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BlueStacks: Android Emulation

A while back, I wrote about a game I was getting into – RAID: Shadow Legends. This game has kept me pretty entertained since May, but I constantly have so much energy due to how I played the game so slowly. Considering I have so much, but a phone that is a little bit on the older side, I decided I wanted a more reliable way to play the game. Thankfully, that’s what BlueStacks allows me to do – Play RAID (or any other mobile game) on a much more reliable machine, which can handle all of the games that I throw at it. How does BlueStacks stack up to just owning an Android phone? Here are my thoughts on the emulator.

Installation

Let’s get down to basics, the installation of BlueStacks is fairly straightforward. The website has a simple installer on it, allowing you to download and start using BlueStacks after a very quick installation. I will say that when I installed the software, I found that there was some laggy inputs; this wasn’t isolated to just me either, as my partner Jake also installed BlueStacks and effectively had to go through the same issues as I did. Getting the software to stablise was one thing, but it didn’t take all that long to get sorted – and now it’s one of our go to’s on our computers.

One problem you’ll have with BlueStacks is how it wants you to enable hardware assisted virtualisation, if you don’t already have this activated. To their credit, they give full instructions on how to do this, but it is a bit of faff, especially if you already have a fairly powerful machine. In any case, you can choose what you do with this, but if you don’t enable this feature, then you’ll always get a red exclamation mark at the top of your BlueStacks window.

Using BlueStacks

Once it’s installed, it’s the same as using a normal Android device. The main differences are you can’t really make calls or anything through the software, but you can install anything you would usually install through Google Play. This is a hugely convenient feature, as you can even install software like WhatsApp, should you want to just type to your WhatsApp groups. Whilst BlueStacks isn’t unique for allowing you to do this, I do think it is one of the better set up emulators for the operating system.

When you open an app, it appears as a tab at the top of the software window. You can swap between your home page – which is effectively all of your installed apps – and your opened apps by using the tabs at the top of the window. If you have a fairly powerful machine, there is legitimately no reason why you couldn’t run multiple apps, except for the fact that Android does like to suspend apps when you go between your windows.

BlueStacks is very clean and simple to use, so if you’re looking for a way to play your mobile games on your PC, opting to have more control using a keyboard and mouse setup, or even a controller, then this is definitely a piece of software you should think about. It’s well made, nicely laid out and so simple to use. I will say, it takes a bit of time for it to properly “settle” and as I mentioned earlier, we had some teething problems. I had to reboot the software multiple times before it finally was able to handle what it was doing properly. This isn’t the end of the world, but worth thinking about. If you’re an Android fan, is there an emulator you use? Do you use BlueStacks yourself? Share your thoughts in the comments below, or on Facebook and Twitter.

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