18 Best Nintendo DS Emulator for Windows and Mac in 2024

Published Date : Mar 15, 2024
Category : Games | MAC | Top 10 | Windows
18 Best Nintendo DS Emulator for Windows and Mac in 2024

If you are looking for the best Nintendo DS emulator for Windows, Mac, and Android devices then keep reading as we have mentioned some of the best just for you.

A gaming console helps in enhancing the gaming experience which you won’t find while using the keyboard or mouse. Out of the many gaming consoles we have here listed some best emulators for Nintendo DS. The reason we are sharing this particular model is that there are more than 150 million people who bought it and it was discontinued in 2013.

So if you are one of the 150 million users who are still looking for the best emulator options then keep reading to know each and every detail about the software.

Best Nintendo DS Emulators to Use in 2024

Here are some of the emulators that can help you use your Nintendo DS Emulator Windows 11 easily for any game.

1. NO$GBA: Best Nintendo DS Emulator Under Active Development

No$GBA - Best Nintendo DS Emulator Under Active Development

The name can be tough to read but it is pronounced or read as No Cash GBA. This is one of the best Nintendo DS emulators. In the beginning, the emulator was named as Gameboy Advance emulator before it got support for Nintendo DS and DSi, later it got the name NO$GBA. The standard version for Windows has all the features that can help you run Mario, Pokemon, and other regular titles, however, the NO$GBA debug version for Windows has been designed for programmers.

The best part about these DS emulators for PC is that both versions are available for free to use. The latest version of NO$GBA is v3.02 which was released in May 2020. The new update supports multiplayer mode for most of the GBA and DS ROMs.

The reason why this Nintendo DS emulator for Mac is in the top position is that it has great compatibility with commercial DS ROMs. It also supports Nintendo DS homebrew. Using this emulator you can play various games like Pokemon Diamond on full screen without any interruption. It uses very few resources which is why it is a great pick.

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2. DeSmuME: Best Open Source Nintendo DS Emulator

DeSmuME - Best Open Source Nintendo DS Emulator

DeSmuME is another great Nintendo DS emulator which is open-source and free to use. This emulator is available for all the major OS including Mac, Linux, and Windows. It supports both 32-bit and 64-bit, apart from this it even supports graphics modification depending on the system you are using and its capabilities.

This best DS emulator for Windows 11 PC offers a cheat code manager, save slot, and USB controllers support. The save slot feature lets you continue from where you left off. For Windows devices, the emulator depends on the Microsoft UCRT DLLs that are in your system. The users of this Nintendo DS emulator for Mac and Windows should even patch the latest version available for stable and better performance.

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3. MelonDS


The next software on the list of best Nintendo DS emulators is MelonDS. It is also an open-source emulator that works on every Windows PC. The emulator is fast and offers accurate emulation for the Nintendo DS. Using the emulator you can run your favorite Pokemon and Mario games.

The features list of this emulator might really interest you. The list includes JIT recompiler, 3D upscaling, Joystick support, and OpenGL renderers like many features that help in fast emulation and better user experience.

Also Read: 17 Best Game Boosters and Optimizers for Windows PC in 2021: Free and Paid

Though only single-player gameplay is available, unlike others that offer multiplayer. Things to note, the emulator requires firmware and BIOS dumps for Nintendo DS because the developers do not offer Nintendo DSi titles. The same is with the Nintendo DSi titles you need to have the BIOS, NAND, and firmware. It offers an ad-free experience too, looking at all the features offered the emulator is one of the best Nintendo DS emulators for Mac and Windows.

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4. RetroArch


RetroArch is a great emulator which lets you play games, media players, and other applications. This is a free-to-use and open-source emulator which everyone can use easily. Using this you can play classic games on every computer without any issue. The interface as seen in the images is very simple and easy to navigate options.

Apart from the common features, it also has some unique features which you might like. The list of features includes netplay, 4K upscaling, rewinding, shaders, next frame response time, machine translation, and many others.

This DS emulator for PC is also available for mobile devices. It is available for all the latest versions of Mac, Windows Linux, Android, Raspberry Pi, and iOS devices. Other than this if you have an older version you can still use this emulator easily as it supports older versions too.  It can run on game consoles like 2DS, 3Ds, U, Switch, PSP, PS2, PS3, Wii, and others.

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5. OpenEmu: Best Nintendo Ds Emulator for Mac

OpenEmu - Best Nintendo Ds Emulator for Mac

Yet another free and open-source emulator that works on most of the systems. It can be used for various gaming consoles like Game Boy, Genesis, Nintendo GS, and many others. If you have used Apple Music then you might find it a little similar to that. Using the emulator it is very easy to browse, add, and organize.

The layout has multiple screens that support cheat codes, shows saved states and many other options. All the games that you will play will be organized in a library for easy access. You can even create a separate collection using various titles from different consoles. The software smartly maps the controls of various devices including DualShock (3 and 4), PlayStation, Wiimote, and many others.

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6. Ensata


Ensata is a Nintendo-developed emulator that works perfectly with the Nintendo DS. It was developed as a debug target for the development of DS apps. The software emulates the ARM7 and ARM9 dual screen processors, using the mouse cursor as a touch screen. The leaked source codes have made this available to add commercial games.

The feature which makes it one of the best DS emulators for Windows is accurate rendering.  It aims to remove the gap between the two screens of the actual Nintendo DS console. The software doesn’t even require much from the PC to run. All you need to use Ensata is an Intel Pentium or above processor with a minimum of 256Mb of RAM and GPU with support of DirectX 9. You can use this Nintendo DS emulator for Windows 11 and older versions easily.

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Also Read: Best GPU Benchmark Software For Windows

7. iDeas


Next up is iDeas which is another great Nintendo DS emulator which is free to use. It can easily run several ROMs with support for major NDS functionalities. Inspired by the N64 emulator it uses the plugin system. Using this software you can run great games like ZooKeeper, Mario 64. Though you might witness some glitches while playing, there are a few that can be ignored.

Just like Ensata it also supports the dual-screen setup, using which you can easily take screenshots of both screens. Moreover, it also offers touchscreen supports that let you remap keys according to your preferences and ease.

The only negative point of this software is that the development of iDeas has been stopped, so the new games aren’t compatible with this Nintendo DS emulator for PC. But for the old games, it is one of the best options to go for.

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8. NeonDS


If you have a feeling that these Nintendo DS emulators cannot run the commercial games then you might be wrong because NeonDS is built for that purpose. The software offers fast rendering even with the old PCs which other emulators lack to offer. The rendering system is optimized to OpenGL 2.0 which offers freedom to record screens as well.

Though the emulator does not offer full compatibility it can still run on all major titles like Scribblenauts. Other than this there is another negative of this software, it hasn’t got new updates for a long time now which makes it incompatible with new games. Only if you are trying an emulator for better performance then you can try this DS emulator too.

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9. DuoS


Just like NeonDS, this is also another abandoned project which might not be ideal if you are looking for new games. This emulator has both features GPU acceleration and dynamic recompiler with software renderer. This is a mixture of two emulators that we have listed above. It is a great software that offers quick processing and some of the greatest features.

The development of this software caused the downfall otherwise it would have been the best Nintendo DS emulator to use. The developers even planned to release new iDuos for DSi and Ds emulators for mobile devices, but unfortunately, none of them came into the market.  Above all, it is still a must-try software as it offers some of the features which might help you.

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Also Read: Best Overclocking Software For Windows

10. Citra: Best Nintendo 3DS Emulator

Citra - Best Nintendo 3DS Emulator

Citra is among the best DS emulators for PC that you can try. It is a free and open-source emulator which can be used by anyone easily. The software can run most of the titles including commercial 3DS on Windows, Linux, Mac, and Android. Using the emulator you can play games like Pokemon X/Y that require HLE audio and LLE audio.

However, unlike other software, this emulator might not work well in the old system as well as it works in new ones. It requires a powerful and fast processor to have a smooth run. You might even face issues with some games or apps as it will not load and only show a black screen. While the other compatible games run smooth and there you won’t face any issues. It supports WiFi but it doesn’t support Nintendo’s servers so if you want an emulator for the Nintendo server then you can skip this one.

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11. Drastic Ds Emulator

Drastic Ds Emulator

Drastic Ds emulator offers some of the best features which help it save a position on the list of Best Nintendo DS emulators. The software offers to save states, button mapping, controller support, and many other features. It can also increase the screen resolution if you wish to do that. For high-end smartphones, this one can be a great performer.

Though the screen of Nintendo DS is different from the mobile screen, to compensate for that the software offers as many as six different layouts. The layouts are single view, stacked view, keeping one screen shorter than the other, default view.   This is the best NDS emulator but a paid software that charges $4.99, but looking at the features list the price is worth paying.

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12. Lemuroid


The next emulator on our list of best Nintendo DS emulators is Lemuroid. This is a great pick for Android users as it is completely free and ad-free too. Just like other emulators, it supports most of the systems like Atari 7800, Atari 2600, Atari Lynx, Super Nintendo, Nintendo, Game Boy, and others. It offers some of the important features like gamepad support, quick save, and others. It can connect easily to one gamepad.

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13. NDS4droid


The next name on this list of the top best ds emulator alternatives is NDS4droid. This emulator is available for Android devices. The tool is completely free and does not require any kind of payment to use. The interface of this emulator is quite simple and straightforward. Additionally, you get other features with the best NDS emulator.

The emulator is quite popular for its effective and ever-lasting save states. Hence, you can easily use the tool to save the game at any point. Apart from the Nintendo devices, the emulator can also run the OUYA games easily. Moreover, the tool does not pose any kind of security threat to your device and its files in any way.

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14. Project64


The next name on this list of the top best ds emulator alternatives is Project64. With the help of this lightweight emulator, you can easily play the realtor Nintendo games on your Windows PC. The interface of the emulator is quite simple and basic. Additionally, the tool is also built on a retro theme, hence all the users of Nintendo can easily get the best out of the emulator as required. The gameplay support offered by Project64 is just outstanding and amazing with a simple and steeper learning curve. Additionally, users can also play OUYA games using this emulator.

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15. EmuBox


The next on our list of Best Nintendo DS Emulator for Windows and Android is EmuBox. The website enables users to have a top notch gaming experience for retro games with the help of online emulators. It offers easy search options, storage over the cloud, stats display, friendlist, WebRTC multiplayer gaming, and more.

You can go through the list of authorized users and their recommendations. In the review section find out the user experiences and learnings to improve your gaming. All you need to do is scan the desired game and play it on your Android device.

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16. Fast DS Emulator

Fast DS Emulator

Yet another best Nintendo DS emulator on our list is Fast DS Emulator. It was formerly known as NDS Emulator and is one of the more recent additions to the market. It supports all of the fundamental components, such as external controller compatibility, save states, load states, and programmable on-screen gamepads, among other things. In terms of compatibility, the emulator worked perfectly with the titles that we put it through its paces, although we only put around a half dozen games through it.

The lower rating on Google Play is primarily the result of some bugs and other concerns. On the other hand, this is one of the few DS emulators that is currently undergoing active development, so we hope that the creator can iron out those kinks.

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17. NDS Boy! NDS Emulator

NDS Boy NDS Emulator

Next, we would like to introduce you to NDS Boy! It is among the best Nintendo DS emulators to play Nintendo DS games on a Windows computer because of its sleek and simple interface, the ability to save and load game states, and customizable graphics settings and audio/input game controls.

Moreover, support for cheat codes and an option to play your favorite games in full-screen mode contributes to justifying this emulator’s position on our list. The only prerequisite is your computer should have at least 2GB of RAM and a 2GHz processor.

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18. DSemu


Here’s another one of the best Nintendo DS emulators for you. This is a great emulator that is built on an open-sourced platform and hence highly customizable. The interface of the tool is very easy to use and alluring. Moreover, the tool even allows you to play a number of games on your Windows device with ease.

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Frequently Asked Questions: Nintendo DS Emulator Windows 11 Edition

You may have some queries related to the best DS emulator for PC, Mac, and Android. To quench your curiosity, we are answering some of the most commonly asked questions related to the same. We hope that these questions and answers will help you.

Q.1 Are emulators illegal?

No, emulators are not illegal to use. Emulators of any kind, whether it is the best ds emulator for pc otherwise, can be used and shared with others freely as required. You will not be under any copyright laws unless you share the ROMs illegally online.

Q.2 What is the best free DS emulator?

If you are looking for the best free DS emulator, then DeSmuMe and NO$GBA are the top ones available for you. You can use and modify these emulators as required and proceed to enjoy the gameplay.

Q.3 How can I play DS games on a PC without an emulator?

No, you can not play DS games on a PC without an emulator. It is compulsory to use an emulator to play the games as the operating system of the PC and the Nintendo DS are different from each other. Hence, it is wise to use the best DS emulator for Mac or PC listed above for an optimal gaming experience.

Final Words on the List of Best Nintendo DS Emulators

Now that you have gone through the list of the best Nintendo DS emulators we hope that you have found the best emulator for you. The software we have mentioned can be used for various PCs and most of them are compatible with the older ones too. If you have any suggestions regarding the list then you can drop your suggestions in the comment section below.

Tanmay Sharma
Tanmay is a technical writer from the field of mass communication. He aims to communicate the best of the technology to the readers through his write ups. If not writing you can find him with his camera capturing nature and exploring the unexplored world.

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