Before jumping into the 3DS emulation, let’s discuss what 3DS is and how it is related to gaming. 3DS or Nintendo 3DS is a console that is portable for ease of access and it was first introduced back in the days of 2011. The portable device could generate the 3D effects and you don’t even have to wear the 3D glasses. The same technology was launched by Sony as PSV or Play Station Vita so, we can say that they both were the competitors. As the technology was new back in the days, the prices were also inflated which hit the overall sales of the Nintendo 3DS but after the few hits, Nintendo dropped the price and soon it took the place of best selling portable console. After the success, different varients were also released to justify the prices like XL and 2DS. XL has large screen and 2DS does not support 3D effects in the games. With the years passed by and even after the launch of Nintendo Switch, Nintendo 3DS holds its market as the best 3D portable consoles. Now that you have the rough idea about the Nintendo 3DS, let’s jump into the emulation and see how you can emulate the Nintendo 3DS games on your Android.
It was a challenge for the developers to jump into the waters of Nintendo 3DS emulation but they came up with unofficial Citra for Android that can actually emulate the games on your Android device. The emulator is still in its early days so there are some bugs and minor issues that needed to be cleared in the programming and developing of the emulator. The big names are yet to be tested on Citra but signs are showing that there will be some troubles. But this does not mean that the emulator is completely useless. Some games are running flawlessly and that was the reason that we are covering Citra in the category of 3DS emulator as they are limited because of the unique features that Nintendo 3DS can offer. But we got to confirm the efficiency of the emulator so the end-users can actually rely on the emulator whenever they want to play the Nintendo 3DS games.
Few gamers tried different games like Fire Emblem Echoes and registered some crashing issues. We investigated the issues on our end and found that all the crashing issues are not with the actual Citra but the version that those gamers have downloaded. Older versions had the problem of crashing mid-game or the high-end games failed to run on the first attempt. To confirm our statement, we tried Luigi’s Mansion which worked extremely well under the same settings. So, we can say that Citra is picky when you are trying to emulate the games as Super Mario 3D was no short of an absolute disaster as the game was literally not playable. Another thing that is extremely important is that you must run the games on at least snapdragon 845 as the processor needs to be strong to perfect the emulation. Otherwise, the Citra issues and low-end specifications could destroy the gaming experience itself and you don’t try to emulate the Nintendo 3DS games anymore which is not the goal.
Emulating the 3DS games pretty tough on its own and decryption of games adds salt to the injury. It has always been the requirement of Citra that game needs to be decrypted before it can be emulated through Citra. Encrypted games won’t run through Citra because necessary requirements are not met. System files stored in actual 3DS needs to be decrypted before copying them for Citra and if the encrypted files are dumped then Citra won’t recognize and the emulation cannot be done.
At this point, you must be wondering that is Citra actually working or it is just a failed prototype. So, the good news here is that Citra is actually decent with the success of Luigi’s mansion and Shovel Knight. But we cannot say that this is the ultimate emulator as we have seen the disaster with different games like Super Mario 3D Land and Fire Emblem Echoes. You cannot even move around when playing Super Mario 3D land so experience was not pleasant at all. Some of the games also faced barriers like dumping the system archives and Pokemon X and Y are the perfect examples of that case. The process is relatively easy and is available on official Citra website. All you need to do is follow the footsteps perfectly and you will be able to run the Pokemon X and Y perfectly. Dumping the files cannot be a huge problem as you also had to decrypt the games and Nintendo 3DS is required. So dumping some files is not difficult as it sounds like.
Up till now, Citra never officially claimed as a partner with android to support the Nintendo 3DS emulation. But they always kept things interesting by releasing the statements like they are working tirelessly with the developers to make the port and connection with the android device into a reality. They are also denying the involvement in any other third-party application but the results shown by Luigi’s Mansion show that the developers are working in the right direction and soon we will see the finished application in the near future and emulation of Nintendo 3DS will no longer be a dream.