Now a days it is very common to use Android emulators on our PC for various reasons. App developers may be trying to test their application before shipping it out. Gamers may want to use a mouse and keyboard on their games. Maybe you just want it there to have it. Some people use it for messaging apps. So, it’s the time to take a look at the best android emulators for PC. Please note, the process is rarely easy and some of these require some technical knowledge. Also note that many of these emulators are made more or less the same way. It’s a matter of finding the one that works for you! Let’s get started.
List of best Android emulators for PC
AMIDuOS is first on our list and this is a relatively newer Android emulator for PC. This one comes in two flavors: Lollipop and Jelly Bean. Aside from the version type, the only other difference between the two is Jelly Bean costs $10 while Lollipop costs $15. The good news is that those are one-time charges. AMIDuOS runs very well for multiple purposes. Most of its features are productivity based. That makes it a good option for those who want to use it for things like office use, homework, etc. There aren’t any specific gaming features, but it does run games rather well. Developers could use it for basic testing, but it won’t be great for advanced stuff. It’s good overall and worth a chance.
Price: Free Trial / $10-$15
Android Studio’s emulator
Android Studio is the Google-approved development IDE for Android. It comes with a bunch of tools to help developers make apps and games specifically for Android. As it turns out, there is also a built-in emulator that you can use to test out your app or game. Clearly, this is not a good option for those looking to use it at a consumer level. However, those developing apps do already have a powerful (and free) tool at their disposal to help test their apps. It’s a pain in the neck to set up, but it’s easier to use once you do.
Next on our list is an entirely free emulator called Andy. It runs pretty much the entire gamut of the Android experience including productivity apps, launchers, games, and you can even install root access if needed. That makes it great as a productivity focused emulator although it can play games as well. In any case, it is free and it does work very well. Some have experienced some installation issues. We recommend you beware of those.
Bluestacks has long been the de facto solution for putting Android on your PC. For a while, they fell behind but have spent much of the last year bringing much needed updates to their platform. The result, dubbed Bluestacks 2, is a faster, more stable, and one of the better overall Android emulators for PC. It supports multitasking apps and has built-in functionality for things like shaking the screen and setting a location, features it did not previously have. It’s still mainly for gaming. Frankly, it’s not great for productivity. The price remains the same as it did previously, which is free with an optional $2/month premium subscription. The emulator is still rather bloated. Otherwise, it’s not too bad.
Price: Free / $2 per month
This Android emulator is geared toward developers who want to test their apps or games on a variety of devices without actually being required to own those devices. You can configure the emulator for a variety of devices with various versions of Android to help suit your needs. For instance, you can run a Nexus One with Android 4.2 or a Nexus 6 with Android 6.0. You can easily switch between “devices” at will. It’s not great for consumer uses, but Genymotion does offer their services for free for personal use.
KoPlayer is a newer Android emulator for PC. It has also managed to fly under most radars until recently. Its main focus is for gaming. You’ll be able to use keymapping to emulate a controller with your keyboard. Players will also be able to record game play and upload it wherever they want. The install process is easy enough and it seems to work alright. Like most emulators, it does have issues that you’ll run into randomly. It bills itself as a middle-of-the-road emulator. You’ll be able to use it for a variety of things. The only bad side is that it is still buggy. Nevertheless, it’s a good, free option.
Manymo is an interesting option. Mostly because the actual emulator is online. That not only makes it cross-platform with virtually every desktop OS, but it should also work on every computer regardless of its chipset. It has a variety of sizes that you can choose from. Additionally, there are some development tools. It’s for developers more than anyone else. That makes it a poor choice for consumer use. Their pricing structure is based around how many emulators you feel like using on a website.
MEmu is another of the up and coming Android emulators that seems to do quite well. One of its biggest features is support for both AMD and Intel chipsets. That’s rarer than you’d think. Additionally, it supports Android Jelly Bean, Kit Kat, and Lollipop. You can even run multiple instances at once. That makes it one of the few emulators that goes as high as Lollipop. Like many, you can use this for pretty much whatever you want. It’ll support most games and most apps. However, we recommend it mostly for productivity. It’s free to download and use if you want to.
Like Bluestacks, Nox is one of those Android emulators for PC that is set up to cater to gamers. This includes utilities and additions that are specifically catered to helping gamers. You’ll be able to do things like game with an actual controller. This includes things like the capacity to assign “swipe right” to, say, an arrow key and simulate actual gesture movements directly on your keyboard or joystick if you have one. It’s a lot of fun and seems to work rather well most of the time. It’s also entirely free. Don’t pay attention to the lag in the video below. The emulator doesn’t lag like that.
Remix OS Player by Jide is one of the newer Android emulators for PC. It’s also the only one that runs Android Marshmallow instead of Android Lollipop or Kit Kat. The installation process is pretty simple and using it also fairly easy. It’s built for gaming so you’ll have a variety of options via the sidebar to customize the experience to your liking. It’s new, so they’re still working out some bugs. Even so, it still works better than most and it’s free in perpetuity. The only main caveat is that it doesn’t support AMD CPUs.
Windroy is a classic. It’s one of the older Android emulators for PC. As such, it’s difficult to recommend it to everybody. Think of this one as a last ditch effort if none of the newer, more updated ones work out right. We’ve heard that it works best on older versions of Windows. It’s primarily for productivity. You’ll be able to run office apps easily enough. Game support is less reliable. At the very least, the emulator is free to download and installs easily enough. It’s worth trying. Especially for older machines.
Xamarin is an IDE. It’s similar to Android Studio. The difference is that it can plug into things like Microsoft Visual Studio. Also like the Android Studio, this comes with a built-in emulator for developers. It’s for developers only unless you feel like setting up an entire development environment to use it. Xamarin’s emulator is not as powerful as something like Genymotion, but it’ll get the job done if you intend on using this. It’s free for personal use. Companies and larger teams may have to negotiate a payment plan.
YouWave is one of the older Android emulators for PC. It’s been around for a long time. However, it was last updated in mid-2016 so it’s fairly current. The free version uses Ice Cream Sandwich. Forking out the $29.99 will get you the Lollipop version. It seems to work pretty well. The installation process was easy enough. It doesn’t have any game specific features but it will still play games. That makes it good for light gaming and productivity. This one has had quite a bit more development than most and we recommend it to those trying this whole process out for the first time.
Make Your Own
As it turns out, you can build your own emulator. Here’s how it works. You need to download VirtualBox (linked above). You then have to download an image from Android-x86.org. From there, it’s just a matter of finding of many guides online and following the steps. This is the most complicated way to get yourself an Android emulator. We don’t recommend you try without a tutorial and a little prior knowledge. It won’t work well, it’ll be buggy, and unless you’re a coder, it’ll be difficult to fix. Still, it’ll be yours.