How to Use an Emulator on iPhone: Classic Games for Free

If you want to play your favorite SNES, N64, Game Boy, and Sega titles from last year on your iPhone, you’re in luck. While it used to be a lengthy process to install an emulator on your iPhone, with some requiring you to jailbreak your device, that’s no longer the case. While Apple doesn’t accept emulators in the App Store like Google does with the Play Store, there are ways to install emulators on your iPhone quickly and easily.

Here’s how to use an emulator on your iPhone (or iPad) to play classic video games.

What are emulators and ROMs?

If you’ve finished this tutorial, chances are you already know about the potential of emulators, but for those who are new to it, an emulator is essentially software that mimics (or emulates) a game. old video game. remote control. Some are console-specific, but there are a few available for iPhone that overcome the traditional console hurdles, handling ROMs from any system with ease.

The vast majority of emulators are open source, making them free and legal to use, but the same cannot be said for ROMs. ROMs are basically the games you will play on the emulator, and these games are usually protected by copyright. There are some situations where you can create a ROM for a game you already own, if the game is for personal use, but some companies (like Nintendo) state that using ROMs for any Which game is illegal.

Sharing ROMs with anyone else is also illegal, but with that said, a lot of people do it online. Oh, the joys of the Internet. We won’t link to any specific repositories here for obvious reasons, but a quick Google search will likely find the classic game ROM you’re looking for.

If you’re looking for something a little more recent, we have a selection of the best free PC games.

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How to install emulators on your iPhone without jailbreak

The good news is that you don’t have to go through a complicated iPhone jailbreak method just to install an emulator to play old Game Boy games, but as with most things, there is a way; Apple doesn’t allow emulators to appear on the App Store, so you’ll have to download them through third-party sources.

Download the emulator via Safari

The easiest way to install an emulator on your iPhone is through Safari, which offers quick installation without downloading any software on your PC or Mac. There are plenty of websites that offer emulators for iPhone or iPad, and most of them can be installed through Safari, but there’s a big problem with most of these easy-to-access options.

When Apple detects an emulator, it revokes the developer’s enterprise certificate, rendering the emulator useless. Enterprise certificates are used to install apps outside of the App Store, so it’s important to have these, and it’s likely that even if you install the emulator, it will stop working. move sooner or later. Depending on the situation, it can take from a few hours to a few weeks for a developer to receive a new certificate, during which time you won’t be able to use the app.

However, it’s an easy (and more importantly, free) way to install an emulator on your iPhone. We recommend iEmulators, but there are plenty of other options – just watch out for the ads.

When you’re ready, here’s how to install the emulator via Safari:

  1. Find the emulator you want to use.
  2. Tap the Install/Open button (depending on the website) and follow the on-screen instructions.
  3. Once the emulator file has been downloaded, you will see a warning popup asking for permission to install it. Tap install and wait for it to appear on your Home screen.
  4. Go to Settings > General > Device Management and tap on the developer name to Trust the app.
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The emulator will then be installed, ready to use – until Apple inevitably revokes the developer’s enterprise certificate.

It’s worth noting that BuildStore offers a similar service with much fewer mock apps being revoked, but that’s because you have to pay for it. It costs $14.99 a year per device, and you’ll have to re-register it if you change your phone, but you’ll likely only have issues a few times per year – compared to every few weeks with a publicly available emulator.

When you’re ready to play, simply download the ROM(s) of your choice, making sure that the emulator you downloaded supports the game you want to play. Save them to your iPhone’s Files app via Safari, make a note of where they’re stored, and browse to that location in your simulator to start playing.

AltStore and Delta

You also have the option of using AltStore to install the Delta Emulator, arguably the best of any emulator available for iPhone for Nintendo fans, providing support for Game Boy titles, N64 and DS. Unlike the options installed via Safari, the application will not have its certificate revoked, but you must use a PC or Mac to install the application and re-sign it every 7 days.

Essentially, AltStore compiles apps on your PC or Mac, tricking your iPhone into thinking you developed them yourself, eliminating the need for an Enterprise Certificate. It may not be an official Apple app, but Testut is a trusted developer who has been building apps for iOS for years, so it’s completely safe to use.

  1. Install AltServer on your PC or Mac, but don’t open it yet.

  2. Connect iPhone to your computer using the included Lightning cable.
  3. On a PC or Mac before Catalina, open iTunes. Select your iPhone from the top left menu and make sure that the option to sync your iPhone over Wi-Fi is enabled. If you’re running Apple’s latest operating system, you can use the Finder app to achieve the same results.
  4. Open AltServer, select it from the system tray/menu bar, click Install AltStore and select your iPhone.
  5. Enter your Apple ID and password (they are used to compile apps for use on your iPhone).
  6. The AltStore app should appear on your iPhone a few seconds later.
  7. On your iPhone, go to Settings > General > Device Management and Trust your Apple ID.
  8. Go back to the AltStore app and install Delta.

We mentioned the seven-day resignation above, but it’s not as complicated as you might imagine. You just need to make sure your iPhone is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as the PC or Mac running AltServer once a week and you won’t have any problems.

What game are you playing on your new emulator? Let us know on
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