Handheld Emulators: 5 Things to Consider Before Buying


Any great video game lover has to choose between one console over another at one point. Either way, you will end up losing the games that the other console has to offer.

It’s moments like these when you need an emulator. Emulator software allows a user to play games on any unofficial software. For example, an emulator can allow you to play games from across systems. No longer do you need to choose between XBOX and Playstation!

Handheld emulators are becoming popular for their convenience and price. With just one handheld emulator, users have access to hundreds if not thousands of games! This also includes retro games for those looking for a bit of vintage to satisfy their nostalgia.

If you are in the market for a good handheld emulator, consider checking out these features before you buy.

Blue Nintendo Game Boy Color

1. Supported Formats

The beauty of emulators is that they allow you to play a variety of games. Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean all games! Each handheld usually supports multiple formats, but make sure you are buying with the formats in mind that you want.

There is sometimes a connection between price and the number of systems supported, but this is not always the case. It is best to purchase a handheld with as many systems as possible. If not, make sure you are looking out for the games you want to play.

2. Shoulder Buttons

Consoles have a variety of styles, and handhelds are no exception. They will feature unique buttons with different placements. However, keep an eye out for shoulder buttons!

While much of a device’s buttons will be universal to allow for gameplay on thousands of games, shoulder buttons are often essential for games but not included on a handheld.

If you are looking forward to playing specific games that require shoulder buttons, this feature is a must-have in your handheld emulator.

3. TV Flexibility

Many purchase handheld emulators for the number of games it supports. If this is true for you, you may want to consider purchasing an emulator that supports a TV mode.

Several handhelds on the market allow you to plug your console into your TV. They may also allow for multiplayer mode. This is a great option for someone who wants the price and convenience of a handheld device and also wants to play on a big screen.

4. Materials

Just as handhelds vary in price, they also vary in construction. This leads to some being more durable than others.

You may want to look out for if your screen is covered by tempered glass. This can keep your screen from being scratched.

Another point of focus is the handheld’s body construction. Metal may make for a more expensive feel to your device. However, if you’re looking for something lightweight, plastic may be the way to go. Metal grips may also make for a more comfortable gaming experience.

5. Price

Handheld emulators vary widely, ranging from $12-$150. Even the most expensive is affordable when you consider how many games you get. But spend wisely!

With these devices, a few dollars more can completely change your gaming experience for the better. On the other hand, the most expensive are not always suited to what each user is looking for.

You can find a handheld within your budget; just keep an eye out for the features you want!


Handheld emulators are a great solution for gamers looking to play various systems and vintage games with the convenience of one on-the-go device. Keep these features in mind to determine what you want in your device, and you will have thousands of hours of enjoyment!

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By Sidharth

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