What are the best Nintendo 3DS emulators?

asked by Anonymous
80 contributors
10 solutions
  1. 16

    #1AseDS

    AseDS
    AseDS is a free Nintendo DS emulator that lets you play your favorite DS games on any Android device. In addition to this, it emulates dual touchscreen interface and supports wireless controllers and device microphones.
    Apps

    Android

    Free

    James Medina
    Written on May 3, 2017
    "Are you missing your old Nintendo 3DS games, or just don't want to carry around a gaming system with you all the time? AseDS allows you to play your Nintendo 3DS games wherever you are, from your smartphone. While the controls need a little help, it's a great tool for anyone who wants to game on the go."
  2. 13

    #2DraStic

    DraStic
    DraStic is one of the most popular and fastest Nintendo DS emulator for Android. It allows you to play Nintendo DS games full speed on Android devices while enhancing the game's 3D graphics to 2 by 2 times their original resolution.
    Apps

    Android

    $4.99

    Jason Brooks
    Written on January 24, 2017
    "I'm super frustrated. I searched for nintendo 3DS emulator, but the playstore took me to the DS emulation software. This things does not work for 3DS at all. I tried loading on pokemon X and it just errors out. A complete waste of time."
  3. 9

    #3RetroArch

    RetroArch

    RetroArch is a free emulator that makes use of a powerful development interface called Libretro to make it compatible with PlayStation, Game Boy, SNES, and Nintendo DS. It requires users to download some programs called 'cores' from within the app.  

    Apps

    Android, Windows, Mac, iOS

    Free

    Eugene Hunter
    Written on April 29, 2017
    "I find this app to be really useful, especially for sharing zip files with other people. The app's music seems a bit blurry and the audio is terrible, but I think this app for gamers would be useful. The games and platforms available look okay so far as what I saw from the app's store video."

WHAT’S THE MEANING?

An emulator is a device or a software program that allows a computer system to behave like another computer system. Using an emulator, software can be run, and peripheral devices can be used without using the computer system they are specifically programmed and designed for. Emulators are popularly used in video games, as they allow players to play games without having to use the particular console it is made for.

DID YOU KNOW?

Did you know that Nintendo was so disappointed with the sales of the Nintendo 3DS that the executives offered to take a pay cut to make up for the company’s losses? Only after Nintendo offered 10 free NES games and 10 free GBA games to people who bought the game for its original price did sales started picking up. Since its release in 2011 up to 2018, Nintendo has sold over 72.52 million units of the handheld game console.

The name “3DS” is a play on words. The console succeeded the Nintendo DS, which stood for ‘dual screen.’ Thus, when the 3DS was developed with stereoscopic 3D capabilities, the name was changed to 3DS. All in all, there are six consoles in the 3DS family: the original 3DS and it’s XL variant, the Nintendo 2DS, which is an entry-level version of the console, and its XL variant, and the New Nintendo 3DS and its XL variant.

  1. 7

    #4NDS Boy!

    NDS Boy!
    NDS Boy! is a Nintendo DS emulator aimed to run Nintendo DS games on any Android device. You can get it free, it only requires you to have a high-end device (2G RAM, quad-core CPU or higher).
    Apps

    Android

    Free

    George Silva
    Written on March 2, 2017
    "Besides random crashes, this is one of the best Nintendo DS emulators I have seen for a mobile device. This device supports all NDS game file (.nds, .zip, .7z, .rar) and runs smoothly. It takes a little getting used to if you've never used an emulator and know how to pull up games (not as easy as blowing into the cartridge and plugging in, but loads a lot quicker! ;) Great app, great emulator! "
  2. 7

    #5nds4droid

    nds4droid
    nds4droid is a free Nintendo DS emulator, that allows you to play Nintento DS games on Android devices. It offers many features like saving states and supporting the OUYA game console.
    Apps

    Android

    Free

    Christopher Meyer
    Written on October 3, 2017
    "nds4droid is a great emulator to play nintendo 3ds on your android phone. That being said the tech can somewhat get buggy depending on your phone which makes the process overall sometimes annoying."
  3. 6

    #6No$GBA

    No$GBA
    No$GBA is a free Nintendo DS / DS Lite and GameBoy Advance emulator for Windows XP, Windows VISTA and MS-DOS. No$GBA supports multiplayer and is able to load multiple NDS ROM files for linking games.
    Software

    Windows

    Free

    Jerry Hughes
    Written on April 30, 2017
    "I've been searching for a Nintendo 3DS emulator for a while now. I know there are a few options out there but I really wanted one that felt natural using. No$GBA does a flawless job at emulating the dual screens and when maxed windowed really does feel like playing on a computer version of a 3DS."
  4. 5

    #7NeonDS

    NeonDS
    NeonDS is a free NintendoDS emulator that lets you play Nintendo DS games on any of the platforms of Windows. This emulator is able to run many commercial games. Thanks to its friendly interface you can easily play and use it.
    Software

    Windows

    Free

    Ann Zhao
    Written on October 3, 2017
    "NeonDS is an emulator that lets you play Nintendo DS games on any platform of Windows. This emulator however does not work with 3DS games and is very limited. It does have a friendly and easy interface but overall is quite limited."
  5. 4

    #8DeSmuME

    DeSmuME
    DeSmuME is a free Nintendo Emulator for Windows that lets you run some commercial games on your PC. DeSmuME depends on the Visual C++ 2010 Runtime DLLs, which users can download from DeSmuME's website.
    Software

    Windows

    Free

    Gregory Franklin
    Written on October 3, 2017
    "DeSmuME is a pretty good 3DS emulator, but it is not without issues, some of which are simply endemic to emulators in general. The effectiveness of the emulator itself depends a lot on the quality of the game being emulated and the particular version of it you download. The emulator also kind of lags and takes up a lot of resources, even on a newer machine."
  6. 2

    #9Citra 3Ds Emulator

    Citra 3Ds Emulator
    Citra is an open source Nintendo DS emulator that allows users to access Nintendo 3DS games on their PC. Citra is actively tested and supported on various 64-bit version of Windows (7 and up), Linux and macOS.
    Software

    Windows

    Free

    Timothy Howard
    Written on February 10, 2017
    "I had a hankering to play some 3ds games but lacked an actual 3Ds. I found this emulator and was able to get going in minutes. It looks great and is very fast!"
  7. 1

    #10iDeaS

    iDeaS
    iDeaS is one of the most popular Nintendo Emulator with OpenGL, being able to tun a great variety of commercial games. User can download this emulator with no cost.
    Software

    Windows

    Free

    Phillip Parker
    Written on January 27, 2017
    "I was searching for Nintendo 3DS emulators. While this solution does provide an option for this problem I was hoping to find one which would work on MacOs X as opposed to Windows. As this emulator does work with OpenGL I am a bit disappointed that a version is not available for Os X since OpenGL is fully supported on this operating system."

Summary

Best What are the best Nintendo 3DS emulators
RankSolutionsTypeVotesPrice
1AseDSApps 16 Free
2DraSticApps 13 Paid
3RetroArchApps 9 Free
4NDS Boy!Apps 7 Free
5nds4droidApps 7 Free
6No$GBASoftware 6 Free
7NeonDSSoftware 5 Free
8DeSmuMESoftware 4 Free
9Citra 3Ds EmulatorSoftware 2 Free
10iDeaSSoftware 1 Free
Close

This action requires you to be logged in

Quickly sign in with your social media account:

What interests you most? (Select at least 3)

This will help us to keep things fresh and relevant!

Close

Now that you’ve found a solution...

Why not join our community of sharp minds and pro-active posters?

Be part of a rewarding interactive knowledge exchange!
Close

Join These Inquisitive Minds

Engage, learn and share with a friendly community versed in a massive range of trending topics.