Have you ever played a game on your android device and thought “I wish I could play this on my PC”. I bet you have! Playing games on mobile is entertaining but you’re limited to the number of buttons you can punch at a time. However, playing games on PC allows you to stab away all the keys on your keyboard.
Android emulators allow you to use apps built primarily for android on your PC. Emulators allow you to play games using both your keyboard and your mouse; such games are normally only played on a mobile screen.
For developers, Android emulators can help you in testing and debugging your android apps. Which is very essential in app development/maintenance.
I remember playing FIFA 2018 on my android and I was about to get scored, I virtually tapped all the buttons on my screen; I still got scored anyway. But then I wondered; if I was playing this on a PC with all the keys available on my keyboard, I could do a better job at defending my goal. That’s where android emulators come in.
Best Android Emulator for Windows & Mac
We highlight the top ten android emulators supported on both Windows and MacOS below:
Bluestacks is the number one android emulator available to date. Most of its users regard it as the most compact and comprehensive Android app emulator; for good reasons. Bluestacks is very popular among Android gamers because it is ridiculously easy to set up. Bluestacks is available for download on Playstore or Bluestacks’ own app store.
Bluestack works on both Windows and Mac computers. It makes gaming a pleasure due to its extensive features like keyboard mapping to improve game control customization, Eco mode which helps reduce memory and energy consumption, and Instance manager which allows you to run multiple games simultaneously.
Bluestacks is also one of the safest emulators on the market. They comply with GDPR to ensure that your data is always stored safely.
NoxPlayer is another fantastic android emulator suitable for gaming. It’s free and the software is quite easy to set up. Like Bluestacks, NoxPlayer is in compliance with GDPR, so you don’t have to worry about data and privacy issues. It’s a well-optimized software and it’s suitable not just for running android games but also for android apps like Whatsapp, Instagram, etc.
NoxPlayer supports both keyboard, mouse, and even gamepads. It also allows you to run multiple apps simultaneously. Nox player also features a macro recorder that allows you to run scripts with just a click. Nox player runs on both Windows and Mac OS. It also supports Android 7.0.
Gamers love NoxPlayer because it has open keyboard mapping, and supports all gaming controls on the gamepad and keyboard. In addition, Nox player is very easy to root.
3. Android Studio
Android Studio is the official IDE used by Google to develop android applications. It is very flexible and is capable of loading up applications faster than a normal mobile device would.
Android Studio has an intuitive UI that’s easy to navigate, it supports high definition games at low memory consumption and allows users to run multiple applications simultaneously. Android Studio being a product from Google increases the reliability of the software. It also allows users to take screenshots of games, chats, and applications.
It provides users with a full display of mobile applications on a desktop screen. Android Studio supports Windows and MacOS. It’s also free and open source.
LDPlayer is an android emulator suitable for lightweight PCs. It runs on Android Nougat 7.1 featuring a vast array of gaming-centered features like keyboard mapping control, macros, high FPS, graphical support, and multi-instances.
LDPlayer, unlike most android emulators, receives regular updates from its developers that help in improving its compatibility. It supports popular games like Clash of clans, Epic seven, Arknights, and a lot more. The latest version increases the smoothness of gameplay in Free fire and Mobile legends. LDPlayer is no longer restricted on Moonlight sculptor.
Aside from gaming, LDPlayer supports multiple social media applications like Tik Tok, Instagram, and other social apps. It is supported on Windows and Mac, it is a fantastic alternative to Bluestacks.
BlissOS isn’t completely an android emulator in the sense that it requires you to run the software as a virtual machine. However, you can run BlissOS from your PC via a USB stick. The USB-boot-up option takes up a lot of memory and is not suitable for lightweight PCs.
Unlike other android emulators, BlissOS is fairly difficult to set up; especially for users who have never come across a Virtual Machine before. The USB installation is considered even harder, however it lets your PC run android natively on boot. Honestly, BlissOS isn’t designed for the faint-hearted; if you’re not tech-savvy, it’s not recommended you use.
However, users that are tech-savvy can enjoy a blissful gaming experience. BlissOS runs on Android Oreo which is among the latest versions of Android offered on emulator. And it is very gentle on your battery.
MEmu emulator is a relatively newer emulator launched in 2015. The MEmu emulator is designed primarily for gaming and seems to do quite well for gamers. Its performance can be compared to top players like Bluestacks and NoxPlayer.
One major reason gamers love MEmu is that it supports both AMD and Nvidia chips. It also supports various flavors of android like Lollipop, Android Jellybean, and Kit Kat. The MEmu emulator lays emphasis on gaming but the graphics are relatively poor; it lacks smoothness and textures offered by other emulators.
MEmu supports keyboard mapping and also provides you with a virtual location whenever you’re gaming.
KoPlayer is a fantastic emulator that provides users with an excellent gaming experience while playing mobile apps on their desktops. It is a compact emulator that aims to provide users with a lag-free gaming experience. For now, KoPlayer is completely free but you can still see a few ads occasionally.
The UI is very intuitive and the setup process is pretty straightforward. It supports gamepad emulation and keyboard mapping. One major disadvantage of KoPlayer is that it randomly freezes out of the blue and if this prolongs, you might be required to restart your PC. KoPlayyer is a bit buggy and users who wish to uninstall the program are often frustrated because it’s almost impossible to delete.
Gamers stay far, this emulator is designed primarily for developers or game testers. It’s an android emulator that allows developers to securely test their apps in a virtual environment. Since this emulator is meant for developers, the emulator is extremely customizable. Genymotion is compatible with Android SDK, Android Studio, Windows, MacOS, and even Linux.
Genymotion is packed with a lot of developer tools that may be very intimidating to a regular gamer.
ARChon emulator is one of the first emulators that is capable of functioning on the Google Chrome browser; it is not your traditional android emulator. ARChon is geared towards fixing and testing applications on ChromeOS. It’s very suitable for chrome books.
ARChon tackles gaming quite well and is very efficient in running multiple mobile applications simultaneously. ARChon isn’t downloaded as an executable, instead, it is installed as a Chrome extension.
10. Andy OS
Andy OS is a very popular android emulator that bridges the gap between mobile and desktop computing by constantly updating the software in line with the latest Android updates. It offers users massive storage allocation and allows users to play virtually any games available on the Android platform with ease.
Andy OS is supported on both Windows and MacOS, and applications can easily be downloaded from your browser straight to the Andy OS emulator. It is also free and open source. In addition, Andy OS allows users to use their phone as a joystick or controller whenever they game on the platform.
Android emulators have provided gamers a better alternative to playing mobile games by allowing users to play such apps on their PC. Emulators offer countless benefits like larger display, improved controls and optimized speed.
When you’re selecting an android emulator, ensure that your PC is compatible with it; you don’t want to install a software that crashes your computer. This article has provided you with a comprehensive list of the ten best android emulators. Feel free to try out any of them.