While smartphones have always been a popular gaming platform, they’ve never really been a threat to desktop and consoles until recently. Sometime during 2018, the use of mobile devices exploded when very popular games were launched for Android OS and iOS, and suddenly gaming on an Android and iPhone took on a new dimension. As mobile hardware keeps getting better and better, the gap between consoles and desktops is narrowing. Last year in an unprecedented move, two games with millions of fans were for the first time released for Android and iPhone.
Pinning down the exact date when mobile gaming began in earnest is not an easy task, but if we have to put a date to it, then it’s safe to assume that 1997 was the start. It was in fact, the year that Snakes became the first mobile gaming hit, much of a blinking pixel game and more for entertainment, it was never seen as anything other than a simple game which mobile phone users could pass some time with. Astonishingly, the past 20 years mobile gaming has moved from the simple game of Snakes to entire virtual worlds played in unison by thousands of fans throughout the world. It is now clear to all that the future of mobile gaming is the future of gaming.
There are hundreds of games available for mobile play but two epic games stand out as leaders. Fortnite and Playerunknown Battlegrounds, or PUBG as it is known amongst friends. Fortnite and PUBG have taken over the world by every teenager and young person. It’s cool and fashionable and in fact, there are 40 million Fortnite fans spread around the world and 200 million playing PUBG at any given time.
They are both multiplayer games and the game is more or less the same. They are both a mass online brawl where 100 players leap out and fight each other by finding secret weapons and items, rifles, traps and grenade launchers to use in the fight. It’s also possible to collect resources to allow for structures that can be built to hide in. As the match progresses, the playable area of the land keeps reducing and players are forced closer and closer together. Last man standing is the winner!
With the games now being available for download for smartphones and tablets, gamers have reached new levels of gameplay with new skills having to be mastered. The screens are smaller and the touch controls can detract from the game itself. There are some accessories that are recommended to enhance gameplay.
There is nothing that enhances mobile gameplay better than an external controller, because it frees up your device’s screen for an unobstructed view, and along with having more tactile and intuitive controls, it adds to the immersive experience. Smartphone game controllers are available in many sizes and shapes. You can opt for a small add on to add functionality for shooting games like PUBG, or a pocket sized controller to bring a totally immersive consoles.
For many gamers, the arrival of Fortnite and PUBG for mobile gaming created a very interesting change. Mobile gaming was always seen a simple and lacked any sense of credibility or invention, but these days, it has changed spectacularly and gaming on a mobile device is as much fun as can be had. The only disadvantage is that thumbing the screen all day leaves the player with numb thumbs. Investing in a mobile controller can make all the difference to the enjoyment and concentration of the game and transforms the smartphone, iPhone or tablet into a mobile gaming system with a design and button layout similar to traditional console controllers.
To find the best game controllers, functionality, control, response time and performance will ensure that the gamer is always ahead of their game. Instead of having just one way to interact with the game, a controller will offer multiple buttons and joysticks, a more accurate aim and faster reaction time.
Headphones are also a must have accessory for mobile gaming, especially when you’re out and about. There are obvious benefits to using headsets for gaming, and the most important is the ability to concentrate on a game and hear the action no matter where you are are or how much background noise there is. Having your hearing enhanced is the key to staying alive in highly competitive games like Fortnite. A headset also affords you the luxury of playing anywhere without having to worry about disturbing others. Standard headphones are great but Bluetooth headsets are preferable as they free you up from distracting wires that can disrupt your grip.
Mobile gaming has become so advanced, but playing for hours on end will drain your battery very quickly. An external power bank is a must for extended gameplay and to make sure your device suddenly turn off just before you win!
Thanks to massive technological leaps for both Android and iOS, processing power and graphics are better than ever. Game titles such as PUBG and Fortnite have impressive visuals to rival any console. Connecting a device to a television set goes a long way towards enhanced gameplay. There are devices available that can mirror their screen onto a TV without wires for example, features like AirPlay, Chromecast, or Smart View, to name a few. However a wireless connection tends to cause some lag and to avoid this, nothing beats an old-fashioned HDMI cable to connect your mobile to your TV or computer.
A 3D or VR headsets is a must for mobile gaming as it allows you to design your very own virtual world and create objects and characters to interact with. A VR headset is compatible with both Android and iOS devices courtesy of an app, and usually comes with a course so as to learn the VR basics.
Use headphones – In battle royale games, the best tool you’ll ever have is your ability to hear things before you see them. If you’re using your mobile phone, you’ll need to turn off the volume if you’re playing in public. Epic Games anticipated this and added a visual indicator to give you a sense of where sounds are coming from on screen. However, it is recommended that you play Fortnite with headphone because the better the quality of your ear equipment, the better prepared you will be to get one on other players, and besides, using earphones will probably save your life a few times in match scenarios.
When you’re crossing a lot of ground, use auto run – As in most battle royale games, exploring space is what makes the games interesting but it also opens you up to attacks and attackers that pop up from anywhere. Using touch controls also means you might sacrifice your ability to see parts of the screen because you’re so busy using your thumbs to guide your character. To counteract this problem, Epic added an option that’s not in the PC or console version, but is included in the mobile version. The Auto-run feature is triggered by double-tapping the control stick on the left side of the screen. Your character will begin to run off in the direction they’re facing leaving you free to scan for loot or enemies.
To slow your game down – While auto running, if you swipe the screen your character will turn in a different direction allowing you time to get a look behind you. Use short quick runs and make frequent stops so that you can check out your surroundings.
The second battle royale game is PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, or better known as PUBG. Just like Fortnite, PUBG is now available for smartphone gameplay for Android and iOs and can be downloaded from Google Play and the Apple App store respectively.
As a thumb rule, never engage in an ongoing battle, you’ll have an ally until the enemy is dead and then your ally becomes your enemy. Let the heat die down and then march for the kill. Even if you only manage to kill a couple, you’re still going to finish in top 10 every single time. Always take cover behind boulders, trees and buildings, in case you’re being shot at from a distance and never hide in a shack around enemies. Newbies usually make this mistake, getting into a shack is easy but there’s no way out and a grenade will finish you off. Keep both guns reloaded at all times and remember that sometimes switching guns when you’ve run out of bullets is faster than reloading.
But by far the most important tip suggested by the Pro players is to not go for the kill, but try and survive. Wins matter more than kills and if you kill 10 characters but land up in 30th place, you’re still in 30th place! They also recommend to avoid crowded places when trying to find loot. If you’re new at the game, exposing yourself to a crowded area means risking dying, instead head for places nearby the crowded areas, you will be able to kill people coming out of the famous spots and loot from them.