13 Best DS Emulators for PC 2023 (Tested)

Undoubtedly, several high-quality, open-world animation games are available today that keep players engaged for an excessive amount of time. However, we continue to like the vintage Nintendo DS games and will not pass up the chance to play them on the most recent version of our operating system. You can easily find the Best DS emulator for PC available that allows you to play your favorite Nintendo DS games.

Best DS Emulator for PC

There is a record-breaking number of 150 million players who used to play Nintendo Games around 2013, right before they were discontinued. But worry not; there are many alternatives through which you can continue living in your virtual dream world; we have listed all of them in our list of best ds emulators for PC.

Best DS Emulator for PC | All The Details You Require

Software called a Nintendo game emulator enables you to play games it was not intended for. You may play Nintendo console or arcade games, as well as unlicensed hardware, using a Nintendo emulator. You may, however, play the games by obtaining illegally copied software from Internet vendors, such as Nintendo ROMs. The game may then be played on unapproved hardware, such as a PC or consoles that have been modded, thanks to Nintendo ROMs that function with Nintendo emulators.

A gaming console improves the gaming experience in ways that a keyboard or mouse cannot. Here, we’ve compiled a list of the top Nintendo DS emulators available for various gaming systems.


MelonDS is the first program on the top Nintendo DS emulators list. Additionally, it is a Windows-compatible emulator that is open-source. The Nintendo DS emulator is quick and provides precise emulation. You may play your favorite Mario and Pokemon games with the emulator. You might be particularly interested in this emulator’s feature list. JIT recompiler, 3D upscaling, Joystick compatibility, and OpenGL renderers are just a few of the features on the list that contribute to quick emulation and a better user experience. While other games allow multiplayer, this one solely supports single-player play.

Important information: Because the developers do not provide Nintendo DSi titles, the emulator requires firmware and BIOS dumps for Nintendo DS. The BIOS, NAND, and firmware are also needed for some Nintendo DSi games. In light of all the capabilities available, it also provides an ad-free experience, making it one of the top Nintendo DS emulators for Mac and Windows.



RetroArch is a fantastic emulator that enables you to run many programs, including games and media players. It’s simple for everyone to use this emulator because it’s free and open-source. With this, you may play old games without problems on any machine. The UI is straightforward and has settings that are simple to browse. It offers several distinctive characteristics in addition to the usual ones that you could find appealing.

Netplay, 4K upscaling, rewinding, shaders, next-frame reaction time, machine translation, and many other features are on the list. Mobile devices may also use this DS emulator for the PC. It is compatible with the most recent iterations of iOS, Android, Raspberry Pi, Windows, and Linux. In addition, this emulator is simple to use even if you have an earlier version because it supports them all. It may be used with several gaming systems, including the 2DS, 3Ds, U, Switch, PSP, PS2, PS3, and Wii.




Another excellent Nintendo DS emulator that is open-source and cost-free is DeSmuME. All popular operating systems, including Mac, Linux, and Windows, may use this emulator. In addition to supporting both 32-bit and 64-bit, it also offers graphical change based on the capabilities of the system you are using. The cheat code manager, save slot, and USB controller compatibility are all included in this top DS emulator for Windows 11 PC.

You may pick up where you left off using the save slot option. The emulator for Windows devices requires the Microsoft UCRT DLLs in your system. For reliable and improved performance, users of this Nintendo DS emulator for Mac and Windows should even patch the most recent version.



The Nintendo DS runs flawlessly with the emulator Ensata, created by Nintendo. It was made as a debug target for DS application development. The software uses the mouse pointer as a touch screen to simulate the ARM7 and ARM9 dual-screen CPUs. This is now possible to add commercial games thanks to the released source codes.

Accurate rendering distinguishes it as one of the top DS emulators for Windows. The gap between the two displays of the entire Nintendo DS system is intended to be closed. Even less is needed from the PC to operate the app. Ensata requires a GPU that supports DirectX 9 and an Intel Pentium or higher processor with at least 256MB of RAM.



The following is iDeas, a fantastic and cost-free Nintendo DS emulator. It can quickly run several ROMs with support for the key NDS features. It utilized the plugin system and was inspired by the N64 emulator. You may play fantastic games like ZooKeeper and Mario 64 using this program. While playing, you could encounter various bugs, although most of them are avoidable. It supports the dual-screen arrangement, allowing you to snap screenshots of both screens, just as Ensata. Additionally, it has touchscreen functionality that enables you to remap keys for convenience and choice.

The sole drawback of this program is that because iDeas development has been halted, new games cannot be played on this Nintendo DS emulator for PC. However, it is one of the essential choices for older games.



NeonDS was explicitly created to run commercial games. Thus, you may be mistaken if you think these Nintendo DS emulators cannot. Other emulators can’t compete with the software’s quick rendering, even on outdated PCs. Because the rendering technology is tuned for OpenGL 2.0, it is also possible to record displays.

Despite its limited compatibility, the emulator may still be used with all popular games, including Scribblenauts. Another drawback of this program is that it hasn’t had any upgrades in a while, which prevents it from working with new games. You may only attempt this DS emulator if you are trying an emulator for improved performance.



This is another abandoned project similar to NeonDS. Thus, it might not be perfect if you’re seeking new games. GPU acceleration and a dynamic recompiler with a software renderer are characteristics of this emulator. This combines the features of the previous two emulators.

It is fantastic software with some of the best features and speedy processing. The flaw in this software’s development prevented it from being the finest Nintendo DS emulator available. The creators planned new iDuos for DSi and Ds emulators for mobile devices, but sadly, none were ever released. Above all, the software is still one you really must try because it has several helpful features.


Drastic DS Emulator

The Greatest Nintendo DS Emulators list would not be complete without the Drastic Ds emulator, which has some of the best features. The program includes several features, including controller compatibility, button mapping, and state saving. If you want to, it can also raise the screen resolution. This one can perform well in high-end smartphones.

Although the Nintendo DS’s screen differs from a mobile device’s screen, the software provides up to six distinct layouts to make up for this. The layouts include single view, stacked view, default view, and keeping one screen shorter than the other. The most excellent NDS emulator is available for $4.99; however, considering the list of features, the cost is justified.



Project64 is one of the names on this list of the finest ds emulator options. With this little emulator, you may play Nintendo real estate games on your Windows PC. The emulator’s user interface is quite primary and easy to use. Since the tool is also designed with a retro aesthetic, all Nintendo users may make the most of the emulator as needed. With a straightforward and more significant learning curve, Project64 provides fantastic and excellent gameplay support. Additionally, users may use this emulator to play OUYA games.

Project 64


NDS4droid is a name on this list of the finest ds emulator alternatives. There is an Android emulator available. Use of the tool is free and doesn’t involve paying anything. This emulator’s user interface is quite plain and easy to use. The greatest NDS emulator also comes with additional features. The emulator is well known for its valuable and permanent save states.

As a result, using the feature to save the game at any time is simple. In addition to Nintendo hardware, the emulator can quickly run OUYA games. Furthermore, the program in no way compromises the security of your device or its contents.



Another best DS emulator available for the PC is Citra. It is an easy-to-use emulator that is free and open-source. Thanks to the software, most games, even those for commercial 3DS, may be played on Windows, Linux, Mac, and Android. You can play games like Pokemon X/Y that need HLE audio and LLE audio with the emulator. But unlike other programs, this emulator might not function as effectively in an outdated machine as it does in a modern one.

A strong and quick processor is necessary for smooth operation. Some games or applications may even trouble you since they won’t launch and merely display a blank screen. The other compatible games, however, function perfectly and are trouble-free. If you want an emulator for the Nintendo server, you may skip this one because it supports WiFi but not the company’s servers.



Another open-source, free emulator that runs on the majority of platforms. It works with many different game systems, including Game Boy, Genesis, Nintendo GS, and many more. You might recognize a few similarities if you’ve used Apple Music. It is pretty simple to explore, add, and organize using the emulator. The layout has several displays that display stored states, allow cheat codes, and offer a variety of additional choices.

You will have quick access to all the games you play since they are arranged in a library. Even better, you may compile your library of games from numerous systems. The program skillfully translates the controls of several different gadgets, including DualShock (3 and 4), PlayStation, Wiimote, and many more.


The name might be challenging to read, but it is No Cash GBA, whether spoken or written. One of the most incredible Nintendo DS emulators is this one. Before it included support for the Nintendo DS and DSi, the emulator was once known as the Gameboy Advance emulator. Later, it adopted the moniker NO$GBA. The NO$GBA debug version for Windows has been created with programmers in mind.

In contrast, the conventional version for Windows contains all the functionality necessary to run Mario, Pokemon, and other standard games. The fact that both of these DS emulators for PC are free to use is their most prominent feature. NO$GBA’s most recent version, v3.02, was made available in May 2020.


This Nintendo DS emulator for Mac is top because of its excellent compatibility with third-party DS ROMs. Additionally, it supports DS homebrew. You may play several games, including Pokemon Diamond, using this emulator in full-screen mode without interruptions. It is an excellent choice because it is resource-efficient.

Frequently Asked Questions | Best DS Emulator for PC

What is the best DS emulator for PC?

Even though the vintage Nintendo is not longer in active production since 2013, many equally excellent and legit Emulators for PC have existed. The best DS emulator available for PC is undoubtedly NO$GBA, but for your belief, please go through the above article to learn more about available options and their perks.

What is the best DS emulator for the lowest-end PC? 

There are a bunch of good-functioning DS emulators for low-end PCs, but it highly depends on your software version. Please refer to the article above and go through each of its pros and cons to find out which would be the one for you.


Since all of the Nintendo DS ROMs are gratis and bug-free, feel free to install any of them on your Windows computer or laptop. Read the article and quickly analyze each section to determine which one you liked the most.

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