Online emulators like Citra and other Nintendo 3DS emulators (and other consoles as well) are games that allow emulation to be played on a computer or laptop, rather than through an actual device. The benefit of this is the ability to play the game without having to purchase one’s own console. While this may sound like a great opportunity for those who cannot afford such devices, there are problems with these online emulators as well as benefits.
One problem with online emulators is that they can also be extremely demanding. Since computers were not designed specifically for playing videogames, it requires multiple updates and processes running simultaneously which results in lower performance and increased chance of glitches and errors. This will in lag and even freezing within certain games. Also, online emulators are susceptible to viruses and malware which could lead to the infection of computers if care is not taken.
Aside from these problems, one benefit that Citra has over other emulator websites is that it allows debugging of games. Debugging is a process that allows players to play around with different elements within the game itself. This means there are no mods or external programs needed to do so. All it requires is experimentation, allowing for more freedom in gameplay as well as the creation of new possibilities. Some suggested debug commands include x/y camera position editing, special battle rules, map editor access (for Pokémon ROM hacks), frame-by-frame advancement, models and textures replacement among others found on this website. These features are not available with other online emulators.
Another benefit that Citra has is its ability to emulate games at a higher quality compared to others, allowing for better optimization of games, even the more demanding live games or a live casino. Resolution upscaling enhances visual quality while anti-aliasing allows resolution downscaling without losing image detail or clarity. Anisotropic filtering increases texture quality by reducing pixelation caused by oblique angles on non-visible surfaces and Mipmapping decreases blurriness during high-angle rotation. As seen in the comparison below between Nintendo 3DS and Citra, where one can see how much smoother and easier details are displayed:
Citra also runs faster than other online emulators due to optimizations such as the LLVM recompiler and the dynamic translation of C++ code. It is compatible with multiple platforms such as macOS, GNU/Linux and Windows which is a great benefit for those who frequently use different devices. In addition, Citra allows users to play most Nintendo 3DS games without issues due to its accuracy in emulation. While it does have some problems such as missing major features or sound glitches from time to time, these have become less common over the months since its release.
Other features that Citra has include enhanced controller support for both Xbox One controllers and DualShock 4 controller adapters on top of native keyboard mapping for all possible keys (including remapping), enhanced graphics including anisotropic filtering, anti-aliasing, internal resolution upscaling, full 24-bit color support and mipmapping for a more accurate rendering of textures, less audio latency compared to other online emulators and faster performance with efficient multi-threading.
Citra is one of the most beneficial online emulators due to its high compatibility rate in terms of supported games (requiring less effort on part of users), debugging capabilities (allowing experimenting within different elements such as map editor access and battle rules without having to use third party programs or mods), higher resolutions and better graphics compared to others, running at higher speeds than other online emulator websites despite having several processes that require constant running simultaneously and allowing for multiple platform usage (macOS, GNU/Linux and Windows).