In computing an emulator is a piece of hardware or software that allows one computer like another computer, we call this the host and the guest. An emulator allows us to play games of the past on computers of today, even if the console they were once played on is no longer available for consumers.
The Nintendo DS is one of the most popular handheld consoles of all time, in 2013 it was discontinued. Enter, Nintendo DS emulators, all the fun of DS gaming even if you don’t have the console anymore. Those of us who remember the DS, still have a special place in our hearts for it, even the younger generation of gamers that may not remember the console will know the games that made the DS so popular in the past.
For Mac, there is a whole host of DS emulators that fulfil this purpose some better than others. This includes emulators for 3DS and DSi, some of the emulators even go as far as hosting games for Sega Genesis and other consoles to make it worthwhile. This article will look at some of the available DS emulators for Mac so you can get the best out of your gaming.
DS Emulator for Mac
DeSmuME is a free open source emulator for all desktop platforms. Supporting 64 and 32 bit operating systems there are customisable graphics options. There is also a cheat code manager for the games that it hosts as well as a ‘save slot’ feature allowing you to save your game progress.
Along with NO$GBA it is one of the most used DS emulators out there. The emulator also supports USB controller support so you can play games using a pad from your desktop. Please note that to run on Windows, DeSmuME depends on Microsoft UCRT DLLs.
If you are uncertain whether these DLLs are already installed on your PC, you can download and run the pre-requisites installer from GitHub first.
PLATFORM: Windows, Mac, Linux.
Citra is one of the best Nintendo 3DS emulators available, a free open-source emulator that allows you to play 3DS games both homebrew and commercial games. You can play all of the most popular titles such as Pokémon games.
The downfall of Citra is it doesn’t tend to work as well on older desktop machines and is incompatible with some apps and games. It connects to Wi-Fi but not to Nintendo game servers as a rule. It is also available on Android unlike some of the other DS emulators available.
PLATFORM: Windows, Mac, Linus and Android.
MelonDS is one of the best and most well-known Nintendo DS emulators for computers. It is an open-source emulator that provides accurate and fast-moving emulation for Nintendo DS games we all know and love like Mario Bros and Pokémon games. The gameplay is single-player only but the emulator has a tone of features that it supports such as joystick support and 3D upscaling.
Although the emulator works with DSi titles as well it requires BIOS, Firmware and NAND images from the original DSi. This emulator is under constant development with the latest beta build being developed for Mac most recently. This is one of the best DS emulators on the market, but it will require a bit of tinkering to get you to the place where it is useable.
PLATFORM: Windows, Mac, Linux.
OpenEmu is a free open source emulator and is cited as one of the best specifically for Mac. OpenEnu is an emulator for multiple consoles including, Genesis, Nintendo GS and Game Boy. OpenEmu has a similar interface to Apple iTunes and organises the games you already own into a modified game library.
You can make collections mixing and matching game titles from different consoles as well as organising your games into multi-screen layouts, allowing you to save your game progress and has cheat code support. You can also add a pad to play including PS4 pad or a Wiimote.
In conclusion, emulators mean that as gamers we can enjoy the games of the past right now and well into the future. Especially those of us who have a penchant for retro gaming and reliving our childhood memories.
Being one of the best-selling handheld consoles of all time it is unsurprising there are so many great DS emulators on the market today, most of them free and open-source, so developers can improve the, designs whenever they want to. Emulators will always be around and they give us the opportunity to replay our favourite games time and again that’s why they are so popular even if they can be unreliable and annoying to install sometimes.
Every gamer will have relied on an emulator at some point because they remembered a game they played once upon a time and no longer have the ability to play it on the original console, so if you want to relive your youth and check out some of the best DS games of all time this article is for you.