- 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. Nox Player — Android emulator with clean UI & great usability
- 5. Genymotion — Large choice of widgets & sensors that can be manipulated to simulate any real-life situation
- 6. ARChon — Free Android emulator for small, non-gaming projects
- 7. Android Studio — Official Android IDE with a visual layout editor, APK Analyzer, and fast emulation
- 8. BlueStacks — Popular Android emulator with low RAM usage
- 9. Remix OS Player — Best Android emulator for gamers
- 10. LDPlayer — Free, fast, and lightweight Android emulator for PC
Whether you’re building the next Call of Duty for mobile devices or a great app to shop from your phone, QA testing is one of the most important stages of the software development process. And to ensure the best possible experience on an Android device, you’ll need a high quality emulator to test your product.
You might be looking for an emulator specifically designed for Mac, Microsoft Windows, Chrome, Linux, or another PC operating system. Maybe you want to get more specific than that, and find the best Android emulator for Windows 10 or for Windows 11. Or, you might want to emulate a specific version of Android’s OS, like Android 7, Android 9, or Bliss OS.
Rest assured — there’s an Android emulator out there for everyone! I’ve researched and compiled the top Android emulators, to help you find the best one for your needs.
What are Android Emulators?
An Android emulator is software or virtual machine that mimics the behavior and experience of an Android device. Software developers, QA specialists, gamers, and other people use these tools to run Android apps on other devices, such as a personal computer (PC). Using these platforms to simulate the Android operating system allows you to effectively test apps and mobile games designed to run on Android devices.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Remix OS Player is an Android emulator that allows users to test applications and play games on Windows devices. It’s one of few emulators that are compatible with nearly all Google Play Store games and applications.The platform provides a desktop version of Android designed to function like a normal operating system. It features many desktop elements familiar to Windows users, including a start menu, system tray, and taskbar, making the emulator highly intuitive. Users can also run multiple applications in different resizable windows, enabling you to switch between programs easily.Windows users can download Remix OS Player for free. *Why use Remix OS Player?,*Compatible with nearly all Android, *applications and games, *Custom key mapping, *Easy installation and simple user interface
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
Need expert help selecting the right Application Testing Software?
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Automated and live testing on over 3000+ real browsers and operating systems
Free trial available
|From $15/month||Visit Website|
Android emulator that prioritizes stability through new kernel technology
Free to Use
Open source emulated support for KVM/QEMU instances
Free to Use
Android emulator with clean UI & great usability
Free to Use
Large choice of widgets & sensors that can be manipulated to simulate any real-life situation
Free Android emulator for small, non-gaming projects
Free to Use
Official Android IDE with a visual layout editor, APK Analyzer, and fast emulation
Free to Use
Popular Android emulator with low RAM usage
Free to Use
Remix OS Player
Best Android emulator for gamers
Free, fast, and lightweight Android emulator for PC
Free to Use
Android emulation with high-quality graphics via DirectX 3D & OpenGL rendering
Lightweight Android emulator for low spec PCs
Fast Android O emulation for Windows that is free to use
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
Easy to switch between Windows and Android environments, no dual boot
Selection Criteria for the Best Android Emulators for PCs
There are tons of mobile app testing tools out there, so how did I choose the best Android emulators to add to my list? Here, I’ve summarized the key criteria I took into account while conducting my research:
Here are the key features I looked for when picking the best Android emulators for Android testing and gameplay:
- Low RAM usage: I'm looking for tools that don't exhaust your PC resources entirely.
- Google Play Store access: Easy access to the Google Play Store and all the apps within.
- Emulates different Android OSs: Can the tool emulate the newest Android O and popular oldies, like Android Nougat or Android Marshmellow.
- Game and app access: The library of Android apps and games available should be robust.
- Android game development: Access to tools for Android developers looking to test their products.
- 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).
A clean user interface and easy navigation were important factors I considered with each testing tool. The best emulators aren’t necessarily the ones with the most bells and whistles, but the ones that are easiest to use. So I looked for tools that weren’t too complicated and didn’t require too many custom configurations.
Is the platform open-source? Is it customizable? Can you run multi-instance emulations? Does it create simulations of the app or gaming experience? Depending on your needs, you might be looking for something more broad or more specific.
Why use an Android emulator for PC?
What's the best way to perform Android app testing?
Can you automate parts of the Android testing process?
What are the types of tests you can run on an Android app or game?
What is Google Play Testing?
Other Software Testing Tools
Though Android emulation is crucial for mobile testing, other applications are equally important to run an effective software testing strategy. Below are a few of my favorite lists of detailed software reviews that I've composed during my years as a QA expert. Enjoy!
- Best Software Testing Tools for QAs
- Best Test Management Tools
- Best Online Cross-Browser Testing Tools
Stay up on the latest
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.