Android Emulators are a great way to play your favourite games on big screens. Along with full mouse and keyboard support & smooth gameplay, you can enjoy the game to its fullest. As of now, there are a ton of emulators available for you to choose from, each with their perks & limitations.
Here we have tried our best to bring you a list of some of the best Android emulators out there. This post is written while keeping in mind all the latest feature-packed android emulators of 2019.
Most of the people only use emulators to play android games on pc, but emulators can do so much more than that. If you are an app developer, then you might also want to use an emulator to test your app in various environments. You can also simulate multiple scenarios on an emulator which you might hesitate to do on your device. If you are thinking to switch to android, an emulator can be helpful for getting used to the UI and features. So with this, here is the list of 5 of the best android emulators for your computer.
1. Nox Player
Nox player has to be on the list as it is one of the best android emulators out there. It is a feature packed emulator which focuses more on gaming but can be used for doing a little bit of everything.
Just like bluestacks, it comes with key mapping options to bind touchscreen controls with your keyboard. Gestures are also supported for easier navigation and usability.
For UI, NOX player has their custom skin on top of the stock android. It is clean and very functional and they as for the bloatware, they don’t have many, just a couple of games.
You can anytime replace their UI with the launcher of your choice. Using a custom launcher also allows you to see some ‘hidden by default’ apps like settings etc.
The thing that I like most about the Nox player has to be their Custom Navigation Bar. Along with the standard buttons, it has 10+ additional buttons which you can customise.
Nox player comes equipped with Android KitKat. But you can update it up to Android 5.* or even Android Nougat (7.1.2) by tinkering some settings.
- Games work Great
- Near-Stock experience
- Can run Multiple Instance with different Android version
- Comes with Android 4.4
Next on the list is bluestacks. It is one of the oldest and well-known emulators for android out there.
Bluestacks comes with some cool features to help you game. You can very quickly set keybinds for your favourite games. They even have pre-configured controls for some popular games.
Using bluestacks, you can run two instances of a game at the same time. It means that if you have multiple accounts for a single game, you can play them side-by-side.
It is a heavily skinned emulator as it focuses primarily on emulating games and similar stuff. If you are wondering that whether you can install your apk files on here, then the answer is yes. But if you want to enjoy the stock Android experience on your PC and do some testing stuff, then you may want to skip this one.
- Good for games
- Very fast
- Can run an app in parallel
- Not Stock Experience
Andy comes as a simple android emulator for PC & offers one of the best stock Android experience. It is a good android emulator with a touch of customisation & features from Andy. It runs most of the apps fine and you can game on it. But it can become slow to some extent on older systems.
One cool feature that Andy has is Remote Control. By installing an app on your Android phone allows you to use it as a remote controller for apps on Andy Emulator. This feature comes handy when you want to play games on a big screen but still want to use your phone as a controller.
Andy comes with Android version nougat 7.1 which is the latest version of Android on emulators.
- Android Nougat (7.1)
- Near Stock experience
- Can use phone as a Controller
- Bit laggy on older systems
MEmu, another excellent and stable android emulation program. It has no heavy customisation on it but has a near stock android launcher with a small widget for showing ads. You can keep it as it is or remove ads by setting up a launcher of your choice.
MEmu supports drag n’ drop installation of apk file. For copying files and folders, you can use any one of the shared folders that they provide. As for execution(run) of apps and games, they run just fine. During our testing, we encountered a couple of errors and FC but nothing major or breaking.
It also comes with a feature-full navigation bar similar to the NOX player. This makes setting keybinds, taking screenshots, and changing various setting easier & convenient.
You can run multiple instances of MEmu at the same time. It allows you to create an entirely separate emulator with different settings. You can even select a different version of Android (4.4/5.0/7.1) for your new instance(copy) of MEmu.
- Drag n’ Drop apk install
- Keymapping presets for multiple games
- Old version of Android(5.0)
5. LD Player
LD Player is another good emu. which runs very smooth and can be used to play heavy games and run demanding android apps. You can also choose performance presets for a couple of games in the emulator’s settings.
Root access is granted by default in this Emulator but can be turned off in settings. Just like other free emulators, it does comes with ads, but you can hide them by using a custom UI/Launcher.
Again, it comes with the same kind of side-bar, just like the ones in NOX and MEmu. It has functions like Rotate screen, Quick setting, set Keybinds, Navigation Buttons etc.
- Has FPS Boost Presets for certain games
- Can run multiple instances
- Android lollipop 5.0
- Requires 5+ GB free space to install
- Can crash when under load
And as for the Bonus 👏 👏….
At last, we have Phoenix OS on our list. As some of you may have guessed by the name, Phoenix is not an emulator, but it is a standalone Android OS for your PC. It can be installed alongside with windows (Dual boot) without any issues.
Currently, Phoenix OS is running on Android Nougat 7. *. For storage, you can select from 4, 8, 16 & 32 GB. As for RAM and Graphics, it depends on your PC Configuration. But no need to worry even if you have a low spec PC. Phoenix OS can run Smoothly even on a Potato Build.
You can also try to boot it from a pen drive or external HDD. I have also tried to do the same but with no luck. There are plenty of videos on YouTube showing how it’s done, so there is a way to do it, but it differs from system to system.
- Very fast and smooth
- Works great even on low-end PC
- Somewhat difficult to get it set up
Along with the options listed above, you can also try the Official Android Emulator. Although it is only recommended for the advanced users, who want to do testing on their apps and other similar stuff, it can be used to execute your apps on different android devices for debugging and testing. If you are into or want to get into developing Android apps, you can install this Emulator. Even if you don’t have any practical use for it, it can be used to do fun little experiments.
Related: Best MOBAs for Android
So this concludes the post. The first time you launch any of the above emulators, you might face a little lag. Don’t worry it is normal and wait for a couple of minutes before starting using it. However, if you are feeling like that your emulator is lagging despite having a decent PC, it may be because of the settings. There are some advanced setting in almost every android emulator that you can tinker change for a performance boost. Usually, you can get a little boost by increasing the core count & total RAM of your emulator. Alternatively, you can try another emulator from the list.
If you are looking for a *keyword* only for gaming, I would suggest you go for Phoenix OS. The reason is that it runs natively on your PC instead of as an Emulator on your OS, which means that more resources will be free for the Phoenix OS to use. But if you don’t want to deal with any ‘advanced’ stuff and just need to be able to play games on your system, then get NOX. It is a very nice android emulator with some cool features and less bloatware.