iOS emulators have been around for quite some time now. One of the earliest was GBA4iOS, which allowed users to play Game Boy Advance games on their iPhone. However, it required a jailbreak. But now, there are emulator options that don’t require a jailbreak. In this guide, I’ll show you how to install and use two of the most popular iOS emulators: Delta and Dolphin iOS no jailbreak needed – How To Play Any Classcial Nintendo Video Games on iPhone no Jailbreak Emulators.
What’s an iOS Emulator?
An iOS emulator is software that allows you to run iOS apps on your computer or iPhone. There are a few different types of iOS emulators, but the two most popular ones are Delta and Dolphin iOS.
Delta is an iOS emulator that allows you to play Nintendo DS – 64, All Game Boy titles up to the Game Boy Advance, and SNES games on your iPhone or iPad. It doesn’t require a jailbreak and is available through the AltStore for free.
Dolphin iOS is another popular iOS emulator that allows you to play GameCube and Wii games on your iPhone or iPad. It’s also available through the AltStore for free and doesn’t require a jailbreak.
I do think that regardless of which Apple Devices or iOS devices you use to run Dolphin iOS or Delta Emulators you are going to have a blast playing these titles at a rock solid, stable, FPS limit and at resolutions way higher and sharper than the original Nintendo hardware be it at 1080p for iPhones or iPads that can go up to 1440p or even 4k, and all with controller support and cheat codes even. These Apple iOS – iPadOS devices can truly turn into the ultimate game hub with these emulator apps.
What’ the AltStore?
The AltStore is a third-party iOS app store that allows you to install and run iOS apps that are not available on the App Store. It’s been around for a few years and is developed by Riley Testut, the creator of Delta and Dolphin iOS emulators.
The AltStore is an alternative app store for iOS devices that doesn’t require a jailbreak. It’s completely free and easy to use. To get started, you’ll need to download the AltStore onto your computer and then install it onto your iPhone or iPad. Here is a video in case you prefer it over text, but if not than I got you covered with my full text guide which includes full iPad support coverage since there is where I think the magic of emulation truly takes place.
How to Install the AltStore?
To install the Altstore, you will need to first download it from their website. Here is the link:
Once it is downloaded you need to drag and drop it into your applications folder if you are on a Mac you need to drag and drop it into your applications folder, but if you are on a windows computer just open the file and follow the prompts to install it like any other piece of software.
Once it is installed, open the app on your computer which it will open to the Menu Bar rather than a normal pop up window for Mac and on windows it’ll be in your notification center on the right bottom corner.
Now connect your Apple iPhone or iPad to your computer via cable and if it asks you if you want to trust this computer make sure you hit trust it by inputting your unlock password on the Apple device. Let’s make sure we enable wifi sync before we install the AltStore into the device shall we…
How to enable WiFi Syncing for AltServer?
You enable Wi-Fi syncing so that when you need to refresh your alt store server allowance every seven days if you are a non-Apple developer Apple ID account or every 365 days or every year if you are an actual Apple developer account holder, you don’t need to worry about getting an Apple developer account unless you really don’t want to refresh every seven days so unless you are an actual developer or like to try betas I don’t recommend paying $100.
For the wireless syncing, you are going to need to open finder on your Mac, for Windows you need iTunes, which I’ll explain in a little bit, after you have opened your Finder window, locate your iPhone, or iPad, and if you cannot, it might be because you have not enabled devices under preferences and median devices which includes your iPhone or iPad.
Once you locate your device and open it inside finder, you will scroll down and tech off the Wi-Fi syncing option.
On Windows devices, you need to have the iTunes application and iCloud or Windows companion software both installed and make sure that the iTunes installation is from the Apple website and not from the windows store version.
Once you have the iCloud companion installed and running either with your real Apple ID or the burn or fake Apple ID that you created inside iTunes, you will see your device once it is plugged in and trusted. Scroll down in your device, insight, iTunes, and activate the Wi-Fi thinking option.
Now that you have enabled Wi-Fi syncing, you are ready to either on windows skip the next step and on macOS complete the next step in order to finally be able to install the AltStore into your own device.
There is one extra step on macOS that you don’t have to do with windows so skip this point if you are a Windows user, but only on Mac you might see the “install mail plug-in” alert so follow the instructions as follows in order to install it:
- Click Install Mail Plug In from the AltStore drop down menu option.
- Follow the prompts on the AltStore pop up message (it might ask you for the computer password to make the changes)
- Open Mail (quit Mail if it was running already)
- Open Mail and go to Preferences and click the “manage plug ins” option.
- enable the “AltPlugin.mailbundle.”
- now “Apply and Restart Mail” and you should have it installed and ready to go. You will know if it is working right when you are able to refresh your AltStore apps wirelessly.
- Now let’s keep moving forward with out AltStore installation so we can play them retro games with the best emulators for iOS and iPadOS.
Now that we have this set up we can select within the AltStore Menu Bar menu to install the AltStore on the device of our choosing by selecting “Install AltStore” to our connected device.
Now it will ask for our Apple ID and Password which no worries it is safe to do so and I have been doing this for my self for years and no issues. AltStore says they cannot see the password themselves and I trust them enough to do it my self. The risk is there for malicious acts, but I haven’t heard of a single one and until Nintendo allows me to access these retro games titles in the Nintendo Switch it is a risk I’m willing to take.
Once you have installed the AltStore into your iOS or iPadOS device, you will attempt to touch it and open it, which will not work because you need to do a little more work by either iOS 16 enabling developer mode, or on iOS 15, trusting the developer or source of the app the AltStore.
How to enable developer mode on iOS 16?
The app will show up on your Apple iOS device and you won’t be able to open it until you turn on developer mode for iOS 16 devices:
Go to settings and in Privacy & Security scroll down to where it says Developer Mode. Go into that menu and you will find a toggle that you need to enable by turning it on and rebooting your device. Once you reboot you should be able to open the AltStore app icon.
How to trust app developer – how to trust AltStore in iOS 15?
You just go to “Settings” under General and the option called “Profiles & Device Management” select the “Trust (your Apple ID email account)” and trust it. Now you can go ahead and open the AltStore to download that sweet glorious Delta Emulator and DolphiniOS which both are each an emulator for iOS which emulator brings different platforms of old games for you to decide which one you want to use in a revamped interface made for modern gaming on the go!
How To Install Delta Emulator on iPhone – iPad?
This is the iPhone emulator that allows you to play Nintendo Games from the Nintendo DS, NES, Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, Game Boy, Game Boy Advance so in the words of some older folks allows you to play retro games, but the the truly retro ones. Oh and with Xbox Controllers and or PS5 and Nintendo Switch Joy Cons if you have iOS 16 for the latter one so there is plenty of controller support.
Now that you have the AltStore trusted and fully installed you are ready to embark at nearly full speed with other games besides the majority of trash mobile games out there on your iPhone iPad device. I do have some favorite none emulator apps on iPhone and iPad that I enjoy playing so if you want to see some of my recommend fan service video games to indulge in check out my article here: Your Number 1 List of Sexy Anime Games
You will need to go into the Altstore:
Find in the “browse” tab the Delta emulator and while you are at it download the Dolphin iOS public release why don’t you?
Once installed open the Delta app either from the Altstore app or the Delta emulator app icon that will now be located in your App Library or Home Screen.
once open you will need to find a ROM or ipa file from the internet to open it with your iPhone emulator. To download roms is not something I can show you for legal reasons, but go on google and search for “best roms for gameboy” or something like that and you will easily find the file you need.
There are some that give the file in multiple files so avoid those annoying ones and look for the ones that provide the rom ipa file in 1 whole file download. Once you have your Rom/ipa file download within Delta emulator you are going to find the file and add it to your library of games like I showed you in the video above or the images below:
You are ready to play classic nintendo retro games at full 1080p or even 4k resolutions on your gba emulator, nintendo DS emulator, SNES emulator, game advance emulator, nintendo 64 emulator, all inside your Delta emulator!
How To Install Dolphin iOS on iPhone – iPad?
This is the emulator that allows you to play retro games found in the Nintendo GameCube and Wii consoles. Heck you can play those titles with Xbox controllers, PS5 and PS4, and even the Nintendo Switch Joy Cons albeit with only iOS 16 for the latter one so there is plenty of controller support.
This emulator has 2 versions you can download from, but you should only use the public release which is the blue colored one and not the yellow one that is the beta one.
once donwlaoed and installed you will have it as an icon in your app library or the home screen of your iOS device. You will open it and it will look at this image, but empty of games.
You will need to find a ROM or ipa file from the internet to open it with your iPhone emulator for the nintendo games that you want to play. To download roms is not something I can show you for legal reasons, but go on google and search for “best roms for gamecube” or something like that and you will easily find the file you need.
Once you have the ROM – ipa file downloaded it will be in your downloads so you can hit the blue arrow in Dolphin iOS and search for your file and it will import it to the iPhone emulator and show up in the new interface which is the dolphin iOS library.
How To Run Enable JIT for Dolphin iOS?
How to manage and transfer dolphin in Delta emulators save files?
For managing save files I will be updating this article so stay put for more by following me on socials RichieRichLabs and bookmarking this article for the near future in case there are any changes made to the multi emulator scene with nintendo switch or apple and emulators.
Why doesn’t Apple Allow Emulators in The App Store?
Apple doesn’t allow emulators in the App Store and I think this user “Ivan Gallic” from Quora gives the best answer I’ve heard up to this point as to why Apple doesn’t support or allow the iPhone emulators into their iOS App Store:
Ivan Gallic – “Apple has been historically very strict on copyright infringement in its stores. Although most emulators are technically not illegal, they are useless without using roms that are illegal. If Apple started allowing emulators, it would have to police them as well – and deal with companies which would complain like Nintendo, Sony and Sega. I assume Apple cares more about its relationship with those companies than having a few emulators in the store.
But more than that, the problem lies in that emulators are in the same technological bucket as other software Apple doesn’t want on its platforms. Apple had a long fight with Adobe over flash and similar services which basically interpret the code and run it on the device that way. This is very similar to how emulators work – except that instead of Flash code, they would be interpreting and running code from an old console.
In order to prevent Flash and similar software from getting onto AppStore, Apple put a clause in its developer agreement which states you are not allowed to run ‘non-native’ code. This is the same clause that blocks emulators. However, there are many legitimate uses for emulators, such as playing old school console games and using them for educational purposes.”
Until Apple changes their stance we users of Apple devices are going to have to get nerdy and savvy with our device management skills in order to play games, retro games, by grabbing the entire rom files or ipa files for our Delta, Dolphin iOS and other emulators until Apple starts treating them just like other apps in the App Store.
I do think that if Nintendo Switch had more universal support like the best emulators do for retro games we wouldn’t have to go around hunting for the entire rom or ipa files, instead, we would have things under the same developer, universally supported game hub that brought retro games under one roof for those Nintendo Classics.
We wouldn’t need to go around the internet hunting down the best iPhone emulators or downloading emulators at all. Heck I would pay for me to be able to have the classics under one app, play games without the annoyance of having to keep checking if Apple suddenly kills the AltStore or something like that.
I do appreciate the creators of the Delta emulator and the Dolphin iOS emulators though and I wouldn’t want them to lose their product if this were to happen so it is a double edge sword. What do you think? Do you want things to stay the same or do you want Nintendo to give retro games the attention they deserve in their own game gear like the Nintendo Switch?
Now in order to run these titles on your emulator for iOS you are going to need to enable JIT (Just in Time Compiler) which in none nerd terms it makes it so your emulator brings the A game to your GameCube emulator or Wii Emulator that is the Dolphin iOS emulator.
without JIT you are not going to be playing at all and for sure not hitting awesome Nintendo Games at 4k 60 FPS. On the computer with the AltStore Menu you can select “Enable JIT” to the device that you will use
This is another reason why you need to enable wifi syncing that we did earlier so not just to refresh your apps permissions on the AltServer, but also to Enable Run JIT so you can play GameCube games and Wii Games on the iPhone emulator.
You will need to be in the same network as your AltServer computer so when you are not home and you dont have a laptop as your computer it won’t work. The app/game running with JIT enabled will not need to run JIT again unless it is removed from RAM or crashes.
There is a method to do this remotely like a VPN remote connection, but it is more messy, but simple so I will be updating this guide soon with that method so stay put with a follow @richierichlabs and bookmark this page.
How To Enable JIT Outside Local WiFi Network?
Yes, you can enable jet outside your local Wi-Fi network and away from your main old server computer but you are going to need three things so let’s get started:
- ZeroTier One from the App Store.
- The JIT Streamer Shortcut for the Shortcuts app.
- JitStreamer Pair for your laptop.
Follow the steps on the website and within 9:55 you are going to be ready to be able to enable JIT for DolphiniOS without having to be near or in your local Wi-Fi net work when starting up Nintendo, GameCube, or Wii games on your iPhone, and iPad.
So there you have it, a simple guide on how to play any DS – GBA – N64 – Wii – GameCube video games on your iPhone or iPad with no jailbreak by installing the AltStore and downloading Delta or DolphiniOS. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Peace!
How to enable developer mode in iOS 16?
You need to open settings and go to security and privacy, then scroll all the way down in one of the last options and iOS 16 is going to be called developer mode tap it and turn it on. Your device will need to restart and once it does, developer mode is turned on.
How to enable developer mode in iOS 15?
You don’t need to enable developer mode in iOS 15 instead you just need to trust the Apple ID or application itself by going into settings, general and profile and device management.
How to trust developer – how to trust the AltStore in iOS 15?
You need to go into settings under general scroll all the way down to profile and device management open that and inside you will see the Apple ID that you used either your own or a burner Apple ID that you need to trust in order to open the AltStore in your iPhone or iPad.
What is an iOS emulator?
Oh hey, video game emulator is a piece of software that simulate the original hardware that the video game was designed to be played on. In other words, dolphin iOS is emulating, a virtual Nintendo, GameCube, or Nintendo Wii on your iPhone and iPad.
The Delta emulator is emulating a virtual game. Boy, Nintendo, 64, super Nintendo entertainment system inside your iPhone, or iPad. Running iOS and iPadOS, respectively.