If you’ve ever wanted to play Nintendo 3DS games on your PC in HD graphics then the only way to make that happen is through emulation – this is where Citra comes in the picture. Citra is a fully functional emulator of Nintendo 3DS that is available for Windows and Mac. Unlike other Nintendo3DS emulators online, Citra can truly run Nintendo 3DS games at 100% and even take it a step further by allowing resolution scaling and improving the3D graphics to display much higher visuals then the Nintendo 3DS could ever accomplish! Games like Super Mario 3D Land, Mario Kart 7 and The Legend of Zelda look like games designed for a completely different and more powerful console on the PC when compared to the Nintendo 3DS.
Most Nintendo 3DS games run at a resolution of 400×240 which doesn’t really provide high-end graphics. Most games on the Nintendo 3DS had blocky textures but Citra emulator has managed to run 3DS games at a stunning 1080p which makes them look more refined and detailed. Besides increasing the graphics quality of the base game, Citra can also be used to make changes in the game code which many PC gamers have used to improve the graphics of many Citra games.
A great example of this would be the graphical tweaks modders made to Pokemon Sun and Moon. Modders managed to remove the jagged black lines from around the characters and Pokémon in Pokemon Sun and Moon giving the game a much clearer and higher quality look which was only further refined by the high-resolution options available. If this sounds like something you’d be interested in then read on!
Citra Setup Guide
To start running Nintendo 3DS games on the PC you’ll need to download Citra from the official site. Since Citra is an open source software for the POC anyone can access the source code and make their own changes which is why there are more than a few version of the emulator available online. Naturally, the most reliable version of the Nintendo 3DS emulator is being developed by the original creators. There are two different builds available for the emulator but we highly recommend that you use the Bleeding Edge builds since they are stable and tested versions of the software.
The simplest and easiest ways to get Nintendo 3DS games to emulate is by using Wii U USB Helper that lets you download Nintendo 3DS games directly from Nintendo servers. Keep in mind that this is the only legal way to acquire the games and you will be required to own a serial of the games to play. Once you’ve downloaded the game files you’ll need to dump them to play using the emulator which is a lot easier than it sounds.
After you’ve downloaded the game and Citra 3DS emulator, then it’s time to configure Citra for use. The first thing you’ll want to do is configure the controls. Setting up the controls is fairly simple and can easily be changed based on your preference. You can even change controls while you’re playing the game by heading to Emulation à Configure à Input.
As far as configuring the CPU performance goes there aren’t many changes that you can make. The only thing you need to make sure is that the “Enable CPU JIT” option is enabled. It’s the graphic settings that where things start to get interesting. The first thing you want to make sure is that your graphics settings look exactly like mine so that you have the best performance.
These are the ideal configurations to make sure that games run without lag or any noticeable stuttering. Citra 3DS Emulator doesn’t rely heavily on the GPU so as long as you have a reasonably powerful graphics card you should be able to emulate most Nintendo 3DS games without any issues. If you do experience stuttering then you can try lowering the internal resolution to reduce the graphics quality and increase the speed.