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Nintendo 3DS Emulator on Linux

How about playing higher resolution games on your portable console on Linux and having a new experience. Today we will meet the powerful Citra, Nintendo 3DS emulator.

Citra is a cross-platform Nintendo 3DS emulator (Linux, Mac and Windows) written in C ++ that utilizes the QT framework in its development, open source under the GPLv2 license, and has been gaining prominence for its accelerated implementations and high compatibility with the latest. Nintendo 3DS titles, which is the best-selling notebook in the handheld category, even beating its direct competitor, PS Vita of the Japanese company Sony.

During these few years of existence, since 2014 (compared to other famous emulators like PPSSPP, Dolphin, PCSX2, ZNES, etc.) Citra has been maturing with various features and performance, for example with attractions that the console itself does not have: of resolutions up to 10 times higher than native (400×240).

Features that make Citra amazing

Possibility to play online on unofficial Nintendo servers, in public or private rooms, up to 16 simultaneous players (depending on the game).


Local multiplayer if you have any other computer on the same network and games like Pokmon Omega Ruby are possible.


GPU gaming acceleration if you have a dedicated performance video card dramatically improves, giving you a better experience.


Setting up a webcam, or even using a file (image) simulating N3DS console cameras, for games that make use of the function (particularly never used).


Native configuration of joysticks, including simulating the touch of Nintendo's handheld screen (previously this function was via configuration file).


Import from Amiibos, to unlock features or objectives in certain games.


Screen visualization styles during the game (two screens, one only or one smaller and one larger).


Local games compatibility list and dark theme.

citra-emulator-3ds-linux-compatibility-theme The game compatibility documented in the Emulator Official WikiIn it you can see separated by categories with colors that represent if the game has perfect emulation, playable, bad etc.

Download Citra for Your Linux Distro

Officially distributed in two ways on Linux (or three if you count the compilation by Github of them), executable with daily versions straight from the site and in Flatpak (there was an option of an installer created by them, but it seems to have been replaced by Flatpak), the emulator has two versions, Nightly, which contain the latest tested and stable features. and Canary, an incomplete code test version for those who like to test. If you want to avoid problems with dependencies or QT version on your system, besides receiving updates, it is recommended to install the version on Flatpak, if you do not know what Flatpak and how to enable on your system, we have a matter of how to proceed (How to Install and Manage Flatpaks on Linux).

Nightly version (stable)

citra-emulator-3ds-linux-download- stable-nightly

Canary Verse (test)


Or use the following commands via terminal to install their versions.

Nightly version (stable):

flatpak –user install

Canary Verse (test):

flatpak –user install

The manual way to install Citra

If you want to download the no-flatpak version manually, simply access this link and click the Manual Download option, as in the example below. citra-emulator-3ds-linux-download

After that extract the .targz file, browse to the directory, locate the file citra-qt, and in the terminal open with the command:


Remember, this way you have to download every time you get a new version of Citra manually and you may have problems with QT versioning on your system. From experience, I don't recommend this form, as Citra updates very often (around 15 – 20 versions per week).

Backing Up Your Saves

If you would like to back up your Citra saves, simply browse to your home folder, view hidden files, and browse to the directory:

.local / share / citra-emu / sdmc / Nintendo 3DS

Simply copy the folder contents to a safe location to save the contents.

Already the configuration of your joystick is in your home too, in the hidden folder:

.config / citra-emu

Did you already know Citra? What are your favorite games? Leave in the comments if you already used the emulator or if you liked the news of being distributed in Flatpak and Snap.

I hope you in the next post, SYSTEMATICALLY!

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