How to install Citra emulator IPA on iOS Nintendo 3DS iPhone

Citra emulator iOS Install

Citra is an open-source emulator for the Nintendo 3DS capable of playing many of your favorite games on iOS devices.

It is written with portability in mind, with builds actively maintained also for iPhone and iPad.

This guide explains how to install Citra emulator on mobile devices compatibles with iOS.


Software requirements

You can find all required data for your device from the link buttons below:

Citra emulatorDownload
AltInstaller (Windows)Download
AltServer (MacOS)Download

The software requirements for running this application must be met in order for the software to function at all.

Citra emulator iOS iPhone

System requirements

The hardware requirements for running the application vary depending on your current configuration.

Recommended requirements

OSiOS 12 (or higher)
DeviceiPhone 11+ (or equivalent iPad)
JailbreakNot required
Storage1 GB aviable (or more)

For the best experience, users should be running within the recommended requirements.

Minimum requirements

OSiOS 10 (or higher)
DeviceiPhone X+ (or equivalent iPad)
JailbreakNot required
Storage512 MB aviable (or more)

We cannot guarantee the performance of system specifications lower the recommended requirements but you’re always welcome to experiment.

Install emulator

You can install this Citra emulator on iOS devices (iPhone or iPad) with AltStore (no jailbreak is required).

Citra emulator iOS install

AltStore app requires a Windows or Mac computer for the initial installation of the AltServer software.

The latest version is available on the download section.

  • Download AltServer on your computer (Windows or Mac OS)
  • Install AltStore to your iPhone (or iPad)
  • Launch AltStore to begin downloading apps
  • Leave AltServer running, and AltStore will do the rest
Citra emulator iOS App


On Citra emulator there are a couple settings that can have a big impact on performance.

By default, most settings are set to what is most performant and stable.

If you’re experiencing performance issues after toggling a few settings, go to Emulation -> Configuration -> General and select Reset All Settings.

This will return all the settings to their default values.

Another thing to keep in mind is that upscaling textures is relatively heavy on the GPU.

Whilst most mid-range GPUs should be able to do this without any hit to the performance (within reason of course), low-end dedicated GPUs and integrated GPUs might struggle doing so.

Specifically for tablet users on iPad: If you’re stuck on older drivers from before version 22.7.1, and are having issues with performance in a particular game, try disabling Hardware Shaders in Emulation -> Configuration -> Graphics -> Advanced Tab.

This sometimes boosts performance in some games and this will not work for users on 22.7.1 or newer.

Citra emulator iOS setup

Install games

In order to run your games, Citra emulator requires that you dump your games, game updates, DLC and other 3DS system files from a hacked 3DS.

This is the only legal way to obtain these files for use in Citra.

Any other method of obtaining these files is considered piracy and therefore illegal.

Citra can run most games at variable speed, depending on your hardware configuration.

However, not all games are created equally and therefore some games will run at full speed while others might suffer from slow emulation.

You may also experience some slowdowns.

Citra emulator iOS Games

Update emulator

This app is from a third-party developer, so an automatic update won’t be available.

You will need to manually update the app by removing the old version and installing the new version on the download section.

All the updates have the latest fixes and optimizations, but their constantly changing nature means that little testing has been done on them and unknown bugs may appear.


Citra emulator is licensed under the GPLv2 (or any later version); refer to the about section on settings menu.

  • Nintendo 3DS is a trademark of Nintendo Co., Ltd
  • iOS is a trademark of Apple Inc.

The purpose of the emulator is not to enable illegal activity.

The emulator is not related to or endorsed by Nintendo, or derived from confidential materials belonging to Nintendo.


This guide/tutorial answers the following questions:

  • How to install Citra emulator on iOS?
  • Is it possible to emulate Nintendo 3DS on iPhone?
  • Can I run Citra emulator on iOS?
  • Is Citra emulator available for iOS?
  • How can I play Nintendo 3DS games on iPhone?