Emulators are the best way to run Android apps on PC. Emulators have become fashionable. This is not surprising since they are easy to get and they offer you the means of benefiting directly.
For those who are wondering why do we need Emulators, head below to understand some of the reasons why you should use Android Emulators on PC.
- App developers use emulators to test their application before shipping it out.
- Emulators provide a better gaming experience because of the availability of a mouse and keyboard.
- You can configure the hardware specifications on emulators depending on your requirements such as You can set up OS version, CPU cores, RAM, SD Card existence, SD Card size, etc.
- Android emulator provides a workaround for people who don’t have an Android phone or high-end Android device.
Scroll down to our list of the Android emulators on PC and see which one qualifies as the best. The list will consist of both free and paid Android Emulators.
15 Best Free Android Emulators For Windows And Mac
Since you now know where Android Emulators can come handy so without further ado let’s get into different emulators.
Android Official Emulator – Best For Developers
Android Studio is your Google-approved development IDE for Android. It comes with a whole lot of tools to help developers create games and apps specifically for Android. As it happens, there’s also a built-in emulator which you can use to try out your program or game. This isn’t a good alternative for those seeking to use it on a consumer level. However, those developing programs do already have a robust (and free) software at their disposal to help test their programs. It ‘s hard to install, but it is a lot easier to use as soon as you do.
Remix OS Player – Best For Productivity & Games
This is the latest addition to the list of emulators currently available. The emulator runs on Marshmallow instead of Lollipop or Kit Kat. It also supports both Mac and Windows and can be used without going through a hassle of installing it. The UI of Remix OS is great, and it supports Google Play so you can directly download apps and games. The one thing I liked about Remix OS is the ability to map keyboard keys for touch based games so that you don’t have to go through the hassle of using mouse taps to interact with the game or app. The only downside of Remix OS is the inability to run on AMD chipsets as it requires Intel Virtualization Technology enabled from BIOS.
Bluestack – Most Popular Emulator For Android
Bluestack, the most popular Android Emulator till date and is my favorite as well. It is also one of the widely used Emulator for PC right now. It comes up with Google Play installed so you can easily download any app directly from the Play Store and use it. The emulator also supports rotation and comes with Twitch live stream for gamers, and you can use Bluestack TV to stream on Facebook.
The emulator, however, is losing its value due to the intense competition present right now and the extreme amount of ads found in the Emulator. Nevertheless, Bluestack is still one of the best emulators to work with right now, and you can download the free version by visiting their official website. Looking for alternatives to Bluestacks?
Nox Player – Best Android Gaming Emulator For PC
Nox Player is another very popular emulator for PC. It has been crafted specifically for gamers and has some amazing features. The UI of the emulator is little different from others, but you will get the hang of it once you start using it. Nox also comes with Google Play installed, so you don’t need to worry about apps and has a file explorer in case if you want to install any APK file.
Apart from this, the emulator also comes with options to simulate touch or gestures and an option to record the screen so that it can be shared or played later.
Nox Player is dependent on Android 4.4 KitKat which includes class-leading functionality and innovative features. It ticks a whole lot of boxes in regards to features. Therefore it is likely that some might find the interface. However, as you spend some time together, you’re certain to fall in love.
In the configurations, you also can alter the amount of FPS CPU cores or the quantity of RAM you’d love to devote to Nox. If you have compatibility problems, you can change between two making modes: OpenGL or DirectX.
You can just drag and drop, and it includes inbuilt service for Google Play Store APKs into the Nox participant to put in them. There is a “model touch” performance that’s only another name for computer keyboard mapping, and it assists you in playing matches. The “script listing” performance enables you to capture certain events on display and play them later. It can be helpful once you want to automate a procedure on Android, which would be tedious to perform. It includes a variant of Android out-of-the-box to market you further. The multiplayer feature lets you run several instances of Android.
Xamarin – Best Android Emulators For Microsoft Fans
Xamarin of Microsoft is pretty similar to Android Studio. As Microsoft offers it, you can plug into IDEs like Microsoft Visual Studio to make your life easier. Also like the Android Studio, this includes an integrated emulator for developers. It’s for developers only if you don’t feel like setting up a whole development environment to use it. Xamarin’s emulator isn’t as successful as something like Genymotion (another emulator for Android). It’s free for personal usage. Companies and larger teams may need to negotiate a payment plan.
Genymotion – Widely Used Android Emulators By Gamers
Genymotion is another very powerful emulator for Android. It can emulate almost every single Android device available in the market right now. The emulator restricts the use for free users, and one has to buy the premium version to get all the features. Also, the emulator doesn’t come with Google Play integration so that might prove to be a deal-breaker for some users.
Nevertheless, it is a fantastic Android emulator with advanced features like OpenGL and Hardware Acceleration support. Also, make sure your device supports Intel virtualization technology before buying the full version.
One significant advantage of using Genymotion is that it enables you to pick a smartphone from the list to simulate and choose to install any Android version — from Android 4.4 KitKat to Android 7.0 Nougat. The premium version unlocks a lot of new features like screencasting and remote controlling of Genymotion working with a good phone. It doesn’t include the Google Play Store by default, but by manually installing GApps you can get the job done.
Genymotion also gives a cloud-based online emulator that you can try right inside your browser, though you would need to contact them and ask for a personal access.
In general, Genymotion is the best Android tool for programmers. You can still opt this for casual gaming, though you’d be better off with different choices on this list for this purpose.
AMIDuOS – Best Cheap Android Emulator For PC
AMIDuOS is developed by an American company, and if you’re an AMD user, then you might consider skipping this since AMIDuOS requires Intel virtualization technology and Microsofts’.Net Framework 4.0 and above to work correctly. Also, it ships with Amazon’s Store instead of Google Play Store which might be another deal-breaker for some users. Although, you can download and install APK files on the emulator.
AMIDuOS is powered by Android 5.1 which is quite old right now. The emulator supports gamepads and external devices however it misses the option to map keyboard keys. Also, the emulator has built-in root privilege which is a bonus. 30-day free trial, $15 Full version, $10 Lite version
MEmu – Supports Both AMD And Intel chipsets
MEmu is just another of those up and coming Android emulators that appear to perform quite well. One of its most significant features of MEmu, it has support for both AMD and Intel chipsets. That’s rarer than you would think. With MEmu you will be able to run multiple instances at the same time. This makes it one of the few emulators that go as large as Lollipop. Like many, you may use this for pretty much anything you want. It’s going encourage most games and most apps. However, we urge it largely for productivity. MEmu is free to download and use if you would like to.
Andy – Best Gaming & Productivity Android Emulator For PC
Next on our list is a free emulator named Andy. This makes it great as a productivity concentrated emulator even though it can play games also. In any case, it’s free, and it will work well. Some have experienced some setup difficulties. We advise that you beware of these. Compared to something that needs loads of setup, like Xamarin, Genymotion, Andy is far easier to install. You may use your Android cellphone as a remote control when playing Android games.
Andy relies on VirtualBox (such as Genymotion). Dedicated Graphics card is not necessary to operate smoothly and works well with only onboard graphics. You must be careful during the installation setup; you could wind up with bloatware in your system. Do not just click ‘Next’ button. Be certain that you read what you are installing. Setup may take a while.
Archon – Only Browser-based Emulator For Android
ARChon is not a traditional emulator as it gives Chrome the ability to operate Android apps. It’s not a simple emulator to get running. You will need to set up a couple of thing to Chrome. From there, you need to acquire APK and load them in. As an additional rub, you might have to use a tool to modify the APK to make it compatible. We’ve got the basic directions linked up in the button above. This one is compatible with Mac, PC, and Linux. It’s also among the toughest to establish, but it is also among the unique Android emulators.
Droid4X – Good For Gamers
Droid4X has had its ups and downs. But it is one of the traditional Android emulators for PC. It features a straightforward design which ought to be easy for most people to use. It markets itself towards players and boasts support for easier, casual games. But like most Android emulators, you can do productivity things if you would like to. We’re not entirely satisfied if Droid4X remains busy, but their download page is. Thus, we suggest that you tread with caution since this might be a buggy and unstable product. Locating the installer for this is somewhat difficult, though.
KoPlayer – Another Best Android Emulator For PC
KoPlayer is relatively a new Android emulator available for PC. Additionally, it has managed to fly under most radars until recently. Its main focus is for gaming. You will have the ability to use key mapping to emulate a controller with your keyboard. Players will also have the ability to record game play and upload it wherever they want. The install process is straightforward enough, and it appears to work alright. Like most emulators, it will have issues that you’ll run into randomly. It bills itself as a middle-of-the-road emulator. The only bad side is that it’s still buggy. Nevertheless, it’s a good, free option.
Windroy – Not Reliable For Gamers
It is one of those elderly Android emulators for PC. Therefore, it’s hard to recommend it to everyone. Think of this one as a last ditch attempt if not one of the newer, more updated ones work out perfect. We have discovered that it works best on older versions of Windows. It is primarily for productivity. You will have the ability to run office apps easily. Game support is not as reliable. Windroy is free to download and installs easily enough. It is worth trying.
YouWave is one of the old Android emulators. Ice Cream Sandwich is used in the free version. It seems to work. The installation process was simple enough. It will not have any game features, but it will play with games. That makes it great for productivity and gaming. This one has had a little more development to this process wanting out than most, and we recommend it. This one has Mac support.
LeapDroid is a potent Android emulator which has been acquired by Google last year and finally shut-down (you can still download it from different sources). However, make no mistake, regardless of the discontinuation, LeapDroid still manages to be among the strongest Android emulators around.
LeapDroid offers Android 4.4 KitKat and includes all the AOSP programs like music, browser, camera, etc.. But that is not it. It comes with complete support for Google Play Store, so you may get Android programs and games up and running right away.
You can even directly install APKs from your PC if you prefer. Aside from this, it includes full-screen style support, a screenshot tool and also there are OpenGL and DirectX modes for the graphics rendering. Additionally, it supports keyboard mapping, so that you can play games handily with keyboard shortcuts rather than having to fiddle around with your mouse pointer awkwardly. Furthermore, you may even set gesture information and simulate pinch zoom with the scroll wheel of your mouse.
If you’re able to push the throat the fact that it includes Android KitKat, LeapDroid is striking. Also, because it’s been stopped recently, the company behind it no longer provides any support.
The Android emulators for PC mentioned above are the best among the best available in the market right now. They all are equally good, and the final decision goes into the hands of the person who’s going to use it. Everyone has their requirements which bring us to the point that you have to compare and see which of the emulators suits you the best. That being said, you have to understand that you can’t find everything in a single software and hence you have to get your priorities straight. Also, we don’t recommend using two emulators at a time since they might conflict with each other causing the system to become unstable.
We recommend you to download the trial/free versions of these Android emulators for PC and test them before going for the premium version. This will give you a hang of whether your PC/Mac will be able to run the emulator smoothly.