Android emulators plays a key role in the Android application development, and are also useful for the end users in many ways. Whether you are an end user or an Android developer, you should check out this guide in case you are searching for the best Android emulators available on the internet.
Need for an Android emulator
Android emulators helps us to run Android Operating System on our Personal Computer. They are needed for different types of valid reasons. Some of those reasons include,
- Testing and debugging an Android application before it is released for public use.
- Speed up an Android application development.
- Experience Android on a Personal Computer.
- Play high-end Android games [PUBG] on PC.
Whatever the reason maybe, the ultimate goal of an Android emulator is to run an Android application on a Personal Computer. Thus Android emulators provides a way to sideload and run Android applications in the Android environment on a PC.
Note: Usage of some of the Android emulators is as easy as downloading, installing and then running them. While the other Android emulators require some additional software like VirtualBox to create an Android environment on a PC.
Best Android Emulators To Run Android Apps & Play Games [PUBG] on PC
I have done a detailed research on the most popular and the best Android emulators available on the internet and categorized them into two groups based on their usage.
Table of Contents
It should also be noted that the emulators suggested here provides ways to achieve only basic tasks. For a full-fledged Android experience, one should look for Android smartmobiles.
Following are the suggestions based on the research in no particular order.
Best Android Emulators For Developers
Following Android emulators are best suited for Android application development. So if you are an Android developer, you should check out these best Android emulators for developers.
Android Studio Emulator
Android Studio is the default IDE (Integrated Development Environment) that provides various tools for building Android applications and games. It includes Visual Layout Editor, Code Editor, APK Analyzer, Fast Emulator, Flexible Build System and Realtime Profilers.
The emulator that comes with Android Studio is the fastest among all. One can use it to test their Android application or game on a variety of devices and Android API levels without the need of a physical device.
Coming to the installation and configuration, the setup is rather complicated. Hence, Android Studio Emulator is not recommended for those who wants to play only Android games on a PC. On the other hand, developers will find it very useful because Android Studio Emulator provides almost all capabilities of a real Android device.
Xamarin is a cross-platform development tool. It is used with Visual Studio to deliver native Android applications, iOS applications and Windows applications with a single shared .NET code base.
Xamarin targets all platforms as seen above. The Xamarin SDKs, Xamarin Forms, and Mono runtime are open source on GitHub i.e, available under MIT license. Xamarin comes with a built-in emulator. This emulator can be used to test applications and games.
Installation and configuration of Xamarin is also complicated just like Android Studio. A normal user may find it difficult to configure Visual Studio along with Xamarin, negating possibility of using it.
Android-x86 is an open source project to port Google’s Android Open Source Project (AOSP) to various x86 platforms. Thus making it possible to run Android on devices powered by AMD and Intel x86 processors.
This project is an unofficial initiative by a big community of developers. Android-x86 is based on Android Nougat 7.1 and Android Oreo 8.x. If your system is powered by an Intel/AMD processor, you should be good to go. The community is currently working on enabling OpenGL ES hardware acceleration for Intel/Radeon/Nvidia etc GPUs.
Installation of Android-x86 includes, downloading the ISO file and installing it on a virtual machine. One can also make a bootable CD/DVD/USB drive and run Android-x86 without even installing it. Thus, Android-x86 emulator can be useful for both developers and the end users.
Download: https://osdn.net/projects/android-x86/releases/. Make sure you download x86 (32bit) or x86_64 (64bit) file based on your system architecture.
Bliss-x86 or BlissOS
If you are an XDA-Developers Forum member then you should be aware of the Bliss group and their ROMs for PCs. The goal of the group is to provide a quality OS that can run throughout the day, on all devices and sync across all platforms.
Bliss-x86 or BlissOS supports x86-based devices that includes tablets, personal computers, laptops etc. Bliss OS for PCs are compatible with Personal Computers, Apple’s MacBook and Google ChromeBooks powered by Intel/AMD processors and Intel/AMD/Nvidia GPUs.
Bliss-x86 is based on Android Oreo 8.x (links archived), and BlissOS is based on Android Pie 9.x.
Installation of Bliss ROM is identical to the Android-x86 Project. You need a virtual machine or a live CD/DVD/USB drive. Hence, Bliss ROMs for PCs can be useful for both developers and the end users.
Best Android Emulators For Gamers
Following Android emulators are best suited for Gamers. They support bigger screen, keyboard or game-pad, mouse, improved visibility and improved accuracy. So, if you are looking for ways to play high-end Android games [PUBG] on your PC then you should check out these best Android emulators for Gamers.
Bluestacks is one of the best Android emulator to play high-end Android games on the PC. Infact, this Android emulator tops our emulators list for Gamers. It was one of the first that actually worked and still gets regular updates.
If you need an Android emulator just for the sole purpose of running Android applications or playing Android games on your Personal Computer then Bluestacks is our answer.
It is the most easiest Android emulator to install and configure. Just visit the official website or click on the download link below and download the software to your computer. After downloading, install Bluestacks just like any other software on your computer.
That’s it. You can now launch Bluestacks and start playing your favorite Android game or run any Android application on your PC. Bluestacks will automatically optimize its performance based on your system configuration. You can also launch multiple instances of Bluestacks for playing multiple games at once.
Recently Bluestacks has been updated to Android 7.1.2 (Nougat). This update also improves its performance on older computers.
NoxPlayer is also one of the best Android emulator for Gamers. If you want a smoother gameplay, or strong compatibility with various games and applications, or exclusive skins for your emulator then NoxPlayer is the one you are looking for.
NoxPlayer’s cutting edge engine brings us the smoother experience. It can be installed on any Intel/AMD machine. It is stable, fast and reliable. NoxPlayer is based off Android 4.4.2 and Android 5.1.1. It supports high FPS format, keypad control, script recording, multiple instances and smart casting.
To download NoxPlayer, just click on the below download link. After downloading, install it just like any other software on your computer. Usage is similar to Bluestacks.
MEmu is an another trending Android emulator for Gamers. This is because Gamers today are constantly switching to AMD platforms, and the developers behind MEmu are paying more attention to AMD platforms. This doesn’t mean that Intel systems are altogether ignored. Both Intel and AMD systems are supported.
MEmu supports multiple instances, smooth control over mouse and keyboard or game-pad etc. It supports Android Jelly Bean, KitKat, and Lollipop. It is actively releasing regular updates for performance improvements.
Click on the link below to download MEmu. Install it just like any other software on your computer.
KOPlayer is also one of the best Android emulator for Gamers. This emulator enables all Android games and apps to run smoothly on Windows systems.
KOPlayer is built on x86 Architecture, and supports advanced features like OpenGL and hardware acceleration. It runs faster, and is more stable and compatible than other Android emulators.
KOPlayer supports multiple accounts, video recording, keyboard or game-pad etc. Download KOPlayer and install it on your computer to experience the fast Android emulator.
Phoenix OS is also one of the best Android emulator available for Gamers. It is loosely based on Android-x86 Project. The Phoenix OS can run on devices powered by Intel x86 series CPUs.
Phoenix OS is based on Android 7.1 and Android 5.1 and supports multi-window, mouse and keyboard. It incorporates powerful gaming assistant. It is developed, updated and maintained by a Chinese company.
Download and install the setup file like any other software on your computer. You can also download the ISO file and install it on the virtual machine or run it live using bootable CD/DVD/USB drives.
Install it to experience it.
That’s it. These are the only worthy and best Android emulators available on the internet based on my research. Not only they support Android application development, they support testing and debugging.
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