How to Play Android Games on Linux

Android Games Linux Featured

Fancy playing Android games on your desktop? We have shown you how to do so in 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 essentially a version of Android running in a container. When set up, it allows you to run Android applications in an integrated manner with your operating system just like a native Linux application. This platform can be used to run Android games on Linux.

Installing Anbox on Linux

Currently, the only officially supported method of installing Anbox is via the Snaps store, so that’s the method we will cover here. First, there are some kernel modules that you will have to install. Unfortunately, it can be tricky to get these installed on distributions other than Ubuntu and Arch Linux. You can skip installing these modules if you are running Ubuntu 20.04.

Installing Anbox Modules on Ubuntu via PPA

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

Next, you will have to manually load the kernel modules. They will start automatically the next time you start up your system. To manually load the modules, run the following:

Installing Anbox Modules on Arch Linux

You can install the required modules on Arch Linux via AUR. To do this, you’ll first have to install Git and Base-devel on your system:

Next, you’ll have to git clone the Anbox kernel modules package to your computer:

Now, navigate to the “anbox-git” folder:

Finally, run the package build process with the makepkg command.

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

Installing Anbox with Snap

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

To install the Anbox snap, run the following:

Android Games Linux Anbox Install

Now you will need to install Android’s development tools in order to install programs on Anbox. To install these, you will need to install Android Studio. Your first step will be to install Java. The latest version is Java 11, and it can be installed with:

Next, you will need to head 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 was downloaded. After this is done, navigate to the “bin” folder within the extracted “android-studio” folder.

The android studio installation tool can then be started with the following command:

After that process has been completed, 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 Run

Next, we’ll 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 enables support for ARM apps and games.

Download the script with:

Next, make it executable with:

Run the script with:

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

Installing a Game on Anbox

You have two options for installing games on Anbox. You can either download an APK for the game from somewhere like APKMirror, or 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 that you downloaded it to. You can then run the following command:

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

Android Games Linux Anbox Run Game Subway Surfers

To uninstall games, you can go to Settings and then Apps. Select the game you want to uninstall and then hit UNINSTALL.

Android Games Linux Anbox Uninstall App

Note: not all games will work with Anbox unfortunately. It can be a little hit-or-miss sometimes.

Final Thoughts

Here we have covered a comprehensive method of running Android games on Linux with Anbox. You can even install the Google Play Store with this method. While not every game or app will work with Anbox, there are quite a few that will. If you prefer to play old DOS games instead, try DOSBox or learn to install Windows games on Linux.

Related:

William Elcock William Elcock

William has been fiddling with tech for as long as he remembers. This naturally transitioned into helping friends with their tech problems and then into tech blogging.

3 comments

  1. Anbox modules is not required after linux kernel 5.3 on Ubuntu base. This modules came with out of box on Ubuntu or latest Xanmod kernel.

    1. It is not necessary to install the anbox-modules-dkms package on Linux Mint 20. Just try to install anbox package from repository.

Leave a Comment

Yeah! You've decided to leave a comment. That's fantastic! Check out our comment policy here. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation.