Get ready to do less work and more play as we check out the best Pokemon emulators for PC!
The retro gaming community is relentless when it comes to emulation, and we continually thank them for it. Keeping old games alive for newer generations is super important.
But it’s also equally important for us to be able to play our favourite Pokemon games on a big screen or while at work.
Hey, I’m just being honest!
Thankfully, we do a lot of procrastinating and know all of the best Pokemon emulators for PC that will lovingly recreate every Pokemon adventure.
Now, some of our emulator lists show programs in an order of quality. This one, however, shows the best for each Nintendo handheld.
You’ll find the handheld in question next to title of each segment, though some of you should be able to guess which console I’m talking about from the picture!
So, without further ado, let’s kick off and check out the best Pokemon emulators for PC and get gaming!
Table of Contents
1. BGB – Gameboy DMG
BGB is still highly revered by emulator fans the world over. Primarily known for emulating DMG games, it runs incredibly smoothly on Windows PCs, allowing users to relive all those amazing Pokemon moments anytime, anywhere.
Some emulators require you to click a button a couple of seconds in advance in order to make attacks or movements on time, but BGB isn’t one of them. The buttons are super quick and the latency is incredibly low.
Which means you’ll be able to throw that Pokeball before Mankey runs away.
It’s not just the Pokemon titles that work smoothly on this emulator; the compatibly list is huge!
And, with a slick debugger for inquisitive users to dive into while playing with emulation settings, it’s one of the most customisable emulators out there too.
Using BGB definitely feels like you’re playing the original GameBoy title, and adding cheats into the mix makes it even more exciting!
2. TGBDual – Gameboy Color
- Open Source
Next up on our list of the best Pokemon emulators for PC is a Gameboy Color special; TGB Dual.
Unlike some fo the emulators in this list, TGB Dual doesn’t get regular updates. Still, it works a treat and has a special trick up its sleeve.
It can run two games at once!
You know what that means, right? You don’t need to wait for a friend to come over with the opposing game to be able to trade with them. Now, you can just trade with yourself!
Plus, with a little settings surfing, you can have two people on the same machine playing two different games.
Couch-co-op, PC style!
And that’s not all. If you just want to play one game but still battle a friend who also has TGB Dual running, then there’s a WiFi play option too.
Pokemon Gold online… how cool is that!
This emulator launched in Japan, but there was an update that made it possible for Western gamers to change the language. The interface is really easy to navigate and the installation process won’t leave you tearing your hair out.
There’s no better home for GBC games, and no other emulator that plays two of them at once!
3. VisualBoy Advance – Gameboy Advance
- Windows, Mac, Linux
VisualBoy Advance might be part of the emulator old guard, but age is only a number. This program still provides the best results every single time and still gets updates.
That means all the bugs get ironed out, and it works on both old and new PCs.
The best Pokemon emulators for PC need to be reliable and rock solid when it comes to graphics and gameplay. Thankfully, VisualBoy Advance is both. All the best Pokemon games work on it with zero issues.
That just leaves you with the task of making sure your boss isn’t looking while you play Pokemon Emerald.
For the coding fans out there, VisualBoy Advance is written in C and C++. There are a bunch of sweet features available to tap into such as joystick supper and screen recording too.
Now, you can record the moment you bag your favourite Pokemon and replay it back again and again!
4. RetroArch – Multiple Consoles
- Open Source
- Multiple Platforms
Do I really need to introduce RetroArch? It’s one of those emulators that appears in every one of our ‘best lists’ here at Retro Dodo, and for good reason.
If you had met that genie on Mario Party 4 and asked for an emulator that does everything, he would have produced RetroArch from thin air.
RetroArch recreates any console with ease. Like a virtual ToysRUs, it has all the consoles under one roof and uses cores to do it.
Cores are essentially the virtual innards of your favourite consoles, and in this case, Nintendo handhelds.
The best core to use for DMG and GBC gameplay is Gambatte, while mGBA provides stellar results for GBA titles.
Choose overlays to make it look like you’ve got the console up on your display for that final touch too!
5. Citra – Nintendo DS
- Open Source
- Windows, OSX, Linux, Android
Anyone looking to play DS or 3DS Pokemon games on PC needs only one emulator, and that’s Citra.
Can you remember when we talked about Citra back in our best Nintendo Switch emulator article? Well, Yuzu, the the best Switch emulator, comes from the same team that make Citra.
And now you know how to play Pokemon Switch games on PC too!
Citra works flawlessly on the PC. It boasts multiplayer support and can even play your favourite Pokemon titles in 4K.
Not that I need to give anymore reason why Citra deserves a place in this list of the best Pokemon emulators for PC, but there is also the option to hook up a joystick too.
Add 10x internal resolution into the mix too, and you’ve got a program that will take some serious beating!
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Seb Santabarbara has bought every Nintendo console that has ever been released in his 33 years on Planet Earth. His favourite game franchise is Zelda, and he’s patiently waiting for Banjo-Kazooie to come back to the fold. When he’s not playing games, he’s travelling the world in his self-converted camper van.