Currently, Google’s smartphone operating system, Android, is the leader in the smartphone OS market. While it has been growing rapidly, the need for other software and programs also surfaced as tech-savvy individuals aimed to integrate various platforms for increased ease and access. One of these needs appeared when gamers wanted to be able to play their favorite Android games on their personal computers instead of their smartphones. And this article will tell you just how you can do that!
Often, playing games on your Android smartphone can rapidly heat-up the phone, and significantly drain the battery. This is why some hardcore gamers prefer playing the same Android games on their PC. Added to that, when compared to smartphones, desktops and laptops offer a much superior gaming experience.
However, there is a catch: Android systems have the APK file extension, which, on its own, is incompatible to run on your Windows or Mac. This is why you require something called an “emulator” to be able to run Android games on your PC.
Read on to find out more about how to play Android games on your PC!
An emulator is a software that allows you to replicate the activity of an operating system so that it is made compatible with a completely different computer system. In our case, an Android emulator, as an Android Virtual Device (AVD), will enable users to download and play Android games on their personal computers that have a different OS. While emulators were first used by developers to test apps, many gamers have found that it can flawlessly run Android games on computers.
While some emulator software may need to be purchased, numerous top performing emulators are free to use, as seen here. Be mindful, that you need to have a powerful running PC to ensure that the emulator software and your games run smoothly. Also, it always enables hardware acceleration as they allow virtualization apps to perform better. Additionally, sometimes, the Android game may appear pixelated on your monitor screen. This is not a cause for concern because smartphone games are developed to fit a relatively smaller screen with lower resolutions rather than your desktop or laptop monitor.
Below we take a look at some tried and tested emulator software for a great PC gaming experience!
Android Studio’s Emulator
As the official emulator and a native solution developed by Google, it is mainly used by app developers, but it can be used by gamers as well. Although it allows you to play your Android games for free and doesn’t have ads, it can be a bit tricky to install.
Nox App Player
As one of the best emulators out there, Nox is available for both Windows and Mac and it is fairly easy to install. It has some great features, such as screen recording, keyboard mapping, and controller and gamepad support. It is also free of charge and ads. But unlike Android Studio’s emulator, you can play heavy games like Asphalt 9 and PUBG using Nox. Another powerful feature is that you can assign your CPU and RAM usage while running it. A drawback is that it can end up putting some load on your computer, and to run multiple instances, you may be required to install a separate tool.
This is a pretty powerful emulator and has features that enable gamers to play via their internet browser. It is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux. It will, however, require VirtualBox, which is an x86 virtualization application by Oracle. Additionally, since GenyMotion doesn’t come with Google Apps, you will need to drag and drop the .apk files for the specific games in the GenyMotion window.
If you have heard of at least one emulator, it has got to be Bluestacks. It has an extremely user-friendly interface and can run on both Windows and Mac. While the installation may take a bit of time, all you need is your Google ID to get things rolling. From custom setting your resolution and dpi, to determining how much CPU and RAM it uses, Bluestacks is certainly the first choice for many gamers. Just make sure you have a good processor, a high configuration and a good graphics card.
KoPlayer is an emulator that was specifically designed with gamers in mind. With a simple one-click install, it allows you to run multiple instances, has key-mapping features and also records gameplay. However, it has been known to crash at times and requires users to update the graphics card driver to OpenGL 2.0.
MEmu is another fantastic emulator that doesn’t require VirtualBox and is compatible with AMD and Intel. You have the option of directly downloading the game from the Play Store or dragging and dropping the .apk file in the MEmu window. With multiple instances and features such as a sidebar, you are in good hands. Just make sure you turn on virtualization for your CPU to get the best gaming experience. Note, however, that it supports Android 5.1.1. Lollipop VM as default.
Remix OS Player
With an easy install and user-friendly interface, the Remix OS Player by Jide is a .iso file. Consider it like a complete Android operating system that can be booted. This means you can install and boot your Remix OS through a USB. With many great features, like multiple instances, a customizable toolbar, and complete access to Google Play, it offers a great gaming experience.
Andy comes packed with many features, such as camera integration and the option of using your smartphone as a controller. Installation may take a while, and we suggest that you carefully read all the instructions during the process to avoid installing extra tools. Like GenyMotion, it also requires VirtualBox. Additionally, it supports both Windows and Mac.
While there are other emulators such as Manymo, which is an online Android emulator that doesn’t require a download, and droid4x, which is great for Windows PC, you need to consider the kind of games you are playing and your computer hardware. However, in case you don’t want to use emulators, there are other options as well!
This allows you to play your games on Chrome by downloading the Arc Welder extension, after which you just drag and drop your .apk game file. Since you will have to rely on third-party providers, consider trusted sources like Apkpure for your APKs. Since Arc Welder can run one app at a time, you are going to be a bit restricted.
Also installed as a Chrome extension, it is compatible with all operating systems. Just like Arc Welder, you need to load APK files to run your Android games. It is, however, not recommended for heavy gaming.
Bliss works as an emulator through a virtual machine, meaning that unlike a traditional emulator that emulates hardware, this changes the system and its architecture to run on the CPU. It can be loaded on a USB stick and allows you to run the app natively from the boot. It will run your PC with an exact Android experience, allowing you to play games hassle-free.
Other options, such as PrimeOS, AirMore, and ApowerMirror are also worth mentioning. While PrimeOS can be installed as a partition to boot up and run Android natively, AirMore and ApowerMirror allow you to mirror your Android screen and system to your PC as long you have a fast-speed and stable Wi-Fi connection.
We hope you found this article helpful. Let us know in the comments what other ways you are using to play Android games on your PC!