Mobile games are getting better, but touch controls, a small screen, and limited battery life can make mobile games inconvenient. Thankfully it’s quite easy to learn how to play Android games on a PC. That way, you can play with a larger screen, better controls, and with unlimited battery life. 

To play Android games on a PC, you’ll need an emulator and take some steps to prepare your games so that the controls are working correctly. But don’t worry, we’ll guide you through everything you need to know.

How To Play Android Games On PC With An Emulator

To begin with, you must install an Android emulator so that your PC can run Android games. An emulator will mimic the Android operating system so that you can use the Play store, install apps, and access content exclusive to Android.

We suggest using Bluestacks and we’ll be basing our guide on this one. We think Bluestacks is a great option for playing games thanks to the majority of control presets for popular games. However, if you want to try something else there are many other great Android emulator alternatives too.

Once you have downloaded and installed Bluestacks, it’s time to get to grips with how it works and how you can start playing games on it.

You’ll first need to sign into a Google account so that you can access the Play store. It’s up to you whether you use your primary account or a burner account, but it’s very easy to set up a new Gmail account within seconds. 

Once signed in, you can access the Google Play store just like you would be able to on your phone or tablet. Find any game you’d like to download, and install it like usual.

How To Setup PC Controls For Android Emulators

One of the great things about Bluestacks in particular is that it has controls set up already for most popular games. When you open a popular game for the first time you’ll even get a tutorial explaining how to play the game.

In this case, you’re good to go right away. Simply learn the on-screen controls as explained and jump into the action.

Unfortunately because there are just so many games in the Google Play store, there’s no way for Bluestacks to set up controls and guides for every single game. In this case, you’ll need to create your own controls.

In this guide, we’ll be downloading a game called Infinity Ops but you can follow the steps below for any game. 

Once your game is opened, you’ll be able to click on the screen by default and that will mimic touching the screen in that location. But for most games that’s not going to work very well. You can only click in a single place at once, whilst with your fingers on a touch screen you can press multiple locations at once.

To remedy this, we’ll need to use the controls editor. To the left of the main game screen, you’ll see a number of controls. Click the keyboard icon or alternatively press Ctrl+Shift+A on your keyboard.

You’ll now have a number of options to create custom controls that can be placed anywhere on the Bluestacks screen. It will take some trial and error to get the right button types in the right place. 

You must click and drag different control types to the on-screen controls. For most games, you’ll want to use the tap spot control. With this, you can mimic tapping that particular spot on the screen. 

Start by clicking and dragging the tap spot to a location on your screen. After, you can press a key on your keyboard to assign a control to it. From now on, when you press that button on your keyboard, it will tap on that area of the screen.

Sometimes you’ll need to use other control types. For example, for a game with a joystick, you’ll need to use the D-pad. With this, you can set four keys, usually W, A, S and D to control your forward, left, right, and backward movement.

This can take some adjusting to put it in the perfect position, so go back and forth in the settings until the in-game movement using keyboards feels as natural as possible.

The most difficult control to get right is the aim, pan and shoot control. This is needed for any games that rely on swiping to control the in-game camera. You should click and drag this option to the right side of the screen to set it. Next, you’ll need to set the sensitivity and X/Y axis. The default settings are often good enough, but you may want to adjust the sensitivity a little. 

The sensitivity will control how much mouse movement you’ll need to use to simulate swiping your finger across the screen and the best setting will be down to personal preference.

After some time, you should have a number of buttons set on your screen for controlling your game. You may need to adjust it over time because you may be introduced to new controls or menus that need different control setups in Bluestacks.

It definitely takes a lot more work to play Android games on your PC with Bluestacks, but once you’re set up, the experience is much better than playing on your touchscreen phone. Hopefully this guide has proven useful, but if you need any more help why not leave a comment?