Android is a powerful OS offering a complete package for a smartphone along with the possibilities of in-depth access to your mobile device. You can install 3rd party Apps, change UI, tweak the look and feel of the phone by means of good customisation offered by the Android OS. Such great lengths of customisation are generally lacked in its counterpart iOS. In iPhone, you are bound to stick with stock UI and no access to 3rd party App installations outside the Apple App Store. Open-source nature of Android OS made it the most popular mobile software, this led to the development of many Android-based emulators for PC.
You can run the Android ecosystem on the Windows and Mac PC for free with emulators. The responsiveness and ease of using the mobile Apps on the emulator depend on your system specifications. A good computer with modern hardware could run high-end Android games on PC. You can simulate the complete Android experience on Windows and Mac computer with the emulator.
Today in this post I will list some of the best Android emulators for your Computer PC to run Android Apps and Games on your Windows 7,8,10 and Mac Computer for free.
What is an Emulator?
An emulator is a software that enables one computer system to behave like another computer system. For running smartphone Apps on PC, the emulator behaves as an Android system which can be installed on the Windows and the Apps from Store are installed on the emulator. So, without much delay let us start the list of top best simulators for Windows and Mac.
Best Android Emulator for PC
Here are the Best Android Emulators for PC on Windows and Mac to run Android Apps on Computer.
MEmu is a popular Android Emulator for Windows PC. It is capable of playing high-end games on PC if the system has the minimum system requirement for the MEmu Players for smooth working. The emulator offers good features that make gameplay easy on PC. MEmu allows high keyboard mapping customisation making it easy for mobile gaming control needs. The emulator can enable virtualization for your PC and it also gives great performance for integrated and dedicated graphics. The best thing about the emulator is it is compatible with Intel, Nvidia and AMD powered Windows.
MEmu is preloaded with Google Play Store so you can browse and install the Apps on the PC easily. It also associates itself the APK files on your Windows STorage and when you double click the file, the emulator will prompt to install the App. The developers at MEmu regularly release the updates to add more features and fix any issues with the App. The software helps in deep integration of mouse and keyboard to play the games smoothly.
Minimum System Requirements
- Intel, Nvidia or AMD CPU Processor
- Windows XP/7/8 /8.1/10
- Windows DirectX 11 or Graphics driver with OpenGL 2.0
- Hardware Virtualization Technology (Intel VT-x/AMD-V) shall be enabled in BIOS
- Minimum 2GB of system memory
- Minimum 2GB of hard disk free space
Most of the Android emulators for PC are general in purpose and are designed to simulate Android experience on the computer. But Gaming Buddy by Tencent who are also the developers of PUBG created the emulator specifically catered towards the mobile gaming on PC. The Gaming Buddy is able to handle high-end games. Being a gaming emulator you can expect it to be highly optimised to run even on low-end Windows PC. Don’t get confused that TGB is only for PUBG Mobile but actually you can install any APK along with the OBB if needed on the TGB and play all the hardcore mobile games on Windows.
With TGB you won’t get the feel of the original Android UI as in case of other emulators. The interface is simple with settings, controls, installed Apps and some more settings towards improving the gaming experience. To amaze you further, the emulator is very very small in size as compared its counterparts. Tencent Gaming Buddy is gaming emulator for Windows which is specifically structured to run games.
The TGB lets users download and play Android Apps and Games on the Windows PC. The emulator is optimised to run high graphics and high processor games on the PC without any issues. TGB offers some very minute keyboard mapping and cursor controls along with the mouse sensitivity and configuration making TGB the best Android Gaming Emulator for PC.
Enhancing Game Performance
You can improve the performance of the game by tweaking the Buddy settings, as the emulator is always on the development there is much room for the improvement. In the settings, you can set the resolution as SD (720p), HD (1080p) or 2K. Also, you can set the display quality as Auto, Smooth, Balance or HD. It is better you do not make any changes to the engine settings if you do not have much knowledge. The game works smoothly on a low-end system and requires basic specs to have a clutter-free play.
Minimum System Requirement
- Windows 7 and above
- CPU: Dual-core from Intel | AMD @1.8Ghz
- GPU: Basic NVIDIA GeForce | AMD Radeon
- 3 GB of RAM
- 2 GB of free storage
3. Nox Player
Nox Player is the of the best Android Emulator for Windows and Mac. The Emulator is designed with the only motive for playing games. Nox can handle high FPS games without any clutter and supports keypad, gamepad and scripts record (helps to record a sequence on screen for later play). Though it may take some time for you to get acquainted with the controls, once you get along with it, Nox Player would turn out to be the best place to run Android Apps and Games on Windows or Mac. You can customise the controls in the settings and also optimise the quality in case if you feel the graphics are higher than your PC standards.
One of the most amazing features of the Nox is, it comes with a rooted version of Android out-of-the-box. So, you get a completely unlocked player to gain full access to the Android. The Nox is upgradable to Nougat. I recommend Nox for its feature-rich and amazingly smooth run on the PC.
Minimum System Requirements
- Windows XP/7/8 /8.1/10 and DirectX 9.0C
- Dual-Core, AMD or Intel
- OpenGL 2.0 and above
- 1.5 GB RAM
- 2.5 GB Free space on the hard disk
The list is incomplete without mention of the popular and one of the oldest emulators for PC. The Bluestacks is the most popular Android emulator for Windows and Mac. It is one of the more balanced emulators having the right mixture of power, graphics and processing making it the most favourable Android Emulator for PC. Using Apps or playing games on the Bluestacks will function smoothly as the emulator is capable enough to play high-graphics games. Though it is preferable that your PC has good specs which are capable enough in handling the graphics. Nevertheless, the Bluestacks Emulator is the best and most trusted Android Client to play Android Apps and games on Windows and Mac.
The Bluestacks run on the ‘latest’ Nougat version. Bluestacks claims to be 6 times faster than the smartphone. The software has an advanced keymapping and control system you can manage key controls with the all-new game controls window. You can also make manual control settings of your preference for the better gaming experience. You can also run other apps of your choice on the simulator.
Minimum System Requirements
- OS: Microsoft Windows 7 and above.
- Processor: Intel or AMD Processor.
- RAM: Your PC must have at least 2GB of RAM.
- HDD: 5GB Free Disk Space
- You must be an Administrator on your PC
- Up to date graphics drivers from Microsoft or the chipset vendor.
5. Remix OS Player
Remix OS Player is heavily optimised for gaming. Specifically, you can map keyboard buttons and control the game to your very comfort. The developers potentially looked onto improving the software more inclined towards gaming. It is important to note that the emulator doesn’t support AMD chipset and requires Virtualisation Technology enabled in your BIOS. The App has a very clean and fresh interface appealing to the users. The emulator has lots of customisation options for gaming preference letting the users make most out of the Remix OS.
The interface of the Remix OS is very fresh. The Remix is the best platform for the developers to test their App. It is a very robust emulator with inbuilt Play Store. The Game Toolkit of the Remix gives everything you need to enjoy your favourite Android games on a PC. Remix OS Player is the only Android emulator that allows you to play multiple games at the same time. It runs on Android Marshmallow, unlike most others who are still stuck to lollipop or below.
Minimum System Requirements
- 2 GHz dual-core processor or better
- 2 GB system memory.
- Minimum 8 GB of free hard drive space
- Any updated graphics
6. Genymotion Cloud
An easy-to-use Android emulator that has been designed to help developers test Apps. With Genymotion you can run the Android Apps over the cloud as a virtual machine. You just need to sign-in and on the main screen, click Add to select and download an Android machine to emulate. Select a device from the range of tablets and phones available with various Android versions. Start the machine and done. The Emulator runs over the cloud on SaaS, PaaS, AWS, CGS and more. So, you just need a modern updated browser and good internet speeds. You can use the emulator as a virtual Android device and perform all functions as on a conventional mobile.
The interface of the Genymotion is easy and intuitive. But the thing is you need a powerful PC for the smooth working of the VM. Ideally, the app is suited for gaming and product testing. Though the service is paid, you get 1000 minutes for free. You can test your apps and games for various device conditions that include, performance over different battery level, Wi-Fi Strength, Data, GPS, Pixel, Gyroscope, Different Storage Levels, RAM, Multitouch and more. The VM offers a number of tools and plugins for deep testing of the App.
Minimum System Requirments
- Microsoft Windows 7, 8/8.1, 10 (32 or 64 bit);
- macOS 10.9 or above;
- Linux Ubuntu 18.04 or above
- OpenGL 2.0 capable video card, with an up-to-date driver.
- Intel HD Graphics 4000 (2012), Nvidia GeForce 500 Series (2011), ATI Radeon HD 6000 Series (2011);
- 64 bit CPU, with VT-x or AMD-V capability, enabled in BIOS settings;
- RAM memory: at least 2GB;
- Screen resolution greater than 1024 x 768 pixels;
- Free space on hard disk: at least 100MB.
- Updated Web Browser
PrimeOS is not an emulator in itself but an Operating System which boots itself after creating a partition in the computer storage. So, you will see dual-boot options when you boot your PC, Windows OS and PrimeOS. The interface of Prime OS is very clean and clutter-free having a nice feel of a desktop with the power of Android. The developers have brought in all the fundamental elements of the Android ecosystem to the OS like along with Desktop characteristics like start menu, taskbar etc give a very fresh usage experience. Being an OS it integrates very well with the system hardware thus giving an upper hand compared to the emulator system which needs to be responsive according to the system.
For gaming, there are some dedicated features like Decapro key mapping tool, custom control settings, dedicated gaming centre to manage your games, CPU & GPU support tools and more. The OS is capable of running all hardcore games smoothly due to its deep bond with the hardware. OTA support is available if you install in EXT4 RW partition. Also, Opengapps are included, no need to install them manually. Therefore, you can access all the Google Apps along with its services on the desktop. PrimeOS is one of the best alternatives if you have an old PC and looking for some change.
LDPlayer is an emulator designed for playing mobile games on Windows. Play games with keyboard and mouse. The simulator lets you operate simple and conveniently even in multiplayer games. LD is compatible with various types of games offering smooth controls, stable and efficient operations. You can run multiple games at a time without any process kill. Based on Android Lollipop. In addition to playing Android games on PC, you can also access Google Play Store along with Google Mobile Services Suite for other apps. With its multi-functional design and user-friendly settings, it is one of the most recommended simulators for PC.
Features of LDPlayer
- Optimised for mid-spec devices.
- Can run heavy Android games for free.
- Offers top speed with high performance
- Smooth play and simple control
AMIDuOS generally called DuOS is an Android emulator for PC. Running on Lollipop version, AMIDuOS is one of the perfect emulator systems. Before installing AMIDuOS make sure that the “Virtualisation Technology” is enabled in BIOS and you have Microsoft Net framework 4.0 or above. The AMIDuOS doesn’t support Google Play Store but they have Amazon App store and always you can install any APK file if you wish. The emulator is capable of handling high-end games, but to the disappointment, there is no keyboard and mouse mapping feature. But external gamepad support is available in case you wish to enjoy the games.
Another amazing feature of the AMIDuOS is it comes rooted out of the box, so you can install apps for root privileged and make most out of the emulator system. Though the DuOS is a paid platform with a 30-day free trial and followed by $15. But the support and feature it offers are worth the buy.
Features of AMIDuOS
- Android Lollipop
- Compatible with Android applications.
- Includes Amazon Appstore and APK support
- 3D acceleration
- Sensors, accelerometers and gyroscopes compatible to complete phone experience
- Keyboard shortcuts within the applications
- Gesture controls
Minimum System Requirements
- Windows 7/8/8.1/10
- Intel x86 CPU
- Hardware Virtualization Technology
- OpenGL 3.0 and above
- 2GB of RAM, and 2GB of hard disk free space
ARChon is not a conventional emulator system for PC. It is actually a Chrome extension which allows loading APK files on Google Chrome Browser in runtime. It is not an easy emulator to run as you need to change the APK file using a tool to make it compatible with ARChon. Also, every APK file may not run due to support issues. You need to perform more other steps to run an App on Chrome using this extension. Also, it can only take the pressure of small APK files having no additional file size.
The ARChon presently works in Android 4.4 and you can find the extension on the Github. To install the extension, download the ARChon runtime and unzip it. Now upload the file into ‘Unpacked Extensions’.
Settings – > Extensions -> Checkmark the ‘Developer Mode’
Once uploaded, enable the ARChon and change the APK file using twerk to make is compatible with Chrome. Done! You can run as many Apps as you want, given that the runtime is supporting the APK. Here is the Github link below.
KOPlayer is a free and solid platform built on kernel technology on x86 Architecture. Which supports advanced features like OpenGL & hardware acceleration. It brings quality Android playing experience to the Windows platform. The emulator supports multiple accounts, screen recording, gamepad & keyboard mapping for streamline controls. The App has a built-in GMS support with Google Play Store to download your favourite Apps safely.
Minimum System Requirements
- Windows 7 or above
- CPU dual-core AMD or Intel CPU
- Graphics card- GPU with support OpenGL 2.1
- HDD- 10 GB of free disk space.
- RAM: 2GB RAM
12. Android Studio
The Android Studio is specifically catered towards developers who want to develop Android Apps. You get a number of custom-tailored features to test out your product. The Studio offers it’s own Android Emulator, not a general-purpose wherein you can install and play the Apps. The Studio’s emulator is very complex and is best suited for developers who want to test out their Apps for various conditions like signal strength, battery, storage, RAM, CPU, GPU and more.
This emulator is an official tool from Android which is too complicated for the consumer due to very minute programs. But if you are the developer and want to experiment with the App for performance and usage, Studio is the best emulator for your PC. It comes with features like APK Analyzer, Layout tester, real-time error detection, code editing and more.
Minimum System Requirements
- 64-bit distribution capable of running 32-bit applications
- 3 GB RAM
- 2GB HDD space
- Windows, Linux or Mac
- Minimum Monitor resolution needs to be 1280x800
13. Bliss OS
Bliss is another kernel-based x86 architecture OS which boots itself as a native computer OS. You can use it with a USB stick to look for all the features before going for an actual partition boot. It is not a very easy system to get along with but if you are a developer and looking for a simple yet powerful Android OS for your older PC than Bliss is a perfect choice. It runs on the newer versions of Android Pie along with other versions which are unique given other emulators are still mostly stuck to Marshmellow.
The Xamarin is an official to test the Apps on Windows. The application is not easy to use on the first go but if you work around with it for some time you for sure will fall in love with it. The emulator is best suited for professional App developers but is not limited to, as any conventional App developers can give it a try. The screen looks like a mobile display to help the developer test, debug, simulate and run the mobile apps for the performance check. The Xamarin is also an official tool to test iOS Apps. Though the Xamarin is now discontinued for any future developments. But you can surely use it to test the App with various settings and tweaks. Xamarin mobile applications can be deployed to physical devices via USB for testing and debugging. You can read and download the stuff from Github. Xamarin is also an iOS emulator used for testing iOS apps on PC.
Though there are a number of emulators in the market, LeapDroid stands out thanks to its surprisingly fast emulation that lets you run all high-end games on PC. The emulator focuses on speed and performance. The Leap offers very few options for customizing it, you can’t change the resolution or adjust any deep parameter except for general Android settings. Just install the program, sync it with your Google account, and start using it. LeapDroid is a good emulator that, like most of its competitors, runs a virtual machine in the background. You can do some testing and play games with some great speeds and performance emulations.
YouWave is the oldest Emulator available and is still working. It has its won limitations but you get Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box if you use the free version. While the paid one comes with Android Lollipop. Though the features offered by both the free and paid version is pretty much the same. The YouWave is not meant for gamers but you can still play some low RAM games. The emulator targets users who are looking for productivity and testing with a bunch of useful tools for the developers. Apps that require hardware sensors, or use closed source APIs, are not supported.
Minimum System Requirements
- Intel Pentium 1.6GHz CPU
- 2.0GB DRAM
- 500MB disk space,
- Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10
- Premium version requires Windows 64 bit and VT-x support
17. Pheonix OS
With the closure of Remix OS by Jide, Phoenix OS becomes go-to software for a modified Android emulator environment for Windows 10. Developed based on Android 7.1, Phoenix OS pacts many classic PC features desktop, multi-windows, mouse and keyboard support, while also provides perfect support for Android games thanks to system-level compatibility. Phoenix OS supports a variety of peripherals such as mouse and keyboards, gamepads and even docks. Phoenix OS supports file category, LAN access, universal search, along with mouse support, drag and drops cross-windows. It is a complete emulator OS with all the applications pre-installed for quick access. You get ethernet, app clone, shortcut key support and more. The Phoenix OS(x86) can run on devices with Intel x86 series CPUs. It can be installed on the hard disk for operation, without affecting the original document system.
Windroy is a project that combines the functions of YouWave and Bluestacks and attempts to emulate Android in Windows. Its aim is to be able to run all Android apps and to be as easy to use as any other Windows application. Android 4.0.3 is the version that currently runs on Windroy. It’s quick to start and offers you a basic Android experience, it doesn’t offer App Store but you need to download the APKs manually. It is a very generic software and lacks some of the very useful features like the audio output and some of the apps are very unstable.
Droid4x is an old emulator and there is no active development on the software. It supports all versions of the Windows having mid-level specs. But what makes it special is its stability making it capable to run even on basic system requirements which keep it ahead. The emulator also works with touchscreen compatible PCs. Droid4X also lets you record emulator screen. You can configure your gamepad or keyboard with Droid4X to play your favourite games. You can create and customise personalised controls of your preference. Like any other emulators out there, you use the Droid4x for making some productive work.
Note: Droid4X uses Thunder Network, a Suspicious application which was the given name to multiple pieces of malware and has a bad reputation of its own.
Minimum System Requirements
- A Dual Core CPU supporting virtualization technology
- Windows 7/8/8.1/10 with 32bit or 64bit System
- 1GB RAM
- Graphics Chipset/Graphics Card supporting at least Open GL 2.0
- 2 GB Free Space on HDD
Andy is a simple yet powerful emulator for PC and Mac. It lets you integrate your device more intimately with PC. A good thing about the Application is it syncs across all the devices connected thus no need of transfer of game progress. You can also transfer the Apps from mobile to Emulator hassle-free. You can use the Phone as a joystick and enjoy the games on the Big Screen with your smartphone as a controller giving you a whole lot of good UX for play. It also provides users with unlimited storage capacity, PC and Mac compatibility, and the freedom to play the most popular mobile games on a desktop.
Note: AndyOS installs multiple Cryptominers on the users PC after Installation
Features of Andy
- Sync data between desktop and mobile devices
- Connects Win/Mac with Android apps for launching, push notifications and storage
- Enables app download from any desktop browser direct to Andy OS
- Runs almost all the Android Apps on PC and Mac
- Simple Setup with mobile joystick support
Minimum System Requirements
- Dual-core AMD or Intel CPU with Virtualization support
- 3GB of RAM
- 10GB of free disk space
- GPU with OpenGL 2.1 support
- Windows 7 SP1 / Windows 8.1 / Ubuntu 14.04+ / OSX 10.8+
21. Build Your Own
You need to first download virtual box and image from Android-x86.org and then teach yourself with some tutorials and guides. All set you are good to go, you can build your own emulator. Though it is a tedious process and requires a lot of effort and hard coding. And can get quite tricky if you face any issues, bugs or errors to fix. But if you are good with it and want to make your own emulation system with all the customisation you want then go ahead. Maybe you yourself may release a good Android emulator system competing with the already established.
Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q)
Which is the best Android emulator for PC?
There are a number of Android emulators all with different output objectives. So, it is better to choose an emulation system which meets your goals whether you want to go for testing, gaming or other general-purpose usages.
Which Android emulator is best for low-end PC?
Bluestacks and MEmu cloud be the ideal choice for low end-pc. You can also use cloud-based Genymotion to run the Android system on PC without causing any load on the system.
Are Emulators Legal?
Emulators are totally safe and legal, they are just a system built to run on any 3rd party environment. Some of the emulators can steal your data so it is better to choose a popular and reputed emulation system.
Which is Best Emulator for Playing Games?
Most people use Android emulators for running apps and playing games. The best Android emulators for playing games smoothly can be on Gameloop, Bluetstacks, Nox and MEmu.
Conclusion: With the Android Emulators listed above you can run and play Android Apps and Games on your windows and/or Mac PC for Free. The responsiveness of the simulators depends on the hardware and software specifications of your computer system. If your PC is capable enough with the basic specification you are good to go. You can enjoy the games on your computer with the keyboard mapping and external gamepad support. And if you are the developer then its a treat to test the App at various mobile conditions.
I hope the post was helpful. Do comment below for any assistance or support. Cheers!
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