Arduino simulators can be a great start for anyone wanting to learn the basics of Arduino programming, circuitry, and schematic design. Simulators are simple computer programs that can mimic real-world scenarios in a virtual environment, and with the help of an Arduino simulator, it is possible for anyone (beginners and professionals alike) to learn to program and test their ideas without investing money in real material. . .
List of Best Arduino Emulators (Online and Offline)
The table below lists the top 10 Arduino emulators, 5 online and 5 offline.
Observation:Only Proteus is the paid software emulator. All other Arduino emulators are free to use
The best offline Arduino emulators
Before you can work with it, you need to install an offline Arduino emulator on your computer. Let's start with Labcentre's Proteus.
The first Arduino emulator for PC on our list is ProteusDesign Suite because it is time-tested and has basically everything you need to design a circuit,be it complex or simple. And it also has support for Arduino.
The circuit can be tested using different resources such as atransient response, DC sweep, etc. provided in the software. After finishing simulation and testing, you can make a PCB from the schematic.
- User-friendly interface with powerful simulation tools with microcontroller support along with 3D visualization for PCB.
- Quick test tools such as DC drift and transient response
- Huge libraries of built-in parts
- Customizable, self-built part library options.
- Expensive compared to some other tools.
- Limited compatibility with some third-party tools and libraries
- With large circuits, users may experience performance issues.
- Very expensive
- Standard Feature Set – $537.00
- Pro Feature Set – $1,692.00
- Proteus Enterprise Edition – 6.972,00 $
- Proteus Platinum Edition – $8,622.00
- Customized – $248.00
SimulIDE is another offline simulator available to the community. It isnot as strong as Proteus, but if you're just starting out, this can be a great option.
This simulator is easy to use and will help you to lay the foundation of electronics. You can simply drag and drop elements onto the workspace, connect them and run your project in just a few steps.
In addition to Arduino, it also supportsPIC, NXP and other microcontrollers. Other important features of this simulator include built-in components like oscilloscope, wave generator and much more.
- Easy-to-use interface with a wide range of analog and digital parts.
- Supports popular microcontroller platforms like PIC, AVR and Arduino
- Integrated code editor for GcBasic, Arduino, PIC ASM and AVR ASM
- Debugger with breakpoints, trace inputs and global variables.
- Signal visualization and signal plotter for real-time signal analysis
- This tool is designed to work on Windows, MAC and Linux.
- It is not suitable for advanced circuit analysis.
- Limited resources and component library.
- Limited community support and online resources.
- Simple and not very expensive electronic models.
- Free and open source
You must read: 10 Best Circuit Simulation Software (Free & Paid)
These were some of the best offline simulators for Arduino and in the rest of the article we will discuss the online simulators.
UNOArdusimis another open source simulation software available for free download. This simple tool was written by Professor Simmons from Queen's University, Canada and is a little different from the others in that it is only made to simulate Arduino code.
In terms of hardware support, it can do a lot more compared to other simulators that have support for peripherals, geared motors, stepper motors and servo motors.
In addition, users can also debug their code and see its performance, as well as view pin voltage and waveforms. If you're just getting started with Arduino, UNOArdusim is a great tool to try out.
- It's free and open source, so you can contribute to its development or modify it to suit your needs.
- UnoArduSim supports a wide range of Arduino features including interrupts, timers and various communication protocols.
- This simulator cannot simulate the Arduino analog-to-digital converter (ADC) or real-time clock (RTC).
- UnoArduSim is a powerful tool, but it can be difficult to learn how to use it.
- This is a simulation so it's not as fast as a physical Arduino board.
- It only works on Windows.
- Free educational tool for everyone to use.
OArduino IO Simulatorit is very similar to UNOArdusim because it is also designed to simulate Arduino functionality only. One more thing about this software is that it has MAC OS support. This software lets you control servos, seven-segment displays, LCD timers, and I/O pins.
The Arduino IO can be a great tool for a beginner who just wants to get started, but in terms of features, there's a lot of room for improvement.
- Available for Windows and Mac.
- It is not suitable for intermediate and advanced users because the sandbox is not that powerful.
- Free and open source software tool
Arduino Pauls simulatoris another free and open source Arduino simulator that helps you test your Arduino sketches in a simple way. This simulator was created by Richard Paul and is entirely written in C++ language. Includes LED and LCD, 4x4 keyboard matrix, rotary DIP switch, etc.
The installation video on Paul's youtube channel explains how to install the simulator using Dev-C++ and how to use the simulator after that. For more instructions, you can check GitHub. To download the CPP compiler, you can check outSourceForge.
- This tool has support for LEDs, 7-segment displays, keyboards and LCD displays, among others.
- It allows you to add breakpoints to your code to make it easier to debug and test your Arduino projects.
- It includes a SimUtilities class that contains various utilities for registering connections and setting values on the connection.
- It supports the use of pull-up resistors using pinMode and digitalWrite functions
- It uses real Arduino libraries like Keypad.cpp
- Available for Windows.
- Requires installation of a separate development environment (Orwell Dev-C++) to run the simulator.
- Limited support for some Arduino libraries, which may require code modification.
- Lack of community support.
- The SimUtilities class might not be comprehensive enough for more complex projects.
- Free and open source software tool
Those were some of the best offline simulators and in the rest of the article we will discuss the online simulators.
As the name suggests, online simulators are simulators that run in your browser and do not require installation. They can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection and you don't need to download or install any software on your system, but on the other hand, there won't be as many features that offline simulators have.
Tinkercad is a free browser-based 3D modeling tool that also lets you simulate electronic circuits in its online simulator called Tinkercad Circuits. In tinker cad circuits, you can place components to create virtual circuits.
Supportsprogramming blocklanguage so you can simply drag and drop block functions to write your code. But if you want to write your own C code, Tinkercad has an option for that too.
- It has an easy user interface that makes the project creation process interesting.
- The software is free to use, making it accessible to all hobbyists.
- With it you can also program with blocks of code.
- There is alimited number of pieces.
- It isnot suitable forusers who want to do sothey design more complex projects.
- Free to use.
PICSimLab(Programmable IC Simulator Laboratory) is a simulator that allows you to work with several development boards like Arduino, blue pill (based on STM), McLab1 (based on PIC) etc.
This simulator is not as sophisticated and interactive as Tinkercad, but it is an ideal choice for those who just want to gain practical knowledge. It has many features like oscilloscope, function generator and potentiometer, which help you to debug your circuit easily.
You can also draw diagrams and tables on it, but this is only recommended if you are looking for some basic knowledge of the PCB design process.
- Easy to use user interface with online and offline version.
- Availability of sensors such as accelerometer, pressure, different LCD screens, etc.
- Suitable for beginners and intermediates.
- PICSIMLAB offers real-time simulation, which lets you see the results of your code in real-time.
- It works on Windows, MAC and Linux.
- PICSIMLAB may not have all the necessary components to test your project.
- Small online community.
- This tool does not have the option to add an external library.
- free software tool
Also check:11 Free Online Circuit Simulators
WOWis another web-based simulator that you can use to simulate Arduino projects. O it has many unique features that set it apart from other simulators, such as support for Arduino UNO and Mega boards.
This is a very versatile simulator, so it also has support for Raspberry Pi Pico. Furthermore, the platform allows users to simulate network-based protocols such as MQTT, HTTP and NTP, among others.
- Wokwi is an easy-to-use free online microcontroller simulator with a variety of components.
- It supports multiple displays like TFT, OLED, 16×2 LCD, etc.
- As Wokwi is a web-based tool, it can be accessed on Windows, Mac and Linux. You can access your projects from any device with an internet connection.
- This tool offers a wide range of features including a component library, a simulator and a debugger.
- Wokwi is a cloud-based simulator, so it can be slow at times, especially if you are running a large project or there is a lot of traffic on the Wokwi servers.
- Wokwi is still in development, so there are occasional bugs that can cause problems.
- It can be difficult to use. The interface can be a bit boring and confusing, especially for beginners.
- free to use
manufacturer codeis another web-based tool developed by Microsoft to boost your hardware circuit and code. It has a drag-and-drop based coding interface for creating programs.
What makes this simulator unique compared to other simulators is the support for Adafruit, SparkFun, NRF, Sensors, Servos and much more.
- It offers a simple drag and drop interface that makes it easy for beginners to start coding.
- It supports a variety of hardware platforms including Arduino, Sparkfun, Jacdac, Adafruit and Sparkfun boards.
- It is available for free and you can use it without registering.
- The platform doesn't have a huge range of peripherals to experiment with.
- Does not support C programming.
Virtualbreadboard is the most interesting Arduino simulator on our list because it's a Windows Store app and you need to download it to work with it. This app has a very user-friendly interface and you can easily design your circuit by dragging and dropping your project.
This smart tool supports HEX code. So compile your Arduino IDE, Arduino Create, PlatformIO and Visual Studio code and load it directly into this tool.
- Create hybrid applications using virtual components as the user interface.
- Virtual Components work with your physical microcontroller through itEDGEYinterface.
- A interface EDGEY suporta LiquidCrystal, OLED SSD1306, Nonpixel, MAX7219, Epaper, DSO e Servo.
- It also has unit testing capabilities for your circuit.
- Like any complex software, VirtualBreadboard has a learning curve. Users should take some time to familiarize themselves with the interface.
- This tool is resource intensive and requires a powerful computer to run smoothly.
- Free to use tool.
Arduino simulators are a great tool to test your project before building a real circuit. According to our research, WOKWI and Tinkercad are the best Arduino simulators online. Both Proteus and SimulIDE are the two best offline simulators.