Via emulators or a browser plugin
Have you ever wished you could use a mouse and keyboard to play Android games? Or perhaps you just want to play Android games on a bigger screen while you’re on your PC. These are just a couple of reasons you might want to figure out how to run Android games on your PC.
In short, there are two ways to play Android games on a PC. You can either install an emulator or a browser plugin.
All of the options discussed below are free, although some display ads. You’ll have to decide what your tolerance is for advertisements, but be aware that none of the options listed below have any control over in-app ads.
Best Android Emulators for PC
An Android emulator is a program you run on your PC that simulates an Android device. You can then install and run Android apps within the emulator, just like you can on an Android device. This article is focused on easy to install emulators for people who want to play Android games on their PC.
The MSI App Player is the result of a partnership between BlueStacks, arguably the best-known maker of Android emulators, and computer hardware stalwart, MSI.
MSI’s website says this emulator “…brings the most advanced gaming experience to MSI’s market-leading gaming computers…allowing MSI PCs to run mobile games seamlessly while leveraging custom features such as game-specific keyboard backlighting and cutting-edge graphics.”
Despite what it sounds like, though, you don’t need an MSI PC to use the MSI App Player. This emulator is generally compatible with Windows XP and above and runs Android 9.0 (Nougat), giving you access to the latest and greatest Android games.
Download the MSI App Player here, extract the zip file, and install on your PC. Run the program, and you’ll soon have access to the Play Store where you can choose which Android games you want to play on your PC.
LD Player is another free Android gaming emulator for PC. The newest version runs Android 7.1 and is compatible with Windows XP XP3 and above. LD Player offers keyboard mapping and the ability to drag-and-drop APKs straight into the interface. You can, of course, also install apps via the Play Store.
The LD Player has an attractive, clean interface with a handy Play Store search box to find your favorite Android games.
Download LD Player and run the downloaded executable file to install the emulator to your PC.
The free Nox App Player 6 Android emulator bills itself as “the perfect Android emulator to play mobile games on PC.” While you wouldn’t want to use this emulator for more intensive things like app development, it’s made to run your favorite Android games on your PC. Nox App Player 6 is compatible with PCs running XP SPC or above, so it’s a good choice for older machines.
The interface is simple, and a helpful step-by-step tutorial begins automatically when you run the program for the first time. If you want to play more than one game at a time, you can run multiple instances of Nox App Player 6.
Download Nox App Player 6 and run the downloaded file to install the emulator on your PC. Use the Play Store search box or Nox’s App Center to find and install the games you want to play.
GameLoop claims to be “the most downloaded emulator” with over 500 million users. Previously called Tencent Gaming Buddy, the emulator was rebranded as GameLoop in 2018. It’s optimized for PCs running Windows 7 and above.
The GameLoop emulator interface gives you quick access to recommended games, like the popular PUBG Mobile, as well as to GameLoop Live by NiMo TV where you can watch streams from gaming streamers across the globe.
As usual, install the emulator, and use the search box to find Android games to install and play on your PC.
Chrome Extension for Playing Android Games on a PC
If you want to play Android games on your PC, but you’d rather not install an emulator, you have another option, though not a great one.
The free Android Online Emulator extension for the Chrome browser claims to have over 400,000 downloads, but the reviews in the Chrome Web Store are filled with complaints about privacy and security violations. Use at your own risk.
After installing and running the Chrome extension, you’re taken to apkonline.net to “Click button start to run our android emulator” [sic].
Click the Start button and wait for the in-browser emulator to launch. Next press Enter and wait some more. Eventually, the emulator will appear in your browser window along with a lot of ads.
Annoyingly, if you don’t perform an action for 60 seconds, the emulator closes, and you must launch the extension again. Given the slow speed, lack of features, and security/privacy concerns related to this extension, you’re better off installing one of the emulators above.
Other Methods for Playing Games on Your PC
There are lots of ways to run games from other platforms on PCs. Are you interested in running SuperNintendo games on your PC? Read about The Best SNES Emulators To Play Games Online. Are you nostalgic for the old Wii U games console? Then check out this guide on How to Play Wii U Games on Your Windows PC. And for more Android emulators for Windows 10, check out The 5 Best Android Emulators for Windows 10 PCs.