The best Nintendo 3DS emulators for Android

C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

Nintendo 3DS is an excellent console. It houses some undisputed classics like Mario Kart 7, several Pokemon games, The World Ends With You, Bravely Default, the highly underrated Etrian Odyssey series and more. It turns out that it is possible to emulate the handheld on your Android phone. Citra is the best dog here, and it’s included in our best emulators for android list. Every emulator on this list uses Citra in some form, so that’s your best bet. If you find another 3DS emulator that doesn’t use Citra, we may not recommend it at the time of writing. Anyway, here are the best Nintendo 3DS emulators for Android.

Citra emulator

Price: Free / $4.99

Citra Google Play screenshot for Android Apps Weekly #320

Citra is probably your best option when it comes to 3DS emulators. It includes a high compatibility rate, support for built-in features like the camera, and even some settings to improve your graphics. Of course, it also comes with the usual stuff like save states, load states, external controller support and more. It worked pretty well in our testing, playing the games we threw at it without much of a problem. There’s some quirkiness here and there, but it’s nothing to write home about. The only downside is that it doesn’t seem to work with Exynos powered phones, so you guys are out of luck.

There is an unofficial fork of Citra called Citra MMJ (GitHub). It may work better in some cases depending on your device and what games you play. It requires a third party install and we have one tutorial for installing third party apps if you need help with it.

Lemuroid screenshot 2023

Lemuroid is an all-in-one type of emulator. It supports dozens of consoles through the Libretro core library. The same goes for the Nintendo 3DS. It uses the Citra core, so it’s powered by the same underlying emulator as the Citra emulator above. So it offers similar game compatibility and functionality. The advantage of something like Lemuroid is the ability to emulate multiple game consoles within a single app. It’s also pretty easy to use once you get the hang of things.

RetroArch

Price: Free / $4.99

RetroArch screenshot 2023

RetroArch works a lot like Lemuroid. It uses the Libretro core library to emulate a number of different consoles. It also uses the Citra core to mimic the Nintendo 3DS. RetroArch is just as powerful as Lemuroid, but includes a fully customizable setup. That means the learning curve with RetroArch is much higher than with Lemuroid. In terms of pure functionality, you’ll get roughly the same performance from 3DS games anyway. This one has an optional premium version, but the free version also works.


If we missed any great Nintendo 3DS emulators, let us know in the comments.