Android phones are undoubtedly the most owned on the planet. With higher resolution graphics for highly addictive games, social media applications, and multi-productive features on the large bezel-less screens, it is no wonder that smartphones are winning over traditional computers like Windows PC and Mac. Although you could easily convert a smartphone into a full-blown computer by rigging it up with a mouse and a keyboard, it does not deliver the same experience since you don’t feel the charisma of a ‘large screen’. That’s where Android emulators save the day.
Whichever rig you maybe using, PC or Mac, you need one or more effective Android emulators to accomplish your task. Perhaps it’s a hard pressing work deadline or you want to play an action-packed game in multiplayer mode, whatever it is you can trust that these Android emulators will come through for two most popular virtual ecosystems in the world.
10 best Android emulators for Windows PC & Mac in 2018
AMIDuOS – Lite ($10) & Pro ($15)
Created by American Megatrends, AMIDuOS comes in Lite & Pro versions in Jellybean and Lollipop. AMIDuOS Lite is available in version 1.1, while the Pro version has version 1.0 and 2.0 with Jellybean 4.2.2 and Lollipop 5.x respectively. You can upgrade from v1.0 to v2.0 or downgrade from higher to lower version too.
All the charges are one-time only.
Where AMIDuOS takes the lead is that it is built for productivity lovers rather than serious mobile gamers. You could easily connect it with a Windows 7, 8, 8.1 or 10 and get it working instantly.
Gamers and developers would be disappointed with AMIDuOS since it does not offer much use to either.
Android Studio’s emulator – Free on Google Play Store
Android Studio is developed by Google and it is used by Android application developers around the world. It comes pre-installed with a bunch of handy tools that assists these professionals including an emulator to test out apps and games.
As one would guess, it is not meant for non-developers so you would naturally expect a hard time while trying to set it up.
Works on Mac, Windows & Linux.
Remix OS Player – Free
Remix OS Player is the ‘most advanced Android game emulator for PC’. It is free and is based on Android Marshmallow making it the most up-to-date emulator on the market. You can play multiple games at the same time and switch between games from the app drawer without a lag. You can even chat with your multiplayer comrades simultaneously on the same screen and you won’t experience PC heating issues either. Remix OS player is optimized for high graphics and fast gaming rendered by Remix OS’ Gaming Toolkit.
Remix OS works only on Windows PC so far, 7.0 or later in 64-bit, and Core i3, i5, or i7 are recommended with no support for AMD chipsets. You also need a minimum 4GB RAM and 8-16GB storage. You also need to enable ‘Virtualization Technology’ in BIOS, which can be a bit of learning curve for complete non-techies but there are video tutorials for that.
Bluestacks 3 – Free & $2 per month
This Android emulator is prized with multi-gesture support & seamless integration with the computer peripherals. It is also compatible with Android TV.
What’s interesting about Bluestacks is that it offers and easy one-click installation and the User Interface is top-rated as well. Playing high graphics GUI games with a system that is equipped with a dedicated graphics card is the most recommended for best results.
Since it delivers the best output, it is natural that Bluestacks has higher system requirements, like 4GB of RAM is a minimum ask. Any less than this would give you irregular freeze or lag.
Andy – Free
Compatible with both Mac and Windows, Andy is a free Android emulator. Some say that Andy should focus on a concentrated task since it is currently designed to run Android KitKat while its competitor is already offering newer Android platforms. Right now, you can run productivity apps like Evernote, launchers, games and even install root access, if you want to.
There are occasional installation issues but once it is installed you shouldn’t experience any more problems.
It does support multi-touch and cloud saves and you can even use the camera, microphone in the emulator for a video calling session. By enabling the desktop push notifications, you can receive all notifications on your computer screen.
Ko Player – Free
Another Android emulator dedicated to giving the mobile gamers a much-needed panache. You can use keyboard controls instead of the on-screen emulator controls. You could add smartphone information like IMEI, phone’s make and model for complete personalization.
So far, Ko Player is the only Android emulator that offers the easy access to add APK files via PC or Mac. It is a smart addition to the emulator since most Android users are wary of downloading an APK directly to their smartphone.
It is free and runs on Android KitKat but offers keymapping, game recording, and game uploading options.
Genymotion – Free
Genymotion is a bit different than most gaming emulators since it offers access to all Android versions and unlimited app installations with the possibility of emulation of more than 40 Android devices.
This Android emulator would please particularly to developers. You can test your app at various battery levels to see how it upholds the run quality with decreasing battery. Likewise, you can test an application under development for various Android browsers with Android Webkit, Firefox, etc.
Bliss – Free
For the tech savvy kind, Bliss is somewhat different than any other. First, it is even more advanced than Bluestacks 3 that is in beta testing for Nougat. Bliss runs on Oreo and it works as an Android emulator for PC via Virtual Machine. In addition, one can even make it run on a PC through a USB stick but you need to know how and that’s where most users might find it a big turn off.
MEmu – Free
It also integrates with Jelly Bean, KitKat, and Lollipop and allows you to run multiple instances at any given point in time.
Most games work okay with MEmu although it is best for office use and productivity.
YouWave – Free & $29.99
Installation is pretty simple and highly recommended to the novice. It has no specific game-worthy features but you can play lightweight games on it while using most tools for productivity.
It also works with Mac.