How to play Android games on Linux

How to play Android games on Linux

Want to play Android games on your desktop? We showed you how to do it on Windows, but what about Linux? If you want to play Android games on Linux, we have the solution.

Play Android games with Anbox

Anbox is basically a version of Android running in a container. Once configured, it allows you to run Android apps integrated with your operating system, just like a native Linux app. This platform can be used to run Android games on Linux.

Installing Anbox on Linux

Currently, the only officially supported method to install Anbox is through the Snaps store, so this is the method we’ll cover here. First, there are a few kernel modules that you will need to install. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to install them on distributions other than Ubuntu and Arch Linux. You can skip installing these modules if you are running Ubuntu 20.04.

Installation of Anbox modules on Ubuntu via PPA

To install Anbox modules on Ubuntu, first run the commands below.

Then you will need to manually load the kernel modules. They will start automatically the next time you start your system. To manually load the modules, perform the following:

Installation of Anbox modules on Arch Linux

You can install the required modules on Arch Linux through AUR. To do this, you must first install Git and Base-devel on your system:

Next, you will need to git clone the Anbox kernel modules package on your computer:

Now navigate to the “anbox-git” folder:

Finally, run the package creation process with the makepkg order.

Again, you will need to manually load the kernel modules. They will start automatically the next time you start your system:

Installing Anbox with Snap

Now that the necessary modules are installed, we can go ahead and install Anbox from the Snaps store. Snaps comes preinstalled with Ubuntu, Zorin OS, and Solus, although you can install it in Arch Linux as well. Instructions are also available at how to install it on other linux distributions.

To install the Anbox snap-in, run the following:

Android games Installing Linux Anbox

You will now need to install Android Developer Tools to install programs on Anbox. To install them, you will need to install Android Studio. Your first step will be to install Java. The latest version is Java 11 and can be installed with:

Next, you will need to go to the official Android Studio download page. Download the latest version of Android Studio. Open the terminal and navigate to your downloads folder with:

You can now extract the contents of the compressed file that has been downloaded. Once done, navigate to the “bin” folder in the extracted “android-studio” folder.

The Android Studio installer can then be started with the following command:

After this process is complete, you will still need to install Android’s ADB tools. Do this with:

Now start the ADB server with:

You can now start Anbox.

Android games Linux Anbox RunAndroid games Linux Anbox Run

Next, we will install Google Play Store and fix some processor incompatibility issues. First, you will need to install some required tools with:

You can download a script that automatically installs the Google Play Store, Google Play Services, and libhoudini, which provides support for ARM apps and games.

Download the script with:

Then make it executable with:

Run the script with:

After completing all these steps, you can now go to the fun part and install games!

Install a game on Anbox

You have two options for installing games on Anbox. You can either download an APK for the game from a place like APKMirroror you can just download games from the Google play store.

To install a game using an APK file, you will need to navigate to the folder you downloaded it to. You can then run the following command:

Make sure to replace “gamefilename” with the actual APK file name of the game. Once the installation is complete, you will be able to launch the game from Anbox. Alternatively, you can just download games from the Google Play Store.

Android games Linux Anbox Run Game Subway SurfersAndroid games Linux Anbox Run Game Subway Surfers

To uninstall games, you can go to Settings, then Applications. Select the game you want to uninstall, then tap UNINSTALL.

Android Games Anbox Linux Uninstaller AppAndroid Games Anbox Linux Uninstaller App

Note: Unfortunately not all games will work with Anbox. This can sometimes be a bit hit and miss.

Final thoughts

Here we have covered a complete method of running Android games on Linux with Anbox. You can even install the Google Play Store with this method. While not all games or apps work with Anbox, there are plenty that will. If you’d rather play old DOS games instead, try DOSBox or learn how to install Windows games on Linux.


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