Drastic Nintendo DS emulator goes free following Yuzu closure

Mario, Pikachu and Fauna jumping out of an OG DS console

Mario, Pikachu and Fauna jumping out of an OG DS console

Following the death of Nintendo Switch emulator Yuzu and 3DS emulator Citra, the popular Android DS emulator Drastic has been made completely free.

Renowned for being one of the best DS emulators on the market for over a decade, Drastic is now completely free on the Google Play Store. Available for android phones and tablets, the software allows you to play any DS game with speed hacks, cheats and graphical improvements.

This change comes after Nintendo’s lawsuit against the Nintendo Switch emulator Yuzu. While Yuzu allowed games like Pokemon Scarlet and Violet to play better via an emulator, Nintendo took issue with the paywalling of fixes for newly released games such as Tears of the Kingdom. The company argued that this encouraged mass privacy of new Nintendo games.

Of course, Drastic isn’t technically encouraging privacy of newly developed games. With the last DS game - Barbie Dreamhouse Party - releasing in 2013, there’s no reason why Nintendo should take issue with the emulator. However, removing the decade-old paywall is likely the best way to stop Nintendo from pursuing any legal action. After all, emulators are legal, piracy is not.

Drastic has been a closed source project for over ten years. While the project hasn’t seen many huge updates in recent years (it sadly still lacks NetPlay support) it has still been kept available for new Android versions. It also happens to still be the best DS emulator on Android.

After ages of ruling the DS emulation space, Drastic does finally have some competition. In recent years, MelonDS has been converted to Android. While this software isn’t as popular as Drastic, it is becoming more well known as a free alternative. However, with Drastic’s new free status, will anyone be interested in switching over to MelonDS?

You can nab Drastic for Android right here from the Google Play Store. If you want ROMs, you’ll have to find them yourself.

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