Mobile gaming has come a long way in recent years. Smartphones are capable of running complex and graphically intensive titles that offer great multiplayer and single-player experiences. But for those looking to take mobile gaming to a larger screen with a mouse and keyboard, here are the Top 2 ways to play your favorite Android games on Windows PC.
It is worth noting that these methods are for the Windows 10 and Windows 11 operating systems. The latter is preferable since it natively supports Android applications. You also need to enable hardware virtualization in the BIOS, although Windows 11 users can do so via the ‘Windows features’ settings. The first method is the way most gamers run Android apps on PC, which is emulating:
Emulators are pretty popular and there are many options to choose from. BlueStacks is one of the more widely used platforms and its latest version is BlueStacks 5. Over the years its UI has been polished out and it brings a reliable experience. So here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use it:
- First, you need to download the BlueStacks 5 app from the official BlueStacks website. Make sure to download the right version to match the Windows you are using (10/11).
- After the download, install the app on your PC and sign in to Google Play Store.
- Once you’re logged in, simply search for the games you want to play in the search bar directly or on the Play Store app and install them.
- Start playing the game after these steps are completed.
Note: The emulator is not perfect (compared to Android phones) and the games are prone to crashing. However, stability can be improved by manually tinkering with the settings. I’d recommend providing the Bluestacks with at least 4 cores and 8GB of RAM in the “Performance” category in the settings menu. On the Graphics setting, run the emulator on Compatibility mode and OpenGL.
Play Directly with Google Play Games Beta PC
Back in July, Google announced that it is expanding the availability (now over 120 countries) of the Play Games Beta for PC. This lets you directly install and run compatible Android apps on your Windows PC, unlike emulators such as BlueStacks. It has a more streamlined process, so let’s check it out:
- Head to the official Google Play website to download the Play Games app for Windows.
- Run the installation after the download is complete and wait for it to finish.
- Once the installation is complete, you will be asked to sign into your Google account and accept the company’s terms and conditions.
- Now, you will be taken to the main hub that showcases all the games that are compatible with the Windows platform.
- Search for the game you wish to play and install it. Finally, run the game and enjoy Android games natively on your Windows PC.
Note: Keep in mind that Google Play Games for PC is still in Beta so it won’t be completely stable either. The company has also shared the minimum requirements for this platform, which include Windows 10 (v2004), Intel UHD Graphics 630 GPU, 8 GB of RAM, CPU with 4 physical cores, and 10GB of SSD storage.
The best way to play Android games is still on your Android smartphone. These apps were developed specifically for these mobile devices and the gameplay will likely be smoother as well. However, emulating or running the apps directly on your Windows PC opens a new avenue to experience Android games. So you can try it out for yourself by following this guide.