Here's A Cool Hack That Lets You Run The Google Play Store And Apps On Windows 11

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Remember just this past Wednesday when Microsoft made the Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA) available to Windows 11 Insiders? If not, go read that story first—the context is important. One of the myriad frustrations of WSA is that users are required to use the Amazon app store rather than the Google Play store that the majority of Android users are likely to find much more familiar.

When we posted up that story, chatter around the virtual water cooler was that some enterprising hackers would eventually get Google Play Services (including the Play Store) up and running on WSA. Well, we were right—we just didn't expect it to happen quite so soon. Yes, indeed: self-described "Device Bricker" ADeltaX (@ADeltaXForce on Twitter) has produced a pile of scripts that allows users to install Google's Android framework on Windows 11.

It's not easy—just looking at the instructions gives this writer a headache—but there are already a number of video tutorials, including the one from ADeltaX himself above. Judging from the jubilant posts in the thread on the Windows 11 subreddit, it appears to work.

Don't uninstall Bluestacks just yet, though. WSA has no support for hardware graphics acceleration at this time, so 3D games will be emulated on your CPU, resulting in poor performance even on powerful hardware. Users in the thread also report some problems with Google Apps, like an inability for Google Home to connect to Nest hubs.

Still, it's literally the first day for this hack, and there are already pre-packaged solutions popping up. If you're the sort of person to download application packages created by Internet strangers from mostly-anonymous file hosts, Redditor /u/Rageman666 has slapped the modified WSA package onto Google Drive. If you plan to fool with this hack, make sure you uninstall any existing WSA install first.

If you instead want to wait for a more stable and functional version, you might miss out. Microsoft almost assuredly went to Google before partnering with Amazon, and if Google wanted its apps on Windows 11, they'd be there. It may happen that Microsoft, Google, or even Amazon take steps to shut down this unauthorized use of WSA, so you might want to hit it while it's hot.