If you’re looking for the best mobile emulators, you’ll soon realize that many of the top choices are actually behind a paywall. That’s why instead of engaging in your usual approach in testing apps (which is to download them one by one and simply uninstalling all the bad ones afterwards), you’ll have no other option but to move cautiously. You must find out which emulator will serve you best – something that requires you to check certain things.
If you’re going to game on an iPhone, this shouldn’t be much of an issue. You’ll only have to check the devices supported, as well as find out if there’s an OS requirement. On the other hand, gaming on an Android device is a bit tricky. Aside from learning about the emulator’s system requirements, you must check your mobile’s specifications. Factors such as the amount of RAM and CPU speed play a big role in determining smoothness of play.
Also, it’s important that you check how old your device is – regardless of its rated CPU speed and number of cores, it probably won’t be as fast as a newer device with the same specifications. That’s because the latest devices also come with the newest processors, which have all sorts of improvements that lead to faster and more efficient process execution. In short, it isn’t just about the numbers when it comes to Android devices.
What’s Being Emulated
Another thing that you should consider is support, or which gaming systems can a particular app emulate. If, for example, you’re only thinking of playing old PSP games on your phone, then there’s no need to look for a multi-system emulator. On the other hand, if you’re into retro gaming platforms (like Gameboy and NES) and you’re fairly certain that you’ll want to switch systems from time to time, you should go for a more versatile emulator.
Aside from differences in price, there are other distinctions between single- and multi-platform emulators. The former are specialized and thus, are less likely to have problems running games (given the smaller library). Multi-platform emulators may still have acceptable performance and compatibility, but probably won’t be a match for their single-platform counterparts in both qualities.
Search Existing Reviews
If you really want to be certain that an emulator will run on your device at the best speeds, you should spend some time checking existing reviews. Look for comments and ratings from people who own the same device as you do. You might also take note of other relevant information, such as the use of custom ROMs and whether they’ve rooted their phone. Yes, it’s not going to be as easy as finding out which emulator has the highest rating.
You should also check YouTube for actual video reviews to see the emulator in action. Remember that unlike written reviews that could be faked (even if they’re posted on Apple’s or Google’s app portals), video reviews that provide in-game footages are guaranteed to give you an actual glimpse of what to expect. They’ll even show you the emulator’s real performance, assuming that the reviewer used the same device as the one you own.
Check Gamepad Support
Those serious about their emulation endeavors shouldn’t forget about the sheer importance of playing with a gamepad. While virtual on-screen buttons do work, they won’t provide the same level of satisfaction and responsiveness that you’d expect from a physical gamepad. So, before you purchase an emulator, determine whether it can be easily linked with a Bluetooth or OTG controller.
Aside from that, be sure to consider the importance of controller mapping. While some top-rated emulators automatically map gamepad buttons depending on the platform being emulated, it’s safe to say that problems in layout could still emerge – especially given that some of today’s gamepads have fairly unique button configurations. Of course, there’s also the potential need for reconfiguration to achieve more comfortable play in some titles.
Your Search Continues
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Now that you’re aware of all those things about the best mobile emulators, one thing should finally be clear – you really shouldn’t rush into purchasing a certain app if you want to have a flawless gaming experience on your phone. The same can be said if you wish to avoid wasting your money. Your sacrifice (which involves gathering all the needed information to come up with a logical decision) should be all worth it in the end.
When you’re finally reliving the best years of your life as a gamer, you’ll know that you have really chosen one of the finest mobile emulators.