Android Emulation 101: How to Play Phone Games on PC

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play phone games on PC

Mobile games have come a long way since the early 2010’s era of Fruit Ninja and Jetpack Joyride, with games like Genshin Impact lowering the bar set between mobile games and their Triple AAA brethren over on consoles and PCs. But for all their advancements, mobile games are still limited by the size of the screen you play them on.

So how can you experience a mobile game in true widescreen glory?

Well, search no further! This guide on how to play phone games on PC will teach you everything you need to know about playing Angry Birds on the big screen!

But enough preamble, right? Let’s dive into things!

Want to Play Phone Games on PC? You Need a Decent PC First

All of the emulation software in the world won’t let you play mobile games on your computer if its technical specs aren’t up to snuff. Thankfully, many mobile games feature scaled-down graphics in order to perform well on mobiles, meaning even older computers should have the graphical power to run the game smoothly. As mobile games continue to advance, however, you’ll want to keep checking up on the ‘landscape” of these games to make sure you’ve got the hardware.

If you plan to play online games like PUBG Mobile, make sure you have a solid Internet connection so your game doesn’t lag out in the middle of a match. Using an Ethernet connection on your computer is a great way to get more consistent bandwidth. Making sure your computer has the internal storage to handle the emulator and any games you’ll want to download onto it ahead of time will also help save you a future headache.

If your computer lacks the specs you need to play your game of choice, you can always try altering the graphical settings to see if you can play the game on a lower setting without losing frames. If this fails, you may need a new computer altogether, which you can get from providers like lenovo.com.

Emulation Paradise

The primary way you’ll be playing mobile games on your computer is through the use of an emulator. An emulator looks at the format of the original game and configures itself to “trick” the game into thinking it’s running on the original system. Many emulators can be downloaded from the Internet for free as well, so you don’t have to worry about putting a dent in your wallet.

It’s important to note however that running files in an emulator will cause them to get stored inside the emulator rather than your computer. So if you’re looking to get rid of a game, you’ll have to do it from within the emulator.

However, a vast audience for these emulators means all sorts have cropped up over the years, and it’s difficult to sift through all of them to find the one that works best for you. So what are your options?

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Bluestacks 4

The reigning champion when it comes to mobile emulators sits with Bluestacks, an Android emulator for Windows and Mac. All you need to do is go to the main website and download the app, then open it and sign in with your Google account.

One of the main perks of BlueStacks comes with its relative modernity. While many emulators are stuck running super outdated versions of Android that leave some recent game offerings off the table, BlueStacks runs off of Android 7.0. While this is far from the newest Android OS, it gets the job done in terms of game selection.

BlueStacks allows you to put a custom location on your game to trigger any location-based features (think any Niantic game) and can let you run the same game multiple times at once from different counts. This is useful for players of games that require farming materials since you can heighten the speed at which you get those and then transfer them to the “primary” account. However, you should remember to adjust your graphical settings so your computer doesn’t get overwhelmed.

Bluestacks is also a free program, and you can download it and access all its features without dropping a dime. If you want to get rid of ads though, you’ll have to pay a small monthly subscription fee.

To top it all off, Bluestacks even has an achievement system in the emulator that gives you points for various accomplishments. You can then redeem said points on various bonuses within Bluestacks! Couple that with the emulator’s integrated connection to Twitch if you feel like streaming, and Bluestacks emerges as a serious contender for the top spot.

Nox Player

Nox Player is another Android emulator for PC (no Mac users though) that offers the ability to customize the controls of the game to your liking. This means you can assign taps on the screens to a mouse click of different buttons on your keyboard. You can even plug in a controller from an Xbox, Playstation, or Nintendo Gamecube into your computer and map the controls to that!

Nox doesn’t hand you as many tools from the start as Bluestacks (and thus has a bit of a learning curve), but prime offerings like screen capture and strong framerate keep it as a solid choice. It’s also free. However, it’s worth noting that Nox Player’s privacy policy states that they collect a good chunk of information on you.

Bliss OS

Unlike the previous emulators we mentioned, Bliss works as a “virtual machine” that you access to run Android apps. While this means that Bliss boasts top-level Android simulation, the cost comes with a higher demand on your computer. This demand increases if you choose to instead access the virtual machine from a USB drive, but this will give you access to “pure” Android on your computer (rather than an emulation).

As a result, the installation process is also complicated. If you manage to get though it, however, you’ll have a top of the line system through which to play the newest Android games. You also don’t need to worry about problems within the virtual machine affecting your computer, since the host system stays relatively “immune” to any bugs in the virtual machine.

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Another unofficial software called Android x86 will also let you replace the OS of your computer with an Android facsimile, giving you the best possible performance for these apps (since you’re not running two OS’s at once). This option only works if you have a spare computer, however (since you have to sack the current OS).

Gameloop

If you plan to use your emulator for the most part to play shooter games, Gameloop is the free emulator for you. While it lacks some of the quality-of-life features of other emulators, it was designed to emulate PUBG Mobile and has tailored performance towards online shooters. Gameloop even tailors their emulator towards control accessibility, with a clear UI for re-mapping controls.

However, Gameloop does experience performance issues when playing games not tailored for the app. So if you plan to be playing anything other than PUBG or Call of Duty, you’ll want to find a different emulator.

But What About iOS Games?

If you want to play iOS games on these emulators, you could be out of luck. Though they will both stem from the same type of file (APK), game exclusivity will prohibit it from working on the opposite console. However, free emulators like Ipadian and Air iPhone Emulator will allow you to simulate an iPad and iPhone (respectively) to play most iOS games.

How to Run the Games

To start, make sure you’ve enabled to root function in your emulator. Some won’t require this step, but others will before you can make any significant changes. Once you enable that from the Settings feature, you can bring APK files into emulators by dragging them to the emulators. Some will also offer an upload feature that allows you to select the file directly from your file library.

However, there are some tips you should keep in mind when running these games. Certain mobile games (like Pokemon GO) don’t work on the emulators due to their coding detecting when they are inside an emulator and shutting down.

Some mobile games are also equipped with “anti-cheat” features and can detect when you’re running a game through multiple accounts or an invalid machine. If this happens, you risk your account getting banned from these play phone games on PC and losing any progress you’ve gotten. Do some research on what others have discovered regarding that game’s anti-cheat features before you play.

Mobile Gaming Legend

And there you have it! Now that you know all about how to play phone games on PC, you’re ready to get a massive library of games at your fingertips to play whenever you want!

Want to know more about the latest in gaming and technology news? Then be sure to check out some of the other articles on our blog!

Now, if you’ll excuse us, it’s time for us to go nab that Victory Royale.

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