Discover The Article
- 1 Emulators and ROMs
- 2 1. Drastic DS Emulator
- 3 2. RetroArch
- 4 3. EmuBox
- 5 4. NDS4Droid
- 6 5. SuperNDS
- 7 6. NDS Pocket
- 8 7. NDS Boy
- 9 Final Words
Last Updated on May 3, 2021 by Editor Futurescope
Do you miss playing your classic favorite Nintendo DS games like Pokémon, Mario, The Legend of Zelda, and many more? Well, worry no more because Nintendo DS Emulators allow you to play DS games on your smartphone or tablet. With these DS emulators, you can bring those games back to life in an entirely new way.
Despite having a multitude of paid and free emulator apps available on the market today, choosing the right one can be tricky. Therefore, in this article, we have compiled a list of the best DS emulators for Android smartphones. Be sure to check them all out and find the one that suits your preferences the most.
Let’s dive right in, what is the best Nintendo DS emulators for Android and ROMs?
Emulators and ROMs
You can view the emulator as the DS console, but obviously, you can’t play a console without games, right? Hence, to be able to play Nintendo DS games on Android, you must download ROMs (the games that you play on your Emulator).
These ROMs are available on the web through torrent websites, but the legality of distributing such files varies from region to region. To be on the safe side just make sure that they are available for public use. Without further ado, here are seven of the best DS emulators for Android.
1. Drastic DS Emulator
For only $4.99 in Playstore, Drastic DS Emulator is a fantastic bargain. It is one of the top-rated Nintendo DS Emulator for Android. The Emulator is famous for its user-friendly interface and best performance.
- Gaming Performace mode to enhance the performance.
- Fast forward to increase emulation speed.
- Google Drive Support save games online which reduces the storage space.
- Database of thousands of cheat codes to
- Tweak your gaming experience.
- Fully supports add-on controllers and physical controls.
- Customization of the placement and size of the DS screens.
- Customization of button placements.
- Customization of graphics
- The Emulator’s adjustable emulation speed makes the players astounded as to its performance.
- The user interface and graphics are worth the price.
- It doesn’t have pixelated resolutions since it can improve the graphics by 2×2.
- Drastic DS Emulator is ads-free hence, you can enjoy the gaming experience anytime and anywhere.
- It fully supports the physical controls and add-on functionalities such as Xperia Play and NVidia Shield.
- In times of challenging gameplay one can use the cheat codes database.
- You can synchronize the saved games using Google Drive
- Despite DraStic DS working on most Android devices, it performs best on higher-end phones and tablets.
- It does not have a free option.
- Only one save slot per ROM.
RetroArch is an all-in-one emulator which supports a variety of game programs. The Emulator is not the simplest to use as you have to download and set up every system separately inside the program. This usually means you will need to acquire the Nintendo DS heart, and then you can finally play games.
With the RetroArch app, you can not only play games, but you can also develop games using this open-source application. Where you can also chat with RetroArch technical support to improve their app performance and design. RetroArch’s user interface does take some time to get used to it and is more targeted towards experienced users.
However, if you spend some time learning the basics it is probably one of the best DS emulators to use. The other thing to note is that RetroArch is a multi-versatile program and requires modular programs called ‘cores’ to function. To obtain these cores, you have to go to the ‘Online Updater and install the cores using ‘Core Updater’.
- Built-in input remapping
- Play multiplayer with NetPlay
- Load Game cheats
- Multiple language support
- View database information for each game
- Emulates multiple handheld and console video game systems.
- Open source and ad-free.
- It is free without in-app purchases.
- You can scan files or directories and add them to game system collections.
- It can remap controls
- You can enter and load cheats
- It has No DRM
- No restrictions on usage completely free
- Requires a little time and technical knowledge to set up.
- The interface is not user-friendly.
EmuBox is a fast-loading emulator that offers smooth performance and lag-free gameplay. It is a multi-emulator that supports more than just your Nintendo DS games. It is a more recent emulator which emulates PlayStation, SNES, and Nintendo DS. The developers have kept the Emulator up to date and will undoubtedly run on the latest android devices.
The emulator is one of the best emulators you can find for a free price tag. However, it comes with Ads that can not be removed. We hope the app developers eventually create a pro version without ads. Emubox is one of those few emulators using Material Design that makes it good-looking.
- 20 save slots per ROM.
- Allows in-game screenshots.
- Support external controllers.
- Gameplay optimization settings.
- Exceptional graphics.
- Play in portrait or landscape mode.
- Performance issues especially when too many cheats are active.
- No option to remove adverts.
NDS4Droid is another free Nintendo DS emulator which has excellent graphics and visualization features. The Emulator is the oldest DS emulator among the popular ones. It is a treasure trove of information for developers interested in early DS emulation.
Despite NDS4Droid haven’t received any updates lately. Its system UPDATES were already outdated ever since 2016. However, NDS4Droid is still a convenient and reliable app that can still fulfill the basic gaming needs of the players. Due to NDS4Droid not being updated for some time, it is most likely only work for older NDS ROMs.
- Replay cheats
- Supports games OUYA game console.
- NDS4Droid has built-in support for extracting .zip, and .rar files.
- Open-source with no ads.
- Multiple language support.
- Frameskip option helps offset performance issues
- NDS4Droid is completely free without any cost.
- NDS4droid does not violate GPL
- The Laggy performance and periodic crashes interrupt gameplay.
- Doesn’t have the fast forward feature
- It often crashes and the save feature doesn’t work.
- It is somewhat slow, even on higher-end phones.
SuperNDS is your newest Nintendo DS emulator on the list that you can use as a Nintendo DS replacement. It is a fairly basic emulator without a slew of attributes and it might take some digging into the settings to get it working correctly. It is reported by some users to have some adware, but nothing too intrusive of your gameplay.
- Play in portrait and landscape portrait mode
- Frequent developer updates
- It’s fairly simple to use. For instance, you just copy your NDS game files to an SD card or internal memory, load up the SuperNDS emulator, and you are ready to play
- Supports NDS, ZIP, 7z, and RAR file
- Built-in autosave feature.
- Frequent crashes.
- Some users have reported some sound issues.
6. NDS Pocket
NDS Pocket is an exceptionally stable and fast performing emulator. It has an in-built ROM searching feature as well as the ability to download and upload your ROMs. It is a free app and doesn’t have ads.
- Allows you to discover and download new games from the web.
- Has frequent updates to improve performance.
- It lets you search for ROMS within the app
- It lets you upload your ROMS
- Most of the menu labels are in Chinese and can be a little tough to navigate through at first.
- It does not have an option to customize the controls or interface.
7. NDS Boy
NDS Boy is another Nintendo DS emulators for Android with plenty of features to keep users playing and coming back for more. It is has a pretty high compatibility rate with a wide variety of games like classic DS games from Pokemon, Mario, and Final Fantasy.
If you’re using an advanced version like Android 5 or greater this app will work fluidly without any lag and errors. The NDS Boy developers recommend that you have a device that has 2GB of RAM, and a quad-core (or better) processor to use this drastic DS emulator.
- Supports NDS game file like .nds, .zip, .7z, .rar)
- Supports Android 4.0+ but suitable for Android 5.0+
- Ability to save and load state, quick save, quick load, autosave.
- Completely free
- Ability to edit and resize dpad buttons
- It is not available on the google play store and you will have to download the apk file from an external source.
If you miss your Nintendo DS days, the above-mentioned emulators are a great way to bring back the past right to your present. If you have a few dollars to spare, I would advise you to go ahead and get the DraStic emulator. It is by far the best DS Emulator on this list and receives frequent updates and improvement.
The best free emulators on the list are probably Retro Arch, Emubox NDS Boy, Super NDS, and the NDS pocket of Simulator. Despite them being for free, they do offer more settings and customization features with easier-to-use interfaces.
As a reminder, remember that you’ll need a ROM to play on your emulator to get anywhere. You use the web to find them, but just make sure that you aren’t breaking any copyright laws in the process. Be sure to check out all of the mentioned emulators listed above and find one that suits you and your device the best.