12 Best Nintendo DS Emulators for Windows

For many gamers, Nintendo DS is class apart, however, if you don't have a Switch you can use emulators to enjoy the games on your Windows computers.

It’s been nearly two decades since the Nintendo DS was released in 2004, and the nostalgia for this handheld console is immense. However, you can still play classic Nintendo DS games. Yes! You read that correctly. You can play those retro DS games on your PC by using Nintendo DS emulators. So, prepare to relive your childhood memories and play some popular DS games, because we’ve compiled a list of the best Nintendo DS emulator for Windows. What are you waiting for? Let’s get started with the best DS Emulator PC.

Best Nintendo DS Emulator for Windows

Best Nintendo DS Emulator for Windows

Here is the list of the best Nintendo DS emulators for Windows in 2023, we have compiled only the best ones. So choose any emulator from the list according to your need and we are pretty sure you won’t be disappointed.

Note: It is our duty to inform our readers that many of these sites may include inappropriate content or some apps mentioned may contain malware from some of the websites, therefore use these at your discretion.

1. DeSmuME

DeSmuME website | Best Nintendo DS Emulators for Windows

Starting the list with one of the most famous and best Nintendo DS emulators for Windows in the market, DeSmuME. DeSmuME is free and open source and is also available for other major OS including macOS and Linux. Due to its feature-rich design and compatibility with a wide range of DS games, it is one of the most popular DS emulators available. Users can customize the controls for each game and select from a variety of input methods, such as keyboard and mouse, gamepad, or touch screen. DeSmuME is compatible with a wide range of DS games, Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, Mario Kart DS, and New Super Mario Bros are some of the classics and most popular Nintendo DS titles you can play using this emulator.

Features:

  • Compatible with a large number of DS games
  • External gamepads are supported.
  • Allows users to save their game progress at any time
  • Support for cheat codes to gain an advantage in games.
  • Multiplayer Support for multiplayer games over a local network or the internet.
  • Provides high-quality audio emulation.
  • The X432R feature can boost the resolution of DS games.

2. NO$GBA

NO$GBA website

With the help of the famous emulator NO$GBA, users may utilize their personal computers to play Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance games. Martin Korth, a German programmer, created it, and it was originally made available in 2002. The NO$GBA debug version for Windows has been created with programmers in mind, while the conventional version for Windows contains all the functionality necessary to run Mario, Pokémon, and other classic games. The fact that this DS emulator for PC is free to use is their biggest feature. Most GBA and DS ROMs now have multiplayer support thanks to the new update.

Features:

  • Supports a variety of save formats, such as save states, flash memory saves, and in-game saves.
  • Multiplayer support for online and local network multiplayer gaming.
  • Contains a debugger that allows programmers to examine code and memory use.
  • Playback and recording of gameplay.
  • For enhanced visuals, it supports high-resolution rendering and upscale graphics.
  • Options to customize keyboard shortcuts and controls.
  • Can play the majority of commercial Gameboy Advance and Nintendo DS games.

3. RetroArch

RetroArch website | Best Nintendo DS Emulators for Windows

Are you looking for a versatile and customizable emulator? RetroArch might just be the one! This completely free and open-source software lets you play games from various systems be it your computer, mobile device, or gaming console, including the Nintendo DS. RetroArch’s user-friendly interface allows you to play all of your favorite DS games using keyboard or controller inputs that simulate the original console’s buttons and touch screen. RetroArch truly elevates your gaming experience with features such as netplay, 4K upscaling, and even machine translation.

Features:

  • A multi-platform emulator capable of running games from a variety of gaming systems such as the 2DS, 3DS, U, Switch, PSP, PS2, PS3, Wii, and others.
  • User-friendly interface with a library of games that can be easily navigated and searched.
  • Gamepads, arcade sticks, and even keyboards are supported.
  • It includes several customization options, such as the ability to remap controls and save game states.
  • Netplay compatibility.
  • It also has a number of extra features, such as cheat codes, screen recording, and automatic save syncing.

4. MelonDS

MelonDS website

Next on our list of the best Nintendo DS emulator for Windows is MelonDS, a free and open-source Nintendo DS emulator made to run on Windows, macOS, and Linux operating systems. The emulator is renowned for its emphasis on accuracy and performance, striving to provide players with a top-notch experience. JIT recompiler, 3D graphics, touchscreen input, microphone input, video scaling, and filtering are just a few of the features on the list that contribute to quick emulation and a better user experience.

Features:

  • User-friendly interface with options for recording gameplay footage and saving and loading game states.
  • Multiplayer connectivity options, make it possible to play DS games online with other players.
  • A great deal of Nintendo DS games are compatible with it.
  • Features 3D visuals, touchscreen input, and microphone input for an engaging gaming experience.
  • Available for Windows, macOS, and Linux operating systems.

5. iDeaS

iDeaS download page

iDeaS is one of the best Nintendo DS emulators for Windows that is known for its lightweight design and user-friendly interface. With its superior emulation capabilities and support for major NDS functionalities, iDeaS is the perfect choice for running multiple ROMs on your computer. You can play some of your favorite games like Pokémon Black and White and Mario 64 without any hassle. While there may be occasional glitches during gameplay, they’re minor and can be easily ignored.

Features:

  • Free Nintendo DS emulator for Windows.
  • Many Nintendo DS games and features are supported, including 3D graphics, touchscreen input, and microphone input.
  • Gives users the ability to optimize performance by changing emulation settings.
  • Includes a plugin system for increased customization and versatility.
  • Allows users to map buttons and modify controller settings, and it supports a number of game controllers.
  • Contains a save state feature that enables users to store and load their progress whenever they choose.

6. DuoS

DuoS download page

DuoS is a popular emulator known for its high-speed emulation and support for a wide range of games. DuoS has a user-friendly interface that is simple to use. Users can customize the display settings, such as screen size and layout, to their preferences using the emulator. It also has controls for changing the sound and video settings. DuoS includes a plugin system that allows users to extend the emulator’s features and functionality. Users can install plugins to improve their emulation experience or add new features.

Features:

  • Users can play games without lag or delay thanks to the fast emulation speed.
  • Supports a diverse range of games, including well-known titles such as Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros.
  • The emulator includes a turbo button and a cheat feature.
  • It enables users to play games with others online, making it an excellent choice for multiplayer games.
  • Customizable controls with gamepad support.
  • Users can save their game progress at any time.

7. DraStic DS

DraStic DS download page

With its endless list of features, DraStic DS has earned its place in this list of best Nintendo DS emulators for Windows. It is available for both Windows operating systems and Android. The emulator is a virtual playground where you can relive your favorite Nintendo DS games at incredible speeds and with silky smooth performance. With the save state feature, you can customize the on-screen controls, configure the gamepad, and save your progress anytime, anywhere with the save state feature. Want to take it a step further? Enter cheat codes to reveal hidden features! As well as high-quality stereo sound and a variety of audio settings to enhance the gaming experience. You can even connect it to Google Drive to save your progress online.

Features:

  • A wide range of games are supported, including many Pokémon games. 
  • Customization options include the ability to change the size and position of the screen, as well as its on-screen controls.
  • Supports cheat codes and have a fast-forward feature for skipping cut scenes or gameplay in-game.
  • Save and resume game progress at any time thanks to multiple save slots.
  • Gamepad and controller support.
  • Improved graphics with shader effects and high-resolution rendering.

8. NeonDS

NeonDS download page

NeonDS is the ultimate emulator for Nintendo DS fans who want to enjoy the excitement and fun of their favorite games on their Windows PCs. With its impressive speed and lightweight design, it delivers an unrivaled gaming experience that is difficult to match.  Furthermore, you do not need a powerful computer or a dedicated graphics card to enjoy NeonDS, it is perfectly optimized to run on most systems, including older ones.

Features:

  • Nintendo DS emulator that is both powerful and lightweight.
  • Designed for the Windows operating system.
  • Low system requirements make it suitable for older computers lacking a dedicated graphics card.
  • Most Nintendo DS games run at full speed, even on low-end hardware.
  • Supports both keyboard and gamepad controls.
  • Full-screen mode provides a more immersive gaming experience.
  • The simple and straightforward user interface for a trouble-free gaming experience

9. Citra

Citra website

Citra with its impressive performance and user-friendly interface has quickly become the go-to choice for gamers looking to experience classic games on their computers and is one of the best DS Emulator PC. Citra supports a wide range of games for the Nintendo 3DS and DS platforms, including all of your favorites, which can be easily downloaded and played on the emulator from various online sources. It has a passionate and dedicated developer community that is constantly working to improve the emulator’s performance and compatibility. Regular updates and bug fixes ensure that you always have the best possible experience.

Features:

  • Most Nintendo DS games are playable with high compatibility.
  • Offers an array of emulation options, including the ability to Customise graphics, audio, and controls, allowing you to fine-tune your gaming experience.
  • Cheat codes are supported.
  • Customize the layout and appearance of the emulator’s interface, including the ability to use custom themes.
  • Windows, Mac, and Linux are among the platforms supported.
  • Emulator that is free and open source.
  • Local wireless emulation is supported, allowing you to play multiplayer games online with other Citra users.

10. NDS Boy!

NDS Boy download page | Best Nintendo DS Emulators for Windows

NDS Boy! is a fantastic emulator that lets users enjoy the thrill of playing Nintendo DS games on their Windows computer. The emulator has a sleek user interface that is simple to use with on-screen controls or a keyboard and mouse. Players can pick up where they left off at any time thanks to the ability to save and load game states. The emulator includes customizable settings for graphics, audio, and input controls, which users can customize for each game. However, as with any emulator, some games may not be compatible, so players may need to experiment with different settings to get the best performance for each game.

Features:

  • Allows users to load and save game states.
  • Users can adjust emulator settings such as graphics, audio, and input controls.
  • Can play games in full-screen mode.
  • Requires at least a 2GHz processor, and 2GB of RAM.
  • The user interface is straightforward and easy to use, with on-screen controls or keyboard and mouse navigation.
  • Cheat codes are supported.

11. Ensata

Ensata download page

Nintendo created Ensata, a Nintendo DS emulator. It is primarily used by game developers for development and testing, but it is also open to the public. The emulator is designed to work in parallel with the Nintendo DS console and can emulate many of the DS system’s features. This allows you to emulate many of the unique gameplay features found in Nintendo DS games. Furthermore, the emulator supports Wi-Fi connectivity, allowing users to play multiplayer games via a network connection. Ensata is a powerful emulator that can run a variety of Nintendo DS games with high accuracy.

Features:

  • Designed to work seamlessly with the Nintendo DS system.
  • Dual screens, microphone input, and touchscreen input are all supported.
  • Wi-Fi connectivity is supported for multiplayer games.
  • Capable of running a large number of Nintendo DS games with high accuracy.
  • Ideal for advanced users and developers who need to test their games or run custom ROMs.

12. Project64

Project64 download page

Ending our list of best DS emulator PC with Project64, this lightweight emulator is an excellent option for users who want to play Nintendo 64 games without the need for a high-end PC. As running this emulator doesn’t need any dedicated graphics card or a large amount of RAM. One of Project64’s most notable features is its high level of compatibility with Nintendo 64 games. Most Nintendo 64 titles are compatible with Project64, and the emulator supports a wide variety of game formats. The emulator also supports cheat codes, which can be useful for players who want to add a new level of difficulty or fun to their gaming experience.

Features:

  • It supports a wide range of games, including some of the most popular Nintendo 64 titles.
  • The emulator is highly customizable, with settings for graphics, audio, and input.
  • Project64 also supports a number of plugins that can improve the emulator’s functionality and gaming experience.
  • Users have the ability to save and load game states.
  • A keyboard and mouse, as well as a gamepad or joystick, can be used to control the emulator.
  • Users can enjoy an immersive gaming experience by playing games in full-screen mode.
  • A cheat system is also included in Project64.
  • The emulator is regularly updated with bug fixes and new features to keep it stable and up to date with the latest gaming technology.

Recommended:

There are several emulators to choose from this list if you want to relive the nostalgia of your favorite Nintendo DS games on your Windows PC. Each emulator has its unique features and functionality. So, choose the best one for you and start playing your favorite DS games on your Windows computer right away! We hope that this article on the best Nintendo DS emulator for Windows has helped you find the perfect emulator for you. If you have any queries or suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comment section below.

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