ROMs by scanning your phone to view the list. This has one of the best games compatibility and a great and easy to use user interface.
This also has TV support of Android and chromecast streaming. You can also do continuous playing across devices and cloud syncing support. The SNEs cheat codes also work on this; you can choose from thousands of them! It is also great for Bluetooth controllers and has visual effects shaders like High-quality 2x/3x, CRT Simulator, etc. For on screen controls, it has advanced screen editors and for selected games, there is mouse support.
Another great feature that it has is the turbo mode; through which you can fast forward games easily. Also, it supports compressed file formats as well as many ROMs. You can also have multiplayer network option through wi-fi and Bluetooth
Along with the above-mentioned points, this has lots more to offer, and that is why this is one of the most popular emulators available with a very high customer rating. It plays classic games like SuperMario RPG as well! It’s Price: $3.99.
RetroArch emulates a lot of different systems quite efficiently. It uses a very powerful development interface called Libretro. Through this interface, “Libretro” you can make cross-platform applications that can have things like cross-platform camera support, OpenGL, Location support, etc.
It has a wide variety of applications which are already built-in so as to provide you with nonstop entertainment at one place. This has a unique feature of play and watch where you can play the games and then watch them later.
This emulator has a variety of different features. You can scan directories or files and add it to your game system collections, and once added to your collection you can also view database information about each game.
You can also download programs or cores from the internet. There is a built-in input remapping, possibility to enter and load cheats and also a multi-language support is available. There are more than eighty programs available.
The best part about this, that it is completely free with absolutely no advertisements to bother you with. It is very popular with users and a definitely a must try!
4. Nostalgia.NES Pro
Nostalgia.NES Pro is an Android emulator that is of very high quality and is based on the most up to date version of the famous FCEUX. This emulator has very high compatibility and should work with almost all kinds of games that you can think so.
It has a very modern, contemporary and user-friendly interface with a customizable virtual controller. You can easily adjust the position or the size of every button so that it can be according to your needs or requirements, as you please.
It has 44100 Hz stereo sound and hardware keyboard support as well. It also supports HID Bluetooth gamepads (8bitdo, MOGA, so on) you can even take screenshots and capture the screen image of the game whenever you want during the game.
You can easily save states, take screenshots. There is quick load, and quick save in this app. There is one great feature of “Rewinding” if you just lost by one wrong move or got killed in the game.
No worries. You can always rewind the game back to that instant by the few seconds and try your luck again! It also has a multiplayer support.
This is a great Android emulator to buy. There is a LITE version available as well. Not only is it reliable and stable but also inexpensive. Priced at just $1.99 it is definitely a steal!
5. ClassicBoy (Emulator)
This is a popular emulator through which you can play all your favorite classic games by the use of sensors and gestures. This game has gesture mapping through a game controller, and it is quite popular with fighting games.
This emulator, ClassicBoy requires Android 2.3 and up to run smoothly. The current version that is running is 2.0.3. It allows digital purchases and In-app products and starting price per item is around $3-4.
There is a LITE version or a FULL version. The LITE version has touchscreen input through graphic buttons. A maximum number of four players are supported, are a few features amongst other.
The FULL version is the paid one. In that version, players can activate gesture controller and sensor controller as well as activate the game state autoload and slot load.
It can be run on: PlayStation 1, Nintendo 64, GameBoy Advance, GameBoy Classic, GameBoy color, NES/Famicom, Sega Genesis, SNK NeoGeot, etc.
This emulator is one of the lowest rated one, amongst the popular ones. This emulator, however, has this advantage that it can play games from so many consoles which were amazing back in the days.
This is a very popular emulator for android and is a great idea to buy this as this will surely keep you busy with all the different options it has to play the wonderful classic games!
6. My Boy! – GBA Emulator
My Boy! is an Android emulator which is extremely fast and fully featured to play GameBoy Advance games in a large variety and the broadest range of Android devices. It can play from even very low-end phones to the high-end and modern tablets as well.
It actually emulates almost all the aspect of the real hardware very closely and correctly. So far, this emulator is literally the only one which can support the link cable emulation with a pretty decent speed.
This is one of the fastest; therefore it saves your battery to the maximum. It runs almost all games without any problem. The cheat codes also work very easily on this, you can enter the multi-lined actionreplay/GameShark or code breaker cheat codes, and you can enable or disable them on the fly while the game is still going on.
There are no BIOs files needed for this, and it has high-level emulation of BIOS. There are really popular video filters with the support of GLSL shaders.
It has a great feature of fast-forwarding to skip long stories, and you can also slow down games so that you can get past a level which you cannot in regular or average speed. It also has the ability to save games at any point with a screenshot.
It also has a variety of other features.Overall, there is a great rating of this game and priced at just $4.99 on google play. This is great for all those who love Gameboy and all its classic games.
This is an advanced and open =-source sega genesis/mega drive, sega cd, Mark III, master system which is based on parts of Genesis gens/plus/picodrive/mednafen, galaxy s2, nexus 7, nexus 5, xperia play, nvidia shield, and xperia tablet z but this also works almost on all devices with better or similar specs.
This emulator has great features which include extremely accurate sound emulation with re-sampling that is of high quality. It also has an SVP chip support for Virtual Racing, but for that, you would require a high-speed device, so it works properly.
It has CUE files support for audio tracks in Wav & Ogg Vorbis (ADPCM, PCM, so on) types. It has the support for four multi-players at a time and a six buttons controller. This also has Menacer and Justifier Gun Support. You can also easily use the cheat codes in this. This also has backup memory and save state support.
There is also an option of autosave. It can support Rom based games in .smd, .sms, .bin, .gen formats and also in 7z, RAR or zip files. This also has On-screen configurable controls that are multi-touch.
It works in almost all orientations and has a USB gamepad, HID Bluetooth and keyboard support which can work with any device that can be used by the Operating systems like MOGA Pro, and so on. Wii controllers can also work on this if you are using Android 4.1 or lower.
This is a great option for Sega lovers as it plays all the Sega games. There is a free as well as the paid version. It is always best to try out the free version first, and if there is a liking for it, then you should definitely buy! The paid version costs about $5.
8. John GBC – GBC emulator
This great Android emulator will keep you busy for hours! It is used for Android 2.3 plus but does not work without your own game files. This is a Gameboy color emulator, and presently it is the most popular and the best one out there.
It has high compatibility and performance and has a variety of features that it offers. It is extremely fast, offers high-quality rendering, and additionally has original GBC engine.
It has zipped file support, there is a virtual on-screen keypad, it can save states, there is a possibility of customizing keys, and you can take screenshots, fast forward or slow down.
You can also use cheat codes easily. Also, the best thing is that it works even without any internet connection, so now you do not need a fast speed internet to play your game well! Another great feature is that there are no advertisements to bother you during the game.
Since this is priced at $2.99 it is suggested that you should first try the John GBC LITE version and once you have gotten a liking for it, then you should purchase it.
For those who have a love for Gameboy classic games should most definitely check this one out. It is quite a popular and high rated emulator.
9. FPse for android
This FPse emulator for Android is one of the most fastest, best, and also the most compatible PlayStation One emulator for hand held devices. It is extremely popular, and it has a high number of daily users of around 250,000 and has a very high rating of 4 to 5 stars on the Google Play store.
This emulator uses OpenGL which is able to display all games of PlayStation One in superb quality and high resolution and gives results and graphics which are outstanding!
This FPse emulator is a great choice for users with a wide variety of features it offers. It has such an interface that can scan your local storage to find PlayStation games and displays their game covers by itself then it stays pressed onto the games icons so that access the menu of each game easily. Not only does it have a high performance but it also has outstanding quality and high compatibility. It is possible to save your game which you are playing, at any time.
It can also emulate audio tracks and gives force feedback. Its overlay includes up to 10 gamepads on the screen which can be downloaded directly from FPse. It has a very popular Gun emulation which is called “Guncon” this can be played with using your finger to shoot. This emulator is priced around $4 as well and is a trendy one amongst users. It has a high overall rating as well.
10. DraStic DS Emulator
Drastic DS Emulator is a really fast Nintendo DS emulator that is made for Android. You can very easily play all your favorite Nintendo DS games on this emulator at full speed. Through this, you can also enhance a game’s 3D graphic 2 into 2 times from the original or previous resolution; this feature, however, works the best on quad core high-end devices.
You can also customize the size or the placement of the Nintendo DS screens. You can select the portrait mode, or you can select the landscape mode as well. It can also support physical controls as well as add-on controllers in devices such as Xperia play or nVidia shield. This emulator also has the feature of saving your game. This way, you can not only save your game where you left off but also resume your progress.
Another great feature, ideal for all games are the cheat codes! You can easily use cheat codes with a variety of them on the database. You can also save and synchronize your games with online Google drive space. It also has the ability to fast-forward your game and also emulate speed.
This emulator is quite popular because of its great features and graphics. A little pricier than the rest, it retails at $7.99 it is still a great buy for game lovers to truly appreciate great features of an emulator and their favorite games!
Bluestacks is an Android emulator so you can run apps and play a variety of games on your MAC or even Windows devices. It is completely risk-free and can be used freely. Bluestacks can also enable you to sync your information from your Android phone to other devices as well.
BlueStacks is one of the most widely used and the most popular android emulator for windows. This emulator is free in some regions of the world. Many people use this to play popular games such as the clash of clans through various accounts which is easier to manage because of the plug and play feature.
This is very easy and user-friendly. With a single click, you can install on windows and third-party APKs. It does not even require a virtual box and you can use your Gmail ID for Play Store access.
This is a great Android emulator has you can now download all your favorite games and apps at one place, and it will save space and keep you busy. This is very popular with Android users since this can be a one-stop for applications and no need to move around different apps.
This device C64 is a great emulator for Android that is Advanced Open source Commodore 64(c64) emulator. This depends on VICE 2.4.20. This c64 game is tried on an assortment of gadgets and works like magic on everyone of them! It is tried on Galaxy S2, Xperia, Xperia play, Nexus 4, Nexus 7, NVidia Shield, Xoom and so on. It works on literally all devices with comparable or better specs.
It has keyboard support and USB gamepad/HID Bluetooth input device is recognized and is compatible with any Operating system, for example, MOGA Pro, etc. It also works in any orientation. If it is running on Android 4.1 or lower, then Wii controllers are also supported.
It has a variety of great features which include:
- Cart, tape, disk auto starts load (support .crt, .bin, .g64, .bin, .t64, .tap, .x64, etc) perfect for using in RAR, 7z or in ZIP files.)
- It can save states
- It has ReSid and FastSID modes of sound
- It has the support PAL/NTSC
- It has multi-touch configurable on-screen controls
This emulator has great ratings and customer reviews. Some users, however, mentioned that downloading and installing is a bit of a hassle but, in the end, it is all worth it since the games are so amazing! Priced at around $4 it is a very popular emulator to get.
Final words on Android Emulators
With so many Android emulators available in the market and to choose from, it is definitely a daunting task! The above list is not exhaustive but an idea of the different choices available, and which one excels in what area and features.
It solely depends on the user’s purpose of getting an emulator for example AB emulator would be great at gaming but might require a lot of horsepower and memory and AC emulator might be great for another user but doesn’t require too many resources and the performance might not be outstanding either. So it is entirely up to the user and their preferences to choose what they like in an emulator and why.
If they are looking for one-stop options to have all their games and their apps in one place, then Bluestacks is a great option! Most Android emulators are either free or priced not more than $5 . Many emulators also have the possibility of a trial period or getting the LITE version first before purchasing.
This is always a great idea to try the emulator first and then if you like it, then go ahead and purchase. With so many varieties, I am sure there is one that would be ideal for everyone!