The Power of PC Gaming on Your Android Phone with This App
Play PC Games on Your Android Phone – Winlator, a recently launched app, promises to bridge the gap between PC games and Android devices. However, our testing reveals limited success, making it advisable to wait for the upcoming Cassia app, which vows to provide a better gaming experience. While various projects have attempted to bring Windows games to Android phones, issues with performance, compatibility, and a steep learning curve have hindered progress.
Winlator stands out as an app that simplifies the process of playing Windows games on Android. It effectively combines existing apps and tools, such as Box (enabling the execution of x86 programs on Arm devices) and Wine (allowing the use of Windows apps on Linux), into a user-friendly interface. Although it missed the opportunity to be named BoxWine, Winlator offers an improved installation process and a more intuitive user interface compared to similar solutions like Box4Droid, which rely on terminal commands.
File Size: Calculating... MB
Setting up Winlator is relatively straightforward. You just need to install the app and copy a file provided by the app to a specific directory on your Android phone. Once done, you can open the app and set up a container, customizing display resolution, drivers, and other settings. The app also conveniently defaults to accessing your Downloads folder, where you can place your legally acquired games. But is it worth using?
Our testing involved trying out nine or 10 PC games
Our testing involved trying out nine or 10 PC games, and the results were mixed. Many of these games required resolution adjustments and driver tweaks to run, and some didn’t run at all or crashed before entering gameplay. While a few cases might benefit from further tweaking, the majority of titles struggled to perform. However, we did manage to achieve mostly smooth performance with Deus Ex, a variable but playable frame rate with Hitman 2, and mostly playable performance with occasional dips in Undertale. Far Cry 2 initiated but crashed after a few minutes, and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time displayed severe graphical glitches during gameplay. Some users have reported success running titles like Trackmania Nations Forever and Gothic.
Despite its ease of setup and use, Winlator falls short in terms of performance and compatibility. It is evident that demanding PC games released in the last decade or so, such as Cyberpunk 2077, The Witcher 3, or Control, are not suitable for this app. Complicating matters further, Winlator, like other Android utilities in this category, does not work well with the latest Snapdragon chipsets, specifically those with Adreno 7xx GPUs. If you own an older flagship phone, it might be more compatible with Winlator.
However, Winlator is not the last attempt we’ll see at bringing PC games to Android. The developers of the now-defunct Skyline emulator are working on a free app called Cassia, which aims to address current challenges and allow users to play Windows games (DirectX8 and higher) on their smartphones. If you value a more polished gaming experience or have reservations about installing an unknown app from Github, it’s worth waiting for the launch of Cassia in the future.
Some older PC games have official Android ports
In addition, it’s worth noting that some older PC games have official Android ports or releases on consoles like the PS2 and GameCube. You can either purchase these titles legally or run them through emulators on your Android device.
Lastly, Steam Link offers in-home PC game streaming, while GeForce Now provides full-fledged game streaming. These alternative options are also worth exploring for your gaming needs.
In conclusion, while Winlator attempts to bridge the gap between PC gaming and Android devices, our testing reveals limitations in performance and compatibility. It is advisable to wait for the upcoming Cassia app or explore other gaming options available to truly enhance your gaming experience on Android.