5 Best SNES Emulator for Android in 2022

Android devices have far more processing power than many older generations of video game consoles, so why not use your Android smartphone or tablet to play some of the best games ever created?

Suppose you’re into 16-bit retro games like Super Mario World, Super Metroid, Chronograph Trigger, The Legend of Zelda, or Super Castlevania. In that case, you can install one of the best SNES emulators for Android to play these and other Super Nintendo Entertainment System titles.

Note: All SNES emulators listed in this article are 100% legal to own and operate, so you don’t have to worry about committing a crime by downloading them to your device. Just know that the legal status of ROM files (the files that contain the actual games) varies from country to country, so make sure to do your research before embarking on a downloading spree.

1. Snes9x EX+ (free)

Snes9x EX+ is one of the oldest and most popular SNES emulators for Android, and even a quick look at its long list of features makes it easy to see why.

Snes9x EX+ is compatible with basically every Bluetooth/USB gamepad & keyboard recognized by the Android operating system. The emulator can play .smc and .sfc ROMs, and it can read them directly from ZIP, RAR, and 7Z archives. Cheat codes in the .cht file format are also supported, and so are configurable on-screen controls.

In addition to an impressively long list of features, Snes9x EX+ also boasts equally impressive performance with low audio/video latency. If you have a decently powerful Android device, you shouldn’t struggle to achieve smooth framerates regardless of which SNES games you decide to play.

Pros: Cons:
Great performance Spartan user interface
Many features
Free with no in-app purchases
Easy to get started with

2. RetroArch (free)

RetroArch isn’t a straightforward SNES emulator for Android like Snes9x EX+. It’s actually a multi-platform front-end with support for a large number of different emulators, game engines, and media players.

If you want to emulate SNES games, you need to download the Snes9x core first. To do that, obtain RetroArch from its official website and install it on your Android device. Then, launch the app and download the Snes9x core. Finally, you need to load the downloaded core and start your SNES game.

RetroArch is completely free and open-source. It has all the features you would expect a high-quality SNES emulator to have, including rewinding, fast response times, machine translation, etc. Learning how the various features work may take some time, but the effort is well worth it simply because there’s so much RetroArch can do.

Pros: Cons:
Free and open–source Takes time and effort to learn
Multi-platform support
Many advanced features
Highly versatile

3. SuperRetro16 (free with in-app purchases)

SuperRetro16 is a polarizing SNES emulator for Android because its long-term users were forced to purchase it twice after it temporarily disappeared from the Google Play Store in 2019. The good news is that it has been available ever since, and everything indicates that its availability won’t change anytime soon.

Compared with completely free SNES emulators like Snes9x EX+ or RetroArch, SuperRetro16 certainly stands out with its polished user interface and the ability to automatically detect games and generate cover images for them. The emulator also supports several advanced features that other emulators sometimes omit, such as Chromecast streaming, cloud syncing support for continuous play across devices, and network multiplayer using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

Unfortunately, recent versions of SuperRetro16 have been having compatibility issues with some popular SNES titles, including Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. Hopefully, these issues will be fixed soon.

Pros: Cons:
Polished user interface In-app purchases
Many useful enhancements Compatibility issues
Regularly updated

4. Nostalgia.NES (free with ads)

Nostalgia.NES is often recommended by Android users with extensive experience with SNES emulation. Why? Because it’s based on the most up-to-date revision of FCEUX, an open-source emulator known for its accuracy and advanced emulation options.

Nostalgia.NES wraps FCEUX in a modern user interface with a highly customizable virtual controller and support for PAL (Europe) and NTSC (USA, Japan) video modes. If you have an extra Android device lying around, you can install Nostalgia.NES on it and activate the so-called Wi-Fi controller mode to turn it into a wireless gamepad.

Getting started with Nostalgia.NES is straightforward because the emulator can automatically find all ROMs regardless of where on the device they’re located. The emulator is free, but ads make the free price tag possible.

Pros: Cons:
High emulation accuracy In-app ads
Modern user interface
Wi-Fi controller mode

5. John NESS (free with in-app purchases)

John NESS is a dual-purpose Android emulator that you can use to play both SNES and NES games. The emulator is actually a combination of two previous emulators developed by John Emulators: John NES and John SNES.

We think that the combination of SNES and NES emulation into a single app makes a lot of sense because many of the most popular Nintendo titles consist of multiple games across SNES and NES.

But even if you don’t care that much about NES emulation and are only interested in SNES games, John NESS is still a great choice because its features include everything from a virtual on-screen keypad to support for file archives to cloud saves and more.

Pros: Cons:
Supports both SNES and NES ROMs In-app purchases
Unique features
Works on Android 6.0+


Are SNES emulators for Android legal?

Yes, SNES emulators for Android are completely legal to download and use. If they were not, Google wouldn’t allow them to be in the Google Play Store.

Where can I obtain SNES ROMs?

There are several popular websites that offer SNES ROMs for free, but you need to remember that the legal status of ROMs is questionable at best, so do your own research beforehand.

What is the best SNES emulator for Android?

We believe that the best SNES emulator for Android is Snes9x EX+. Also worth trying are RetroArch, SuperRetro16, Nostalgia.NES, and John NESS.


The best SNES emulators for Android can provide you with hundreds and thousands of hours of old-school fun, allowing you to play legendary Super Nintendo Entertainment System games right on your Android device.

About the author

David Morelo

David Morelo is a professional content writer in the technology niche, covering everything from consumer products to emerging technologies and their cross-industry application