Surprisingly, Android emulators are widely used. Playing mobile games on a PC has a lot of advantages. You may play games without draining the battery of your phone by using a mouse and keyboard for control. Productive people can utilize mobile apps for essentially the same purpose. Nowadays, it is considerably easier to simulate Android on a PC. The top Android emulators for PCs are listed below.
The list is significantly shorter than it formerly was. Without many alternatives, many of the larger competitors have gone out of business. The list will undoubtedly get even shorter as more customers opt for the most straightforward option thanks to Microsoft’s support for native Android apps.
The top Mac and PC Android emulators
Why do people use an emulator, to begin with?
Really, it’s quite easy. An Android emulator can be used for three different purposes. Gaming comes first. Playing mobile games on a PC allows you to see more on your larger screen. Many tasks are made a little bit simpler by the capability of a mouse and keyboard. Your phone would probably overheat if it had to run a game while plugged in, whereas your PC is typically plugged in and has endless battery life. To give their phones a vacation, some of the more dedicated mobile gamers will also run their games through an Android emulator.
App development is the second most common use case. A few other tools are accessible. Developers can code their software, run it on the emulator, and make any necessary bug fixes by combining development-focused emulators with an IDE. Productivity is the ultimate use. Because most mobile productivity tools are already available on a PC or Mac, this happens less frequently. Some Chromebooks cost less and perform better than emulators while running Android apps. Even said, it’s important to note that we respect all specialties here.
Many users consider BlueStacks to be the most feature-rich Android app player available and for good reason. This emulator has a ton of features to enhance the gaming experience in addition to supporting Windows and Mac. The Key mapping Tool, which lets you design unique control schemes, the Instance Manager, which lets you run multiple instances of the emulator at once, and quality-of-life features like Eco Mode, which helps to conserve resources even when running the most resource-intensive games, are some of its most well-liked features. It is also the safest emulator out there, with verified GDPR compliance; your data is always safe with them.
The latest emulator, BlueStacks 5, is the lightest and fastest yet, allowing for high-performance gaming even on budget smartphones. The most frequent criticisms of the previous edition’s bloated feeling, especially when used with subpar technology, are addressed in the most recent version. Try BlueStacks now and see for yourself why it has over 500 million gamers worldwide!
Setting everything up takes some time, and getting the hang of it all could take a week or more. After that, however, it’s a good overall product, and lots of developers utilize it to create apps you use every day. It’s also one of the few emulators that can run the most recent Android releases. It comes with the Play Store, but to use it, you must create an AVD with the Play Store symbol.
Android Studio is the best substitute for creators of applications. Technically, Android Studio is an IDE. It has an emulator thanks to the Android Virtual Device functionality. Almost any device can be created and used to evaluate an application. Regular folks may also use this as an emulator, and after you get through the setup, the performance is quite good. With little trouble, we utilized a few apps and played a few games. However, it lacks the additional keyboard support that emulators geared toward gaming have.
Since its initial entry on this list, Bliss OS has advanced significantly. One of the better emulators, without a doubt. It can be used in three different ways. The initial choice is a live boot option that starts from a flash drive. The second option is to install it as a partition on your computer and start Bliss OS from there. The website gives further installation alternatives, but the last one is to install it through a virtual computer. The flash drive or complete boot approaches are advised.
The advantages of Bliss are present. As of the time of this writing, Android 9 is running on the stable version. Android 11 is currently being developed in experimental builds, and Android 12 is also coming. The majority of the emulators on this list are older than that. You should be able to use practically all of the apps and play the majority of the newest games as a result.
In other words, Bliss is a fairly flexible alternative provided you can get past the installation. While occasionally having bugs, it generally functioned properly. The only features that rival apps like Nox, Bluestacks, and others have that it lacks, but we don’t think it’s a huge concern. If you’d prefer, it also has Google apps available. We admire Bliss’ free and open-source nature very much.
Our second contender that is designed for gamers is GameLoop. It’s created by Tencent, the company behind several well-known mobile games including PUBG: Mobile. You can access this one in a matter of minutes because the installation procedure is straightforward. Once installed, a selection of games and apps are available for use. TikTok, Call of Duty: Mobile, and a few other games were evaluated. Everything went smoothly. If you need to download something from Google Play, GameLoop will get the necessary parts for you. There is no Google Play stock included.
We encountered some problems when testing. A few things required many downloads tries, and occasionally we had to look for issues. However, this is different from most others in that it doesn’t employ virtual reality, and it offers some intriguing bonuses for games that are officially supported, such as Call of Duty: Mobile and PUBG: Mobile. If the emulator can play the games you want, it’s not too bad. Many additional things can be used with it, although some of them can be difficult to set up and utilize.
Similar to Bliss OS is PrimeOS. This one is set up on your hard drive as a partition, and you can boot into it. Because of this, installation is a little more challenging, but PrimeOS’ installer EXE makes it easier by helping you create a partition and install it. You have the option to have PrimeOS load upon PC restart following installation.
After that, it functions and feels very similar to Bliss OS. You have an Android-powered PC in its entirety. Since Google Play is also available, practically everything is supported. Additionally, there are some unique capabilities for gamers, including script recording, keyboard and gamepad support, and more. It had a few issues playing our test games, but it might be because my test PC was using outdated hardware.
Android 7 is supported by PrimeOS’s stable version. One of the more recent ones, Android 11 builds, also has beta versions available. But since it’s a beta, there probably are more faults and problems in that version. Otherwise, it is free. The only suggestion we have is to be prepared to understand a little bit about how partitions operate; aside from that, everything is excellent.
One of the more seasoned emulators on the list is MeMU Play. It’s been under active development for years and is currently one of the best Android emulators available. According to the settings menu, it is running Android 7.1.2, making it a fairly modern version of the operating system. Another advantage of MeMU Play is the quick and straightforward installation process.
MeMU Play has a few cool extras as well. If you’re like that sort of thing, it provides the capacity to run numerous instances natively. You can tie your mouse and keyboard to mobile games using the keymap function for simpler gameplay. One of our favorites is the capability to transfer files between Windows and MeMU Play by means of a shared download folder.
It doesn’t do poorly in terms of quality. It performed well in our test games. Even the ability to download and use apps was available to us. Depending on your needs, you can probably use either MeMU Play or LDPlayer interchangeably because they both have similar looks and behaviors.
A gaming-focused emulator called MuMu Player is produced by Netease, the company behind some well-known mobile games including Onmyoji, Vikingard, and others. The primary version is running Android 6, although there is a beta version that is being tested for both Android 9 and Android 11. Additionally, MuMu Nebula is a lighter variation that can be used with budget PCs. Installation only requires the file to be downloaded and installed. With some preparation, it should only take five to ten minutes.
Like LDPlayer and MeMU Play, MuMu Player has a toolbar across the bottom of the app that performs nearly comparable functions. With it, you can set keymapping, capture screenshots, record videos, and install APKs. This one also supports gamepads. The emulator usually functions in all other respects. You log in, download, and play your games from Google Play.
With this one, there were no issues. If you’ve used MeMU or LDPlayer before, you’ll be able to adapt to this one very fast because the controls and user interface are so similar. Although we think it’s running Android 7, the emulator prevents you from accessing the settings to confirm in a conventional way. It flawlessly handled our test games and keeps up with new features.
Although LDPlayer is a gamer-focused emulator, it can also run other programmers. Installation is as easy as it gets with GameLoop. To utilize a file, just download it, install it, open it, and set it up. It is easier to use than many other competitors and performs well on our AMD-powered PC with an ultrawide panel. Although it had fewer faults than some of its rivals, it wasn’t always error-free.
LDPlayer is entertaining because of its added features. A toolbar appears on the right side of the window where you can rapidly record movies, set up keyboard shortcuts, and capture screenshots. Even though some of the games required a few tries to open, all of the games tried to run smoothly.
In this market, LDPlayer is a fantastic choice because it is free, works well, and has enough extra features. Android 9 is supported by LDPlayer 9, which is sufficient to run practically everything.
One of the first Android emulators, NoxPlayer is still widely used today. It runs Android 9 as of this writing, thus the developers did a respectable job of keeping it up to date. The setup procedure is simple. However, be sure to turn down the optional offers. You simply log into Google Play after setting everything up and start working.
One of the first features of NoxPlayer was keyboard mapping. You will recognize the toolbar on the right side of the window because this is now a fairly standard procedure. You can also capture videos, take screenshots, and perform other tasks. Nox successfully handled our test games during our testing. There is a beta for Android 9 if you’re feeling lucky, but the main NoxPlayer is still on Android 7.1. Given that there is a Mac version as well, this is one of the better options. Both downloading and using it are free. Overall, it is quite stable and successfully competes with programs like LDPlayer, MeMU, and others.
Running Android applications is one of Windows 11’s key features. Like every other solution on this list, it makes use of virtualization, but Microsoft has built-in capabilities for it in Windows 11. Simply visit the Microsoft Store, download the Amazon App Store, and Windows 11 will launch a tutorial to assist you with the remaining steps. Although Amazon’s App Store is a respectable source of software, Google Play is still far superior. Many popular apps and some other popular items are still available. In our testing, they all performed flawlessly, but we anticipate that functionality will advance with time. The best thing about this is that there are no strange downloads or installations needed. Simply download, launch, and use your apps from the Amazon App Store.
Google Play can be installed, but it takes some technical skill. Additionally, it’s not very stable at the moment, so we advise waiting. However, some features, like the ability to play Google Play Games on a PC, are currently in open beta and gaining popularity. We don’t believe any emulation will be as good as Windows 11 once Google Play fully supports it unless you require power-user capabilities like keymapping, which Windows 11 does not yet offer.