Android is a versatile app platform powered by Google and used for smartphones, tablets, and TVs. However, there are some instances where accessing Android on Windows or Mac is essential. For example, if you’re creating an app and need to test out different screen sizes or look for bugs. If you’re using Windows 11, you’ll find a built-in virtual Android platform. However, there are many people still using Windows 10. Throughout this article, we’ll let you in on the best Android emulators.
BlueStacks is the most well-known Android emulator around, and it’s with good reason. It looks great and the screen looks exactly as you’d imagine an Android tablet or smartphone would. The main function for BlueStacks is gaming, which can be installed through the app store as usual. However, if you trying to test run external apps, you can sideload them using the APK files on your system. To get the most out of BlueStacks, you will need a powerful computer, which you can find over at lenovo.com.
GameLoop is every mobile gamer’s best friend because it can only be used for games. However, it has an official endorsement from the guys behind Call of Duty, which speaks volumes about its quality. The user interface (UI) is easy to understand, but some users report lag during gameplay. Therefore, we recommend only using wired peripherals including a mouse, keyboard, and headsets. As well as this, you may need to tweak some system settings.
NoxPlayer is a completely free Android emulator available on Mac or Windows. The design is slick and installing external APKs is simple. Further, if you’re looking to play your favorite mobile games, you can hook up a gamepad for a better experience. For those of you looking to make demo videos, NoxPlayer has screen recording capabilities, which is great news in the age of Twitch/YouTube we’re living in.
MEmu Play hasn’t been on the scene as long, but it has successfully stood out from the competition. Again, as the name suggests, this emulator is designed with gaming in mind. To get the best out of the system, we recommend enabling virtualization in your BIOS and having dedicated graphics. Unfortunately, MEmu Play only has support for gaming, which makes it a limited choice for other app developers.
The majority of Android emulator installation files are relatively small, which is why AndY is unique with its 3GB size. The primary use for this emulator is gaming, and the installation has plenty of additional extras, which many people don’t need – you can opt out of these during setup. If you wish to use gameplay, AndY has support for Xbox and PlayStation controllers, as well as allowing you to use your mobile as a gamepad.
Mobile devices with Android are fantastic for operating the latest games, but sometimes we need a larger screen to enjoy them or check apps for bugs. Fortunately, there are plenty of reputable emulators to suit all use cases.