15 best Android emulators for PC and Mac of 2021 – Android Authority

There are so much of legitimate the reason why somebody would wish to run Android emulators on their PC. App builders could also be attempting to check their utility earlier than transport it out. Avid gamers could wish to use a mouse and keyboard on their video games. Perhaps you simply need it there to have it. In any case, Android emulation on PC is feasible and it’s so much simpler than it was. Some outdated favorites both left the house or turned unusable in some unspecified time in the future (Andy, AmiduOS, and Leapdroid), however every part else right here ought to work okay for most individuals. Listed here are the best Android emulators for PC and Mac.

It’s additionally price noting that Home windows could permit for Android apps immediately in Home windows 10 beginning in 2021. This might imply huge issues for the Android emulator market.

The best Android emulators for PC and Mac

The three important makes use of for Android emulators

There are three important makes use of for emulators. The primary is the most typical and it’s for gaming. Avid gamers can use emulators on their computer systems to make some video games simpler to play. They don’t should depend on the battery life of their gadgets and the existence of macros and different tips assist the method. Typically, these little tips aren’t unlawful (in most video games) so no one actually has an issue with it. The best Android emulators for gaming embody LDPlayer, Bluestacks, MeMu, KoPlayer, and Nox.

The second commonest use case is improvement. Android app and sport builders like to check apps and video games on as many gadgets a attainable earlier than launch. Thankfully, Android Studio comes with the “Android Digital Gadget” (AVD) which blows all different emulators out of the water in phrases of efficiency and performance. The one disadvantage for non-builders is that it comes with an set up of the house-hungry Android Studio and Android Software program Improvement Equipment (SDK). In fact, that is no downside for builders that have already got all the required software program on their machines.

The ultimate important sort is productiveness. This isn’t practically as frequent as a result of Chromebooks are cheaper and higher for utilizing Android apps on one thing apart from a cellphone and most productiveness instruments are cross-platform. Any gaming emulator works as a productiveness emulator to an extent. Nonetheless, these with hyper-particular use instances and a bit of data can strive ARChon and Bliss. Even so, on this day and age, we advocate going with a Chromebook (with moderately first rate specs) if you wish to run Android apps in a laptop computer or laptop surroundings. It’s higher that manner.

Lastly, a bit of a disclaimer. Presently, no emulators run the newest variations of Android besides for ones made for builders. Fortunately, most apps and video games nonetheless perform on older variations of Android so this shouldn’t be a giant deal. Nonetheless, most emulators proper now run anyplace between Android 7.0 Nougat and Android 9.0 Pie. 


LD Participant

Worth: Free

LDPlayer is a light-weight Android emulator specializing in gaming efficiency. Operating Android Nougat 7.1, it options the standard array of gamer-oriented options, together with good keyboard mapping controls, multi-occasion, macros, excessive FPS, and graphical help. It helps a variety of video games, together with Epic Seven, Conflict of Clans, Arknights, and many others. That is one of the few emulators on the listing that will get energetic updates to enhance compatibility. Within the newest variations, LDPlayer has optimized the smoothness of Free Fireplace & Cell Legends and mounted the system restriction on Moonlight Sculptor. Apart from that, LDPlayer can also be a nicely-rounded emulator for utilizing TikTok, Instagram, WhatsApp, and extra.


Worth: Free / $2 monthly

Bluestacks is essentially the most mainstream of all Android emulators. There are a number of causes for that. For starters, it’s appropriate with Home windows and Mac. It was additionally one of the primary that labored rather well that also will get common updates. The emulator targets cell players. There’s a stigma with Bluestacks as a result of it will probably really feel a bit of bloated at instances. The corporate launched Bluestacks 5 in 2021, a complete re-write to assist get rid of that sluggishness. It additionally consists of key-mapping and settings for many video games put in. That ought to assist make issues a lot simpler. It’s one of the heaviest emulators on the listing. Nonetheless, it additionally has essentially the most options for higher or for worse. Bluestacks additionally made the MSI App Participant, one other glorious emulator that some imagine works higher than vanilla Bluestacks. You’ll be able to strive both one, they’re each by Bluestacks.

Android Studio emulator

Worth: Free

Android Studio is the default improvement console (built-in improvement surroundings, or IDE) for Android. It comes with a bunch of instruments to assist builders make apps and video games particularly for Android. Because it seems, there may be additionally a constructed-in emulator that you need to use to check out your app or sport. The setup is relatively difficult so it gained’t attraction to everybody however it’s by far the quickest and most function-wealthy choice on this listing. You’ll be able to run vanilla Android, obtain apps from the Google Play Retailer as you usually would, add customized launchers and keyboards, and emulate any dimension or kind-issue system. You’ll be able to even check out foldable gadgets!


Worth: Free

ARChon - best android emulators for every platform
ARChon isn’t a standard emulator. You put in it as a Google Chrome extension. It then offers Chrome the power to run Android apps and video games (albeit with restricted help). It’s not a simple emulator to get working. You’ll have to put in the factor to Chrome. From there, you need to get hold of APKs and load them in. As an added rub, chances are you’ll want to make use of a device to vary the APK as a way to make it appropriate. There are much more steps to make this work than most different Android emulators for PC. On the plus facet, although, it really works with any working system that may run an occasion of Chrome (Mac OS, Linux, Home windows, and so forth). We linked to the official GitHub the place you could find detailed directions for its use.

Bliss OS

Worth: Free / Non-obligatory donations

Bliss OS screenshot 2021

Joe Hindy / Android Authority

Bliss is one thing a bit of bit totally different. It really works as an Android emulator for PC through digital machine. Nonetheless, it will probably additionally simply flat run in your laptop by way of a USB stick. The boot-from-USB choice is unquestionably an influence person choice and not really useful for much less intense use instances. As a VM set up, the method is straightforward, however tedious should you’ve by no means made your personal digital machine earlier than. The USB set up technique is much more difficult, but it surely lets your laptop really run Android natively from boot. We don’t advocate this one for the feint of coronary heart. That makes Bliss an excellent distinctive emulator if you may make it by way of the steps to the top. In fact, it solely actually runs nicely in case your system is appropriate so be ready with a backup of your present working system. The system runs Android Oreo and that’s among the many newer variations of Android provided on an emulator. It’s also possible to discover extra information about this on its XDA-Builders thread right here.

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Worth: Free

gameloop screenshot
GameLoop, previously generally known as Tencent Gaming Buddy, is an Android emulator for players. Actually, it’s adequate that Tencent calls it the official emulator for its video games, together with Name of Obligation: Cell and PUBG Cell. In fact, it options different video games except for Tencent’s, though its assortment isn’t as huge because it could possibly be. The emulator downloaded and put in superb and the video games we examined ran simply superb. This one will not be good for productiveness or developmental testing. Nonetheless, when you have an itch for cell FPS gaming together with some titles, that is really a reasonably first rate gaming emulator and it boasts assortment of newer titles. Plus, the keyboard controls and efficiency is sweet. 


Worth: Free with paid choices

This Android emulator is generally for builders. It enables you to check your apps on a range of gadgets with out proudly owning them. You’ll be able to configure the emulator for a range of gadgets with varied variations of Android to assist fit your wants. As an illustration, you’ll be able to run a Nexus One with Android 4.2 or a Nexus 6 with Android 6.0. You’ll be able to simply swap between digital gadgets at will. It’s not nice for client makes use of, however Genymotion does provide their companies for free for private use. It’s most helpful function is its availability on each your desktop laptop and the cloud. These with out highly effective computer systems could make Genymotion’s servers do all of the work for them.

MeMU emulator

Worth: Free / $2.99 monthly / $29.98 per 12 months

MeMU emulator screenshot 2021

Joe Hindy / Android Authority

MEmu is one other glorious Android emulator that appears to do fairly nicely with players. One of its largest options is help for each AMD and Intel chipsets. Most work on AMD processors, but it surely’s good to see builders particularly take note of AMD’s platform. Moreover, it helps Android Jelly Bean, Equipment Kat, and Lollipop. You’ll be able to even run a number of cases directly for a number of video games or testing options. It goals itself at players very similar to Bluestacks and related emulators but it surely’s usable as a productiveness device too. The premium model runs for $2.99 monthly and it disables advertisements, provides extra customization choices, and allows premium help choices. The emulator will get updates on a reasonably frequent foundation. You’ll be able to try the newest releases right here if you wish to see the newest from this one.


Worth: Free

NetEase MuMu App Player screenshot

Joe Hindy / Android Authority

NetEase made an really first rate emulator with MuMu. It’s one other gaming emulator with most of the identical options as its rivals. The emulator runs Android 6.0, a bit older than some rivals. That stated, it has a good boot time and sufficient options to warrant consideration. We didn’t have any excellent points utilizing it, but it surely ran nicely and we have been capable of obtain all of the video games we wished to check. MeMU, Bluestacks, and GameLoop variety of surpassed it in phrases of options and all three of these get common updates. Nonetheless, if none of these work, this one in all probability will.


Worth: Free

Nox Player screenshot 2021

Joe Hindy / Android Authority

Nox is one other Android emulator for PC for players. That features the standard stuff like key-mapping together with your keyboard, precise controller help, and even the power to key-map gesture controls. As an illustration, you’ll be able to assign the perform to swipe proper to an arrow key and use that in a sport with out precise {hardware} controller help. It’s so much of enjoyable and appears to work relatively nicely most of the time. It’s additionally fully free and in energetic improvement, a boon on this house.

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Phoenix OS

Worth: Free

Phoenix OS screenshot for the best android emulators for pc list
Phoenix OS is one of the newer Android emulators for PC. Like most nowadays, it boasts a gamer expertise. Nonetheless, it additionally boasts a desktop-like expertise so it really works fairly nicely for productiveness as nicely. It has Google Play Companies, though updating these companies generally is a bit of a ache generally. Meaning you get each app and sport within the Google Play Retailer. Phoenix OS additionally runs Android 7.1 which is comparatively trendy for an Android emulator. You’ll be able to obtain the emulator from its official web site and its boards are housed on XDA-Builders.


Worth: Free

(*15*)PrimeOS - best android emulators for pc
PrimeOS is variety of a standout within the Android emulator house. It’s not really an emulator. You put in this as a partition in your laptop and it boots up working native Android. It’s a gamer-targeted Android expertise, though you’ll be able to completely use this for productiveness should you actually wish to. PrimeOS features a gaming middle, help for mouse and keyboard, and entry to most Android apps and video games. To be frank, it nearly runs like ChromeOS minus all of the Chrome elements. You’ll be able to multitask, watch video content material, or play video games as you select. We haven’t examined this one in-depth but as it’s new in 2019 from an Indian begin-up. We’ll replace the article if we seen something peculiar about it.

Remix OS Participant

Worth: Free

Remix OS Participant by Jide is one of the newer Android emulators for PC (comparatively talking). It runs Android Marshmallow and that’s nonetheless comparatively new in comparison with many of the others on the listing. The set up course of is fairly easy and utilizing it additionally pretty simple. It caters principally to players. There are just a few gamer particular options together with a customizable toolbar. It boasts options like working a number of video games directly. That stated, it’s a reasonably clear emulator so it’s nonetheless completely usable as a productiveness device. The location appears to be down and we’re comparatively sure Remix OS Participant isn’t in energetic improvement anymore. It must be okay for one other 12 months or two earlier than it begins to really feel actually outdated. We’ll exchange it once we discover a good fifteenth choice.


Worth: Free / Enterprise choices

Xamarin is an IDE much like Android Studio. The distinction is that it will probably plug into issues like Microsoft Visible Studio for a good bigger improvement surroundings (for higher or for worse). Additionally, just like the Android Studio, this comes with a constructed-in emulator for app or sport testing. In case it wasn’t readily obvious, we solely advocate this one to builders. The setup is just too tedious for common eat use. Xamarin’s emulator will not be as highly effective as one thing like Genymotion, but it surely’ll get the job accomplished should you intend on utilizing this and it’s additionally configurable for your wants. It’s free for private use. Corporations and bigger groups could have to barter a fee plan.

Make your personal

Worth: Free (often)

Because it seems, you’ll be able to construct your personal emulator. Right here’s the way it works in a nutshell. It’s worthwhile to obtain VirtualBox (linked above). You then should obtain a picture from Android-x86.org. From there, it’s only a matter of discovering one of the numerous guides on-line and following the steps. That is simply one of the harder strategies, however nonetheless not fairly as tedious or troublesome as organising a complete IDE like Android Studio or Xamarin. We don’t advocate you strive with out a tutorial and a bit of prior data. It gained’t work nicely, it’ll be buggy, and except you’re a coder, it’ll be troublesome to repair. Nonetheless, it’ll be yours to customise as you please and who is aware of, perhaps you’ll make and launch an emulator that’ll adorn this listing sometime.

If we missed any of the best Android emulators for PC, inform us about them within the feedback! It’s also possible to click on right here to take a look at our newest Android app and sport lists! Listed here are what occurred to some outdated classics from the listing:

  • Leapdroid was bought by Google and not operates.
  • AMIDuOS closed its doorways formally on March seventh, 2018. You’ll be able to nonetheless strive it out, however you need to browse the official subreddit for obtain hyperlinks.
  • Andy started utilizing some severely not nice improvement ways, together with suspected bitcoin mining with out person permission. We don’t know if it’s from the third get together installer or from the Andy builders so till that entire scenario resolves, we’re maintaining it off of the listing.
  • Droid4x was one of the best choices and its later builds are nonetheless obtainable. Nonetheless, it’s not actively up to date so we eliminated it from the listing.
  • KoPlayer is an impressive Android emulator for players. Nonetheless, the web site seems to be down as of the time of this writing. If it comes again up by the point we replace this piece once more, we’ll gladly add it again to the listing.
  • YouWave, a as soon as widespread choice, has fallen out of favor as a result of it runs a lot older variations of Android than most of its rivals. You’ll be able to nonetheless get it on the hyperlink, but it surely’s not in energetic improvement so it gained’t get any extra updates.
  • Most of the remainder merely haven’t been up to date or in energetic improvement in years and don’t actually work nicely anymore with newer working methods and {hardware}. If we missed any, tell us within the feedback!

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