How to Play Android Games on a PC
Playing games on your Android phone can get a bit tiring after a while, no matter the size of the screen. Sure, there’s the convenience of indulging in your favorite pastime while waiting in line at the grocery store, but nothing beats your wide monitor screen at home.
If only there was a way to play that new Android game on your PC? There is and also several options to choose from.
How to Play Android Games on a PC with BlueStacks
Without a doubt, the most popular way to play Android games on any laptop or computer is to use an emulator.
Essentially, an emulator is an app that emulates another platform so as to be able to run software created for that platform. So, in this case, you’d get an Android emulator for Windows. One widely used choice is BlueStacks.
That’s no coincidence as BlueStacks is particularly stable and easy to install and use, and even though it might use a lot of resources it works most of the time. Let’s see how you can download and run BlueStacks on your PC:
- Go to the official BlueStacks site where you’ll see a download green rectangle on the home screen.
- You’ll be prompted to select the install pack location. Select a folder and click “Save.”
- The download will take a few moments, depending on your internet speed, and once it’s done, run the BlueStacks installer.
- The installation will take a few minutes and after that, you’ll be able to see the BlueStacks app on your Windows Start Menu.
- By clicking on the BlueStacks icon you’ll be prompted to log into your Google Account.
- You’ll notice that there are a few apps installed by default and that Play Store is there too from which you can download games.
- Search the games that you want to download and proceed to install them on your computer. Every app that you open in BlueStacks will appear as a separate tab that you can switch back and forth.
Things to Keep in Mind
While BlueStacks works really well, the developers haven’t updated the software in a while. However, it still works with most Android games available on the Play Store.
Also, before you even start the download, make sure that you have at least 2GB of RAM and at last 5GB of free disc space. You also have to be an Administrator of your PC to install BlueStacks, which requires Windows 7 and above.
The BlueStacks Settings button is at the bottom right of the screen and you can use it to change certain graphical and hardware settings.
How to Play Android Games on PC Without BlueStacks Emulator
Some gamers aren’t as comfortable to play in BlueStacks or another emulator. These emulators take up resources and might trigger your antivirus.
Whatever your reason for not wanting to use BlueStacks, other options are available.
If you already have an older version of Android Studio, you will need to download the latest to get access to Play Store. However, if it’s your first time getting acquainted with the platform, you should know that it’s designed for Android app developers.
Assuming that you’re not an app developer, the feature in Android Studio to look for is Android Virtual Device Manager or AVD manager. It’s as close to being an emulator without actually being one.
It offers a lot of versatility, too, when integrating Android features and your PC, such as receiving calls and text messages. Here’s how you can download and install Android Studio on your PC:
- Go to the Android Studio official page and click on the “Download Android Studio” button.
- When the app downloads, run the .exe file and start the installation.
- Once Android Studio finishes installing, you can find it in the Start Menu of your Windows and start using it.
Keep in mind that even though Android Studio is a solid alternative to BlueStacks, it’s also more complex and has other uses.
There is another way to play Android games on your PC without using BlueStacks. You can use the open-source initiative project called Android x86. Its purpose is to port Android devices to computers that run on x86 processors by AMD or Intel. Here’s how you do it:
- Go to the Android x86 official page and click on the “Download” button on the home screen.
- Now, choose between two mirror options, “OSDN” and “FOSSHUB.”
- As the file downloads, go to the “Rufus” tool that will help you create a bootable USB flash drive.
- Then insert a flash drive in the USB port of your PC. Rufus will detect the flash drive and you can download it.
- Then run the Android x86 installation and restart your computer.
- You’ll be able to load the Android x86 system on your PC and proceed to set it up so you can download games from Play Store.
Another viable option to play Android games on your computer is to use a Chromebook. If you’re already looking for a laptop that would work great with Android games, Chromebook will work flawlessly.
And that’s because you don’t have to install anything. It already runs on Google’s OS so there’s no need for an emulator.
It’s a small laptop that relies on an internet connection rather than storage. Chromebooks can run Android games natively, and that’s a step up from playing games on your phone.
How to Play Android Games on a PC Using a Keyboard and Mouse
All of the options above will work with a keyboard and mouse. However, one in particular works as a shortcut that essentially allows you to play Android games on your phone and PC at the same time.
All you need to do is mirror your phone to your windows by using a mirroring app. You’re still using your phone but everything you do is also displayed on your screen.
There are many options to do this and some Samsung phones, for example, already have this feature installed. But many Android phones don’t, and that’s when you have to install a mirroring app to make it work. Here’s what you can try:
- Open the Play Store on your Android phone and download the Screen Stream Mirroring app.
- Once you install it, make sure to restart your device.
- Then launch the app on your phone and make sure that your phone and your PC are on the same Wi-Fi network.
- Alternatively, you can connect your phone and your PC with a USB cable.
- Launch the game that you want to play and you’ll be able to see it on both your PC screen and phone screen.
Choose Your Favorite Way to a Big Screen
Android games have come a long way and there are so many addictive releases. But when a small screen just isn’t enough, there are several ways you can play your game on the PC.
BlueStacks will always be a go-to solution for most, but that’s not the only way to go. The Android Studio and Android x86 solutions are perhaps for those who are already into game development or something similar.
Mirroring is a shortcut that works brilliantly if you have a fast Wi-Fi connection and a newer phone.
What’s going to be your choice? Have you tried it? Let us know in the comment section below.