The best Android emulators for PC and Mac of 2023

Android emulators are surprisingly popular. Playing mobile games on your PC has a lot of advantages. You can use your mouse and keyboard for controls, and you can play games without burning through your phone’s battery. Productive folks can take advantage of mobile apps for basically the same reason. Emulating Android on a computer is a lot easier than it used to be. We’ll show you the best Android emulators for both PC and Mac.

The list is quite a bit shorter than it used to be. Many of the bigger competitors have gone out of business without much in the way of replacements. With Microsoft introducing Android apps and games support in Windows 11, we anticipate this list to get even shorter as people start migrating to the easiest option. Check out the very bottom of the article to check out former entrants and what happened to them.

The best Android emulators for PC and Mac

Why do people use an emulator, to begin with?

It’s simple, really. There are three main uses for an Android emulator. The first is gaming. Mobile games on PC let you use your larger screen to see stuff easier. Plus, mouse and keyboard support makes a lot of stuff a little bit easier. Plus, your computer is usually plugged in and offers unlimited battery life, whereas your phone would likely overheat if it had to run a game while being plugged in. Some of the more hardcore mobile gamers will also run their games in an Android emulator to give their phone a break.

The second most popular use case is for app development. There are a couple of other tools available. Development-focused emulators usually combine an IDE with the emulator so developers can code their app, run it on the emulator, and fix bugs as necessary. Android Studio blows all of the competitors out of the water here. It uses an Android Virtual Device (AVD) function that lets developers emulate specific devices. It helps developers test on a wide range of devices before launch, ensuring fewer bugs.

The last use is productivity. This is less common since most mobile productivity tools are also available on PC or Mac already. Plus, some Chromebooks are cheaper and better at running Android apps than emulators. That said, some mobile apps are just easier to use than their PC counterparts, so an emulator can actually help.


PROMOTED

BlueStacks

Price: Free

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!

Interested in more? Check out the best games to be played on BlueStacks.

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