If you’re looking to run Android on your Windows PC, there’s no shortage of emulators available today. For those who are wondering, there are numerous reasons why you might want to use an Android emulator on your Windows PC.
You can run Android on Windows with an Android emulator. What this does is emulates the mobile operating system, or at least a portion of it, through a software program that’s capable of running Android.
Everything is contained within the emulation software. This means you can do things not normally possible on your computer, like install Android apps on Windows and test drive various versions of the OS without needing a phone or tablet.
An Android emulator can be helpful if your favorite app only runs on your phone, but you’d like to use it from your computer, too, or on a bigger screen. If you’re new to Android and want to test out the newest version before buying an Android phone, some emulators can do that for you.
For instance, Android developers can debug their apps, gamers can enjoy Android games (such as Android RPG games, and even some of the best gacha games for Android) on a larger screen and the list goes on. That said, the problem with Android emulators is that a lot of them tend to not work as advertised.
Therefore, I tried more than a dozen emulators to bring you the 18 best Android emulators for Windows in 2021.
1. MEmu Play
MEmu Play is another awesome Android emulator on Windows that has lately gained a lot of traction.
It is a tough task to name a single or even a couple of features considering that MEmu comes loaded with a ton of useful features.
One of the most prominent features of the emulator is the fact that it supports both Intel and AMD CPUs which is great from a compatibility point of view.
As astonishing as it may sound, but it is a feature not available on many Android emulators out there.
Apart from that, the emulator comes with the ability to run multiple instances of apps and Android versions at once.
Furthermore, the software is based on Android Nougat (7.1.2) by default and can also run Kit Kat (4.4), and Lollipop (5.0). It also allows you to have three different windows for all three Android versions.
While the emulator has some great optimizations for gameplay, I think it’s one of the best Android emulators for general users as well.
You can run the emulator on any Windows version from Windows 7 to 10 and it’s compatible with both Intel and AMD processors. What more can you ask for?
- Multiple versions of Android
- Excellent compatibility
- Performance is really good for gaming
- Custom key mapping
- Not suitable for low-end PCs
Android Studio might be what you’d call the “official” Android emulator since it’s from Google.
However, the core of the program is meant for app development and testing, there just happens to be an emulator built-in as well.
This program doesn’t have an easy-to-use interface like the other emulators in this list, so it isn’t the greatest if you just want to run some Android apps on your computer.
However, if you plan to create your own apps and you want an easy way to test them throughout the creation process, then this might be all you need.
The Android Studio emulator works on Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems.
- Emulates the entire Android OS, not just one app
- Always supports the newest Android operating system
- You can emulate old Android OSs, too
- Lets you build Android apps
- No built-in app store
- Setup can get confusing
Android X86 is an open-source platform. This is an open-source Android emulator which is licensed under Apache Public License 2.0.
Most Important Features:
- Provide WiFi support with GUI.
- Power Suspend/resume (S3 mode)
- Offer Battery Status.
- V4l2 Camera support.
- It offers support for netbook native resolution.
- Allows mirror mode on external monitors.
- External storage automount support.
- Support external keyboard
- Supported Platform: Windows PC
BlueStacks is known by many users to be the most comprehensive Android app player in the market, and with good reason. Aside from running on both Windows and Mac, this emulator comes jam-packed with a ton of features to improve the gamer’s experience.
Its most popular features include the Keymapping Tool to create customized control schemes, the Instance Manager through which you can create multiple instances of the emulator and run several games simultaneously, and quality-of-life features like Eco Mode, which help to reduce resource consumption while running the most demanding games.
It’s also the safest emulator out there, with certified GDPR compliance — your data is always safe with them.
The most recent version, BlueStacks 5, is the lightest and fastest the emulator has ever been, delivering high-performance gaming even on low-end devices.
The latest version addresses some of the most common complaints of the previous version — namely, the fact that it can feel bloated, especially when running on inferior hardware. Try it right now for yourself and discover why BlueStacks has a community of over 500-million gamers around the world!
- Includes a built-in app store
- Installing and opening apps is really easy
- Emulates Android Nougat
- Lets you install other APK files that aren’t in the store
- Advanced settings like RAM and CPU allocation can be adjusted in the settings
- You can earn BlueStacks Points to trade in for things like gift cards or a premium subscription
- Includes ads
- Android version isn’t current
5. Phoenix OS
Phoenix OS is one of the newer Android emulators for PC. Like most these days, it boasts a gamer experience.
However, it also boasts a desktop-like experience so it actually works pretty well for productivity as well. It has Google Play Services, although updating those services can be a bit of a pain sometimes.
That means you get every app and game in the Google Play Store. Phoenix OS also runs Android 7.1 which is relatively modern for an Android emulator.
You can download the emulator from its official website and its forums are housed on XDA-Developers.
Remix OS is an operating system based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow, so it looks like your normal operating system with a desktop area, start menu, taskbar, and trash bin.
However, instead of installing the whole Remix OS, you can use the Remix OS Player emulator to run Android apps on your computer.
This software is described as a game emulator for your computer because it lets you customize some of the shortcuts normally used for navigating games, but you can use Remix OS Player for other apps, too, like Snapchat, Facebook, etc.
Everything is available through the Play Store.
- Installing and using apps is really simple
- You can run multiple apps at once
- Lots of settings can be manually set, like the GPS location and the phone coverage and battery levels
- The orientation of the emulator can be rotated
- Setup file is over 700 MB
- Unable to install APK files
- Last update was in 2016
PrimeOS is not an Android emulator per se, but an Android OS that can run flawlessly on any Windows PC leveraging the real power of CPU and GPU.
Basically, if you are into Android gaming then this is a much better option than installing an emulator, as it will run directly on the hardware without the need for binary translation. You can consider PrimeOS as an alternative to the Android x86 project.
Not to mention, PrimeOS also brings Google Play Store so you can seamlessly install and play thousands of games.
It also has a dedicated DecaPro Gaming Centre that allows you to enhance your gaming experience on the PC setup.
The best part is that you can also dual-boot PrimeOS with Windows 10 with minimal effort. In a nutshell, I would say, to play intensive Android games, PrimeOS is the best platform for PCs.
- Run directly on the hardware
- Works as a separate OS
- Has a dedicated gaming center
- Dual-boot with Windows 10
- No one-click installation
8. Bliss OS
Bliss is something a little bit different. It works as an Android emulator for PC via a virtual machine. However, it can also just flat run on your computer through a USB stick.
The boot-from-USB option is definitely a power user option and not recommended for less intense use cases. As a VM install, the process is easy, but tedious if you’ve never made your own virtual machine before.
The USB installation method is even more complicated, but it lets your computer actually run Android natively from boot. We don’t recommend this one for the feint of heart. That makes Bliss a super unique emulator if you can make it through the steps to the end.
Of course, it only really runs well if your system is compatible so be prepared with a backup of your current operating system. The system runs Android Oreo and that’s among the newer versions of Android offered on an emulator. You can also find more info about this on its XDA-Developers thread here.
The Andy emulator for Windows puts Android Nougat on your computer. You can run games and other apps by installing them through the Google Play Store.
Since this is a full Android emulator, you can also reposition the apps on the home screen and install widgets just like you can on a real Android device.
Andy works on not only Windows 10 but also Windows 8 and Windows 7, plus Ubuntu 14.04+ and Mac OS X 10.8+.
- Supports both landscape and portrait mode
- Lets you spoof your GPS location
- Can remap keyboard keys
- Supports full screen mode
- Emulates Android 7.1 (most use older versions)
- Huge setup file, over 850 MB
- Can’t install apps by their APK file
- Last updated in 2018
This Android emulator is mostly for developers. It lets you test your apps on a variety of devices without owning them.
You can configure the emulator for a variety of devices with various versions of Android to help suit your needs. For instance, you can run a Nexus One with Android 4.2 or a Nexus 6 with Android 6.0.
You can easily switch between virtual devices at will. It’s not great for consumer uses, but Genymotion does offer its services for free for personal use.
Its most useful feature is its availability on both your desktop computer and the cloud. Those without powerful computers can make Genymotion’s servers do all the work for them.
- Supports lots of Android versions
- Easier to use than Android Studio
- Emulates the whole Android device
- Lets you adjust processor and memory settings
- The Play Store isn’t included
If you are looking for an Android emulator for Windows 10 that is optimized for gaming then let me offer you the latest emulator in town, LDPlayer.
It has been just a few months since its launch, but LDPlayer has quickly risen to popularity due to its great performance.
I installed it on my AMD-powered laptop and it worked flawlessly without throwing any error. It means that the emulator will comfortably run on Intel-based Windows PCs as well.
As for the Android version, LDPlayer runs on Android Nougat (7.1.2) for better performance and compatibility.
There is also a dedicated app store for games and they run quite well on LDPlayer. If you want to improve the performance, you can also take advantage of Virtualization Technology from the Settings page.
All in all, I would say LDPlayer is an up-to-date Android emulator that offers a simple yet powerful Android experience on Windows computers, be it gaming or just general usage.
- Supports both Intel and AMD PCs
- Fast and lightweight
- Based on Android 7.1.2
- Relatively less bloated
- Not as feature-rich as BlueStacks
12. Ko Player
Ko player is an Android emulator tool that helps users gain the quality Android playing experience on their Windows PC or Mac.
The main focus of this Emulator is to provide a lag-free gaming experience to its users.
- It allows you to take advantage of all the features and functions of Android without owning any device.
- Ko player has simple, easy to use, and interactive user interface.
- The built-in video recording allows you to record your favorite videos and enjoy them at your convenient time.
- This Android app emulator also allows you to record videos.
- Enhance gaming performance.
- You can record and share your gameplay with your friends or anyone you want.
- It comes with an inbuilt Google Play Store, thus giving you access to any app you want.
- Supported Platform: Windows, Mac
Gameloop is another way you can experience high-quality Android gaming on Windows PCs. It’s a dedicated gaming emulator developed for gamers who want to play a range of Android mobile games on desktop PCs.
You may be surprised to find that Gameloop – earlier called Tencent Gaming Buddy — has been developed by Tencent as part of the desktop-mobile gaming experiment.
Initially, you could only use this platform to play PUBG Mobile on PC, but now Tencent has brought support for a huge list of Android games which include Free Fire and Call of Duty as well.
Additionally, you can get the Google Play Store by installing a separate module that is available inside the setup. Basically, with Gameloop, you are getting Play Store support and all the popular Android games with mouse and keymapping support.
So to put it straight, if you want an Android emulator for PUBG and other games on Windows 10 then Gameloop is a much better proposition.
- Best for playing Android games like PUBG
- Lots of high-end Android games available
- Optimized for various graphics standards
- Limited to gaming
Xamarin is an IDE similar to Android Studio. The difference is that it can plug into things like Microsoft Visual Studio for an even larger development environment (for better or for worse).
Also, like the Android Studio, this comes with a built-in emulator for app or game testing. In case it wasn’t readily apparent, we only recommend this one to developers.
The setup is simply too tedious for regular consumer use. Xamarin’s emulator is not as powerful as something like Genymotion, but it’ll get the job done if you intend on using this and it’s also configurable for your needs.
It’s free for personal use. Companies and larger teams may have to negotiate a payment plan.
Droid4X is an Android emulator developed for Windows PC that allows you to user-run mobile applications and games using on a desktop. This Emulator supports most of the games available in the play store.
- It helps you to complete user experience on PC and supports the touch screen computer to work across devices.
- This Emulator allows you to customize controls as per their needs and can directly download the app to the Emulator.
- This Android emulator for Windows 10 provides supports for keyboard and gamepad for the quick configuration of games.
- Supported Platform: Windows PC
16. Nox Player
If you’re someone who’s looking for an Android emulator on Windows that offers tons of features other than just gaming, well then, Nox Player is the perfect pick for you.
We’ve previously reviewed the emulator and boy, does it come preloaded with a plethora of features.
Gameplay optimizations, controller compatibility, the ability to change the Android device’s build.prop, and a completely user-friendly interface are just some of the things where Nox Player outshines BlueStacks and other Android emulators on Windows.
It is based on Android Lollipop 5.1.1, but you can run multiple Android versions up to Nougat using its Multi-Drive feature. But one factor where Nox Player truly scores over BlueStacks is the ability to get root access.
If you’ve ever tried rooting BlueStacks, you’d know that it is a tedious task. But on Nox Player, you simply have to enable a toggle in the settings, and poof! – you’re rooted.
That’s how simple Nox Player is for you and I believe it’s among the best Android emulators on Windows.
That said, keep in mind, the emulator was embroiled in controversy for its move to install bloatware against the user’s choice. Besides that, in February 2021, NoxPlayer’s Android server was hijacked by a hacker group and it injected malware on user computers. Nox has asked users to reinstall the software to avoid the attack.
However, I would advise you to wait for some time and then try your hands on Nox Player, but only if you find the application trustworthy.
- Packed with features
- Built-in Root support
- Tons of customization
- Multiple Android versions
- Installs bloatware against user’s choice
- Recently hijacked by a hacker group
ARChon isn’t a traditional emulator. You install it as a Google Chrome extension. It then gives Chrome the ability to run Android apps and games (albeit with limited support).
It’s not an easy emulator to get running. You’ll have to install the thing to Chrome. From there, you have to obtain APKs and load them in. As an added rub, you may need to use a tool to change the APK in order to make it compatible.
There are a lot more steps to make this work than most other Android emulators for PC. On the plus side, though, it works with any operating system that can run an instance of Chrome (macOS, Linux, Windows, etc). We linked to the official GitHub where you can find detailed instructions for its use.
NetEase made an actually decent emulator with MuMu. It’s another gaming emulator with most of the same features as its competitors.
The emulator runs Android 6.0, a bit older than some competitors. That said, it has a decent boot time and enough features to warrant consideration. We didn’t have any outstanding issues using it, but it ran well and we were able to download all the games we wanted to test.
MeMU, Bluestacks, and GameLoop kind of surpassed it in terms of features and all three of those get regular updates. However, if none of those work, this one probably will.
That’s pretty much it! So, there are Best Android Emulators for Windows 10 and Mac.
If you have any other favorite Android Emulators for Windows 10 and Mac then don’t forget to share them with us in the comment below. Also, if you liked this article, Share on your favorite Social media platform.