There are a lot of valid reasons why someone would want to run Android emulators on their PC. App developers might be trying to test their app before shipping it. 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 a PC is possible. Here are the best Android emulators for PC and Mac in 2021.
AMIDuOS is the first on our list and it is a relatively new Android emulator for PC. This one comes in two flavors: Lollipop and Jelly Bean. Aside from the type of version, the only other difference between the two is Jelly Bean costs $ 10 while Lollipop costs $ 15. The good news is that these are one-time charges. AMIDuOS works great for several purposes. Most of its features are for productivity rather than gaming. This makes it a good option for office use, homework, and similar tasks. There are no specific gaming features, but the games work pretty well. Developers could use it for basic testing, but it won’t be good for advanced stuff. It’s good overall and worth a chance.
Android Studio is the Google-approved development IDE for Android. It comes with a bunch of tools to help developers make apps and games specifically for Android. Ultimately, there is also a built-in emulator that you can use to test your app or game. Obviously, that’s not good for consumer products. However, these developing applications already have a powerful (and free) tool at their disposal to help test their applications. It’s a pain in the neck to set up. It’s not too bad once you do, however.
ARChon is not a traditional emulator. You install it in Google Chrome. It then gives Chrome the ability to run Android apps. It is not an easy to use emulator. You will need to install the stuff on Chrome. From there, you need to get APK files and load them. As an add-on, you may need to use a tool to modify the APK to make it compatible. We have the basic button instructions above. This 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.
Bliss is something a little different. It works as an Android emulator for PC through a virtual machine. However, it can also run flat on your computer via USB stick. This is definitely a power user option and not recommended for the less tech savvy. As a VM installation, the process is quite simple, so tedious. The USB installation method is even more complicated, but it allows your computer to run Android if your system is compatible. Of course, it works really well if your system is compatible and it’s a bit of a crapshoot right now. The system runs on Android Oreo, which is a step forward even compared to Bluestacks’ Nougat. It’s a bit of a diamond in the rough, but again we only recommend this one to the tech savvy.
Bluestacks is the most common of all Android emulators. There are several reasons for this. For starters, it’s compatible with Windows and Mac. The most recent Bluestacks, dubbed Bluestacks 3, were released in 2017. It’s not the cleanest experience. However, it has the ability to launch multiple instances so that you can play multiple games at once. It also includes keymapping and settings for many installed games. This should help make things a lot easier. It’s still a bit bloated compared to something like Andy or Remix. However, those who want to play should probably start here. Those looking for productivity might want something lighter. Recent updates put Bluestacks on Android Nougat. This makes Bluestacks the newest Android emulator currently available on PC.
Droid4X has had its ups and downs, however, it is one of the classic Android emulators for PC. It has a simple design which should be easy to use for most people. It sells to gamers and supports simple and casual games. However, like most Android emulators for PC, you can do some productivity stuff if you want to. We’re not quite sure if Droid4X is still active, but their download page is. Thus, we recommend that you exercise caution as this could be a buggy and unstable product. Droid4x is also compatible with Mac. Finding the installer for this is a bit difficult, however.
This Android emulator is primarily intended for developers. It allows you to test your apps on a variety of devices without owning them. You can configure the emulator for a variety of devices with different versions of Android to meet your needs. For example, you can run a Nexus One with Android 4.2 or a Nexus 6 with Android 6.0. You can easily switch between “devices” at will. It’s not great for consumer use, but Genymotion offers its services free for personal use.
KoPlayer is a new Android emulator for PC. He also managed to fly under most radars until recently. Its main focus is for games. You can use keymapping to emulate a controller with your keyboard. Players will also be able to save the game and download it wherever they want. The installation process is quite easy and it seems to work. Like most emulators, there are some issues that you will come across at random. It bills itself as a mid-road emulator. You will be able to use it for a variety of things. The only downside is that it’s still buggy. Nevertheless, it is a good free option.
MEmu is another of the Android emulators for PC. One of its main features is support for AMD and Intel chipsets. It’s rarer than you might think. Also, it supports Android Jelly Bean, Kit Kat, and Lollipop. You can even run multiple instances at once. This makes it one of the few emulators that goes as high as Lollipop. Like many, you can use it for just about anything you want. It will support most games and most applications. However, we recommend it primarily for productivity. It’s free to download and use if you want.
Nox is another Android emulator for PC for gamers. This includes utilities and add-ons specifically designed to aid gamers. You will be able to do things like gaming with a real controller. This includes things like the ability to assign “swipe right” to, say, an arrow key and simulate actual gesture movements right on your keyboard or joystick if you have one. It’s a lot of fun and seems to work pretty well most of the time. It’s also completely free. Pay no attention to the lag in the video below. The emulator does not hang around like that.
To read also: The best emulators for Android
If we missed any of the best Android emulators for PC, tell us about them in the comments.