There are a lot of sensible, reasonable reasons why anyone would want to run android emulators on their PCs. App developers may want to test run their applications before distributing it to the general public. Some gamers may want to use their keyboard and mouse to play android games. Maybe you just want to have it, whatever reason it is, it’s all valid. Android emulation on PC is very much possible, and we are going to take a look at nine of the best Android emulators that can be found for PC. Please note that the process is not too easy and some of these require some technical knowledge. Also, take note that many of these emulators are made more or less in the same way. It is a matter of finding the one you like and that works for you. Let’s have a look.
1. AMIDuOS – Price: $10 – $15/free trial.
AMIDuOS is the first on our list, and it is a relatively a newer android emulator for PC. This one comes in two different flavours, Jelly Bean and Lollipop. Asides from the version type, the only other difference between two is that Jelly Bean costs $10 while Lollipop costa $15 and those are one-time charges which are nice. AMIDuOS runs very well; it is a smooth emulator that does things like gaming and productivity rather well. Most people should be able to use this for pretty much whatever they need it for, and the installation process isn’t bad at all. Obviously, it’s not overly great for developers since it doesn’t offer device specific configurations, but on a consumer level, this one works very well.
2. Andy – Price: free.
Second on the list is an entirely free emulator called Andy. It was reviewed upon its launch, and while it did have certain issues back then, it still got on to prove itself as a capable substitute for apps like Bluestacks. It runs pretty much the entire gamut of the Android experience including productivity launchers, apps and games and you root access can be installed if you need it. That makes it good as a productivity focused emulator although it can play games as well. It has fixed virtually all of its early day’s issues, but it is still a little bit more involved of an installation than something like Bluestacks. In any case, it is free, and it works very well. The only complaint we’ve received is the problem of uninstallation.
3. Bluestacks – Price: free/$2 per month
Bluestacks has long been the actual solution for running Android apps on your PC. For a while, they fell back but have spent much of the last year bringing much-required updates to their platforms. The result, named Bluestacks 2, is a more stable, faster, and an overall better Android emulator for PC than its predecessor. It supports multitasking apps and has in-built functionality for things like setting a location and shaking the screen, features it did not previously have. It is still marketed mainly to gamers, but it can do productivity as well if needed. The price remains the same as it was before, which is free with an optional $2 per month premium subscription. It is still rather bloated and many of its new features centre to a particular gaming audience, but it’s still a good option overall.
4. Droid 4x – Price: free
The next emulator is called droid 4x, and it’s a fascinating choice for an Android emulator on PC. It runs in a similar manner as Andy or AMIDuOS, and the performance and productivity are about the same as well. I might not have said that some years back, but like the other two, there have been some improvements made. What makes this one fascinating are the add-ons. This one comes with an application you install on your smartphone so that you can control games on your computer. For example, you can to use the accelerometer to turn your car in Asphalt 8. It’s better that AMIDuOS and Andy for gaming but we believe that AMIDuOS and Andy may be a little better regarding speed and stability.
5. Genymotion – Price: free with some paid options
This Android emulator is made for developers who want to test their games or apps on a range of devices without actually being required to own those devices. You can configure the emulator for a range of devices with various versions of Android to help match what you need. For example, you can run a Nexus 6 with Android 6.0 or a Nexus one with Android 4.2. The choice is all yours, and you can switch at will between devices without difficulty. It is not ideal for consumer uses such as email checking and apps usage, but Genymotion offers their services for free for personal use so that option is there if you want to.
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6. KoPlayer – Price: free
This is a newer Android emulator for PC; it has also managed to fly under most radars lately. It is another emulator that is made for gamers. You will be able to use key mapping to emulate a controller with your keyboard. Players will also be able to record when they are playing games and upload it anywhere they want. The installation process is easy enough, and it seems to work just fine. Like most emulators, it has some issues that you will run into randomly. It is the life of a virtual machine instance of Android. Nevertheless, it is a free option that is worth a shot.
7. MEmu – Price: free
MEmu is another of the upcoming Android emulators that seem to do quite well. It boasts of complete compatibility with Intel and AMD chipsets which is cool, and their recent releases are for Android L (Lollipop) 5.1.1 which is also good news. It comes with root access as well as a sidebar that comes complete with a ton of extra features and functionality. It is not bloated and scores well on the point of reference. It is a good substitute to many Android emulators, especially if you need one for both productivity and gaming. You can also check for new releases, get help in their forums and more on their official blog.
8. Nox – Price: free
Nox is the next on our list. Just like Bluestacks, Nox is one of those Android emulators for PC that is set up to cater for gamers. This includes additions and utilities that are specifically catered to helping gamers control their games using keyboard and mouse. This includes things like the capacity ‘swipe right’ to say an arrow key and simulate actual motion movements directly on your keyboard or joystick if you own one. It is a lot of fun and seems to work rather well most of the time. It is also free.
9. Remix OS Player – Price: free
Remix OS player created by Jide is one of the latest Android emulators for PC. It is also the only one that runs Android M (Marshmallow) instead of Android Lollipop or Kit Kat. The installation process is quite simple and making use of it is somewhat easy. It is built for gaming, so you will have a range of options on the sidebar to customise the experience to your liking. It’s new, so they are still working on some bugs. Asides from that, it still works better than most emulators and it is free for without end. The only main issue or limitation is that it doesn’t support AMD CPU.