Skip to main content
Test Management
10 Best Android Emulators For PCs In 2022

So you want Android to work on your PC? You need an Android Emulator. They’re becoming more popular as Android’s popularity keeps growing. And as many of the QA folks in our quality engineering community are aware, emulators can be a great way to quickly test and QA an app.

I have also flagged, where applicable, which Android emulators are compatible with Mac, Linux, and others.

10 Best Android Emulators For PCs Shortlist

  1. LambdaTest

    Automated and live testing on over 3000+ real browsers and operating systems

  2. KoPlayer

    Android emulator that prioritizes stability through new kernel technology

  3. Bliss OS

    Open source emulated support for KVM/QEMU instances

  4. Android Studio

    Official Android IDE with a visual layout editor, APK Analyzer, and fast emulation

  5. Nox Player

    Android emulator with clean UI & great usability

  6. BlueStacks

    Popular Android emulator with low RAM usage

  7. LDPlayer

    Free, fast, and lightweight Android emulator for PC

  8. Genymotion

    Large choice of widgets & sensors that can be manipulated to simulate any real-life situation

  9. ARChon

    Free Android emulator for small, non-gaming projects

  10. MEmu

    Android emulation with high-quality graphics via DirectX 3D & OpenGL rendering

Comparison Criteria

What do I look for when I select the best Android emulation software? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria: 

  1. User Interface (UI): I look for clean software that makes it easy to access all it’s key features, whether it’s gaming stores or developer tools.
  2. Usability: I look for Android emulators that are easy to boot up and use, preferably ones that aren’t too taxing on your machine.
  3. Value for Price: Plenty of Android emulators are free (either with or without ads) so any cost should equate to additional, useful features for the user.

Android Emulator Key Features

  1. Low RAM usage: I’m looking for tools that don’t exhaust your PC resources entirely.
  2. Google Play Store access: Easy access to the Google Play Store and all the apps within.
  3. Emulates different Android OSs: Can the tool emulate the newest Android O as well as popular oldies, like Android Nougat or Android Marshmellow
  4. Game and app access: The library of Android apps and games available should be robust
  5. Android game development: Access to tools for Android developers looking to test their products
  6. Android phone screen adjustment: The app doesn’t look goofy when it transforms from phone- to PC-sized screens (black borders, blur, or other clutter-free layouts preferred) 

The QA Lead is reader-supported. We may earn a commission when you click through links on our site — learn more about how we aim to stay transparent.

Best Android Emulator For Windows 10 in 2022

Want to access an Android app or Google play on your Microsoft Windows PC or other device?

1

LambdaTest

Automated and live testing on over 3000+ real browsers and operating systems

LambdaTest is an online Android emulator where you can test both web and mobile apps on the latest and legacy Android operating systems, devices, and browsers. Lambatest is compatible with Windows, Linux, as well as macOS.

LambdaTest comes with Native App Testing features that let you conduct online live interactive native mobile app testing anywhere in the world by simply uploading your .apk file. Perform cross browser testing and run your automation tests at scale.

With LambdaTest you can run automated mobile tests using appium. Doing so lets you find bugs sooner as it tests both your native apps and mobile websites on real devices and other official emulators.

Geolocation testing is also a feature LambdaTest comes with. It enables you to to target, block, and localise your tests in certain countries.

LambdaTest costs from $15/Parallel Test. They offer a free trial.

Why use LambdaTest?

  • Mac OS and Linux compatible, not just PC
  • Integrates with over 120 tools
  • Geolocation testing

Free Trial

$15/Parallel Test

2

KoPlayer

Android emulator that prioritizes stability through new kernel technology

Just like other Android gaming emulators out there, KoPlayer focuses on delivering lag-free gaming experience with a lightweight software.

As KoPlayer is free of cost yet you might see few ads here and there. The app player is easy to install and navigate through the apps. It also supports keyboard mapping and gamepad emulation.

The downside of this Android emulator is that it sometimes freezes out of the blue. Also, the player is a little buggy and makes it difficult for the user to uninstall the Android O emulator.

KoPlayer is free to use.

Why use KoPlayer?

  • Windows and Mac OS compatible
  • Simple UI
  • Set up any Android device
  • Easy to set up
3

Bliss OS

Open source emulated support for KVM/QEMU instances

Bliss OS is a little different from the above emulators. Where ‘Android Emulators’ emulate Android on your Windows PC, Bliss OS, on the other hand, is Android itself and needs to be installed as a separate OS.

As for its installation, you could use a Virtual Box or you can create a bootable USB drive and install the Bliss OS ROM on the external storage.

Now, installing Bliss OS or any other Android x86-based projects is always better if you are looking for the exact Android experience on your PC. Not to mention the fact is Bliss OS is open source and doesn’t encompass ads or any Android emulator clutter.

Bliss OS is free to use.

Why use Bliss OS?

  • Open-source and ad-free
  • Beta version running on Android 9 Pie
  • Supports Substratum Theme engine
4

Android Studio

Official Android IDE with a visual layout editor, APK Analyzer, and fast emulation

Android Studio is a development IDE (integrated development environment) from Google itself and especially caters to developers. It basically comes with a bunch of tools and plugins to help developers build and test their apps.

Android Studio has a built-in emulator but packs fewer features in comparison to tools like Genymotion. The emulator is unquestionably not for general usage and playing heavy games. Android Studio is tough to set up but simultaneously favorite of many developers.

Key features include a visual layout editor with drag-and-drop simplicity; an APK analyzer to check app sizes; access to ARCore, Google’s supported platform for building augmented reality experiences; and an intelligent code editor with auto-completion tech for code completion for Kotlin, Java, and C/C++ languages.

Android Studio is free to use.

Why use Android Studio?

  • Compatible with Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome
  • Google’s official emulator
  • Regular updates
5

Nox Player

Android emulator with clean UI & great usability

Nox Player (sometimes called Nox App Player) especially targets Android gamers. Although the emulator works perfectly fine for other Android apps and enjoying the whole Android experience, it is best suited for playing massive games like PUBG or Justice League. The best part of Nox Emulator is that it’s absolutely free with no sponsored ads at all.

The Nox Player allows you to map the keys of Keyboard, Mouse, and Gamepad. You can even assign keyboard keys for gestures, for instance, mapping shortcut for swiping right.

Also, you can specify the CPU and RAM usage in the settings option to get the best gaming results. If rooting Android is your focus, Nox Player makes it easy to root the virtual device under one minute.

The only problem with Nox is that it puts a lot of load on the system. Thus, you can’t use tons of other apps. Another thing is it is based on Android 5 Lollipop which might be a concern for you.

Nox Player is free to use.

Why use Nox Player?

  • Multiple windows on the single device
  • Mapping shortcuts on controllers
  • Easy to root
  • Can be used for Android O or Android Nougat
6

BlueStacks

Popular Android emulator with low RAM usage

BlueStacks Android emulator is the oldest and the most popular Android emulator in the mobile gaming market. It’s easy to install, run, and play games on. BlueStacks comes with a library of 2 million+ Android games and apps, fastest boot times, great features (keymapping, game controls, Multi-Instance Sync, among others), and enhancements offered with less to no lag. In addition, the emulator keeps getting frequent product updates to address any issues that gamers experience, making it popular among the community.

If we look specifically at BlueStacks 5, it’s the fastest and lightest version of the app player yet. It claims to consume up to 50% less RAM, has introduced some new features like performance modes & trim memory (to help further reduce the memory usage). It currently supports Android 9 (Pie).

The emulator recently introduced BlueStacks 10, the mobile cloud for Android games. Android apps can be streamed directly on your PC, eliminating the need for expensive hardware.

BlueStacks is free to use. Paid plans cost from $24/month.

Why use BlueStacks?

  • Easy to set up with no technical knowledge required
  • Multiple accounts support
  • Latest Android version
  • Can be used for Android O or Android Nougat

Free to Use

$24/month

7

LDPlayer

Free, fast, and lightweight Android emulator for PC

LDPlayer is the second most popular emulator in the world. It’s South East Asia’s best and the fastest android emulator within the gaming market. LDPlayer allows players to run their mobile games and app on PC for free. The inbuilt store (named LDStore) carries multiple android apps and games.

One of the most significant features is its flexibility, even for a low-end device. It doesn’t take much from the storage. LDPlayer is great to play heavier games as well, players can run them smoothly on their computers as it comes with adjustable settings no matter what type of computer you are using.

The advanced features like the keyboard mapping and keyboard macros make controls way easier, while the multi-instance sync like features are helping players to enhance their gaming by creating several instances for the same game.

This emulator supports multi-languages, so it doesn’t matter where you come from because LDPlayer will guide you with the easiest instructions.

LDPlayer is free to use.

Why use LDPlayer?

  • Fast and light emulator with multi-language support
  • Adjustable settings and more advanced settings for any using device
  • Multiple instances can be created for the same device for the same game
8

Genymotion

Large choice of widgets & sensors that can be manipulated to simulate any real-life situation

Genymotion is not your casual Android emulator; it is only targeted at developers. The Android simulator lets you test apps on a variety of virtual devices with different versions of Android. The emulator is compatible with Android SDK and Android Studio. It even works macOS and Linux.

Since Genymotion is inclined towards developers, it is equipped with lots of developer-friendly features. And it might not be the right choice for people looking for Android gaming experience.

Genymotion is compatible with all testing frameworks based on ADB: Appium, Espresso, Robotium, et cetera. Plus, it’s compatible with the most popular Continuous Integration solutions: CircleCI, Bitrise, Terraform, and so on.

Genymotion costs from $136/year.

Why use Genymotion?

  • Runs on PC, Mac OS and Linux
  • Supports Android Studio
  • Run versions from Android 4.1 to 8.0
9

ARChon

Free Android emulator for small, non-gaming projects

ARChon is not some big shot Android emulator, nor it has a huge fan following, it’s more of a fix to run Android apps on Chrome OS.

It started out when Google brought support for two or three Android apps on Google Chrome Web Browser. Following which, a GitHub developer took it a little notch further and released ARChon to run all Android apps on Chrome.

The ARChon Android O emulator is not suited for hardcore gaming, but it is excellent for using a productivity app due to its easy access.

ARChon is free to use.

Why use ARChons?

  • Compatible with OS X, Linux and Windows
  • Integrated into Chrome
  • No troublesome installation
  • Good for productivity apps
10

MEmu

Android emulation with high-quality graphics via DirectX 3D & OpenGL rendering

MEmu (sometimes called MEmu Player) is relatively a new app player in comparison to the others. Launched in 2015, the MeMu Play, again, is focused on gaming. Regarding the speed, this Android emulator gives similar results as Nox and BlueStacks.

One of the most important features of MeMu Android emulator is its support for both AMD and Nvidia chips. It also supports different Android versions like Android Jelly Bean, Kit Kat, and Lollipop. While MeMu advocates for high-performance gaming, the graphics performance is relatively poor. I saw textures and smoothness missing in comparison to other app players.

MEmu is currently based on Android Lollipop and works top of the class with productivity apps. And if you are looking forward to playing games like Ingress or Pokémon Go, this should be your choice.

MYmu is free to use.

Why use MEmu?

  • Key Mapping
  • Set your virtual location on Google Maps
  • Support both AMD and NVidia
  • Can be used for Android O or Android Nougat

10 Best Android Emulators For PCs In 2022 Summary

Tool Free Option Price
1
LambdaTest

Automated and live testing on over 3000+ real browsers and operating systems

Free Trial

$15/Parallel Test Check out LambdaTest
2
KoPlayer

Android emulator that prioritizes stability through new kernel technology

Free to Use

Check out KoPlayer
3
Bliss OS

Open source emulated support for KVM/QEMU instances

Free to Use

Check out Bliss OS
4
Android Studio

Official Android IDE with a visual layout editor, APK Analyzer, and fast emulation

Free to Use

Check out Android Studio
5
Nox Player

Android emulator with clean UI & great usability

Free to Use

Check out Nox Player
6
BlueStacks

Popular Android emulator with low RAM usage

Free to Use

$24/month Check out BlueStacks
7
LDPlayer

Free, fast, and lightweight Android emulator for PC

Free to Use

Check out LDPlayer
8
Genymotion

Large choice of widgets & sensors that can be manipulated to simulate any real-life situation

Not available

$136/year Check out Genymotion
9
ARChon

Free Android emulator for small, non-gaming projects

Free to Use

Check out ARChon
10
MEmu

Android emulation with high-quality graphics via DirectX 3D & OpenGL rendering

Free to Use

Check out MEmu

Need expert help selecting the right Application Testing Software?

We’ve joined up with the software comparison platform Crozdesk.com to assist you in finding the right software. Crozdesk’s Application Testing Software advisors can create a personalized shortlist of software solutions with unbiased recommendations to help you identify the solutions that best suit your business’s needs. Through our partnership you get free access to their bespoke software selection advice, removing both time and hassle from the research process.

It only takes a minute to submit your requirements and they will give you a quick call at no cost or commitment. Based on your needs you’ll receive customized software shortlists listing the best-fitting solutions from their team of software advisors (via phone or email). They can even connect you with your selected vendor choices along with community negotiated discounts. To get started, please complete the form below:

Other Android Emulator Options

Here are few of the emulators who we weren’t able to fully test, are no longer supported, or have been shut down:

  • AMIDuOS – Easy to switch between Windows and Android environments, no dual boot
  • Remix OS Player – Free Android OS with basic Android features for Mac and Windows users
  • Leapdroid – Fast Android O emulation for Windows that is free to use
  • SmartGaga – Lightweight Android emulator for low spec PCs
  • GameLoop – Android Emulator from Tencent for their own games (PUBG Mobile, Call of Duty Mobile, Auto Chess)
  • Prime OS – Another Android operating system that can be used for emulation

What Is An Android Emulator?

From developers testing apps to gamers playing on a large screen, an Android Emulator allows you to use Android OS on a Microsoft Windows PC, together with your keyboard and mouse – so you can test much faster and more efficiently. Some iOS emulators for PC and Mac are also available but Android ones offer a better performance.

Maybe you are switching from iPhone to Android, or you merely want to test out a Custom ROM, the possibilities with Android Emulator are endless. While BlueStacks has always topped the list of phone emulators for PC, few others are catching up insanely fast. So, if you’re trying to find the best Android emulator check out this list of the top Android Emulators for your Windows 10 PC.

What Do You Think of These Android Emulators?

These are some of the best Android emulators that you can run on your Windows 10. Before you install any of the above emulators, it is important to note that these emulators are not completely bug-free and may lag from time to time. Also, the performance of these app players would be based on the specification of your PC.

Which Android Emulator do you and your team prefer? Let us know in the comments below, and make sure to subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date on all the latest in the QA world.

By Jason Boog

Over his 15-year career, Jason Boog has worked as a QA tester, QA analyst, and Senior QA Analyst on video games, commercial sites, and interactive web applications. He spent more than a decade building out the QA team and process as Director of Quality & Client Support at a full-service digital agency.

Leave a Reply