Are you a die-hard fan of Nintendo games? If yes, I have something fascinating for you.
Do you want to play your favorite Nintendo games on your PC or smartphone?
A Nintendo 3DS emulator is all that you need. Emulators are software that allows you to play games of one OS on another. When it comes to the Nintendo 3DS emulator, it will enable you to play games built for Nintendo on your smartphone or PC.
Now that many people moved to smartphone gaming from traditional consoles like Nintendo 3DS, the emulators should help you play those old retro games you miss.
What that all being set let’s get into the article and see how to use this 3DS Emulator in Android, Windows, and Mac to play your favorite Nintendo games without having the need to own a Nintendo console.
Best Nintendo 3DS Emulators
I researched the best Nintendo emulator fairly extensively and found that only a handful of them worked as expected without any bugs. I will list those that work the best at the top of the list, making it easier for you to find the best.
I will leave links to the download page and official developer web page right after every emulator.
Nintendo 3DS Emulator for Android link is from the Google Play Store, so you can download it from the Play Store directly. I will also share 3DS Emulator PC and Mac to experience the games on a desktop or a laptop. 3DS Emulator iOS is also available for iPhones.
1. Citra Nintendo Emulator – Windows & Mac
Citra is one of the best Nintendo 3DS emulators available for Android, Windows, Linux, and Mac.
Citra is available for a variety of platforms, including Android. If you are an Android user wanting to play Nintendo games on your smartphone, look no other than Citra. Of all the Nintendo emulators I tried, Citra is the one that works the best with no noticeable lag, bugs or any other issues.
The latest version of Citra is capable of playing Nintendo games at 60fps at 400*200 screen resolution without any distraction.
This emulator can run HD graphics more than the original Nintendo and works way better than the original Nintendo gaming console.
This is an open-source project that first went public in 2015. Initially, it was software that was only usable by inputting certain commands. Now the interface has changed a lot, and Citra is able to run almost all Nintendo console games without any hassle.
Another interesting part about the emulator is that it automatically adapts to whatever game you are playing.
When you want to use the touch screen to control the game, you can use the mouse on your PC directly.
Download the ROM, load it into Citra, and you are ready!
With advanced features like rewinding, next frame response times, shaders, netplay, machine translation, run ahead and more, RetroArch is yet another Nintendo emulator that works well on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iPhone.
As promised by the developers, RetroArch will have no latency or frame drops. It will be like playing a game on your Nintendo console.
With the help of Netplay, you can host or join a network gaming session as well.
Another exciting feature for streamers is the ability to record and stream the gameplay live.
3. DraStic DS Emulator for Android – 3DS Emulator Download
Drastic DS emulator is an Android 3DS Emulator to play Nintendo DS games directly on your Android device.
It doesn’t matter if you have a smartphone or tablet; the Drastic DS emulator lets you play those games on your Android device without hassle. The graphics rendering process is smooth; you will find little or no lag using this emulator.
Drastic DS emulator lets you configure your own controls and play with safety controls you’re comfortable with.
You can also split-screen the emulator and play multiple instances of games at the same time. You can save data to your Google account, so you won’t lose any of your game progress whenever you change your device in the future.
Drastic DS emulator for Android comes with ads that some of you might find annoying, but luckily, you can remove those ads by using any third-party ads remover applications. The graphics rendering is reasonably good, and you can switch between screens simultaneously.
And again, controls can be changed as your wish, and the game progress can be synced with Google Play game, and whenever you use a new device, you can easily sync the game progress.
The app lets you select different screen resolutions, screen size, and game orientations.
This one is a paid app and can be downloaded from the Google Play Store. The pro version of the app costs you about $5, which can be considered cheap when you are getting such great features with it
I will leave links to the Google Play Store page down below.
NO$GBA is an open-source freeware for Windows that allows you to play Nintendo 3DS games on your PC easily. This is a paid 3DS Emulator. It costs $3 to get the pro version of NO$GBA.
You can easily find a lot of Nintendo 3DS games to play on this Emulator. Considering the price point, this 3DS Emulator can be considered one of the top-notch emulators with good graphics for Windows.
If 3ds emulator for Android is what you are looking for, then this Best 3DS Emulator got you covered.
5. R4 3DS Emulator for Windows
R4 3DS Emulator is another great 3DS Emulator to play almost all Nintendo console games right on your Windows PC.
R4 3DS is freeware meaning that you are not required to pay even a single penny to get your hands on the installer of the R4 3DS Emulator. R4 3DS Emulator got a nice graphics performance.
Like any other 3DS emulator, you can easily change the controls on a keyboard or mouse to get the best gaming experience on R4 3DS Emulator for Windows.
There might be some problems if you are playing the latest games with this emulator’s older version.
In many forums, people complain that the emulator keeps crashing when playing modern Nintendo games, so keep that in mind. Besides that, everything is perfectly alright for this 3DS Emulator for Windows.
6. Pretendo NDS Emulator
The next one on our list is the Pretendo NDS emulator for Android. Like the Drastic DS emulator, Pretendo NDS emulator is not a paid app, meaning that you can download the latest version of Pretendo NDS emulator from the Google Play Store for free.
You can easily sideload custom ROMs in formats like .rom | .ds | .rar | .zip, etc.
You have a wide variety of customizable controls that can be remapped as you wish. Both keyboard and standard Mouse layout can be used to control the game in the way you want.
You can download the latest version of this NDS emulator from the link given below. And again, the download link is from the Google Play Store. At Google Play Store, this app is having an average user rating of around 3 Stars, which can be considered as good and above average.
7. Ultimate x3DSx Gold
Ultimate x3DSx Gold is a very fast and smooth 3DS Emulator that allows you to play the latest games on your smartphone easily. And yes, you can use your customized controls and even the gyroscope to play games.
Gaming will be much more interactive using all these customized controls in the Ultimate x3DSx Gold 3DS Emulator for Android.
If you are looking for a good Nintendo 3DS emulator, then I would suggest you give it a try and see if it works for you.
So far, from my usage, I have found this app useful and stable.
This app is completely free, and you can download it from the Google Play Store for your Android smartphone or even tablets running Android.
8. Mega N64
Mega N64 is an open-source project that supports a wide variety of different low-end and high-end Android Smartphones.
One of the key highlights of this emulator is its compatibility with older Android devices and versions. If you have an outdated Android Device with low memory and storage, then this is something you should try for sure.
As it is part of an Open Source project, you can easily download it from the website. Not all games are supported in this emulator, but a good collection of them works like a charm.
These are some of my best picks for the Best Nintendo 3DS emulators for Android, Windows, Mac, Linux and iPhone.
No matter what OS you are using, Nintendo 3DS Emulators are available for almost all leading operating systems out in the market.
I managed to showcase a bunch of really good Nintendo 3DS Emulators in this article
Now, take a look back and find one that meets all your requirements and start playing Nintendo 3DS Games even without having the need to own a gaming console.