10 Best Android Emulators For PCs, Macs, and Linux

The majority of the people nowadays used to pick smartphones especially Android phones as their primary techno buddy for it is quite flexible as an aid in their everyday lives. Connecting with people, sharing status updates, watching your favorite movies or series and even gaming with smartphones is indeed easy with less hassle anytime and anywhere you used it.

However, we can’t deny that there are times it pours out our fulfillment bottle when it was spoiled by frustrations when using it. Limited short-time battery, slow processing or response power, and limited storage capacity are some of the most common knots we’ve experienced due to its limitation that once breaching was done, surely worst is yet to come.

This is the reason why Android Emulators are developed and nowadays used by many. These Emulators help you manage to have a virtual copy of an android system on your desktop or laptop that allows you to have access and a possibility to modify android apps, the operating system, or OS of the android and even customized the guest device.

With this, you can have lots of perks to gain as you used the interface of Android on your computer, you can also use the features of your personal computer that is out of your phone’s features.

In this article we will provide you 10 best Android Emulators for Windows that are free to download, if you want to get one or more for the future, here some guides to help you know about Android Emulators and what kind of emulator you will get:

What is an Adroid Emulator

Emulators help you copy and produce a virtual copy, run the program, or software designed for the guest system or even itself on the host device.

The first emulator that makes it into public is an NES emulator, specifically the NESticle. It is a kind of Nintendo Entertainment System made by Bloodlust Software employee Icer Addis for. NESticle was released on market on April 3, 1997, and despite few features to offer, it became widely popular. Aside from letting you play the NES games, NESticle allows you to save the screenshot of your game, pause and resume the progress of your game by the means of saving state, and play even games online. It primarily runs on Windows 95 and MS-DOS.

Fast forward, while the first Android emulator to introduce in the people is the “BlueStacks.” Its company was founded on August 25, 2009, by Rosen Sharma, Jay Vaishnav, and Suman Saraf.

Wrapping it up, the Android emulator is an Android Virtual Device (AVD) that creates a virtual Android device program on your computer (host).

To fully understand, let’s break down the important things to remember of how does an Android emulator works;

The hardware and software emulation or so-called complete platform virtualization is possible because of Quick Emulator (QEMU).

QEMU is the shorthand for Quick EMUlator. It is an open-source and incredibly also a versatile tool that runs in a large variety of host devices together with emulating a larger range of guest’s Operating System (OS) or Central Processing Unit (CPU).

To mimic a guest device, it translates the Application Binary Interface (ABI) of its guest device’s hardware to match with your computer (host).

However, the translation of CPU architecture is a bit complex and time consuming which causes the emulation painfully slow. Thankfully, the user can avoid this problem if the CPU of both guest and host device is the same as the support of hypervisor.

Hypervisor (or the virtual machine monitor) is computer software that creates and runs the virtual machine. The hypervisor presents the guest operating system with a virtual opening platform and manages the execution of the operating systems of a guest device. When both host and guest as the same architecture (for example, x86 Android system and x86 Intel processor), QEMU will skip the binary translation and will proceed on running the guest device directly on the host CPU. These functions defines what is “hardware-assisted virtualization.”

Now that you know how Android emulators work, the next one might be running on your mind right now;


It is always safe to use an Android emulator; provided by Android Software Development Kit (Android SDK) or a custom-built emulator from Android Open Source Project (AOSP).

The Android Software Development Kit or Android SDK is a set of development tools used to developed software applications for the Android platform. It includes the debugger, Sample source code, relevant documentation for Android application program interfaces (APIs), required libraries, and even a guide for the Android OS. The development platforms that are compatible with the Android emulator include operating systems like Windows XP and above, Linux (any recent Linux distribution and MAC OS X (10.4.9 and above).

On the other hand, the Android Open Source Project or the AOSP is the basis of all Android operating system variants that we know. It is an open-source operating system project maintained by Google.

However, you must consider your personal computer’s specifications and status first before installing one especially if you’re going to install third-party emulators. Filling personal information on these third-party emulators without bad checking might cause bad results in the end.

You can also try reading some reviews about the specific emulator so you would know its capabilities and limitations.

As it was cleared that Android emulators don’t harm your computer, it is still your choice if you’re going to download an Android emulator.

5 Reasons Why to Use Android Emulator

Android emulators are a big help for people out there whether an app developer or not. To clarify these, here are the five reasons why to use Android emulator.

1. You can use android apps on your PC.

Lots of new smartphones are being developed as well as great apps to satisfy the entertainment of the people. Nevertheless, there are some heavy software applications such as games that can’t be downloaded. Android emulators allow the user to have access key of android apps and use it like you’re using a typical phone.

Some Android emulators grants access and made for Android software app developers to access, test and modify their applications for smartphones through emulators.

2. Gives extended battery life.

Nothing beats the cloud nine moments when sweet victory is almost coming to your game until it is game over for your battery.

Mobile batteries are yet not enough and let us not to have fun for a long time, leaving you with limitations. With Android emulator, you don’t have to worry about this, thus you can play android games and access software applications you wanted freely without battery limitations.

3. Provides a larger screen and better controls.

Some graphics aren’t recognizable when you’re playing through the mobile phone because of its size, and sometimes your phone lags if your game has a higher resolution and specs right? Android emulator gives you better access to the game and increases the precision when clicking in games.

It also gives you better controls especially on game apps as you used your computer features to control it.

4. You can open multiple apps or game accounts at the same time.

Our mobile phone allows us to run many apps in the background but we can only access one app at a time.

Some android emulators permit us to use multiples apps at the same time wherein we can watch a video, play games and talk to a friend altogether depending what your Android emulator to offer you

5. Computers offer more storage than a mobile phone.

There are mobile applications that demand larger storages that can’t fit in with your mobile space and once installation occurs lag with the system may happen, with the use of an Android emulator, we can enjoy those applications without bothering the lags because computers have larger storage capacity than mobile phones.


1. BlueStacks

BlueStacks is one of the best Android emulators for PC; it is compatible with any kind of Windows hardware, either Intel or AMD. After a lot of development, the current BlueStacks is based on Android Nougat 7.1.2. They claim that it became six times faster than a regular smartphone. Moreover, the factor that gives BlueStacks a picture-perfect Android emulator for PC, it has brought the Galaxy Store on its platform. Despite that, if you use an old computer with a weak CPU and has a smaller size of RAM, it is not advisable to install Bluestacks because it uses a lot of storage when you’re using Android phone apps. It offers the best features like multi-instance and key-mapping, also, it is free to download.
Download: Free

2. LD Player

LD Player is an Android emulator for gamers made by Chinese developers. It operates in Android Nougat and can smoothly run on AMD or Intel-based Windows PC. As of now there isn’t any malware detected so it is safe to use. LD Player offers the usual batch of gamer-oriented features such as multi-instance, key-mapping, graphical support, and high frame per second.
Download: Free

3. MEMu App Player

MEMu App Player is one of the new Android emulators it can run on either AMD or Intel-based Windows PC. The current MEMu offers high FPS, key-mapping, multi-instance, and flexible customization. MEMu allows you to share files between Windows and Android.

It can grant you run multiple instances of apps and Android versions like you can have three different windows for three different Android.

It can run in Android Nougat, Lollipop, Kitkat, and Jelly Bean and it is compatible with Windows 7 to Windows 10.
Download: Free

4. Gameloop

Gameloop, formerly Tencent Gaming Buddy, is an Android emulator that runs in Android Nougat 7.1 and specially developed for gamers. It is congenial with a lot of Android games such as Free Fire and Call of Duty. Also, it can support smooth play on low-profile computers. Gameloop is not suitable for business and office applications but it serves as a fine emulator for easy access to Android games. This software offers better gameplay optimizations that help in installing games and controls easily.
Download: Free

5. Nox Player

If you are looking for an Android emulator that offers a lot of features to support Android simulation, you should try Nox Player. It became a hit before as the bestselling Android emulator throughout Asia. The current Nox Player can run multiple Android versions up to Android Nougat 7.1 with the use of its Multiple-Drive feature. This Android emulator offers a user-friendly interface, gameplay optimizations and it supports a wide range of Android gaming controls. It doesn’t use too much RAM or CPU and it is downloadable for free

It is based on Android Lollipop 5.1.1 but still can run multiple Android versions such as Nougat by its Multi Drive feature. And another important thing about Nox Player is you can get root access by enabling a toggle in the settings and voila! – You’re all set and rooted.
Download: Free

6. Remix OS Player

The factor of why Remix OS Player is in the list because of its stability wherein aside from Windows, it is completely compatible with MAC and other builds. It has lots of features to offer such as the Google Play Support, manual settings for signal strength, battery, network type, location, and even gamer specific features along with a customizable toolbar. However, keep in mind that Remix OS Player is no longer open for development, but you can still use it to sing the older builds which are based on Marshmallow.
Download: Free

7. Genymotion

Are you an Android developer looking for ways to virtually test out your Android apps in a Windows environment? Then Genymotion is the one you need. Aside from having the accessibility to download Google Play Store and other Google Apps, it lets you test your software applications on a variety of devices even you don’t own them. You can also customize the device and versions of android can help you fit your needs. Nevertheless, it not suitable for consuming purposes like downloading heavy application games like PUBG or Call of Duty. Most of its feature is available in Windows itself and on the cloud.
Download: Free with paid options

8. Android Studio’s Emulator

It is a default development console for Android. It has a bunch of tools to help develop and improve software applications specifically games for Android. Just like Genymotion, it’s not recommended for consumer-level use due for the complicated setup that takes time to be completed may put the non-developers in pain while developers are in the opposite. Also, it supports Kotlin if the developer wants to try it out.
Download: Free

9. Phoenix OS

It is a kind of newer android emulator for Windows that boasts a gamer experience. Also, it boasts a desktop-like experience so it is pretty good for the productivity of the user as well. It has the accessibility to open Google Play Store which means you can get the apps and games found in the Play Store. The Phoenix OS also runs Android 7.1 which is relatively modern for an Android emulator. You can download this emulator from its official website and its forums are housed on XDA-Developers.
Download: Free

10. Prime OS

It is a kind of a standout in the Android Emulating world but yet it is not an “emulator.” You can download Prime OS as a partition on your computer and it boots up running a native Android. Just like the others, it is an Android emulator that focuses on gamers’ experience even though you can use it for productivity purposes if you want to. It grants the accessibility for mouse and keyboard support, gaming center, and interestingly the access to almost Android apps and games. It works as a Chrome OS with no chrome parts, it allows you to multitask like watching videos and play games depending on your choices.
Download: Free

Frequently Asked Questions

Why my Android emulator is very slow?

The main reason for this is your emulator that emulates the CPU, GPU, and ARM of your guest device.

Here are the tips that may help you to speed up your Android emulator;

  1. Run an Older Version of Android – Some emulators can carry bigger and newest Android versions but some of it we’re not. If you possess an emulator that has a low performance and speed, we recommend you take a look at the Android Platform Version Dashboard and go back to older versions. Yet, newer Android versions may have more features but for other emulators, may result on the contrary.
  2. Copy the OPENGLES libraries – After starting an emulator with host GPU enabled, you may have encountered “Could not load OPENGLES emulation library.” If you’re experiencing this kind of problem, this tip might help you. Simply copy lib*.*from C:\Users\Public\Documents\RAD Studio\12.0\PlatformSDKs\adt-bundle-windows-x86-20130522\sdk\tools\lib up one folder to C:\Users\Public\Documents\RAD Studio\12.0\PlatformSDKs\adt-bundle-windows-x86-20130522\sdk\tools (this is assuming example if you are using the Android tools installed by RAD Studio. Adjust your paths as necessary). Relaunch the emulator and the error should go away, and your emulator should be faster. There is another way that works through updating path information, but these copying files seems more efficient and easy.
  3. Use Host GPU – There is an option when creating an Android Emulator Instance or the Android Virtual Machine; use the actual GPU of the host device instead of emulating it on software. As a result, it grants you a large performance boost for your respective Android Emulator.

My Android emulator failed to start, why won’t it run?

There are some reported problems wherein their Android emulators didn’t work on computers. To avoid this problem, make sure you have at least 2 GB free disk space before you install it. Insufficient disk space may lead to a program crash or lag once the Android emulator starts running or your PC.

Can you perform multitasking using Android Emulators?

It depends on what kind of Android Emulator you will use and what are the purposes to use for. Emulators like MEMu and Nox have made the niche easy for you. However, multitasking can be quite heavy on your computer’s resources, so make sure your computer has enough power to run multiple apps simultaneously.


Overall, the Android emulator was proven to offer its user big possibilities to improve their productivity and especially the gaming experience. Android emulator is;

  • an Android Virtual Device (AVD) that creates a virtual Android device program on your computer.
  • It assures you that there is no absolute threat to give once you installed a certified program.
  • It can double the quality of processing power, resolution, and battery life usage of the Android interface than the guest device and also lets you enjoy your game apps for the better gaming experience.
  • There is a lot of emulators to pick depending on what you need.
  • Emulators nowadays are based on Android Nougat.

Of all things, it always has different limitations, yet shows out of the mind features. Proper knowledge about these things is very important if you want to get relief of sigh instead of more frustrations. Now get your own Android emulator, install one, and have fun!

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