It’s somewhat of a paradox, but playing Android games on Android often isn’t even close to the full gaming experience. When a game has a rich concept and heavy design, you often find that its potential is limited on an Android device. It’s a pity to see a good game being stuck into narrow technical capacities of an average Android smartphone for games like huniepop.
Luckily, there is a solution. You can bring the most consuming Android games to your PC and give them a robust environment where the design and functionality will truly shine. All you need is downloading a powerful emulator and setting up the playing conditions. If you have never done this before, don’t stress – we have a detailed guide just for this purpose.
Choosing an emulator
This is where the transformation begins. By performing emulation, you are converting your PC into an Android device. This process is responsible for the majority of the CPU workload during your gaming experience. A great emulator makes the experience feel seamless but expanded at the same time. The bad one is easy to identify, too – it’s full of bugs, the game is freezing, and the interface doesn’t adhere to original proportions.
Our choice is Bluestacks 4
We chose this one not because it’s the most powerful tool out there – you can find higher-performing options if you want. However, what swayed us about Bluestacks is the fact that it works for older computers and doesn’t necessarily require a modern multicore processing unit.
The advantages of Bluestacks 4
- Reliable frame rates and intuitive controls. We tested many emulators, but this was the only one that made the PC experience more comfortable than the original one. The game felt expended and adapted to the bigger screen and functionality.
- Swipe mechanics are adapted to a mouse. You can use a keyboard for motion controls.
- It’s the perfect option for adventure titles, runners, arcades.
The disadvantages of Bluestacks 4
- The program trades power for intuitivity – it’s not the best choice for heavy multiplayer games.
- The emulator is poorly adapted to first-person shooters – the fans of Modern Combat might be disappointed.
- No advanced customization. Emulation pros might find themselves bored with limited settings.
How to install Bluestacks 4
Step 1. Go to the official emulator’s website and download the software file.
Step 2. Connect your Google account to the software. You don’t have to provide a phone confirmation, but the tool requires you to validate the email address.
Step 3. The software is integrated with the Google Play store – you can access it directly from the emulator. The search results automatically display only the games that can be accessed via the emulator. So, all titles that you’ll see in the Google Play are already adapted to your PC.
Step 4. Be sure to configure settings in the menu. Open the ‘Engine’ panel and set graphics to the Open GL mode. Also, specify the number of cores of your CPU and raise the bar of memory slider settings. To apply the settings, click on Restart Now.
2. Setting up a controller
You can map Android and Xbox 360 controls with Xpadder, a PC control adapter. In the tool, you can customize the arrow keys and WASD. You can do this before opening the game – but it’s best to try the default settings first. Oftentimes, the built-in controls turn out to be the best one.
Be sure to connect Xpadder to Bluestacks 4 – for this, you need to open that ‘Settings’ menu again. The controller, just like the emulator, works grade for arcades and racing games – we tested PewPew and Sky Force Reloaded as well as Asphalt 8.
You can take a look at Xpadder alternative, too, if you’d rather play shooters and strategies. There might be better options for you out there, although this one is pretty universal, too.
Our best control tips
To show you how to set up the emulated controls, we decided to customize PewPew. The controls of this one are relatively straightforward – you have a motion to the left to control the ship’s movements and a panel to the right side of the screen for doing directional shots.
The step-by-step guide to editing the controls
- Step 1. Open the game and go to the tutorial.
- Step 2. At the end of the tutorial, you’ll see the button for ‘Open Keyboard Controls UI’ button. Click it, and go to the menu.
- Step 3. Find the D-pad setting s and add the panel. D-pad will be responsible for controls on the right part of the screen. Now, you’ll be able to send shots in the game.
- Step 4. Choose traditional WASD controls for the left hand.
For more complex games, you can choose additional settings – panning shots, tap spots, pinch-to-zoom, and MOBA skill pad for precise shooting. This advanced customization is usually applied for first-person shooters.
3. Editing sound settings
If we were to define the biggest problem of PC Android emulation, it would be the fact that a lot of emulators don’t let you turn off the sound of the game. Bluestacks is not an exception. Luckily, you can solve this concern by turning off your speakers or muting your dynamics.
This is a problem if you like to play with music, although you can use your phone for that.
If you can’t put up with the unwanted sound under no conditions, you can download EarTrumpet, a free tool that allows muting sounds in Windows programs selectively.
Performance testing results
On a mid-range PC, the quality of performance will be really similar to the original Android experience – the average FPS for medium computers is around 27.7 FPS. On a high-performance PC, however, you can achieve much higher results and play games with 720p. The higher is resolution, the more powerful device you’ll need, so keep that in mind if you want to play graphically demanding games.
Emulation is done in two simple steps. You need to download the emulator and customize controls – and you are ready to go. To get the most out of emulation, be sure to review your CPU state.
Your processing unit performs all the workload of turning the computer into an Android device – you can see why its technical capacities are crucial. On the plus side, you don’t have to invest in graphics card – unlike typical PC gaming, Android graphics are not as heavy and challenging to process.
As soon as you stay aware of your PC’s capacities and keep tracks of controls settings, you’ll have an excellent emulation experience.