How to Emulate Nintendo 3DS Games on Android

Are you looking for a 3DS emulator suitable for Android? Here are the top applications to consider, along with a guide on how to begin playing.

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Emulation provides a convenient and affordable method for you to play games from the past that may be hard to access today. The Android phone can be capable of emulating the majority of home and handheld consoles up to the fifth generation of consoles and even Nintendo’s more recent handhelds can be played with modern smartphones.

Let’s discuss how to set up and use the Nintendo 3DS emulator on your Android phone.

It’s the Best Nintendo 3DS Emulator on Android

The first step is choosing an emulator, of course. There’s a wealth of optionsto choose from, but the difference between the best of them will depend on your preference.

Citra and RetroArch are widely recognized as the top 3DS emulators. Both are open source and run on all platforms.

RetroArch Emulator

RetroArch is capable of emulating various consoles, among them the 3DS, Wii, Wii U, GameBoy, PlayStation 1, PlayStation 2, SNES, Sega Genesis, and more. It’s possible since RetroArch is a type of hub, consisting of several emulators designed to work with various consoles.

It’s available on Windows, Linux, Android, macOS, and iOS–however, it’s also capable of operating on consoles like the GameCube.Read more At website Articles RetroArch provides a complete list of platforms supported from its webpage. To learn more about the flexibility of its configuration, our RetroArch Windows installation guide dives into the numerous configuration options.

Citra Emulator

Citra was the very first emulator with 3DS capabilities, created for PC. It’s currently available on Windows, Linux, macOS as well as Android. The Citra team has a wonderful list of games compatible with their software that divides supported games into scales from “not verified” from “not tested” to “perfect” so that the users can follow the progress of the testing for compatibility of the game.

Although RetroArch has the advantage being more widely available and having more available platforms to play on, we’ll be using the 3DS-focused Citra for this review. This Citra team has maintained an ongoing and robust support over many years, and their Android application has been well-optimized. It even has gamepad support!

Warning! Concerning ROMs!

It is our duty to remind you that getting ROMs via any other method other than ripping them from an optical disc or cartridge you own is unlawful. You can only download ROMs exclusively for personal use, not for distribution, from games you have. Nintendo has strict rules regarding licensing and sharing ROMs So be aware.

If you’re not selling ROMs then you’re almost completely safe from legal problems. When downloading ROMs from databases online ensure the source is reputable and that the files are safe to download before you download. Roms aren’t EXE files and are not going to ask for additional access to your device.

How to Set Up and use Citra using Your Android Phone

Once you’ve downloaded Citra using you Android smartphone, it’s only few steps away from playing your favourite 3DS games.

Create Your Games to be played on emulators

When you first launch the app it is possible that you need the game’s files in the proper folder on your Android device. Perhaps it is even better to create a folder with a name that resembles 3DS Games or Citra Games.

There’s no need to be made prior to launch however it can facilitate your initial setup. When the first time you launch Citra it will prompt you by a prompt to select the folder where which your games will run from. You can change this anytime by tapping an icon of the folder at the upper right-hand corner.

Games for the Nintendo 3DS use a CIA extension, but they must be decrypted in order to be used. The resulting files will be using the 3DS extension. The files can be extracted using a program similar to WinZip however Citra will also allow you to extract the 3DS file using CIA directly on the application’s home screen. Just tap the icon for the file click Install CIA and select to download the CIA file from your downloads. The rest is simple.

The Best Way to Play games on Citra

With a limited collection of 3DS games in the pipeline and you’re all set to begin playing.

  1. Launch Citra and accept the permissions. It may ask for microphone access. is intended for DS games that use the microphone for gameplay purposes.
  2. Select the games folder that you have created previously, and choose this directory.
  3. Once your directory of encrypted games is selected, your home screen will list all of your games, highlighted by an icon.
  4. Tap on your game of you like to launch it. A small loading box will pop up as the emulator downloads the necessary shaders. After this, you’re good to go.

This is the Best 3DS Emulator for Android

When testing Citra We chose two games that were compatible with Citra, New Super Mario Bros. 2 as well as Resident Evil Revelations. The first one was marked “great” and the other was classified as “bad” within the compatibility list. We found it to be Super Mario offered an overall pleasant experience, with only occasional stutter. Resident Evil, on the other hand, did have some texture and model errors, in addition to the occasional crash.

There is no doubt that Citra is a fantastic way to enjoy compatible games, and the team’s constant effort assures us that they will never stop expanding and improve upon the compatible games. Citra is an easy recommendation–perhaps the best way to emulate 3DS games.

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