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How do you emulate Nintendo 3DS Games on Android

Are you searching for an 3DS emulator available for Android? Here are the top apps to choose, plus a guide on how to begin playing.

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Emulation gives you an accessible as well as affordable way to play games from the past that may be hard to find these days. Your Android phone is capable of playing most handheld and home consoles, up to the fifth generation of consoles and even Nintendo’s more recent handhelds work fine with modern smartphones.

Let’s discuss how to setup and utilize the Nintendo 3DS emulator on your Android phone.

It’s the Best Nintendo 3DS Emulator on Android

It’s the first step to pick an emulator, of course. There’s an array of choices available, but variations between the very best of them is based on your preference.

Citra and RetroArch are widely praised as the best 3DS emulators. Both are open-source and available on most platforms.

RetroArch Emulator

RetroArch can emulate various consoles, among them 3DS, Wii U 3DS, Wii, Wii U, GameBoy, PlayStation 1, PlayStation 2, SNES, Sega Genesis, and many more. This is possible due to the fact that RetroArch is a sort like hub. It consists of many emulators created for various consoles.

It’s available on Windows, Linux, Android, macOS, and iOS–however it’s also capable of running on certain consoles, such as the about it 3ds roms from Our Articles RetroArch offers a comprehensive list of platforms supported on its website. For more information about its customization options, check out our RetroArch Windows installation guide dives into the many configuration options available.

Citra Emulator

Citra was the original 3DS-capable gaming emulator, designed for PC. It’s currently compatible with Windows, Linux, macOS, and Android. The Citra team boasts a superb list of game compatibility that sort the supported games according to an array of “not evaluated” until “perfect” so that gamers can track the progress of an application’s compatibility tests.

Although RetroArch has the advantage that it is more accessible and has more than a few supported operating systems, we’ll use the 3DS-focused Citra for this particular article. Its Citra team has been able to provide the same and continuous support over many years, and their Android application is fully optimized. It even includes gamepad support!

Warning! Concerning ROMs!

It is our responsibility to remind you that getting ROMs using any other method than ripping them off an actual cartridge or disc you have is illegal. It is not permitted to copy ROMs solely for your own personal use, not for distribution purposes as well as from games you have. Nintendo is particularly strict about uploading and sharing their ROMs take care.

But, as long as you’re not selling ROMs then you’re most likely to be safe from legal concerns. When downloading ROMs from online databases be sure the website is reliable and the ROMs are safe before downloading. ROMs will never be EXE files, and they will never ask for more access to your device.

How to Setup and Use Citra on Your Android Phone

Once you’ve installed Citra with the back of your Android device, you’re couple of steps away from playing your favourite 3DS games.

Set Up Your Games to be played on emulators

Before starting the app it’s a good idea to have the game’s files within a specific folder on the Android device. It might even be best to create a brand new folder with a name like 3DS Games and Citra Games.

This isn’t necessary to be set up prior to opening the app however it can facilitate your initial setup. When beginning to launch Citra after which you’ll be prompt to choose which folder the games will launch from. You can change this at any moment by tapping on the folder icon at the upper-right corner.

Games on the Nintendo 3DS use a CIA extension, but they must be decrypted prior to use. The extracted file will use it’s 3DS extension. You can extract the files using a program similar to WinZip however Citra can also extract a 3DS files from CIA right from the app’s home screen. Simply click the file icon, choose Install CIA, and choose the CIA file from the downloads. The rest is as simple.

Instructions on how to play Games Citra

With a small selection of 3DS games available it’s time to get started playing.

  1. Start Citra and accept the requested permissions. It could ask for microphone access. is only for DS games that utilize the microphone for gaming purposes.
  2. Choose the folder for games you created earlier, and choose this directory.
  3. Once your directory of encrypted games is selected, the home screen will list all your games with an icon.
  4. Choose the game of choice to launch it. A small loading window appears while the emulator loads all the necessary shaders. Following this, you’re now ready to go.

This is the Best 3DS Emulator for Android

When testing Citra in our Citra tests, we decided to play two games that were compatible with Citra, New Super Mario Bros. 2 as well as Resident Evil Revelations. The first was marked “great” while the latter was classified “bad” by the compatibility list. We found super Mario Super Mario offered an overall pleasant experience, with only occasional stutters. Resident Evil, on the contrary, showed several texture and model problems, as well as the occasional crash.

There is no doubt that Citra is a great option to enjoy compatible games, and the team’s perseverance ensures that they’ll always expand and improve upon the compatible games. Citra is an easy recommendation–perhaps the best way to emulate 3DS games.