6 Best 3DS Emulator for PC to Download


  • Games of Nintendo 3ds emulator had a different level of nostalgia that’s irreplaceable.
  • When you want to relish it again, it’s not an issue if you don’t have a gaming console, as PC emulators are widely available.
  • We have covered the seven worthy ones for you to go for!
Nintendo 3DS
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Are you looking for the best emulators to help you play retro games? Retro games like SuperMario, Pokémon, and others were a fond part of our childhood.


But, over time, new games and systems were developed. So, the games and gameplay used today differ from those classic games. 

If you are missing those games or just looking to relax and try something unique, you can access those games through a 3ds emulator.

Since they emulate or behave like another computer system, you can play retro games on your PC or Android Smartphone. 

At the same time, they have been developed to offer high-quality graphics and better performance that will improve your gaming experience.

This article will tell you about the best 3DS emulators for PC you can download to play your favorite games. 


Read: 10 Websites to Download Nintendo 3DS ROMs

Best 3DS Emulator for PC

Countless 3DS emulators can help you play numerous retro games. But we have listed the best ones based on their features and compatibility as follows:

1. Retroarch 

How about an emulator that helps to Install other emulators?

If yes, you should go with the RetroArch 3D emulator, where you can install other emulators. As its name suggests, you can play games on nearly all retro consoles. So, you can have a core emulator of your choice and use it easily.

Additionally, it makes the task of loading, adding, and scanning an emulator easier. In case of compatibility, it is compatible with Mac, Windows, and Linux devices that include countless models. 


Moreover, if you give iOS or Android devices, RetroArch is available. You can play games and connect your joysticks and keywords with them easily.

Retroarch - 3DS Emulator for PC

It supports games of PlayStation, Genesis Plus GX, GameBoy Color, Neo Geo Pocket Color, and the Virtual Boy, among others. Libretro Team developed it in 2010, and it is known for its quick speed and lightweight size. 

You don’t have to hassle with controls because RetroArch gives a dynamic control rate. The emulator will help you monitor and assess your performance and achievements.

A familiar problem users face is difficulty and time consumption in connecting devices. But, this emulator automobile configures your connected gamepads, and you can quickly begin your game.

At the same time, you will not lose any video recording made through the emulator that supports Lossless video recording.


A first look at it will make you think it’s not very easy. But, when you begin using it, it becomes easier. Still, operating games is more complicated than this. Furthermore, you get several pre-loaded games in it. 

Conversely, you get all the required graphic and resolution options. If you are an admirer of higher resolution, you must try this emulator.

Plus, you can apply shaders that can change its appearance. Many people have a habit of using a particular screen layout, so you will get an option to choose from different screen layouts in this emulator  

Get it now!

2. Citra

How about a 3DS emulator that enables you to play 3D games without any problems on PC and MAC devices?


Citra is a popular 3DS emulator that enables you to play 3D games without minimal or no bugs. Also, you get an opportunity to alter the 3D graphics of your system as your need for a better viewing experience.

If you are not willing to spend the extra money and are a game developer, Citra is free to use and even modify the code as it’s open-source. 

It ranks among the top emulators due to its multi-platform availability.  Apart from PC and Mac, it supports Linux. Many users face an issue of bugs while using 3DS emulators.

Citra  - 3DS Emulator for PC

But Citra has minimal to no bugs that give a seamless gaming experience. In addition, it provides support for the Xbox 360 gamepad. Consequently, you will get to experience some exciting console experiences.  

In terms of gaming, it gives you 60FPS in most games quite easily. Launched back in 2014 and written in C++, Citra has been a favorite of gamers due to its high level of performance.


Graphics are an essential element to enjoy the games to their fullest. So, this emulator won’t let you down because it has a heavy graphics speed.

Beginners often find it difficult to install and emulate. But, they can use Citra with an easy installation process for multiple devices.

However, you need a 64-bit operating system with a minimum OpenGL 3.3 graphics chip. Alongside this, you can configure it with GUI for using third-party controllers. 

The majority of the 3DS emulators are complex to use. But Citra has a user-friendly interface. To improve your visuals and excitement in gaming, it can support up to 400×200 resolution providing stunning display graphics. For quick connection and use, it promotes local WiFi too. 

Since its launch and popularity, the developers have constantly worked on this emulator to increase its capacity, eliciting bugs and offering better performance.  One of the significant results of this constant update is better visual output. 


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3. DeSmuME

Are you looking for a 3DS Emulator compatible with less powerful computers?

High-power PCs are generally used for gaming and emulation purposes. A prime reason is that they cannot sustain long hours of use and software.

However, the DeSmuME 3Ds emulator has changed the scenario. It is one of the very few 3DS emulators that are compatible with low-powered PCs. 

If you are not willing to spend money on a 3DS emulator, DeSmuME is a free alternative. You can easily download it from it if you are looking for an emulator working on a 32-bit OS. You will be surprised that it is one of the few emulators available for working with 32 systems now.


However, you may encounter some bugs while using this game. Still, its developers are constantly working to improve the emulator and decrease its bugs. Consequently, new updates are frequently added. 

Apart from low-power computers, it even works well with low-power laptops. We all miss the old retro games we used to play in video games.

But all of them work on this emulator’s 32-bit operating system. On this low-spec computer, you can enjoy those retro games that will work at 60fps. 

Apart from that, DeSmuME gives access to many games without any extra charge. So, it can be a good saving alternative. Moreover, it helps to play several old Nintendo games on your PC without many problems. 

Although its name seems a little weird, it has a special meaning. Its name is derived from emu = emulator, DD, and ME. It is known for satisfying performance, and the rest depends on the configuration of your PC. Furthermore, you can customize the graphics and make emulation settings. 


Some other useful features are a cheat code manager and USB controller support, making things easier. There are instances when your progress in a game is lost after you leave it.

However, this emulator allows you to save a slot feature that helps you continue the game from where you left off.

You may come across a few problems with this open-source emulator. For instance, the Pokémon games are not supported by the emulator.  Still, you can play them. Moreover, there is no WiFi emulation.

It comes with some Wireless Multi-boot demo ROMs. If you are uncomfortable with English, you get user translations in other languages. The DeSmuME emulator has a processing Unit with Core 2 Duo and 1 Gigabyte of Ram.

Get it now!


4. NeonDS

Are you looking for a 3DS emulator with a simple interface?

In that case, you must not miss the NeonDS emulator. It is a Nintendo Emulator that runs on some Windows programs efficiently.

Also, it works on many games seamlessly. A good part is that you can download it for free through some websites and save money. 

NeonDs are compatible to work on Windows XP, Vista, and seven computers. For that, you need a minimum of 128 MB of RAM and a Pentium 4 processor.

At the same time, you need at least a 32-bit operating system to install and use it. Also, it can play the majority of the 3DS games easily. 

NeonDS - 3DS Emulator for PC

Many gamers habitually use their personalized controls to get a good grip on the game. If you are one of those players, you can undoubtedly use NeonDS, which allows customizing your keyboard controls  

Another highlight of NeonDS is its lightweight hardware. Unlike several other heavy-weight 3ds emulators for PC use, this one is a lightweight alternative. Not just that, you get a scintillatingly designed and attractive-looking emulator. 

However, many gamers tend to avoid using this 3DS emulator. A prime reason for it is that the developers have not released new updates for a long. It was created in 2008, and since then, no new versions have been released. As a result, you will have to deal with a few minor bugs.

NeonDS is an open-source emulator. In combination with its lightweight hardware, it takes less onboard memory. Moreover, you can run some of the most popular commercial games on this emulator. In addition, it works well with older PC hardware too.

The rendering system of the 3ds emulator is optimized for OpenGL 2.0. For this reason, you can capture videos from this emulator as well. 


In the case of Nintendo DS games, it is not compatible with all games. Still, it can run popular games from Nintendo like Scribblenauts. NeonDS runs commercial ROMs and requires lesser system resources. But, it can create some problems for compatibility. 

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5. iDeaS Emulator 

How about a 3DS emulator that offers a double-screen setup?

The iDeaS Emulator offers a DS double-screen setup. It is a unique feature that several other emulators do not provide.

So, you can use this double-screen setup to take snapshots of both screens when required. You can use dual-screen processing to run the apps on multiple screens. 


This free Nintendo DS emulator can run several commercial ROMs. Alongside this, it supports a variety of NDS functionality. iDeaS Emulator uses a unique plugin system inspired by the N64 emulator UltraHLE. It has a user interface that resembles the console.

If you are a fan of the iconic games of Nintendo, you can use the iDeaS, Emulator. It supports popular games like Super Mario 64. However, you can experience some occasional graphics glitches.

iDeaS Emulator - 3DS Emulator for PC

Also, if you have a touchscreen PC, then this emulator is suitable. It offers touchscreen support. You can also customize and remap the keys to get a personalized gaming control that suits your style. 

On the other hand, iDeaS has not gotten new versions for years. Its developers have not been active for many years. Consequently, you can face issues with this emulator to support more recent games.

Still, you will get new updates that have made its performance better and faster. You will get a classic emulation scene with this emulator. 


Despite no new development, you will hardly face any bugs while using this emulator.  A prime reason for that is a built-in debugger with this 3DS emulator. Still, you can come across graphical glitches. You can use this emulator to play games on Windows.

Also, you can play commercial games like SuperMario and Pokémon on this platform. Both these games are classic with a large and loyal fan base. Moreover, you may find it interesting that super mario is among the highest highest-ranked games.

A piece of recent news is floating about iDeaS Emulator which plans to add more DS games shortly. So, stay tuned to find your favorite latest games on it.

However, a problem can be with its graphics. It does not have the best graphics and comes with a few glitches. Still, its quality has been getting improved in the past few updates.

Get it now!

6. R43DS Emulator 

Are you looking for a 3DS emulator with an impressive design and high performance? 

If those are your requirements, the R4 3DS Emulator fits them accurately. It has an impressive design and is easy to use. Also, it offers high performance for playing games. 

It has been built similarly to CycloDS iEvolution. So, that has been the inspiration behind its fantastic design. Due to its compatibility with only DS mode, the emulator supports only the Nintendo DS game.

The developers have said that the next version of the R4 3DS emulator is being designed. Further, the new version is being developed to support the latest versions of 3DS games. 

R43DS Emulator  - 3DS Emulator for PC

If you are a tester or developer, this R4 3DS is a must-try. It is a playground where you can make and test games without investing in a DS console.

You can begin using this emulator by opening its game file. Furthermore, the emulator works as a flash memory or flash card.

The R4 3DS emulator can potentially mimic the entire process of the Nintendo 3DS. In addition, it replicates the graphics capabilities of the Nintendo 3DS console.

Further, you get a lot of options to personalize settings and controls for enhanced performance for free.

It is suitable for a beginner. You can locate the game file and begin to play. Also, you can learn to use the controls quickly. You can encounter problems when playing the latest games on their old version because they are incompatible. 

Get it now!

The Bottom Line – Best 3DS Emulator for PC

As you can read above, we have covered all the essential and top-rated 3DS Emulators. Also, we have given detailed information about the emulators that can be used with your PC and Android devices. It will let you play all your retro and latest Nintendo games again. 

Whether you like to play classic games or want a break from work,  these games can be enjoyed on your Android Phone by downloading this emulator. You will get all the essential details of these emulators in the description above. 

Still, if you feel that we missed out on a crucial 3DS emulator, then let us know your suggestions in the comment box below. Moreover, if you have any kind of doubts about the emulators listed above, then feel free to drop your query below. 

Further Reading:

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