RetroArch: Your NDS4iOS Solution to Playing Nintendo Games on Your iPhone.

By | May 11, 2015


Super Mario Bros Party World

Whether you’re a serious or casual gamer, you’d love to be able to hit the “wayback machine” sometimes and play those old school games on your new school technology.

Why shouldn’t you be able to play a Super Mario Brothers game on your iPhone 8? Maybe you’ve been hoping Nintendo would make its games available on iOS devices. Maybe you’ve been looking for a way to do this without jail-breaking your iPhone. Or maybe you already tried to download NDS4iOS, only to learn that Apple had already patched the date-time exploit. Nintendo doesn’t have any plans to make their games available on the App Store. But don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. There is an alternative to jailbreaking your iPhone so you can enjoy hours of Nintendo play!

If you’re not familiar with iPhone emulators, they’re apps that trick iPhones into recognizing them as computers and game consoles. Your iPhone thinks the app is legit, enabling you to run on your iPhone or iPad the programs or games that the emulated machine normally runs. So, if you install an NDS4iOS emulator on your iPhone, you’ll be able to run Nintendo games like Super Mario Brothers on your iPhone. In other words, no, you aren’t supposed to install emulators on your iPhone so you can play, Nintendo, but this is not the same thing as you can’t do it. Emulators are not inherently illegal in the US, but downloading games that you don’t actually physically (and legally own) is.

Buyer Beware

Keep in mind you’re using an app that is not approved by the App Store and that may have come from a developer you don’t know, so you install these apps at your own risk. Do your homework and read articles like this one so you can be more confident that what you’re loading is going to give you hours of gaming fun and not hours of malware headaches.


Nintendo DS emulator NDS4iOS is a favorite, because it enabled you to play your favorite Nintendo console games on your iOS8 device without jailbreaking it. That is, until Apple patched that exploit and ruined the party. That’s where RetroArch comes in. RetroArch is an open source project developed by the folks who created the Libretto API. RetroArch leverages the features in mobile devices, allowing you to play retro and current games. With RetroArch, you can use one app to emulate almost all of the classic consoles. It turns your iOS device into a classic gaming device. How cool is that?!

 So, how do you get RetroArch and go back to your gaming roots?

  1. Launch Safari on your iOS device
  2. Go to and select RetroArch
  3. Tap the ‘Install App’ button
  4. Then tap ‘Confirm’ on the pop-up button to confirm your download of RetroArch
  5. Go to your home screen where the RetroArch app will begin to download.

After you install the app, back it up as soon as possible, so that you can install in on any new iOS devices that you buy. You can stay up to date on emulators like RetroArch from forums like TouchArcade or Reddit’s iOS Gaming subreddit.

Now you just need to download ROMS and get started. So your last step really is an easy one … Just have fun!

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