Have you been struggling to play the old classic Nintendo 3DS games on your recent hardware? If that’s the case, this guide is made just for you! Read on to discover some of the best Nintendo 3DS Emulators for Android that you should definitely check out in 2021!
Gone are the days when people used to buy dedicated hand-held consoles to fulfil their entertainment needs on the go. Only a decade ago, you would see people using gaming consoles such as Gameboys, Nintendo 3DS and even Sony’s PSP and PS Vita and it was a really common scene. However, times have changed and our smartphones have replaced a great number of aspects in our lives. The best examples include smartphones being able to replace our laptops or desktops thanks to the powerful chipsets that they have now. However, easily the most exciting change that smartphones have brought about in the modern-day and age is gaming on the go.
If you think about the most popular hand-held gaming consoles of all time, the Nintendo 3DS does come in your mind at the top, maybe alongside the PSP and Gameboy. It is no doubt that the Nintendo 3DS has some of the greatest classic titles of all times, and it is totally understandable why people might feel the need to buy one – even in 2021. However, with our smartphones in our pockets being easily accessible, it would be a waste of resources to go out and buy an entirely new device just to play the games which you already can. That’s right, emulators make it possible for you to enjoy games built for different hardware right on your phone.
This is why we have taken the liberty to try out a bunch of Nintendo 3DS emulators that Android devices support. Now do note that while installing these emulators might not be difficult, you might still run into many errors depending on your phone and the game you decide to play. In order to play games on an emulator on your Android device, you also need the ROM file of the game which you can find from websites such as ROMsForever or RomUlation. So if you are willing to spend some time researching which ROMs work the best for your device and the emulator you have installed, following you can find the best Nintendo 3DS emulators for Android. So sit back, relax and enjoy the read!
10 Best Nintendo 3DS Emulators for Android
#1 – RetroArch
Kicking the list off, we have RetroArch – a very powerful and flexible emulator that you can use to play Nintendo 3DS games on your Android phone. Easily the best feature of this emulator is the fact that it is open-source and has zero ads, which is great news for those who like to be immersed in the games they’re playing. Another aspect that we think many of you might find intriguing is that you can emulate various systems apart from just the Nintendo 3DS, such as SNES and others.
The only drawback we could find with RetroArch is the fact that it is a bit on the advanced side when it comes to features, which new emulator users might find a bit difficult to get accustomed to. However, if you are all in for the best experience with no ads while playing Nintendo 3DS games on your Android phone, this is one of the best options to go with. You can install the latest version of RetroArch for your Android device by following the link to the Google Play Store page given below:Download RetroArch
#2 – DraStic DS Emulator
Up next on our list is inarguably one of the best performing Nintendo 3DS Emulators that you can find for Android devices. The DraStic DS emulator is best suited for phones with 4 or more cores since it then is able to double the resolution scale of the original games, making the graphics seem more detailed and appealing. You also get quite a lot of options when it comes to how you view the two screens emulated from the Nintendo 3DS. The emulator has over a million installs on the Google Play Store and is dominated by positive reviews.
The best part about using this emulator is that it allows you to attach third-party gamepads to emulate an even better gaming experience. Overall, if you wanted the best performing and most optimal Nintendo 3DS emulator for your phone, this is all you should be looking for. You can install the latest version of DraStic DS Emulator for your Android device by following the link to the Google Play Store page given below:Download DraStic DS Emulator
#3 – Citra Emulator
Another great emulator that you can use to play Nintendo 3DS games on your Android phone is Citra. The Citra emulator has just been released on the Google Play Store and is currently up for early access (so make sure you grab it quickly) but is already one of the best emulators that we could recommend. Before it was released on the Play Store, Citra Emulator was distributed as an APK package and hundreds and thousands of users have given it a high rating. Now that it is officially on the Google Play Store and even more stable than before, we see no reason as to why you might not want to try it out!
It has similar features to other high-end emulators such as being able to scale the resolution up and allow for texture filtering to make the graphics of the old titles substantially better. It has optimal controls and even allows you to use your phone’s camera, accelerometer and other sensors to play games that support it. You can install the latest version of Citra Emulator for your Android device by following the link to the Google Play Store page given below:Download Citra Emulator
#4 – NDS Boy!
Coming up next on this list is NDS Boy, which is a great option to emulate your favourite Nintendo 3DS games on your Android device. While this emulator isn’t available on the Google Play Store, we still highly recommend this emulator. The biggest reason for that being that it is compatible with a wide range of devices and also has support for hundreds and thousands of ROMs. This emulator is also geared towards people with low to mid-range phones which can’t handle a tonne of graphics and textures. While the user interface of this emulator isn’t particularly the best designed, but all the controls work just fine. You can install the latest version of NDS Boy for your Android device by following the link to the APK download page given below:Download NDS Boy
#5 – MegaZ 3DS Emulator
If you wanted an all-around best emulator to play your favourite Nintendo 3DS games right on your Android phone, then definitely give this one a shot. The MegaZ 3DS emulator is one of the most feature-packed emulators out there that you can try. This emulator is also one of the only ones out there that support the link cable emulation with the best speeds. Additionally, you can also use any external keyboard, mouse or game controller with this emulator to play your games. MegaZ 3DS Emulator also has a very good compatibility list for devices as well as 3DS game ROMs, so you can be sure that it will run your favourite games without any hassle.
When it comes to the other features, you get full support to use your device’s sensors such as the gyroscope, accelerometer, tilt, and even solar. When it comes to the cheat codes, you can use GameShark, ActionReplay, and CodeBreaker. When it comes to performance and graphics, this emulator is absolutely no slouch and even supports OpenGL rendering for the smoothest gaming experience. There are several other features that you get with the MegaZ 3DS Emulator and we cannot recommend it any more than we already do. You can install the latest version of MegaZ 3DS Emulator for your Android device by following the link to the Google Play Store page given below:
#6 – Citro 3DS Pro
Coming in on our 6th mention, we have Citro 3DS Pro, which is in a lot of ways similar to the likes of the MegaZ 3DS Emulator that we’ve talked about before. However, if your device was for some reason unable to run the MegaZ 3DS Emulator, then giving this one a shot might be in your best interests. Coming to the features, it has one of the most powerful sets of them as far as Nintendo 3DS emulators for Android are concerned. It has basically the same level of performance that MegaZ 3DS has and that is due to the fact that both these emulators are built by the same developer. You can install the latest version of Citro 3DS Pro Emulator for your Android device by following the link to the Google Play Store page given below:Download Citro 3DS Pro
#7 – nds4droid
Next up is yet another great and seamless way to play your favourite Nintendo 3DS games on your Android phone or tablet. While nds4droid is a seemingly new emulator in our list, it does all the basics right and also covers a wide range of devices and game ROMs. Its biggest selling point is also the fact that it is open-source in nature, which gives a huge breathing room for all kinds of updates and experimental features. As of our time writing this, the nds4droid emulator does not have any unique features that might make it stand out of the crowd, but it is being updated religiously and the developers have been squashing bugs left and right, which gives us an optimistic feeling about this emulator. You can install the latest version of nds4droid for your Android device by following the link to the Google Play Store page given below:
Keeping the humor in the name aside, this emulator is a seriously good pick if all you want is the best performing and highly compatible Nintendo 3DS Emulator for Android. If you have been facing ROM compatibility issues with the other emulators on this list, we are sure giving this one a try might yield a better result for you. This is all thanks to the fact that the Pretendo NDS emulator can not only read and open traditional ROM files but can also recognize and read other filetypes such as .zip, .rom, .rar and more. Furthermore, this emulator is one of the very few that also has support for the famous self-guard feature which basically saves your game’s progress at regular intervals to ensure you don’t lose any of your data in case of a mishap.
Really the only big drawback we could find with this emulator is the fact that it can’t be found on the Google Play Store any more and that you will have to resort to installing it as an APK package on your Android device. You can install the latest version of Pretendo NDS Emulator for your Android device by following the link to the APK download page given below:Download Pretendo NDS Emulator
#9 – Ultimate x3DSx Gold
Just like its name suggests, we feel this emulator might be the ultimate Nintendo 3DS emulator you can find for Android out there. Not only can you enjoy your top Nintendo 3DS games with this emulator, but also relive all of your best games from the Gameboy era. That’s right, this emulator is a two-in-one and is best suited for people who have used both these handheld gaming consoles and wanted to cherish the same games they used to play as children. Just like a couple of other emulators on this list, the Ultimate x3DSx Gold makes good use of all your phone’s sensors such as the accelerometer, gyroscope, solar and more for a fulfilling gaming experience. It is unfortunately also not available on the Google Play Store, however, installing it as an APK package won’t be that difficult. You can install the latest version of Ultimate x3DSx Gold for your Android device by following the link to the APK download page given below:Download Ultimate x3DSx Gold
#10 – EmuBox
Next on our list of some of the best Nintendo 3DS Emulators for Android devices to try out in 2021, we have EmuBox. This is quite possibly the best-looking emulator on this list solely thanks to the fact that it is based on Google’s Material Design. While this emulator might still be missing a couple of power-user features such as texture filtering and resolution upscaling, it makes up for it all with its list of systems that it can emulate. That’s right, EmuBox can not only emulate 3DS games but can also let you play games from Gameboy Advance, PSX, Gameboy Cube, NES and much more. So if you have been looking for the most fun with a single emulator, nothing can beat this. You can install the latest version of EmuBox for your Android device by following the link to the Google Play Store page given below:Download EmuBox
#11 – Pretendo
Ending our list today, we have Pretendo – a very cleverly named Nintendo 3DS emulator for your Android device. Just like most of the other emulators on this list, Pretendo isn’t available for you to download on the Google Play Store and requires an APK install. However, once you do install it, you will be surprised to see just how well Pretendo works. It doesn’t have any fancy features or the best-looking user interface when compared to the other emulators, but it runs most games without any hiccups.
It has a great control pad that is spaced out perfectly as well. A key highlight of using Pretendo is the fact that it can run .rom and .ds files on top of being able to directly run games in compressed formats such as .rar and .zip. The only downside we could find with Pretendo was the lack of a marketplace where you can easily download the ROM files legally. Other than that, Pretendo is a great way to enjoy Nintendo 3DS games on your Android phone!Download Pretendo
That concludes our list of some of the greatest Nintendo 3DS emulators that you can try out for your Android phone or tablet in 2021! We’re sure that you will find the emulator that suits you the best in our list of the top 10, and if we missed out on any other good alternatives that you might know of, be sure to let us know in the comments below since we would be glad to hear your opinion!