10 Best Android Emulators for PC and Mac
Android Emulators are pretty nifty applications that let you play Android Apps on your PC. Android Emulators are very helpful for App Developers who want to test their apps, or to the gamers who’d prefer to play Android games on their desktop or laptop. There are many Android Emulators available out there but only a handful of them work decently, So we’ve rounded up the best Android Emulators that might suit your requirements. If you are looking for a good Android Emulator, you can keep reading this article.
There are several good Android emulators, but not all are free. Not all also perform well due to stability features. Some lags or freezes if your system is not much powerful. This is the reason, you have to test a few before you could get one reliable Android Emulator.
The primary problem with emulators is that they work slowly and sometimes you may feel lag. So, you need a good configuration in your PC for using Emulators. If your PC is low on hardware, you will not feel the smooth performance.
Why use Android Emulators?
There could be several reasons to use Android Emulator on PC. The most common reason is for gaming. Gamers who want to play Android games on PC mostly use Android Emulator. This is valid and game developers allow people to use Emulators and play their games on PC.
Android developers also use Emulators to test their apps on PC. So, they don’t need to install APK on their phones for testing each small change. Android Studio emulator is the most popular among developers.
A lot of people also use Android Emulators for productivity. Apps that are not available for PC can be used on PC. It could include notes apps or any other such app that needs you to check your phone again and again.
Best Android Emulators for Window and Mac PC
These are the 10 best Android Emulators. Install any of these and try playing Android apps on your PC. Don’t forget to give us your view on these tools.
1. Bluestacks 2 Android Emulator
Bluestacks has been around for quite a long time now and is a very popular Android Emulator out there. The company later released an updated version of the app, Bluestacks 2, with more features and functionality.
The newer version is faster, more enhanced and more stable, allowing Multi-Tasking. It also grants access to setting a location, Shakes the Screen and Adjusting the volume. With over 100 Million Users, Bluestacks 2 is probably the Emulator for you if you want to play Android games on PC. It comes with Google Play Store pre-installed which gives you access to over 2 million Android apps and games.
It is available in both free and premium versions. Premium version comes for $3.33 monthly subscription. The free version comes with ads and keeps asking you to install sponsored apps. So, it becomes irritating sometimes.
2. Nox Android Emulator
Giving a strong competition to Bluestacks is Nox, another Emulator that is tailored for gamers mostly. It is based on Android 4.4 Kitkat and boasts of offering good performance and advanced features. This Android Emulator lets you play games with a real game controller and lets you assign keys for gestures and swiping.
It lets you changed the number of CPU cores, FPS and RAM for NOX to use. To install apps, you can either download from the Play store or just drag and drop APKs to NOX player. The Script record feature lets you record specific events on screen and replay them later.
This Emulator provides you a fluid and lag-free experience and is highly compatible. It is available for free and is a must try. It comes with amazing features but the only let down is the older version of Android.
3. Ko Player
Ko Player is for gamers who are looking for an emulator to play Android games on PC. It is a lightweight software available free of cost, but there are a few ads. The player is easy to install and you can also find it easy to use. It supports keyboard mapping and gamepad emulation.
It comes with simple UI, but the only issue with this is performance. Sometimes it freezes and becomes a little buggy.
It is free to download.
4. Genymotion Android Emulator:
Here’s an Android Emulator that is more inclined towards app testing for developers, Genymotion. This emulator lets you configure for a variety of devices and different versions of Android, it supports 3000+ virtual device configurations.
Genymotion also needs you to enable “virtualization technology” in your BIOS and requires VirtualBox. you will also need to signup for an account before you can start using it. The best feature of Genymotion is that it lets you select an Android phone and choose what Android version you want on that phone. You can select from Android 4.4 to Android Nougat 7. It makes Genymotion the best tool for testers.
It does not come with the Google Play store by default, but you can install apps manually by using APK files.
The premium version of Genymotion offers a lot more features. It also provided an online emulator that you can try directly from the browser.
5. Remix OS Player:
Remix OS Player is an Android Emulator that lets you play multiple games at the same time. It is one of the very Emulators that is based on Android Marshmallow and lets you enjoy the latest games and apps. There is also a Remix Central app that recommends you trending apps and games you should try. You can also download apps from the Google Play store.
This is also very helpful for developers because you have the option to set signal strength, network type, location, battery, and a few other things. So, you can set these things to debug your Android app. Remix OS Player has been heavily optimized for gaming. You can map keyboard buttons and manage multiple games simultaneously on one screen. If you have been looking for Android Emulator for gaming, do not forget to try this.
However, a major drawback of this app is that it doesn’t support any AMD chipsets. So if you are on Intel, the Remix OS player is a must try.
6. MEmu Android Emulator
MEmu is also a nice Android emulator for Windows. It is based on Android Lollipop but comes pre-installed on Android Jellybean 4.2. You need to install Lollipop using additional packages. It is compatible with Intel, Nvidia powered Windows PCs and AMD chipsets.
It also comes pre-loaded with Google Play Store. So, you can download Android apps. It is in active development, so it keeps getting new features and performance improvements.
7. Android Studio’s emulator
Android Studio is a development IDE from Google made for developers. It comes with a bunch of tools to help developers in building and testing their Android apps. The Android Studio comes with a built-in emulator that gets regular updates and perform well. It is for general usage and not for playing heavy games. So, I recommend this one only to developers.
It also supports Kotlin for developers. I am telling it again that it is not for regular people. If you are not a developer, you will surely find it hard to use.
It is free to download.
8. Bliss OS
Bliss OS is different from the above emulators. It is basically an Android-based OS need to be installed on the system. You can either use it on Virtual Box or create a bootable USB drive. I have installed it on external storage. Whenever I want to use it, I plug that storage and boot from it.
Bliss OS is an opensource and doesn’t show ads. It also runs fine. It brings Android 9 Pie and also supports the Substratum Theme engine.
9. PrimeOS: Android EMulator for PC
PrimeOS is also an Android-based operating system you need to install in a different partition or use in bootable media. It is a gamer-focused OS that aims gamers. If you want to enjoy Android games on your PC, you can use PrimeOS on your system. It supports mouse and keyboard. You also get access to most Android apps and games. It basically feels like ChromeOS with Chrome parts.
ARChon is a different kind of Emulator. You can install it as a Chrome extension and then run Android apps and games on Google Chrome. It is not an easy emulator to run. You have to obtain APKs and load them in to try. So, you also have another difficult task fo getting APKs. There are a lot more steps to make it work. It runs on Chrome, it doesn’t matter what OS are you using.
This is suited for productivity apps but not for gaming.
I removed Andy from the list because they were accused of bitcoin mining on users’ computers with permission. Leapdroid was purchased by Google and no longer gets updates. AMIDuOS also closed its doors in March 2018.
Download any of the given Android emulators and try using Android apps on your PC. You can try this to play Android games on PC. There are many other Android emulators for PC available to try. LeapDroid and Memu are few other notable Android Emulators for PC. If you use any other Android emulator that is now available on the list, let us know in comments.