The 10 best Android emulators for PC

Thanks to the magic of the emulators, we can run games and programs from 40 years ago on a PC, like a ZX Spectrum, for example. But also modern systems, like Android mobiles.

An emulator simulates the original hardware, but replacing its functions with software. So if the emulator is well developed and 100% emulates the original machine, it can run all the games and applications on that machine.

The Android emulators for PC allow you to use Android apps and games on your computer. If you have a monitor or a laptop with a touch screen, you can easily simulate the mobile screen. If not, the finger is replaced by the mouse.

Keep in mind that few emulators work with the latest versions of Android. Emulation is tricky, and Android is continually updated.

The most normal thing is that they go two or three versions behind, although some do accept the latest versions of Android, as we are going to see.

Before installing one, it is important check what your limitations are. Few emulate all the functions of a mobile phone 100%, and some may not accept multiplayer games, cannot download apps from Google Play, do not work with certain apps, or do not emulate the mobile camera, for example.

To use them you simply have to install the emulator, select the Android version you want to emulate (most accept several), and use it as if it were a mobile.

The best Android emulators for PC in 2021

Android Studio Android Emulator on Windows 11 BlueStacks 5 MEmu Play 7 LDPlayer Genymotion NoxPlayer Bliss OS for PC Android-x86 ARChon

Android Studio

There is no better way to start than with the official Android emulator for PC, created by Google.

Actually Google studio is a set of tools to create apps for Android, and the emulator is just one more, to test the apps that we have created without having to upload it to the mobile.

Its main advantage is that includes the latest version of Android, and emulates more things than others.

The emulator provides almost all the functions of a real Android device. You can simulate incoming calls and texts, specify the location of the device, use different network speeds, test rotation sensors and other hardware sensors, access Google Play much more.

Includes predefined settings for various Android phones and tablets, Wear OS and Android TV devices.

To use it within Android Studio, select the Android Emulator component in the SDK Tools tab of the SDK Manager.

Download Android Studio for free

Android emulator on Windows 11

Windows 11 will run the main Android apps on Windows. Tik Tok, Uber, Ring, and many others, in addition to games.

Although at the time of writing this article it was still in beta, its launch is a matter of days, so we have decided to include it.

We do not know to what extent it is a classic emulation and how many apps will be supported, but Microsoft has promised that there will be “the most important Android apps.”

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They will be installed from the Windows Store and will work like any other app on the system. That is, you can move the window, dock it, use keyboard shortcuts, copy and paste from the clipboard, etc.

It sure becomes the best way to use Android apps on PC.

Download Windows 11 now

BlueStacks 5

The android emulator offering better performance and more compatibility is Bluestacks.

It is focused on the execution of games, but all kinds of apps also work. It is compatible with more than 2 million applications.

Last May the version was launched BlueStacks 5, with many improvements. Consume 50% less RAM, less CPU, and you can download apps directly from the Google Play Store.

It has also improved a lot multi-window function. You can open multiple apps at the same time and leave them running in the background. Those that you do not have in the main window will work at a lower FPS (if it is a game) to consume less resources.

Definitely, one of the best Android emulators for PC out there, especially if you want to play mobile games on your computer screen.

The only requirement to use it is that your PC has at least 4 GB of RAM.

BlueStacks 5 free download

MEmu Play 7

MEmu presumes to be the fastest Android emulator, especially when it comes to apps that take advantage of multicore processors, or have 3D graphics.

MEmu Play 7 is compatible with more than 2 million apps, and is optimized to use the keyboard and mouse instead of the touch screen.

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It also works great on multi-window mode, opening several Android apps at the same time. You can even open several different sessions of the same app or game.

From a professional point of view, it is used by many developers to test their apps. It offers camera emulation, touch screen, GPS, compass, and other functions.

You only need a PC with a dual-core processor, and 2GB of RAM.

Download MEmu Play 7 for free

LDPlayer

If you like to play multiplayer mobile games, such as PUBG Mobile, Roblox, Minecraft, Call of Duty etc., you are interested in trying LDPLayer.

It is a free Android emulator that allows you run games with more FPS, and control them with keyboard and mouse. So you have a slight advantage over those who play on mobile, although the emulation adds latency.

It also includes the option to open several apps at the same time, and do other things while in a game you have to farm, or wait for time to pass.

Supports more than a million apps, and is constantly updated.

Download LDPlayer for free

GenyMotion

As we are seeing, most of the Android emulators for PC are focused on games, because it is what people demand the most.

But there are also very good emulators focused on the professional field, or the use of apps. It is the case of GenyMotion.

It works in local or cloud mode, although in this case you have to pay for the time of use.

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It is specialized in allowing developers to test their apps on real terminals, that’s why emulates more than 3,000 different mobiles, so you can see exactly how it will work and how the app will look in each of them.

Supports the latest versions of Android, and all the functionalities of mobile phones: GPS, Networks, multi-touch screen, etc.

Download GenyMotion for free

NoxPlayer

Nox has recently been updated to version Android 9So you can run the latest apps and games without any problems.

Like all good Android emulators it stands out for the good integration of the keyboard and mouse, and its multi-window function, which allows you to run the same game several times, with different accounts.

Also has a handy macro function, which is used to save consecutive actions that we carry out in a game or app, and then run automatically with just a couple of keystrokes.

Very useful for farming or repeating the same action in a game many times.

It is a very good emulator, especially for playing multiplayer mobile games.

Download NoxPlayer for free

Bliss OS for PC

Here we have a completely different proposal, but that fulfills the same objective: run Android apps on PC.

Bliss OS for PC It is not an Android emulator, but an open source Android-based operating system, which can run Android apps.

You can install it on a partition or on a pendrive, and from the system you access the Google Play Store, and download what you want.

Free download Bliss OS for PC

Android-x86

It is a project to convert the open source version of Android, to x86 code used by PCs.

It is updated every 2 or 3 months and currently have managed to emulate Android 8.1.

It’s a pretty solid project that, although it isn’t the one with the best performance, it does work quite well, especially if you want to use apps instead of games.

Have camera support, WiFi, battery emulation, keyboard, etc.

Android-x86 free download

ARChon

This software allows you run Android apps directly in the Chrome browser.

It works as an extension that creates an environment in Chrome, to run Android apps.

Of course, you cannot download the apps directly from Google Play. You have to install its APK file, which also has to be adapted to ARChon, using an app.

The process of installing the extension in Chrome is also a bit cumbersome, since it has to be done manually.

It is not very useful to use Android on the PC in a generic way, but it can be useful if you want run a specific mobile app in the browser, for comfort, or because you need it to work.

Download ARChon for free