What is an Android emulator?
Android emulators let you download apps and games that are normally only available via the Google store on android smart phones. There are loads of reasons why you may be looking for an Android emulator; maybe you’re a developer and you need to test out your apps on the big screen to iron out any glitches, maybe you work in customer service on a help desk and you need to assist customers with their apps, or maybe you just want to play Temple Run 2 on the big screen. Whether you’re thinking of switching to Android and want to check it out before hand, whether you want to create apps for Android devices or if you just want to fully experience android games on the big screen, these emulators can help you.
There are many Android emulators out there, but we have compiled a list of the very best to suit your needs. We understand there are many reasons you may want an emulator, so some of those featured are more suited to individual use I.e. playing games or using social media apps on your PC, whilst others are best for developers and professionals. We recently shared a list of the best android emulators for Windows, but now we’re opening that up to include Mac and Linux users so you can benefit regardless of what computer you have.
How does it work?
An emulator basically uses software to copy the functions of another programme so it can then act like that programme, and an Android emulator copies the functions of an Android device. An emulator is not the real thing, but it does download a virtual replica of the device that you can use in much the same way. Not all of these emulators offer all of the 1.4 million apps available in the Google Play store, but there is a wide choice to choose from and, unlike smart phones, many of these emulators are free.
Which emulator should I use?
There are many emulators out there, but we have searched long and hard and come up with this list of the 5 best Android emulators currently on the virtual market. We have chosen this list because they reflect the different uses you can get out of your Android emulator; some are better suited for personal use, and some are ideal for professionals. So no matter what reason you want an emulator, you will find one that suits you.
Top 5 Android Emulators
1. Bluestacks (PC And MAC)
Bluestacks has only been around for five years and already they have over 130 million users, so they must be doing something right! This is one of the best and most popular Android emulators out there, it has a very detailed and informative website that includes a full list of all the apps you can download, and the download process itself is very quick and easy. It is also free to download and use!
Make sure to check the specs, because for Bluestacks to work properly you will need a fairly powerful machine and a good graphics card.
Bluestacks is the perfect emulator if you want to use Android apps on your PC for personal use. It has loads of games and social media apps ready to download, and it is easy to share your game streams via BlueStacks with Twitch.tv, where you can share your game playing with fellow gamers all over the world, or enjoy other people’s videos whilst playing.
Games available on Bluestacks
Just think of all the mobile games you can now enjoy on a much bigger screen! Whilst it can be fun to play games on your smartphone, the size never lets you enjoy the full experience. Thanks to Bluestacks Layercake technology, you can download all of these apps and many more directly onto your PC or Laptop!
The Walking Dead: Road to Survival
Zombies are best on the big screen. Based on the popular TV series, The Walking Dead is a gore filled adventure game intended for older audiences. In this game, you must maintain and upgrade your hide out to reserve precious resources and attract more (living) people to your town, play with a whole range of characters, and test your own survival skills whilst you try to survive the horrors of a post zombie apocalyptic world. With a gripping story and loads of visuals, there will never be a dull moment with this game.
Do you have a soft spot for monsters? Create your very own monster city, tame wild monsters and watch them evolve on the big screen with Monster City. Complete quests, battle evil and enjoy the wide range of monsters available, all from your home computer. No need to worry about data or deleting excess apps; harness your computers power to transform your gaming experience, and show the world what you can do by sharing your game streams on Twitch.tv.
Empire War: Age of Heros
Become the Roman emperor you always wanted to be with this engaging historically themed game. Rome was not conquered in a day, so to start yourself off you must first train your soldiers and build a kingdom fit for a God. BlueStacks allows you to get a lot more enjoyment out of this game, as your PC is far more likely to handle your growing kingdom without glitches, crashes or lack of data.
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
Join two brothers in their award-winning quest to save their father. This acclaimed adventure game allows you to explore an amazing fairly tale world as you solve puzzles and search for the Water of Life; the only mysterious potion that can save the fathers life. With Bluestacks you can bring this award winning Swedish game to your PC, you can experience it bigger and better than its ever been before, you can play both brothers at the same time and you can stream your progress quickly and easily onto Twitch.TV.
This is stunning 3D horror game is now available to play as an app on your computer, thanks to BlueStacks! Help the hero navigate a nightmare-like new world, solve puzzles to save their life, explore terrifying locations, hear the creepiest sounds and try to avoid the horrifying creatures who are trying to block you every step of the way. With a gripping story that takes our hero out of their perfect life into their worst nightmare, this game is even more atmospheric on the big screen.
Blood and Glory
Become a bloodthirsty gladiator in this popular mobile game. Fight your way to the top, work your way up the gladiator ranks, unlock new weapons and perform for screaming crowds-all from the comfort of your own home! Playing this game on your PC rather than a computer means you can enjoy smoother gameplay, awesome graphics and glitch free game play, so you can concentrate more on fighting and less on data space.
Temple Run 2
Temple Run is back, and it’s available on the big screen! Help your tomb raider keep his loot and escape monsters as you run, slide, zipline, swim and even go cart through a mystical world full of obstacles, spiky wheels, treacherous waters, deadly falls and scalding fires. Temple Run 2 is even more addictive then its predecessor and I can guarantee you will love it in mobile form, but it is even better on a bigger screen.
Let Sonic run free on your PC! Everyone’s favourite super speed hedgehog is back on Android phones, and you can help him run, slide and jump through countless obstacles and enemies as he and his friends attempt to battle the evil Dr. Dobotnik. There’s a reason Sonic has remained popular for decades (and why it’s Sega’s most popular game), and the reason is that it is horribly addictive, compelling challenging and ridiculously fun. Bluestacks lets you enjoy Sonic the way he was intended; on the big screen.
These are just some of the awesome games you can download with the Bluestacks emulator. As well as games, you can also use it to download most social media apps, I.e. Twitter, WhatsApp and Facebook, onto your PC.
Click here to download Bluestacks
2. Andyroid (PC and MAC)
Andyroid has a lot in common with Bluestacks. Andyroid is best suited for personal/gaming use, it has a massive list of games and social media apps to download, and most of its features are absolutely free. Andyroid has some pretty impressive features of it’s own however; Andyroid lets you use your phone as a game controller, which gives you a far more authentic gaming experience, and it strives to help you have a better connection between your PC and mobile phone.
Games available on Andyroid
Old House Escape
Save your friend from monsters and zombies whilst you explore the creepy woods and haunted house in this suspenseful addition to the ‘House’ series. Old House Escape has puzzles, mutants, terror, loads of different places to explore, chilling graphics, a gripping story, and it’s even better on your PC. Playing a horror game like this on a bigger screen makes the experience a lot more gripping, and you can even use your smartphone as a controller to get an authentic gaming experience.
This popular running game may seem a bit less exciting then the likes of Temple Run and Sonic; instead of running away from monsters or being a monster destroying hedgehog, you are running away from a subway inspector and his dog.
You’d be surprised though, because this is a fast paced and enjoyable game which features all the usual stuff I.e. coin collection, powerups, items, obstacles and special powers, plus a lot of cool extras. Subway Surfers also has impressive graphics, great sound effects and easy connections to Facebook, and now you can enjoy it on a bigger screen directly from your PC/Laptop.
Five Nights at Freddy’s 2
This popular horror game is much more effective on a larger screen, and thanks to Anyroid that’s no longer an issue. Five Nights at Freddy’s involves monsters, CCTV, creepy dark rooms and a summer job you will never, ever forget. Explore the rooms, watch the screens, and try not to scream in this eerie sequel.
Wild Elephant sim
Ever wanted to own your very own elephant? Now you can. Complete quests, grow your family and play for points whilst taking care of your wild elephants and learning to co-exist with other animals. This is a fairly simple game, but it is a lot of fun for animal lovers, and now you can appreciate your elephant in all its glory on the big screen.
Dark Echo has definitely raised the bar for other horror games. Whilst the idea is fairly simple, this sound based game is terrifying in its simplicity, and there is never a dull moment in any of the 80 available levels.
Your objective is to stay alive, and so you wander around in the dark whilst making sure to listen carefully for monsters, and use your hearing to determine what’s coming towards you and how you are going to get away. Terrifying and addictive, this game will make you want to sleep with the lights on for a good few months at least, and now you can be even more terrified with Dark Echo on your PC/Laptop.
These are just some of the many apps you can download via Andyroid. This is a great emulator comes with a really detailed website with all the extra info you need, and I guarantee that if you choose this emulator you won’t regret it.
Click here to download Andyroid.
3. YOUWAVE (PC)
This is another emulator that is great for personal use, and like the previous emulators it has a massive list to choose from. You can download popular messenger apps such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook via Youwave. You can also download the BBC News app for 24 hour U.K news updates; or if The Huffington Post or Fox News is more your speed you can download apps for them as well. Whilst it’s easy to find news online these days, these apps make sure you hear about the latest news straight away and are easily customised to what you are personally interested in.
Youwave also lets you download the popular Duolingo app to your PC. Duolingo is a language app that helps you learn foreign languages for free. The app helps you keep up to date on your progress, and it helps you learn through a mixture of pronunciation, speaking, writing and reading. Many video or text based online language courses find it hard to combine all of these things at the same time if they are not interactive, but this app helps you learn a language a little bit each day by making sure you understand all the necessary parts of the language you are learning.
Youwave also has many great games available to download onto your PC. Here are a few examples of what Youwave can offer the gamer in you.
Ultimate Mission 2
Play as an alien fighting super hero in this addictive shooter game. Upgrade weapons, find power up balls and fight bosses as you attempt to save the world from an alien invasion. With a wide range of weapons and a nostalgic old school feel, this game is best enjoyed on a big screen.
Robo Defence- Free
This is a great tower defence game, which has many positive reviews from players. The free version of this game comes with 11 difficulty levels, so it won’t get boring as you master it, it has achievements to keep you going, it is open map so there is more space to play in, it has great graphics and it is very addictive.
Give your pet alien a bigger home by downloading them onto your PC! Much like a human pet, you will have to clean and feed Pou and play with it regularly. This cute little app lets you customize your alien (you can even give it a hat or a nice pair of sunglasses), experiment with potions, play games to collect coins, play with your friends and above all feed, grow and talk to your Pou.
Sick of gravity? Don’t let anything hold you down in this fast paced and crazily addictive ninja game. The aim of the game is to keep running to avoid all the arrows your enemy’s keep throwing at you, and you can play in story mode, play in different world or just run around in the unlimited mode. This is a fairly simple game, but it is a lot fun.
This emulator can be downloaded for free, although some features are only available in the paid version. We recommend you try out the free version first and see how it goes.
Click here to download Youwave.
4. Official Android Emulator (Linux, PC and MAC)
This emulator was originally designed for developers to check their apps on a PC, and so it is aimed at developers and professionals rather than for personal use. It’ s not so much which apps this emulator can offer you, as what this emulator can offer the apps you have developed yourself. This emulator has powerful features that make app editing easy and effective, and it lets you edit your app, as it will appear on a mobile phone whilst you iron out any potential glitches.
You can zoom into features, change the orientation, set the devices GP location, and adjust the sound. It also lets you run KML and GPX files, you can simulate phone calls, send text messages, simulate voice and data status, and set battery conditions. Then you can use debug and test your app on your PC and make the necessary adjustments before taking it to the next level.
As this emulator is aimed at professionals, the downloading process is a bit complicated. Click here for a guide on how to download this app.
5. GenyMotion (PC, LINUX AND MAC)
This app is mostly targeted at professionals, I.e. sales teams, helpdesk operators and developers. It has been designed in such a way that it is virtually glitch free, so it’s a great smooth running emulator perfect for the professional. It is very beneficial for help desk operators in particular because they can help mobile customers by simulating the same app on their computer so they can see exactly what their customer sees and thus help them more efficiently. It’s also great for sales because you can project finished apps onto the big screen and use them in presentations. Genymotion cloud also makes collaborating easier, making this a great app for businesses and professional users.
This emulator can also be used for personal use, so if you just want to play games or use social media on your PC you can still use this emulator. Genymotion emulates loads of Android apps including those exclusive to Samsung Galexy and Google Nexus, and it is a powerful but easy to use piece of software. You can also download a lot of Google apps using Genymotion, including games like Angry birds.
Genymotion is fairly easy to use; you simply create an account, confirm your email and then download. Click here for more info and to download Genymotion.
That’s it for our list of the 5 best android emulators; hopefully you have now found what you were looking for. Like this article? Help others by sharing it with friends, and as always let us know your thoughts and comments below.