Yuzu, the popular Nintendo Switch emulator, is breaching into a new platform. Following years of updates on Windows and Linux, Yuzu has now officially landed for Android. Not all the bells and whistles of the desktop builds will be available just yet on the new platform, but it is still a tremendous achievement.
"In the past year, we have made significant strides in improving both the accuracy and performance of yuzu. And with many more such improvements in progress, we understood that the longer we waited, the more challenging it would become for us to support an Android build," revealed the Yuzu team on a blog post. "We hope to welcome Android developers interested in lending their expertise to a cutting-edge project and produce new yuzu features, optimizations, and other improvements!"
There are some steep hardware requirements attached to this release, however. Only Qualcomm Snapdragon SoCs with Adreno GPUs are supported for now. Having a large amount of RAM was also mentioned as crucial, with at least 8GB being recommended, and more is always better. For example, Tears of the Kingdom currently requires 12GB of RAM to run on an Android device.
Tears of the Kingdom running on a Redmagic 8 Pro! pic.twitter.com/tPTwXS4jSP— yuzu (@yuzuemu) May 31, 2023
Features such as LAN/LDN multiplayer, input profiles, and TAS scripts are also missing from the Android version of Yuzu for now. The team has said its focus is currently on improving compatibility and performance while solving emulation challenges presented by Android hardware.
The developers have found that Adreno 600 GPUs running Mesa Turnip drivers display the best compatibility for games, though not the best performance. Performance differences in this early state while using the Turnip drivers and default can be seen in this chart:
Yuzu came into the spotlight back in January of 2018, less than a year after the launch of the Nintendo Switch portable console. The open-source project's developers are also responsible for the Nintendo 3DS emulator Citra.
Yuzu is now available via the Google Play Store in both free and paid ($4.99) variants.
The Android version's GitHub page containing standalone downloads is not online yet, but the developer is planning to release it to the public soon.