Normally, when you download an emulator for your Android or iOS device, you simply go to Google Play Store to find them. Some are free and while some are being paid at a minimal cost. Whatever type of emulator you want, they are available at relative ease. It could be the same for those that use it for PCs or computers.
However, it can be easier for a PC since you can just look up reliable emulators online. That being said, there are those downloadable apk emulators circulating online from various sources.
The APK is only usable on Android devices because it stands for Android Package. It sounds good, but we don’t recommend using APK emulators that are found in various sources, and here are the reasons why.
Other Related Topics
- Pokemon Emulator for Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac OS
- 5 Best Nintendo DS Emulators for Android
- 3 Best GBA Emulators for Android
- My Boy! Free GBA Emulator
Table of Contents
What are APK Files
APK files are more than just emulators. That’s right, and we’re not just limiting the APK files to any GB, GBC, GBA, and NDS emulators. Any app or program for Android devices can have the APK file format.
Without talking too much about the complexities, an APK file format is something that you can download like any app. However, instead of getting to use the app or, in this case, the emulator right away, you have to install it.
That’s an added layer of work because if you download a regular app from the Playstore, it will automatically be installed. That’s the beauty of it since it automatically installs, and you don’t have to do anything more. Plus, if the files are incompatible with your device, you can’t download them.
Where you can download APK files
You cannot download the APK files directly from the Playstore; these files are found on different site sources. However, downloading these files often comes with a risk.
Also read: Best GBA Emulators for iOS
After downloading, you can just transfer the APK file to your Android devices. You can even download the APK file from an internet browser app on your device.
Top 3 Reasons Why We Don’t Recommend Using APK Emulators
1. Safety Reasons
One reason is for safety because people download APK files from internet websites and not from the official Playstore. There’s a chance that you might download an APK emulator that contains viruses or perhaps malware in it.
We’re not saying all APK emulators are like this, but that’s a risk when you download from a site that is a bit questionable in the process.
While the APK file itself may not have the virus upon downloading, as soon as you install it, that’s when the virus may pop up and infect your device; the viruses can vary as well, which can be dangerous. It could be simply corrupting your device, which is the least of your worries. The worst that can happen is that the APK file may plant spyware that will have access to your device.
2. Incompatibility Issues
While emulators aren’t really that demanding when it comes to processing power, sometimes incompatibility issues may happen. It could be that your device’s OS is not up to date or cannot handle the burden of the APK emulator.
A DS emulator could be a good example because it can be a bit more demanding when it comes to processing power. Older phones and devices may not have the capabilities to run a DS emulator or whatever.
On the other hand, the apk file won’t update to its latest version whenever available. As soon as the developer pushes an update, you are still keeping the outdated version.
Just as we said, when you download an APK file, you have to install it. That can be a pain because it can be inconvenient. Let’s say you’re downloading an APK file that has a large size.
Then, once you install it, it’s not the one you’re looking for. You have to uninstall it again, delete it, and download the file from another source or another file in general.
Also read: 5 Best GBA Emulators for PC
Why Some Will Download APK Files
Now that you know why we don’t recommend using APK emulators, some people still would download and use them.
There are some apps that are restricted in your area. For example, when POKEMON MASTERS first came out, it was only available in Japan. There was no way you could download it from the Playstore until they made it available.
That’s where people downloaded the APK file for POKEMON MASTERS, so that they could play it. It did have problems since you couldn’t connect to the game even after downloading and installing the APK file.
There are some people that modify apps to a certain degree. Let’s say a GBA emulator has a lot of the features that you want. Then, there’s an APK file of that emulator where someone made modifications to it that the ones on the Playstore don’t have.
If you want to get some modified emulators or other apps, then APK files are there.
3. Free Stuff
Some players opt for APK files because they are free while enjoying the app’s full functionality that free version users can’t have.
We mentioned that some emulators have a price tag. To support the developers, we recommend purchasing the emulator app of your choice at a small price. But the free version, when available, is just enough for most of the time.
We cannot stress enough why we don’t recommend using APK emulators. Don’t get these things because you want to get things for free or have some modifications. You might end up getting viruses on your device, and you wouldn’t want that.
If you really want to, then just take care and be wary about the websites that you go to. Always check the Google Playstore and see if you can find the emulators that you want. You might be able to find some used ones even without the need to download APK files.
Distributing apk files is considered piracy, and it’s illegal, so think twice when getting one from unknown sources. Though some are paid, paying a small amount to enjoy its full features and potential is definitely a good investment.