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, taxes, import charges, and availability make it difficult for someone to buy a Switch console in some parts of the world. In cases like these, Nintendo Switch emulators are the way to go.
You can play Nintendo Switch games on PC and Android using emulators. Playing with a keyboard and mouse seems like a better alternative than dealing with Switch joy-con drift issues. Right now, many emulators are 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
|Nintendo Switch Emulator||Platforms|
|Yuzu||Windows and Linux|
|Ryujinx||Windows, Linux, and macOS|
Platforms: Windows and Linux
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 compatibility list so that you can check the performance of your favorite games. It can be pretty tricky 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 Windows and Linux and has very few bugs. Its popularity has even led to it being used as a base for other emulators on this list. With the Yuzu emulator, playing games with up to 4K resolution with a proper PC setup is possible.
The emulator even supports both AMD and Nvidia graphic cards. But the main factor is that it supports heavy-duty AAA Nintendo games with high compatibility. You can even play AAA 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)
Platforms: Windows, Linux, and macOS
Ryujinx is another popular Nintendo Switch emulator for PC, known for being easy to use. It is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Ryujinx is probably one of the best Nintendo Switch emulators for beginners. It can run major Nintendo Switch games at 60 FPS, given the proper hardware.
This emulator 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 some can run properly.
You can check the compatibility for these games on their website. Currently, this is the best and only option for Mac users. The developer, Gdkchan, also promises to add proper macOS support. If you are an Apple user, this emulator is the only option for you. Users can play games like Super Mario Odyssey, Animal Crossing New Horizons, Mario Cart 8, and Astral Chan on this emulator.
- Easy to setup
- User-friendly interface
- Inbuilt resolution scaling
- Performance lacking in some titles
- Slow at startup for new users
While it is not precisely a Switch emulator, Cemu can run GameCube, Wii U, and Nintendo Switch games. It was one of the first emulators to run Nintendo Switch games consistently. The developers update the emulator 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.
Cemu is mainly a Wii U emulator, so don’t be surprised when it can’t run many Nintendo Switch games. It can run games like Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Bayonetta 2, and Super Smash Bros.
- 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
There are some emulators capable of running Switch games on your high-end Android phones. However, they don’t work well and require a lot of setups, which is not worth it. We also have to warn you because they are a bit sketchy, as most mobile APKs are.
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. The emulator can run games like Sonic Mania, Crash Bandicoot 4, Celeste, and Hollow Knight.
- Great emulation
- Good developer support
- Still in early development
Also, check our list of the 15 best android emulators for PC you can use in 2022.
Egg NS Emulator
This sketchy little Nintendo Switch 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.
As you can expect from a mobile emulator, it cannot run these games properly. It supports 81 playable games, out of which only a few are playable right now. The biggest red flag is that the emulator uses a subscription model to give users access to the app.
Another downside is that it might be in violation of the MIT open-software license as it uses code straight from the Yuzu emulator. You can check the above video for more context. Users must also use Nintendo-style controllers to play video games on this app.
The app is even blocked by Google Play Protect as it can collect data that can be used to track you. All in all, we do not recommend using this emulator at all.
- It can run Pokemon games.
- Available on Android
- Sketchy origins
- Game crashes
- Subscription model
- Security concerns
- Close source
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 855/855+/865/865+ flagship SoCs are needed for stable performance.
Also, check our list of the eight best iOS emulators for PC and Mac that you can use in 2022.
How To Emulate Nintendo Switch Games on PC and Android?
Emulating Switch games on PC and Android can be complicated as it requires technical knowledge. It is not easy for beginners, but some emulators have set the entry-level relatively low. You can check out our article on how to emulate Nintendo Switch Games on PC and Android for a more in-depth guide. You can also check out various YouTube guides if you are stuck on a particular step.
Yuzu is the best Nintendo Switch emulator out there. After testing all emulators, we found Yuzu to be the most stable, with an extensive library of compatible games. On the other hand, Android emulation is a bit hard since its hardware is severely limited. Even the most high-end smartphone will have low FPS issues and bugs.
We hope you were able to find the best Nintendo Switch emulator for you to enjoy the latest games.
Most emulators fall in a legal grey area, but any kind of emulation itself is entirely legal. Be it Yuzu, Ryujinx, Cemu, or any other emulator; they are all legal. You can download emulators legally without worrying. However, downloading and playing a game through ROMs is considered illegal.
Yuzu, Ryujinx, and Cemu are the best emulators for the Nintendo Switch. Egg NS is also a good alternative for Android emulation.
Depending on your hardware, the Yuzu emulator can be better than the Nintendo Switch. There’s also the fact that you can customize your graphic settings and add mods to your game.