Pokemon Sun and Moon are popular Nintendo 3DS games released in 2016. Many players wish they could play these games on their PCs.
While there is no official PC version, it is possible to play Pokemon Sun and Moon on a PC using an emulator.
This guide will explain what an emulator is and how to set one up properly to play Pokemon Sun and Moon.
What is an Emulator?
An emulator is a software program that mimics the hardware and software of a video game console. It allows you to play console games on your PC.
There are emulators for many classic systems like the Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Nintendo, Game Boy, and Nintendo 64. There are also more modern emulators for systems like the Nintendo 3DS.
Emulators work by imitating the function of the console hardware and tricking the game into thinking it is running on real console hardware.
This allows you to load game files, called ROMs, and play them just like you would on the real console.
Choosing a Nintendo 3DS Emulator
There are a few different Nintendo 3DS emulators to choose from. The most popular and recommended ones are:
- Citra: An open-source 3DS emulator with frequent updates. It has good compatibility and features.
- DeSmuME: One of the earliest 3DS emulators. It may not be as accurate but can run many games.
- TronDS: A newer emulator focused on speed and accuracy. Good for higher-end PCs.
For playing Pokemon Sun and Moon, Citra is generally the best choice. It can run most games well and has handy features like screen layout customization.
Installing Citra Emulator
Downloading and installing Citra is quick and easy:
- Go to the official Citra website: https://citra-emu.org
- Click the Download button and choose your OS (Windows, Mac, Linux)
- Open the installer and follow the steps to install Citra
- Start the Citra emulator on your computer
The main Citra emulator application will launch. Here you can manage your games library, adjust settings, and of course start games.
Configuring Game Controls
Before loading any games, you should configure your controller or keyboard mapping. This allows you to set which keyboard keys or gamepad buttons match the Nintendo 3DS controls.
To open the controls editor:
- Click the Configuration button
- Choose Controls
- Select your input device or keyboard
- Map keys/buttons by clicking on a 3DS control then pressing its PC equivalent
You can map standard controls like the circle pad to WASD keys or arrow keys. More advanced games may need additional mappings for touchscreen controls.
Obtaining Pokemon Sun/Moon ROMs Legally
ROM files contain the data from a game cartridge or disc. To play 3DS games on Citra, you need the ROM file for that game. However, due to copyright, downloading paid game ROMs off the internet is usually illegal.
There are a couple legal ways to obtain 3DS ROMs:
- Dump your physical game cartridge using special hardware/software
- Make your own ROM file backups if you already own the digital version of the game
For legal and ethical reasons, we cannot provide or link to illegal ROM files.
If you already own Pokemon Sun or Moon, look into making your own dump or backup instead.
Loading and Running Pokemon Sun/Moon
Once you have obtained the Pokemon Sun or Pokemon Moon ROM file legally, running it in Citra is easy:
- Open Citra and click File > Load ROM File
- Browse to your Pokemon Sun or Moon ROM and select it
- The game should start loading, this make take some time on first launch
- After loading, you will see the Nintendo 3DS logo followed by the game’s intro
- Enjoy playing Pokemon Sun or Moon using your computer controls!
Make sure to save your game frequently and adjust any settings in the emulator to improve performance and quality if needed.
Tips for Optimal Pokemon Sun/Moon Performance
Pokemon Sun and Moon can be somewhat demanding games to emulate. Here are some tips for getting the best performance out of Citra:
- Close background programs to dedicate more resources to Citra
- Change the emulated CPU clock rate to 100% or more if your system can handle it
- Enable special texture filtering and V-Sync options for smoother graphics
- Save often as crashes still occur in complex areas like cities with lots to render
- Use the latest development build of Citra for better compatibility updates
With some helpful tweaking of settings, most modern gaming PCs should be able to run Pokemon Sun and Moon at full speed on Citra emulator.
Playing the excellent Nintendo 3DS games Pokemon Sun and Moon on PC is very possible thanks to the constantly improving Citra emulator.
Make sure to dump or back up your own legal copies of the games, configure controls properly, and adjust emulator settings as needed.
This allows you to enjoy these Pokemon adventures on a big screen with your preferred controllers. For newer systems like the Nintendo Switch, emulation development continues to advance as well.