Nintendo Switch is by far one of the best handheld consoles of this generation. Despite being a portable device, it competes with Playstation and Xbox in terms of popularity and sales. However, in some parts of the world, taxes, import charges, and availability make it difficult for someone to buy a Switch console. In cases like these, Nintendo Switch emulators are the way to go. Using these emulators, you can play Nintendo Switch games — both on PC and Android.
Playing with a keyboard and mouse seems like a better alternative than dealing with Switch joy-con drift issues. As there are many emulators available on the internet, how do you know which one is the best? Worry not, because we have got you covered. The following are some of the best Nintendo Switch emulators available right now.
Best Nintendo Switch Emulator For PC
Yuzu emulator is by far the most popular Nintendo Switch emulator for PC. With it, you also can play almost any Switch game with an excellent performance rate. Yuzu is made by the developers of Citra, a popular Nintendo 3DS emulator. They even have a list so that you can check the compatibility of your favorite games. It can be quite tricky to use for first-time users, but you can get the hang of it after watching a few guides, just like the one above.
Yuzu emulator is available on both Windows and Linux and has the least bugs. Its popularity has even led to it being used as a base for other emulators on this list. It is even possible to play games with up to 4K resolution with a proper PC setup. It even supports both AMD and Nvidia graphic cards. But the main factor is that it supports heavy-duty AAA Nintendo games with high compatibility. That means you can play games such as Super Mario Odyssey and Legend of Zelda: BOTW.
- Best performance
- Free and Open source
- Large library of games
- Consistent updates
- Hard to setup
- Framerate issues in high end games or low spec PC
- Limited controller support
- Texture and rendering inconsistencies in some games (rare)
Ryujinx is another popular switch emulator which is known for being easy to use. It is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. In terms of performance, Ryujinx is the 2nd best option coming slightly behind Yuzu. But it can still run major Nintendo Switch games at 60 FPS, given the proper hardware.
This is probably the best option for beginners who don’t want a very technical setup and want a simple and easy-to-use interface. There are more than 1000 games available; however, only half of them can run properly. Currently, this is the best and only option for Mac users.
- Easy to setup
- User friendly interface
- Inbuilt resolution scaling
- Performance lacking in some titles
- Slow at startup for new users
While it is not exactly a Switch emulator, Cemu can run both gamecube and Wii U, and Nintendo Switch games. It was one of the first emulators able to run Switch games with great consistency. The developers update the emulator quite frequently, adding new features and performance improvements.
You even have the option to mod these games right from the launch settings, which can make the experience even more fun. You can play most games at 1080p/60fps. It has many advanced features such as graphic packs that let you play with mods, rendering quality, resolution, anti-aliasing, shading, and various other settings.
- Advanced features
- Can run both WiiU and Switch Games
- Graphic packs
- Complicated setup
- Controller configuration is complicated
- Only some major Switch games are supported
Also, check our detailed guide on Nintendo Ds Emulators for PC here!
Best Nintendo Switch Emulator For Android
Some software are also capable of running Switch games on your high-end Android phones. However, be warned they are a bit sketchy as most mobile APKs are.
Android Nintendo Switch Emulator
This sketchy little emulator popped up last year and was seemingly capable of running some Nintendo Switch games. Some notable games are Pokémon Sword/Shield, Super Mario Odyssey, The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, and Pokémon Let’s Go. However, as you can expect from a mobile emulator, it cannot run these games properly. It supports up to 81 playable titles; however, 73 of those crash while playing.
The downside is that it violates the MIT open-software license and uses code straight from the Yuzu emulator. For that reason, if you want to know the actual name of the emulator, you can check the above video for more context. You also have to use Nintendo-style controllers to play video games on this app.
- Runs Pokemon titles smoothly
- Available on Android
- Sketchy origins
- Game crashes
- Security concerns
- Close source
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 855/855+/865/865+ flagship SoCs needed for stable performance.
Also, check our list of the 15 best android emulators for PC you can use in 2021.
Skyline emulator is still a work in progress open-source Nintendo Switch emulator. It is built from the ground up and designed specifically for Android. At the time of writing, there is not much to say about this emulator program as it is still developing. However, do keep an eye out for this one in the future. You can download it directly from GitHub and give it a try. However, you might only experience game crashes.