What is the best 3DS emulator on Android?
Video game emulation is one of the greatest benefits of the Android ecosystem. With fewer restrictions than the iOS App Store, Android can emulate a myriad of consoles in an instant. But what is the best Android 3DS emulator?
To play Nintendo 3DS games on an Android phone or tablet, you will need a 3DS emulator app. However, you shouldn’t settle for mediocrity. Instead, you should use the best Android 3DS emulator possible. This means that you will have the best gaming experience on your device.
It should be noted that 3DS emulation on Android is incredibly heavy on handheld hardware. With that in mind, make sure your device is up to the task before you are let down by poor performance. With that in mind, let’s get to the list.
Best Android 3DS emulator: Citra
As of this writing, there is only one Nintendo 3DS emulator to use on Android: Citra. A mobile-specific conversion of the brilliant desktop program, Citra is not only the best Android 3DS emulator, but one of the best emulators to ever grace the Android ecosystem. If you are looking for an app to show off the power of your device, this is the one.
Developed by a dedicated group of fantastic programmers, Citra is a free program available on the Google Play Store. However, for those who want to get the latest test version of the software, nightly builds are downloaded from the developers’ website. It should be noted that these versions can be very buggy.
The stable versions available on the Google Play Store are excellent. In our testing, we were able to run savegames from Pokémon Ultra Moon, Animal Crossing New Leaf, Fire Emblem Fates, Dragon Quest 8, and more without too much trouble. Again, you should expect problems.
Although it is undoubtedly the best Android 3DS emulator, Citra is far from perfect. Some games will run worse than others; some titles may have graphical problems with effects such as transparencies. If you want to know if a game will run well or not, check the Citra compatibility chart here.
Along with fantastic emulation and frequent updates, Citra also offers a myriad of options to tailor the experience to your liking. If you have the power, you can massively boost the resolution of 3DS games way above their default low-res appearance. This means you can play 3DS games with console-like visuals on your phone.
Is Citra only for 3DS games?
Although it might be the best Android 3DS emulator, the only flaw of Citra is that it is only 3DS. You will only be able to play games made for the Nintendo 3DS under the Program. This means that if you want to play original Nintendo DS games on your phone, you will need to search for a DS emulator. That’s a list for another time.
Nevertheless, Citra remains a fantastic program for Android users. In the future, Citra may be able to play DS games on Android. However, it looks like there are no plans to make this feature a reality anytime soon.
Are there other 3DS emulators on Android
It turns out that Citra is not only the best Android 3DS emulator, but the only option for 3DS lovers on Android. In reality, there may be other options. The Google Play Store lists two other options, MegaZ 3DS and Citro 3DS. However, despite having 500,000 and 1 million downloads respectively, they have no reviews. We would classify this as something to do.
With emulators, there is always the possibility of fake programs appearing on the Google Play Store. It’s always worth being careful when looking for new emulators on your phone, but I hope you come to us just to stay safe.
What about Citra MMJ?
Citra MMJ is an offshoot of the main Citra branch that tries more complex things with 3DS emulation. However, it lacks many common emulation features, including save states, so we suggest sticking with the main branch.
If Nintendo 3DS emulation isn’t for you, maybe you’re more interested in PlayStation 2 emulation. We’ve also got you covered with our best PS2 Android emulator article!