There are many valid reasons why someone would want Android emulators to run on their PC. It could be app developers that are trying to examine their application before shipping it out. Gamers might want to utilize a mouse and keyboard for their games. You could just want it there to have it. Android emulation on PC is possible and is quite easier than it used to be. Some old classics either became unusable or left the space (Andy, AmiduOS, and Leapdroid), however, everything else here should work alright for most people. Below are the 5 best Android emulators for Mac and PC.
It should also be noted that Windows might allow for Android apps to enter directly in Windows 10 starting in 2021. This means quite a lot for the Android emulator market.
The three main uses for Android emulators
There are three major uses for emulators. The first use is for the most common aspect – gaming. Gamers utilize emulators on their computers to make some of the games easier to play. They don’t need to rely on the battery life of their devices and the presence of macros and other tricks enhance the process. In many cases, these tricks aren’t illegal (in most games), hence, nobody has a problem with it. The best gaming Android emulators include Bluestacks, KoPlayer, Nox, LDPlayer, and MeMu.
The second majorly common use is development. Android app and game developers test apps and games on the majority of the devices possible before a launch. Usually, the Android Studio emulator is alright for such sort of work. Although, Xamarin and Genymotion are the best for this kind of use as well.
The final major kind is productivity. This isn’t quite common as Chromebooks are cheaper and better for utilizing Android apps on some device which is not phone and most of the productivity tools are cross-platform. Any gaming emulator operates as a productivity emulator to some extent. Although, the ones with mega specific use instances and some knowledge can try ARChon and Bliss. We would also recommend you to go through the Chromebook route if you want Android apps to run in a laptop or computer environment.
5 Major Android Emulators
LDPlayer is an Android emulator that focuses on gaming performance. It functions with Android Nougat 7.1 and features the general array of gamer-oriented features that contain decent keyboard mapping controls, macros, graphical support, multi-instance, and high FPS. This is one of the lesser emulators on this list that receives active updates to enhance compatibility. It supports many games like Garena Free Fire, Among Us, Clash of Clans, and many more. The LDPlayer, in the latest versions, has optimized the functioning of League of Legends: Wild Rift offering preset keymapping for different Champions and many different custom features. LDPlayer, besides that, is also considered to be a well-rounded emulator for utilizing TikTok, Instagram, WhatsApp, etc. It is one of the 5 best Android Emulators.
2. Android Studio’s emulator
The default developer console for Android is the Android Studio. It occurs with many different tools to help the developers make games and apps for Android especially. There is also an in-built emulator that you can utilize to examine your game or app. The setup might take some time as it is rather complicated. Hence, it is not recommended for consumer-level of use. It is one of the 5 best Android Emulators. Although, can use this tool easily as their emulator to test their apps. In case developers want to try out Kotlin, it supports that as well. It takes too long to set-up, hence, it is not recommended for non-developers but works efficiently for the developers.
3. Bliss OS
Price: Free / Optional donations
Bliss is quite different than the others. It functions as an Android emulator for PC through a virtual machine. Although, it can also run on your computer via a USB stick. The boot-from-USB option is quite a power user option and is not recommended for limited intense use cases. The process is quite easy as it is a VM install but it is very nerve-wracking if you have ever made your virtual machine. Your computer can run Android natively from the boot through the USB installation method which is even more complicated. If you can make it through the steps to the end, Bliss can be considered as a super unique emulator. It runs effectively only if your system supports it, hence, be ready with a backup of your current operating system. The system functions on Android Oreo which is amongst the newer and more unique versions of Android provided on an emulator. It is one of the 5 best Android Emulators.
Price: Free / $2 per month
Bluestacks is the most cliché of all Android emulators. There are many reasons for that. For beginners, it supports Windows and Mac. It was also one of the first that worked quite efficiently that still gets regular updates. The emulator pinpoints mobile gamers. There is a downside with Bluestacks as it can feel a little bloated sometimes. Bluestacks 4 was launched in 2018 which was focused to fix that with mixed results. It also contains settings and key-mapping for multiple games installed. That makes things much easier. It is considered to be one of the heaviest emulators on the list. Although, it also has the majority of the features for better or for worse. Bluestacks also invented the MSI App Player which is another amazing emulator that some think works better than vanilla Bluestacks. You can try anyone, they are both sponsored by Bluestacks.
GameLoop was formerly known as Tencent Gaming Buddy. It is an Android emulator for gamers. This is so good that Tencent calls it the ideal emulator for its games which includes Call of Duty: Mobile and PUBG Mobile. It also supports games besides Tencent’s, however, the collection is not as big. The emulator was installed fine and the games we examined ran just fine. This one is bad for productivity or developmental testing. Although, if you are a sucker for mobile FPS gaming with some titles, this is quite a decent gaming emulator and it brags a good collection of newer titles. Additionally, the keyboard controls and performance is decent. It is one of the 5 best Android Emulators.