Android News: Recently released Citra MMJ build (3DS Emulator) by Weihouya pushing playable framerates in New Super Mario Bros 2, Persona Q & others! – You can play some 3DS games on your Android smartphone as long as it’s powerful enough
It’s no secret that unofficial Citra builds for Android have been around for quite some time but only recently have higher-end smartphones been packed with enough power to push playable framerates in some 3DS games. In this article, we’ll be looking at a recently released build of Citra MMJ by Weihouya which has been shown to provide a playable experience in certain 3DS titles!
What is Citra MMJ? What phone do I need to be able to play some 3DS games?
Citra MMJ is an unofficial fork of the Citra emulator that has Android-specific hacks in order to improve performance on smartphones in the pursuit of getting playable frame rates. From what could be gathered on a thread in r/EmulationOnAndroid, this emulator, which originated on the Chinese forum Weibo, was recently marred in controversy as its release was apparently breaking GPL since the source code wasn’t provided when the binaries (in an APK) were published.
However, things have cleared up now as the emulator’s source code was published on GitHub and an easily-accessible APK file is available for download (link below). According to its GitHub release page, the emulator requires you to have a 64-bit ARM (ARMv8/arm64) Android smartphone running Android 7.0 or above so if your Android phone is a bit old, you’re probably out of luck. Furthermore, your phone needs to have a beefy SoC (System-On-Chip) such as the SnapDragon 845/855 in order to get playable frame rates in any games. As a result, it could be said that 3DS emulation on Android is more or less limited to flagships such as the Samsung Galaxy S10 or the OnePlus 7 for now.
Which games are playable?
According to various user reports on Reddit and elsewhere, these games are currently playable provided you have a beefy-enough phone:
- Persona Q runs almost perfectly on a SnapDragon 855
- Return to Samus works very well on a Snapdragon 845
- Rune Factory 4 runs well
- Pokémon Ultra Moon runs at 30 FPS (full speed) on a SnapDragon 855
- Pokémon Omega Ruby is running at 30FPS in some places
- From tests in this video, New Super Mario Bros 2 is running at 60FPS most of the time, Pokemon Y works pretty well and TLZ: Ocarina of Time 3D can maintain 25-30FPS most the time (runs at 30FPS normally)
- Fire Emblem Awakening HD works decently although there’s slow-down in battles
- More tests can be found by checking the videos on MasterKillua’s channel
- Please note that I was personally not able to verify any of these performance figures as I’m not in possession of a high-end Android device
If you’re interested in more news regarding 3DS emulation on Android, make sure to check out this article about Mikage which is an Android-centered Nintendo 3DS emulator. Currently, neobrain is doing a fair deal of progress on it and you may read the latest progress report found here for more information. Other than Citra MMJ, there’s also Dolphin MMJ which can be downloaded from here if you want to play some less-demanding Wii games on your Android smartphone/tablet.
Citra MMJ’s GitHub Release Page (download link): https://github.com/weihuoya/citra/releases