Many iPhone owners are curious whether there is a 3DS emulator on iOS. iPhones are getting more and more powerful with each iteration, so running 3DS games should be within the realm of possibility. However, unlike Android, iOS is locked to the Apple App Store, so many wonder whether jailbreaking might allow for 3DS emulation on iPhones.
Is there a 3DS emulator for iOS?
3DS emulation isn’t at the level of NES, SNES, or even DS yet. Also, unlike many platforms, there’s really only one choice of emulator for 3DS: Citra. Citra’s compatibility can be hit or miss. Some popular games run perfectly, while others have issues or aren’t playable at all. The developers are concentrated on x64 development currently, but they released an ARM fork in 2020.
Even though iOS also runs on ARM processors, Citra is only available from the official repo for Android. Citra could likely be compiled for iOS, but users would then have to figure out a way to install it via Jailbreak or dev account shenanigans. So, as of now, there’s no readily available 3DS emulator for iOS.
Some websites claim to allow users to download a 3DS emulator for iOS. This is almost certainly either malware at worst or a poorly optimized port of Citra at best. Some of these sites claim the emulator can be installed without a jailbreak, while others say they require root access to work. Regardless, users should not install apps on their iPhones from sources that haven’t been adequately vetted.
It’s possible that a reputable fork of Citra might bring a 3DS emulator to iOS at some point in the future. However, with the iPhone, there will always be caveats to installing third-party applications. However, given Apple’s stance on emulation, it’s almost assured that Citra will never hit the Apple App Store.