Citra, the Nintendo 3DS emulator, finally gets an official Android release

It's still in beta, but you can try it right now.

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Citra, the 3DS emulator for the desktop, has finally come to Android. We’ve written about Citra before, but that was an unofficial build using not-exactly GPL compliant source code. The Citra team made an announcement on its blog and its Patreon page detailing the update.

The blog post reviews some of the history of the Citra emulator and also gives credit to the large number of contributors who worked on the project. It also describes the official requirements, which include 64-bit Android devices running Android 8 that also have OpenGL ES 3.2. The team recommends a Snapdragon 835 or better.

What’s new, other than official status? Motion controls have been implemented as you can see in the video above, microphone and camera support (which may be necessary to progress in some games,) better title matching, and apparently you can now use the native Android keyboard to input text, but in my testing this didn’t work.

Citra running Super Smash Bros.via Citra.

Speaking of testing, I did try Mario Kart 7, which performed nearly perfectly (during actual races) on the unofficial build, but in this new official build there’s a bit more audio stuttering. Pokemon X, was a bit of a hot mess before, is… smoother, but still stuttery on a Snapdragon 865. This is not entirely because your phone is slow, however: I tried Citra with a powerful desktop computer and there are still moments of audio stutter there, too. But it’s important to keep in mind that Citra is a community project, and now that the official build is out, the team is bound to find more bugs. If you want to give it a try yourself you can download it here on the Play Store. Need a controller? Try this one.