If you want to enjoy & play DS console on your Android device then simply visit on Google Play Store, install any best NDS emulator for Android, and play! There are numerous Android NDS emulators available on Play Store like Drastic DS Emulator, NDS4Droid, EmuBox, RetroArch, etc that you can try. To know more DS emulators, read this article till the end.
Nintendo DS is one of the most popular consoles among game enthusiasts. However, the production of this console has been stopped for long gone, and also there are not enough options. But do you know you can still play its games using the NDS emulators for Android?
Nintendo DS used to be known for the legend and nostalgic games, such as Pokemon and Mario. So, if you want to experience that bygone era on your Android device, then an emulator app can help you to do so.
With the help of the Nintendo DS emulators for Android, you can play all those games on your Android phone/tablet. So, today in this article, I am going to share the top NDS emulator apps for Android.
Disclaimer:This article has been published only for the entertainment purpose and we are strictly against piracy. We don’t recommend to download ROMs & BIOS files to pay the Nintendo games on a NDS emulator as it is illegal. Use the emulator only when you have a genuine copy of the NDS games and the hardware.
List of the Best NDS Emulator for Android
If you don’t know, emulators are a way to play the contents of consoles or other systems on your device. Similarly, a good NDS emulator for Android will enable you to play all the famous Nintendo DS games on your smartphone. Check out this list and go for any of these emulators:
1: Drastic DS Emulator
Drastic DS Emulator is one of the fastest and most recommended Nintendo DS emulators for Android. Due to awesome 3D graphics and smooth performance, it has secured first place in the list of best Android NDS emulators.
It comes with several fascinating and useful features, which includes save and load games, sync option for joystick and controller, allowing cheat codes, etc. However, it is not free and you have to pay to enjoy this emulator.
- You can customize the screen size
- Supports add-on controllers
- Can save the progress of the game
- Allow fast forward to increase the emulation speed
- Doesn’t work well on Android 11 or above phones
- Sometimes, it crashes while loading
- Didn’t get any new updates after 2020
2: NDS4Droid- Best NDS Emulator for Android
NDS4Droid is the most downloaded, one of the oldest, and best NDS emulators for Android devices. It is a completely open-source emulator for Nintendo DS.
This NDS emulator app supports the saving and sound features, which bring the assurity of immersive gaming experience, and you won’t lose track of your game where you left off.
But unfortunately, this app hasn’t come up with any update since 2016, which is quite disappointing. However, it doesn’t make this app any less. NDS4Droid still provides many critical features, and the cleanest thing about it is it doesn’t violate any GPL.
So, you may give it a try. But first, let’s see some of the upsides and downsides of this Android NDS emulator app.
- Open-source app
- Don’t show any ads
- Multilingual support
- Gives Frame skip option
- Don’t work well on old phone models
- It doesn’t support any Pokemon game
- There is no fast forward option
Also Read: Best PS2 Emulators For Android
The EmuBox – AIO emulator is the newest in a race of the best Nintendo DS emulators for Android, and it seems it is already capturing success. With a bunch of excellent features and compatible systems, it has become a new favorite emulator of 1M+ Android users.
The first and foremost reason behind its success is EmuBox isn’t only restricted to the Nintendo DS, but it can emulate many other systems. That includes Playstation, NES, GBA, GBC, and many more. So, it’s the first multi-emulator for Android.
This emulator comes with Material Design which makes it aesthetically pleasing & intuitive. Now, talking about its other features, EmuBox can run the old game ROMs, supports 20 save slots for each ROM, allows to take a screenshot while playing a game, and supports external controllers.
However, it has mostly positive reviews on Google Play Store it is still worth looking at some of its pros and cons.
- It’s free to use
- Compatible with a wide range of consoles
- Astonishing graphics quality
- Allow using an external controller
- Can play games in the landscape or portrait mode
- Emulator lags when you use too many cheat codes
- Show ads and have no option to remove it
4: Free DS Emulator – For Android
If you are looking for a free Nintendo DS emulator for Android, you must try the Free DS Emulator by CPU Studio. You can use this DS emulator app on Android 4.2 and up. With the help of this app, you can convert your Android phone into a Nintendo DS gaming console.
It gives some of the cool features any user would look for, such as Save game states, editable game screen, adding external controllers, and many more. So, use this emulator app to play the DS games on Android at the highest speed.
- Fast and stable gameplay
- Supports cheat codes
- Allows to add external controller
- Save and load game states
- App crashes while loading 3rd party ROMs
- Show ads
RetroArch is the best multipurpose emulator for Android. This open-source app supports multiple game systems, such as Nintendo DS, SNES, Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, and many other non-Nintendo consoles/systems.
But there is one thing that makes it different from other NDS emulators apps on Android. It only supports front-end GUI for media players, emulators, and game engines.
So, you need to download & install the core for each system individually in the app to make it work. It means you need to be a little technical to set up this app.
However, it is free to use, and you can also create your own games for NDS with the Libretro API. Besides, it provides all the basic features you might be looking for in a good Android Nintendo DS emulator app.
- Free to use
- Open Source
- Supports a wide variety of systems
- The setup process is quite a hassle, especially for a non-techy person
- It needs to improve the UI
Also Read: Best Pokémon GO Spoofers for Android
SuperNDS is the next in our list of top Nintendo DS emulators on Android. You can depict the performance of this app from the review on the Google Play Store, and I must say this emulator totally justifies the user’s response as it works very well and offers fast & stable gameplay.
However, it crashes on old Android phones with low RAM as it requires a good amount of RAM. But on new Android phones, it provides excellent gameplay, good graphics quality, and decent rendering. It supports ZIP, NDS, RAR, and 7z file types.
Despite being a basic DS emulator for Android, it includes all the features you would look out for in a good emulator.
- Glitch free graphics
- Excellent gameplay
- Supports multiple file types
- Easy to use
- Crashes on old Android devices
7: NDS Boy- Best DS Emulator For Android
There is another NDS emulator which you can try on your Android which is- NDS Boy. This emulator lets users play every single game that is available for Nintendo DS. Some of the games are Pokemon Saga, Castlevania, Super Mario, Final Fantasy, etc.
The best thing about this NDS emulator is that- it is compatible with almost every game and even runs without any glitches.
Thus, if you really want to play NDS games on your Android then you should try NDS Boy once.
- Performance is much pretty
- It supports most of the NDS games
- Does tend to lag on low end devices
Nintendo DS Emulators to Avoid
Some Android users don’t pay attention while choosing a good and secure Nintendo DS Emulator for Android and end up installing a buggy app. Such apps won’t be good either for playing the Nintendo DS games or for the device.
Hence, it is important to pay attention while selecting the right emulator for your Android device. Here are some low-rated and buggy apps that may hamper the gameplay and the device. Let’s check it out.
1: NDS Emulator
This NDS emulator has over 1 million users, while the rating is comparatively low. It clearly shows that users aren’t happy with this app. After going through the reviews, I found these issues with this Nintendo DS emulator:
- The app keeps crashing when opening the layout changing option.
- The games are constantly freezing.
- This emulator does not load past the setup stage.
- Users are experiencing a problem while setting up the emulator on their phones.
- Compatibility issues with the games.
These are not complaints of just a few users, but most of the users are having the same issues with this app. So, I would recommend not to use this app unless it come up with solutions to all these problems.
2: Power (.NDSFile) Emu
Another NDS emulator for Android to avoid is Power (.NDSFile) Emu. The first drawback of this app is it doesn’t come with in-built games, and the beta version of the app doesn’t work well with old devices. Apart from these, there are a few more problems with this app:
- the game automatically gets started
- Enabling sounds decreases the FPS
- Users are not able to play all the games on the emulator
- The emulator is not working on the device and crashing while trying to load it.
3: GBA Emulator
The GBA Emulator also has more than 1 million users, but like the above two apps, it has also failed to impress the users. Let’s see what are the issues with this app:
- This app conflicts with the functionalities of the other apps.
- GBA Emulator fails to load on Android phones most of the time.
- The app has so many glitches, and users are unable to play the game.
- The controllers are not working.
- The app screen goes black.
If you are using any of these apps, I will suggest you move to the other emulator. Because in the future, Google Play Store may discontinue these apps due to continuous issues and bugs.
Users have already witnessed some of the big NDS emulators being dropped by the Google Play Store, such as DeSmuME, NO$GBA, and All in One Emulator. So, there is no point in using these buggy apps as sooner or later it is going to be banned from Play Store.
How to Play Nintendo DS Games on Android Using NDS Emulator?
Downloading the NDS Emulator on your Android device is not enough. You must set up the app to play Nintendo DS games on Android. If you don’t know how to do it, follow these steps:
Note: The steps to set up the emulator on your phone and play the games may vary with different emulators. However, the given method is a common way to do this and most apps use the same method.
- First, download and install the Nintendo DS emulator on Android from Google Play Store. You can also download the .apk file of the app from a trusted Android APK website.
- Download the BIOS file as it doesn’t come packed with the emulators, and you need it to run the games.
- Next, download the ROM file of the game you want to play on an emulator. The file must have a .nds extension.
- Move the game’s ROM file to the separate folder created in the SD card. Rename the folder to the NDS games for easy navigation.
- Open the Nintendo DS emulator > go to the folder where the ROM file is saved > find the ROM and double tap on it to play the game.
If you are missing those old golden days of playing your favorite game on Nintendo DS, then above mentioned NDS emulators for Android will bring your childhood memories back.
James Leak is a technology expert and lives in New York. Previously, he was working on Symbian OS and was trying to solve many issues related to it. From childhood, he was very much interested in technology field and loves to write blogs related to Android and other OS. So he maintained that and currently, James is working for androiddata-recovery.com where he contribute several articles about errors/issues or data loss situation related to Android. He keeps daily updates on news or rumors or what is happening in this new technology world. Apart from blogging, he loves to travel, play games and reading books.