Best Pokémon Emulators for PC

Best Pokémon Emulators for PC

As of the writing of this article, over 480 million copiess of Pokémon games have been sold. The commercially successful franchise is loved by a multitude of fans, and many enjoy playing the games in the comfort of their computers. Our contributors have curated a list of some of the best accessible emulators to enjoy your favorite Pokémon games from your PC.


The first entry on our list specializes exclusively on titles designed for the Nintendo DS. Though it is difficult to convert the tactile experience from the Nintendo DS into a computer, Citra does it very well and has been commended by users for succeeding in such a difficult task. Additionally, Citra runs on Linux, Windows, Mac or Android. This helps supply Pokemon fans with an emulator regardless of the operating system their computers run on.


It is worth highlighting that this emulator has not received an update from their developers since 2015. Even so, its simple UI runs well and has been commended by players for being able to get the job done. In fact, it is consider one of the top Pokémon emulators with customizable options. Even the graphics in the emulator can be improved on.


Unlike Citra, Dolphin as of the writing of this article is only available on PC, Mac and Android operative systems. If you have never used an emulator in the past, but still wish to train your Pokémon from your computer, many users recommend Dolphin because of how accessible and easy to use it is. If you no longer want to play Pokémon games, Dolphin can also emulate other consoles such as the Gamecube.

In case you wish to enjoy the game while on the go, Dolphin also works with Android devices. You can also adjust with the settings the resolution of the game, mapped keys, and you can even view all of your saves easily. Additionally, players have the option of typing cheat codes.

Drastic DS

In addition to being one of the best emulators for the Nintendo DS, Drastic DS can also emulate titles from the iconic Gamecube. Unlike other emulators that are in the PC, Drastic DS has controller support, button mapping and can keep track of saves in an accessible manner.

It offers six different layouts so that users have the best experience when seeing the dual screen of a Nintendo DS on the monitor of their computers, or even the screens that their phones have.


Unlike other emulators that have been previously listed, MelonDS does not offer a lot of customization when it comes to optimization or graphics. However, it is a good solution for impatient users as many players note that MelonDS is quick to set up, and runs pretty fast.

One particular feature that sets MelonDS apart from other competitors is the fact that it enables online and multiplayer modes through the use of Wi-Fi. Players can also apply cheat codes into MelonDS, similar to other emulators. Many users commend the excellent performance of MelonDS, specially when taking into consideration the fact that it has not had an update since 2018 according to reports.


NO$GBA is a good emulator for any players that often struggle to find enough space or storage in their devices for an emulator. It is incredibly lightweight, and can run on computers that do not have high-end specs. Initially, NO$GBA had an emphasis on titles that belonged to the Gameboy Advance but eventually expanded on to include Nintendo DS titles.

The graphics can be tweaked in the settings, if the user wishes to change them. NO$GBA is also commended by players for having an extensive FAQ page with instructions that are easy to understand.


In terms of being user friendly, many Pokémon fans claim that OpenEmu is one of the most accessible emulators on the market, currently. One of the iconic features that OpenEmu has is the ability to automatically download the box art

Project 64

As an open source program that is incredibly versatile, Project 64 has been ranked by other outlets as the best emulator for Pokemon games. Due to the level of stability present in the emulator, and claims by fans of the franchise that in some cases the games run better on the emulator than on the original console, it has received a lot of praise by members of the community. Additionally, as the name implies, this emulator can also run any title that was intended for the use of the Nintendo 64 console.

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