The best Nintendo 3DS emulator for PC and Mac

3ds emulator

Searching the internet for the best 3DS emulators for PC can yield hundreds of results, presenting a list of options to choose from. This abundance of choices can be overwhelming and confusing at the same time. Nintendo 3DS was one of the best-selling 3DS emulator of all time, selling more than 75 million units in its lifetime. It was also home to some of the most well-known titles of all time, such as Pokemon, Etrian Odyssey, Kid Icarus, Radiant Historia, Mario, Zelda, and kirby games.

It was only in use until September 2020, when it was terminated, despite its widespread appeal. You might not be able to find a new 3DS since none will be produced. If you are a fan of Nintendo games but lack a system to play them on, don’t panic. For those who enjoy playing console games and wish to play them on a PC, this article opens up a whole new universe. We’ve listed best 3DS emulators for PC, allowing you to enjoy classic console games on your computer. So, without further delay, let’s dive into our main topic.

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Now that Citra has been closed down by the yuzu team, there are only 2 good Nintendo 3DS emulators on pc & mac.

What is a Nintendo 3DS Emulator?

A Nintendo 3DS emulator is a piece of software that simulates the 3DS system, enabling you to play 3DS games on a PC or Mac or another alternative platform. By simulating the console’s surroundings, 3DS games may be played on your PC just like they would on the real thing.

Downloading game files (ROMs) from games you do not own is prohibited, even though utilising emulators is lawful in and of itse. Make careful you only ever utilise game files that were downloaded lawfully.

Best Nintendo 3DS Emulator for PC & Mac


3DS Emulators

RetroArch is widely regarded as the best all-in-one emulator across various platforms, making it a top choice for Android, PC, Mac, Linux, and iOS users. It supports Nintendo 3DS games along with dozens of other consoles. Although setting it up can be a bit difficult, involving steps like downloading the core, loading the core, and then loading the game before you can start playing or configuring your experience, it becomes quite manageable once you get used to it.

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RetroArch operates using cores, with each core representing a different console that can be loaded like a plugin, allowing users to download only the cores they need for their desired consoles. The 3DS core is based on the open-source Citra emulator, which, despite being the best in terms of performance and game support, is no longer in active development due to the Citra developer being shut down by legal action from Nintendo in early 2024.

2. Panda3DS

3ds emulator

With the standalone Citra emulator no longer available, Panda3DS has emerged as our top choice for the best standalone Nintendo 3DS emulator. Available for free on Windows, macOS, and Linux, Panda3DS is easy to use and configure, supporting PC, Mac, Android, and Linux platforms. Despite being in the early stages of development and plagued by numerous bugs, including graphical errors, game loading issues, and audio problems in several titles, it remains actively developed. This ongoing development effort is promising, although the emulator currently suffers from limited compatibility.

Whether using a desktop, a laptop, or a Steam Deck when on the road, it enables console lovers to experience their favourite games with various upgrades and exclusive features (and phone at some point).


Here is a list of the best 3DS emulators you can use on your PC to play Nintendo 3DS games, eliminating the need to buy dedicated consoles. Simply download these emulators and enjoy your favorite 3DS games. These emulator comes with its own set of limitations and benefits, so choose the one that best suits your needs.

In my opinion, with wide compatibility and various customization options, RetroArch is a widely used emulator for mimicking 3DS games on a personal computer. We hoped this article was helpful in resolving most of the questions. Do write down your valuable suggestion and comment. For more such content, follow Techniblogic.

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