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Best Nintendo DS Emulators for iPhone

Best Nintendo DS Emulators for iPhone

best nintendo emulators for iphone

Nintendo DS (NDS) emulators are pretty popular these days because they allow you to enjoy your favorite Nintendo DS games on your iPhones. However, the problem with NDS Emulators for iPhone is that there are few of them available, and the main reason behind this is the restrictions from Apple. But, there are few Nintendo DS emulators that work well with iPhones, and we have handpicked the best ones for you. In this guide, we will share the best Nintendo DS emulators for iOS device without Jailbreak. So, let’s get into it.

Best NDS Emulators for iPhone without Jailbreak

1. RetroArch Emulator

Let’s start with RetroArch, which is arguably one of the best Nintendo DS emulators on iOS. Most DS Emulators for iPhone don’t come with extensive documentation, which makes them difficult to use, but it’s not the case with RetroArch. It comes with tons of detailed guides that you can use to enjoy gaming your favorite NDS Games on your iPhone.

However, the problem with RetroArch is that it only provides the Front-end GUI for emulators and game engines which means that you will have to download the cores for each system on your iPhone. But, the good thing is that the website offers detailed information about the cores, and all you will have to do is patiently read the guides and follow instructions to install them properly.

Another highlight of RetroArch is that it’s an open-source app, and it doesn’t come with annoying ads. Overall, RetroArch is an excellent option for tech-savvy users, but it might not work for beginners due to its complexity. It’s also important to note that it’s one of the very few emulators that work well without Jailbreak, which is undoubtedly a big plus.


  • Offers various consoles, including Nintendo DS, 2DS, 3DS, PSP, and more.
  • It comes with detailed guides
  • Works well on iPhone
  • It doesn’t require a Jailbreak
  • Great for Tech-Savvy Users
  • No Ads
  • Open Source


  • Very Complex emulation
  • Not ideal for beginners
  • Isn’t available on the App Store

Why you should Consider RetroArch: The main reason why you should consider RetroArch is that it doesn’t require Jailbreak, but you should also note that it requires a complex handheld setup. So, it will consume a lot of your time, but on the bright side, you will be able to enjoy your favorite games without voiding your iPhone’s warranty.

2. iNDS Emulator

iNDS Emulator is one of the best Emulators for iPhone 2023. This emulator is based on the legendary NDS4iOS emulator, which is regarded as one of the most potent NDS emulators on Android. The unique selling point of iNDS is that it’s one of the very few NDS Emulators that doesn’t require Jailbreak. On top of that, iNDS also works flawlessly with all the latest versions of iOS, including iOS 14.

In iNDS, you will find a variety of advanced options such as in-app customization and auto-save. Also, it comes with tons of video filters and haptic vibration feedback, which is very useful in NDS games. Another nifty feature of iNDS is its built-in browser, which you can use to find DS ROMs.

When it comes to installation, the process is not as complex as RetroArch, but still, it is a bit lengthy. However, if you follow the instructions right, you can easily install DS ROMs on your iPhone. So, overall, if you are looking for an NDS emulator for iPhone with great functionality, iNDS is a solid option for you.


  • It doesn’t require Jailbreaking
  • Compatible with all latest iOS versions up to iOS 14
  • It comes with features such as in-app customizations and auto-save.
  • It comes with a built-in browser for finding DS ROMs.


  • It is not available in the App Store.

Why you should consider iNDS: The main reason why you should consider iNDS is that it’s relatively easier to install than RetroArch, and it offers access to tons of NDS Games you can play on your iPhone.

3. NDS4iOS Emulator

NDS4iOS is a legendary Nintendo DS Emulator, regarded as one of the best NDS emulators for iPhone of all time. The best thing about NDS4iOS is that it works flawlessly with iPhones, and it doesn’t require Jailbreaking, which makes it more appealing.

On top of that, NDS4iOS is fully optimized for iPhones, and it offers advanced features such as support for iOS controllers and options to customize control pads. Also, NDS4iOS comes with a built-in browser, which you can use to find DS ROMs of your favorite games and enjoy them on your iPhone.

Another nifty feature of NDS4iOS is that it comes with Dropbox integration, allowing you to get files directly from Dropbox. The only downside of NDS4iOS is that it’s no longer in development, which means it won’t work well with the future versions of iOS. So, if you want to play NDS games on the latest versions of iOS, you can consider iNDS, which is based on NDS4iOS and works well with the latest versions.


  • Optimized for iPhones and works flawlessly
  • It comes with a built-in browser
  • Dropbox integration
  • Fully supports iOS controllers


  • It might not work with the latest iOS versions as it’s no longer in development.

Why you should consider NDS4iOS: NDS4iOS is a legendary NDS emulator, and it works well with current versions of iOS. However, it’s no longer in development, which means that it might not work with future versions. But, still, it’s a great option to enjoy NDS Games on current versions of iOS.

Why are there so few DS Emulators for iPhone?

iOS is a closed operating system which means that there are many checks and balances, which make it difficult for apps to stay on the official App Store. In addition, most DS emulators require Jailbreak, which voids the warranty, but the ones who don’t require Jailbreak come with a lengthy installation process, which is why many users avoid them.

In the end, developers don’t get enough incentives to develop DS emulators because few people will ultimately use them, and they won’t get any revenue. However, there are some emulators which are open-source, and they are maintained by enthusiasts. In this guide, we shared the 3 best Nintendo DS emulators, and 2 of them are in active development, which means that they will also work well with future iOS versions, and you will be able to enjoy your favorite NDS Games on your iPhone.

Should I Install Nintendo DS Emulators from Platforms other than App Store?

App Store is an official platform by Apple, and the apps on it are secure, but you can’t say it about unofficial platforms. Many platforms on the internet usually host malicious versions of the NDS emulators, and if you download them, you can end up having malware on your iPhone. So, make sure that you only download emulators from official websites or trusted websites. Also, make sure that you have a solid antivirus app on your iPhone to protect your device.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ

1. What is a jailbroken device?

A jailbroken device refers to a device, such as an iPhone or iPad, that has undergone a process that allows users to gain access to the entire file system and install third-party applications that are not available through the official App Store. A jailbroken device refers to an iOS device that has been modified to remove the limitations imposed by Apple.

Owners of jailbroken iOS devices are looking for the best in customization and functionality, such as dropbox integration and the ability to download and use Nintendo DS emulation. This is particularly popular for devices running iOS 7, as it allows for further integration and the use of an iOS 7 controller. Jailbreaking also opens up the possibility of running iOS 16 on older devices.

2. What is AltStore?

AltStore is an alternative app store for iOS devices. It allows users to sideload apps on their devices using their Apple ID, without the need for a jailbreak. This means you can install apps that are not available on the official App Store. AltStore is a free and open-source software that allows iOS users to install apps and games that are not available on the App Store. It offers an emulator called Delta, which is compatible with various gaming consoles.

AltStore also includes features like a built-in browser to download ROMs and the ability to download ROMs directly from Nintendo Direct. This emulator is derived from open-source projects and allows users to enjoy their favorite games on their iOS devices.

3. Can I sync my jailbroken device with iTunes?

Yes, you can still sync a jailbroken device with iTunes. However, you should be cautious when updating your device’s firmware, as it may cause the jailbreak to be lost. It is always recommended to backup your device before performing any updates. Yes, you can sync your jailbroken device with iTunes. Jailbroken devices running on iOS 5.1.1 and above can be synced with iTunes to transfer data, apps, and media files.

However, it is important to note that some jailbreak tweaks or modifications may cause compatibility issues. For instance, if you have installed nds4ios, one of the original Nintendo DS emulators for iOS, you will also be able to download Nintendo DS games and use additional features. Additionally, certain jailbreak tweaks may provide iOS 7 controller support for a better gaming experience.

4. Can I play Nintendo DS games on a jailbroken device?

Yes, with a jailbroken device, you can use emulators to play Nintendo switch DS games. There are several emulators available for Android and iOS devices that allow you to enjoy Nintendo DS games on your smartphone or tablet. Yes, it is possible to play Nintendo DS games on a jailbroken device. However, this option may not be available to other Nintendo DS consoles.

Jailbroken devices such as iOS and Android can also emulate Nintendo DS games using specific emulators.  The nds4ios is one option for iOS devices and the Drastic emulator for Android. Additionally, users can install IPA files on their jailbroken iOS devices running the required iOS version to play Nintendo DS games.

5. Is it necessary to jailbreak my device to play Nintendo DS games?

No, you don’t need to jailbreak your device to play Nintendo DS games. As mentioned earlier, there are emulators available for both iOS and Android devices that allow you to play Nintendo DS games without the need for a jailbreak. No, it is not necessary to jailbreak your device to play Nintendo DS games. There are alternatives such as dropbox integration and iOS 7 controller integration that allow you to play these games without jailbreaking.

Another Nintendo DS emulator, nds4ios, also includes features for playing these games without the need for jailbreaking. However, it is worth noting that nds4ios requires iOS 9 or later. With these options, you can enjoy playing Nintendo DS ROMs on your device without resorting to jailbreaking or using old Nintendo consoles.

6. Can I use a controller to play Nintendo DS games on my device?

Yes, many Nintendo DS emulators support controller input, allowing you to connect a controller to your device and enjoy a more authentic gaming experience. And yes, you can use a controller to play Nintendo DS games on your device by using an emulator for iPhone and iPad. This emulator offers new features and is compatible with your favorite DS games. You can easily download your ROMs and the emulator derived from it allows you to run and play games at full speed.

7. What is the difference between Nintendo DS and Nintendo 3DS?

Nintendo DS and Nintendo 3DS are both handheld gaming consoles developed by Nintendo. The main difference is that the Nintendo 3DS features improved graphics, a stereoscopic 3D display, and compatibility with 3DS games. The Nintendo DS, on the other hand, does not have 3D capabilities. The main difference between the Nintendo DS and the Nintendo 3DS is the introduction of 3D capabilities in the latter. The Nintendo 3DS allows you to run games in 3D, giving a more immersive gaming experience.

Additionally, the 3DS has more advanced hardware and improved graphics compared to the DS. The DS does not have built-in 3D functionality, but it is compatible with emulators derived from the 3DS, allowing you to download ROMs and play games at full speed. However, it should be noted that not all games may be available on emulators, and some may not run at 60 frames per second. Furthermore, Nintendo’s strict policies make it difficult to access emulators on their platforms.

8. Are there any good Nintendo DS emulators for Android devices?

Yes, there are several good Nintendo DS emulators available for Android devices. Some popular options include DraStic DS Emulator, RetroArch, and NDS Boy! Free. These emulators allow you to play Nintendo DS games on your Android device. Yes, there are some good Nintendo DS emulators available for Android devices.

However, it is important to note that these emulators are not officially supported by Nintendo or the Google Play Store. One popular emulator is NDS4ios, although it is only available on iOS devices. Another option is to use an Android emulator that includes Nintendo DS compatibility, although the availability of these emulators may vary.


That’s all, folks! These are the best Nintendo DS emulators for iPhone. All of them are reliable, and they don’t require you to jailbreak your iPhone. So now you tell us which NDS Emulator looks promising to you. Let us know your thoughts in the comments.