“Android for PC” has been one of the most widely searched phrases on Google and other search engines. This clearly tells that lots of people worldwide are looking for ways to use the Android platform on Windows. Thankfully, there is an easy and effective way to do it – Android emulators. As the name suggests, an Android emulator is a tool that offers users access to the expansive Android ecosystem on their computers. You can use the emulator for games, a prankster app and even photo editing apps that are exclusive to android.
With an emulator on your Windows OS, you can play all the Android apps you want right on your computer. The emulator has an interface that looks quite like the screen of an Android tablet. In fact, most emulators also offer inbuilt support for Google Play Store, letting you install the apps officially. If you are a developer, an emulator is a perfect way to test and debug your apps. We rally the top 10 emulators for Windows in the following text. Take a look!
1. Nox App Player
Nox App Player is one of the newer Android emulators for Windows. But, it has emerged all shining among the already existing tools of the same kind. This emulator packs some really awesome features and advanced functions. And yet, it is totally free of cost. Nox has a simple, minimal interface. But, since it brings a wealth of features you may find getting used to it slightly (only slightly) difficult. Of course, once you have used it for a while, there is a good chance you may not want to try any other emulator.
Nox plays nearly all the Android apps like any mobile or tablet. Based on Android 4.4, this emulator also offers native support to Google Play Store. Well, this makes it easy for you to download all the mainstream, official apps. Installing third-party apps is super easy too. Just drag and drop the APK file onto the interface. If you like to play Android games on PC, Nox again is a great choice.
Nox is a lightweight, easy to use, quick to install emulator. Give it a try!
You knew it will make it to the list. There is no way in the world it must not. BlueStacks has pioneered the Android emulator technology on PC. There was a time when BlueStacks was synonymous to emulation. Over the years, better and more advanced Android emulators have overshadowed this very famous tool. And yet it continues to be one of the most widely used emulators worldwide. BlueStacks is a useful, effective emulator that does its core job pretty well.
Like Nox, BlueStacks too offers in-built support for Play Store allowing you to easily install and access all the Android apps. The interface is quite well designed keeping in minds the navigational habits of the users. Users can easily install third-party apps from the APK files. BlueStacks offers a full-featured free version but with some nagging apps. If you wish to have ad-less experience, you can buy the premium version. BlueStacks lets you directly stream to Twitch and Facebook Live – a feature unseen in other emulators.
3. Remix OS Player
Remix OS is a complete Android operating system in itself. You can install it as a second OS on your Mac or Windows computer. It will let you play all the Android apps right on your PC. But, that’s not really convenient. First, you need to install an additional OS on your computer. Second, you must shut down Windows or Mac OS and boot to Remix OS. Why bother when you can access Android ecosystem right off your existing OS. Thankfully, the developers of this OS have also designed Remix OS Player emulator, which you can install and use on your Windows or Mac.
Remix OS Player is a more advanced emulator. Unlike the other two on this list, it runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow firmware. This emulator offers in-built support for Google Play Store allowing quick access to all the Android apps.
Please note that this emulator is not supported on some of the AMD processors. You also need to make sure that the Virtualization Technology is turned ON in the BIOS.
MEmu is another awesome Android emulator for Windows. It offers top-notch performance and incredible speed. Like the others on this list, MEmu supports Google Play Store allows you to easily download and install the mainstream apps. It also lets you quickly install the third-party apps from the APK files. Although this emulator is originally based on the old Android Jellybean, it can be easily upgraded to Lollipop by downloading some additional packages.
MEmu also works well with your Android mobile device. If you happen to find a great app on this emulator, you can connect your device to the computer and have that app pushed to it through MEmu. MEmu is a feature-rich, comprehensive emulator. It lets you operate in the full-screen mode, allows you to assign the keys for the specific sections of the interface, and also lets you record the screen. MEmu is one of our favorite emulators for obvious reasons. There is a good chance you will like it too.
LeapDroid was once considered to be the finest Android emulators. Google acquired this emulator after a while. So, you can judge how good it must have been. However, Google phased it out and stopped the support. The reasons are still unknown. But, that’s okay! Although LeapDroid has been discontinued, you can still download it from the third party sources. And, even though it does not get updated, it can still give some of the currently used emulators the run for their money.
LeapDroid continues to offer compatibility with Google Play Store. This means you can download all the official apps available on Play Store. It also features nearly all the stock apps such as camera, file manager, etc. Of course, it lets you install the third-party apps too if you have the APK file.
LeapDroid has a simple yet elegant interface that offers ease of access and navigation. There is a sidebar on the left with a shortcut to frequently used functions. The main screen features recently downloaded apps as well as the links to download the most popular apps on Play Store.
As already mentioned, there is no support or new updates to this emulator. But, thankfully, there is plenty of support on various forums and communities on the web. So, LeapDroid is definitely worth a try.
Genymotion is one of the most advanced emulators you will find today. It packs powerful performance and a wide range of features. With so much at one place, a casual user might get a bit overwhelmed at first. Getting used to and understanding this emulator may take some time. Well, Genymotion is primarily designed for the developers who need to test their apps on Android platform. But, as a layman, if you are ready to explore this tool and once you have the hang of it, you will appreciate its built and functions.
Getting started with Genymotion isn’t exactly straightforward. You need to enable ‘Virtualization’ in the BIOS. You also need to install VirtualBox before installing and using this emulator. And there is one more little hiccup – you must sign up and create an account before you can get started with it. If you are a casual user, you could instead go for another simpler emulator we have on this list.
Genymotion poses all these challenges because it offers some really incredible features. For instance, it lets you choose the Android firmware version you want the emulator to run on. You can choose an old version, such as KitKat 4.4 or the latest Nougat 7.0.
AMIDuOS is another great option for those looking for a performance oriented, an advanced Android emulator for Windows 7/8/10. It is more commonly referred to as DuOS (which is also easier to pronounce and write). This emulator works on the Android Lollipop 5.1 but it also lets you step down to the older Jellybean version (we really don’t know why). Before you get started, make sure you turn the Virtualization Technology ON in the BIOS. Also, you must have Microsoft Net Framework version 4.0 or higher.
There is one thing to note. DuOS do not support Google Play Store. Instead, it comes preinstalled with Amazon App Store. Well, this could be the deal breaker for many as Amazon’s App Store inventory is not even remotely close to the size of Play Store’s inventory. But again, that should not be a big problem. After all, the APK files for all the apps are abundantly available on the web. Also, Amazon App Store does feature all the most commonly used apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook, etc. What’s really awesome is that DuOS lets you get access to the root mode allowing you to run all the amazing root Android apps.
DuOS isn’t free. You must pay $10 for the Lite version and $15 for the full-featured version. This is probably another setback. But, we think DuOS is worth its salt and since it is a one-time fee, most users wouldn’t mind, especially if they use the emulator regularly. Also, there is a free trial of 30 days.
Andy emulator has been around for quite a while and has rivaled the more popular BlueStacks since its inception. Andy is a good emulator but unfortunately could never become as popular as the others due to some glaring shortcomings. There were some performance issues and regular crashes. That said, we would like to add that in spite of the problems, Andy is still quite a capable and best Android emulator for Windows 10/8/7. Over the years, the developers have fixed many issues and made it even better. This emulator can run nearly all the Android apps and games. It also gives you access to the root mode.
Andy features a user-friendly interface. It is easy to use, interact, and navigate. It lays out the popular apps on the main screen so that you can install them quickly. All the commonly used buttons and links are on the home screen. Andy is totally free of cost with no hidden charges. Hence, it is definitely worth a try.
9. Xe Player
Xe Player is definitely not the most popular or even the most effective emulator compared to the others we have laid out here. Yet, it merits a place on this list for a variety of reasons. It is one of the newer emulators and is yet to prove its worth. But we tested and used it and found it to be pretty decent. One thing we would like our readers to know is that this emulator has been optimized for Windows 10.
Xe Player packs a wide range of features. It supports Google Play Store and hence lets you download all the listed apps. It nicely runs nearly all the Android games without any difficulties. Xe Player is not a very resource intensive emulator. This is why it can easily run on the computers with low-specs. However, the app performance may not always be desirable on the low-end PCs. Xe Player looks a lot like Nox App Player. If you have used the latter, you will feel a sense of familiarity with the interface.
10. KO Player
If you love to spend hours playing Android games, then KO Player is perhaps the best Android emulator for you. It looks like KO Player has been primarily designed for the gamers even though it offers other basic emulator functions too. It offers the extremely easy to use game controls. It also allows you to quickly and easily map the keyboard and mouse. It also lets you connect an external gamepad so that you can control the game even more easily. But, that is not it! KO Player also lets you record the game play and stream it directly to popular platforms. If you are a hardcore Android gaming enthusiast and would love to play your favorite games on PC, download KO Player now.