7 Best Nintendo DS Emulators for PC to Play Pokémon Games

The world of gaming has transformed from on-field to on-screen mode for a very long period. People today rarely have time to invest in the physical exhaustion that is caused by playing outdoor; as they are already tired of mental exhaustion from work pressure.

Hence, they need mental relaxation without physical exhaustion which has become possible only by the virtual platform of gaming. One such most popular handheld game was the Nintendo DS.

Here, we will discuss what Nintendo was in brief, why it was banned, and what the most exclusive Nintendo DS emulators for PC to play Pokemon games are.

About Nintendo DS Emulator:

Nintendo DS is one of the most popular handheld consoles of all time. Nintendo DS has an equal iconic value of that of the PSP and the Game Boy. Nintendo DS was sold more than 150 million copies or units before its stagnancy in 2013. However, users still find themselves on the playground of those popular games, with the help of the emulators.

Nintendo DS emulators are not many in hand since the process of manufacturing is still in progress; however, some of them are there with which games like Pokémon (Black and White), Mario Kart DS, The Legend of Zelda, Chinatown Wars, Metroid Prime Hunter and more are still in a special place for the Nintendo DS users along with the younger generations of users.

Best Nintendo DS Emulators for PC to play Pokemon Games:

#1. DeSmuMe Emulator:

DeSmuMe EmulatorDeSmuMe is a highly popular Nintendo DS emulator that allows users to play their favorite DS games on their PC.

With its focus on compatibility, accuracy, and performance, DeSmuMe has earned its reputation as one of the best emulators for playing Pokemon games and other titles.

The emulator faithfully replicates the functionality of the DS hardware, including its dual screens and touch screen, providing an authentic gaming experience.

Its efficient resource utilization ensures smooth gameplay, while its extensive feature set, such as save states and cheat code support, enhances user convenience and customization options.

DeSmuMe’s cross-platform availability further broadens its accessibility, catering to Windows, Mac, and Linux users alike.

Regular updates from its dedicated development team ensure that the emulator stays up-to-date, maintaining compatibility with the latest Pokemon games and offering an overall improved experience.

Whether you’re a fan of the Pokemon franchise or want to relive the nostalgia of DS gaming, DeSmuMe stands out as an exceptional choice for emulating the Nintendo DS on your PC.

Also, it freezes the game where the users left at the last time and give the option to restart from there, whenever they start playing next.

Why use DeSmuMe?

  • High compatibility, including Pokemon games.
  • Accurate hardware emulation for an authentic experience.
  • Good performance on various systems.
  • Features like save states and cheat code support.
  • User-friendly interface.
  • Active development and updates.
  • Available on multiple platforms.

#2. MelonDS Emulator:

MelonDS EmulatorTalking about the best Nintendo DS emulators, one of the first names that turn up in the mind of the ultimate gamers is MelonDS. It has been so good so far that often the users remain confused about which one to download and use- DeSmuMe or MelonDS. Now, this Pokemon emulators for PC is a bit different, rather advanced than that of the DeSmuMe. It provides the user with advanced modes of emulation and graphic options. Also, rendering the DS games with high accuracy is another salient feature of this emulator.

There is a program named OpenGL render in this emulator. It helps the user to enjoy the games in their highest resolution even if the device they are playing from is not compatible with such a high rate of resolution. Similarly, another function of the new JIT compiler turns the emulation the fastest.

MelonDS excels in terms of performance, offering smooth gameplay even on lower-end systems. The emulator optimizes system resources, resulting in improved frame rates and overall stability. This ensures that players can enjoy their Pokemon games without encountering significant lag or slowdowns.

Another standout feature of MelonDS is its high-resolution rendering capability. It allows users to upscale the graphics of DS games, resulting in sharper and more visually appealing visuals. This enhancement enriches the Pokemon gaming experience, making the games look even more vibrant and detailed on the PC screen.

MelonDS also provides a range of additional features that enhance gameplay. It supports save states, enabling players to conveniently save and load their progress at any point. The emulator offers options for cheat code integration, multiplayer support, and customizable input configurations, providing players with flexibility and control over their gaming experience.

Furthermore, MelonDS caters to a wide user base with its cross-platform support, available on both Windows and Linux operating systems. This accessibility allows users to enjoy their favorite Pokemon games regardless of their preferred platform.

If the gamer wishes to particularly play Pokémon (Black and White) on PC, MelonDS is the best emulator to apt for.

While playing multi-player games, MelonDS allows the device to connect to the local Wi-Fi. However, the provision is there for some specific games; however, seeing it working is a win-win situation for the gamers.

Why use MelonDS?

  • High compatibility with a wide range of DS games, including the Pokemon series.
  • Excellent performance, even on lower-end systems.
  • High-resolution rendering for enhanced graphics.
  • Support for features like save states, cheat code integration, and customizable input configurations.
  • Cross-platform availability for Windows and Linux.
  • User-friendly interface and intuitive controls.
  • Support for multiplayer functionality.
  • Free and open-source software, accessible to all users.

#3. NO$GBA Emulator:

NO$GBA Emulator

NO$GBA started as a popular Nintendo DS emulator for PC to play pokemon games easily. However, it still comes at a higher rank as effective emulators of Nintendo DS games. The most important feature of this DS emulator is it supports three forms of games-GBA, Nintendo DS, and Nintendo DS Lite (DSi).

However, the weak point of this DS emulator is that it is very limited when it comes to graphic settings. However, if the users know the tweaks in the settings, they will be successful to enjoy better game graphics than that of DeSmuMe.

Perks of using this emulator for Nintendo DS games are its fast performance even in slow performing PC and it requires a little number of system resources.

There are some red crosses as well; the screen layout features are limited; the multi-player option is also experimental. However, the rest of the features make the emulator one of the best to perform in Nintendo games.

Why use NO$GBA?

  • Joystick
  • Save slot/state option
  • In-house cheat code
  • Low memory and resource usage
  • High speed
  • Supports three major sets of online games- GBA, Nintendo DS, and DSi.
  • Multi-player support (though experimental)

#4. RetroArch Emulator :

RetroArch EmulatorIf the above-mentioned Nintendo DS emulators are products; this is the category; an umbrella term. RetroArch supports as an emulator to all the retro consoles. It is an ‘all-in-one emulator; the creators behind wanted to create an amalgamation of all sorts of cores aka emulators in one particular software.

The different Nintendo Consoles that can be emulated and controlled through this emulator are SNES, NES, DSi,3DS, DS, 64 along with MAME, Atari, and many more.

The pullback part is the interface. In the beginning, the fresh users might find it a little less user-friendly as it is a little bit complicated. However, with 2-3 times of rigorous usage, it becomes smooth to use. Another thing to mention is playing games is a bit harder here than the other mentioned DS emulators. Hence the advice is not to use this emulator if the gamer is at the beginning level.

With all other necessary and standard graphic and emulation options, it can enhance the video quality of the game to 4K and let the player enjoy it even when the system does not support such high resolution. It also applies exclusively, shaders to change the look of the game screen.

The biggest drawback of this all-in-one emulator is it is too voluminous and spacious than it requires being.

Why use RetroArch?

  • An all-in-one simulator
  • Supports all sorts of consoles.
  • Has the provision of pre-loaded games.
  • Joystick support
  • Save slot option
  • The higher resolution of the play screen (4K), irrespective of the device’s range of resolution.
  • Shaders to set the vision of the gamer with the game sequences.

#5. OpenEmu:

OpenEmuSimilar to RetroArch in emulation options and supported consoles, OpenEmu is the other famous front-end software for console emulators. The biggest plus point of this emulator is its super smooth and user-friendly user interface (UI). For a Mac user, it would be as same as iTunes.

On the interface, the user will find the box art forms of games, sorted by the platforms; hence it is easier for the users to find their favorites. For the Nintendo DS games, this emulator comes with a DeSmuMe emulator.

One of the turndown points for the users is the lack of graphics settings; neither there is an enhancement of internal resolution.

A big list of controller support like Switch Pro, Wiimote, DualShock is there. Hence, as per the contributories, OpenEmu is best for Mac devices; and not for Windows devices.

Why use OpenEmu?

  • Optimum screen layout options
  • Cheat code support
  • State saving option
  • Efficient number of controller support and gamepad support
  •  Streamlined UI
  • Box art of games separated by the respective platforms.
  • Smooth experience for the Mac users.

#6. Citra:


Citra is a special emulator; it is capable of Nintendo DS console emulators. For the Pokémon (Black and White) games on PC, Citra is the finest and smoothest Nintendo DS emulator. It works fine even in a system or device that is of mediocre quality. With this in the system, one can run different 3DS titles with high resolution and full graphics.

As the emulator allows the user to enhance the internal resolutions up to 4K, best for The Legend of Zelda and Pokémon games; it is becoming the prior choice for the users.

On Citra’s official platform, one can check the list of Nintendo 3DS games and PC emulator configuration compatibility before downloading. One of the most prominent features of this software is it has an ‘in-house screen recorder’.

Also, it is local Wi-Fi compatible as well as multi-player supportable.

Why use Citra?

  • Open-source
  • Most compatible with all kinds of Pokémon games
  • Networking and high-level customer support
  • Highly compatible with Nintendo 3DS games
  • Supports multiplayer
  • Joystick, cheat code support along screen layout options.
  • Wi-Fi compatible
  • Very high resolution:10x internal resolution
  • Checklist for 3DS games and compatible PC emulators.

Recommended Reading :

#7. DraStic DS Emulator:

DraStic DS EmulatorAs Nintendo DS is one of those games that are handheld, it is quite natural that gamers eagerly want them in their Android handsets like smartphones.

Hence, this DraStic DS emulator puts itself a level up by making itself available for Android users as well. All the features of this emulator are as same as that of other Pokemon emulator for PC.

However, the efficiency goes better with better configuration devices.

It contents six different layout options. The only reason why users step down from using this app is that it is not free of cost; the app comes at $4.99.

Why use DraStic DS?

  • It is Windows as well as Android friendly.
  • Joystick, button mapping, save states, controller support- all are present as a standard emulator.
  • Options for increasing internal resolution
  • Total seven different layout options including the default one- single view, stacked view, dual view, shorter screen view, and more.
  • Enhances emulation speed remarkably.
  • Uses Online Google Drive to store the data
  • Supports hardware controller and fast forward option.

#8. Project 64

Project 64Project 64 is a highly used Nintendo 64 emulator known for its adaptability in bringing the N64 gaming experience to modern systems. It forms the foundation for several emulator projects, including the widely used RetroArch. Since it’s open-source, a dedicated community consistently updates it, enhancing its compatibility and performance.

What sets Project 64 apart is its reliability, especially with Pokémon games. The emulator’s commitment to accuracy ensures smooth and authentic gameplay, making Pokémon titles run just like they did on the original hardware. In fact, games like Pokémon Snap and Pokémon Stadium often perform equally or even better than on the N64 console itself.

Project 64 goes beyond stability; it optimizes Pokémon games for modern systems. This not only means smoother performance but also improved graphics compared to the N64. This enhancement is particularly valuable for games that faced technical limitations on the N64 but can shine on more advanced hardware.

A unique feature of Project 64 is its availability on Android devices. This allows players to enjoy Pokémon games on the move, using touchscreen controls. The relatively minimal technical issues ensure a smooth mobile gaming experience.


Above are the best Nintendo DS emulators that the users can faithfully use to enhance their experience of gaming to the topmost levels.


Q: What is a Nintendo DS emulator?

A: A Nintendo DS emulator is a software program that allows you to play Nintendo DS games on your computer by emulating the DS hardware.

Q: Which is the best Nintendo DS emulator for playing Pokemon games on PC?

A: DeSmuMe and MelonDS are widely regarded as two of the best emulators for playing Pokemon games on PC. Both offer high compatibility, accuracy, and performance.

Q: Can I play Pokemon games on a Nintendo DS emulator?

A: Yes, you can play Pokemon games on a Nintendo DS emulator. Emulators like DeSmuMe and MelonDS support a wide range of Pokemon games, including the main series and spin-offs.

Q: Do I need to own a physical copy of the Pokemon game to play it on an emulator?

A: It is generally recommended to own a physical copy of the Pokemon game you want to play on an emulator. Emulators typically require you to have the game ROM file, which can be created from your own physical copy.

Q: Are DSI emulators for PC legal?

A:  DSI Emulators themselves are legal software, but the legality of using game ROMs depends on your location and the specific circumstances. It is generally advised to only use game ROMs for which you have legal ownership.

Q: Can I speed up the gameplay in a emulator?

A: Yes, most emulators offer options to increase the gameplay speed. This feature allows you to fast-forward through certain parts of the game, such as long dialogues or repetitive actions.

Q: Can I use a game controller to play Pokemon games on a Nintendo DS emulator?

A: Yes, most emulators support game controllers. You can connect a compatible controller to your PC and configure it within the emulator settings for a more console-like gaming experience.

Q: Are Nintendo DS emulators compatible with all PC operating systems?

A: No, compatibility varies depending on the emulator. However, popular emulators like DeSmuMe and MelonDS are typically available for multiple platforms, including Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Q: Can I transfer my Pokemon save files between a Nintendo DS emulator and a physical DS console?

A: Yes, it is possible to transfer save files between an emulator and a physical console. Emulators usually allow you to export and import save files, which can be transferred to and from a physical DS console using methods like an SD card.