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5 Best Nintendo DS Emulators For Android (2023)
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5 Best Nintendo DS Emulators for Android (2023)

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The gaming world has come a long way since the early days of consoles and handheld devices. Today, smartphones have become powerful gaming machines capable of running classic console games through emulation. One such beloved console is the Nintendo DS (NDS), which brought us countless hours of fun and entertainment with its innovative dual-screen and touch-based gameplay.

Now, with the advent of Nintendo DS emulators for Android, you can relive those unforgettable moments and enjoy your favorite NDS games on the go.

Criteria for Selecting the Best Emulators

Before diving into the world of NDS emulators for Android, let’s establish the criteria for selecting the best ones. A top-notch emulator should be compatible with a wide range of Android devices, ensuring that users with different smartphones and tablets can enjoy smooth gameplay. Performance and speed are critical factors, as no one wants a laggy or glitchy gaming experience. A user-friendly interface with essential features is important to make the gameplay enjoyable. Finally, stability and reliability are also important to ensure a seamless gaming experience without constant crashes or lagging.

5 Best Nintendo DS Emulators for Android


Starting our list strong is DeSmuME, a popular Nintendo DS emulator that has made its way to Android devices. DeSmuME stands out with its feature-rich approach, offering users a wide range of customization options to enhance their gaming experience. With a user-friendly interface, navigating through the emulator is a breeze, and setting up your favorite games is simple. DeSmuME’s compatibility with Android devices ensures that you won’t face any major hiccups while running your cherished NDS games on your smartphone.

DraStic DS Emulator

If you’re looking for an emulator dedicated solely to Nintendo DS gaming on Android, then DraStic DS Emulator is an outstanding choice. Praised for its ability to run games at high speeds and excellent performance, DraStic lives up to its name. One of the emulator’s standout features is its ability to upscale graphics, making games look better than ever on modern smartphones. The emulator also supports physical controllers, enhancing the overall gaming experience. DraStic has won the hearts of many users, earning a reputation as one of the best NDS emulators available.


For those who appreciate open-source software, nds4droid is a compelling option. This emulator has been continuously improved and developed by the community, making it a reliable choice for Nintendo DS emulation on Android. While nds4droid may not be as feature-packed as some of its counterparts, it still offers a smooth and enjoyable gaming experience on compatible devices. Additionally, nds4droid’s open-source nature allows for ongoing improvements and contributions from the emulator community.


RetroArch is not just an emulator but an entire platform that houses multiple console emulators, including one for Nintendo DS. It uses “cores” to handle different console systems, and the core responsible for NDS emulation is MelonDS. RetroArch’s strength lies in its vast array of customization options, allowing users to fine-tune their gaming experience to perfection. While it may require a bit more effort to set up compared to standalone emulators, the rewards are well worth it for enthusiasts seeking the ultimate gaming setup on their Android devices.


As mentioned earlier, RetroArch uses MelonDS as its core for Nintendo DS emulation, but standalone users can also enjoy MelonDS independently on their Android devices. MelonDS boasts a focus on accuracy and performance, meaning you’ll get the most authentic representation of NDS games without sacrificing speed. The emulator’s commitment to precise emulation has garnered praise from gaming communities, and its Android version maintains the same level of excellence. If accuracy and performance are your primary concerns, MelonDS is a top contender for your emulator of choice.

Comparison of the 5 Best Emulators

With five fantastic Nintendo DS emulators at your disposal, it’s natural to wonder how they stack up against each other. In this section, we’ll compare their performance, user-friendliness, and compatibility with different Android devices. By the end, you’ll have a clear understanding of which emulator suits your needs and preferences best.

Installation and Setup Guides

Now that you’ve chosen your ideal Nintendo DS emulator for Android, it’s time to get everything up and running. We’ll provide step-by-step installation and setup guides for each of the five emulators, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free process. Additionally, we’ll cover essential configuration options to optimize performance and address common troubleshooting issues.

Legal and Ethical Considerations

As much as we love the joy of revisiting classic games, it’s essential to understand the legal and ethical aspects of using emulators. We’ll discuss copyright laws surrounding emulation, explore legitimate ways to acquire Nintendo DS game files, and encourage responsible usage to support the gaming industry.

Tips for Better Gaming Experience

To take your Nintendo DS emulator gaming to the next level, we’ll provide some valuable tips and tricks. Whether it’s recommending compatible controllers for a more authentic experience or sharing game-specific tweaks to enhance visuals and performance, these tips will help you make the most of your emulator gaming sessions.


In conclusion, Nintendo DS emulators have opened up a world of opportunities for gamers seeking entertainment and convenience. The five emulators mentioned—DeSmuME, DraStic DS Emulator, nds4droid, RetroArch, and MelonDS—offer unique features and experiences, catering to different user preferences. Whether you want a feature-packed emulator or a precise and accurate representation of NDS games, there’s an emulator for you. So, grab your Android device, download your preferred emulator, and embark on a journey through time to relive the magic of classic Nintendo DS games.


1. What is a Nintendo DS emulator?

A Nintendo DS emulator is a software that allows you to play NDS games on non-Nintendo devices, such as Android smartphones and computers. It replicates the NDS hardware and software environment, enabling users to enjoy classic games on modern devices.

2. Is it legal to use Nintendo DS emulators?

Emulators themselves are legal, but the legality of using ROMs (game files) depends on factors like copyright and ownership. It’s essential to use legitimate copies of games that you own or have acquired legally.

3. Can I play multiplayer games using emulators?

Yes, some emulators support multiplayer functionality through local Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connections. This allows you to play multiplayer games with friends who also have emulators and compatible games.

4. How do I transfer my Nintendo DS game saves to Android?
You can transfer your game saves to Android by using save files from your PC or other devices where you previously played the games. Many emulators allow you to import and export save files easily.

5. Are there any risks associated with using emulators?

Using emulators from reputable sources and downloading legitimate game files minimizes risks. However, be cautious of unofficial or pirated software, as they may contain malware or other harmful elements.

6. Can I speed up gameplay in emulators?

Yes, some emulators offer speed-up options, allowing you to fast-forward through less interesting parts of the game. This can be handy for grinding or replaying sections quickly.

7. Do emulators support touch controls for NDS games?

Yes, most emulators for Android have on-screen touch controls that simulate the DS touchscreen, making it possible to play touch-based games seamlessly.

8. Can I use external controllers with NDS emulators on Android?

Absolutely! Many emulators support external controllers, such as Bluetooth gamepads, which can significantly enhance your gaming experience.

9. How often do emulators receive updates?

The frequency of updates varies depending on the emulator’s development team. Popular emulators typically receive regular updates to improve performance, add features, and address bugs.

10. Can I save my progress in the games I play on emulators?

Yes, emulators support save states, allowing you to save your progress at any point in the game and load it later. This feature comes in handy when you want to take a break or encounter a challenging section in a game.

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