In the past, Cydia was always the answer to installing modified content on our iOS devices, but that is no longer an option for many users. Apple doesn’t support unofficial content, and that includes the ever-popular games emulators we always got from Cydia. These are the only way to play console games on the iPhone or iPad, something else that Apple doesn’t support and, while the app store has a few emulator apps, they don’t work properly and are very limited.

Luckily for us, the developers have been hard at work, and a whole range of emulator apps has been released, all working without the need for Cydia.  Some are for specific consoles only while others support several different ones, but they all work on the iPhone and iPad and all work on iOS 13.

Top 10 iPhone Emulator Apps:

We have personally tested every one of these, and they all work well; every one of them is free to use.

1. Delta Emulator

A relative newcomer, Delta emulator, offers support for Gameboy and Nintendo games, working smoothly on all iOS devices. There is also support for SNES and N64 gaming, and the choice of games is pretty wide, with a mixture of classics and new. Developed by Riley Testut, it is compatible on iOS 10 or above and is free to use.

2. HappyChick Emulator

HappyChick is one of the few emulators that offers support for several consoles, including the Gameboy range, PPSSPP, Nintendo, PS1 and more. There is a huge choice of games, from some of the best classic games to the latest blockbusters. It is compatible with all iOS devices, but it is better if you have at least 2 GB RAM. It has plenty of features, including cloud-hosting, one-click play, LAN support and more and it offers some in-app customizations.

3. GBA4iOS

One of the earliest, GBA4iOS app is another Riley Testut emulator offering support for the Gameboy and Nintendo consoles. It is compatible with devices on iOS 9 or below – Delta emulator takes care of those on IOS 10 or above – and it offers a wide range of games. Retro and high-graphic blockbusters are available, and there is support for multiplayer gaming, one-click play, cloud hosting, and more.

4. MeSMU

MeSMU was designed for those who want to play SNES games. Developed by Lucas Mendes Menge, MESMU, formerly known as SIOS, is an extremely fast Super Nintendo emulator with support for both SMC and ZIP files, full-screen gameplay, and autosave. It also has a plug and play support for several controllers and works on all devices.

5. GearBoy

Providing support for Nintendo console games, including GBA and GBAC, it has incredibly accurate emulation, with a feature named Mix Frames that provides the ghosting often found in GB games. It also offers LCD controller emulation, and support for compressed ROMS, providing one of the most authentic experiences on iOS devices from iOS 10 to iOS 13.

6. GC4iOS:

GC4iOS provides users with capabilities not present in any other emulation app – support for Wii and GameCube games. There are no preinstalled games – GC4iOS is just a repository to hold games that you download from the internet. It offers loads of features and supports all iOS devices on all iOS firmware versions.

7. Provenance

Provenance is another emulator app offering multi-console support, including GB, GBA, GBC, PPSSPP, Nintendo, and PlayStation, to name just a few. It has some cool features, such as gameplay recording, the ability to share recordings, one-click play, and external ROM support.

8. RetroArch

Designed purely for retro gaming, RetroArch is a frontend app for frontend engines, media players and emulator games, plug and play support for some controllers, record/share capability and a whole library of retro games that gets added to regularly.


Super Nintendo games have always been popular, and SNES4iOS provides you the opportunity to play them on your iOS device. It supports all of the Nintendo platforms and is an incredibly comprehensive emulator app. It is full of useful and cool features and works on all iOS devices.

10. NDS4iOS

Our last emulator has support for Nintendo games, and there is a huge choice on offer. The emulator provides support for Dropbox, cloud hosting, in-app customizations, one-click play, and much more. It was one of the first emulator apps to work without Cydia and supports all devices on iOS 7 to iOS 13.

How to Fix the Untrusted Developer Error:

Whenever you try to use one of these emulator apps on your device, the 1st thing you will see is the Untrusted Developer error. This is down to the developer not being verified by Apple, but it is easy to fix:

  1. Note the name of the developer from the error message and then cancel it
  2. Go to iOS Settings and go to General
  3. Click Profiles & Device Management and a list of app profiles will appear
  4. Tap the developer name and tap on Trust
  5. Close Settings, your emulator app will now work.

While the lack of support for Cydia hit many people hard, these developers have gone out of their way to provide us with cool emulator apps that don’t rely on a jailbreak to work. Even better, they are all free, and all offer a decent choice of games. Adding external ROMs is simple; just download them from the internet an open them with your choice of an emulator.

With emulators like these at your disposal, now you can play pretty much anything you want on your iPhone or iPad; you no longer have to limit yourself to the official app store.