The Nintendo DS is among the most popular handheld consoles of all time. Its iconic value is right up there with that of the Game Boy and the PSP. There were some amazing games for the system and sometimes it’s easier to keep those games on your phone than to carry around a second device to play them. Sadly, development of the Nintendo DS emulator platform is still is a little niche so there aren’t a ton of options to choose from. Nevertheless, we did find a few that worked alright so here are the best Nintendo DS emulators for Android!
AseDS is one of the newer Nintendo DS emulators to hit the market. It boasts a few features, such as cheat codes, custom button layouts, screen display options, and some performance tweaks to help smooth game play (like frame skipping). During our testing, it seemed to play most of the ROMs we threw at it without too much trouble, although some games stuttered a bit and user reviews have complained about the game’s issue with a few Pokemon games as well. Taking into consideration that the emulator is free, it’s definitely worth a shot.
DraStic DS emulator is probably the most stable DS emulator available right now. During our testing, it played pretty much every game we threw at it with only a few games that didn’t perform overly well. The emulator itself comes with a host of features, including screen layout customization, controller customization, support for hardware controllers, fast forward, Google Drive support, and high end devices can enjoy some improved graphics rendering if they so choose. The price tag is a bit hefty comparatively speaking, but this is a good emulator.
NDS Boy is another one of the newer Nintendo DS emulators on the market and this one seems to be pretty decent. It has an above average ROM compatibility and a few other features, including customizable controls and the basic stuff like save and load states. It’s also compatible with NDS game files including zip, 7z, rar, and nds files. It’s free to download and use with no in-app purchases with the only caveat being that it recommends that you have a high end device for it to work correctly.
nds4droid is another free Nintendo DS emulator and this one has been around for a long time. Thankfully, the developer has been actively supporting it and it has been getting progressively better although it still has some issues here and there. It has the basic features like save and load states along with performance tweaks like frame skip to help games play at a more logical speed. It’s entirely open source and you can find the source code by clicking here if you want to help the project improve.
RetroArch is an open source emulator that actually has a number of systems available, including SNES, PlayStation, Game Boy, and Nintendo DS. It’s a bit more complex than most, with each emulator coming in the form of “cores” that you must download and add to the app for it to play those particular games. During our testing, it seemed to work rather well, although it did have a few of the same issues as other emulators. It’s free to download and use and is also open source so there’s no harm in giving it a shot if the others don’t play the games you want.
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If we missed any great Nintendo DS emulators for Android, tell us about them in the comments! To see our complete list of best app lists, click here.