Nostalgia is that beautiful feeling you get when you see something you used to experience in the past. It can be your childhood memories of playing with your favorite toys or the orange ice-cream you used to eat when you were 5. All these experiences give us nothing but a happy feeling. TV video games are also a part of nostalgia for many of us.
While actual experiences can’t be replicated so easily, TV video games can easily be recreated using emulators.
Today, we are going to talk about emulators, everyone must have heard this word but hardly anyone knows what it is. We will try to understand what it is, how does it work and also discuss whether you should use it or not.
Let’s dive right in.
What is an Emulator?
Emulator refers to an app/software that copies a software. It works and acts as a hardware without an actual hardware. For instance, an Android emulator will run Android operating system just like a smartphone would. Using emulation, you can do various things for which you would’ve otherwise needed an actual hardware to run.
Basically, an emulator is our Ranveer Singh acting as Bajirao, almost making us feel that he is Bajirao. I hope, this clears what is an emulator.
How do Emulators work?
As you have known already what an emulator is, to understand how the same works is pretty easy now. An emulator only has to do one job, and that is, mimic a particular hardware/software it was designed for. Let’s try to understand how it does the same without any of the required hardware.
Suppose, if you run an Android emulator such as BlueStacks on your PC, then you will be able to use Android applications on your PC as BlueStacks (emulator) will mimic an android device and the software running in it will work in the emulator as if it’s an actual android device.
Why do people use Emulators?
Emulators are mostly used to play older video games that are no longer available physically in the market. This includes games like Contra, Mario etc. Using emulators, you can also play games you used to play at the gaming parlor in your childhood, such as Tekken 3, Street Fighter, King of Fighters, Mustafa etc. Everything is available on the internet nowadays making it really easy for you to download and play the game of your choice.
Also Read: 9 Best Offline Games for Android
How to use an emulator?
Using an emulator is a fairly simple process, the only thing you need is the emulator, the game file and BIOS file (not needed in all emulators).
Here are the general instructions to use an emulator:
- Step 1: Open the emulator software
- Step 2: Configure the emulator as per your preferences
- Step 3: In the emulator, go to the folder containing the game file (often in ISO format)
- Step 4: Select the game file and run it in emulator
This is how most emulators are used. One thing to note is that all the emulators are not the same and each one has its own configuration which is easily available on YouTube, you can check the same and play your favorite games using it.
Where to download Emulators from?
You can easily download emulators using the internet. Sites such as emulator-zone and emuparadise provide emulators for various gaming consoles (gaming systems), it includes not only TV video games but handheld consoles and other gaming consoles such as PlayStation-1,2,3, Nintendo Wii etc.
For game files (aka ROMs), you will find them on the internet too, just Google “Game name” with the word “ROM” at the end. For instance, you want a game called “Ankit’s Adventures”, you will write “Ankit’s Adventures ROM” in the search bar. You can download the game from any of the link provided in the results.
One important thing to take care is the operating system you are going to run emulator on, if you are going to use emulator on an Android device then, you should directly go to Play Store for the downloading the emulator instead of the listed sites. In case you want to run games on Windows/Linux system then you can use the sites mentioned in the beginning of this sub-topic.
Popular Emulators to use
There are many emulators you can use on your mobile and computers. I am listing below some of the emulators that you can use on Android and Windows devices.
Emulator for Android
I will be listing emulators for various game consoles, these emulators will easily run on your Android device if it has at least 1GB RAM. Let’s see some good emulators which are as follows:
It is a NES emulator. NES stands for Nintendo Entertainment System which is what we used to call “TV video games” in our childhood. You can download NES game files from any site by searching for it on Google.
This one’s a SNES emulator, SNES stands for Super Nintendo Entertainment System. SNES supports slightly higher graphics than NES and also supports more colors. This emulator is perfect for SNES games.
John GBA Lite
This emulator is for GBA aka GameBoy Advance. It is the handheld game console which had the most famous games such as Mario, Pokemon and Legend of Zelda. You can use this emulator if you love older games and Pokemon.
It is a PlayStation 1 (PS1) emulator. PS1 supports far higher graphics than any of the previously mentioned game consoles and its games can be as huge as Android games. One of the favourite game of ours, “Tekken 3”, was released on PS1 only, you can use FPSe emulator to play it on your Android devices. Also, don’t forget to download BIOS file for this emulator as PS1 emulators require it. One thing bad about it is that it is PAID.
It is a PSP emulator. PSP stands for Playstation Portable, it was Sony’s answer to Nintendo DS. PPSSPP has the simplest interface and is very easy to use. You can play many Sony-exclusive games through this emulator.
This is your all-in-1 emulator app. It has all the required game files and emulators for the same. In this app. whenever you will select a game to play, it will download the required emulator automatically and you will be able to enjoy your game without any hassles at all. This app also featured in my list of awesome Android apps not available on Play Store.
So, these were some of the emulators that work well on Android devices. These are the emulators that are my suggestion, you can also try other emulator if you find a better one.
Emulator for PC (Windows)
As our computer system are more powerful than Android smartphones, hence, the number of emulators for PCs are greater than smartphones. You can play heavier games on your PC, but the same depends on your hardware. If the hardware inside your PC is powerful and has a good CPU and a graphic card then you can play games of gaming consoles having better graphics such as PS2, PS3, XBOX 360 etc. Let’s have a look at some of the popular emulators available for PC:
It is a NES emulator which runs on PC. It is designed for PC and has many features that are not available on a smartphone.
It is a SNES emulator and lets you play SNES games on PC.
This is the emulator to play GBA games on PC. Agains, same, GBA emulator as Android.
This is the PS1 emulator for PC. Unlike the android emulator, it is free and can be used for free. In this emulator also, you need BIOS file for PS1 without which no game can be played.
This is the emulator that will give you the advantage of having a PC over a smartphone for emulation. It’s an emulator of PlayStation 2 (the highest selling gaming consoles of all time with 155 million units worldwide). This PS2 emulator let you play legendary games such as God of War, Metal Gear Solid series and many more.
It’s a PS3 emulator for PC. You need a good CPU, GPU and RAM as this emulator is resource-hungry and requires a lot of your resources. As this is an emulator for Playstation 3, it will require a PS3 BIOS for its operations.
This is the PSP emulator which is the Windows version of the emulator mentioned above. As this is a PC version, you can increase the graphics as per the PC configurations for a better experience.
Emulator for PUBG
This is probably the most famous and used emulator in the world. This emulator is used in PCs to play PUBG Mobile on PC and is called “Gameloop”. The advantage of using this emulator is that you can increase the graphics and get a better performance as well as better controls as you can use mouse and keyboard for playing the game. You can play PUBG Mobile and other Android games using this emulator. Download it from this link.
Are Emulators Legal?
This is one of the most asked questions when it comes to playing games on emulators. It is natural to think that emulators are illegal but the truth is a bit different. See, emulator is simply a software that mimics a system hence there’s nothing illegal in it. However, using illegitimate copies of video games that you don’t physically hold is illegal.
Companies like Nintendo does not promote emulators, as per them, it promotes piracy which is correct in some situations. However, using emulator is the only way to play older games from your childhood as you will not be able to buy them now. In the end, I would like to say that it is your choice to use it or not.
Emulators: FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What is the requirement for using an emulator in Android and PC?
See, there’s no specific requirement, many emulator of older game consoles can run easily even on a 5-6 year old phones and PCs. There are two things according to which requirement may change, the first is the graphics of the game that you are playing on the emulator, if you are using a PS2 emulator, then you will have to fulfill the minimum requirements as the games are quite graphically intensive. However, if you are playing a simple game like Super Mario which you used to play on TV video game then you will hardly face any issue as the game is not that graphically rich and is very simple.
Are emulators different from a simulator?
The answer is yes, emulators and simulators are totally different. Simulator basically tries to provide you the whole environment and let you experience each and everything that is being simulated. Simulators are what astronauts use tp train themselves before actually going to space. However, when you see emulators, it just mimics a software and lets you use it on a different hardware from what it was actually designed for.
Are emulators free?
While most of the emulators are free, some of them are PAID. Out of all the emulators listed above, only emulators of PS1 for Android are paid ones.
So, let us wrap up what we discussed in this article. We learned what are emulators, how do they work, where you can find them, discussed some of the emulators you can use on you phone or PC. We also went through its legal aspects.
In my opinion, it is your personal choice to use emulator or not, but keep in mind that it is illegal to play pirated games. On the other hand, many classic games are being remade for smartphones and you can download them for a nostalgic ride.
What do you think? Are these emulators good? Should we use them? Give your opinions in the comments section down below.
If you want to play any old game and don’t know where to get it and all, you can write it down in the comments section below.