BlueStacks is an emulator program that brings the functionality and capabilities of your Android device to your computer. You can download applications directly from the Google Play Store to your Mac or PC, synchronize two devices using the cloud and remotely control your cell phone. And that’s not all that the BlueStacks App Player has to offer.
Advantages and limitations of the old versions
Over the years, several versions of the BlueStacks App Player have been released. Some people prefer to use older versions to this day. Here’s why. Older versions of BlueStacks:
- have lower system requirements;
- work on older operating systems;
- run smoothly on outdated PCs;
- simpler in appearance and functionality.
Many people are used to the interface and options and don’t want to change anything. Therefore, they don’t want to switch to newer versions of BlueStacks.
However, objectively speaking, an old version cannot be better than a recent release. Among the drawbacks of the older versions are incompatibility with 64-bit systems, security issues, and errors in the source code that have been fixed in the later releases.
BlueStacks versions differences
Now let’s take a closer look at each version and figure out which one is better for your PC. Below are the features of each BlueStacks release.
Current version of the emulator. Released in 2021. It might not differ drastically from the previous release, but there are several noticeable upgrades:
- The user interface has been improved. It is now easier to uninstall unneeded apps and browse throw icons are now grouped together.
- 40% less RAM usage.
- 40% faster setup time.
- Efficient Multitasking with 87% less CPU usage and 97% less GPU usage.
BlueStacks 5 has an enormous library containing over 2 million apps.
- Windows 7 or 10 (recommended);
- At least 2 GB RAM (8 GB recommended);
- 5 GB of free disk space (SSD recommended);
- You must be an Administrator on your PC;
- Broadband Internet connection.
The size of the installation file is 1.15 MB.
One of the most popular versions. Some of its features:
- Can run several games simultaneously in different tabs and switch between them.
- Better performance compared to earlier releases.
- The emulation runs as an exact copy of the Android 7.
BlueStacks 4 is a real catch for the users who review mobile games since it can take screenshots and remove unnecessary elements from the frame.
As for the system requirements for Windows PC, for BlueStacks 4 they are as follows:
- Windows 7 or 10;
- Intel or AMD processor with virtualization technology;
- 2 GB RAM;
- 5 GB of free disk space.
The size of the installation file is 1.17 MB.
The third version of the emulator is still quite popular among many users since it provides all the necessary functions while keeping the system requirements rather low.
The program has a more user-friendly interface compared to older versions. It allows customizing key and mouse controls. Also, BlueStacks 3 automatically remembers your custom settings, and when you launch the application again, you do not have to set the screen resolution, controls, etc. anew.
Another important feature is the new graphics engine – Hyper-G. Its patented technology allows you to use all the graphics resources of the device without sacrificing picture quality or application performance. Gamers love this! Also, in BlueStacks 3, a multi-screen version is available, where several applications can work simultaneously without interfering with each other. You can play your favorite game and chat on Viber at the same time.
As for the system requirements, to install BlueStacks 3 you need to meet the following conditions:
- Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista SP2, Windows XP SP3 (32-bit only);
- You must be an Administrator on your PC;
- 2 GB RAM;
- 4GB of free disk space.
The size of the installation file is 300 MB. Note that starting from the third version, Mac users can install BlueStacks too.
First of all, in BlueStacks 2 the developers fixed all the errors and shortcomings of its predecessor. Also, they made both the application search and the controls more comfortable. The interface started to resemble a browser where each application opens in its own tab. In full-screen mode, you now may hide the taskbar to adjust the volume, and set the location. Ads now open in a separate tab and don’t overlap the active window. No third-party applications are installed by default. During the emulator installation, you may refuse unwanted software.
The system requirements for installing BlueStacks 2 are rather low. The program works fine even on outdated computers, but please check the system requirements before downloading:
- Operating system: Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10, either 32 or 64 bit;
- 2 GB RAM;
- Dual-core processor or higher;
- 2 GB of free disk space.
The size of the installation file is 250 MB
Back to basics. The very first version of the renowned emulator – BlueStacks 1. It was released in 2011 and is still run by many experienced users. It works well on outdated systems (32-bit Windows XP and later) with just 512 MB RAM. The emulator shows decent performance in most popular apps (such as instant messengers) and presents a rather large set of functions, although not so large as its later releases.
Which version to choose
We described all versions of BlueStacks. Now, look at the comparison table to pick one version that fits your needs the best.
|BlueStacks 5||BlueStacks 4||BlueStacks 3||BlueStacks 2||BlueStacks 1|
|Installation file size||1.15 MB||1.17 MB||284 MB||260 MB||252 MB|
|Supported platforms||Windows 7, 10, macOS||Windows 7, 8, 10, macOS||Windows XP, 7,8,10, macOS||Windows XP, Vista, 7,8,10||Windows XP, Vista, 7,8,10|
|Advantages||40% less RAM usage. 87% less CPU usage and 97% GPU usage in multitasking mode. No FPS dips.||Android 7 support. Enhanced performance, improved interface with better controls. Increased safety.||Works on Mac. New graphics engine Hyper-G. Multi-screen mode. Improved interface. Customizable in-game settings and controls||Separate tabs for each launched app, comfortable controls, low system requirements.||Downloads all available apps from the Google Play Store. Works on outdated and low-performance PCs.|
|Shortcomings||High system requirements.||Unfit for old operating systems. High system requirements.||Frame-rate drops and occasional freezes on low-end computers.||Ads, no macOS support, can freeze when several apps are launched.||Scarce number of functions, ads, clumsy controls.|
After reviewing each version of BlueStacks, we can conclude that all of them have certain strong sides; they all can download and run most of the popular mobile apps from Google Play. However, the higher the version of the emulator the more functions it can offer. The best choice would be BlueStacks 4 if your PC meets its system requirements of course. If not, look for the earlier versions.