Nintendo’s DS is one of the most popular handheld gaming consoles. The 3DS gaming console has its own place among all the alternatives available, thanks to its speed and capability. The 3DS was a great upgrade to its predecessors, coming with more power along with features like Augmented Reality, Stereoscopic 3D without glasses, and Virtual Console, to count a few.
The popularity of the console has made way for 3DS emulators. One such popular emulator is the Citra which is very much stable and runs all the popular 3DS games without any issues. But Citra is a computer emulator which works on Windows, Mac, and Linux. I was searching on GitHub, I found a Nintendo 3DS emulator for Android mobiles. Meet the highly experimental Citra for the Android port, which could be one of the best 3DS Android Emulators.
An emulator is software that enables one computer system to behave like another computer system. For running Nintendo DS on Android, the emulator behaves as a DS system that can be installed on Android, and the games can be installed on the emulator to play.
Note: Before we begin, let me remind you that DigitBin doesn’t support the illegal use of ROMs to play games on officially unsupported devices. Use these apps are your discretion. The author or DigitBin won’t be liable for any technical issue or otherwise with any of the listed apps.
Top Best Nintendo 3DS Emulator for Android
Here are some of the Best 3DS Emulators for Android to play the Nintendo DS Games on mobile.
What makes Citra so impressive is it can run some titles smoothly without any concerns. But the perfect running of the game also depends on the power of your device. If you have a performance-based smartphone, then Citra could play the games for you perfectly. The back end of Citra is ported behind Dolphin Emulator’s front end, giving a smooth UI experience.
If you are familiar with the emulators, you may know that 3DS games need to be decrypted before using them in an emulator. Games won’t be recognized if they’re still encrypted. You can Google to find out how to decrypt 3DS games. You can even get decrypted ROMs 3DS online for Citra.
In my test, I found Shovel Knight, Crashmo, Luigi’s Mansion, and Animal Crossing run pretty well, while Mario 3D and Pokemon Y were the worst to play. You can try Citra with all the Decrypted ROMS to check if it works well. Do not forget you need a very powerful device for Citra to run the ROMs.
Lemuroid is an open-source emulator based on Libretro. It uses the Citra core, which powers the above-mentioned Citra unofficial 3DS emulator for Nintendo. This also means Lemuroid has similar features as Citra. If you are looking for a solution to emulate Nintendo 3DS on your Android device to play multiple games, then Lemuroid should be your go-to app.
DraStic DS Emulator
DraStic is a Nintendo DS emulator (not a complete 3DS emulator) for Android with enhanced 3D graphics. DraStic offers the option to customize the placement and size of the DS screens with an offer for portrait and landscape modes. You can also check the emulator first with a demo version and then install the real DS on your Android. To add to your gaming experience, you can use thousands of cheat codes to tweak the game.
A good device with high graphics and a processor can run 3D games very smoothly. You get the option to save and resume the play. The DraStic also saves the progress in G-Drive so you can synchronize the data and play the game on any other device without losing the progress.
The only issue with the App is that it is a paid App without any free variant. But if you are comfortable paying $5, then the DS games are all in your pocket with add-on controllers and physical controls in devices like Nvidia Shield and Xperia Play.
Citra MMJ is an iteration of the original Citra APK. MMJ is meant to be used on Android devices that have older and outdated hardware configurations.
To play Nintendo 3DS games, load the concerned game file into the app and launch the emulator. The screen will split into two, much like the original 3DS device. You can see the Nintendo 3DS controls on the right and left sides. The APK for the Citra MMJ has been linked below.
As the Citra MMJ is not sourced from Play Store, to install this APK, you have to allow installation of APK from unknown sources in your device settings.
nds4droid is a free Nintendo DS (Not a standalone 3DS) emulator. The App is still in the development stage but supports many features for you to play games without any issues. It also supports the OUYA game console. It is free to use an open-source DS emulator for Android. The NDS4droid is capable of playing all the popular DS games. Though you may need a powerful device to run the ROMs on Android.
The App has some decent features, like saving and resuming, supporting a number of ROMs, virtual on-screen controls, and more. As I said, the App is still in its nascent stage and needs lots of improvement, but you won’t be disappointed with the way it works even at this phase.
NDS is a DS emulator for Android Mobile. NDS is a simple-to-use and easy-to-play simulation system that supports NDS files (.nds, .zip ..). You can save game states and resume the play. Customize the control buttons and game screen control, which are editable. The game supports Android 6.0+. You can even enjoy the game with external gamepad support. And all these features are absolutely free to try.
NDS is also one of the oldest Nintendo Emulators for Android. You get all the basic functions along with some tweaks to make the ROMs compatible with the emulator. There are ads, and they are rather annoying. Though there are a few bugs, they are native to certain games. A good smartphone with power pack specs can make the NDS a perfect emulator for your device.
RetroArch is a combination of emulators and supports a variety of game systems. That includes the Nintendo DS, Game Boy, SNES, Game Boy Advance, and other non-Nintendo systems. You need to install the system individually within the app. It supports OpenGL, cross-platform camera support, and location support with the Libretro interface. It also has no DRM, no restrictions on usage, and, more importantly, no Ads. You can map keys, customize controls and even add cheats. It has over 90 core program files. And all more features for free without any irritating Ads, thanks to its open-source nature.
Melon DS Emulator
MelonDS emulator is a fairly new emulator which is aimed at Android devices. It is yet to mark its presence on Play Store. Currently, the Melon DS emulator is present on GitHub and is in its beta version. Unlike other prominent Nintendo 3DS emulators, Melon DS is free to download. Developers are continuously working on making it better compared to the likes of Citra or RetroArch.
EmuBox is an all-in-one emulator. It has a material design for smooth navigation and switching between emulators. The software is not very smooth in running the games and has bugs. But you can play any older ROMs without many problems. The EmuBox houses a number of Emulators NDS, PSX emulators, GBA, GBC, and NES emulators, which are well-optimized. The emulators have their own problems. You can plug in any external gamepad and play the games.
Conclusion: With the Citra Port, you can run the 3DS games on your Android. Though the App is still in the development phase, using the Citra port on a powerful Android mobile can let you play the game Nintendo games on the mobile, which was possible on Windows, Mac, and Linux PC. You can also try some DS emulators to play the Nintendo DS and 2DS games on Android.
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