Android Emulator for PC

We mainly run an Android emulator on a PC, by an App developer to test their application before shipping it out. Various Android emulators are available for Android. Some of these are:

  • Android Studio’s emulator
  • ARChon
  • Bliss OS
  • Bluestacks
  • GameLoop
  • Genymotion
  • Ko Player
  • LDPlayer
  • MEmu
  • Nox
  • Phoenix OS
  • PrimeOs
  • Remix OS Player
  • Xamarin
  • YouWave
  • Build your own

Who uses emulators?

The main uses of the Android emulator are:

  • App development: The apps and games are needed to be tested on many devices before launch. The Android app and game developers mainly use Android Studio’s emulator for this. However, Genymotion and Xamarin can also be used to serve this purpose.
  • Gaming: Emulators are often used by the gamers on their PC to make some games easier to play. Bluestacks, KoPlayer, MeMu, and Nox, are the best Android emulators for gaming.
  • Productivity: Chromebooks are better and cheaper for using Android apps on something other than a phone. Thus, it is not common to use. Also, most productivity tools are cross-platform.

Android Studio’s Emulator:

Being the default development platform for Android applications, Android Studio contains collections of tools to help developers to make their apps and games specifically for Android devices. A built-in emulator is also available in the Android Studio to test our app. It takes a few minutes to start. With a complicated setup, the Android Studio emulator is still preferred by the developers to test their apps. It also supports Kotlin.

Minimum system requirements:

  • Windows, Linux or Mac
  • 64-bit distribution capable of running 32-bit applications
  • 3 GB GAM
  • 2 GB hard disk space
  • A minimum resolution needs to be 1280 x 800

ARChon:

Though not a common emulator, the positive point of ARChon is that it works with any operating system such as Windows, Linux, Mac OS, etc. which can be an instance of Chrome. It is installed as a Google Chrome extension. The ability to run Android apps and games is provided to chrome, after the installation. Thus, we need to install an emulator for Chrome, then to obtain the APKs file, and load them in.

Bliss OS:

Being slightly different from the others, Bliss OS emulator works as an Android emulator for PC using a virtual machine. Installing the process as a virtual machine is easy. But for those who have never made their own virtual machine before, it can be boring. Through a USB stick, however, it runs smoothly on a computer. With a more complicated USB installation method, it makes our computer natively run Android from the boot.

BlueStacks:

Being the most dominated emulator from all Android emulators, BlueStacks is compatible with both Mac and Windows. Along with getting regular updates, it works really well and is thus targeted by mobile gamers. Being one of the heaviest emulators, it has many features which make it better and worse. By increasing its speed up to 6-8 times compared to its previous version, BlueStacks 4 got the speed of the major mobile phone. Running on a 64-bit version of Android 7.1.2, the latest update to BlueStack 4 improves the performance and provides efficient memory usage.

Minimum system requirements:

  • Windows 7 and above
  • Intel or AMD processor
  • 2 GB of RAM
  • 5 GB of disk space
  • You must be an Administrator on tour PC
  • Up to date graphics drivers from Microsoft or chipset vendor

GameLoop:

Previously known as Tencent Gaming Buddy, GameLoop is an Android emulator for gamers, because it can be installed easily, and the games run fine with it. GameLoop as an emulator is, however, not so good for productivity and development testing. By boasting a good collection of newer titles, keyboard controls, and good performance, it is considered to be a fairly decent gaming emulator.

Minimum system requirements:

  • Windows 7 and above
  • CPU: Dual-core from Intel | AMD @ 1.8Ghz
  • GPU: Basic Nvidia GeForce | AMD Radeon
  • 3 GB RAM
  • 2 GP of free storage

 

Genymotion:

Mostly used by developers, Genymotion emulator facilitates testing our apps on different devices without owning them. To suit our needs, the emulator can be configured for a variety of devices with different versions of Android. Though not so suitable for customer uses, it however provides its services free for personal use and is also available on both our computer and the cloud.

KOPlayer:

Being an Android gaming emulator, KOPlayer focuses on delivering a free gaming experience with lightweight software. A few ads are visible here and there, as it is free of cost. The keyboard mapping and gamepad emulation are also supported by this emulator. Because it sometimes freezes out of the blue, this adds to its negative side. Because of being a little buggy, KOPlayer makes it difficult for the user to install the Android emulator.

Minimum system requirements:

  • Windows 7 or above
  • CPU dual-core AMD of Intel CPU
  • Graphic card-GPU with support OpenGL 2.1
  • 10 GB of free disk space
  • 2 GB of RAM

LDPlayer:

Being an Android emulator that is mostly used by gamers, LDPlayer contains mainly gamer-oriented features. It includes keyboard mapping controls. It also supports the latest games. Active updates are also available on a monthly basis. A range of other games, including Black Desert Mobile, Brawl Stars, Clash of Clans, PUBG Mobile, and many more are also available. Though being an otherwise excellent solid experience, the last update of the LDPlayer fixes the bug that causes Call of Duty: Mobile to crash.

MEmu:

Being well experienced by gamers, and being similar to BlueStacks and similar emulators, one of the most prominent features of MEmu is that it supports both AMD and Intel chipsets. However, AMD’s platform is paid more attention by the developers. Along with the usual performance improvements and bug fixes, smart key-mapping is also added in the latest update of MEmu.

Minimum system requirements:

  • Windows XP/7/8/8.1/10
  • Intel, Nvidia or AMD CPU processor
  • Graphics driver with OpenGL 2.0 or Windows DirectX 11
  • Hardware virtualization technology shall be enabled in BIOS
  • Minimum 2GB of system memory
  • Minimum 2GB of hard disk free space

Nox:

Being an Android emulator for gamers that runs on PC, Nox includes the usual tasks like key-mapping with the keyboard, ability to key-map gesture controls, and even actual controller support. This emulator has a lot of fun. It also works most of the time.

Minimum system requirements:

  • Windows XP/7/8/8.1/10 and DirectX 9.0C
  • AMD, Intel or Dual-Core
  • OpenGL 2.0 and above
  • 5 GB RAM
  • 5 GB free space on the hard disk

Phoenix OS:

Phoenix OS boasts a gamer experience. It is a new Android emulator. By providing a desktop-like experience, Phoenix OS works fine for productivity. It includes Google Play Services. Updating these services can sometimes be a bit bothersome. Android Nougat (7.1), which is relatively modern for an Android emulator, is also supported by Phoenix OS.

PrimeOS:

Though not actually an emulator, PrimeOS boasts running native Android. Its installation takes a partition on our computer. Since it provides a gamer experience, mouse and keyboard are supported. It also accesses most Android games and apps. It can be fully used for productivity. Other features of PrimeOS include multitasking facilities, playing games, or watching videos of our choice.

Remix OS Player:

Remix OS Player runs Android Marshmallow. Being a new Android emulator for PC, its installation process and use are easy. Facilitating mostly to gamers, Remix OS Player contains gamer functionality along with a customizable toolbar. Multiple games can also run at once, by using the Remix OS Player. Being a fairly clean emulator, it can undoubtedly be used as a productive tool.

Minimum system requirements:

  • 2 GHz dual-core processor or better
  • 2 GB system memory
  • Minimum 8 GB of free hard drive space
  • Any updated graphics

Xamarin:

Similar to Android Studio, Xamarin is an integrated development environment (IDE), with a difference that it can be plugged into an even larger development environment like Microsoft Visual Studio. With a built-in emulator for an app or game testing and setup quite tedious for regular consumption use, Xamarin is recommended only for developers. It is configurable according to our needs and is free for personal use. Companies and other large teams may have to negotiate a payment plan.

YouWave:

Being an old Android emulator for PC, YouWave free version uses Ice Cream Sandwich. The Lollipop version is available in the paid version of this emulator. With an easy installation process and no game-like features, YouWave is good for light gaming and productivity. There is not any meaningful update in quite a long time. The Lollipop version is also badly out of date.

Minimum system requirements:

  • Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10
  • Intel Pentium 1.6 GHz CPU
  • 2 GB RAM
  • 500 MB disk space

Build our own emulator:

To build our own emulator, we need to first download the VirtualBox from the link virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads. Now, we can download an image from Android-x86.org. We can get one of the many guides online available there to follow the steps to create our own emulator. It is one of the most difficult methods. It is, however, still easy then setting up a whole IDE like Xamarin or Android Studio.

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