Best Android Emulator for Windows – The Android Emulators serve precisely to emulate Android on the computer and can be very useful if we want to try or use applications and games directly on our computer, rather than on a tablet or Android smartphone.
At the same time, they are useful to those who own an iOS device , but they do not want to lose enjoying apps and games on the Play Store, and finally we cannot forget developers who can directly test their Android apps on PC without transferring them to the smartphone.
Using computer hardware, an Android emulator can achieve much higher performance than a mobile device. Some of them have a really interesting feature to map touch controls, turning them into comfy keyboard commands, and allowing us to enjoy the best Android games right on our PC.
We do find so many emulators, but will they all stand up? In this guide I will analyze one by one the best to let you notice the performance and the qualities of each, so you know which is the best android emulator to choose with closed eyes. Each emulator in this guide comes with a Play Store – but you can still install alternative Android markets – and are free and available for various operating systems; I will specify compatibility for each one.
NOTE: If you have a PC with Nvidia Optimus technology , it’s important to manually set the video card for each emulator to make the performance better.
Install the Best Android Emulator you like
at the end, right-click and choose properties to see the location where it was installed
open NVIDIA settings and move to Manage 3D Settings (1)
select the Program in Settings tab (2), then click Add (3) and then Browse to select the emulator path
after you have added it, choose High Performance NVIDIA Processor(4)
optional: you can set the various parameters or leave them unchanged (5)
Finally, click Apply , close NVIDIA settings, and launch the program, which will now make the most of your performance faster and you’ll enjoy Android on your PC.
Attention: Some applications will work well with the integrated graphics card, others with the dedicated graphics card; so you may need to make a selection based on the app you want to use.
1. NOX : The Best Android Emulator in market to play
NOX is the best Android emulator in market, capable of doing any action, especially if we want to use it for gaming . It is based on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean with active root permissions and has good customization of settings: you can set the number of cores to use, how many GB of RAM, screen resolution and PPIs, sensor simulation, etc. .
The interface is that of Stock Android, without any customization, where you can simply add a launcher . Among the various features we have the ability to: share files with our Windows operating system, take instant screenshots and capture videos , set up a different device name, install apk, install applications on the phone via USB, rotate the screen, take advantage of a location fictitious GPS to our liking and finally use the full screen application.
It is designed to play any Android game, even shooters , as NOX provides our users with a good mapping of both keyboard and mouse buttons; during the game we simply use the key mapping menu and assign a key for each touch command on the screen: you can aim with the mouse , emulate the pad for the movements, simulate the accelerometer and swipe and set an unlimited number of keys.
The interesting part of this feature is that the settings will be saved for each different game, and you will not need to reconfigure from time to time. In short, the best android emulator if you want to try Android on your computer .
- Easy to use
- Easily configurable
- Controller support
- Accelerometer perfect simulation
- keyboard shortcut
- Multiple sessions with individual customizations
- Incompatibility with some apps
- Some apps are superfluous
- RAM: 2 GB
- CPU: 2.2 GHz
- GPU: 1 GB
- Storage Space: 3 GB
You can download NOX from the official site .
2. MEmu : identical to NOX, But Still Best Android Emulator ?
MEmu is among the best Android emulator and I would have put it first but its frequent crashes and slow booting with dedicated graphics card (but it may depend on my PC) didn’t allowed me. The rest is equal to NOX . I would say that one of the two manufacturers has copied the other because they offer both the same functions and the interface of the two programs is very similar, they also have the same incompatibility with the same identical apps.
However NOX wins for the amazing start-up and management fluency, emulation of games, navigation and all the rest. Meemu, on the other hand, has the ability to run on Android 5.1.1 Lollipop.
- Same as NOX but still one of the Best Android Emulator, fluidity aside
- Slow start with dedicated video card
- Some apps are superfluous
- Intel or AMD x86 CPU (virtualization support)
- GPUs with OpenGL 2.0+ support
- RAM: 1-2 GB
- Archiving: at least 2 GB
To install MEmu visit the official site . If you want to install Android 5.1.1, first download the basic version and then the beta of Android 5.1.1. Here’s how to download and instructions to launch it.
3. Droid4X: Fluid but still in beta
Droid4X , like MEmu, is similar to NOX with regard to the features it offers, but it is not best for various reasons that I did not believe. Even third selection in our list of Best Android Emulator ‘s – Droid4X is based on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean .
First of all, the interface is personalized and divided into three parts where we find: the recommended apps , the apps installed, and the Play Store. Secondly, it is only available in English and Chinese. In spite of this, Droid4X in the future can be installed on iOS devices (as they say), so on iPhone and iPad .
A positive points of Droid4X goes to the lightness but also to the fluidity with which applications run, a step above the background. However, despite the great similarity of settings and functions, the key mapping system leaves a little to be desired; it is quite similar but with no indifferent bugs , which often lose the control of the purpose and the movement; it’s fine with other kinds of games, but not with the shooters .
However Droid4X is still in beta and seems to promise well. Like NOX and MEmu, this emulator has a system to clone existing sessions or create new, useful functions for managing multiple accounts, configurations, and apps. Finally, Droid4X has an interesting application for Android and iOS that lets you use your device as a controller.
- Simplified interface
- Good fluidity
- Game compatibility
- Possibility to use the smartphone as a controller
- Mapping bugged keys
- iOS (in the future)
- CPU: 2.2 GHz
- RAM: 2 GB
- GPU: 1 GB
You can download Droid4X from the official site
4. Windroye – Another Best Android Emulator ?
Probably one of the lightest and most fluid of all android emulators I’ve tried, but it will make you lose your patience for the first setup; you can choose whether to install it in English or Chinese, but for choosing the first language, the first start will be all in Chinese!
The point that loses patients, at least in my case, and concerns the configuration of your Google Account:
the com.google.process.gapps process was interrupted
Google Play Store has stopped
Google Play Services has stopped
and so on … but after deleting data from the Play Store and Services for a dozen times it has finally started running.
As with Droid4X, key mapping has some bugs in the shooting games: the plugin that simulates the target through the mouse is not perfect and goes “crossing” with the motion plugin.
Windroye is based on Android 4.4.2, the interface here is also personalized and supports multiple sessions. Windroye is the Android emulator suitable for those looking for good fluidity, but has nothing to do with those looking for simplicity and stock interface.
- Fluid and light
- Pretty configurable
- Full screen
- Use your smartphone as a controller
- View the key map bugged
- No accelerometer
- CPU: 2.0+ GHz
- RAM: 1 GB
- GPU: 512 MB – 1 GB
You can download Windroye from the official site .
5. Andy: Heavy and incomplete
Andy , may be “The Best Android Emulator”, is the heaviest emulator but at the same time with fewer features and a good amount of bloatware , so much that the download file size is more than 400 MB contrary to 200-300 MB of other emulators.
Andy is based on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and after startup, annoyingly, it shows us updates for preinstalled apps and various advertisements. It supports key mapping but only by installing the Aurora keymapper extension . Unlike all the others, I could not try Andy for more than 5 minutes because it troubled me.
- Use Android or iOS device as controller
- Really heavy
- Additional external extensions
- RAM: 3 GB
- CPU: medium high band
- GPU: 1+ GB
You can download Andy from the OFFICIAL SITE .
6. ARC Welder: Extension for Chrome
ARC Welder is an Android “masquerade” emulator for Chrome extension. It does not have a real graphic design, no Google services, no applications; is a simple, easy-to-use extension that only allows you to start applications through apk on your PC. Once installed, you can visit the Chrome apps at: chrome: // apps /
7. Bluestacks 2: too many bloatware?
Bluestacks 2 is one of the most famous
bloatware Android emulator, but honestly for me, it is among the worst. The previous version was much simpler and cleaner, but the new version is full of advertising, with pretty confusing personal graphics, which highlights dozens (maybe hundreds) of recommended games.
Bluestacks is not entirely free, in fact it will often ask whether to subscribe or alternatively install the applications and games offered without any fear. Finally, this version of Bluestacks is integrated with Twitch , a social network where you can broadcast your gameplay in real time.
- Real-time gameplay
- Much advertising
- Key mapping does not exist for the shooter
Bluestacks Requirements 2:
- 1GB RAM
You can download Bluestacks 2 from the official site
Other Android emulators
All android emulators , we have seen so far are more or less designed for gaming. NOX and MEmu in this case – and my humble opinion – are the best because they fully support shooter games and have integrated a great plugin to simulate the accelerometer .
However, it is obvious that not everyone is interested solely and exclusively in gaming; in this case, you can use an Android-based operating system designed for Android . This is the case with Remix OS , a very lightweight operating system, compatible with hardware and designed to use Android on most computers .
Remix OS can be installed on a USB stick , to boot from any PC , or dual boot with Windows .
Another way to install Android on PCs on any Operating System is to use virtualization . Probably it will not come out the best Android emulator, but you can still make full use of VirtualBox to create and use more Android-based virtual machines, but also on other operating systems.
Finally, there are others but are more suitable for developers: I’m talking about Android Studio available for all Xamarin operating systems , available for Mac and Windows and Genymotion , capable of emulating many Android tablets and smartphones with different versions of Android, including Android 6.0 Marshmallow ; I did not put this in the list because most of the features are reserved for the paid version.
For a better experience, and if you want to try Android on TV, I recommend you take a look at Android TV boxes .
Did you know all these emulators? Which one is Best Android Emulator for you? Let me know with a comment.