Android emulators for PC could be useful in many ways. People use them to test applications from untrusted sources, gain bonuses and discounts from store’s mobile apps or just to play games with keyboard and mouse instead of using the touch screen. Raising popularity of this kind of software and open-source nature of Android OS are causing developers to create many different android environments. Some emulators are sluggish, laggy and a few of them need a paid subscription. What are the differences between most popular choices and which android emulator is the best? Check out our list of best android emulators.
Price: free with Ads or premium $2/mo
Supported OS: Windows 7/8/8.1/10 and Mac OS
BlueStacks is one of most popular Android emulators and many people consider it as best choice for beginners. Installation process is very easy and has been deeply covered few days ago in our guide. According to multiple tests it can run flawlessy over 95% of all android games and applications. BlueStacks is distributed by developers as freemium, hence it may display some ads. To get rid of them users can can purchase BlueStacks premium which actually costs $2 per month. This model has been very successful for developers and nowadays the software has over 130 millions of downloads. The best feature of this emulator is providing fully working Google Play store, as a result you can download applications just as you would do it on your smartphone. Finally, it offers multitasking, camera and sensors integration, desktop sync capability and location/GPS spoofing.
To run this emulator without any issues you will need a computer with 2GB of RAM, over 4GB of space on your hard disk and a graphic card with OpenGL support. However if you decide to play 3D games with awesome graphics we are highly recommending you to have dedicated GPU. Test it out today, you can download BlueStacks from official website.
Price: free for personal usage.
Supported OS: Windows 7/8/8.1/10, Linux and Mac OS
Genymotion is main competitor of Bluestacks. This emulator is mostly used by developers, because it can emulate any android device that has been released to the market. Developers use it to test applications on multiple virtual smartphones without purchasing actual hardware. You can easily change Hardware ID, IMEI, Android ID and Meids within a single click. In some benchmarks it runs faster and has more features than his competitor. Due to it’s x86 architecture it supports OpenGL and hardware acceleration. Genymotion is supporting external internet cameras, so it will allow you to have videoconferences in multiple applications such as Hangouts. GM allows you to take screenshots and screencasts of your emulated desktop which is great feature for streaming games and recording walkthroughs, gameplays. However all the performance bonus comes with a price – it’s a little harder to configure it in comparition to BlueStacks.
To install Genymotion on your computer you will need 2GB of RAM, 400MB of free disk space and a processor with AMD-V or VT-x support. If you have some time and basic knowledge it will be perfect substitution. The installer is found at official webpage of Genymotion.
Supported OS: Windows XP/Vista/7/8/8.1/10 and Mac OS
This emulator is created purely for gamers. It has many features and utilities such as binding actions to hotkeys, as a result you can play android games on gamepad or keyboard. Nox is supporting all top android games. Emulated hardware are fully customizable and you can set number and speed of CPUs and RAM size. Another awesome Nox’s feature is ability to switch between rooted and unrooted system with just a one click. Finally it allows you to spoof and fake GPS location which is perfect for playing games such as Pokemon GO directly from your home.
To play games on Nox App Player you will need Intel or AMD processor, graphic card with OpenGL 2.0 support, 1.5GB of RAM (developer recommends 4GB) and 1,5GB of disk space on your HDD. All that features made Nox App Player one of the best minimalistic android emulators ever created. If you decide to give it a try, you can download the installer directly from the official developer’s website here.
Supported OS: Windows 7/8/8.1/10, Linux Ubuntu 14.04+ and Mac OS 10.8+
AndyRoid is also known as Andy or AndyOS. This is another emulator with some cool unique features. With AndyOS emulator you can download and run almost every application and game. AndyRoid has full support of ARM as a result you can use all of Google’s applications such as Gmail, Google Play, Google Music without any issues. Along with ARM support it has some nice features such as ability to use your phone as a remote control for your emulator. Just as Genymotion it’s build upon VirtualBox, therefore it works well with integrated graphics without any hassle. You can use it for free, however you should be careful while installing it on your PC as the installer is distributed with some ads and if you are not careful enough you may end up with some unwanted browser toolbars installed.
To enjoy the full experience of Andy Emulator you will need at least 3GB of RAM, AMD or Intel processor with virtualization support and 10GB of free space on your disk. To download AndyRoid simply visit it’s official page.
This is our list of best four android emulators for PC. We decided to pick the best ones basing upon cool features, ease of installation and number of supported OS. All of them had to be free to use, well tested by users and stable enough to play newest games from Google Play store. As an addition every emulator is able to install apps and games directly from apk files. Of course these are only four emulators of very long list, keep it in mind while picking your favourite. If you have any questions, suggestions or ideas for new articles please leave a comment below.