BlueStacks is an excellent software for your desktop, especially if you want to run Android apps on your computer. While this might seem like a new concept, Android emulators have been around for quite some time. This is how developers test their apps before pushing it to the Play Store, so at its core BlueStacks is just an extremely polished version of the standard Android emulator with a few more bells and whistles up its sleeve.
But there are some issues with BlueStacks, even though it is currently one of the best emulators going around. This might lead some people to look for alternatives and reach a dead end given that there are just too many out there. Keeping this in mind, we’ve decided to compile a list of the best BluetStacks alternatives you can try out in 2024. Some of these are relatively older, but still have compatibility with most of the apps and games available on the Play Store today.
So let’s have a look.
5 Best BlueStacks Alternatives in 2024
Emulators are basically supposed to mirror the experience of a smartphone app on a desktop. While some developers focus on apps based emulators, some rely on strictly gaming. KO Player falls under the latter. It is perhaps the best emulator to get if all you want to do is enjoy some powerful Android games on your desktop. This also offers the ability to convert your keyboard into a controller thanks to key mapping. This emulator runs on Android 4.4 KitKat, so it’s not particularly updated in terms of Android versions.
However, it is the preferred choice for games, although the concern remains about newer games that will require the latest version of Android. As with any emulator, KO Player isn’t without its fair share of bugs. But thanks to the developer, bugs are patched quickly with new features added overtime.
Without a doubt, NoxPlayer is one of the most versatile and power-packed BlueStacks alternatives. It comes with a wide gamut of features, making it look like an Android smartphone on your computer screen. It runs Android 5.1.1 Lollipop and features Material Design user interface. It can run practically any game or app that you throw at it, making it a worthy competitor to BlueStacks in this arena. NoxPlayer is also quite developer friendly, as it allows one-click root access from the Settings. This can be quite a strenuous task with other emulators, which gives NoxPlayer high marks among the developers.
You can optimize gameplay, change how the controls work and more using NoxPlayer. You can also use a physical controller to play on your big screen, which offers a better gaming experience than a standard keyboard. The developers are adding more features overtime, so you can be assured of getting a smooth experience for a long time. This is a free download from the Nox website.
This is a slightly different emulator and meant solely for gamers. It helps you get access to games for Nintendo consoles like the Wii and the GameCube. Dolphin allows gamers to experience these games in Full HD 1080p, converting their computer into a full blown Nintendo gaming console. What’s even better is that Dolphin has an Android app as well, allowing you to use your phone as an emulator. However, this is still pretty new, and fairly buggy as the developer admits. But the PC version is pretty robust and is updated frequently, so you should have no issues there.
Since it doesn’t run Android, it’s slightly different from the other emulators we’ve spoken about here. If you’re a fan of Nintendo’s games and would like to use your Wii control on your computer, this is the best way to get started. It comes with key mapping for the Nintendo GameCube, allowing you to experience gaming the way you used to. Game selection is pretty diverse too, ranging from action to fantasy story based games. Dolphin Emulator is a free download from their website and is available for Mac, Windows as well as Linux operating systems.
AndY has been around for quite some time. It broke cover right around the time of BlueStacks and has been touted as a viable alternative to the popular emulator. One can argue that AndY is a significantly improved version of BlueStacks, given the kind of features it packs. Rooting still remains a concern, as with BlueStacks. It runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean by default, which means it misses out on some of the newer games that hit the Play Store. However, the user interface is clean, refined and unlikely to lag anytime soon.
AndY is not just a gaming emulator, though. This means you can run practically any app that you would on your Android smartphone (assuming it’s compatible). AndY is available for both Mac and PC for free from their website. It is believed that in terms of features alone, AndY goes well and beyond BlueStacks. This makes it worthy of your attention.
Not many emulators out there support Intel and AMD made chipsets, which is strange. However, MEmu Play is an exception to that. This emulator runs Android 4.2, 4.4 and 5.0, allowing you to run all three versions in separate windows simultaneously. It can handle games and apps with ease, while gaming is not its strongest suit. MEmu Play is designed to be a guide to developers who are testing their apps on multiple Android versions. As a bonus, regular consumers can use this as a standard Android gaming emulator on their computers.
It supports all the popular games that are flocking the Play Store right now, including PUBG and Clash of Clans. With new versions being added overtime, MEmu Play is one of the most frequently updated emulators out there. It has a ton of features, a great user interface, the ability to play graphics heavy games and more. If you’re looking for a viable BlueStacks competitor and are spoilt for choice, MEmu Play has to be the answer.