Top 7 Best Android Emulators
In case you actually wish to run an Android app or games on any of your Windows PC, there isn’t any type of shortage of different emulators on the market in the present time. For those people who are actually wondering, there are a multitude of reasons why you may actually wish to use the best Android emulator on the Windows PC. For example, Android developers can easily debug any of their apps right from their desktop, gamers can easily enjoy any of the Android-specific games on a much larger screen, and the list of reasons is too long.
As we see a lot of benefits of using different Android emulators, it might actually be quite tempting to try one. However, the problem with these emulators is that a lot of these emulators are quite finicky and even tend not actually to work as they have been advertised. Here, we have mentioned some of the best Android emulators for Windows.
1. Remix OS Player
It is actually an operating system which is based on the Android x86 project. Whenever you install this emulator on the Mac or Windows, there is a quite simpler way to experience this emulator without actually going through different types of hassles of installing this emulator. Remis OX Player is the best Android emulator which is free of cost for Windows, and it is actually based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Also, before you install it, you should note that it doesn’t even provide support for few of the AMD chipsets and even require much popular Virtualization Technology enabled in the BIOS. The very first time you even run this emulator, you will be greeted with an appealing interface which a complete taskbar on the bottom along with a shortcut button in order to access all of the installed apps. The Remix Central app provides the recommendations of most trending apps as well as games that you can download. It also supports Google Play Store which means you can easily download any app or games without any extra setup.
Its team acknowledges that there are few things gratifying about the button mashing during the gaming which sometimes doesn’t allow you to get from the touch screen and hence they are a heavily optimized emulator for gaming. Also, you can even map keyboard buttons and even manage multiple games at the same time on the one particular screen. There are different under-the-hood improvements in order to improve the gameplay. In case you are developers, you are essentially covered. You can easily set signal strength manually along with network type, battery, location and different other things that can help in debugging the Android application. It is a solid Android emulator and might be the only one that runs Marshmallow which is a relatively latest version of Android.
It is a high-performance best Android emulator for the Windows which is based on Android Lollipop. However, it does come with preinstalled Android Jellybean 4.2, and the upgrading to Lollipop needs downloading of the additional packages. It is quite compatible with Nvidia, Intel-powered Windows PC and unlike the Remix OS player, it is quite compatible with the AMD chipsets. The first time you actually open it, you are greeted with quite an ancient older Android version with the main menu duly tucked in the right-hand sidebar. It also comes with pre-loaded with the famed Google Play Store such that you can easily browse and even download Android apps and games as per your desire. Also, it associates itself with various APK files on the Windows such that you can easily open the APK file from any place and it will essentially open and run in MEmu automatically. In case you wish to discover any cool Android apps, you can even have MEmu push the right app away to the phone through a USB cable. It also provides support to keyboard mapping such that you can easily assign different keys in order to simulate touch in particular areas of the screen. Other than this particular feature, it also supports screenshot tool, full-screen mode, a handy and useful “kill process” tool along with screen record and many additional features. It also features operation record tool such that you can easily record certain types of touch-screen actions and even replay it any time and hence automate the tasks on the fly. It has flawless pointer along with keyboard integration. Also, it ships with the older version of Android. You can even upgrade to Android 5.0 Lollipop which is still 2 years old. In case you can afford to compromise on some of the amazing features that Android Nougat has, MEmu is among the best capable Android emulators.
3. Nox Player
It is another best Android emulator for Windows which is based on Android 4.4 KitKat which boasts about leading performance as well as advanced features. It ticks almost all of the correct boxes when it actually comes down to the variety of features, so it is quite possible that few of them find the interface a bit overwhelming at the first instant. However, after spending some time, you will certainly love it. In the settings section, you can even change the CPU cores numbers, FPS or even the amount of RAM that you wish to allocate to the Nox. In case you face compatibility problems with a few of the games, you can easily switch between different graphics rendering modes that are OpenGL and DirectX.
It also comes with inbuilt support of the popular Google Play Store, and you can even drag and drop the APKs to this player in order to install them. There is also a simulate touch feature that is a particular name for keyboard mapping, and it helps in playing games. The script record feature allows you to record different specific events on the screen and then replay them later. It can easily be quite useful whenever you require an action on Android to be automated which would otherwise become quite monotonous in order to perform manually. It also comes with quite a rooted version of the Android that is out-of-the-box. Also, its multiplayer feature allows you to run different instances of Android simultaneously.
BlueStacks is essentially based on the Android 4.4 KitKat, and it has been the early pioneers of the entire Android to PC domain. However, it has become quite bloated, and the competition has managed to catch up with this emulator. Still, it is the best Android emulator, and this particular list will be incomplete without actually mentioning BlueStacks. It does come with Google Play Store pre-installed that provides you with access to nearly 2 million Android games and apps. Installing APKs is quite easy too. It also comes with different features that aren’t offered by its other competitors. The first one is the inherent ability to live-stream to the Twitch such that you can easily show-off the game playing skills of yours to your different followers. The second feature is that you can even live-stream to Facebook through BlueStacks TV. Other than these features, it provides support to multitasking, similar to an Android phone. Its first version is marred with ads and nags constantly with installed sponsored ads. So, it is better to go for the premium version that provides ad-free experience along with priority support.
It is also called DuOS which is another best Android emulator that is developed by Georgia based company called Megatrends. Before you install it, you need to ensure that the inherent Virtualization Technology is duly enabled in the BIOS and you certainly have the required Microsoft .NET framework 4.0 or even above. DuOS is actually based on Android 5.1 Lollipop, and due to few reasons, there is one option to download the Android’s Jellybean-based version. One of the significant thing that you should know that it actually doesn’t come with Google Play Store and it ships with the Amazon App Store. The offering from Amazon is nowhere close to the Play Store when it comes down to apps as well as games offered. But it shouldn’t actually be much of a problem as it allows you to install different APKs in the DuOS. Also, you can just simply right click on the given APK in the Windows, and it will provide you with an option to install the APK directly into the DuOS easily. In the case of hardware, it provides support to gamepads as well as external hardware GPS. The different configuration tools allow you to easily set the amount of the RAM, DPI and frames per second, manually. One of the major feature worth mentioning is the ability to run in the root mode. It essentially means that you can have baked in root user privilege and even run all types of great root apps for the Android. There isn’t any keyboard mapping feature, that makes it difficult to play games unless you attach an external gamepad.
It is a powerful and best Android emulator that was duly acquired by Google and was finally shut down. However, even after the discontinuation, it still manages to remain as one of the best and most robust Android emulators in the market. It is actually based on famous Android 4.4 KitKat, and it does come with all of the AOSP games such as music, browser, camera etc. Its home screen provides shortcuts to easily download popular game titles like Pokemon Go and Clash of Clans. It does come with complete support for Google Play Store, and you can easily get Android apps and games without any hassle. You can even install APKs directly from the PC if you wish to. Along with this, it also comes with a complete screen mode support as well as screenshot tools along with the option to choose the right graphics rendering modes between DirectX or OpenGL. It also provides support to keyboard mapping such that you can easily play games with convenience with different keyboard shortcuts rather than having to fiddle around awkwardly with the mouse pointer. Also, you can even set gesture details and even simulate pinch zoom utilizing the scroll wheel of the mouse.
It has emerged as a particularly great alternative to the default emulator of Android Studio and emerged as the best Android emulator. It is also intended to be used for development purposes, and it can easily be used for personal use also. Before you download it, ensure that you have duly enabled the Virtualization Technology in the BIOS and you also have the latest version of VirtualBox duly installed. Also, you have to sign up for a particular account before you can even start using it. One of the major benefits of this emulator is that it allows you to select any type of Android phone to simulate and even choose to install different Android version, right from Android 4.4 KitKat to the latest Android 7.0 Nougat. Its free version comes with extensive support for setting GPS coordinates manually along with battery level and even camera. Its premium version even unlocks a wide range of features like remote controlling and screen-casting of Genymotion using an actual smartphone. It does have plugins for the IntelliJ IDEA, Android Studio and Eclipse in order to assist the developer to easily test different apps directly within the IDE or Integrated Development Environment. It doesn’t actually come with the Google Play Store by default, and you have to install GApps manually. It offers a cloud-based online emulator that you can easily try in your browser even though you need to contact them and also make a request for getting private access.
Different Android Emulators For Windows
There are certain Android emulators that you can try which aren’t mentioned in this list. Some of them are AndyOS, Droid4X and KoPlayer. They aren’t included as it is hard to get them to work on the machine that we have used and have faced a lot of troubles. In case you wish to try any other Android emulator than the one mentioned in the list, you can try these ones. Also, there is an official Android emulator which comes bundled with the default Android Studio. It is actually built from the ground-up majorly for the developmental purposes and may not be the best choice of you if you are looking to run Android apps or games on your PC.
Hence, this is the exhaustive list of best Android emulators that you can easily use to run different Android apps on the Windows PC of yours. Whether you are a developer that is looking to test different Android apps or even a casual user that is looking for a way to play some Android games on Windows PC, you will certainly find these emulators quite useful. In case you wish to know about our recommendation, then we suggest that you try Remix OS Player and MEmu. However, with so many types of great alternatives around, it doesn’t mean you need to pick the ones which we have recommended. You can even try other Android emulators and come to your own conclusion. So, which is the favourite Android emulator for Windows for you? Tell us more about your opinion in the comments section.
Image Credits: Android Emulators from GaudiLab/Shutterstock