Pokemon is an extremely popular franchise, and has been one ever since its launch in the 90s. With the recent launch of the most popular mobile app ever, Pokemon GO, there have been a lot of people interested in playing the older, more complex Pokemon games. If you are also interested in playing Pokemon but don’t feel like getting off your computer chair, then you are in luck! There are many emulators available for both PC and mobile phones that let you play most Pokemon titles.
Given that there were many Pokemon generations spanning across all of Nintendo’s portable consoles, this article contains many emulators, many of which can be acquired by simply searching their name on Google.
All You Need to Know About Pokemon Emulation
Starting with the PC, if you want to play the first three generations of Pokemon games, which include Pokemon Blue/Red/Yellow, Pokemon Gold/Silver/Crystal and Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald, then you should download one of the most popular emulators ever, Visual Boy Advance. Not only does this emulator play games from all the Gameboy generations, but it also has a lot of great features, such as easy cheat system and speedup system.
If you want to play games from the fourth and fifth generation, you need to download a DS emulator. The best one available for PC is Desmume, which should be able to run titles such as Pokemon Platinum, Pokemon White and Pokemon White II. If you want a newer experience, such as the sixth generation or the 3DS remakes of Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire, then you have to wait a bit, as Citra, the 3DS emulator, is still under development. Certain unofficial builds of Citra (which you can find distributed on the Internet) are able to run Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, but with certain crashes and frame drops.
If you want a more mobile experience, then, you are in luck. There are many emulators for both iOS and Android which let you play Pokemon games on the go. For Android devices, you can simply search for “John GBC” on the Google Play Store for games up to the third generation. For Nintendo DS games, you should search for “Drastic”, as that is the only emulator that can run DS games at full speed. There are free alternatives too, but they don’t run as well.
For iOS, there are two ways to get emulators. If you are using a jailbroken device, then you can simply search for the needed emulators on the Cydia app, assuming you’ve got the required repos. Try searching for GBA4iOS (an emulator for all the Gameboy consoles) and NDS4iOS (Nintendo DS emulator) on Google for the required repos and further instructions. If your phone is not jailbroken and you don’t want to forfeit your warranty, then you can also use a process called sideloading to get emulators on your Apple device.
Sideloading has you loading the GBA4iOS or NDS4iOS official websites, and following the instructions stated there to install the apps from your browser rather than from the App Store. The process works because the app is installed as an enterprise app, and has you confirming a certificate on your device before installing. Most of the time, the website will tell you to change your device’s date to 2012 or another year in order to work, but you can change the date back after installing the emulator.
There are certain emulators for Windows Phone too, but they are not too popular, and not too advanced. The only ones are Gameboy Advance emulators, and you can easily find them by searching GBA or Gameboy on the Windows Store.
Keep in mind that the performance of the emulators is based on your device’s specifications, so having a newer phone model will net you a better experience. Also, keep in mind that in order to use emulators, you will need to acquire game files from the Internet. Downloading game files for games you don’t own is considered piracy, and is illegal.
All in all, whether you want to go back to the start of the series and play Pokemon Red, or if you want a more modern experience, you’re covered by all the emulators mentioned, even if you’re on a mobile device!