Best Android Emulators for PC and Mac. Gaming on mobile devices on your PC offers numerous advantages. You can utilize your keyboard and mouse for control, and engage in games without no burning the battery of your phone. People who are productive can make use of mobile apps for similar reasons. Emulating Android on computers is much more simple than it used to be. We’ll help you find the top Android emulators for PC or Mac.
The list is less extensive than it was. A lot of the larger competitors have been shut down with no sign of replacements. With Microsoft having announced Android applications and games with Windows 11, we anticipate this list to become smaller as people begin to migrate to the simplest choice. Look at the end of this article to find out the past entries and their experiences.
Why would people want to use an Android Emulator in the first place?
It’s simple, really. There are three primary applications for the Android emulator. The first one is gaming. Mobile games on your PC allow you to make use of your bigger screen to better see things. Additionally, keyboard and mouse support makes lots of things more simple. Additionally, your computer is normally connected and has a long battery life, while your phone is likely to overheat if you were to play a game while connected. Some of the most intense mobile gamers may also run their games using an Android emulator, giving their mobile phones some time to recover.
The third most frequent-use scenario is app development. There are a few additional tools that are available. The development-focused emulators typically integrate with an IDE together with the emulator so that developers can create their application, run it through the emulator, and then fix bugs as needed. Android Studio blows every competitor out of the water in this regard. It utilizes the Android Virtual Device (AVD) function that allows developers to create emulators for specific devices. It allows developers to test their apps with a range of devices prior to launch and ensure that there are fewer bugs.
The final use is for productivity. It is not as common because the majority of productivity apps for mobile are available to users on PC as well as Mac already. Additionally, Chromebooks are cheaper and more efficient in running Android applications than emulators. But, some mobile apps are simpler to use in comparison to their PC counterparts, which is why an emulator could be helpful.
BlueStacks is considered by a lot of users as the most complete Android app player on the market and with great reason. In addition to running on Windows and Mac, the emulator is packed with an array of features that can enhance gamers’ experience.
The most well-known features of the emulator are its Keymapping Tool to create customized control strategies and it has an Instance Manager through which you can create multiple instances of the emulator to run multiple games simultaneously as well as quality-of-life features such as Eco Mode that help to cut down on the use of resources even when playing some of the toughest games. It’s also the most secure emulator available, and is an official GDPR certification -Your data is protected when you use the emulator.
The latest edition, BlueStacks 5, is the lightest and fastest emulator it has ever been, providing top-quality gaming even on lower-end devices. The most recent version takes care of several of the most frequent issues with the previous version, specifically, the fact that it may feel heavy and heavy, particularly on low-end hardware. Test it out to see for yourself the reasons BlueStacks has a fan base of more than 500 million gamers across the globe!
Android Studio is the best choice to app creators. It is technically, Android Studio is an IDE. It includes an emulator that works with its Android Virtual Device function. It is possible to create any device you like and then use it for testing your application. Users can also make use of the emulator and the performance isn’t too bad once you’ve completed the setup. We played a few games and played some applications with no difficulty. It does not provide the keyboard support that gaming emulators do.
The setup process can be a little complicated initially and it could require a couple of weeks of training. After that, you’ll have a great overall product and a lot of developers make use of it to create applications you use on a daily basis. It’s also among the few emulators capable of running the most recent editions of Android. It’s compatible with Play Store, but you must create an AVD using its Play Store icon in order to utilize it.
Android Studio does have some competitors in this area. The Xamarin, as well as Genymotion both, accomplish similar jobs. They’re IDEs equipped with emulators, to let you try out your apps. Xamarin is a good choice because it’s cross-platform, allowing you to use Android as well as iOS. Genymotion’s biggest point of distinction is its ability to scale, which permits sharding and parallel testing. We believe Android Studio is the best however, there are other options within the development area.
ARChon is a powerful pseudo-emulator that works from Google Chrome. Naturally, you’ll require Google Chrome in order to utilize ARChon. The procedure for installing ARChon is essentially installing an extension on Chrome and having the Developer settings on However, getting the app to work is more complex. It is necessary to use an application to convert the APKs to be used in this. This one is intended for those who just need to run an occasional Android application on their computer or test. The steps for installation can be found on the official GitHub link below.
Our tests revealed that we experienced a variety of issues with games, however, this is likely due to a range of different reasons. In general, this program shines in applications. PC or Mac users should consider another one of these because it’s simpler. The great thing about ARChon, however, is that it is compatible with any operating system that supports Google Chrome, including Linux and Mac, which is why we’ve left it on the list for those who use it.
Bliss OS has come far since it made its first appearance on the list. It’s certainly one of the best emulators. There are three options to utilize it. There is to use a live boot feature that lets you boot it from the flash drive. Additionally, you can install it as an individual partition on your computer and then boot directly in Bliss OS. In the end, you can install it using an online virtual machine. Click here to see all the methods for installation. We recommend using a flash drive or the full boot method.
The advantages of Bliss are evident. The stable version is running Android 9 as of the date of writing. Android 11 is in the process of being tested with experimental builds. Android 12 is also on its way. This is more up-to-date than the majority of the emulators listed on this list. This should let you play the majority, if not all, of the modern games, and use nearly all apps accessible.
Also, if you’re able to get through the installation process, Bliss can be a pretty versatile alternative. It’s not perfect occasionally, but generally, it was a good choice. Its only drawback is some of the more game-oriented features of rivals like Nox, Bluestacks, and others, but we do not consider that a major issue. It is also available with Google apps if you’d prefer. Bliss is open-source and free and we like it quite a bit.
GameLoop comes as our third entry specifically designed specifically for gamers. It’s actually developed by Tencent which is the developer of several well-known mobile games, including PUBG Mobile. It’s easy to install and so you can be into this game in two minutes. After installation, you are able to play various games or utilize a range of applications. We played TikTok, Call of Duty: Mobile, and several other titles. All was fine. It’s not compatible with Google Play stock, but GameLoop downloads the necessary components in case you want to download anything from Google Play.
There were a few glitches during our tests. Certain games required a few attempts to download and we needed to examine some errors in the middle. However, it doesn’t utilize VT as many other games do and includes some unique features for games that are officially supported like Call of Duty: Mobile and PUBG Mobile. It’s not too bad if the emulator is compatible with the games you’re looking for. It’s a great tool for a lot of other games, but certain games can be difficult to install and use.
LDPlayer is a gaming-centric emulator, however, you can run other programs with it too. The setup is similar in terms of ease to GameLoop. It’s as easy as downloading a file to install it, launch it, configure it and then go. It’s much easier to use than many of the other options and performed well on our AMD-powered PC equipped with an ultrawide display. It was less bug-ridden than its competition however, it was not able to run completely 100% of the time.
What is what makes LDPlayer entertaining is its additional features. It has a toolbar that is located to the right of the screen that allows you to quickly take pictures, take videos, and create keyboard mappings, as well as other tools. We tested about a half dozen games and worked flawlessly even though it took us a few attempts to launch a few of them.
LDPlayer is completely free, runs well, and comes with plenty of extra features to make it a great choice for this market. LDPlayer 9 runs Android 9 which is good enough to run virtually every feature.
MeMU Play is one of the more popular emulators on our list. The active development process keeps it current all this time and is one of the top Android emulators that you can find. The emulator operates Android 7.1.2 as per the Settings menu meaning it’s an up-to-date version of Android. Installation is fast and easy, which is another benefit of MeMU Play.
MeMU Play comes with several interesting benefits. It’s built with a native capability for multiple runs if you’re interested in that kind of thing. Keymap functions are available that allow you to connect your keyboard and mouse to mobile games to make it easier to play. One of our top features is the capability to transfer files among MeMU Play and Windows using the shared download folder.
Performance-wise, the device is quite good. It performed our tests well. We even had the ability to install applications and play them also. MeMU Play appears and behaves similarly to LDPlayer which means that you could likely use both depending on your needs of yours.
MuMu Player is a gaming emulator developed by Netease which is the creator of popular mobile games, including Onmyoji, Vikingard, and others games. The default version is running Android 6, but there is a beta version for Android 9 and Android 11 that is being tested. There’s an alternative version called MuMu Nebula that is a less heavy version that can be used with lower-end PCs. Installing is as simple as downloading the file and then installing it. After a few setup procedures, it’s expected to take between 5 and 10 minutes.
MuMu Player has a toolbar at its bottom application which functions almost exactly like LDPlayer or MeMU Play. It is possible to install APKs to capture screenshots, and videos and even set keymappings with it. It also supports a gaming pad support. In other words, it functions like every other emulator. Log into Google Play, download your games, and then play the games.
We didn’t encounter any issues with this version. The user interface and controls are quite like MeMU and LDPlayer. If you’ve had the pleasure of using one, you’ll familiar with the interface fairly quickly. We’re assuming it runs Android 7, but the emulator isn’t able to take you into the settings to test in the usual way. It played our test games without issue and continues to keep pace with extra features.
NoxPlayer was among the first Android emulators and remains extremely popular. It is running Android 9 as of the date of writing and the developers have done a great job at keeping up. Installation is simple. Be sure to reject the offers that are not required. Once you’ve set it up, log in to Google Play and start doing what you want to do.
NoxPlayer was one of the first applications to feature features such as keyboard mapping. The toolbar is visible on the right-hand side of your window, as it’s fairly commonplace nowadays. You can also capture pictures, take videos, and do other things. In our tests, Nox performed well in our tests without any issues.
The principal NoxPlayer is still running Android 7.1 However, there’s a beta version for Android 9. If you’re fortunate. It also has an app specifically for Mac which puts it one of the top options to Mac users. It’s completely free to download and install. It’s fairly stable overall, and it’s competitive against the likes of LDPlayer, MeMU, and other programs.
PrimeOS is similar to Bliss OS. It is installed as an individual partition on your hard drive and then boots into it. It makes installing it a little more complex, but PrimeOS includes an installer executable that will create an appropriate partition and install it and is therefore not difficult to accomplish. Once you’ve installed it, you restart your system and decide to start up PrimeOS instead.
Then, it functions and behaves a lot like Bliss OS. You can use it as a full Android desktop. You can also get Google Play as well so it is compatible with almost every feature. There are additional options for gamers, such as gamepad or keyboard input, script recording, and much more. The system played the games we tested with some issues however, it could be due to my test computer using older hardware.
PrimeOS is the stable version. PrimeOS is running Android 7. There are betas that run Android 11 builds as well which is among the latest versions available. But, since it’s an experimental version there will be more bugs and issues in this version. The software is completely free. The only thing we can suggest is to know a little bit more about how partitions work, however it’s fine.
One of the most significant benefits that are unique to Windows 11 is its ability to run Android applications. It makes use of virtualization as do all of the other applications listed here, however, Microsoft offers the tools to run it within the Windows 11 settings. All you need to do is open Microsoft Store, click on Microsoft Store, download the Amazon Appstore and Windows 11 will pop up with a guide to help to complete the remaining.
The Amazon Appstore is a good option to purchase applications, but it can’t compete with Google Play. There are still some famous apps in a few places and also a lot of well-known apps. They all functioned perfectly during our tests, but we think that their functionality will improve with time. The great thing about this program is it does not need any complicated downloads or installations. It’s as easy as downloading the Amazon Appstore and then opening it and launching your applications.
There’s a method of installing Google Play, but it will require some expertise. It’s not the most stable at the moment and we suggest waiting. However, features such as Google Play Games compatibility for PC are available in Beta right now and is only getting more momentum. Google Play is expected to be more user-friendly to access and will become more widely available over time because Google is currently working to support Windows 11 as we speak.
If we’ve missed any of the top Android emulators for your PC Tell us about your experience by leaving a comment! You are able to also visit this page to see our most recent Android games and app lists! Here’s what’s changed with some of the classics on the list: