5 best SNES emulators for Android

by: Joe HindyApril 7, 2016

best SNES emulators for Android
Emulators are a valuable part of Android’s past. Back when the best games were Solitaire and Angry Birds, emulators allowed gamers to play console level games on their phones and provided hours of enjoyment and nostalgia from days passed. Thankfully, there are a decent number of SNES emulators available to replay those classics like Chrono Trigger, Super Mario World, and Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. Here are the best SNES emulators for Android!

john snes best snes emulatorsJohn SNES

[Price: Free / $2.99]
John SNES is from a long line of emulators from this developer that have a reputation for being done well. It boasts a high level of compatibility running on the original SNES engine which means there are probably only a handful of games that don’t work. It’s not as feature-filled as other SNES emulators, but it does have support for game pads (on-screen, wireless, wired, and Bluetooth), cheat code support, fast forward and slow motion modes, turbo button support, and more. You can try it out for free but to get all of the features, you’ll need to pay for the pro version. This is about as stable as it gets in this space and John SNES is a great option.

Get it now on Google Play!

john snes best SNES emulators for Android

retroarch best emulators for androidRetroarch

[Price: Free]
Retroarch is a unique all-in-one emulator that allows you to play all kinds of games from all kinds of systems and one of them is the SNES. The app it a bit complicated, but once you learn the ropes, it doesn’t take much effort to get your SNES games up and running. It comes with on-screen buttons that can be remapped, a high compatibility rate for most of its emulators, cheat code support, and a lot more. It’s in active development which is always encouraging. It’s also open source, free to use, and has no advertisements. It’s definitely worth a try.

Get it now on Google Play!

retroarch best SNES emulators for Android

snes emulator androidSnes9x EX+

[Price: Free]
Snes9x EX+ has been around for a long time and it’s considered the best free SNES emulator currently available. It’s open source and has the basic features required for an SNES emulator to be enjoyable, including save/load states, on-screen controls, support for .smc, .sfc, and zip files, and support for game pads. It looks a little old school, but works well on pretty much every device rocking a single core 1Ghz processor or better which is pretty much all of them at this point. It’s good, it’s free, and it’s worth a shot.

Get it now on Google Play!

snes9x ex+ best SNES emulators for Android

SuperRetro16 best SNES emulators for AndroidSuperRetro16 (SNES)

[Price: Free / $3.99]
SuperRetro16 has undergone many name changes over the years, but it remains the most popular SNES emulator that boasts the most features. This one comes with an auto-detect feature so you don’t have to go browsing for games. It also has cloud support so you can save your games to your Google Drive or Dropbox for cross-device playing. It also comes with the basics, such as cheat code support, game pad support, fast forward and slow motion mode, and more. It even comes with some visual enhancement plugins that try to make the games look a little sharper on HD displays. It’s about as solid as it gets and has a ton of features to boot. About the only negative thing you can say about it is that it may be considered a tad bloated for some folks.

Get it now on Google Play!

snesoid best SNES emulators for AndroidSNESoid (for older devices)

[Price: Free]
This last one is kind of a wild card. SNESoid used to be a very popular app in the Google Play Store but was pulled due to legal concerns. Fortunately, the app is now available for free using the button below. Unfortunately, you’ll have to download the APK yourself and sideload it manually. This app hasn’t been updated in a couple of years so you can expect some compatibility issues depending on your device. We’re only recommending this one for readers who have very old devices that are running older versions of Android. It worked very well back in the day its lack of updates to newer versions of Android make it a great option for those few who are still in the “pre-Jelly Bean” builds of Android or have re-purposed older devices for playing games. It is entirely free and it works well, although you may need to tweak some settings (like C-Core) to get some games to work properly.

Download SNESoid now!

snesoid best SNES emulators for Android

Related best app lists:

If we missed any of the best SNES emulators for Android, tell us about them in the comments! To see our complete list of best app lists, click here.

  • Corey Watford

    Can we Please Get a “best gameboy emulator” article too?

    • JosephHindy

      Later today or tomorrow. I’m doing a number of these :) keep an eye out on the app lists section. It’s coming!

      • Jorge Alvarez

        awesome for the gameboy advance ones dont forget about VGBA pricey but nice

        • JosephHindy

          MyBoy will always be my GBA emulator of choice ;)

          • Hodr

            Yep agree, MyBoy is my top choice.

    • joshua henry

      use gbadroid the bios file is on loveroms.com

  • Hodr

    Am still using Snes9x EX.
    Used Zhang’s Snesoid long ago but stopped after source code license fiasco.
    SuperGNES is premium with polished UI, but not enough to make me switch :)

    • JosephHindy

      Yeah I never got full details ont he source code fiasco, but the app is now totally free so it doesn’t matter anymore anyway :) I’m pretty sure it was a dispute over money and there is no longer money getting switched so I’m okay with promoting it to people.

    • vladnn

      Same here, started with snesoid on froyo, then snes9x from ics till now.
      Both are good emulators imho. Still don’t see reason to switch from snes9x ex

  • Pedro Nieto

    RetroArch is my favorite and it includes Gameboy color and other emulators into one. Just be sure to set the input or you will get a black screen as the controller.

  • Tom Z

    Is that some sort of InstaGram ratio monitor. It looks square!

  • rogue3

    Do any of these include support for external controllers?

    • Rob Triggs

      I don’t recall about in-app, but I’m pretty sure SNESDroid works with Bluetooth PS3 controllers via the SixAxis controller app (or similar). It might depend on the controller though.

      I used to use that sort of setup all the time.

      • rogue3

        I have a MOGA controller. I’ll have to test it out & see if it’ll work with some of these emulators.

        • JosephHindy

          Sorry this has taken so long, but SuperGNES (now SuperLegacy16) does work with Moga. I use it all the time :)

  • NI TI SH

    Multicolored, fast calculator with unlimited precision and large display digits. Its FREE.


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    • JosephHindy


  • Sephiro

    The best gameboy advance emulator hands down is gameboid. It plays any and all gameboy games at will with support for a wide variety of devices.

  • Luce Distante

    Hi all and thanks for this article :-) I’m having some troubles making my sister happy with her new HTC android, and I really hope some good old school gaming will make her smile. I wonder if that jewel can handle N64 too :-)

  • Max Rosenblum

    Can anyone confirm that these emulators will work with a USB Snes controller?

    • anon

      Your droid’s got a port for a usb? Or do you mean a bluetooth controller?

      • JosephHindy

        You can use USB OTG cables to connect USB peripherals to your Android devices. I used to do this with a PlayStation 3 controller.

  • David Oliveira Andrade

    So good. I use the SNESoid because it is the only that runs smoothly on my phone. i once used superGNES but it runs a bit slower.

  • سلطان الدبيان
  • Joker74

    ive always used snex9x but maybe change? i want to use on my samsung tab s 10.5 and use a ps3 controller over bluetooth maybe, else buy one of those new pads???

  • Joker74

    and will they work with samsung screen mirror to tv?

  • Abz Productions

    why was this reposted?……

  • Nibbler

    Just wish I could still download the roms from coolrom but they had to take off all the nintendo content.

    • Corey Watford


      • Nibbler

        how legit is that website? coolroms was awesome but I’m always hesitant about viruses and stuff

        • Corey Watford

          Always use adblock, and be careful where you click, no worse than coolrom

  • Moose05

    I’ve got a question. How come not a single emulator has Chromecast support? I’m guessing a Chromecast limitation. Only thing I can think of.