Android emulators are the buzzing words in the technology domain. Right from software developers testing their apps on a Windows PC to a gamer who just wants to unleash the fullest potential of a game by playing it on a gigantic PC screen along with a mouse and a keyboard, android emulators have encapsulated a wide range of the consumer space.
Emulator: An android emulator is an android virtual device (AVD) that represents a specific android device. It is used to install and test android applications on PC.
There are several amazing android emulators available in the market today, but one key differentiator that separates a fantastic android emulator from an average one is its stability. It is important to have an android emulator that does not lag, stall or freeze, otherwise your viewing experience could be totally ruined.
Before you install any of the aforementioned android emulators, please note that their performance will also depend on the specifications of your PC.
Let’s check out some of the best android emulators for PC:
BlueStacks is a widely popular android emulator which is preferred for gaming as it is extremely powerful. Currently BlueStacks is available for Microsoft Windows or Mac, so you can play Android games regardless of the operating system. Apart from Play Store, you can also download BlueStacks optimized apps from its own app store.
It brings an excellent gaming performance and is ridiculously easy to set up. It also claims to be 6 times faster than Samsung Galaxy 9+. Bluestacks comes with an embedded pack of features that are truly amazing for gamers.
For example, BlueStacks Affiliate lets you create gaming content which you can monetize later from the platform. Even for developers, BlueStacks is a stable and comprehensive android emulator.
Despite of the high praises that it receives and the go-to choice for gamers, BlueStacks lacks in mapping gestures which is a major drawback for gamers. It also gets a bit sluggish in the productivity apps which can be annoying. Also, the sponsored ads in between can make you lose interest in the game and actually lead to switching to an alternative, ad-free android emulator.
MEmu Play is a decent alternative for BlueStacks. It was launched in 2015, specifically focusing on gaming experience. One of the most amazing features of MEmu Play is that it supports both, AMD and Nvidia chips.
You can create multiple virtual devices to stimulate multiple android devices on your PC. It allows keyboard mapping which makes it super handy for gamers to use it.
MEmu supports one-click APK installation which means you can install any APK present on your host machine to MEMu without any trouble.
It is also known for its ability to support different android versions like Android Jelly, Lollipop and Kit Kat. The MEmu Play comes at par in terms of speed with the Nox Player and BlueStacks which makes it a decent gaming android emulator.
However, the emulator lacks in graphics performance without any texture or smoothness as compared to other emulators.
3. Nox Player
This emulator works amazingly well for gamers and is best suited for playing massive games such as PUBG and Justice League. It allows you to map keys of keyboard, mouse and gamepad which provides an ultimate gamer experience. One can even assign keyboard keys for gestures, like mapping shortcut for swiping left.
Another benefit of using Nox Player is that you can manually set the CPU and RAM usage in the settings option to avail the best gaming results.
In addition to playing games, Nox Player also enables the user to run and test other applications without any hindrance. The best part about using Nox Player is that it is a free android emulator without any sponsored ads which enhance user experience to a next level.
The only major drawback associated with this emulator is that it puts a lot of load on the system which limits the number of apps that can be used simultaneously.
Also, it is based on Android 5 Lollipop, so make sure you check out everything before actually using it.
4. Ko Player
Ko player is another contender in the list of best android emulators in 2019.
This android emulator has two modes: Speed and Compatibility.
At first, you can go with the speed option to maximize the gaming experience, however if you encounter any issues, you can always rely on the compatibility mode. The Ko Player has an organized Multi manager tool that allows the user to run two or more instances of the emulator at once.
The app player is easy to install with a simple UI that is completely hassle free to navigate. It also supports keyboard mapping and gamepad emulation. Few drawbacks about the Ko Player are that it sometimes crashes in the compatibility mode, the player is also a little buggy and makes it difficult for the user to uninstall it.
5. Android Studio
Contrary to most of the android emulators built for gaming, the Android Studio is a development IDE (Integrated development environment) from Google which focuses on rendering support to developers.
It consists of a wide range of tools and plugins to help developers build and test their apps.
Android Studio has a built-in emulator but lacks some features as compared to Genymotion. It provides a good collection of handy tools and plugins that are suitable for developers, however it isn’t the best android emulator to play heavy games on. Despite of being difficult to set up, Android Studio is still one of the most preferred emulators by developers.
GenyMotion is an advanced android emulator for PC that can be treated as an alternative to BlueStacks. It is specifically targeted at developers and not meant for gaming.
The android emulator allows the user to test apps on a variety of virtual devices with different versions of android. It is highly compatible with macOS, Linux, Android SDK and even Android Studio.
GenyMotion comes with advanced features such as OpenGL and hardware acceleration support.
It is considerably faster than BlueStacks as it is based on the x86 architecture. Though this android emulator comes fully packed with developer friendly features, it doesn’t prove to be a good gaming android emulator.
7. Remix OS
Remix OS was first released in the year 2016 by Jide Technology, a company formed by Google’s former employees. It works on a unique concept; unlike other android emulators, it is an entire Android OS that you can boot into. It requires a separate partition altogether and does not sit on top of the Windows.
You can put Remix OS on a USB device and boot it to any computer on the face of planet Earth. Though good for development and productivity apps, the Remix OS is not suitable for gaming purposes.
Jide technology discontinued its support for Remix OS few months after it was launched, but you can still download the latest Android Marshmallow version and use it.
8. Phoenix OS
Phoenix OS became the desired android emulator serving as an alternative to Jide’s Remix OS Player. Jide stopped supporting Remix OS Player which led to a massive drawback for users and hence created a gap in the emulator market. But the gap was filled within a few months as the Phoenix OS swiftly slide as a modified Android emulator environment for Windows 10.
9. Bliss OS
Bliss OS is quite different as compared to other android emulators. It does not emulate android on your PC, rather Bliss OS is itself Android and needs to be installed as a separate OS. There are two ways to install Bliss OS on your PC:
- Create a bootable USB drive and install the Bliss OS ROM on the external storage
- Use a Virtual Box
The Beta version of Bliss OS is running on Android Pie and it also supports substratum theme engine. Bliss OS is an open source android which doesn’t contain any ads.
These were some of the best android emulators for PC in 2019. While some of them are gaming centric, others are focused on developer options which help developers run and test apps easily.