7 Best DS Emulators for Mac

Relive classic Nintendo DS titles on your Mac with these top emulators!

With the rise of modern gaming consoles, Nintendo may have become a relic of the past, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the fun. If you are a Mac user feeling nostalgic for the Nintendo DS, you need not anymore! With the help of some of the best DS emulators for Mac listed in this guide, you can relive those cherished childhood memories. So, let’s begin!

Best DS Emulator For Mac

Best DS Emulators for Mac

A Nintendo DS emulator is a piece of software that allows a computer or other device to mimic or emulate the functions of a Nintendo DS game console. Users can use this software to play games on their computer or mobile device. Below we have compiled a list of the best NDS emulators for Mac, with all the features they have to offer. So, don’t forget to read till the end.

Note: Downloading apps from websites can potentially expose your device to security risks, viruses, and malware. It is important to only download apps from trusted sources and reputable app stores. Therefore, download and use these at your discretion.



NO$GBA, pronounced as No Cash GBA offers amazing support as the best Nintendo NDS Emulators for Mac. While the standard version of the software runs classic games like Mario and Pokémon easily, the debug version is specially designed for programmers. Both NO$GBA versions are free to use for Mac users.


  • Impeccable compatibility with commercial DS ROMs.
  • It also offers support for Nintendo DS homebrew.
  • It allows users to play games like Pokémon Diamond on full screen.
  • It offers multiplayer support as well.
  • The software uses low resources.
  • Joystick and cheat code support is offered by this emulator.

2. DeSmuME

DeSmuME website | best ds emulator for mac

Starting our list with DeSmuME, one of the most well-known and reliable Nintendo DS emulators available for Mac OS, as well as for Windows and Linux. It is open-source software that can be used for free and is popular due to its feature-rich design and wide compatibility with DS games.

With this best Nintendo NDS emulator for MAC, you can customize controls for each game and choose from various input methods like a keyboard, mouse, gamepad, or touch screen. Many popular DS games, such as Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, Mario Kart DS, and New Super Mario Bros, are compatible with DeSmuME. These features make DeSmuME a popular choice among DS emulator users for Mac OS.


  • External gamepads can be used.
  • Users can save their game progress at any time.
  • Enables the use of cheat codes to gain an advantage in games.
  • Multiplayer games over a local network or the internet are supported.
  • It emulates high-quality audio.
  • The X432R feature allows you to increase the resolution of DS games.

3. RetroArch

RetroArch website

Looking for a cool and customizable Mac OS emulator? RetroArch is the one! This open-source software allows you to play games from a variety of systems, including the Nintendo DS, on your computer, mobile device, or gaming console. RetroArch is one such best DS emulator for MAC that provides features such as netplay, 4K upscaling, and even machine translation, which truly enhance your gaming experience. 


  • A multi-platform emulator that can run games from various gaming systems, including the 2DS, 3DS, U, Switch, PSP, PS2, PS3, and Wii.
  • A user-friendly interface with easy navigation and a regularly updated library of games.
  • Support for gamepads, arcade sticks, and even keyboards.
  • It has several customization options, including the ability to remap controls and save game states.
  • It also includes additional features such as cheat codes, screen recording, and automatic save syncing.

Also Read: Top 7 Android Emulators for iOS

4. OpenEmu

OpenEmu | best ds emulator for mac

If you’re a Mac user and looking for an awesome way to relive those classic gaming moments, look no further than OpenEmu. This best DS emulator for MAC and free multi-system is packed with features that let you easily emulate a range of consoles, from the Nintendo DS to the Game Boy and beyond. OpenEmu even automatically adds box art to your library, giving you a complete and immersive gaming experience. And with support for most USB and Bluetooth game controllers, including the DualShock and Wiimote, you’ll be up and running in no time.


  • Multiple gaming systems are supported, including the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, Sega Genesis, and many others.
  • Provides an integrated library manager for organizing games into collections based on system, genre, or other criteria.
  • Users can change game controls, save and load games, and use cheat codes.
  • Shaders and other advanced features are included.
  • Multiple displays and controllers are supported.
  • Users can take screenshots and record gameplay sessions.
  • Netplay is supported, allowing users to play games with friends online.
  • Provides a plugin system that allows users to extend the functionality of the emulator.

5. Citra

Citra website

Citra is one of the best Nintendo NDS emulators for Mac, due to its impressive performance and simple interface. You can easily download and play all of your favorite Nintendo 3DS and DS games from various online sources and also have a massive game library. And the best part? It is completely free!

However, Citra is more than just a simple emulator; it has a dedicated and passionate developer community that is constantly improving its performance and compatibility. You can always expect the best possible experience with regular updates and bug fixes. 


  • The majority of Nintendo DS games are highly compatible and playable.
  • Provides a wide range of emulation options, allowing you to fine-tune your gaming experience by customizing the graphics, audio, and controls.
  • Cheat codes can be used.
  • Modify the emulator’s interface’s design and appearance, including the usage of unique themes.
  • Linux, Mac, and Windows are a few of the systems that are supported.
  • You can play online multiplayer games with other Citra users because local wireless emulation is supported.

6. MelonDS

MelonDS website

MelonDS, a free and open-source Nintendo DS emulator designed to work on macOS, Windows, and Linux operating systems, comes next on our list of the best DS emulator for Mac. The emulator is well known for emphasizing performance and accuracy, working to give users a top-notch experience. A few of the features on the list that help with quick emulation and a better user experience include a JIT recompiler, 3D graphics, touchscreen input, microphone input, video scaling, and filtering.


  • An intuitive user interface with options for saving and loading game states as well as recording gameplay.
  • Multiplayer networking features that enable online multiplayer gaming on the DS.
  • It supports a wide range of Nintendo DS games.
  • Provides an engaging gaming experience with 3D graphics and microphone input.

Also Read: 17 Best Android Emulators for Windows and Mac

7. DraStic DS

DraStic DS download page | best ds emulator for mac

The DraStic DS emulator stands out due to its features and is one of the best DS emulators for Mac among the Nintendo NDS Emulators available at the moment. It includes a wide range of built-in cheat codes and allows you to save your game progress directly to Google Drive.

You can also customize the graphics to your liking. All of the features found in the other emulators on this list, such as support for external controllers, are also included in this one. Although it is compatible with the vast majority of MacOS devices, it excels on high-end computers and laptops.


  • The ability to change the screen’s size, orientation, and on-screen controls is one of the customization choices.  
  • A broad variety of games, including numerous Pokémon games, are supported.
  • Has a fast-forward capability for skipping cut-sequence gameplay.
  • Several save slots allow you to save and resume playing the game whenever you choose.
  • Support for gamepads and controllers.
  • Enhanced graphics with high-resolution rendering and shader effects.

We truly hope that this article on the 7 best DS emulators for Mac in 2023 has helped you in your search for the ideal software. These emulators make it simple and pleasurable to play vintage Nintendo DS games on current hardware. So, pick the most appropriate one for you and start playing your favorite DS games right away on your Mac!  If you have any queries or suggestions, you can always leave them in the comment section below.

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