10 Best DS Emulators for Android in 2020 [Free]

Do you miss playing Pokemon on your old Nintendo DS?  Well, worry no more because there’s an easy way to access your old favorite games through your Android device. Nintendo DS emulators allow you to emulate or virtually run NDS games on your device. There is a multitude of emulator apps available on the market today, some paid some free. However, choosing the right one can be tricky. In today’s article, we have compiled a list of 10 best DS emulators for Android smartphones.

10 Best DS Emulators For Android

Here are our picks for the 10 Best Nintendo DS emulator for Android. Be sure to check them all out and find the one that suits your preferences the most.

1. DraStic DS Emulator

DraStic is probably the most popular Nintendo DS emulator around and it costs about $5. Although on the higher side of the pricing spectrum for emulators, it is worth it. It has very easy use to interface and lots of customization features such as resolution and screen dimensions. The DraStic emulator runs very smoothly and a good consistent frame rate. Another great feature is how it allows you to sync your game data into your google drive account.

Features:

  • Customization of button placements
  • Alter screen dimensions
  • Enhances the games 3D graphics
  • Synchronizes game save data with Google Drive

2. RetroArch

RetroArch is a free Nintendo DS emulator. It’s more of an all in one emulator which can run more than just DS games. RetroArch’s user interface does take some time getting used and is more target towards an experiences user. However, if you spend some time learning the basics it is probably one of the best DS emulators to use. It does have some occasional FPS(frames per second) drops, but some optimization in the settings usually fixes this issue. One thing to note is RetroArch is a multi-versatile program and requires modular programs called ‘cores’ to function. To obtain these cores you have to go to the ‘Online Updater’ and install the cores using ‘Core Updater’.

Features:

  • Play multiplayer with NetPlay
  • Remap controls and built-in input remapping
  • Load game cheats
  • View database information for each game

3. nds4droid Emulator

Another free Nintendo DS emulator is nds4droid. This DS emulator, although free, has excellent graphics and visualization features. A common issue user faced with this emulator is that it often crashes and the save feature doesn’t work. However, when the emulator does run it does its job. Just note that this emulator will most likely only work for older NDS ROMs as it hasn’t been updated in quite some time.

Features:

  • Save status provides
  • Also supports OUYA game console
  • nds4droid does not violate GPL
  • Completely open source

4. NDS Emulator by CPU Studio

The NDS Emulator for Android 6 by CPU studio is superbly optimized for the android device. One of the few free emulators available that has very few complaints related to crashing or frame rate drops. Moreover, it has no adware. The only few minuscule downsides are the touchpad positioning cannot be adjusted and an internet connection is required to save game data

Features:

  • Save and load game states
  • Supports external controller
  • Excellent gaming performance

5. SuperNDS Emulator

SuperNDS is another free Nintendo DS emulator that does what it’s supposed to do. It is reported to have some adware, but nothing too intrusive of your gameplay. Users have reported some sound issues and crashing, but it does have a built-in autosave feature.

Features:

  • Play in landscape and portrait mode
  • Has frequent developer updates

6. EmuBox

EmuBox is a multi-emulator meaning it will support more than just your Nintendo DS games. This is one of the best emulators you can find for a free price tag. EmuBox is a fast-loading emulator that offers lag-free gameplay and smooth performance. Only minor issues have been reported such as infrequent freezing. The developers have kept the application up to date and will undoubtedly run on the latest android devices.

Features:

  • 20 slots to save ROMS
  • Allows in-game screenshots
  • Has support for external controllers
  • Has gameplay optimization settings

7. Citra FrieNDS Emulator

Citra FrieNDS emulator is another great free emulator that has a key focus on looks and feel. It has a beautiful user interface and is very simple to use. It has some really neat new features that have been introduced such as controller vibration and the ability to play music during gameplay.

Features:

  • Keyboard and Gamepad controller support
  • Button layout and size customization
  • Includes shaders
  • Sustain button and controller vibrations

8. NDS Boy Emulator

NDS Boy is an emulator that has a pretty high compatibility rate with a wide variety of games, meaning that you’ll be able to play all of your classic DS games from Pokemon, Mario, Final Fantasy, etc. Please note this is a high-quality emulator and is only recommended for high-end devices(at least 2GB RAM). Additionally, it is not available on the google play store and you will have to download the apk file from an external source.

Features:

  • Supports Android 4.0+
  • Save and load, quick save and quick load features
  • Autosave built-in
  • Ability to edit d-pad buttons

9. Pretendo NDS

Pretendo NDS is an underrated free DS emulator for Android. It is compatible with most NDS ROMs. Also, it is simple to use and has an interface that sticks to making gameplay easier and smoother. Additionally, it has several customization features. Please note the developers have stopped updating the app several years ago, meaning it may have some compatibility issues with newer OS.

Features:

  • Supports cheats
  • Supports wireless controls
  • Portrait and Landscape modes
  • Configure button layouts to your preference

10. The N.DS Pocket of Simulator

The N.DS Pocket of Simulator is a free emulator that shows fast performance and stability. It has an in-built ROM searching feature as well as the ability to download and upload your ROMs. The only main downside of this app is that most of the menu labels are in Chinese and can be a little tough to navigate through at first.

Features:

  • Quick and fast EMU
  • Browse games through in-built search
  • Save and Load games
  • Comes with pre-installed games

List of 10 Free DS Emulators

Below is the comprehensive list of the best NDS emulators for Android available right now.

  1. DraStic DS Emulator
  2. RetroArch
  3. nds4droid Emulator
  4. NDS Emulator by CPU Studio
  5. SuperNDS Emulator
  6. EmuBox
  7. Citra FrieNDS Emulator
  8. NDS Boy Emulator
  9. Pretendo NDS
  10. The N.DS Pocket of Simulator

Final Words

If you have a few dollars to spare, definitely go ahead and get the DraStic emulator. It is by far the most superior performing in this list and receives frequent updates and improvement. The best free emulators on the list are probably RetroArch and EmuBox. These two are kind of a trade-off as RetroArch offers more settings and customization features with a more complex interface whilst EmuBox offers a simpler and easier to use interface.

Be sure to check out all of the emulators listed above and find one that suits you and your device the best. Cheers!

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