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Embracing Connectivity: A Spiritual Odyssey through the 10 Most Empathetic 3DS Emulators on Android

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May 21, 2024• Proven solutions

Would you like to play the classic Nintendo 3DS games on your latest android devices? This article is meant for you if that's the case!

The days of buying dedicated handheld consoles to fulfill entertainment needs on the go are long gone. The Gameboy, Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation Vita, and Sony's PSP were the most commonly used gaming consoles a decade ago. As times change, we increasingly rely on our smartphones for a variety of activities. Smartphones are now so powerful that they can replace laptops and desktop computers because of their chipsets. Gaming on the go is by far the most intriguing development of smartphones.

Nintendo 3DS is certainly at the top of the list of most popular handheld gaming consoles, perhaps alongside the PSP and Gameboy. It is undeniable that the Nintendo 3DS has some of the greatest classic games of all time, and one can totally understand why people might be tempted to pick one up - even in 2024. Since our smartphones are easily accessible, buying a new device just to play games that are already available would be a waste of resources. Using emulators, you are able to play games developed for other hardware on your phone.

If you search on google for the best 3DS emulators for Android, you will have limitless options, and you can easily get confused among so many choices, such as RetroArch, DraStic DS Emulator, NDS4droid, etc. We are lending you a helping hand as we have prepared a list of top 10 3ds emulators that you can use on your android smartphones and have the classic gaming experience.

1. RetroArch


Price: Free

Our first choice is RetroArch - an emulator for Android that lets you play Nintendo 3DS games. Open-source and ad-free, this emulator is ideal for gamers who love being immersed in their game. The ability to emulate other systems besides the Nintendo 3DS will impress many of you, including SNES and others. RetroArch's only drawback is that its features are a bit advanced for new users, making it a bit difficult to get used to. Those who want to experience the best Nintendo 3DS experience on their Android device with no ads will prefer this option.


  • Free and open-source
  • Ability to emulate many other platforms along with 3DS.
  • Ads Free gaming experience.


  • Features are very advanced for new users.
  • New users can face difficulty in getting used to its interface.


2. DraStic DS Emulator


Price: $4.80

It appears that the DraStic DS Emulator is the best Nintendo 3DS emulator for Android, with one of the smoothest graphics on any emulator. When playing the video on a quad-core phone, the app doubles the resolution. It offers six different display modes in addition to two screens on Nintendo 3DS devices so users can check them out and play. The emulator runs without crashes and has top-notch graphics as compared to other emulators. This emulator makes it easier than ever for you to attach other gamepads to the emulator for an even better gaming experience. It is the best Nintendo 3DS emulator for your phone that will work flawlessly, and you won't be dissatisfied otherwise.


  • The best possible performance.
  • Allows you to use 3rd party controllers.
  • The ability to access cheats
  • High-quality graphics


  • Some DS games don't work well with it.
  • It doesn't have a multiplayer mode
  • Wireless networking is not supported.
  • Demo not available


3. NDS4droid


Price: Free

The emulator is new to the scene but works well on Android smartphones and undergoes a regular update cycle. Unfortunately, some bugs remain and this program has some instability issues. With its open-source nature, NDS4droid supports a wide range of ROMs. The emulator comes with many features that make it one of, if not the best Nintendo 3DS emulator in the world.  By saving each player's stats, players can get back to their last checkpoint without having to repeat all the levels. Although the developers have acknowledged that the emulator is not a complete package, it will become one soon enough.


  • It supports the following file formats: .nds, .rar, .zip, & .7z
  • You can save states on your SD card.
  • The program is built on DeSmuME.


  • It does not have a fast-forward option
  • Several performance problems
  • Even on the newest devices, performance is poor sometimes.


4. Citra 3DS Emulator for Android


Price: Free

Citra 3DS Emulator is one of the best Android 3DS emulators, but it has not been officially released yet. Therefore you must use an unofficial version of the APK. Whatever the case, the emulator is regarded as the best on Android and contains a wealth of features. It can be easily downloaded and installed and it can be enhanced with more features, games, or ROMs since it is open-source. It is created using Dolphin Emulator, which means old school gamers will enjoy it. Throughout its GUI, it offers the best configuration and settings controls. It's as simple as installing the app and loading the Nintendo 3DS ROM.


  • High-resolution gaming
  • The software is open-source.
  • Controls can be tweaked using a GUI.


  • It has not yet been officially released for Android.
  • Lags and affects gameplay
  • Wifi works locally, but not with servers.


5. Pretendo NDS Emulator


Price: Free

With the Pretendo NDS Emulator, you will be able to enjoy Nintendo 3DS games on an Android device again. This is one of the top 10 Android 3DS emulators according to the internet, so that's why we listed it here. The app is easy to install and supports a wide range of formats, such as .zip, .rom, .ds, and .rar. Simply launch the app and load any ROM and you will be able to play old school games on your smartphone.

Self-guard is a feature of the app that saves your progress in the game to simply load it where you left off. Precision control is also available for areas with lower resolution. A dedicated option also allows you to increase the speed of the emulator by disabling graphics and sound.


  • You can use different ROM formats on it.
  • Games can be automatically saved by self-guard
  • A wide range of customization options


  • There are too many advertisements in the app.
  • This app is no longer available on Google Play.
  • Issues with stability


6. NDS Emulator


Price:  Free

NDS Emulator is a great emulator except for the annoying ads, which sometimes appear three in a row. In addition to supporting Android 6.0+, it also allows you to play .nds and .zip files and caters to a large number of audiences through its support for a wide selection of games. Screen layouts are also editable, and controls can also be customized. The NDS emulator also allows players to connect external controllers to their phones.

Furthermore, the NDS emulator allows users to save and load game states, so they don't have to wait for them to catch up to where they left off. Besides, it accepts cheat codes that put the competitor on a tougher challenge, but some of them don't work and display an error message.


  • Compatible with Android 6.0 and above
  • The screen layout and controls can be customized.
  • Automatically save and load game states.


  • Ads everywhere
  • There is a problem with certain cheat codes.


7. Ultimate x3DSx Gold


Price:  Free

This emulator has an intriguing name and does not appear good at first glance, but it is really good. A lot of sensors are used in their faster emulation, which makes the power consumption lower compared to other emulators. It is literally the best 3DS Android Emulator available, as it supports almost all games for Gameboy Advance and Nintendo 3DS. Both external and wireless controllers are supported.

On this emulator, cheat codes can also be used or disabled while playing Nintendo 3DS games. The backend has OpenGL in order to reduce the damage done to the GPU. It also has a fast-forward feature. In addition, the emulator has a clean graphical user interface which not many emulators possess, so we recommend it.


  • Support for external controllers
  • Works with GBA and 3DS games
  • Emulation of gyros, tilts, soars, and rumble
  • It consumes less power thanks to faster emulation


  • Bloated & slow with lots of ads
  • Games must be legally purchased in order to be played.


8. EmuBox


Price: Free

With EmuBox, you can emulate multiple systems, such as Nintendo DS, PlayStation SNES, and more. Moreover, it is the first emulator to have multiple-platform support and a Material Design interface, which makes it look and feel superb. A fast-forward feature offers a competitive edge over its rivals, as does the ability to save and load game states with up to 20 slots per compatible ROM.

There are advertisements on the emulator, but it is totally free to use. Although we do not currently know anything about a Pro version, there could be one. Compared to other 3DS emulators for Android, EmuBox has its pros and cons, which include bugs when too many cheat codes are used.


  • Provides multiple ROMs
  • Material Design has been added to an emulator for the first time.
  • Fast Forward support
  • A maximum of 20 game states can be stored and loaded.


  • Cheat codes can cause problems
  • The transition is sometimes slow.
  • Controls are not configurable.


9. AseDS


Price: Free

You might want to consider installing AseDS if you're still not satisfied with any of the other emulators. You can download the app from the given link if you aren't able to find it on Play Store. It has many features, including allowing users to stretch out the screen, keeping the dimensions of it in line with the resolution of a game. Portraits and landscapes can be switched easily without any hassle. Although the emulator sometimes crashes with a white screen or other screens, it is capable of running almost all Nintendo 3DS games quite quickly and has support for almost all of them. So you can ignore most of the issues associated with it.


  • Speedier gameplay
  • Multi-format support
  • Landscape and portrait orientations
  • It supports external controllers as well as microphones.


  • Fast forward is not possible
  • Accidental crashes occur occasionally.
  • A lot of people find ads annoying.


10. NDS Boy!


Price: Free

The best Android 3DS emulator allows you to play any game that runs on the handheld Nintendo 3DS gaming console, such as Final Fantasy, Super Mario Bros., and Pokemon Sage. Its features are robust, with support for file formats such as .rar, .zip, .7z, and .nds, among others. Additionally, the emulator requires a large amount of RAM, as lower RAM would slow down the emulator. In addition, it includes additional configuration features such as automatic saving and loading game states, custom controls, etc.


  • Game state saving, auto-saving, and loading
  • Customizable screen sizes & orientation


  • Crashes & lags occasionally
  • Advertisements take up too much space.
  • A quad-core or high-end CPU with RAM above 2GB is needed.


These are some of the best 3DS emulators that you can download and use on your android devices. Now think for a second that how it will feel to play all those classic games again on your mobile devices. You can recall your childhood memories. So, don’t waste your money buying dedicated consoles and try these emulators today. For people who play games on computer and want to save the highlights of their games, use a screen recorder to capture the screen will be a good choice. I would recommend Filmora, a powerful video recorder and editor tool to help save high quality videos on computer with ease.

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author avatar
Ollie Mattison
Ollie Mattison is a writer and a lover of all things video.
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