BlueStacks 4 Recap – What Have We Been Up to Since the Launch?
As a company, BlueStacks is all about working towards newer and better things, all with the objective of giving you, our loyal users, the best possible platform to enjoy your favorite Android games on PC. The last few years have been of tireless work in this regard, as we spent most of our time devoted to maintaining and improving our Android emulator.
As the years go by for BlueStacks and we start to work on other interesting projects, we can’t help but wonder about all the things we achieved during the past couple of years. To this end, we’ve created a recap of all the awesome improvements we’ve implemented to our Android emulator.
Graphical and Performance Improvements
The visuals department might be one of the most obvious upgrades that BlueStacks 4 underwent, starting off as an enhanced version of BlueStacks 3’s UI, and then transitioning into including more panels, buttons, and other useful features.
It goes without saying that the new UI is more functional, without necessarily contributing to clutter, especially when it comes to the wide variety of tools we’ve implemented through the years, all of which can be easily accessed from the toolbar on the right. Similarly, all functions currently have keyboard shortcuts bound to them so that, even if you minimize or close the side panel, you can still access all the features if you know the correct key combination.
Aside from enhancements to the UI, we’ve also implemented many improvements under the hood to increase stability in many games. Specifically, these upgrades make it so that most games in our emulator run as stable as possible, without experiencing crashing neither audio nor graphical glitches. And as newer games are released, our team continues to work to make them run as stable as possible.
Lastly, we’ve added loads of graphical configuration options, which allows users to accurately control the resources assigned to the emulator. This is with the purpose of allowing gamers to fine-tune the performance of their BlueStacks to the exact specs of their machines. One of these features is V-Sync, which lets players synchronize the framerate of their games to the refresh rate of their monitors, reducing screen tearing and creating a smoother performance.
While graphical improvements are immediately noticeable whenever you upgrade and launch the newest version of BlueStacks, there are other additions that might not be so evident, but they still contribute to a more enjoyable gaming experience.
Increased Storage Size
For instance, one significant addition we implemented to BlueStacks a while back was increasing its storage size from 32GB to 64GB, allowing you to install twice the apps without having to uninstall a few to make space.
The days of having to juggle between different apps to try and make space were over at last with this milestone!
Disk Cleanup Tool
However, this storage upgrade led to issues regarding storage on your PC, particularly since uninstalled apps wouldn’t release their space in your drive correctly. For this reason, we also introduced the disk cleanup tool, which you could use in order to free up the space left by removed apps.
While the last two improvements might not be very useful if you’re not the type to install many different games, the next few features will definitely be of use in many different games, particularly if you’re fond of strategy and war games.
The Multi-Instance Sync Tool
We added the popular Multi-Instance Sync tool in BlueStacks, which quickly became a fan favorite since it allowed players to easily play on several accounts simultaneously.
This feature is crucial in war games since players can use it to develop their main cities and bases, while also leveling up farming accounts on the side, without the hassle of micromanaging multiple accounts.
And speaking of gaming on several accounts simultaneously, while the Instance Manager let you do just that, it did so at the expense of your PC resources. Evidently, the more instances you’re running, the more resources BlueStacks will consume. This can quickly become an issue in games like Rise of Kingdoms, where players often have multiple farm accounts alongside their main cities, and attempt to run them all on BlueStacks simultaneously, only to find that their PC starts to slow down due to lack of resources.
Eco Mode was implemented to fix this issue by significantly reducing the processing power required to maintain multiple instances simultaneously. The way it did this is by drastically reducing the FPS on secondary instances to reduce the load. Afterward, the player could simply activate Multi-Instance Sync to control all their instances at the same time, without ever losing a beat.
With this feature, players who could only handle one or two instances, could start to run three, four, or perhaps more!
The Macro Recorder
In many cases, mobile games are about repetition. That is, while they offer loads of fun as you find new and engaging challenges, they are often padded out with grind and monotony. Whether it’s farming resources to purchase an upgrade, grinding for materials to summon new characters in a gacha game, or simply completing daily quests in an MMORPG, these tasks are often very repetitive and can quickly get old.
The BlueStacks Macro Recorder was designed with this problem in mind, and allowed players to completely automate the grind in many games by recording corresponding macros, and launching them with the click of a button. With this feature, you can completely remove the grind of certain titles, and simply focus on the fun parts.
The mobile gaming industry is huge, which is why it’s not rare for certain games to release in specific regions only, restricting the rest of the world from accessing them. However, while there are ways to circumvent these restrictions, these games can ultimately have one insurmountable challenge, the language barrier.
When games get limited releases, they often don’t feature a wide variety of language options. In this sense, even if you get access, your enjoyment will be very limited as you won’t understand anything that’s happening on your screen. The BlueStacks Translator was created with this problem in mind, and allowed players to, by pressing Ctrl + Shift + L, instantly translate all the text on screen to their native languages at any given moment.
Another good feature for gachas and strategy games was the addition of Notification Mode. Once activated, this feature allowed players to continue receiving desktop notifications on their favorite games, even while BlueStacks was closed.
You can even customize which notifications to receive so that you don’t get spammed with irrelevant updates of games that don’t interest you.
Running Both 32-bit and 64-bit Apps Simultaneously
Last but not least, and what might’ve been one of the biggest updates in BlueStacks 4, was the ability to play both 32-bit and 64-bit apps in separate instances.
In this sense, you no longer have to have two BlueStacks clients installed in order to play these apps, but you can run them both simultaneously through the Instance Manager.
The most important part of any video game is that the player be able to control them intuitively and with ease. And in this regard, BlueStacks had several product enhancements:
Though the improvements to the controls in BlueStacks 4 are few, this doesn’t make them any less significant, especially since BlueStacks saw the arrival of gamepad support in games that natively had control schemes for these controllers. All it took was plugging in any compatible gamepad to your PC via USB and BlueStacks would instantly pick them up and let you play any applicable game just as you would on a console or with a PC game. This feature is quite significant since it allows players to enjoy Minecraft Pocket Edition on BlueStacks.
Additionally, we even implemented gamepad support in some games that don’t natively support them, the most notable of which being Among Us. With BlueStacks, players could enjoy the massively successful asymmetrical survival game on PC, with the comfort that only a good controller can provide.
For fans of shooters, BlueStacks 4 also saw the arrival of Smart Controls, which revolutionized the way games like Call of Duty: Mobile, Free Fire and PUBG are played, among others. Our exclusive Smart Controls scan your screen at all times when playing shooter games, and dynamically disables and enables shooting mode, allowing you to navigate through menus and maps, and get back into the action seamlessly, without having to manually enable and disable your mouse cursor.
Suffice to say, once our users try out Smart Controls, it’s hard to go back to the old mode.Something that has become somewhat of a tradition in our community is that we often get complaints after a CoD Mobile update since the Smart Controls are always temporarily broken with game updates, until we fix them a few moments later.
Upgrades to the Keymapping Tool
One of the most important features that our emulator offers when it comes to enjoying mobile games on PC is the Keymapping Tool, as it allows players to control their games using their mouse and keyboard.
The way this tool works is by allowing you to select from a list of predefined functions such as “tap”, “swipe”, and “d-pad”, among others, place them anywhere on the screen, and bind them to the buttons on your mouse and keyboard. In this sense, players could create customized control schemes for any game, allowing them to control the action at any time with their keyboard and mouse setup.
While the big changes are often system-wide and affect the performance of BlueStacks as a whole, there are some tweaks and adjustments that we actively implement in our emulator, especially when it comes to improving the way you enjoy the best and most popular mobile games on PC.
Now, this upgrade doesn’t improve just one game, but actually many different mobile MOBA games that you can play on PC with BlueStacks such as Arena of Valor, Mobile Legends, and League of Legends: Wild Rift, among many others.
Specifically, we’ve added several features to enhance your controls in this genre of games, including MOBA controls, as well as the ability to properly aim and use your special skills. The former lets you move your character around with your mouse, like you would with any other PC MOBA game. That is, by right clicking on the spot where you wish to move. Meanwhile, the latter lets you easily aim and use your skills with precision by holding down the skill button, aiming it with your mouse, and releasing the button to unleash your skill.
By playing MOBAs on BlueStacks, you’ll get as close as possible to the authentic PC experience when playing your favorite mobile games.
Voice Chat for Among Us
In 2020, few titles stood out as much as Among Us. This hit asymmetrical survival game wasn’t even new at the time, but with the ongoing lockdowns, streamers started looking into it, and the game quickly went viral, going from a couple hundred users, to over hundreds of thousands of concurrent gamers in a matter of weeks.
As a game itself, Among Us isn’t anything extraordinary. However, its gameplay elements are very conducive to fun and entertaining player interactions as gamers would throw shade back and forth trying to find the Impostors that are killing Crewmates one by one. And while anyone could easily enjoy this game alone, it’s much better playing with friends or people with whom you can communicate effectively. In this sense, voice chat adds a whole new dimension to Among Us as it lets players misdirect, point out details, and exchange cheeky banter back and forth in real time.
We noticed the importance of real-time comms for this game, which is why we added a voice chat feature to BlueStacks. This aspect allows you to easily create chat lobbies and share them with friends, or even with strangers that are playing Among Us on PC with BlueStacks. Rather than exchange personal info like your Discord username, you can just create a temporary lobby and have some fun playing with people in Among Us.
Customized HD Graphics for PUBG Mobile and COD: Mobile
We’ve already established that BlueStacks is a powerful emulator, easily surpassing even the most expensive phones in both performance and graphics. With all this excess power, we figured we could also look into making certain games look better than what is currently possible when playing them on your phone.
For PUBG Mobile and COD: Mobile, we implemented HD features that allow you to enjoy these games at resolutions much higher than what your phone usually allows. With these settings, you can set your game to render at 2160p to enjoy a truly crisp and sharp image that will allow you to clearly spot enemies from a mile away, instead of squinting at tiny blobs of moving pixels like you would when playing on lower resolutions.
Load Time Improvements for Demanding Titles
Playing on the mobile platform doesn’t necessarily mean that the games have to be inferior to their PC counterparts. While this is the case most of the time, due to the lower budget of these games compared to on other platforms, there are a few ambitious titles that stand out among the rest and shine due to their excellent visuals, staggering amount of features, and for their potential as timesinks. In all of these areas, Black Desert Mobile is one of the best examples.
However, when it comes to massive games such as this one, it’s understandable that it will be more demanding than the rest, especially when it comes to the hardware. A title like BDM will require only the best phones in order to get a half-decent experience. However, BlueStacks’ superior engineering and programming makes it so that this game not only runs on most computers, but it also does so with myriad improvements over the original, leading to reduced loading times, better framerate and, of course, the best visuals.
Precision Zoom for Rise of Kingdoms
Though the exact mechanics and systems vary from title to title, strategy war games all share one thing in common: They feature tons of exploration on world map screens. Since many of these maps have lots of details like enemy units, players’ bases, and a variety of resources, to name a few, you’ll be constantly zooming in and out to scan the terrain.
The Precision Zoom feature in BlueStacks was designed to aid in this process in Rise of Kingdoms by giving you a way to accurately zoom into specific parts of the landscape. The way it works is that, whenever you zoom in or out (using either Ctrl + Mouse Wheel or the Up and Down arrow keys), the camera would zoom into where your cursor is currently located. In this sense, if you want to take a closer look at something, all you have to do is put your mouse cursor on it, and engage the zoom.
Smart Edge Scrolling and UTC Converter for Rise of Kingdoms and State of Survival
To close this (rather lengthy) recap of highlights for BlueStacks 4, we’d like to show off what could be one of the greatest features for scrolling through the map in Rise of Kingdoms and State of Survival, Smart Edge Scrolling. When activated, this feature lets you pan across the screen of your city, or even the world maps, by simply moving your mouse to the edge of the screen, like in any PC RTS.
Furthermore, these two games often host events that give players unique opportunities to participate in a variety of challenges, as well as to earn awesome rewards. However, in the event announcements, all the times are often expressed in UTC, which means that, unless you’re Father Time, you’d frequently have to look up the correct conversion in order to know the schedules for these events.
We addressed this challenge with the UTC Time Converter, a tool for both of these games that, when used, would always show you the current UTC time, and also let you convert the dates and times in the games to your current timezone, so you can plan accordingly. Further, the tool also lets you set alarms for these events so you are reminded a short time before they begin, giving you plenty of room to prepare.
Thanks to your continued support, we’re able to provide you with the very best product for emulating Android games on your PC. Stay tuned for an upcoming exciting news from BlueStacks!