Tired of playing your favourite mobile games on a small screen? Want to be able to launch several mobile games at the same time? Dreaming of finding your favourite mouse and keyboard? Well, good news for all mobile gaming enthusiasts: you can simulate your Android phone directly on your computer. To do so, you absolutely need to know which are the best Android emulators for PC in 2021, in order to choose the one that will best suit your needs!
In this article, we sift through the best Android phone emulators for mobile games, but also the top Android simulators for developers.
Comparison of Android emulators for mobile games
You're still wondering how to play mobile games on PC ? In this comparison, you will find the information that allowed us to rank Android emulators for mobile games in order of relevance. We've compiled this ranking according to the performance of each emulator, but more importantly according to the integrated features they offer, to guide you through the ocean of possibilities!
BlueStacks: the best Android emulator for PC
Granted, it's a bit of a spoiler, but the result of the analysis we've conducted is indisputable: BlueStacks is definitely one of the best Android emulators for PC in 2021.
It's simple, and it combines everything you'd expect from an emulator: performance, ease of use, security, multiple integrated features and not too heavy to run in terms of computer resources!
One could even go so far as to say that, today, BlueStacks is the reference Android emulator. Of course, its download is 100% free and its interface is very pleasant and intuitive.Download BlueStacks for Free
BlueStacks runs today under the Android Nougat version. Very easy to install, you can enjoy all the apps from the Google Play Store by signing in to your Google account. 95% of the apps in the Play Store are compatible with BlueStacks, giving you access to thousands of mobile games and apps of all kinds.
Very easy to use, the multiple features offered by BlueStacks make this emulator a must for Windows and iOS. Everything is designed to optimize the gaming experience and make it more comfortable and powerful:
- Customizable game controls on keyboard, mouse and controller, depending on the style of game you play (MOBA, FPS, RPG, strategy, etc.) ;
- Multi-instance : possibility to play several games at the same time or to play the same game with several accounts simultaneously ;
- Multi-instance sync: faster to reroll in gacha games and maximize your resources in strategy games;
- Creation of macros to automate repetitive tasks ;
- High and adjustable SPF: no more lag! You'll finally have your life safe in intense combat;
- Real-time translation to play all mobile games without language limit ;
- Full HD and QHD graphics for exceptional graphics quality;
- Defining a virtual GPS location ;
- It's all in English.
LDPlayer : excellent Android emulator to play on PC
If you are looking for a very powerful emulator to play on PC, LDPlayer will meet all your expectations. It offers advanced features designed for gamers. Indeed, there are advanced control settings, multi-instance mode, macros to manage games automatically and high FPS, ideal for FPS fans.
More than 2 million daily active users have chosen LDPlayer to play their mobile games on PC. In addition, regular updates improve its operation to further optimize the resources used. Its interface is very pleasant, fluid and easy to use.
Please note that, unlike BlueStacks (and NoxPlayer below), LDPlayer is not compatible with MacOS.
NoxPlayer: a powerful Android emulator
NoxPlayer is the emulator that arrives in the top 3 of this ranking of the best Android emulators for PC in 2021. Like its competitors BlueStacks and LDPlayer, it works with the Android Nougat version and performs particularly well on almost all mobile games in the Play Store.
Extremely complete, it offers interesting features. Like BlueStacks, it can be optimized (RAM, resolution, etc.) so that it can run on medium-powered configurations. If you are already used to using Android, you won't be lost thanks to its intuitive interface.
Nox offers features that are essential to any good emulator, among them :
- Controls: setting the mouse and changing the keyboard mapping at will ;
- Multi-instances: launch several instances at the same time to play different games or use several accounts on the same game ;
- macro: recording macros for complex operations and executing the script in one click ;
- Precise settings according to its configuration to run computer resources heavy games ;
- Easy screenshots and video recordings ;
- Emulator in English.
MEmu: a stable and efficient Android emulator
MEmu is an Android emulator that is among our selection because it has several interesting features. First of all, it is very easy to use and, if your setup is powerful enough, it remains powerful, without draining resources. You will be able to run several games at the same time without having too much slowdown (there are still some, at times). You should not try to delve too far into the configuration, since its features focus on the essentials.
We have noticed that, unlike BlueStacks, not all games are supported. Big constraint for us, who like to be able to test games, no questions asked.
MEmu's interface is clean and well designed. All commands are located in the right sidebar.
Of course, this emulator for mobile games has its virtual keyboard and allows you to take screenshots. Finally, we like the fact that it is available in English and compatible with Windows 10 and Linux.
KOPlayer: a promising Android emulator
It's not the best Android emulator for PC, but it has nothing to envy to MEmu. Like its competitors, KOPlayer is a free PC emulator that works very well and shouldn't blush for its top 4 position. It offers strong stability as soon as it is well optimized, adapting to your setup but also to the Android games you want to run.
To stand up to their competitors, the developers have worked on a pleasant interface allowing to easily map the keys of the keyboard or a joystick.
KOPlayer runs many applications and mobile games downloaded from the Play Store, but also APK files. Some basic features :
- Webcam support;
- Setting the keys to play with the keyboard or joystick ;
- Quick checks with the toolbar ;
- Integrated button to take screenshots ;
Downside: is only available in English for its users, and its updates lack regularity which naturally places it at the bottom of our ranking.
Why is BlueStacks the best Android emulator for PC?
Performance tests have been performed between the 4 Android emulators we have just presented. The result is clear, BlueStacks is very far ahead!
Here is the configuration used to perform this analysis:
- processor: Intel Core i7 ;
- RAM: 32 Gb (DDR3) ;
- graphics card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 ;
- operating system: Windows 10.
BlueStacks performed better than Nox especially on emulator speed criteria.
KOPlayer crashed twice (blue screen and PC reboot).
MEmu failed to handle some popular mobile games.
Download BlueStacks for Free Moreover, with Bluestacks, you can be sure that your personal information will remain confidential. As a US-based company, BlueStacks follows strict US data security laws (which is not always the case with other emulators).
Proprietary emulators: X-Legend and Plarium
Some creators of mobile video games have developed their own emulator to allow their fans to play on PC. This is the case of X-Legend and Plarium, the famous mobile game development companies MMO, RPG and strategy. They cannot really be ranked among the best Android emulators for PC in 2021since they are reserved for a very specific use.
Plarium Play: the emulator for playing Raid: Shadow Legends
Plarium Play is an emulator developed by Plarium, the creators of the famous mobile RAID: Shadow Legends game.
By the way, we've written a complete tutorial on how to install Plarium Play and play RAID: Shadow Legends on PC (we're fans, so we're sharing our tips)!
Please note that Plarium Play is a platform where you can also play other MMOs and free-to-play strategy games offered by the company :
- Vikings: War of Clans;
- Throne: Kingdom at War;
- Stormfall: Rise of Balur;
- Pirates: Tides of Fortune;
- Sparta: War of Empires;
- And so on.
X-Legend: the emulator to play Aura Kingdom 2
X-Legend Entertainment has also developed its own emulator so that fans of the Aura Kingdom series could play directly on their PC.
Fantasy MMORPG players can download the Aura Kingdom 2 PC client directly, install it on their PC and play their favorite game on the big screen. Remember that it is also possible to play Aura Kingdom 2 on PC through the BlueStacks emulator for example.
Let's specify that, even if these emulators are well optimized for their dedicated games, they do not allow to play other mobile games!
The best Android emulators for PC for developers
The developer emulators below provide you with different features to allow for a simulation of the Android environment on PC and easy testing of your applications.
Genymotion is an emulator developed by a French company that is mainly aimed at developers. This software allows you to emulate any smartphone very easily. Indeed, many mobile phone and tablet brands are already set up, enabling you to test Android applications on several devices.
This program is not free but will prove very useful for anyone wanting to learn how to develop on Android. The tests can be performed quickly, and many mobile features are available (simulating SMS, mobile network, GPS, etc.).
Android Studio is well known to Android developers since it is the IDE (integrated development environment) designed by Google. Available for free on all operating systems, Android Studio is not an emulator per se.
This software integrates all the tools to create applications and games on mobiles and tablets. It then offers an emulator to allow developers to directly test the behavior of their game or app on the Android version they choose (the latest versions are available and you can switch from one to the other easily).
Big downside: the client is heavy to install (several gigabytes), consumes a lot of resources and the installation is a bit complex. One quickly realizes the limits of the software as a mobile game emulator, not everything is as well thought out as in its competitors specialized in Android device emulation. It is sometimes much simpler to use an online emulator!
Conclusion: which Android emulator to choose?
You now have a lot of information about the best Android emulators for PC in 2021 on the market. If you use MacOS, don't panic, we have also selected the best Android emulators for Mac!
Whether for professional, videogames or both, there is an emulator adapted to everyone's needs. As you can see, if we had to choose the most powerful emulator that suits the largest audience, without hesitation, we would recommend BlueStacks! Download BlueStacks for Free
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