How to Emulate Nintendo 3DS Games on Android

Are you looking for a 3DS emulator for Android? These are the top 3DS emulators you can choose from, and guides on how to begin playing.

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Emulation gives you an accessible and affordable way for you to play games from the past which aren’t easy to acquire these days. The Android phone is capable of emulating the majority of handheld and home consoles up to the fifth generation of consoles and even Nintendo’s more recent handhelds can be played on the modern smartphones.

Let’s discuss how to setup and utilize a Nintendo 3DS emulator on your Android phone.

It’s the Best Nintendo 3DS Emulator on Android

The first step is to select an emulator, naturally. There’s a surprising amount of choices, however, the differentiators between the most effective of these are dependent on your preference.

Citra and RetroArch are largely heralded as the best 3DS emulators. Both are both open-source and work across all platforms.

RetroArch Emulator

RetroArch can emulate various consoles, that includes that of 3DS, Wii, Wii U, GameBoy, PlayStation 1, PlayStation 2, SNES, Sega Genesis, and more. It’s possible since RetroArch is a sort like hub. It consists of many emulators created for different consoles.by link roms-hub.com website

It’s available on Windows, Linux, Android, macOS, and iOS–however, it’s also capable of running on consoles like the GameCube. RetroArch has a full list of supported platforms through its site. To learn more about its customizability, our RetroArch Windows installation guide dives into its vast configuration options.

Citra Emulator

Citra was the initial 3DS-capable console emulator developed for PC. It’s now available on Windows, Linux, macOS, and Android. The Citra team has an amazing game compatibility list that classifies the games supported on scales ranging from “not evaluated” through “perfect” to ensure that users will be able to see the progression of the compatibility testing of a game.

While RetroArch offers the benefit that it is more accessible and has more compatible platforms, we’ll be using the 3DS-specific Citra for this story. The Citra team has maintained constant and extensive support over time, and the Android app has been optimized to perfection. It even supports gamepads!

Warning! Regarding ROMs!

It is our duty to remind you that accessing ROMs through any other way other than ripping them off cartridges or discs you own is a violation of the law. It is only possible to rip ROMs exclusively for personal usage, and not for distribution purposes and from games that you have. Nintendo is particularly strict on hosting and downloading of their ROMs to ensure your safety, so be mindful.

But, as long as you don’t sell ROMs in the first place, you’re relatively safe from legal issues. When you purchase ROMs from online databases ensure that the source has credibility and that the files are secure before downloading. The ROMs you download will never be EXE files, and they are not going to ask for additional access to your device.

How to Setup and Use Citra on Your Android Phone

Once you’ve installed Citra for Your Android phone, there’s only one step away from playing your favourite 3DS games.

Develop Your Games to be played on emulators

Before starting the app you’ll want your game files stored within a specific folder on the Android device. It may be a good idea to create a new folder that’s named 3DS Games or Citra Games.

It’s not necessary for this to be set up prior to opening the app and it’s a good idea to simplify your initial setup. the first time you launch Citra at first, you’ll get prompted to choose which folder which your games will run from. The option to change it at any time by clicking to select the folder icon on the upper-right-hand corner.

Games for the Nintendo 3DS use a CIA extension, but they must be decrypted prior use. This extracted files will be using 3DS as the 3DS extension. The files can be extracted with a utility such as WinZip however Citra is also able to extract a 3DS files from CIA directly on the application’s home screen. Just tap the icon for the file select Install CIA and select an CIA file from your downloads. It’s that simple.

The Best Way to Play games on Citra

With a few 3DS games already in play it’s time to get started playing.

  1. Start Citra and agree to the permissions. It might ask for microphone access. This is only for DS games that make use of the microphone for gaming purposes.
  2. Choose the folder for games you created earlier, and select it.
  3. Once the directory with decrypted games is selected, the home screen will display every game you play, and will be accompanied by an icon.
  4. Choose the game of you like to launch it. A small loading screen appears while the emulator loads the shaders needed. After this, you’re good to go.

This is the Best 3DS Emulator for Android

In the course of testing Citra We chose two games from their compatibility list, New Super Mario Bros. 2, as well as Resident Evil Revelations. The first one was marked “great” and the latter was labeled “bad” as per the list of compatibility. We found an overall positive experience. Super Mario offered an overall pleasant experience, with only occasional stutters. Resident Evil, on the contrary, was plagued by several texture and model problems, as well as a crash.

We’re sure that Citra is a great way to enjoy compatible games, and the team’s constant effort ensures that they will be able to continue expanding and improve compatible games. Citra is an easy recommendation–perhaps the best way to emulate 3DS games.