Home Android How to play NES on Android: step-by-step guide

How to play NES on Android: step-by-step guide

We’ll guide you through the straightforward process of playing NES games on Android. Additionally, you’ll discover the prerequisites for an optimum experience and understand which games are presently supported.

If you’re a gaming enthusiast looking to revisit your childhood favorites on your Android device, you’re in luck! Playing NES on Android is not just possible, it’s also straightforward. The platform’s power isn’t typically a concern, as it’s less graphically demanding than, say, emulators for the PlayStation 1.

You might hold fond memories of that classic game from the legendary Nintendo console that you spent countless hours playing as a child. In our guide, we’ll help you bring those golden memories back to life on your Android device. For those who also bask in nostalgia for the Game Boy Advance and crave a revisit to iconic titles like the Pokémon Saga, we have a dedicated article featuring the best GBA emulators for mobile phones.

Stick with us as we walk you through how to play NES on Android, detailing all prerequisites and more. Additionally, if you’re interested, we have another in-depth guide on how to play Wii and GameCube games on your smartphone.

How to play NES on Android

How to play NES on Android

Starting to play NES on Android is a simple process that will only take you a few minutes. After a quick configuration, you’re well on your way to enjoying games optimally, free from slowdowns, or any hindrances that may affect your gaming experience.

In the following segment, we provide a step-by-step guide on how to kickstart your adventure with the classic Nintendo console.

If you’re also intrigued by playing titles from another Nintendo console, such as the 3DS, we recommend you check out our article on how to download and install the Citra emulator.


Download the NES emulator for Android

Download the NES emulator for Android
With NES emulators you can enjoy many of the classic titles of the Nintendo console

As NES games are not natively supported on smartphones, an emulator is required to recreate the gaming experience. There are numerous NES emulators available for Android, including both free and paid options. It’s your choice to determine which one best fits your needs.

Once you have selected an NES emulator from the Play Store, the download and installation process is straightforward. Completing this step lays the foundation for enjoying NES games on your Android device.

Set up the emulator to start playing

Set up the emulator to start playing

Many NES emulators for Android allow you to start enjoying your games with default settings, not requiring any additional configuration. However, if the emulator needs any adjustments, you’ll be prompted upon launch, such as requesting save memory or other specific settings.

Once the emulator is configured, simply navigate to your mobile memory within the emulation app to access the NES games you’ve acquired through their ROM files. Select your desired game and begin your gaming experience.

Best NES emulator on Android

We previously mentioned the numerous NES emulation apps available on the Play Store. One we particularly recommend is RetroArch. This versatile app not only emulates the NES but also other consoles like PlayStation and SEGA.

RetroArch employs “cores”, which are the foundation of each emulator, enabling the replication of the distinct console experiences and game execution. For NES emulation, you’ll need to download an NES core directly within the app, eliminating the need for any external internet searches. With the core installed, just launch your game, and your playing session can commence.


Download Retroarch on Google Play

Requirements to play the NES on Android

Understanding the requirements for playing NES on Android is crucial. While NES emulators and the associated games are generally less demanding than those of PlayStation 1 or PlayStation 2, your mobile device still needs certain capabilities to ensure a smooth gaming experience.

For an optimal experience playing NES games on an Android emulator, it’s preferred to have a device with a moderately powerful processor, ample RAM, and graphics processing capacity. We recommend a device featuring a Qualcomm 7xx series processor (or later), which should offer sufficient performance for fluid gameplay.

As for storage, NES games are typically not very heavy or space-consuming. Therefore, massive capacity isn’t a prerequisite, although having plenty of available space can be beneficial.

Some games you can play on the NES on Android

If you’re initiating your journey of playing NES games on Android, it’s important to know which games offer compatibility with emulators without causing any errors that might mar your gameplay experience.

Please note that not all original NES games are compatible with emulators. You’ll also find some classic NES titles, like Bomberman, natively available in the Play Store. We’ll list a few such titles in the next section, but keep in mind that our list isn’t exhaustive; there are many more compatible games out there you can enjoy.

  • Double Dragon 3
  • NES Open Tournament Golf
  • Marble Madness
  • Flintstones 1 and 2
  • Micro Machines
  • Gargoyle’s Quest 2
  • Zombie Nation
  • Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
  • Wayne’s World
  • The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles
  • NES Tutor 101
  • Crystal Mines
  • King Neptune’s Adventure
  • Ice Climber
  • Skull & Crossbrones
  • Super Chinese

The following is a list of some games that are compatible with NES emulators, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable gaming experience. It’s worth noting that, despite the myriad of high-quality native Android games, many users still revel in nostalgia and occasionally seek the classic console experience, such as what the NES offers. So, gear up to relive your childhood memories with the timeless Nintendo console!

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Born as techie and was always focused on Android, ever since the HTC Dream was introduced. The abundance of options at his disposal in the open-source environment always seemed to pique his interest. "Blogger by choice, MBA by trade."


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