If you’re an app developer working on Windows, a good emulator can make all the difference. Yes, you can also run your app on Android phone directly, but the android emulator for Windows will give you certain advantages. There are plenty of free emulators available to download, so knowing which is the best android emulator for PC will save you time.
An Android Emulator is a software environment that allows you to run Android apps on simulations of Android devices on your computer. In other words, it eliminates the need for an actual physical Android device. Instead, you can run it on your computer.
You need an emulator that’s specifically compatible with your Operating System whether you have Windows 7 or Windows 10. You can enjoy virtually every Android app or game on your computer screen. Similarly, you don’t have to connect and disconnect an Android phone with your computer. You can simply launch it on the emulator with a single click.
Lags are a big problem with emulators, so you need one without such problems. Sometimes it can also be a fault of your own computer, but having a workable Android emulator will obviously make your life much easier.
Android emulators are also important for android app developers who have to test their apps. Rather than doing so on an Android phone, they can simply run it on an emulator. In fact, many emulators will allow them to debug applications right then and there, saving loads of time.
Depending on the emulator, you may be able to choose from a range of Android devices from different manufacturers. This allows you to experience the app and Android APIs on different devices. It also works for those who may own an iPhone but want to play an Android game or try an Android app.
List of Best Android Emulators
An Android emulator usually provides all the functionalities and features present on the actual physical device. As a result, you’re basically using the same interface, but on your computer. This is why a lot of gamers also use Android emulators on Windows to play their favorite Android games on a large screen.
There can be specific system requirements to meet to be able to run an Android emulator on your computer. For instance, most emulators require a 64-bit processor. Keep in mind these are heavy applications, so you may need to upgrade your computer to allow it to run adequately.
You can find a plethora of Android emulators for PC on the internet, but not all are quality enough to test apps, especially to play Android games on PC. Here’s a list of the best Android emulators for PC that have been tried and tested:
BlueStacks is hands-down one of the best Android emulators for Windows PC. It’s especially great for Android gaming apps as it can power high-definition graphics. If you’re running non-gaming simple apps, then it gets even better. This is a fast, reliable, and an easy to use emulator for running mobile games and developing Android apps that are ready to hit the Google Play store.
BlueStacks is the best android emulator for Windows 10 and first to partner with Samsung and bring Galaxy Store on to the platform for Windows.
The most important feature, from the perspective of both gamers and developers, is its speed. BlueStacks claims it’s six times faster than actual Android devices, and that’s true, at least in comparison with mid to lower range Android phones. You can get a much better and faster gaming experience on the emulator rather than some Android phones.
Other important features in BlueStacks include macros, script, multi-instance, and multi-instance sync. BlueStacks also supports HD graphics and allows real-time translation.
BlueStacks is completely free, and you can download it here.
NoxPlayer is one of those emulators that are well-rounded with features for every type of user. Whether you’re using it for Android games, or you want to run other applications, this is one of the popular Android emulators for PC. The best part is that it has a user-friendly interface, so you would not have trouble setting it up on Windows if you’ve never done this before.
NoxPlayer is the second best Android emulator for Windows 10, and it runs Android Lollipop 5.1.1. It also provides users with full root access, unlike many other emulators.
NoxPlayer offers features such as gameplay optimization, root access, and the ability to change build.prop. It also supports running multiple Android versions, including Nougat. Additionally, it supports script recording, and gamepad.
There are a lot of features for advanced gamers and game developers to truly optimize the Android experience. The graphics are comparable with those on BlueStacks, so you know you’re getting high definition gaming.
NoxPlayer is free for all platforms, and you can download it off their official website.
It took some time for this Android emulator to become popular, but once it did, it took the Android gaming world by storm. With so many features packed in, it’s hard for gamers to resist it. Why? It’s compatible with both Intel and AMD processors, so one can use it for Windows on a wide range of PC.
This is something that makes it stand out among the crowds of Android emulators readily available online. Having 64-bit Windows may not be enough as some other emulators and may not work with AMD processors.
MEmu Player works on Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10, and works with both Intel and AMD processors. It’s also compatible with most graphics cards on the market.
Much like other best Android emulators on this list, MEmu player can also support multiple instances. It also has support for multiple versions of Android. You also have some of the best frame rates, so your games would not lag.
The great thing about the features of this specific emulator is that they are for both general users and gamers. Both types of users can find the essential and extra features to make the user experience of using Android apps on PC so much better.
This emulator also offers flexibility and customization. You can easily configure memory, resolution, root mode, and of course, device and Android version. There’s a bit of a learning curve, but as you use it, you’ll get better at it day by day.
MEmu Player is one of the free Android emulators for PC, which you can download directly from their website.
LDPlayer is another Android emulator that’s best for gaming. If you’re solely looking to enjoy Android games on Windows, LDPlayer should be your choice. It’s one of the latest players in the market but is quickly gaining traction with serious gamers. With the kind of graphics it offers, it’s easier to see why.
It runs on Nougat 7.1.12, which is pretty recent so you can use all the latest Android features. Moreover, it also works great on computers running an AMD processor, in addition to, of course, the traditional Intel processors.
LDPlayer is compatible with Windows 10 with both Intel and AMD processors.
LDPlayer gaming emulator for Android offers all the features you could ask for to have swift gaming experience. This includes custom controls with keyboard and mouse, multi-instance, multi-instance sync, and high FPS. The result of a gaming experience like no other, especially if you’re the kind of gamer who does not compromise on quality and performance.
Your PC’s own resources may also have an impact, but if you’re using a gaming PC, be prepared to have a really fulfilling gaming experience playing your favorite Android. It also features a built-in LD store where you can download many new games and apps.
Another thing that gamers will absolutely love is virtualization technology. It’s also good for using other general apps like Whatsapp, Messenger, or TikTok, so you can communicate and entertain yourself alongside playing games.
LDPlayer is completely free, and you can download almost all of its versions on the official website.
If you’re looking for an Android emulator for developing Android apps, then Android Studio is the best option. It’s the popular emulator that many Android developers use to develop apps. However, Android Studio is probably not the best choice if you just want to run games.
It’s compatible with major Windows versions like Windows 7, Windows 10 and others (64-bit only as 32-bit has been deprecated) with at least 3 GB RAM.
Android Studio offers all the basic features of a real Android device, which is why it’s popular for developing apps. You can dial and receive calls and text messages. You can also emulate hardware functions such as vibrations and rotations.
It also gives you access to the Google Play Store. You can either use it through the regular touch interface of the device or through commands from the console. As for the devices, those are mostly Google Pixel and Nexus. However, it does support running an app on multiple devices at once.
This emulator is free and comes with the Android Studio.
ARChon isn’t the typical Android emulator just like Bluestacks or NoxPlayer but instead, it’s an extension for Chrome browser that allows you to run Android apps on your PC.
All you need to do is install the ARChon Chrome extension, load the APK files of the game you want to play and start using the Android apps on your PC right away! And the best part, it’s not just limited to Windows users but users with Linux or Mac OS on their systems with Chrome browser installed can use ARChon without any hassles.
ARChon Runtime for Chrome is available for free. You can download it on your systems from here.
Bliss OS can be used on your Windows in 2 ways. One is by using Virtual Machine and the other one is by using a bootable USB drive just like you do to install Windows on your PC. That’s probably the best way as it starts Android OS right from the boot.
The design is as good as Android user interface in Bliss OS. It’s smooth to use and along with the customized settings, you can set the screen size as per your desire. Given the speed and stability of the Bliss OS, it can run most of the Android apps and games on your Windows. Moreover, it’s battery friendly when you use it from the boot instead of using via Virtual Machine.
Bliss OS is available for free. However, you can donate a few bucks if you feel like. Download Bliss OS on your Windows here.
Genymotion is not for the gamers who love to play around for a long time but it’s for the developers who love to test Android apps and games on various devices using single emulators.
Be it testing a game on Nexus or Samsung devices, you can do it all at your fingertips without owning those devices. Thanks to the Genymotion emulator that made it possible. Moreover, it’s a cloud based platform that allows you to run Genymotion on various cloud platforms like AWS, GCP, Azure and Alibaba.
Genymotion is available for free (just for personal use). You can download the free version from here. However, to access the cloud based virtual devices, it has different pricing for each.
Just like other Android emulators like Bluestacks, MEmu Player etc, it runs on Android 7.1 that speeds up the emulator. The first beta version of Phoenix OS was launched in 2015 and then after, it never looked back and only kept improving gaming experience.
The user interface is pretty much similar to that of Remix OS Player but the speed at which Phoenix OS runs is commendable. Because it has Google Play Services pre-installed in the emulator, you can run any Android app or game on your Windows PC without any trouble. Most interesting part is, the emulator gets regular updates which always keep it improving.
Phoenix OS is available for free. You can download it on your Windows and even Mac systems from this link.
PrimeOS was launched in 2019 which is relatively new to the Android emulators space. When you launch the emulator using the ISO Image file, it runs as native Android just like your Windows OS as it boots up right from the start! Of course, there’s a Windows installer available too which runs just like other emulators.
Even though it’s an OS type of emulator, the gaming experience is smooth and the desktop experience sums it all. With Google Play Services, it’s possible to play any Android game on your Windows PC using PrimeOS. Moreover, just like other emulators, the keyboard and mouse support is at its best. With this, you can easily play your favorite action games on PC without any worries.
PrimeOS is available in 3 versions, Classic, Standard and Mainline. All three versions are available for free and can be downloaded from here.
Xamarin is not one of those regular emulators for gamers but it’s for those who love to build apps on their Windows along with cross platform compatibility. Be it building Android apps, iOS apps, watchOS apps, or even macOS apps, Xamarin from Microsoft is your way to go!
You cannot play Android games on this software but it’s decent enough to test an Android app or game without any hassles. Building native mobile apps just got easier with Xamarin. With a single shared codebase, you can design the mobile user interface for all Android & iOS apps with ease. Overall, Xamarin is for the developers and not for the hardcore gamers!
Xamarin is available for free and it also has Enterprise plans as well. Download it from the official website.
YouWave has been in the emulators’ race for quite a long time now. However, despite gaining good popularity right from the start, it failed to capitalize because it never gave regular updates to the emulator. And then gamers went on to try other emulators like BlueStacks.
If you’re looking for a low-end emulator which can do the basic things, YouWave’s free version is your way to go. It runs on Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and the paid version ($29.99) runs on Android 5.11 (Lollipop). It has the basic gaming features so don’t expect to play games like PUBG, COD etc with a smoother user experience. Why spend $29.99 for Android 5.11 version emulator when you can get Android 7 or above for free?
YouWave is available for free and also the paid version. You can download both the versions of YouWave from the official website here.
GameLoop, formerly known as Gaming Buddy, is another high-tech Android emulator for gamers. Much like BlueStacks and LDPlayer, GameLoop Android emulator is specifically dedicated to the gaming experience on PC. It comes from the Chinese tech giant Tencent.
Earlier, one could only play PUBG on it, but the company has since added a plethora of games, including the most popular ones like Call of Duty or Free Fall. It’s part of Tencent’s pilot project to launch mobile gaming for PC, so there’s a lot more to come.
GameLoop is compatible with Windows 7, Windows 10 and others.
GameLoop has support for multiple languages, so you can use it anywhere in the world. It also supports customizable smart keyboards. You can also customize other settings to make the android experience much better.
Much like BlueStacks, it can also run on PCs with fewer resources. You can adjust settings and graphics to support your PC, in particular. What really sets GameLoop apart is its high-definition graphics. It’s capable of running HD and HDR graphics even with medium-powered computers.
GameLoop is free and available for download on multiple platforms online. However, you can find the latest version on the official website.
Remix OS Player
Remix OS Player basically brings you Remix OS without the need to install Remix OS. Yes, it’s an emulator based on Remix OS, which is an Android-based OS replacement for Windows. But who has the time or the capacity to remove Windows and install a completely new OS system? So the Remix OS Player is one of the solutions for using Android apps on PC.
This Android emulator uses Marshmallow 6.0, which is not that old, so you get quite a lot of functionality absent from earlier Android versions.
Remix OS Player is compatible with PCs running Windows 7, Windows8 and Windows 10.
Remix OS Player offers a lot of control with its features. For instance, you can manually configure settings for signal strength. You can also change location settings and battery usage.
Gamers would appreciate the native Google Play Store features and button mapping. It also supports multiple windows. You can run multiple games simultaneously. It would not be wrong to say that this emulator Android software is primarily designed with the need of gamers in mind.
This emulator has been discontinued but is still available for download for free online.
With Android emulators, it’s very easy to run Android apps on your PC. Most commonly, gamers use an Android emulator to play games on a relatively bigger laptop or desktop experience. Most of these Android emulators are available for Operating Systems such as Windows and Mac, but some are exclusively made for Windows PCs.
The good thing is that almost all the best Android emulators are absolutely free to download but it is recommended that you download from official sources only, you can check to see if Android emulators are safe to use. Not only you get Android gaming experience on PC, but you can also enjoy other apps on a much bigger screen. There are many other free Android emulators, but the ones in the list above are without any strings attached.
To get the best experience with the Android emulator of your choice, make sure to check system requirements in detail before downloading. An Android emulator will only work well if your PC has the resources to support it.