The Nintendo 3DS emulation has been progressing well over the past few years in PC platforms. The most promising app is Citra, an experimental open-source Nintendo 3DS emulator/debugger written in C++. The app receives constant updates and slowly is becoming the most stable offer for running the 3DS games in a computer. While there are several emulators for Android, fans of 3DS games have been waiting for a proper release of Citra in the platform.
The Official Citra release is here for Android
Over the past months, there was an unofficial Android port of the Citra Emulator on PC. However, they were far from being stable, but we have to say that they have progressed well in the past months. Now, however, with the help of those unofficial ports, the 3DS fans can rejoice since an official release is coming straight from the source. The new app is making way to Google Play Store and it’s free!
Interestingly enough, several features are coming with the new app. Those features weren’t available in the initial ports. All these features work to provide a rather full-fledged Nintendo 3DS emulation experience. Among them, we have amiibo support, motion controls, microphone and camera support, and gamepad support. However, there’s a lot more to explore and more features should keep coming in the coming days.
The team behind the new app documented and published the story of the entire development on their website. If you want to dig in Citra’s story you can head to the official website via the source link. The story goes in-depth as to how the two previous unofficial ports affected the development of this official version. The first attempt of emulating 3DS games on Android was really poor and barely worked as it was really slow to run games. The second unofficial project made by MMJ was better in terms of performances, however, the average user will surely stick with the newer official versions.
The official developers are happy to finally offer a stable mobile version of Citra 3DS. After all fans have been requesting it for years. However, they couldn’t deliver the mobile version until the original PC version of the app was stable enough.
Can my phone run Citra 3DS?
Now the question that remains to be answered by users is how many smartphones can run the 3DS emulation. Some games are working smoothly like Mario Kart 7 and Animal Crossing: New Leaf. According to the XDA-Developers, these games were running fine in an OnePlus 8 Pro. Okay, it’s a flagship, a really expensive one and that limits the availability of 3DS emulation. Of course, owners of gaming phones can also run the app with excellent graphics and a 60fps rate.
According to Citra, the best way to run the emulator is to have a Snapdragon 835 SoC of better. Moreover, performance will be heavily dependant on the device’s GPU drivers, and Qualcomm devices should run Citra better than Kirin, Exynos, or MediaTek chipsets. In the coming days we believe that more users will be testing the emulation and only then we’ll be able to affirm if some mid-range phones can run the emulator. It would be amazing to see some cheap gaming phones running 3DS games.
Other requirements include Android 8.0 Oreo at a minimum and support for OpenGL ES 3.2. Running it on unsupported devices will generate glitches and performance issues.
Download Citra 3DS for Android
You can download the Citra for Android App via the Google Play Store link below. It’s free, but to get some money from this hard work, the team is asking $4,99 for premium features. For now, that includes a Dark Mode theme and texture filtering options to turn the graphics smoother. We can understand that this is an acceptable purchase if you want to support the team that brought this app to “life”.
The development team also set a Patreon page if you want to further contribute with their work.
Here is a list of the developers that made Citra / Nintendo 3DS for Android a reality
- Bunnei for leading the whole project
- Dolphin emulator developers for frontend (UI)
- BreadFish64 for OpenGL ES improvements, Motion Control, and texture filtering.
- liushuyu for OpenGL ES bugfixes.
- SachinVin who has repurposed the Dolphin UI, adding initial OpenGL ES support
- Tobi for Amiibo Support, Mic support, translation, bugfixes and more
- weihuoya for AAC decoding for Android
- zhaowenlan1779 for software keyboard applet and camera support