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10 Best 3ds Emulator for PC You Can Find on 2021

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Jun 02, 2021• Proven solutions

Nintendo has released several portable devices, including the Nintendo 3DS, which was released in 2011. Despite its popularity, it only lasted until September 2020, when it was discontinued. There will be no new 3DS in production, so you may not be able to find one. You do not need to worry if you love Nintendo games but do not have a console to play them on. In this article, you will discover some of the best 3Ds emulators for PC. The emulation world is never going out of style. It opens up a whole new world for game lovers, especially if they love console games and want to play them on their pc.

If you search the internet for the best 3ds emulators for PC then you will get hundreds of results and so many options to choose from. One can easily get confused with so many varieties of options. If that’s the case with you then there is no need to worry because we have prepared a list of 10 best 3ds emulators that you can use on your pc and enjoy the classic console games on your pc. So, without wasting any more time, let’s get to our main topic.


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1. Citra

citra-3ds-poster

Price: Free

Citra is an easy-to-use Nintendo 3ds emulator for PC. Compared to the Nintendo console, this one has enhanced 3D graphics, which offer higher resolutions. Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac OS X, as well as Linux, provides full support for this program.

Citra was publicly launched as experimental software in 2015 as an open-source project. Using the command line was required for operating it, as there was no front end. Games will run at 60 frames per second (fps) and at a resolution of 400x200 from the original screen on Citra. Playing certain games can be similar to using a gamepad on an Xbox 360. These characteristics are due to models and textures being sufficiently detailed in series.

Pros:

  • The software is compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, Linux & Android operating systems.
  • Gamers enjoy an immersive gaming experience with enhanced 3D graphics.
  • Two-screen visualization is provided.

Cons:

  • Decrypted devices are required.
  • This software can't accept third-party backups.

 

2. R4 3DS Emulator

r4-3ds-emulator

Price: Free

An ideal emulator for playing Nintendo 3DS games on a PC. R4 3DS Emulator gives users access to a number of Nintendo 3DS titles. But recent Nintendo games may not be available to you. You can play a wide range of games without a Nintendo 3DS console using this program, which mimics the console's graphic system and process. Upon starting the emulator, you will be asked to insert the cartridge. Next, you will be asked to choose the files for the game. In addition, the keyboard's controls can be customized.

Game developers benefit greatly from the R4 3DS emulator. This emulator allows them to view the results of their work directly on the PC without having to switch to the console. Presently, the emulator cannot play the latest games.

Pros:

  • Adapts your keyboard to your preferences.
  • Load and play functionality is easy to use.
  • Viewing the result of your work on your computer does not require a console.

Cons:

  • The latest games can't be played on R4 3DS Emulator.
  • It is compatible only with Windows.

 

3. RetroArch

retroarch-3ds-poster

Price: Free

Developed to support PC as well as Android, it is a power-packed Nintendo 3DS emulator. It can also function as a game engine and a media player in addition to being a 3DS emulator. Playstation, SNES, and other systems are compatible with this device. The added bonus is that it's also free. The software is also available for Linux, iOS, Mac, Wii, Raspberry Pi, BlackBerry and PlayStation. A variety of settings are available, including those that affect the interface, files, and directories. A complete solution, to put it simply.

The app will ask you to download certain games before you can actually use it, so you will experience some errors when using it for the first time. You will not see a single advertisement on Retroarch, even though it is free to use. You might face some difficulty playing games other than those on the DS because they aren't compatible with the RetroArch emulator.

Pros:

  • Offers excellent performance and can run all games smoothly.
  • Compatibility with a variety of platforms.
  • No ads so you get smooth gameplay.
  • You can customize the interface according to your preferences.

Cons:

  • It may take some time to get used to its interface for the new users.
  • DS games are the only ones compatible with this emulator.
  • You must first download certain games.
  • Sometimes the graphics are compromised but that’s not a big deal.

 

4. DeSmuME

desmume-3ds-poster

Price: Free

Apparently, it was the first emulator that was developed and launched for 32-bit operating systems. Most of the latest emulators that are present in the market these days are not compatible with 32-bit operating systems. The system has also been known only to run a few commercially available games. Updates and new builds have been created by developers to deal with bugs in programs.

Pros:

  • One of the few emulators available for 32-bit operating systems.
  • Can function well with low specs systems.
  • Developers are continuously working on it for bug fixes and the latest updates.

Cons:

  • Supports 32-bit systems only.
  • Can only play a few selective commercial games.

 

5. 3DMOO

3dmoo-3ds-poster

Price: Free

3DMOO is also one of the best 3Ds emulators for PC. ICHFLY, the company that developed the GBA emulator for the NDS, created the emulator. Users of Windows & Linux are the only ones who can run this Nintendo 3DS emulator. The processing would be too slow for all the commercial games of the Nintendo 3DS, though 3DMOO supports all of them. The game might crash frequently, ruining your gaming experience. It was being developed around 2014, but suddenly the development process was stopped, so it now functions only through the command line. Source code files for the emulator are available on Github. The emulator is not available officially today but can be downloaded.

Pros:

  • Open-Source Program.
  • Provides support for both Windows and Linux users.

Cons:

  • The emulator is currently not in active development
  • The speed is too slow sometimes.
  • Players face frequent crashes during the game which ruins their gaming experience.

 

6. NO$GBA

nosgba-3ds-emulator

Price: Free

This 3DS emulator for PC is actually a very popular one. Upgrades can be purchased by paying an affordable price. Once you download the latest version, you can download the older versions also. Originally intended for Game Boy Advance, No$GBA has also been made solid enough to support Nintendo DS games. This emulator plays 3DS games with ease, and we can tell you that this emulator is the best you'll find.

Pros:

  • It does not support all 3DS games, but it does support many. Basically, it was designed for GBA.
  • Multiplayer is available in the emulator.
  • It is compatible with external game controllers.
  • You can customize the keyboard according to your requirements.
  • Current versions of the emulator are stable and under constant development.
  • Even cheat codes will be supported (fun to use cheat codes sometimes).

Cons:

  • Macs and Linux computers are not supported.
  • There are some 3DS games that cannot be played. The compatibility list must be checked before you use this.

 

7. iDEAS Emulator

ideas-3ds-emulator-poster

Price: Free

iDEAS is another emulator that allows you to play 3ds games on your pc. Although it is not liked by many players it doesn’t mean that it is a terrible emulator. Every new release adds new features, and the developers are constantly working on it. However, it may not be able to fulfil the expectations of games at the very first experience. Even though there is a lot of work to be done, such as bug fixes and upgrades to the graphics, iDEAS is the most recommended 3DS emulator for Windows 10 laptops and desktops.

Pros:

  • You can use it on multiple screens because of the multi-screen processing.
  • It's unlikely that you'll encounter any glitches with most of the games.
  • The settings can be customized easily.
  • It has a clean and fluid interface.

Cons:

  • Although it works well with many games, still a lot of work needs to be done on graphics.
  • No official website is available for this emulator however you can download it from various third party websites.
  • It only works with windows and does not support Mac and Linux.

 

8. Project64 Emulator

project64-3ds-emulator

Price: Free

The Project64 emulator is a good 3DS emulator for Windows 10 PCs. At first, it was nowhere, but then it suddenly appeared everywhere. That's right, this thing appeared out of thin air and soon became the talk of gaming enthusiasts. The emulator's simplicity and smoothness surprised will surprise you and that’s the reason why it is included in the list of top 10.

Pros:

  • It is a powerful emulator that is capable of playing almost all 3DS games.
  • In addition to supporting ZIP files, it can also decompress them.
  • The graphics and audio quality are quite good.
  • This emulator also supports the use of a joystick if you want to.
  • The program is updated frequently, and it gets better with each update.
  • It is possible to save your games and load them later.

Cons:

  • Although it is good still there is room for a lot of improvements.
  • Sometimes a game won't even load but developers are working on it.
  • The older version of this emulator was reported by some players for having malware so be careful with the downloads.

 

9. DuoS Emulator

duos-3ds-emulator

Price: Free

DuoS are the perfect 3DS emulator for Windows 10 computers if you're in need of a no-fuss solution. It is just a simple emulator so you should not expert it to do big things on your pc and laptops. Just keep your expectations low with this emulator and you will be amazed by the results.

Pros:

  • This emulator is very simple and easy to use.
  • The 3DS emulator plays many different 3DS games.
  • Easy-to-use interface.

Cons:

  • No multi-player support.
  • Cheat codes are not supported.
  • Advance features like quick save and load are not available.

 

10. NeonDS Emulator

neonds-3ds-emulator

Price: Free

This is the last one on our list.  The NeonDS has been inactive for a long time. Since 2008, no new version of this emulator has been released. Nonetheless, users say it's working. This software supports 32-bit versions of Windows, but most computers today are 64-bit.

Pros:

  • There are almost no limitations in terms of 3DS games.
  • Commercial games can be played on this emulator.
  • The user interface is simple and intuitive.
  • It has a powerful 3-D display engine that offers crisp graphics.
  • Keyboard customizations are possible.

Cons:

  • Neither Mac OS nor Linux is supported.
  • Bugs cannot be fixed because the project has ceased development.

Conclusion:

This is the list of the best 3Ds emulators that you can use on your PC and can play Nintendo 3Ds games. Now you don’t need to worry about buying dedicated consoles. Just download one of these emulators and enjoy your favourite 3ds games. All these emulators have their own limitations and benefits so choose according to your requirements. If you fancy recording you own gameplay, Filmora with built-in screen recording function can help you through your editing journey.

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