How to use Citra Emulator [Step by Step Guide]

How to use Citra Emulator

Citra emulator is a fairly new software in the world of emulation. It quickly gained popularity as the best 3DS emulator for Android. Nowadays, we can literally play any old/new game that is made for one specific console on our mobile devices. Whether they are the retro 3DS games or old PS1 games we are talking about everything. However, setting up and making an emulator ready to play a game is a process that is different for both the console that we have to emulate and which platform we have to emulate on. So, in this below article I will show you how to use the official Citra emulator on Android and PC


  • 64 bit Android 8 (Oreo) and above
  • Any Android device released after January 2018
  • OpenGL ES 3.2 supported devices
  • SnapDragon 835 or stronger recommended
  • Minimum 3GB RAM

Also note: If this emulator is compatible with your device then only it will show up on Play Store. If your device is not supported then you will not be able to install it on your mobile.

How to use Citra Emulator

Download Citra

  • Visit this link on your mobile.
  • Press the install button [make sure you have enough space on your Android]

Download the games

Citra is an emulator but it does not provide any license for any 3DS games to run on it. So, we manually will have to download game ROMs and import them inside the emulator.

  • Visit this website
  • Choose the game
  • And download the 3DS version only
  • Save all the game ROMs in ONE SPECIFIC FOLDER
How to use Citra emulator

Citra emulator only supports 4 ROM formats i.e, CCI, CXI, 3DS, 3DSX. So make sure that the ROM file that you are downloading is any of these 4 formats only. If the format of the game is different, the emulator will be unable to recognize that game and you won’t be able to play it.

Open Emulator and Import Games

  • Open Citra
  • Click OK for the prompted message
  • Grant permissions
  • Choose the folder where you have stored the games
  • The games will be now visible on the homescreen of the emulator
How to use Citra Emulator
how to use citra emulator

Configure Settings

  • Click on the Settings icon
how to use citra emulator


  • Check ‘Enable Limit Speed’
  • Set ‘Limit Speed percent’ to 100%.


  • Set ‘Internal Resolution’ depending upon your device
  • 1x for lower-end and 4x for higher-end devices. Choose what is best for you.
  • Check ‘Enable Linear Filtering’
  • Check ‘Enable asynchronous GPU emulation’
  • Uncheck ‘Accurate Shader Multiplication’


  • Open a game
  • Swipe down from above
  • Click on 3 vertical dots
  • Check ‘Show FPS’ to see the Frame Per Seconds that will be displayed on the top left corner
  • Make sure that ‘Show Overlay’ is checked. Otherwise, you won’t be able to see onscreen buttons
  • Click on ‘Configure Controls‘ and customize them as you want
  • ‘Edit layout’ to rearrange on-screen buttons
  • ‘Toggle Controls’ to select what controls to be enabled.
  • ‘Landscape Screen Layout’ has 4 options: Default, Portrait, Single Screen, Side by Side Screens.
how to use citra emulator

Optimizations – Citra Lag Fix

The task of emulation or virtualization demands heavy processing power. That is why all the emulators like Bluestacks becomes so heavy for any system. Citra is no exception to this. To make the Citra emulator run smooth on your Android device and reduce lag, follow these below steps.

  • Uncheck ‘New 3DS Mode’
  • Check ‘Use Virtual SD’
  • Check ‘Enable CPU JIT’
citra 3ds emulator
  • Change the ‘Internal Resolution’ to 1x
  • Check ‘Enable Hardware Shader’ option from Graphics
  • Uncheck ‘Accurate Multiplication’
  • Turn OFF ‘Post-Processing Effect’
citra lag fix
  • Turn OFF ‘Texture Load Hack’
  • Uncheck ‘Use Custom Textures’
  • Uncheck ‘Preload Custom Textures’
citra lag fix
  • Change Shader Type to ‘Normal Shader with Cache’
  • Set ‘Factor 3D’ to 0
Citra lag fix
  • Uncheck ‘Enable Audio Stretching’ from Audio settings
How to use Citra Emulator on Android

Also, remember that Citra emulator is a new thing for Android. In fact, the developers have also stated that the emulator will have few bugs and crashes and it is possible that it won’t work properly on some devices. So, don’t get demotivated as the issues will definitely get fixed through future updates.


As of now, there is no Multiplayer support in Citra for Android. However, there is a local wireless multiplayer available on the PC version of Citra. A total of 16 players can play simultaneously through that. No one is sure when the multiplayer support will arrive for Android phones as there is no official announcement made by the Citra Team.

To join a room on PC

  • Click on ‘Multiplayer’ from the menu
  • Select ‘Browse Public game Lobbies’
  • Enter your nickname
  • Double click on the room that you want to join
How to use Citra Emulator on PC
How to use Citra emulator


Is there any 3DS emulator other than Citra?

Yes, there are other 3DS emulators that are available on the internet like the Mikage emulator or the RetroArch app on Android but Citra is the most recommended of all.

Is Citra illegal?

The Software Citra is not illegal BUT downloading game ROMs from the internet and playing them is however illegal. The only legal way to play 3DS games is to buy them and play with the Nintendo 3DS console.

Final Note: If you have additional tips and tricks regarding how to use the Citra emulator then comment below.

Also, see:

How to use Cheat Engine on Bluestacks in 2020 [Guide]

How to Speed up Bluestacks 4 on Windows 10 [Complete Guide]