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How to play classic retro games on android

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24 of the best classic games on Android remade with a modern design (Updated for 2021)

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How to play classic retro games on android

This story was originally published 2017/11/18
8:45am PST on Nov 18, 2017 and last updated 2021/03/13
6:02am PST on Mar 13, 2021 .

This article is part of our Apps & Games Roundups series.

  • .
  • 25166.

Today’s roundup is centered around classic games that have been updated with modern graphics, often known as remasters or enhanced editions. These are all older titles in the grand scheme of things, but they’ve all been updated with modern aesthetics to support modern Android devices. In total, I have 24 games to share with everyone, having cleaned up the list while adding in some new additions. I’d also like to point out that this roundup also serves as a sister list to my retro port roundup , so if you’re looking for even more classic games, make sure to check out the companion article. Without further ado, here are 24 classic games remade for Android with a modern design, updated for 2021.

Disgaea 1 Complete

Disgaea 1 Complete isn’t just some overzealous naming scheme, the mobile version of this title is actually the best version currently available, all thanks to the convenience features such as auto battling and a fast-forward button. You see, Disgaea 1 is a game built around grinding. So instead of trudging through the lesser content over and over again as you would in any other version of this title, now you can let the CPU do your work for you, which is the first time I’m actually excited to see auto-play in a mobile game. So if you’re a huge Disgaea fan, don’t let the high price scare you away as this is hands-down the best version of the game available on any platform to date, which is why it’s at the top of today’s roundup.

Monetization: $32.99 / no ads / no IAPs

How to play classic retro games on android How to play classic retro games on android How to play classic retro games on android

How to play classic retro games on android How to play classic retro games on android How to play classic retro games on android

While games these days certainly have improved a lot in its story-telling, game mechanics, and obviously its graphics, there’s certainly something about games we saw released back in the 80s, 90s, and 2000s that still hold a place in our hearts. For the most part, these games were relatively simplistic, but we shouldn’t take that to mean a bad thing.

After all, how many of us have logged countless hours playing titles like Pac-Man, Tetris, Super Mario, and the likes? We know we definitely have, so if you want to relive some nostalgia on your Android or iPhone, then these are some of the best retro games we found that are playable on mobile devices.

Sonic the Hedgehog Classic

When it comes to retro games, it’s hard to beat Sonic. While there have been newer iterations of Sonic released in different formats, there’s just something about this classic version that just cannot be beat. Sure, it might not have the best graphics, but the gameplay is still a ton of fun.

  • Download Sonic the Hedgehog Classic for Android or iOS

Tetris

When we think of retro games, it would be impossible to not include Tetris on the list. The game was so popular back in the day that it was hard to walk around and not seeing people play it on their portable consoles. In fact, the game is still very popular these days where we’ve seen different takes on it, but sometimes it’s just hard to beat a classic.

  • Download Tetris for Android or iOS

Metal Slug Attack

For those who grew up playing games in the arcade, there’s a very good chance you might have come across the Metal Slug franchise. The folks at SNK have brought the game back and while there are some upgrades and changes to the game, they have kept some of the more classic aspects around as well, so it might be worth checking out if you want to take a walk down memory lane.

  • Download Metal Slug Attack for Android or iOS

RollerCoaster Tycoon Classic

A popular genre of games back in the day came in the form of sims, where titles like Sim City, Sim Tower, and RollerCoaster Tycoon were extremely popular. In fact, if you want to relive a classic like RollerCoaster Tycoon on your smartphone, you’ll be pleased to learn the game is playable on smartphones. For the most part, the gameplay remains the same where players are tasked to create the most crazy rollercoaster designs they can.

  • Download RollerCoaster Tycoon Classic for Android or iOS

Space Invaders

Space Invaders is as classic as games get, and while it might not have very fancy graphics, its extremely simplistic gameplay style and challenging nature allow it to continue being loads of fun even today. The mobile version doesn’t seem to have changed anything from the classic, which is a good thing.

  • Download Space Invaders for Android or iOS

Super Mario Run

While Super Mario Run isn’t the same Super Mario game that many of us grew up with back in the day, what we do enjoy about it is that for the most part, Nintendo has kept the game true to its roots while giving it a slightly modern makeover. It might be one of the more expensive titles available on mobile, but if you wanted a true blue Mario experience on your smartphone, this is as good as it gets, for now.

  • Download Super Mario Run for Android or iOS

Virtua Tennis

There’s just something about playing video games based around tennis that’s really fun and satisfying. Maybe the ability to volley back and forth is what makes it satisfying, or maybe the fact that we don’t find ourselves out of breath after every match, but either way, SEGA’s Virtua Tennis is one of the more popular retro tennis titles from back in the day, and now you get to relive that experience on your smartphone.

  • Download Virtua Tennis for Android or iOS

Pac-Man

Pac-Man is another retro title that has survived through the ages, with some modern versions of the game offering up decidedly better graphics and a slightly different take on gameplay, but there’s a good reason why the classic is so hard to beat – it just works. So if you’d like to replay one of the most classic, retro games in existence today, check out the original version available on smartphones.

  • Download Pac-Man for Android or iOS

For many people who grew up in the late 80’s and 90’s, classic NES and SNES games will always hold a special place within us. So, even though console gaming nowadays includes detailed, realistic graphics, we still yearn to play that Mario game, or get excited whenever we hear a popular 8-bit game tune. We can’t blame ourselves; there’s a lot of nostalgia involved here!

How to play classic retro games on android

With the help of emulators available for both iOS and Android platforms, developers have made it possible to bring many of our favorite classics to our smartphones and tablets. Still, for dedicated gamers who want to press actual buttons instead of virtual ones on the screen, game controllers can optionally be paired up with your Android and iOS devices to provide a near-complete retro gaming experience.

In this article, we’ll let you know how to setup your iPhone, iPad or Android device to play retro classic games from NES, SNES, Atari, GameBoy, etc.

How to install retro games on iOS and Android

The game you’re trying to run on your smartphone or tablet may be available in two forms:

  1. It might be an iOS/Android port of a classic NES, SNES game, available on the App Store or Google Play.
  2. It might be available as a raw game file; for example, with a .nes or .snes extension.

In the first case, the game may directly be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play Store and you can start playing by simply launching the game from the Home Screen or App Drawer (in case of Android).

In the second, the game file may need to be separately downloaded, along with a suitable Emulator app.

Most retro classic emulators won’t be directly available on the App Store, but may be installed from external sources. Many of these are available on third party app stores like BuildStore, which do not require jailbreak to install them. For Android devices, many SNES, NES, GameBoy, etc., emulators are available on Google Play Store, but you may also download them from the Internet.

Some of the popular Game Emulators available for iOS and Android are given below:

iOS Retro Game Emulators

Here are a few iOS Retro game emulators that you can try:

GBA4iOS 2.1: GBA4iOS is a Game Boy Advance Emulator for iOS devices, with built-in AirPlay support, as well as support for MFi certified game controllers. This provides you the big screen gaming experience, while also being suitable for people who prefer to use controllers. One can download games and manage them within the emulator app, so there’s no need of file management.

NDS4iOS: NDS4iOS is a Nintendo DS emulator for iOS devices, which is a port of the multi-platform DeSmuME 0.9.10 for iOS. Like GBA4iOS, it also features built in support for MFi controllers and AirPlay. Game files need to be copied into the emulator’s in-app storage, in order for them to be detected.

MD.emu: MD.emu is a full-featured Sega Genesis, Mega Drive emulator for iOS. The app includes iTunes file sharing option to copy game files to its in-app storage.

HappyChick 1.51: HappyChick is one of the most comprehensive game emulators, supporting a wide range of arcade (MAME/FBA) and retro game formats, such as GBA, GBC, MD, SFC (SNES), FC (NES), PSP, N64, NDS, PS1 and DC. This also requires you to copy supported games to the in-app storage in order to play them.

Android Retro Game Emulators

Below are some Android Retro game emulators that are available for download from Google Play Store.

Nostalgia NES: Nostalgia is a great NES emulator for Android, which is based on the latest version of FCEUX. It does not contain any built-in games, but supports importing games via .nes or .zip files stored on your Android device. The emulator features some unique features, such as Multiplayer WiFi controller mode (with support for up to 4 players), Rewind Mode and more.

Snes9x EX+: Snes9x EX+ is an open source SNES emulator based on Snes9x 1.53. It includes a public domain game called Bio Worm. However, users can import other games from the Internal Storage or SD Card. Supported file formats include .smc and .sfc; zipped formats such as .zip,.rar and .7z are also supported.

MegaN64: MegaN64 is a Nintendo 64 emulator for Android, which is a modified version of the open source Mupen64+ project. As with other emulators on the list, MegaN64 does not include any game files. Games stored on the Internal Storage or SD card may be played using the emulator.

Once you have installed a suitable emulator on iOS and Android, you can load any supported game and play using the usually customizable, virtual, on screen controls provided in the emulator interface. For a better experience, you may also opt for a suitable game controller that supports your device and the emulator. Most of the emulators mentioned above are compatible with external gaming controllers, which may be wirelessly connected to your iPhone, iPad or Android device via Bluetooth.

Wireless NES controller for iOS and Android

Below are some decent gaming controllers that are compatible with most of the iOS and Android devices.

8Bitdo Game Controllers

8Bitdo is a popular gamepad designing company established in 2013 that builds retro-style game controllers for modern devices, including Mac, PC and iOS / Android devices. It has a number of Bluetooth game controllers in its lineup, including a new Kickstarter entry named the AP40. The AP40 is a Bluetooth gaming controller inspired from Apple’s original multi-colored logo. It is compatible with Android, iOS, Mac, PC and more.

Other significant releases from 8Bitdo include NES30, SNES30, NES30 Pro, 8Bitdo Zero, etc. All iOS/Android supported 8Bitdo controllers are MFi certified and are compatible with the latest iOS devices.

SteelSeries Stratus (for iOS)

The Stratus mobile gaming controller is a premium wireless controller designed for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, built for superior gaming experience. It is compatible with all iOS apps with external controller support.

SteelSeries Stratus XL (for Android)

The Stratus XL is a powerful wireless gaming controller for Windows and Android devices with built-in Steam support. The Bluetooth connection is reliable with almost zero lag — just as responsive as other major game controllers.

Some other Android and iOS supported Gaming controllers include ICade 8-Bitty Wireless Retro Game Controller, Gametel Portable Wireless Retro Game Controller for smartphones, and BEBONCOOL Wireless Bluetooth Game Controller for Smartphones and Tablets.

Was the information provided in this article helpful? Let us know in the comments below to help us make our content more relevant to you.

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36 of the best classic arcade, console, and PC ports on Android

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How to play classic retro games on android

This story was originally published 2020/03/31
11:57am PDT on Mar 31, 2020 and last updated 2021/02/20
8:41am PST on Feb 20, 2021 .

This article is part of our Apps & Games Roundups series.

  • .
  • 2361.

There are plenty of quality Android games out there, and a large segment of these titles are ports and remasters from existing platforms, such as PC and consoles. While we’ve seen plenty of remasters, today’s roundup is focused on direct ports of titles that can be considered classics. This is a list that’s continually updated, and today I have 36 classic ports to share with everyone. These games are the ones many of us grew up playing, and I’ve hand-selected the cream of the crop. So if you would like to check out some of the best classics on Android, this roundup is for you. Dig in and enjoy!

Ms. PAC-MAN by Namco

Bandai Namco’s Ms. Pac-Man is so much better than the original Pac-Man. First of all, there is a bow on the top of the main character’s head, which may be pointless, but adds a level of charm that is hard to argue against. The second major difference will be clear when you start to notice that the game’s stages turn different colors one after another. Also, the majority of mazes have two escape tunnels instead of only one. So while these may be only a few small tweaks, when added up, the extra layer of detail, for me, places this sequel above the original.

Monetization: $2.99 / no ads / no IAPs

1.1.0 for Android

Classic Game Center Team

Using APKPure App

Faster, free and saving data!

How to play classic retro games on android How to play classic retro games on android How to play classic retro games on android

The description of Classic Game Center ( retro game ) App

Additional App Information

Publish Date: 2020-09-01

App uploaded by: Shaun Alexander Mata

Latest Version: 1.1.0

Requirements: Android 5.0+

Classic Game Center ( retro game )

Update on: 2020-10-03

App uploaded by: Shaun Alexander Mata

Requires Android: Android 5.0+ (Lollipop, API 21)

Signature: 96d0bf9903c85aff9c3fb2775e805e904b79c348

DPI: nodpi

Arch: arm64-v8a, armeabi-v7a

File SHA1: b47d58e89cddba73b7f43b07a98fd7f4d7e04f39

How to turn your Android TV box (or any Android device) into a retro gaming box. Not only will yu be able to enjoy the classics, but you can do it in a cost-effective way and save some serious dollars on the way.

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Retro gaming, there’s nothing quite like it. Many of us grew up playing classics like Zelda, Mario, Sonic and Street Fighter. Although the platform games lacked the depth and detail of high end, high definition games of today, they offered, and still do, some of the best gaming experiences ever available. But for a lot of people, rekindling that passion has been difficult. With consoles such as the NES, SNES, Atari and Sega now decades old, getting a hold of one is becoming harder all of the time. Sure, Nintendo have released the NES Classic edition, but with a hefty price tag for an 8 bit gaming console. With this guide we will show you how to turn your Android TV box, or any Android device, into a retro gaming entertainment system.

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Before we delve too deep into this article I think it’s best to remind those familiar with Kodi (and those new to it) that it’s an ever-evolving system. Due to the nature of the beast many add-ons come and go, most often without warning or fanfare. Most of the time you won’t even be aware that your favourite add-on has been shut down as it will often continue to work, but as time goes by you’ll begin to notice fewer and fewer links are working. This is simply due to the add-on being abandoned and new fresh links not being picked up. That’s why it’s super important to stay on top of the game and check here on a regular basis for new Kodi add-on releases. Again, if your favourite addon no longer works it’s not a problem with your device or Kodi, the individual behind the add-on has simply walked away from developing it further to keep it running

To get the best out of the Android TV box as a retro gaming box it is recommended that the box is Bluetooth enabled. Being Bluetooth enabled will allow you to connect a Bluetooth controller, such as a PS3 copntroller to the box. Some of the Bluetooth enabled boxes that we sell are the RK8 Android box and the M8S+ box. You can also use this guide for your mobile phone or tablet, and if combined with a screen mirroring device, such as a Mira-screen or Easy Cast you can broadcast the game onto your HDMI TV from your phone or tablet.

Step 1

Head to the Play Store and download an app called SNES9x.

How to play classic retro games on android

Step 2

Once the app has downloaded and installed open it.

How to play classic retro games on android SNES9x Homescreen

Go down to key/gamepad setup. Proceed to set the gamepad settings and in game settings.

How to play classic retro games on android

How to play classic retro games on android

How to play classic retro games on android

How to play classic retro games on android

How to play classic retro games on android

Once you have completed the control settings head back to the homescreen of the SNES9X app and select load game

How to play classic retro games on android

Select the download location and then select the game (it will be in a zip format)

How to play classic retro games on android

Simply select the game to begin playing it (you can set the app up to show or hide the onscreen gamepad controls)

How to play classic retro games on android

Where to get the games, or SNES Roms?

You now have a retro 16 bit gaming console, and at a fraction of the cost of the 8 bit NES Classic.

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That concludes our tutorial. We hope that you found it informative and useful. Please remember to check back here on a regular basis for more guides, tips, tricks and latest information.

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Are you looking for a TV box for your Kodi experience?

Why not take a look at one of out amazing deals? With reliable boxes starting well under $100 they’re an item not to be missed, and yes, we will ship worldwide. But if you are concerned about a power supply matching your country, fear not. Although our TV boxes come with an AU power supply, you can power the boxes with a 2 amp USB lead. All you have to do is connect the closest USB port to the power input to a 2 amp power supply and you have power.

Use this guide to emulate SNES, N64, Dreamcast, PlayStation, arcade games, and more on any PC, Mac, or Android device. Your brain will thank you.

I will begin this guide by asking you to check your internet law degree at the door. Yes, emulation software is entirely legal. Yes, “backing up” games is entirely legal and downloading other people’s backups of games you already own might be legal (but nobody has tested it in court). No, downloading other people’s copies of games you don’t own is definitely not legal. Are we all clear on that? Great.

If you are a scared baby and cannot handle some gray market hi-jinx, I will direct you towards your local smile.amazon.com where you can purchase a variety of Classic or Mini consoles and game compilations. If you’d like to live your life within the confines of the PlayStation Store, Nintendo Switch Online, or the Google Play or Apple App Store, I cannot stop you. Go forth, rich person, and pay for Sonic the Hedgehog 2 for the twelfth time in your life. You are morally superior to us all and can close this tab.

Okay, now that the narcs are gone, let’s play some damn video games.

To start off, let’s assume you don’t know anything about emulation. An emulator is a piece of software that mimics the console hardware of game systems past, allowing other hardware to run games that were specifically built for another machine. The files of these games are pulled off of retail release copies and are mostly called ROMs or ISOs depending on the console’s software medium. TL;DR: The emulator is a copy of the console and the ROM is a copy of the game.

I cannot legally tell you where to find ROMs or ISOs for games you do not own. Perhaps you should Google “[Game Title] + ROM + download” and see what you find. Perhaps you should ask our friends over at Archive.org for some help. Perhaps there are subreddits dedicated to this. Legally, I cannot say.

The emulator is a copy of the console and the ROM is a copy of the game

Now once you have a copy of a game, there are different places one can run an emulator, such as an Android device, PC, or Mac. At the moment Apple does not allow emulation on its iOS platform but if you’re interested I shall direct you to the geniuses behind AltStore.io.

When you’ve decided which platform you prefer, each OS will have a variety of apps one can run for each console—but the universal solution for nearly every legacy console on nearly every piece of hardware is an open-source app called RetroArch. RetroArch is very powerful and versatile, but confusing enough that we shall set it aside for today. (I can hear the hardcore emulation enthusiasts groaning in the back but, I’m sorry, if you can work RetroArch, you do not need this guide. Please go argue with the aforementioned narcs.)

Below I will break down the piece of dedicated software I recommend that you use for each major retro console, depending on whether you use a Mac, PC, or Android device. Because each app has a specific interface and its own approach to controllers, graphics, and audio settings, we suggest you use YouTube to find a tutorial on each app.

Without further ado, here are the emulators you will need to play the vast majority of retro games:

Nintendo

Nintendo games are by far the easiest to emulate, thanks to their popularity and straightforward design. If you’d like to emulate the NES, you can do that in your browser, but for the best experience, we suggest traveling to the Mushroom Kingdom via higan, a multi-system emulator for Windows, OpenEmu, a gorgeous multi-system emulator for Mac, and NES.emu for Android.

To step things up to the 16-bit SNES, you can use the same Mac and PC apps, but we’d recommend Snes9x EX+ for Android. For N64, there’s Project64 for Windows, trusty old OpenEmu for Mac, and Mupen64Plus FZ on Android.

By the time you get to the GameCube or Wii, your main option is Dolphin for all platforms. It’s very good! For the entire Game Boy and Game Boy Advance libraries, we’d use mGBA on Windows, OpenEmu again on the Mac, and GBA.emu on Android. For Wii U, use Cemu.

DS emulation has come a long way recently and you can use DeSmuME on Windows, our old pal OpenEmu on Mac, and DraStic DS on Android. If you’re really ambitious, you can get into 3DS emulation with Citra for Windows and Mac and its unofficial port for Android. Phew!

Sega does what Nintendon’t! Sega systems are a bit harder to emulate than Nintendo systems, largely thanks to their architecture. When systems are harder to emulate, you’re going to see scattered differences between what plays on the emulator and what you’d get from an official console experience. For Sega systems, these are most often sound problems. However, if you’d like to emulate the Sega Master System or Game Gear you can once again use higan for Windows, OpenEmu for Mac, and MD.emu or Nostalgia.GG for Android.

For the giant library of Sega Genesis/Mega Drive/CD/32x (never change, Sega) games, we’d use Kega Fusion on the Mac and PC and MD.emu on Android. Sega Saturn is a bit harder to emulate than other consoles, both due to a lack of public interest in the library and its overly complex architecture. However, if you need some Panzer Dragoon, we’d use Yabause on Windows and Mac and Yaba Sanshiro on Android.

Finally, to play Dreamcast’s phenomenal library of classics, download the excellent Redream which is compatible with all three platforms. SEGA!

Sony’s PlayStation consoles each have enormous libraries, but after the PSX it gets a bit harder to run each of them. To play Crash Team Racing on PSX, use ePSXe for Windows and Android or OpenEmu for Mac.

For PS2, you can use PCSX2 on Windows with mixed results, or DamonPS2 on Android for very, very bad results. Mac users are left out in the cold here. Similarly, the PS3 can only be emulated on Windows with RPCS3. You won’t be running PS3 games on your MacBook. (Sorry, babe, but why did you think that would be possible?) Finally, for all your PSP needs, there is PPSSPP available for all platforms.

Neo Geo and Neo Geo Pocket Color games like the King of Fighters series can be played using Mednafen on Windows, OpenEmu on Mac (you’ll need to enable “experimental” cores in the settings menu and then download the MAME core), or either NEO.emu or NGP.emu on Android.

Though it goes by many names, the TurboGrafx-16/PC Engine/CoreGrafx platform is home to some spectacular titles (like Ys I & II) you might have missed out on in your youth. To play these games, use Mednafen on your PC, OpenEmu once again on the Mac, and PCE.emu on Android.

Arcade

Save your quarters and get your old school arcade fix using Mednafen on Windows, OpenEmu on Mac (you’ll need to enable “experimental” cores in the settings menu and then download the MAME core), or the appropriately titled Mame4droid on Android.

Microsoft

And not to end on a sour note but, for a variety of reasons, there are no good options for emulating Xbox or Xbox 360 games. The good news is that many Xbox exclusives are also available for Windows because. ya know… Microsoft. All hail Master Chief (at least for the first two games.)

And with that, we leave you to go get your feet wet with emulation. There are so many games scattered throughout the history of this glorious industry that you will likely never run out of retro titles to explore. But, once more for legal reasons: Don’t pirate games. 😉

How to play classic retro games on android

Fallout 2, Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri, Heroes of Might and Magic – these great old games, and other classics, would have no trouble running on your Android device, yet it is still not happening. It worked out well for Beamdog, who brought Enhanced Editions of Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale and Planescape: Torment, so why not do it with the others?

Luckily, there is a workaround. Thanks to ExaGear Strategies and ExaGear RPG (tailored for strategy games and RPGs respectively), you can play the golden oldies of PC gaming on your Android device.

Note: For this, you’ll need the original game files, and you’ll need to pay a small amount for the control schemes after a three-day trial.

How to play classic retro games on android

1. First, grab ExaGear Strategies and/or ExaGear RPG from the Play Store (depending on what type of game you want to play), and install the classic PC game you want on your Android device onto your PC. (GOG.com is probably your best bet for legally buying old PC games, especially as everything on the site is DRM-free).

How to play classic retro games on android

2. Next, connect your Android device to your PC via a USB cable, making sure that you’ve enabled File Transfers on it. (Pull down the notification menu from the top of your Android screen, tap “Use USB for -> File transfers.”)

How to play classic retro games on android

3. After that, use Windows Explorer to copy your game directory (C:GOG GamesSid Meier’s Alpha Centauri for me) onto the internal storage of your Android device.

How to play classic retro games on android

4. Once it’s there, download a file manager for your Android device that lets you access the root directory of your internal storage (I used ES File Explorer, but any file manager will do).

5. Open the file explorer, navigate to the location where you copied your game onto your Android device, “Cut” it, then paste it to the ExaGear folder, which should be in the folder “/storage/emulated/sdcard.”

How to play classic retro games on android

6. The game will now sync with ExaGear. When you open ExaGear Strategies or ExaGear RPG, the Windows executable (.exe) files for your game should appear. As a general rule of thumb, select the one that you’d use to run the game in Windows (terranx.exe for me, which is the Alien Crossfire expansion for Alpha Centauri).

How to play classic retro games on android

7. You’ll then be asked to select a control scheme. There are only two to choose from in Strategies and one in RPG, and they’re generally well optimised to work with most of the 90s classics. Pick a control scheme, and game away!

How to play classic retro games on android

You’ll notice that once you pick a control scheme, you have 3 days to try it out before deciding if you want to buy it for $7. It’s a bit of a catch, but a small price to pay to enjoy your favourite vintage games on Android.

How to play classic retro games on android

Conclusion

To some extent, it’s a case of trial-and-error whether games work or not, but you have three days to do it, so as long as you have the games you want to “Mobilize” ready, you should have enough time to see what works and what doesn’t. I tested out Fallout 2 and Alpha Centauri on my trusty old HTC One M8, and both worked perfectly.

Content Manager at Make Tech Easier. Enjoys Android, Windows, and tinkering with retro console emulation to breaking point.

How to play classic retro games on android

Fallout 2, Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri, Heroes of Might and Magic – these great old games, and other classics, would have no trouble running on your Android device, yet it is still not happening. It worked out well for Beamdog, who brought Enhanced Editions of Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale and Planescape: Torment, so why not do it with the others?

Luckily, there is a workaround. Thanks to ExaGear Strategies and ExaGear RPG (tailored for strategy games and RPGs respectively), you can play the golden oldies of PC gaming on your Android device.

Note: For this, you’ll need the original game files, and you’ll need to pay a small amount for the control schemes after a three-day trial.

How to play classic retro games on android

1. First, grab ExaGear Strategies and/or ExaGear RPG from the Play Store (depending on what type of game you want to play), and install the classic PC game you want on your Android device onto your PC. (GOG.com is probably your best bet for legally buying old PC games, especially as everything on the site is DRM-free).

How to play classic retro games on android

2. Next, connect your Android device to your PC via a USB cable, making sure that you’ve enabled File Transfers on it. (Pull down the notification menu from the top of your Android screen, tap “Use USB for -> File transfers.”)

How to play classic retro games on android

3. After that, use Windows Explorer to copy your game directory (C:GOG GamesSid Meier’s Alpha Centauri for me) onto the internal storage of your Android device.

How to play classic retro games on android

4. Once it’s there, download a file manager for your Android device that lets you access the root directory of your internal storage (I used ES File Explorer, but any file manager will do).

5. Open the file explorer, navigate to the location where you copied your game onto your Android device, “Cut” it, then paste it to the ExaGear folder, which should be in the folder “/storage/emulated/sdcard.”

How to play classic retro games on android

6. The game will now sync with ExaGear. When you open ExaGear Strategies or ExaGear RPG, the Windows executable (.exe) files for your game should appear. As a general rule of thumb, select the one that you’d use to run the game in Windows (terranx.exe for me, which is the Alien Crossfire expansion for Alpha Centauri).

How to play classic retro games on android

7. You’ll then be asked to select a control scheme. There are only two to choose from in Strategies and one in RPG, and they’re generally well optimised to work with most of the 90s classics. Pick a control scheme, and game away!

How to play classic retro games on android

You’ll notice that once you pick a control scheme, you have 3 days to try it out before deciding if you want to buy it for $7. It’s a bit of a catch, but a small price to pay to enjoy your favourite vintage games on Android.

How to play classic retro games on android

Conclusion

To some extent, it’s a case of trial-and-error whether games work or not, but you have three days to do it, so as long as you have the games you want to “Mobilize” ready, you should have enough time to see what works and what doesn’t. I tested out Fallout 2 and Alpha Centauri on my trusty old HTC One M8, and both worked perfectly.

Content Manager at Make Tech Easier. Enjoys Android, Windows, and tinkering with retro console emulation to breaking point.