How to Emulate Nintendo 3DS Games on Android

Are you searching for a 3DS emulator that works with Android? Here are the best applications to pick from, as well as directions on how to start playing.

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Emulation provides a convenient and affordable way for you to play older games that are difficult to obtain nowadays. The Android phone is equipped to emulate most portable and home consoles that are up to the fifth console generation and even Nintendo’s more recent handhelds will work with the modern smartphones.

Let’s talk about the setup and how to use a Nintendo 3DS emulator on your Android phone.

The Best Nintendo 3DS Emulator on Android

The first step is deciding on an emulator, which is of course. There’s a wealth of choices, however the variations between the very best of them boil down to your personal preferences.

Citra and RetroArch are widely recognized as the top 3DS emulators. Both are both open-source and work on all platforms.

RetroArch Emulator

RetroArch can emulate various consoles, including those of the 3DS, Wii, Wii U, GameBoy, PlayStation 1, PlayStation 2, SNES, Sega Genesis, and more. It’s possible because RetroArch is a kind system that includes many emulators which are built to work with various link website

It’s available on Windows, Linux, Android, macOS, and iOS–however it’s also capable of operating on consoles such as the GameCube. RetroArch offers a comprehensive list of platforms supported in its online site. For more information on the flexibility of its configuration, our RetroArch Windows installation guide dives into the numerous configuration options.

Citra Emulator

Citra was the first 3DS-capable emulator, built for PC. It’s currently available on Windows, Linux, macOS as well as Android. The Citra team has an impressive list of game compatibility that categorizes the supported games on an scale from “not tried” until “perfect” so that the users can follow the progress of games’ compatibility testing.

While RetroArch offers the benefit of greater accessibility and more supported platforms, we’ll use the 3DS-specific Citra in this article. In addition, the Citra team has provided regular and solid support over many years, and their Android app has been optimized well. It even has gamepad support!

Warning! Regarding ROMs

It is our obligation to remind you to not obtain ROMs through any other way other than ripping them off an actual cartridge or disc you own is illegal. It is only possible to rip ROMs solely for your own personal use, not for distribution purposes in the case of games that you own. Nintendo is especially strict about hosting and downloading of their ROMs make sure you are cautious.

However, as long as you’re not selling ROMs in the first place, you’re mostly safe from legal issues. If you download ROMs from online databases Be sure the source is reliable and the ROMs are secure before downloading. They will never be EXE files and are not going to ask for additional access to your device.

How to Setup and Use Citra On Your Android Phone

Once you’ve installed Citra in your Android phone, there’s only few steps away playing your favourite 3DS games.

Plan Your Games for Emulation

Before you can launch the app you might want to ensure that your game’s game files stored in the proper folder on the Android device. It might even be best to create a directory with the name 3DS Games as well as Citra Games.

This isn’t necessary to be made prior to launch, but it will facilitate your initial setup. When the first time you launch Citra after which you’ll be prompt by a prompt to select the folder where your games will launch from. This can be changed at any time by clicking an icon of the folder at the top-right corner.

Games that run on the Nintendo 3DS use a CIA extension, however they need to be decrypted before use–this extracted document will have this 3DS extension. It is possible to extract the files with a utility such as WinZip however Citra lets you extract the 3DS game from CIA from the app’s home screen. Just tap the icon for the file select Install CIA and then choose to download the CIA file from your downloads. The rest is straightforward.

Instructions on how to play Games Citra

With a few 3DS games available it’s time to get started playing.

  1. Launch Citra and then accept the permissions. It may ask for microphone access. is intended for DS games that use the microphone for gaming purposes.
  2. Select the games folder you already created and select this directory.
  3. Once the directory with decrypted games is selected, the home screen will display all your games each one accompanied with an icon.
  4. Select the game of your you like to launch it. A small loading window will show up while the emulator loads the necessary shaders. Once you’ve loaded them, you’re set to go.

This is the Best 3DS Emulator for Android

While testing Citra We chose two games from their compatibility listing, New Super Mario Bros. 2, as well as Resident Evil Revelations. The former was marked “great” and the latter was labeled “bad” when it came to their list of compatibility. We discovered there was no difference. Super Mario offered an overall good experience with only occasional stutter. Resident Evil, on the contrary, was plagued by several model and texture error, as did a crash.

It is clear that Citra is a fantastic method to enjoy compatible games, and the team’s persistence guarantees that they will always expand and improve upon the compatible games. Citra is an easy recommendation–perhaps the best way to emulate 3DS games.