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[Hot!] 8 Best Game Emulators to Download on Your iOS Devices

Elsa Updated on Apr 1, 2024 Filed to: Screen Mirroring

Emulator software allows you to run games and apps on your mobile device. obtaining classic games like Pokémon and supermario from your apple store may not seem possible, but with an emulator on your iPhone, you can play almost any game.

Apple does not permit the download of emulators from its app store but you can get this software by visiting the official website of the emulator you wish to download and then downloading the APK file and installing it on your iPhone. To know some of the best emulators for iOS as well as an alternative, keep reading this guide.

Part 1: 8 Best Game Emulators for iPhone and iPad

If you are unsatisfied with the gaming performance, you can consider some emulators that will work just well on your iPhone. These emulators are also helpful in terms of playing some android games that may not be supported by iOS. Below are some of these emulators.

Xcode: the Official iOS Simulator

Xcode is software used by developers to test apps and other software. It usually makes the task of developing an app easier because, with this simulation, the app is being tested on a bigger and stronger device instead of on your iPhone.

Apple Xcode


Main Features:

1. You can use the text editor for syntax highlighting, code completion and control integration.

2. You can use it to find bugs and fix code issues.

3. You can run automated tests for app functionality.


  • Many OS developing environment for all Apple platforms
  • Built-in solution by Apple
  • Intuitive user interface


  • Not a perfect option for game emulation

How to use:

To use Xcode, you need to install it from the Mac App Store and then install the necessary command lines in this software. After these steps, you then proceed to run your app on Xcode like a simulation.

Delta Emulator

Delta is considered one of the best emulators for iPhone as it supports a lot of Nintendo consoles like Game Boy (Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance), NES and SNES, N64, and Nintendo DS. It has a quick save feature that allows you to save your progress on an external controller or in Google drive, it also offers a wide range of customization options.


Main Features:

1. Supports controls like PS4, PS5, Xbox series, and MFi game controllers for an advanced playing experience.

2. Cloud syncing for game saves and data across devices.

3. Ability to speed through slower parts of any game


  • Ability to use cheat codes to keep favorite saves
  • Fantastic game artwork design
  • Custom controller skin


  • Intensive resource consumption that may slow down your device

How to use Delta emulator to play games on iPhones and iPad

  1. Visit the official website of this app and download the latest version of this app on your iPhone. Follow the instructions provided to download this app to your mobile phone.
  2. Download and open Altstore to install the delta emulator. 
  3. On the homepage of your Altstore, go to ‘my apps’ and tap on the ‘+’ at the top left corner. This will lead you to all the recently downloaded files on your iPhone, tap on the delta emulator to start the installation, if it’s your first time using Altstore, you will be required to create an account before installing the emulator.
  4. After installing the emulator, open it and search for a game then download it. After the selected game is downloaded, you can then launch it in the delta emulator.

Dolphin Emulator

This iOS emulator is derived from the dolphin emulator for desktop computers. It is known for its ability to run Nintendo Wii and GameCube ROMs on iPhones and iPads. With this emulator, you can improve the graphics of your game without altering the performance.


Main Features:

1. You can play games at higher resolutions with enhanced visual effects.

2. You can use different controllers, including PC gamepads and Bluetooth keyboard.

3. It saves your game process any time you want.


  • Best emulator for playing GameCube or Nintendo Wii games
  • Advanced graphics settings
  • Amazing upgrades and gaming resources


  • You may need to tweak settings for a perfect experience

How to use DolphiniOS emulator

  1. Download Altstore on your iPhone or iPad and tap on the ‘browse’ tab.
  2. Open ‘sources’ which is located at the top right corner of your screen. Tap on the add button right next to the Oatmealdome’s. 
  3. After adding Oatmealdome’s as a source, when you scroll down you will find the DolphiniOS app with ‘free’ written beside it. Tap on this icon to install the emulator.
  4. Open this emulator and tap on the ‘+’ button, and add ROMs manually by adding the files to files app.


RetroArch is a free and open-source emulator, and it is best for multiple uses, such as gameplay, media play, and more. Importantly, it is very lightweight and portable to use. You can access this tool from many popular app stores, such as Steam, Amazon App Store, Samsung Galaxy Store, and Google Play.



Main Features:

1. You can use it on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS.

2. You can customize the user interface to meet your needs.

3. You can play several games at the same time online with friends.


  • Great cross-platform support
  • Multi-system emulator
  • High level of flexibility
  • Open source and free to use


  • It may be difficult to configure this emulator for beginners

How to use RetroArch:

iNDS Emulator

If you miss Nintendo games but not its console, then you may just find this emulator helpful when it comes to playing Nintendo games on your iPhone or iPad. iNDS emulator is the best way to play Nintendo DS games on your portable device, it offers cheats and allows you to save some of your favorite game combos. With this iPhone emulator online you get a Dropbox account and the ability to change speed and video filters.


Main Features:

1. Wide range of game compatibility to play Nintendo DS games.

2. Great flexibility to customize the settings for personalized experience.

3. You can use touchscreen controls.


  • You can change the video filter and the speed of the game
  • Dropbox synchronization available
  • Compatible with wireless controls


  • Limited to only Nintendo games

How to use iNDS emulator

  1. To download this emulator, you will need to use a third-party app store like the AppValleystore. Type iNDS into the search bar and wait for the results.
  2. Install the emulator and go to your settings to assign trust to this app.
  3. iNDS will then be displayed on the home screen of your iOS device, 
  4. to play games on this emulator, select a game with the search bar provided and download the selected game, after this, you can play Nintendo DS games on your iOS device.

PPSSPP Emulator for iOS

PPSSPP by Sony is one of the best emulators for running PS2 games as it is dedicated to emulating Playstation portable (PSP) games on your iOS device. This emulator allows you to add cheats and save states for easier access next time, you are allowed to transfer your existing saves so you can continue a game from where you left it.


Main Features:

1. You can play PSP games on iOS devices.

2. Graphics enhancements to get the improved visual experience.


  • Can save states
  • Cheats available
  • Ability to transfer saved states
  • Provides HD resolution for gameplay


  • Cannot save game progress to the cloud

How to use PPSSPP emulator

  1. Visit the official website of PPSSPP and install the application for iOS devices.
  2. You will be redirected to your phone settings to trust this emulator, tap the “trust” icon.
  3. After installing the androids emulator, you can play games already available in the directory of this app or you can load a game file from your iOS device.

Happy Chick Emulator

Happy Chick is capable of running 18 consoles and their respective apps, it has a synchronization feature that allows players to store already existing data in the cloud for easier access next time. If you love multiplayer games, then you may just love this emulator as it supports multiplayer mode and an external controller can be used.


Main Features:

1. You can play games on multiple platforms, such as Nintendo, PlayStation, and Gameboy.

2. You can connect with your friends to share gameplay and advice.

3. A large game library to play various types of games.


  • Supports external controllers
  • 18 consoles available
  • Cloud save feature available
  • Multiplayer mode available


  • Some people reported technical issues and compatibility problems with some games

How to use the Happy Chick emulator

  1. On your browser, open the AppValley store and type "happy chick" into the search bar.
  2. Install Happy Chick from the result provided.
  3. Open the Happy Chick emulator and search for the game you want to play, then download and save it.

Eclipse Emulator

Eclipse is a new emulator that has gotten popular for its ability to install very easily without getting revoked. This emulator supports ROMs from NES, SNES, Game Boy and Game boy color, Sega game gear, and Sega master system.


Main Features:

1. You can stimulate the Android devices to test apps with different specifications.

2. You can debug software using this tool.

3. It’s web-based and you can play games offline.


  • Ability to save states
  • Speed through slower parts of a game
  • Customization option available for skins
  • Amazing design


  • It may not fully capture the user experience of running the app on an actual device.

How to use Eclipse Emulator

  1. Visit the official website of this emulator and install the app version for iOS devices.
  2. After installing Eclipse, you can run your ROMs or you can simply use the game library in this app to get games.

Part 2: Comparison of Best Emulators for iOS

The following table provides a detailed comparison of the popular game emulators for iOS devices:

iOS Emulators User Interface Usability Price
Xcode Easy Navigation Intuitive interface and powerful features Xcode itself is free
Delta Difficult for beginners Complex as a significant learning curve is involved Both free and paid versions
Dolphin Easy to navigate High-speed anf flexible Free
RetroArch Intermediate to navigate for beginners Open source for many features Free
iNDS Clean and simple High-performance for Nintendo games Free
PPSSPP Complex to navigate Performance is good only if the device is jailbroken Both free and paid versions
Happy Chick Neat interface Easy to use Free
Eclipse Clean and Simple Easy to use Free

To put it simple, if you want to use iOS emulatores mainly for playing games, Delta, Dolphin, and RetroArch would be great options. If you would like to use iOS emulatores to develope software or debugg, try Xcode and Eclipse Emulator.

Part 3: Tips: Run iOS Apps without Emulators - AirDroid Cast

If you are in search of a less complicated way to play games on your iOS device, then you should consider the AirDroid Cast App. This is a mirroring app that allows you to cast the screen of your iPhone or iPad to a bigger screen, with this software, you can mirror your iOS devices to your laptop.

You can also use the remote keyboard and mouse on AirDroid Cast to control your mobile phone from your PC. It makes playing games much easier and fun as you can easily navigate the game through your phone while looking at the bigger screen.

In order to use AirDroid Cast to play games, you should follow these steps:

  • Download and install AirDroid Cast on both your computer and smartphone like an iOS device.
  • Make sure both of the devices are connected to the same network.
  • Scan the QR code displayed on your PC to your mobile device.
  • Use the Control features on your mobile screen to control the mobile screen on a PC.
  • Enjoy gaming on your PC with AirDroid Cast.

Part 5: Final Verdict

This guide has provided a list of the best emulators for iOS devices. This way you can play games from consoles on your devices for free. We listed the pros and cons of using each emulator as well as how to use these emulators.

An alternative to using these emulators on your iOS devices is to use AirDroid Cast as it allows multiplayer gaming and you get to play these games on a larger screen. Check out the steps on how to use this app as well as its benefits and downsides.

Hottest FAQs about Emulators for iOS

Is it safe to run console emulators for iOS?
It is safe to run console emulators on your iOS device, an issue will only arise if illegal activities are involved with running this app. fortunately, most console emulators are secure for playing games on your device.
What are the benefits of using an emulator on iPhone?
You get a different experience playing games on a different device and with different controls and advanced settings. It is also beneficial when it comes to playing games available on only consoles. 
Where can I find ROMs?
ROMs are downloadable versions of console games. You will find some ROMs in these emulators, but if you still want more, there are various websites where they can be gotten for free. Be cautious not to download one with a virus.
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Elsa has worked on a number of iOS & Android solutions, she can always find her way around almost any application. She is an accomplished, skilled and versatile writer with more than 7 years of technical article writing experience.
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