Play NES Games on Android

Edited by Jay

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The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was released in 1985 and quickly became a household hit. As far as 8-bit video game consoles go, the NES is regarded as one of, if not, the best. Those of us who are old enough to have been around during the system's initial release can recant many fun sessions playing a wide variety of games like; Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Mega Man, Rad Racer, Tetris, and many more.

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If you're feeling a tad nostalgic, and want to try your hand at some of those old NES games, you can do just that with your Android phone or tablet. Thanks to video game console emulators, users can play near-perfect emulation of their favorite old school games, right on their mobile device. Emulators work by emulating the game play of console systems with a computer device. With smartphones being as powerful as they are, playing games that were designed for 8-bit systems is easily manageable. Some emulators also support WiFi/Bluetooth controllers, which is a bonus when playing older console games. Touch controls are fine for many newer games that are designed for mobile devices, but when it comes to older console games, physical controllers can't be beaten.

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Emulators run what are known as ROM files or images, and is where game information or code is stored. ROMs are essentially input files for emulators and are required to play games.

In the following VisiHow tutorial, we're going to show how to install an NES emulator app, where to copy, and how to run ROM files (play games), as well as using a controller. For this article, we used a Google Pixel running Android 8.1.0, NES.emu (paid emulator app), and an Xbox One S wireless controller.

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**PLEASE NOTE** To abide by copyright laws, you should only download ROMs that are in the public domain or, use backups of games you own.

Install NES.emu for Android

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There are many free and paid NES emulators available on the Play Store. After testing several, we decided that NES.emu (which is a paid application) was one of the best regarding performance and options. You are free to use any emulator you wish as they all relatively work in the same way.

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  1. 1
    From the home screen, swipe up to access your app tray.
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  2. 2
    Once you're inside the devices app tray, tap the "Play Store" shortcut.
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  3. 3
    With the Play Store app open, type; "nes.emu" (without the quotes) into the search box.
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  4. 4
    When the search results populate, tap the first link (NES.emu).
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  5. 5
    On the app's info screen, tap the green button with the price in it.
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  6. 6
    In the first pop-up box, tap the green "BUY" button. In the second pop-up box, enter the password for the Google account linked to the Play Store, then tap "CONFIRM".
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    For more information on managing payment options, check out our Google Play Guide.
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  7. 7
    Once the payment is processed, a final "Payment successful" pop-up will appear. Tap "CONTINUE" to proceed.
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Adding ROMs to an Android Device

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  1. 1
    Connect your device to your computer with the USB charging/data cable. With your device connected, navigate to the folder where your ROMs are located and copy them to the clipboard.
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    NES ROMs should have the file extension ".nes". NES.emu can also read rar or zip files.
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  2. 2
    Using Windows Explorer, navigate to your device's internal storage. In our example, we created a couple of folders; ROMs > NES.
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  3. 3
    Once inside the folder that you want to store your ROMs on your device, right-click and select "Paste".
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Loading ROMs and Playing NES Games on Android

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  1. 1
    From wither the home screen or app tray, tap the NES.emu shortcut.
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  • 2
    The app will need permission to access your photos, media, and files, tap "ALLOW" to continue.
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  • 3
    Once on the main menu you can select a controller (if you have one connected) by tapping, "Key/Gamepad Input Setup".
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  • 4
    From the Key/Gamepad Input Setup screen, scroll through and tap your controller. For our example, we used an Xbox One S wireless controller.
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  • 5
    To start a game, tap "Load Game" from the main menu.
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  • 6
    Next, navigate to the folder you copied your ROMs to in the previous section of this tutorial, then tap a ROM.
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  • 7
    Once a ROM is loaded, you're ready to play. To use touch controls, tap anywhere on the screen.
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  • To make the touch controls disappear, rotate the screen/device.

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    1. 1
      To access the in-game menu, tap the three-dot menu icon in the upper right corner. From this menu you can; access cheats, reset the game, save state, take a screenshot, and close the game.
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    If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.

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    Article Info

    Categories : Gaming | Software | Use Android Oreo | Use Google Pixel and Pixel

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