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DraStic new.png
Developer(s) Exophase
Latest version r2.6.0.4a build 109 [+]
Active Yes
Platform(s) Android
Linux (on Raspberry Pi)
Emulates Nintendo DS
Website DraStic-DS.com

DraStic is a free but (currently) closed-source Nintendo DS emulator for Android, Linux (on Raspberry Pi), Pandora and Pyra.


Android Google Play Store

Pandora Pandora port

Dragonbox Pyra Pyra Port



Contrary to what some may assume, the ARM instruction set of the DS processors are of little benefit to the ones used by most Android devices. According to Exophase, running DS code straight on Android would lead to numerous issues. He also noted that the approach used in DraStic isn't any much different to other emulators, apart from implementing and optimizing it with speed and low-end devices in mind.[1]

Just like with No$GBA, there are likely to be bugs to come with the speed. Please expand if you see anything broken. Posting bug reports to the author could also help later on.

  • If both screens are used in sync, like with Hotel Dusks's scenes, Strawberry Shortcake: The Four Seasons Cake or Etrian Odyssey's intro, the screens may be flipped and flicker. This does not flip the touch controls though.
    • To fix, in most cases at least, disable multithreaded 3D.
  • Various pokémon games' 3D may have black holes. And the games themselves may crash at various points.
    • Supposedly improved in 2.1.
  • Some games, namely Holly Hobbie and American Girl titles, run with rendering issues like flickering geometry or sprites. This was largely fixed in r2.3.0.0 and up, however.

Plans for open-source release

DraStic has always been closed-source, which has given people mixed feelings with some even going as far as to suspect that devs may be plagiarizing or breaking some kind of licensing (though no known evidence has turned up to support either claims), however it has slowly began to open up with it being ported to other ARM platforms like the Raspberry Pi.

For a long time, the topic about open-sourcing DraStic has been debated, with the primary reasons being:

  • It doesn't make sense to sell the app if the source was available (though a premium version a la PPSSPP Gold isn't out of the question if one wants to financially support the project)
  • Fear of hydra-like copycats flooding the market trying to cash in, typically forking the app verbatim and adding nothing new other than a different branding and intrusive in-app advertising, in extreme cases even getting in the way of the app itself. Given the somewhat anarchic nature of Google Play and greedy script kiddies flooding the market with low-quality shovelware and nominal "games" which were nothing more than adware being passed off as "Grand Theft Auto" or some other popular title, this has been the fate of various open-source projects for Android. Some DraStic community members have proposed a somewhat restricted but source-available license in the vein of FinalBurn Alpha, as this would at least in theory give the developers even better legal footing against unauthorised forks.

It's long been accepted that if it were to ever be open-sourced that it would be when development has ended/when they stopped selling it, however this may be happening soon(™️). Right now the devs are trying to polish support for 64-bit[2] and other compatability issues with Android before calling it ready to open-source. This is projected to happen sometime in the future, however in the meantime they may continue to release more ports on other ARM-based systems[3]. However as the emulator runs worse with each subsequent version of Android and Exophase is absent from the official DraStic forum forcing users to attempt to find workarounds to keep the software they bought at the best working state as possible, it might be implied that Exophase is not interested in this emulator anymore and open-sourcing may never happen, especially as he did not open up the source code in 2020 despite announcing it.


Nvidia TEGRA 2-based devices (including the Xoom and some versions of the Galaxy S2) and Intel x86-based devices will not work properly with this emulator. You may be able to run DraStic on an Intel-based Zenfone, for one, but don't expect any miracles due to them being on an Atom. You will need a reasonably powerful (hopefully multi-core) ARM device for games to work full speed.

In addition, an update for devices running on ColorOS, e.g. those from Oppo and Realme, broke compatibility for DraStic and thus causing it to crash. A fix for this issue is currently in the works though.

Tested devices:

  • Nexus 4: Full speed in tested games: Mario Kart, Super Scribblenauts, and Advance Wars: Dual Strike. (Scribblenauts is too difficult to play without a gamepad, though)
  • HTC Desire: Significant lag in most (all?) games
  • Transformer Infinity: Some slowdown in Luigi's mansion level of Mario Kart DS. Generally full speed though.
  • Lenovo A369i, Blu Studio 5.0 II and most other MT6572 devices: Most games run well with some frameskip, albeit with stuttering audio in some titles.
  • Allwinner A31s: Some games run at full speed even on high-resolution 3D mode with the beta update. Otherwise, average performance is to be expected.