There are a lot of valid reasons why someone would want to run Android emulators on their PC. App developers may be trying to test their application before shipping it out. Gamers may want to use a mouse and keyboard on their games. Maybe you just want it there to have it. In any case, Android emulation on PC is possible and we’re going to take a look at the best Android emulators for PC. Please note, the process can get quite technical and some of these require a bit of a learning curve. The market slowed down a lot in recent years with many old favorites (Andy, AmiduOS, and Leapdroid) permanently leaving the space or becoming unusable without tons of issues. You can find out about their fates at the bottom of the article.
Run Android On PC With Best Android Emulators (2018) There are some great emulators available in the market; some are free while others cost money. To make things easier, I am listing the best android emulators for pc that you can download and use. To help you with which emulator to use we have brought you the 10 Best Windows emulator for Mac. Parallels Desktop Marked as the best and easiest emulator to use but at price of $53.97 is Parallels desktop.
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- This one is compatible with Mac, PC, and Linux. It's also one of the most difficult to set up, but it's also one of the most unique Android emulators. DOWNLOAD FROM GITHUB.
- Aug 02, 2018 So as we all know, this is the most popular, best, and most working emulator available for PUBG Mobile for PC. This is the best emulator for playing PUBG Mobile on your computer, because of a couple of reasons. One of the reasons is it is developed.
15 best emulators for Android
Who uses emulators?
There are three main uses for emulators. The first is the most common and it’s for gaming. Gamers can use emulators on their computers to make some games easier to play. They don’t have to rely on the battery life of their devices and the existence of macros and other tricks help the process. In most cases, these little tricks aren’t illegal (in most games) so nobody really has a problem with it. The best Android emulators for gaming include Bluestacks, MeMu, KoPlayer, and Nox.
The second most common use case is development. Android app and game developers like to test apps and games on as many devices a possible before launch. Usually the Android Studio emulator is fine for this kind of work. However, Xamarin and Genymotion are excellent for this type of use as well.
The final main type is productivity. This isn’t nearly as common because Chromebooks are cheaper and better for using Android apps on something other than a phone and most productivity tools are cross-platform. Any gaming emulator works as a productivity emulator to an extent. However, those with hyper specific use cases and a little knowledge can try ARChon and Bliss. The full list is below. Enjoy!
Android Studio’s emulator
Android Studio is the default development console for Android. It comes with a bunch of tools to help developers make apps and games specifically for Android. As it turns out, there is also a built-in emulator that you can use to test out your app or game. The setup is rather complicated and it can take a long time. Thus, it’s not one we would recommend for consumer level use. However, developers can simply use this tool as their emulator for testing their apps. It also supports Kotlin in case developers want to try that out. It’s too much of a pain for regular people, but it’s excellent for developers.
ARChon isn’t a traditional emulator. You install it as a Google Chrome extension. It then gives Chrome the ability to run Android apps and games (albeit with limited support). It’s not an easy emulator to get running. You’ll have to install the thing to Chrome. From there, you have to obtain APKs and load them in. As an added rub, you may need to use a tool to change the APK in order to make it compatible. There are a lot more steps to make this work than most other Android emulators for PC. On the plus side, though, it works with any operating system that can run an instance of Chrome (Mac OS, Linux, Windows, etc). We linked to the official GitHub where you can find detailed instructions for its use.
Bliss is something a little bit different. It works as an Android emulator for PC via virtual machine. However, it can also just flat run on your computer through a USB stick. This is definitely a power user option and not recommended for simple. As a VM install, the process is fairly simple, if tedious. The USB installation method is even more complicated, but it lets your computer actually run Android natively from boot. That makes Bliss a super unique emulator if you can make it through the steps to the end. Of course, it only really runs well if your system is compatible so be prepared with a backup of your current operating system. The system runs Android Oreo and that’s among the newer versions of Android offered on an emulator. This is a bit of a diamond in the rough, but again, we only recommend this one to the tech savvy.
Price: Free / $2 per month
Bluestacks is the most mainstream of all Android emulators. There are several reasons for that. For starters, it’s compatible with Windows and Mac. It was also one of the first that worked really well that still gets regular updates. The emulator targets mobile gamers. There is a stigma with Bluestacks because it can feel a little bloated at times. Bluestacks 4 (launched in 2018) aimed to fix that with mixed results. It also includes key-mapping and settings for many games installed. That should help make things much easier. It’s one of the heaviest emulators on the list. However, it also has the most features for better or for worse. Recent updates put Bluestacks at Android 7.1.2 (Nougat), one of the most recent of any emulator. The update to Bluestacks 4 also improved speed, even on older computers. Hit the button below to check out one of our favorite Bluestacks games and don’t worry, there’s a button to download Bluestacks at the bottom of that page as well.
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Droid4X is currently available, but it’s a tough one to recommend. It’s one of the classic Android emulators for PC and t features a simple design that should easily work for a lot of people. It markets itself towards gamers and boasts support for simpler, casual games. However, like most Android emulators, you can do productivity stuff if you want to. This one is not in active development anymore. Its last update was March 28th, 2016. Thus, we recommend you tread with caution as this could be a buggy and unstable product. Droid4x is also Mac compatible. We have the Windows version linked up, so Mac users will need to search a bit for it.
Price: Free with paid options
This Android emulator is mostly for developers. It lets you test your apps on a variety of devices without owning them. You can configure the emulator for a variety of devices with various versions of Android to help suit your needs. For instance, you can run a Nexus One with Android 4.2 or a Nexus 6 with Android 6.0. You can easily switch between virtual devices at will. It’s not great for consumer uses, but Genymotion does offer their services for free for personal use. It’s most useful feature is its availability on both your desktop computer and the cloud. Those without powerful computers can make Genymotion’s servers do all the work for them.
KoPlayer is a newer Android emulator for PC (comparatively speaking). It has also managed to fly under most radars until recently. Its main focus is for gaming. You’ll be able to use key-mapping to emulate a controller with your keyboard. Players will also be able to record game play and upload it wherever they want. The install process is easy enough and it seems to work okay. It runs in a virtual machine like most other Android emulators for PC. It’s a middle of the road option and it’s also usable for productivity. There is the occasional but, but most emulators on the list have them. It’s not bad for a free option.
MEmu is another of the up and coming Android emulators that seems to do quite well with gamers. One of its biggest features is support for both AMD and Intel chipsets. Most work on AMD processors, but it’s nice to see developers specifically pay attention to AMD’s platform. Additionally, it supports Android Jelly Bean, Kit Kat, and Lollipop. You can even run multiple instances at once for multiple games or testing features. It aims itself at gamers much like Bluestacks and similar emulators. However, it’s also quite usable as a productivity tool as well. Its most recent update was in late December 2018 according to its blog and that means its development is still in full swing. We appreciate that.
Nox is another Android emulator for PC for gamers. That includes the usual stuff like key-mapping with your keyboard, actual controller support, and even the ability to key-map gesture controls. For instance, you can assign the function to swipe right to an arrow key and use that in a game without actual hardware controller support. It’s a lot of fun and seems to work rather well most of the time. It’s also entirely free and in active development. The demo video below is rather old and it definitely ran better than that on my laptop.
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PrimeOS is kind of a standout in the Android emulator space. It’s not actually an emulator. You install this as a partition on your computer and it boots up running native Android. It’s a gamer-focused Android experience, although you can totally use this for productivity if you really want to. PrimeOS includes a gaming center, support for mouse and keyboard, and access to most Android apps and games. To be frank, it almost runs like ChromeOS minus all the Chrome parts. You can multitask, watch video content, or play games as you choose. We haven’t tested this one in-depth yet as it is new in 2019 from an Indian start-up. We’ll update the article if we noticed anything peculiar about it.
Remix OS PLayer
Remix OS Player by Jide is one of the newer Android emulators for PC (comparatively speaking). It runs Android Marshmallow and that’s still relatively new compared to many of the others on the list. The installation process is pretty simple and using it also fairly easy. It caters mostly to gamers. There are a few gamer specific features along with a customizable toolbar. It boasts features like running multiple games at once. That said, it’s a fairly clean emulator so it’s still perfectly usable as a productivity tool. The site runs a little slow, though, and it hasn’t received a substantial update in a while and its social media accounts have been inactive since 2017. We’re concerned about this one in the long term, but it still works for now.
Price: Free / Enterprise options
Xamarin is an IDE similar to Android Studio. The difference is that it can plug into things like Microsoft Visual Studio for an even larger development environment (for better or for worse). Also, like the Android Studio, this comes with a built-in emulator for app or game testing. In case it wasn’t readily apparent, we only recommend this one to developers. The setup is simply too tedious for regular consume use. Xamarin’s emulator is not as powerful as something like Genymotion, but it’ll get the job done if you intend on using this and it’s also configurable for your needs. It’s free for personal use. Companies and larger teams may have to negotiate a payment plan.
Price: Free / $29.99
YouWave is one of the older Android emulators for PC. It’s been around for a long time. Its last update was in 2016, though. That makes it fairly current. The free version uses Ice Cream Sandwich. Forking out the $29.99 will get you the Lollipop version. We didn’t experience any major issues with either one. The installation process was easy enough. It doesn’t have any game specific features but it will still play games. That makes it good for light gaming and productivity. We haven’t seen a meaningful update in quite a long time, though, so even its Lollipop version is woefully out of date. We don’t recommend the premium version, but the free version works nicely for those who want an older emulator that runs older Android.
Build your own
Price: Free (usually)
As it turns out, you can build your own emulator. Here’s how it works in a nutshell. You need to download VirtualBox (linked above). You then have to download an image from Android-x86.org. From there, it’s just a matter of finding one of the many guides online and following the steps. This is easily one of the more difficult methods, but still not quite as tedious or difficult as setting up a whole IDE like Android Studio or Xamarin. We don’t recommend you try without a tutorial and a little prior knowledge. It won’t work well, it’ll be buggy, and unless you’re a coder, it’ll be difficult to fix. Still, it’ll be yours to customize as you please and who knows, maybe you’ll make and release an emulator that’ll adorn this list someday.
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If we missed any of the best Android emulators for PC, tell us about them in the comments! You can also click here to check out our latest Android app and game lists! Here are what happened to some old classics from the list:
- Leapdroid was purchased by Google and no longer operates.
- AMIDuOS closed its doors officially on March 7th, 2018. Those who bought it can still get an installer if you follow this link and follow the instructions.
- Andy began using some seriously not great development tactics, including suspected bitcoin mining without user permission. Until they get their stuff together, they are exempt from this list.
- Most of the rest simply haven’t been updated or in active development in years and don’t really work well anymore with newer operating systems and hardware.
Trying the android apps or games on a bigger screen is a true bliss, to do you need to have best android emulators which neither crash nor use your entire system resource. You’ll not only get big screen estate which is better for gaming, you could also do a bunch of other things as well including rooting & trying root apps. Well, having an android emulator doesn’t cost you a penny, as there are tons of free ones out there if you need extra features you have to shell out some bucks.
Let’s go through some of the best Android emulators for Windows PC & MacOS for 2019, these software works fine in Windows 10, 8 & 7. without any further ado let’s dive in!
- 12 Best Android Emulators For Windows PC & Mac 2019
12 Best Android Emulators For Windows PC & Mac 2019
1. Nox App Player
Minimalism at its peak, Nox App player is one of the minimalistic yet best Android emulator available for Windows & Mac. If gaming is your area of interest, then it has your name written on, the efficient game rendering engine makes effective use of your system resource & provides you enough headroom for other multitasking as well.
The full-fledged operating system expands your possibilities even further, you could install apps directly from the Google Play Store or install through apks (make sure you enable installation from unknown sources). If you are a developer, then you could make use of if to test out your apps or games.
Nox App Player
After all, the whole package comes for free of cost, which is the notable thing among all. If you need more information about this android emulator, check out our in-depth review here. Currently, it is only available for Windows & MacOS. Linux users, have to wait until they develop one for the platform, which is in the near future. If you aren’t gaming, we recommend to check out GBA emulators for Android.
2. Remix OS Player
Remix OS player is a Windows-only Android emulator that is easy to use with little to no hiccups. It’s based on the Marshmallow (v6.0.1), which isn’t far behind from Android Oreo. What sets Remix OS apart is its dual booting capability, you could use as a desktop client or install Remix in a separate partition in x86 compatible systems. Follow this guide to install remix OS 3.0 on your computer.
Remix OS Player
The user interface is easy to use & seems stable throughout our testing, Google Play Store comes by default, so you don’t have to side load. The team behind Remix OS player touting the games it supports & experience you’ll get. It does perform well in the demanding games but still needs refinement. You could remap the keyboards shortcuts to raise any action you need, and also run multiple games simultaneously, thanks to the effective resource utilisation. If you are covered under the recommended system configuration, it is a pleasant experience.
The unavailability of the MacOS & turns off the Apple users, it is not a big deal as the developers claiming this as the Android emulator for Windows PC, not the Mac.
Uncommonly, BlueStacks is one of the most popular yet free emulators. Being a complete Android package on both Windows & Mac, it offers way more functions than most of the commercial user needs. It still runs on Android KitKat version, which makes it a no go for developers, apart from this it is nothing short than its rivals.
The multi-gesture support, & seamless integration with the computer peripherals like keyboard, mouse, trackpad & web camera are notable features. Also, there a compatibility with Android TV, if you are into that sort of thing.
Simple one-click installation and straightforward user interface make the Bluestack as the top performingplayer. To play the graphics intense games, ensure that you have a dedicated graphics card installed on your computer. Unlike most of the Android emulators, you can open most of the apps or games in full-screen mode, which is a bonus for watching videos on Youtube or Netflix.
Everything is fine with BlueStacks, except the resource intensive nature. It doesn’t need much CPU horsepower, but it is a memory hog. If your Windows computer/Mac has 4 GB or less RAM, then you’ll notice lags & even freeze. We don’t recommend, if your system has less than a couple gig of RAM, it might not be the best experience. You can go with any BlueStacks alternative emulators, which we already covered here. Apart, from that everything is good enough. Considering it also received the best software award in CES 2012 for the innovative idea.
If you are an app developer or one who tests lots of apps, then you should give Genymotion a shot which is one of the self-claimed developer suits. It is a complete package for developers that’s is compatible with Android SDK tools, Eclipse and Android Studio. Further, you can go ahead & install Genymotion plugins on your Android Studio for quick access (you should also install Genymotion). Deploying multiple instances, testing your websites through various browsers – user agents, try your location permission required apps, battery status & pretty everything.
Further, you can also automate your app testing through Genymotion’s Java API. It manipulates the sensor values of the specified app & tests it in the different locations & scenarios. Changing the device’s name, IMEI, MEID is seamless, you can even emulate the fake SMS/calls to know how your app reacts to that situation. And other geeky stuff!
It takes advantage of the OpenGL compatible graphics cards, which slightly makes it faster & more responsive when performing any graphics-oriented tasks. It is power packed with the developers, Genymotion Cloud is something exciting, you could get Android emulator online using Genymotion Cloud, which resides in the cloud & you could browse your internet browser. Team collaboration & seamless integration is something Genymotion Cloud advertises about.
It is a paid android emulator, which turns off many. Many of the features are only available for the paid version, although there is a free version available to download, you are only limited to use few basic features for non-commercial purpose only. If you are app developer professionally, then you should get your paid version without any doubt, nothing comes to it. Also, compatibility isn’t an issue, it is available for Windows, MacOS, Linux & Cloud based as well.
MEmu is a light-weight Android emulator comes in few kernels that support Android Jellybean, KitKat & Lollipop, as they tout it will get Marshmallow & Nougat soon. Being a freeware, it has got most of the things like it’s contenders. It supports both Intel & AMD Systems also the dedicated & integrated graphics, in most of the popular games. It is a flexible emulator, means the user can configure CPU, ram, device model & other settings.
Memu Android Player
You can also create multiple instances & perform a sort of multitasking within the emulator, which sounds cool though. And it supports full-screen support in some popular games, you can play using keyboard, mouse & even joysticks. Other features including drag-and-drop to install apk files, faster loading times, keyboard mapping, easy file sharing between Android & windows and bunch of others.
Free Windows Emulator For Mac
Ever since the launch of Andyroid in 2011, it has been a major player in the Android emulator market for a while now. Giving the top priorities for the gaming sector, few games perform better in Andy when compared with other emulators. To take things to next level, you can control the gameplay with your Android device if it is synced with the emulator. Which eliminates the need for any wired/wireless controllers, no other emulator provides this option as of writing this post.
It could run most of the apps available on the play store, including communication apps like Hangouts, IMO and others.You can customize anything right from the launchers to the lock screen. The Android skin it has got is stock and without any bloatware, Google Play stores services come by default. The OpenGL acceleration is enabled, which make uses of your computer’s discrete GPU to render graphics. While concentrating on the gaming, Andy doesn’t fall behind in productivity. It is pretty responsive and doesn’t need any high-end system to the requirement to run smoothly.
Unlike other developer kits, you will not get apps testing environment you have to deal with what it has got. It is targetted towards to broad demographic audience who likes to game, multitask and do the normal usage. If you are streamlined audience like Developers, App testers, better you go with Genymotion or Android Studio’s emulator, it provides you the headroom and lot more intuitive tools.
It is available for both Windows & MacOS, sorry Linux. On the whole, it is sort of a complete package, it isn’t a specific niche targeted software, it suits most of the consumer needs.
7. Ko Player
Ko Player is another great Win-only Android emulator, which is decent enough to give a shot. Google play store comes by default, also it is compatible with most of the games & apps. The adaptable resolution makes it the best solution for apps like Youtube, Netflix & others to watch the content in full-screen. Other features include drag & drop for installing apps, supports most of the wired/wireless keyboard, mouse, and trackpads.
It needs a discrete graphics solution and virtualization technology, you could easily enable in your BIOS settings. It is compatible with both AMD & Intel processors platforms which made it reach most of the user. The one con being, it is only available for Windows, for Mac users you have to wait until they come up with one. Meanwhile, check some other emulators which are far better than Ko Player.
YouWave is elder among all the Android emulators for PC available, it has not updated for years.It has got two different versions, Free & Premium versions. If you are booted into free software, you’ll be greeted with Android ICS (Ice Cream Sandwich) with some advertisements. Premium has got nothing but Android Lollipop as the OS & no ads that’s what it is. The major drawback being the lack of apps support, apps require any sensor information and apps which use closed APIs might not work in YouWave.
Unlike most of its competitors, it doesn’t need high-end system configuration because it runs Android ICS which is not a demanding OS at all. It brings nothing new to the table, but if you are looking for a basic software to emulate the Android apps and does light gaming then you can check Youwave. But anything above this requirement you have better options. It is available only available for Windows, no MacOS or Linux version out there.
VirtualBox is not an Android emulator specifically, it is a software that installs other operating systems as Guest OS on your computer. You have to download VirtualBox & Android iOS to get this going, it is quite time-consuming & tedious to set up. Once, you have grounded yourself with the setup, you could play around with Android like you do on a physical device. Even, few Android emulators like Andyroid are based on the VirtualBox & VMware software.
This is powered by Android x86 project, which is one of the unofficial initiatives to bring the Android to the desktop & workstation grade platform running Intel & AMD chipsets. Thanks to the Android’s open source nature, they tweaked few things and made it run on desktops.
Top Emulators For Mac
VirtualBox Running Android
You need to create a new instance in VirtualBox & make change settings, add the downloaded Android iOS as disk image you are good to go. If you still unable to get through this step, follow this guide by howtogeek. Though you could up & running Android in few minutes we don’t recommend this for most of the consumers. Better go with an android emulator for your computers, rather than downloading iso and setting up the instance.
10. Android Studio’s Emulator
Android Studio is the successor to the old yet still used Eclipse IDE. Android Studio grown by leaps and bounds since its initial release in 2013 as beta. Now, Android Studio also includes an inbuilt emulator to try out the app you develop. That’s another android emulator right? Sort of. Android Studio is meant for developers, not for consumers, so that emulator would be most suitable for developers.
Although the consumer could give a shot, we don’t recommend as there are tons of other best android emulator for both Windows & MacOS out there. You’ll get most of the developer options within the emulator, only with few exceptions. It comes only with Android’s Studio, you have to install it first. You can check more the emulator by clicking here.
11. Xamarin Android Player
Update: After the successful run, Xamarin Android Player is discontinued. You can continue with the Visual Studio but you will not find any emulator.
Xamarin Visual Studio (Rebranded from Xamarin Android Studio) the Microsoft version of Android Studio, developed for Windows & MacOS. As you might know, every mobile app development comes with a built-in emulator to test things. As this might not the best Android emulator for everyone if you’re a developer or student, it could be a learning curve. If you have got touchscreen laptop or any trackpad, it is compatible with most of them.
Xamarin Android Player
It is not meant for general consumption, so the consumer might find it hard to navigate. And without Visual Studio you cannot use the emulator, if your desktop is low powered then this might crash. If you’re a pure developer or need something geeky, then you can go with this Android emulator.
Update: LeapDroid was a robust Android emulator for Windows a few years back, after the acquisition by Google they stopped the updates & closed customer service door. Still, you can install & use Leapdroid, but you won’t get any sort of updates in the future including the security patches, which is not recommended.
With a clutter-free user interface, well-supported apps & games and lighter impact on system resources, LeapDroid stands out. Unlike other emulators, LeapDroid has sharp features built-in which is best for enhanced gameplay, seamless apps, games compatibility. The built-in GPS helps you in the navigation system, after all, you don’t have to worry about the shortcuts you can manually assign with the keyword mapping.
Mac Emulator Download
If you are into gaming, then LeapDroid is the hands down emulator you need. Unlike others, It boots in seconds which is crucial.
A Quick Glance Of What These Best Android Emulators Offering,
If you’re not sure which Android emulator to pick for your desktop, go to this table to get an idea.
|Nox App player||v4.4 (KitKat)||Free||Yes||Yes|
|Remix OS Payer||v.6.0.1 9 (Marshmallow)||Free||Yes||No|
|GenyMotion||v4.4 (KitKat) to v7.0.1 (Nougat)||Paid||Yes||Yes|
|Ko Player||v5.0. (Lollipop)||Free||Yes||No|
* Needs additional package.
Well, we can provide you the different choice & explains which one excels in what, that’s all. It’s up to you to choose the best Android emulator for your needs. It solely depends on the purpose for wishing the emulator, like X emulator, would be best at gaming but requires lots of horsepower & memory and Y might a great option for the normal consumer, which doesn’t require too much resource but performance won’t be up to the par.
After all, it depends on your needs & how you use it.
Hope you found something helpful using this post, feel free to share about these best Android emulator for PC & Mac with your friends & relative, as it helps the website a lot!