With emulators, it has been possible to play Nintendo DS games on Android for some time now. Game Boy Advance was released in 2004 and can be played on Android as well. It sold more than 150 million units, making it the second best-selling console in history, only behind the PlayStation 2.
Using this article, you will be able to emulate the Nintendo DS on Android and play all the great games in its catalogue, including Zelda Phantom Hourglass, Mario Kart DS, Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, Pokémon Black and White 2, Dragon Quest IX: Sky Sentinels, GTA Chinatown Wars, New Super Mario Bros. and many more.
Nintendo DS emulators for Android
There are several options available for Nintendo DS emulators for Android, as we already saw in our article about the best options. However, one stands out above all, and it is DraStic. Although it is a paid emulator, we consider it well worth paying the 4.49 euros it costs on Google Play, as it is the most complete emulator and the most active in terms of development and updates.
There are also free options like Fast DS Emulator Retroarch and Lemuroid, which are all-in-one emulators.
Requirements to take into account
Due to the power of the Nintendo DS, we are able to emulate it on any modern Android device. However, we must take into account the minimum requirements for the emulator to function properly. Below, we list those indicated by DraStic on its official website:
- CPU: ARMv7a with NEON support. This includes processors with Cortex-A7 cores and above (A8, Scorpion, A15 or the more modern Cortex-A5x, Cortex-A7x, Cortex-X1, Cortex-X2, Cortex-X3, Krait, Kryo). Tegra 2 and Intel Atom are also supported. On processors with Cortex-A5 cores, the emulator works, although it may have low performance. ARM11 and MIPS are not supported.
- RAM: At least 256MB. Recommended at least 128MB free.
- OS: Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread or higher.
- Screen: Resolution of at least 320X480 pixels.
The requirements seem to come from another era, so no device from the last decade or so should have a problem with them.
Steps to play Nintendo DS on Android
We will now see how to emulate Nintendo DS games on Android. It is a straightforward process that only takes a few minutes.
Download and install the emulator.
For this tutorial, we are going to choose the DraStic emulator. Therefore, the first thing will be to go to Google Play and buy it.
If you prefer a free option, you can download RetroArch.
Create the game folder.
To search for games, the emulator needs to know where the games are.
For this reason, we will create a folder in which we will save all the games we want to emulate. Our phone has an internal storage folder called Emulation, and within it, there are folders for all the consoles we want to emulate. Nintendo DS is the name we give it in this case.
Move games to the folder
So that the emulator can read and run the Nintendo DS games, we must save them in the folder we just created (in .nds format).
Indicate the route of the games.
Now that we have entered the emulator, we will tell you where the DS games are located. For DraStic, we will follow these steps:
1. In the menu, click on New Game.
2. Click the + symbol in the upper right corner and select “Add scoped storage directory”.
3. We select the folder we created with the games.
Start a game… now play!
In this guide, the emulator will have already scanned the folder with the games. All you need to do is open that folder in the emulator, start the game you wish to play, and enjoy playing it.
With the default settings, the emulator works perfectly, but there are many settings we can adjust to improve our experience. Here is how easy it is to play the Nintendo DS on Android. By activating high-resolution 3D rendering, we will improve graphics. However, depending on the device’s power, it may negatively affect the emulator’s performance.
It is also possible to show the secondary screen, albeit in a small corner, or even to disable it (useful in games with no secondary screen). And, of course, there is the option to configure the on-screen buttons or connect a physical gamepad.
Recommended Nintendo DS games to emulate on Android
Before finishing, below we recommend some of the best Nintendo DS games according to the lists so that you can try them now on your Android.
- Advance Wars Dual Strike
- Animal Crossing: Wild World
- Brain Training
- Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow
- Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia
- Chrono Trigger DS
- Dragon Quest: The Heavenly Bride
- Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Sky
- Professor Layton and the Lost Future
- Professor Layton and Pandora’s Box
- Elite Beat Agents
- Final Fantasy IV DS
- Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective
- GTA: Chinatown Wars
- Dusk Hotel
- Inazuma Eleven
- Kirby, the brush of power
- Mario & Luigi: Journey to Bowser’s Center
- Mario Kart DS
- Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes
- New Super Mario Bros.
- Pokémon Black and White Version 2
- Pokémon Gold and Silver
- Rhythm Paradise
- Super Mario 64 DS
- Tetris DS
- The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
- The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks
- The World Ends With You
- Wario Ware Touched!