Nintendo 3DS emulation has made good progress on PC platforms in recent years. The most promising app is Citra, an experimental open source Nintendo 3DS emulator / debugger written in C ++. The app is constantly being updated and is slowly becoming the most stable offer for running 3DS games on a computer. Although there are several emulators for Android, fans of 3DS games have been waiting for Citra to be properly released on the platform.
The official Citra version is available for Android.
In the past few months there has been an unofficial Android port of the Citra emulator on the PC. However, they were anything but stable, but we have to say that they have made good progress in the past few months. Now, however, 3DS fans can look forward to these unofficial ports as an official release comes straight from the source. The new app makes room in the Google Play Store and is free!
Interestingly, the new app contains several functions. These functions were not available in the first ports. All of these features ensure a full Nintendo 3DS emulation experience. Among other things, we offer Amiibo support, motion control, support for microphones and cameras as well as gamepad support. However, there is much more to discover and more features should be available in the coming days.
The team behind the new app documents and publishes the history of the entire development on their website. If you want to immerse yourself in the history of Citra, you can go to the official website via the source link. The story goes deeply into how the two previous unofficial ports have affected the development of this official version. The first attempt to emulate 3DS games on Android was very bad and barely worked because game execution was very slow. MMJ's second unofficial project performed better, but the average user will surely stick to the newer official versions.
The official developers are happy to finally be able to offer a stable mobile version of Citra 3DS. After all fans have requested it for years. However, the mobile version could only be delivered if the original PC version of the app was stable enough.
Can I run Citra 3DS on my phone?
Now the users still have to answer the question how many smartphones can do this. Execute the 3DS emulation. Some games like Mario Kart 7 and Animal Crossing: New Leaf work smoothly. According to the XDA developers, these games ran flawlessly in a OnePlus 8 Pro. Okay, it's a flagship, a really expensive one, and that limits the availability of 3DS emulation. Of course, game phone owners can also run the app with excellent graphics and a speed of 60 fps.
According to Citra, the best way to run the emulator is by using a Snapdragon 835 SoC. In addition, performance depends heavily on the device's GPU drivers, and Qualcomm devices should run Citra better than Kirin, Exynos, or MediaTek chipsets. We believe that more users will test the emulation in the coming days, and only then can we confirm whether some medium-range phones can run the emulator. It would be amazing to see some cheap gaming phones that run 3DS games.
Additional requirements are at least Android 8.0 Oreo and the support of OpenGL ES 3.2. If you run it on unsupported devices, you'll experience interference and performance issues.
Downloading Citra 3DS for Android
You can download the Citra for Android app using the following link in the Google Play Store. It's free, but to get some money for this hard work, the team charges $ 4.99 for premium features. For the time being, this includes a dark mode theme and texture filter options to make the graphics more fluid. We can understand that this is an acceptable purchase if you want to support the team that brought this app to life.
The development team has also set up a Patreon site if you want to make a further contribution to their work.
Citra (Nintendo 3DS Emulator) for Android
Here is a list of the developers who made Citra / Nintendo 3DS for Android a reality.
- Bunnei to lead the entire project.
- Dolphin emulator developers for frontend (UI)
- BreadFish64 for OpenGL ES improvements, motion control and texture filtering.
- liushuyu for OpenGL ES bug fixes.
- SachinVin, who re-used the Dolphin user interface and added initial OpenGL ES support
- bug fixes and more
- weihuoya for AAC decoding for Android
- zhaowenlan1779 for software keyboard applet and Camera support