On the opposite side of the spectrum from Cemu Emulator which emulates the Wii U console, a console that did not make headlines in good ways or had record-breaking pre-orders and sales there is Citra, an emulator that plays Nintendo 3DS games.
The Nintendo 3DS is one of Nintendo’s most anticipated systems, so anticipated that it doubled the number of pre-orders of the already record-breaking Wii Console. It is no surprise then that lovers and fans of the 3DS will look to preserve their beloved games or simply want to play their games on a much bigger and better screen through emulation.
Is it just because the Nintendo 3DS was insanely popular during its heyday that Citra is also so popular? The short answer is a no! Citra has a lot going for itself that made it earn its large community and following from being a good emulator to start with in terms of performance to having great features that all console emulators should have.
Let’s start as always with the installation. It is very simple, if you are on a desktop you just need to download an executable file that acts as a setup wizard, follow the prompts and you’re done, it is installed. The same is also very simple for Android and macOS. If you have installed any emulator before, this will be a walk in the park. The nightly builds of Citra also starting to support Macs with the latest M1 Chip!
So what are some of the features of Citra that every emulator should have? The first is auto-updates. With Citra you don’t need manual updates to keep your application at the latest version, this is a very simple feature but not all emulators still have this and you would need to constantly check the emulator’s website for information on updates and bug fixes.
Next is a big one, multiplayer, yes, you can play online with Citra Emulator. Some games on the 3DS heavily relied on an online or multiplayer component for users to have one, that is why the development of Citra has made it a point to include networking support. Although not all games that multiplayer function have network support as of the moment, given the hard work and dedication of the development the number of compatible games will surely grow.
Speaking of compatible games most of the best 3DS games run perfectly or great on Citra with minimal slowdowns, graphical glitches, or even audio glitches thanks to recent updates. Even heavy titles like Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate can run at great framerates on Citra. You can check the compatibility list on their website that is being constantly being updated both by the developers, testers, and the community.
Worried about system requirements? Well, you shouldn’t worry too much, Citra’s recommended specifications for Windows and Mac is only an Intel i3-4130 which is a CPU from 2013, and for Android a Snapdragon 835 which is a flagship chip albeit from 2016. If you have modern hardware, given the fast developments in terms of performance both on desktop and mobile devices there is a high likelihood that your device can handle Citra no problem.