CitraVR is a 3DS emulator for Meta Quest, and it's launching this week

Meta Quest 3 headset with two 3DS consoles next to it
Credit: Meta / Nintendo

Meta Quest 3 headset with two 3DS consoles next to it
Credit: Meta / Nintendo

Coming directly from the Air Link creator, Amanda Watson, herself, CitraVR delivers native 3DS emulation for Quest 3 users, allowing you to have the iconic Nintendo console available in virtual reality. And the best part? It's coming this week.

Further solidifying it as one of the best VR headsets, Meta's acceptance of sideloading apps allows incredible things like this to happen. While CitraVR itself won't be available to download on the Quest storefront itself, users can download the application via SideQuest, which is a fairly standard process. Alternatively, it will be available on GitHub too.

The news comes from UploadVR, who shared the details on the upcoming app. Citra already exists on PC as a 3DS emulator, and can be streamed to VR, however, CitraVR allows it to be emulated natively on Meta's VR headsets. The app starts with a 2D panel to easily manage and select games, before turning into a full app screen once selected.

Similarly to Nintendo's console, the app will launch two virtual screens, the top one offering stereoscopic 3D, something which 3DS players would have come to love when playing the original console. According to UploadVR, the Touch Controllers' default mapping makes most games in CitraVR playable, but the app also supports wired USB and wireless Bluetooth controllers for any games that require additional inputs.

To legally play 3DS games via emulation, you'll have to dump games through a hacked 3DS. Of course, a range of ROMs can be found online, however, like many emulators out there, CitraVR doesn't endorse this. As noted by UploadVR too, original DS games aren't playable via CitraVR, despite one of the best gaming handhelds offering backwards compatibility. The app will launch on January 20.

Considering that emulators can be notoriously difficult to run, it remains to be seen how CitraVR runs when played on the Quest 3. However, Air Link's performance has been, at least personally, an incredible asset to playing PCVR games on a Quest headset, one that I've used hundreds of times when playing VR games. I have extremely high hopes that CitraVR will run well, and we can't wait to test it out.

If there are any specific games that you're hoping will run on Citra, you can check out the list of compatible games here.

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