5 Best Nintendo Switch Emulators For PC, Steam Deck, & Android [2023]

top 5 nintendo switch emulator for pc and android

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 such cases, Nintendo Switch emulators can help you play games on PC, Steam Deck, and Android devices.

Playing with a keyboard and mouse seems like a better alternative than dealing with Switch joy-con drift issues. However, many emulators are available on the internet, but how do you know which 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 EmulatorPlatforms
YuzuWindows, Linux, and Steam Deck
Ryujinx Windows, Linux, macOS, and Steam Deck
Cemu Windows and Steam Deck
Egg NS Android
Skyline Android

Yuzu Emulator

Platforms: Windows, Linux, and Steam Deck

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. The emulator even has a Nintendo Switch mod library for popular games.

Yuzu emulator is available on Windows, Linux, and Steam Deck. 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. Check out our guides on how to play Super Mario Odyssey and Legend of Zelda: BOTW by using the Yuzu emulator.


  • Best performance
  • Free and Open source
  • Large library of games
  • Stable
  • Consistent updates
  • Easy Setup
  • Mods Library
  • Controller support


  • Framerate issues in high-end games or low-spec PC
  • Texture and rendering inconsistencies in some games (rare)

Ryujinx Emulator

Platforms: Windows, Linux, macOS, and Steam Deck

Ryujinx is another popular Nintendo Switch emulator for PC, known for being easy to use. It is available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Steam Deck. Ryujinx is probably one of the best Nintendo Switch emulators for beginners. It can even 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 3900 games available, but some games might not run properly. According to the Ryujinx compatibility list, out of these games, more than 3300 are currently playable. You can check the compatibility of these games on their website.

Ryujinx is also the best Nintendo Switch emulator for Mac users. The developer, Gdkchan, has added proper support for macOS 11 and later. If you are a Mac user, this emulator is your only option. Users can play games like Super Mario Odyssey, Animal Crossing New Horizons, Astral Chain, and Bayonetta 3 on this emulator.


  • Easy to setup
  • User-friendly interface
  • Inbuilt resolution scaling
  • Compatible with tons of games
  • 4K 60 FPS support


  • Performance lacking in some titles
  • Slow at startup for new users
  • Firmware update required

Cemu Emulator

nintendo switch emulator pc

Platforms: Windows and Steam Deck

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, including graphic packs, mods, rendering quality, resolution, anti-aliasing, shading, and other advanced 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. The emulator has recently changed to an open-source model for development, so expect some substantial updates.


  • Advanced features
  • Can run GameCube, Wii U, and Nintendo Switch games
  • Mod support
  • 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 Nintendo Switch games on high-end Android phones. However, they don’t work well and require a lot of setups, which might not be worth it. We also have to warn you because they are a bit sketchy, as most mobile APKs are.

Skyline Emulator

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. The emulator was made by taking some references from Yuzu, Ryujinx, and Switchbrew. However, do keep in mind that the emulator works best on Snapdragon smartphones. You can download it directly from its website and give it a try.

Despite being a new emulator, it has come a long way and can now run a few games on Android devices. According to its compatibility list, the Skyline emulator can perfectly run popular games like Sonic Mania, Hollow Knight, Rayman Legends, Cuphead, Celeste, Shovel Knight, and more. Due to its performance, Skyline is the best Nintendo Switch emulator for Android.


  • 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 violate 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.

What Is The Best Nintendo Switch Emulator For PC & Android Devices?

Yuzu and Ryujinx are the best Nintendo Switch emulators out there. After testing all emulators, we found Yuzu to be the most stable, with an extensive library of compatible games. Ryujinx can be difficult to set up as it requires a Nintendo Switch firmware update. However, Ryujinx is better than Yuzu in emulating heavy AAA games like Bayonetta 3, Legend of Zelda: BOTW, Super Mario Odyssey, and more.

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. However, the Skyline emulator is the best Nintendo Switch emulator for Android devices. It has shown decent progress over the years and can run many games with minor issues.

So, there you have it; those are our top picks for the best Nintendo Switch emulators for PC, Steam Deck, and Mac. Stick around for some more emulator guides, news, and info. Let us know which Nintendo switch emulator you are excited to try out in the comments section below.


Are switch emulators illegal?

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.

Which emulator is best for Nintendo Switch?

Yuzu, Ryujinx, and Cemu are the best emulators for the Nintendo Switch. Egg NS is also a good alternative for Android emulation.

Is Yuzu better than Nintendo Switch?

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.

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