Are you really looking for 3DS Emulator? The idea behind an Emulator is to trick any given software into thinking it is being used on the intended hardware. It’s not so easy to do but it does work. There’re Emulators for most systems, especially older game consoles and handhelds. The Nintendo 3DS (The 3DS) is no different. So, in 2014, the Citra Emulator was started. 3+ years later, it’s quite capable of a whole lot. The real trick to it is that you can take any given 3DS game and you’ll have A Chance at making it work on a PC, a Mac, and even a Linux Box. So even IF a game you have and like is NOT on the current compatibility list, you do still have a chance. You won’t know until you give it a try!

3DS Emulator

Features Of Citra 3DS Emulator

  • Connector.

    Allows The Play Of Many Games And System Apps On Other Systems. This Includes HomeBrew And Commercially Available Games.

  • Connector.

    Usable On Multiple Operating Systems Including Windows, Linux, And Mac.

  • Connector.

    Even IF Your Game Is Not Included On The Compatibility List, You Can Still Attempt To Make It Work.

  • Connector.

    Graphics Resolution Up To 720p.

  • Connector.

    Game Save Capability At Any Point Instead Of Predetermined Points In Your Games.

  • Connector.

    It’s open source so you can contribute to it and/or modify it as you need IF you’re a developer.

  • Connector.

    Citra Is Open Source So It’s Freely Available And Licensed Under The GLPv2 Or Above.

  • Connector.

    Nightly Builds That Offer Up The Latest Features.

Why Bother?

If you already have a 3DS, why bother with an emulator? It depends on your situation. Since Citra is open source software, you can download the project source code and have all kinds of fun with it. Of course, that’s determined by whether or not you’re a developer. However, there’re some players out there that might want to try their games on a computer. Perhaps they have a better time with their computer compared to playing on a 3DS. There’s always the chance that simple vision problems are preventing a player from seeing things clearly on a 3DS compared to a much bigger computer screen!! The list of reasons can go on and on!! 2 of the main reasons would be the free save game feature (basically save your game anywhere) and the typical cheat features built into many emulators that are not present in a 3DS. Those 2 alone can produce a lot of fun!!

System Requirements for Citra 3DS Emulator (Android, iOS, PC)

  • Connector.

    Android And iOS

    Citra has not been officially released for the Android or the iOS yet. Do note the “yet” part of that!! Currently, any that you find are either fake or unofficial builds from a developer.

  • Connector.


    64 bit Windows 7 or higher.
    Video card with OpenGL 3.3 or higher. You might have to update your video card drivers.
    The stronger your processor, the better. A good starting point would be an i3 or higher.

  • Connector.


    64 bit OS X.

For all platforms, of course you’ll need enough storage space to hold the emulator and whichever ROMs you’re able to get. Do note that ROMs can get big.

Download and Installation 3DS Emulator

Download and installation depends on your target system. For the most part, this is determined by you being a developer or not and IF you want to either modify the source project or just want to play.

Download For PC
Download For Mac
Download For Linux
  • Android and iOS

    Citra is currently not officially released for Android or iOS. IF it was, the most likely case would be a need to sideload it (Android). So you’d need to first turn ON Unknown Sources in the Settings of your Android device. Then install it from your device’s storage, either a memory card or from internal storage.

  • Computer Installations

    1. Download the required file(s) for your target system.
    2. Extract as needed.
    3. Install as always.
    4. Run the emulator after you’ve already setup games to play.


Here are some of the more common questions about Citra.

That depends on the game and your hardware. Naturally, the stronger your hardware, the better your chances. Also be sure to dump things you need for each game/app properly.

ROMs (the games) are gained from dumping using your 3DS and some extra software. The upside is that you have a chance to make any game work with Citra. The downside is that not every game will work. Beyond that, getting ROMs is your concern.

As long as you’re dumping from your own collection of games/apps, then yes. IF you’re getting things from other sources and they’re not in your own collection, then no.

Not anytime soon officially. Unofficially, you might find a developer that was nice enough to upload his/her modifications of the source code to make it work on mobiles. Good luck and watch out for fakes.

IF your problem(s) are NOT found elsewhere (including similarities), then you’re free to post/ask in the Citra forums, Discord, and/or IRC channels. There’s usually a good chance someone can figure it out and help you.

3DS Emulator Final Thought

As far as emulators are concerned, Citra is still pretty young. But with that chance to make any game work, it’s still pretty cool to at least try out. As an open source project, developers can go bonkers having their way with Citra trying to add in more features. Said features could very well be shared (which is rather nice of them) or kept to themselves depending on the developer. As a player, you can enjoy your games on your computer which stands a chance of speeding things up. Do note that said “chance”. Some games require a LOT more than others. Lastly, there’s a fairly decent compatibility list so you know if a game already works or not. All things considered, Citra is worth a try.

Download For PC
Download For Mac
Download For Linux