DuckStation emulator (How to play PS1 games on Android)

In this post we’re going to be discussing the DuckStation emulator (How to play PS1 games on Android).

An emulator is a software that allows your smartphone to mimic a gaming console. We’ve already covered video game emulation and emulators here. So please check that out.

Sony Playstation 1

The Sony PlayStation 1 (PS1) is a 32-bit home console from Sony. It was released in 1994 (in Japan) and went on to become the best selling console of the 5th generation of Video Game consoles.

Sony PlayStation

The PS1 has a very impressive library of about 7,918 games with award winning titles like:

  • Resident Evil 3 Nemesis
  • Mortal Kombat Trilogy
  • Spiderman 2: Enter Electro
  • Need for Speed: High stakes
  • Silent Hill
  • Winning Eleven/Pro Evolution Soccer
  • Smackdown! 2, know your role
  • Medal of Honor
  • Tomorrow Never Dies 007
  • Small soldiers
  • X-Men Mutant Academy etc.

Using the DuckStation emulator will allow you to play these classic titles on your smartphone.


The DuckStation (HD PS1 emulator) is an emulator of the Sony PlayStation 1. It was developed by a guy called Stenzek and it is a free game under the Creative Commons license.

When it comes to how to play Playstation 1 games on Android, the DuckStation emulator is the best way to do it. This emulator supports all PS1 ROMS in formats such as cue, iso, img, ecm, mds, chd etc. This means there should be no issues with game incompatibility. It can also upgrade game resolution up to 2160p or 4K, something the original console could never dream of.

System requirements

In order to run this emulator, you’ll need a phone with at least:

  • SoC: something with at least 4 A53 CPU cores clocked at 2.0GHz and a decent GPU. Examples include Helio P22, G25, G35, SD 439, Unisoc T606 and SC9863A. There’s also the Exynos 850 amongst others.
  • RAM: 2GB
  • OS: 32-bit Android 7.0

Whilst a phone with these specs will run many games, you’ll run into the problem of frame rate drops, loading hiccups, lag and a lack of controller support.

In order to properly enjoy DuckStation, the recommended specs are a phone with:

  • SoC: A lower midrange phone with an SoC containing A73 or A75 CPU cores. Examples include Helio G70, G80, G85, G88, Snapdragon 662, 665, 670, 680, 685 etc.
  • RAM: 4GB
  • OS: 64-bit Android 10.0 and above

A phone with these specs should ensure that you not only run games very well, but that you’ll also enjoy controller support.

Controller support

This emulator supports all Bluetooth controllers provided that your phone also has support for them. In my opinion, playing emulator games with a controller is the best way to play.

How to set up the DuckStation emulator

  • Step 1: Install DuckStation from PlayStore.
  • Step 2: Create a folder in your internal storage and name it DuckStation.Duckstation emulator
  • Step 3: Enter the emulator and tap on the “drop down menu”, go to “game directory” and choose the DuckStation folder that you created.Duckstation emulator
  • Step 4: You’ll need to source for your own BIOS image. It is very easy to source for online, just use Google. When you find it, download and copy to the BIOS subfolder inside the DuckStation folder. If there isn’t any, create one.
  • Note: To check if you have done the above correctly, go to App, tap on the drop down menu and click on start BIOS. The iconic PS1 boot sequence should come on.
  • Step 5: You’ll have to download PS1 ROMS from the internet. This is tricky part. You’ll have to be careful not to download viruses lol. If you want games, use this dump I found on GitHub.
  • Step 6: Games usually come compressed so you’ll have to decompress them. This is so that you can extract the cue and bin files that you actually need to play games. You can do this with most file managers around. Copy cue and bin files to the DuckStation folder.
  • Note: If done correctly, they should pop up on the homepage of the emulator.

Pairing a controller 🎮

If you’ve got a controller, simply pair it to your phone first, then hit the drop down menu and go to the controller 🎮 settings.

Click on port one, choose DualShock under controller type and then choose Automatic Mapping. That’s it. You’re good to go.

Other settings

Other settings you may want to tinker with include:

  • Settings – Display – Aspect ratio 20:9
  • Settings – General – Emulation orientation (landscape)
  • Settings – General – GPU renderer (Vulkan or OpenGL) depending on which one your phone supports.

If you have a more powerful device, something with a Snapdragon 720G, Helio G95, Dimensity 800, Exynos 1280 and above, you should consider the AetherSX2 emulator for Playstation 2.

Thank you for reading to the end. As always, ensure to check out our links for more information and…

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