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The Best Nintendo Switch Emulators For Windows

Although the Nintendo Switch was designed for portability, what if you wish to play Nintendo Switch games on your Windows PC? Here’s how.


The Nintendo Switch is one of the most loved consoles today. Many users prefer the Nintendo Switch to Xbox and Playstation.

You can download the Nintendo Switch emulator to your Windows computer. This will allow you to play any Switch game you want. These are the top emulators that you can download and install to your computer.

Is it legal to use Nintendo Switch emulators?

Before we start, let me clarify that downloading and using emulators are legal. It is illegal to share copyrighted Roms. You aren’t doing anything wrong if you use a Nintendo Switch emulator and don’t have illegally downloaded games. Enjoy your favorite Switch games with these Nintendo Switch emulators.

But you have to overcome the technical hurdle. The Nintendo Switch is more difficult to emulate than older devices such as the NES and PlayStation 1. To effectively emulate any game at an acceptable frame-per-second (FPS), you need a good emulator.

You should ensure that your computer is at least 6th generation Intel Core i3 or Ryzen 3, and that you have at least 8GB RAM. This will allow you to smoothly load the game without any lags.

You will need 16GB RAM to get the best possible experience. However, 8GB of RAM is sufficient. A NVIDIA GTX 1060 or Radeon RX470 graphics card is recommended.

It is best to buy the game in its physical form. This will ensure that you do not have any privacy concerns. Emulators are not the actual game, they just copy the device. It is still best to have the exact game you want to use.

RELATED: Should you buy physical or digital Nintendo Switch games?

1. Yuzu

Yuzu was the first Nintendo Switch emulator to be released. This open-source emulator was developed by Citra (one of the most well-known 3Ds emulators). Yuzu is free to download on Windows.

The emulator uses C++ to emulate the hardware components on Nintendo Switch. It is cross-platform and supports high-performance apps. It’s possible for some games to not work because it was written in C++, so the emulator’s performance may not be as good as in other titles.


But don’t worry. You can find a list of compatible games with the emulator from the developer. You can check the emulator to see if your favorite game is compatible.

Surprisingly though, this platform works well with popular games like Super Mario Odyssey, Legend of Zelda, BOTW, or Mario Kart 8. It still cannot load many popular games. However, developers may be able to find a way for them to be loaded on the platform.

RELATED: How to Save Money on Your Nintendo Switch GamesAn important point to remember is that the emulator can be a little difficult for new users. Once you are comfortable with the emulator, it will be easy to play your favorite Switch games.


You can download the Yuzu emulator on Windows or Linux. It is a popular and functional emulator that has been used by many other Nintendo Switch emulators. You can find them all here. Yuzu can display your Switch games at their best if your computer supports 4K resolution.

It also supports NVIDIA GPU and AMD GPU, so you can play heavy-duty Nintendo video games on your computer almost without any problems.

Download: Yuzu (Free)

2. Ryujinx

Ryujinx another emulator that is compatible with Windows. This emulator, like Yuzu’s, is free to download.

Open-source Nintendo Switch emulator written in C#. It can offer better gaming performance and more precise emulation than other emulators. It is also simpler to use.


It is compatible with Windows and Linux, just like Yuzu. Although macOS support is not yet available, the developer has announced plans to release one.

The emulator has many features that make it easy for new users to navigate the platform. Ryujinx can play only a few Nintendo Switch games. However, it offers over 1000 games. The rest can be loaded, but you won’t actually be able to play them.

You can also search for compatible games. While most Pokemon games can be played, other popular titles such as Animal Crossing or Mario Kart cannot. The developers are working hard to make sure that games run smoothly and accurately. If you’re patient enough you might be able to play these games sooner.

RELATED: Best Nintendo Switch EShop Game

Ryujinx is a great choice for users who don’t need a complex setup. It has a simple interface and can run 60 frames per second. The console experience is remarkably simulated, even though it’s running on your desktop.


Download: Ryujinx (Free)

3. Cemu

Cemu doesn’t technically run Nintendo Switch emulators, but it can play Switch games. Cemu was originally created to emulate Wii U (the predecessor of Nintendo Switch). Although it is not as powerful as the other emulators, Cemu can still run Switch games with great performance and accuracy. You can run current games because the emulator is regularly updated by its developers.

RELATED: Why the Wii U Failed and How Nintendo Bounced Back

We love that you can modify the games you are playing right from your launch settings. You can even play with advanced features like graphic packs that allow you to modify resolution, shading, quality, and other settings. Many games, such as Ryujinx or Yuzu, can be played at 60 FPS.

Cemu is the best choice if you want to play both Wii U and Nintendo Switch games. It’s compatible with Wii U games so don’t be surprised that it doesn’t support some Switch games.


Download Cemu Free

Only the best Nintendo Switch emulators

Nintendo Switch emulators can be used as long as you do not download any ROMS you don’t have. These are the best three programs for playing Switch games on Windows.


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