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! Thankfully, this market has stabilized a lot over the last year. The selections for 2019 are exactly the same as 2018.
DraStic DS Emulator
DraStic DS Emulator is probably the best of the Nintendo DS emulators right now. During our testing, it played pretty much every game we threw at it. There are probably only a handful of games that don’t work right. The emulator 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 is $4.99. That’s cheaper than it used to be. It’s a good bargain. This is the one we’d recommend first.
EmuBox is a newer emulator with a bunch of compatible systems. That includes PlayStation, SNES, and yes, Nintendo DS. This is one of the few emulators with Material Design. That makes it good looking. Thankfully, it also works okay. We didn’t have any serious problems playing the games we tested. Some have lamented some bugs with the emulator when using too many cheat codes, but otherwise the Google Play reviews are also mostly positive. It’s a free emulator with advertising. We hope a pro version without ads comes eventually.
NDS Emulator is one of the newer Nintendo DS emulators. It has all of the basic features such as external controller support, save states, load states, and customizable on-screen game pads. It played most of the games we tried during testing as well. It’s far from perfect and there are bugs. However, this is one of the better free Nintendo DS emulators available. There are ads and they are rather annoying. We would’ve liked a way to pay to remove them. It’s not the one we’d recommend first, but it’s definitely in the top five.
nds4droid is one of the older Nintendo DS emulators. It hasn’t received an update in a while. However, it is open source. Thus, developers can use this as a base to make their own. As an emulator, it’s okay. It does have some issues. That includes slower emulation. It does include a frame skip option to help mitigate this, though. Otherwise, it’s completely free with no in-app purchases and no advertisements. It’s a good starting point. If it works for you, all the better.
RetroArch is an all-in-one emulator. It supports a variety of game systems. That includes the Nintendo DS, Game Boy, SNES, Game Boy Advance, and plenty of non-Nintendo systems. You have to download and install each system individually within the app. That means you’ll have to download this, get the Nintendo DS core, and then you can finally play games. It supports all of the basic features. It’s not the easiest to use. However, it is completely free with no in-app purchases or advertising. It’s also in active development right now.
If we missed any great Nintendo DS emulators for Android, tell us about them in the comments! You can also click here to check out our latest Android app and game lists!