3DS Emulator – Citra Builds

Ever since its initial release in the spring of 2011, the Nintendo 3DS has acquired both a huge following in the gaming community and a large library of fun and popular exclusive games. However, many people don’t like the 3D effects output by the console’s primary screen, and as such, they don’t want to spend money on the console. For those people who don’t want to spend money, or simply don’t have the extra money required to buy a 3DS console, Citra was created.


A Look into Citra, the 3ds Emulator

Citra (Github Download Link) is an open-source emulator written in C++, meant for debugging and running homebrew games on Windows, Linux and OS X computers. Although people initially estimated that it would take at least 5 years before the emulator could be used for commercial titles, Citra is already capable of emulating popular games, albeit with bugs and at low framerates.

Even though Citra cannot emulate the main “gimmick” of the Nintendo 3DS, which is the 3D image, it brings up a lot of improvements to the table, such as the ability to play 3DS games at higher resolutions and with HD output, which makes the games look better on computer screens.

At the moment, Citra can only play a few commercial titles, such as Super Smash Bros., Kid Icarus, Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire and Super Mario World 3D. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when trying to emulate 3DS games.

First of all, your mileage may vary. Citra, just like all other emulators, is dependent on your machine’s hardware, and as such, the better your computer components are, the better the games will run on your PC. If, however, your PC cannot run games too well, then you shouldn’t be discouraged, as Citra is still under development, and the performance will increase in time, as the developers improve it. The build you use can also affect the performance of the games you run. There are certain unofficial builds which can run Pokemon games, while the nightly builds cannot.

Secondly, in order to run games on Citra, you will need game files. How you obtain these game files is up to you, but you must keep in mind that downloading files of games you don’t own is considered piracy, and is illegal.

If you want to download the emulator, you can visit the Citra official website, or search the Internet for certain builds that can play specific games. If you are not familiar with console emulators or are simply not tech savvy, it is advised to stick to the official nightly builds available on their site, as other websites can trick you into downloading copies bundled with viruses and spyware, which can ruin your computer.


Windows/PC: Windows Build
Linux: Linux Build
OSX: OS X Build

All in all, Citra is a great piece of software which allows enthusiastic Nintendo fans to play their favorite titles on their PCs. Even though the developers still have a lot of work before the emulator can flawlessly run commercial titles, Citra definitely has a bright future ahead of it.

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