Nintendo DS or popularly know as DS was released in 2004. It was called DS because it has Dual Screens. DS also meant Developers’ System. It is the most popular and best selling video game console in history of gaming devices.
It was an advanced gaming hand-held device from Nintendo that had many superior features. It had two LCD screens, support for Wi-Fi connectivity and a built-in microphone. Bottom screen also had touch screen feature to play games. Most important feature was that multiple Nintendo DS consoles can directly connect to each other over Wi-Fi and interact.
It was predecessor of Game Boy Advance with backward compatibility with Game Boy Advance titles. It was succeeded by Nintendo 3DS (Check out list of Nintendo 3DS Emulators) that has backward compatibility with all Nintendo DS titles. Best selling game on Nintendo DS was New Super Mario Bros that sold 30.8 million titles.
Well those who have played games on NDS surely miss that wonder gaming console. But there are Nintendo DS emulators for Android, PC, Mac, iOS around to step back in time and play those wonderful games.
Though NDS emulators are not as good as as original gaming console but they still are good to play NDS games as long as long you do mind minor glitches and your expectation is not high.
What are Best Nintendo DS Emulators for Android, PC, Mac, iOS, Linux Desktop devices?
We have compiled a good list of NDS emulators that you can download on your PC, Android, Mac, iOS devices and Linux devices.
- NDS Boy! NDS Emulator
- Free DS Emulator
- NDS Emulator (Nitendo DS)
- DraStic DS Emulator
- Pretendo NDS Emulator
- NDS emulator for Android
- viDS (NDS-Emulator)
Most of the emulators for NDS are free and some are even open source. So if you want a better developed Nintendo DS emulator, you can help developers by reporting bugs or requesting features.
NDS Boy! NDS Emulator
NDS Boy! NDS Emulator is the most popular Nintendo DS emulator more than million downloads and average rating of 4.5. It support NDS game files in .nsd, .zip, .7z and .rar format. It is available for Android 4.0+. There is option to save and load state along with quick save, quick load and auto load.
This a high quality NDS emulator and requires high end phone or tablet with 2GB ram and quad-core or more CPUs.
There is a free version with ads and pro version. You support developer by purchasing pro version if you like free version of NDS emulator.
Price – Free
Download – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.anhhuy.ds4droid
Free DS Emulator
Free DS Emulator is another good emulator with more than million downloads. It is free to download emulator and play Nintendo games at high speed. There are common features like saving and loading games. There is option to game screen and control buttons. Though it does not offer much customization but it is still good choice for playing NDS games.
Price – Free
Download – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.cpu.free.dsemulator
NDS Emulator (Nitendo DS)
NDS Emulator (Nitendo DS) was designed from scratch for Android 4.0. Some heavy effort was made to make it simpler and give emulator better look. It comes with some really nice features like Sustaing button, Controller Vibration.
Players can also play their own song while playing games. Players can also use wide range of input devices like Multi touch, keyboard or gamepad controllers.
What is interesting is that it supports Android 2.0+, 2.3.X, 3.X and 4.X. So if you have any old Android phone, you can use it as gaming phone. It has option for Custom ROM directory and supports RomFetcher and PAL.
Overall it is a good emulator for Nintendo DS to try.
Price – Free
Download – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=vn.lta.nds
nds4droid is open source project and has more than 10 million downloads and average rating of 3.5.
It is based on another project DeSmuME and specifically developed for Android. It is completely free and there are no ads. It is a rather basic emulator with no fancy customization and options.
Price – Free
DraStic DS Emulator
DraStic DS Emulator is excellent fast NDS emulator. It is a paid app and it costs $4.99. But it comes with really good features that are better than free emulator. Moreover as it is paid app, it is updated frequently and you can get your issues resolved.
Major features are
- You can enhance original resolution by 2×2 times. This feature is best suited for high end Android phones with quad core cpu.
- Option to customize size of DS screens and placement.
- Full support for add-on controllers
- Save and resume game
- Thousands of cheat codes to play without hindrance
- Fast-forward option to increase emulator speed
- Store saved game on Good Drive
Free emulators are good but they still have glitches do not run games at full speed. This is where paid emulators beats competition. It’s price tag of $4.99 is just pea-nut in comparison to original Nintendo DS console price and this emulator is worth it’s price.
There is a demo version to check out how this emulator works before you purchase real version. You can check how good it works by checking demo version. This app has more than million downloads with average rating of 4.6. This is the highest rated Nintendo DS emulator available in market.
Serious Nintendo DS game lovers will love this NDS emulator.
Price – $4.99
Download – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.dsemu.drastic
RetroArch is not just one emulator. It is a complete emulator gaming system with suport for gaming systems like Nintendo DS, Game Boy, SNES, Game Boy Advance. RetroArch is trying to create a gaming ecosystem.
To play DS games, you have to install app and then download NDS core from within app.
There is an exclusive emulator called Game & Watch in that you can download a game and watch as game is being played.
It eye-candy menu with multi-language support. Players can chose to enter and load cheat sheets.
Website – https://www.retroarch.com
Download Android App – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.retroarch
Download (Windows, Linux, iOS, Mac) – https://www.retroarch.com/index.php?page=platforms#
Non-Active Nintendo DS Emulators
Below is still of emulators that were available at one point of time but removed from App store.
Pretendo NDS Emulator
Pretendo NDS Emulator was DS emulator that was optimized for ROM and RAM. It was developed by Modcraft. It could load ROM files with extension .rom, .ds or compressed ROM file with .zip extension. It was fast emulator where you could play games without any lag.
Unfortunately it is no more available.
Another best Nintendo DS emulator removed from app store. It has features like cheat codes, custom display screen, custom button layout. It was developed by YellowES
NDS emulator for Android
Developed by o2s Inc, NDS emulator for Android is full featured emulator. There was option to enable autosave, load cheats and customize screen and input mapping. Players can enable or disable automatic searching of device for ROMs.
Another NDS emulator with all the common features to play NDS games on Android phone and tablet.
Final Word on Nintendo DS Emulator
There are quite few NDS emulators in market. But there are only 2-3 emulators that are worth downloading and trying. Not all emulators will work every phone. Some emulators with work on some phone and others will work on other phones. Also every emulator can not play all NDS games. So best idea is to download 2-3 Nintendo DS emulator and try playing your favorite game. And if you have $4.99 to spare, you can go for paid NDS emulator.