Best Emulators for iOS in 2024

Vineet Maheshwari

In a surprising turn of events, Apple has recently opened the floodgates for emulator apps on the iOS App Store, ushering in a new era of retro gaming on iPhones and iPads.

As of April 2024, iOS users can now legally download and enjoy a wide variety of emulators, allowing them to relive classic gaming experiences from consoles like the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), Super Nintendo (SNES), Game Boy, and even the PlayStation. This monumental shift in Apple’s policy has sent shockwaves through the gaming community, with developers racing to bring their emulators to the App Store.

Let’s check the best iOS emulators available in 2024, their features, and what this means for the future of mobile gaming.

Delta: The Gold Standard for Nintendo Emulation

Leading the charge in the iOS emulation scene is Delta, developed by the renowned Riley Testut. Known for its sleek interface and wide range of supported systems, Delta has quickly become the go-to emulator for iOS users. With the ability to emulate NES, SNES, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, and Nintendo 64 games, Delta offers an unparalleled retro gaming experience on the go.

One of Delta’s standout features is its seamless integration with cloud storage services like Google Drive and Dropbox, allowing users to easily sync their game saves across devices. Additionally, the emulator supports a variety of controllers, including the PS4, PS5, Xbox One S, and Xbox Series X, ensuring a comfortable and authentic gaming experience.

Provenance: PlayStation Classics to iOS

While Delta focuses primarily on Nintendo consoles, Provenance takes things a step further by adding support for Atari, Sega, and most notably, PlayStation emulation. Developed by Joseph Mattiello and his team, Provenance has long been a favorite among iOS users who relied on sideloading methods to install the emulator. However, with Apple’s new policy, Provenance is set to make its triumphant debut on the App Store.

PlayStation fans will be thrilled to learn that Provenance will bring classic titles from the original PlayStation console to their iPhones and iPads. Mattiello has also hinted at future support for SEGA Dreamcast and even PlayStation 2 games, further expanding the emulator’s already impressive library.

While Apple’s decision to allow emulators on the App Store is a significant step forward, it’s important to note that the legality of emulation remains a complex issue. Emulators themselves are legal, but the act of downloading and using ROMs (digital copies of game cartridges or discs) without proper authorization from the copyright holder is often considered piracy.

Apple has made it clear in its App Store guidelines that developers are responsible for ensuring that the software offered in their apps complies with all applicable laws. This puts the onus on emulator developers to navigate the legal landscape carefully and avoid any potential copyright infringement.

What to Expect Now?

As more emulators make their way to the App Store, iOS users can expect a thriving ecosystem of retro gaming options. However, the success of these emulators will largely depend on how well they adhere to Apple’s guidelines and steer clear of legal pitfalls.

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Vineet Maheshwari is a passionate blogger and relationship oriented digital marketing consultant with over 10 years of experience in SEO, PPC management, web analytics, domain investing, affiliate marketing and digital strategy. He has helped high tech brands connect with customers in an engaging manner, thereby ensuring that high quality leads are generated over time.
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