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Visual novels on Android

Google Play Store

Native Android visual novels exist, but most of these are gacha cash grab trash. There are a few Android ports of Windows visual novels which you can buy at the Japanese Play Store or... wink wink by "other means". You can switch to the Japanese Play Store by using a Japanese VPN, then clearing your Play Store data and cache.

PSP Emulation

One of the best options to emulate PSP games is by using the PPSSPP emulator.


PS Vita Emulation

As technology improves, something that used to be almost completely impossible has now been made normal. That's probably the best way to define the existence of Vita3K on Android phones. With this wonderful software, it's possible to emulate many of the best Japanese games available from the best handheld that a Japanese student could ever ask for. Vita has received both official and unofficial ports of several different visual novels (VN), and all of them are top quality!

Well, as expected, this emulator is fairly demanding. Most intermediate and high-end smartphones from the last 5~6 years are capable of running most VNs, in other words, there are certain minimum requirements that you need to meet before downloading the emulator itself. I'll mention all the requirements that are important for running VNs, i.e. commercial games other than VNs are heavier and require more from your smartphone. Therefore, don't expect to run all that much besides VNs with what I'm going to tell you here


  • At least 4GB of RAM
  • 64-bit processors
  • EGL3.2
  • At least something with comparable performance to the Snapdragon 732g

You'll find everything you need to know about setting up Vita3K on its official website, along with links to download the necessary files. It's very simple and takes no more than 10 minutes to get the emulator up and running.

Nintendo Switch Emulation

Nintendo Switch emulation is also available on Android through Yuzu. Thanks to the hard work of Yuzu's developers, we can run most Switch games on Android phones these days. Not only that, but combined with some custom drivers, hardly any graphical issues appear at all.

Well, since Nintendo took down the original Yuzu repository, there are now two options when it comes to downloading the emulator. The first is downloading the latest version of Yuzu available on the archives. The second is downloading Suyu instead, which is a fork (whose development imploded) of Yuzu with some minor improvements.

Okay, if Vita3K was a bit demanding, then Yuzu is just downright frightful as it requires a more up-to-date device. Thankfully, most VNs available on the Switch are extremely simple and easy to emulate due to their nature as fancy PowerPoint slides.


  • At least 6GB RAM*
  • 64-bit processors
  • Android 11+
  • At least something with comparable performance to the Snapdragon 865*
OBS 1: I have specified 6GB of RAM as a minimum requirement for the emulator, yet, when playing for a long time, I would advise you to close the emulator once every 50-60 minutes and restart the phone. If you don't, there's a chance that it will crash due to a lack of RAM from Yuzu's memory leaks. And while you can run most VNs with 6GB of RAM, other games could require even greater amounts of RAM.
OBS 2: While the Snapdragon 865 is the recommended SoC for running most of the Switch library, I wouldn't recommend using it for anything too demanding. This SoC was quite good with all the VNs I tested, so in that respect I don't think you'll have a problem even if you use a weaker SoC. That being said, I tried it with the Snapdragon 732g as well, but it stuttered in a good number of VNs. Therefore, I believe that something stronger than the Snapdragon 732g will be able to run most VNs on this emulator.

All the information on how to set up the emulator can be found here and here. The setup is straightforward with links to every necessary resource. There's even a brief explanation of the customized drivers that I mentioned earlier. With that, you can now read your VNs on your phone!

Windows Emulation... or something close to it

Now... now I can finally talk about my babies!!! It is worth mentioning that although I do refer to them as "Windows emulators", I would say they are closer to Wine emulators. Well, leaving my autistic behaviour aside, let's get to the important stuff. At least for now, we have 3 emulators in charge of running Windows programs on Android: ExaGear, Winlator, and Mobox. I'm going to talk about each two of them here, so be prepared!


OBS: It's recommended to use Winlator or Mobox instead for Windows emulation. Only use ExaGear if your phone can't run the other emulators, or if you want to test something that doesn't work on the other two.

Well, let's start by talking about ExaGear. It was a paid project whose focus was essentially to run 32-bit Windows programs on Android. As I've mentioned before, even though I referred to them as "Windows emulators", the truth is that they are nothing more than Wine emulators.

Having said that, let me rank ExaGear among the other three: it's the slowest and has the least support. As I mentioned before, it only works with 32-bit programs, so any 64-bit visual novel won't work on it. Furthermore, running it decently will depend a lot on the VN itself. I also recommend having a decent phone, but compared to Yuzu and Vita3K, anything with performance comparable to the Snapdragon 845 should be more than enough for this emulator. Oh, and even with a VERY good device, your VN may still lag a bit, or even take 10 minutes to open. It all depends on the VN, and I recommend you test each game.

Setup files:

Super ultra mega blaster tutorial on how to set this one up:

  1. After downloading and extracting the ExaGear APK + OBB, you'll move the folder to a folder called OBB within the Android folder on your phone -> 0/android/obb.
  2. Install the ExaGear APK that was included with the extracted files.
  3. Open the app, swipe to the right, and go to the tab labeled Manage Containers. Once inside, swipe to the left and click on the "+" button in the top-right corner.
  4. With the new container created, click on the three dots next to it and go to Properties. Here, you'll change the color depth to 32bit, set the locale to Japanese, and uncheck all the option boxes below.
  5. Return to the container's home page, click on the three dots again, and open the Run Explorer option. It may take a while to start.
  6. When it opens, in its file window and under Computer, navigate to the folder where you downloaded the basic ExaGear files earlier.
  7. Double-click on K-Lite.... Once it opens, you'll need to choose Advanced instead of Normal.
  8. Click on Next, and in the next window under the Preferred audio player option, choose Media Player Classic....
  9. Keep clicking on Next until you reach the Additional Tasks and Options window. Here, you'll uncheck all 4 boxes within the System tray icons field.
  10. Continue clicking on Next until the installation finishes.
  11. Install all the files in the Visual-C... folder.
  12. After installing them, go back to the location where you downloaded the basic ExaGear files and run MPSetupXP.exe.
  13. Continue clicking on Next until the installation finishes. The first installation attempt usually ends in an error. If that's the case for you, rerun MPSetupXP.exe until it succeeds.
  14. Now you can run your game!

First of all, I'd like to remind you that it was quite a hassle to test all of this. If you encounter any errors, just ping me (@elderruna) on TMW's Discord, and we can sort it out there. Now, back to the emulator, haha. Well, you'll install the game as you normally would on PC. I recommend getting 32-bit VNs that don't require installation where you only need to open the executable. It's also worth mentioning that not all VNs work on it. You need to experiment to see how it goes or look through some forums, such as Reddit, where people discuss the VN compatibility with ExaGear.



Jokes aside, Winlator is probably, along with Mobox, the best Windows emulator on Android. Unlike ExaGear, it actually works with 64-bit programs. You'll find videos of people playing all sorts of games on it if you search online.

Unfortunately, quality comes with a price, and the price is performance in this case. You really need a good phone to run Winlator at its best. I recommend one with the Snapdragon 855 or higher, but I believe anything above the Snapdragon 732g should be enough for most VNs.

Since it's still a relatively new emulator, it's a bit finicky. You'll need to test each VN and adjust Winlator's settings accordingly. The upside is that the community is quite active, so if you encounter any issues, you can reach out to them.

Setup files for "the goat":

Super ultra mega blaster tutorial on how to set "the GOAT" up:

  1. Download the APK from above, install it, and open the application while connected to the internet. It will download all the necessary data for it to run.
  2. After the installation is complete, swipe the screen to the right or click on the button with three stacked lines in the top-left corner, go to Containers, and then click on the "+" button to create a container.
  3. Container settings:
    • Name -> You can choose anything. It doesn't matter.
    • Screen Size -> Choose 800x600 only if your phone is weak. You'll lose compatibility with a lot of VNs that don't support this resolution. If you want to focus on compatibility and your phone can handle it, go for 1280x720.
    • Graphics Driver -> If your SoC is Snapdragon, choose Turnip. If it's anything else, choose VirGL.
    • DX Wrapper -> If your SoC is Snapdragon, choose DXVK. If you have any other SoC, choose WineD3D. Selecting DXVK makes a gear icon appear next to the setting, and clicking it shows a menu where you can choose the in-game screen framerate, the driver version, and also the amount of RAM to allocate. Since we're talking about VNs, 2GB (2048 MB) should be enough for allocation. If the VN doesn't run, increase the RAM allocated and test again.
    • Audio Driver -> PulseAudio
    • Enable all CPU boxes (0, 1, 2, 3...)
    • In the Wine Configuration tab, choose a GPU and allocate its memory. Depending on what you choose, the container may crash. Test your VN with the default GPU GT 9800GT. If it doesn't work, create a new container and change the GPU in it until it works.
    • Grab the slider where the Wine Configuration tab is located, drag it to the left until the Advanced tab appears, and in it, set both Box86 and Box64 to compatibility mode.
  4. Click on the checkmark button to save your container settings.
  5. Back in the Containers menu, click on the three dots of the new container and then click on Run. There you go, it's already working.

OBS: If you're going to play VNs in Japanese, don't forget to download the location emulator for PC and leave the file in your phone's folder to open with Winlator. They probably won't open otherwise.


Any games that use the Kirikiri2 engine (e.g. has .xp3 files) can be loaded and played natively without any virtualization on Android.

The setup is very easy, I got it working in a matter of minutes.

You will need:

Follow the steps below:

  1. Install the APK of Kirikiroid2. You may need to allow "install unknown apps for this source."
  2. On your computer, copy the patch files into the same folder as the game files.
  3. Copy all these files over to your phone.
  4. Launch Kirikiroid2, navigate to the folder, and select the .exe of the VN, just like how you'd launch it on your PC.


Any games that use the NScripter engine (e.g. has an nscript.dat file) can be loaded and played natively without any virtualization on Android.


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