What are the best Nintendo Switch emulators?
The Nintendo Switch is a revolutionary handheld console, and its incredible popularity rivals even the PlayStation and Xbox.
However, while the Switch is a versatile console, if you want to play Switch games on your computer or android phone, you’re going to need the help of a Nintendo Switch emulator to make them work.
Fortunately, because the Nintendo Switch utilizes a common smartphone framework, it is relatively easy to play games on mobile devices using emulators.
The Best Nintendo Switch Emulators
While there are a lot of programs competing to be the top emulators on the market, some do their jobs better than others.
To save you the hassle of having to sort through all these emulators yourself, we’ve gone through and researched many different Switch emulators to find the ones that deliver the smoothest gaming experiences.
Here’s our list of the 10 best Nintendo Switch emulators:
Kicking off our list, we have the SwitchDROID emulator, which allows users to play Nintendo Switch games on their phones and tablets.
While this Nintendo Switch emulator is still in the early development stage, numerous games are already compatible, and many of the best Nintendo Switch controllers can be connected wirelessly to make playing easier.
This Nintendo Switch emulator also boasts impressive speed, especially if you have a newer android smartphone, and it also allows users to play Nintendo 64 and Nintendo 3DS games as well.
Although this Switch emulator works very well on mobile devices, because the games are demanding to run, the quality will depend significantly on the device you are using.
Older, less powerful phones will have a more challenging time getting the most out of this emulator, which can be a drawback.
Still, if you have the hardware, this Nintendo Switch emulator is a great choice, and the developers are constantly working to make it better, with plans to bring it to other systems in the future.
The Beta version is free on the SwitchDROID website, and it is definitely a strong contender for the title of best Nintendo Switch emulator.
9. New NS Emulator
Another free Android Nintendo Switch emulator that works across all Android platforms.
New NS Emulator features many compatible games, high-quality sound, and high-definition graphics that allow users to play some of the most popular games right now without any hassle.
With this Nintendo Switch emulator, you can also take advantage of many customizations that allow you to set your own preferences for your favorite games.
It also features gamepad and virtual keypad support, as well as screenshot capabilities.
Despite all of these features, it doesn’t sacrifice user-friendliness, and its easy-to-use interface makes jumping into games a breeze.
SphiNX is one of the newer Nintendo Switch emulators, and it contains a lot of interesting features that other emulators do not.
Created using Python, it allows PC and Mac users to completely customize their gaming experiences while playing both classic and new popular games.
This Switch emulator is gradually being developed, becoming better with each update.
While the setup process can be a bit confusing for gamers who just want to download an emulator and jump into a game, SphiNX can be worth the effort due to everything that it provides.
If you want more of a finished product, you may want to opt for another Switch emulator.
However, keep this one in mind as it is definitely quickly making a name for itself and will undoubtedly become an even stronger contender for being the best Nintendo Switch emulator in the future.
Cemu was one of the first emulators to be able to run Nintendo Switch games on the PC with a solid level of quality, and it receives regular updates that consistently improve its performance while also adding new features for users.
Some of Cemu’s best features include running games in 1080p at 60fps, graphic pack capability, and mod support.
Users will even get the option to mod their games when launching them, making the process easier and much more straightforward.
Along with the high-definition graphics, this Nintendo Switch emulator also allows users to play WiiU games with the same level of competency. However, while this emulator is a fan favorite, it isn’t without its drawbacks.
The setup can be complicated, especially for beginners, and the same goes for controller configuration.
Along with this, only some of the most popular Nintendo Switch games are supported by this emulator, which means you may not be able to play all of the best fighting games — at least yet.
That said, it is being regularly updated, meaning that these downsides could be improved in the future, and game capability could be improved.
Although this Nintendo Switch emulator only takes the number six spot, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t pack a punch.
The NSEmu emulator is a highly effective emulator that does its job without a lot of tedious installation or complicated setup.
This open-source emulator is free for the PC, and it manages to provide a lag-free gaming experience without compromising graphics or sound quality.
If you want console-like gameplay on your PC, this emulator is one that you’re going to want to try out for yourself.
What’s more, the NSemu is considered an experimental Nintendo Switch emulator and a work in progress, which means that it will only get better as the developers continue updating it.
This is definitely a strong contender for the title of best Nintendo Switch emulator, and it’s likely to rise through the ranks as time goes on.
Skyline is another example of an experimental Nintendo Switch emulator making waves in the gaming community.
Designed specifically for Android, this emulator is still being developed, so you won’t be able to play Mario Kart or any of the other best racing games of all time on it yet, but even so, it shows a lot of promise.
If you are keen to download this emulator for yourself, keep in mind that it is still in its pre-alpha phase, so using it as a go-to emulator just isn’t possible.
Instead, if you do use it, you can download it from its GitHub page and help the developers by reporting your experiences and bugs, allowing them to address these issues and make the emulator consistently better.
For Switch fans who want to be part of a growing community and see this emulator be built from the ground up, Skyline is something unique that you’re not going to want to miss out on.
4. Android Nintendo Switch Emulator
This emulator makes our list because it can play some of the best Pokémon games of all time remarkably well and other popular titles like The Legend of Zelda and Super Mario Odyssey.
However, this emulator isn’t without problems, which makes it something that we wouldn’t recommend downloading.
Not only does this emulator fail to be able to play many commercial Nintendo Switch games, but it is also in violation of the MIT open software license.
The code it uses is primarily stolen from other emulators, namely the Yuzu emulator, and despite claiming to have an American team working on it, its website is mainly written in Chinese.
If that wasn’t enough, it also requires a $99 Gamesir x2 controller to be able to use it, as well as a Snapdragon processor.
Because of all the shadiness behind this emulator, we’re not giving out the name of it. However, it does bear mentioning because of the impact that it has had on the community.
3. Egg NS
The Egg NS emulator is another relatively controversial emulator for reasons that we will touch on in a minute. However, it isn’t without its positive attributes like the aforementioned emulator.
Boasting a solid number of compatible games, three emulation regions, auto-controller configuration, and different graphics driver options, the Egg NS emulator looks impressive by many standards.
It even allows you to easily add ROMs if you install the SwitchDRoid folder on your PC.
That being said, there are speculations that, like the unnamed Android emulator, the Egg NS uses code lifted from Yuzu. While this is, as of yet, unproven, it is worth mentioning before you try it out.
Potential users should also be aware that it requires a powerful device to use it properly and that, while the popular titles it can run rival even the best PS4 games, the installation process is complicated and not necessarily beginner-friendly.
The Ryujinx emulator takes the number two spot, and it is by far a worthy runner up for the title of best Nintendo Switch emulator. It is an excellent alternative to Yuzu, and it blows user expectations out of the water.
With an incredible level of reliability, stability, graphics, and performance, Ryujinx is by far one of the best Nintendo Switch emulators for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
Its user-friendly interface is also worth mentioning, especially for those looking to start playing games with the least amount of frustration possible.
The developers of Ryujonx are also extremely upfront about the process of creating and maintaining this emulator, and their progress is regularly documented on the Ryujinx website.
They also have a game compatibility list that lets users know which Switch games are running, what their statuses are, and any known bugs that have been identified.
If you are a mac user, this is going to be the best Nintendo Switch emulator for you if you want to get the most out of Switch games on your computer.
Most people in the emulator community probably knew that Yuzu would take the top spot for a good reason.
This emulator has been around since 2018, and it is the only emulator that has, thus far, been able to emulate games at the same rate as the Nintendo Switch, running Super Mario Odyssey in 2019 with no lag or missing components.
While it is only available on Windows and Linux — unfortunately for Mac users — if you can take advantage of this emulator, you should, as it is the most professional and well-created option for emulating Switch games.
Like Ryujinx, the Yuzu website also features a compatibility page that color-codes games based on how well they run. This can be a great way to see ahead of time if the games you want to play are available and how well you can expect them to function.
The Yuzu emulator is also being constantly improved and maintained by dedicated developers, meaning that this already amazing program is only expected to get better.
There is even a Patreon page that fans can use to help support the developers of this free emulator, and it can offer early access to Patreons when new features are being introduced.
If you want a user-friendly, comprehensive, and fully functioning Nintendo Switch emulator, Yuzu is the best of the best and well worth downloading if you are using a Windows or Linux computer.
The Nintendo Switch is an incredibly popular handheld gaming console, and it hosts a lot of entertaining games.
However, if you want to play these games on your Android phone or computer — especially while taking a break at the office — you’re going to need a reliable emulator.
These 10 Switch emulators are the best and most promising emulators that you can take advantage of today. While some are undeniably better developed than others, many are worth keeping an eye on because they are especially promising.
Each of these emulators provides a unique gaming experience, and you may even want to try out a few different ones to find the one that best suits your play style and gaming needs.
Here’s a quick recap of the 10 best Nintendo Switch emulators:
- Egg NS
- Android Nintendo Switch Emulator
- New NS Emulator
If you enjoyed this article, check out some of our other emulator lists:
- The 10 Best Pokémon Emulators for PC
- The 10 Best Sega Saturn Emulators
- The 10 Best PSP Emulators of All Time
- The 10 Best Sega Genesis Emulators
- The 10 Best Neo Geo Emulators
- The 10 Best Dreamcast Emulators of All Time
- The 10 Best GameCube Emulators
What’s the best Nintendo Switch emulator, in your opinion? Leave a comment
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