Game makers are clawing for a share of the smartphone market because it offers companies a bevy potential revenue streams. Is it possible to have a console-like game experience on a smartphone, though? Should you really invest money in smartphone games when you could invest in computer or console games? Many people believe that mobile games are just as compelling as console games and some even argue that mobile devices will replace consoles for gaming in the near future. Before you make up your mind on this contentious issue, consider these tips for maximizing your gaming experience on a smartphone.
Start with the Right Phone
Like computers, the hardware on which you run a mobile game is going to impact performance greatly. You wouldn’t try to run Fallout 4 on Commodore 64, so why would you try to play the latest 3D mobile game on a device running Android Gingerbread? You wouldn’t.
To get the most out of your mobile games, invest in a flagship device from a major manufacturer. Look for a 64-bit processor with at least four cores (you can get eight now) and at least 2-3 GB of RAM. The Snapdragon 810 chipset is designed for online 3D gaming, so look for that as well. Many top-tier smartphones come with dedicated GPUs to really boost gaming performance as well.
Tweak Your Phone
Getting under the hood of your smartphone’s OS is a good way to squeeze out enhanced performance. You can tweak everything from graphics performance to battery usage and background application management in most operating systems. In many cases, enabling developer options on your phone will allow you to tweak more features of the CPU and GPU to boost performance.
If your phone isn’t rooted, doing so can increase your customization options and make it easier for you to reduce lag. Android, in particular, is a heavily fragmented operating system. Rooting your phone can make it easier to upgrade and install the latest patches for the best possible game performance.
Turn Off Unneeded Processes
Cutting out unnecessary background processes will not only improve game performance, it will make your battery last longer. If your game doesn’t require a Wi-Fi connection, turn it off. The same goes for cellular data, Bluetooth, and GPS services. Dim the screen if you can and eliminate any apps that are running in the background.
Add Dedicated Equipment
Controllers and other equipment for heavy-duty smartphone gaming are becoming more common. These controllers clip directly to your phone and offer improved ergonomics as well as better gameplay. They aren’t all that expensive either, so the investment is probably worthwhile.
In addition to controllers, you can actually connect full-sized screens to your smartphone. These obviously aren’t portable, but they give your eyes and back a rest from bending over a small screen. An MHL (Mobile High-Definition Link) adapter is a great way to transform a smartphone micro USB port into an HDMI out port. If you don’t want to use an adapter, then opt for a Wi-Fi Direct system or something similar. International Hack Times has an entire article dedicated to pocket-sized gaming accessories.
Play to Mobile’s Strengths
Perhaps the best way to get the most out of mobile gaming is to invest in games that perform well on mobile devices. High-contrast, 3D, first-person shooters aren’t going to look as good on a mobile device as they do on a giant flat screen in a darkened living room being run by multiple GPUs and a game-centered console. Strategy games, on the other hand, work fabulously on mobile devices and can be highly entertaining. Allow your mobile device to expand your consumption of game genres and you’ll be rewarded with games like Candy Crush, Angry Birds, Draw Something, and more.
The Future of Gaming
There is an idea out there that for mobile games to win, consoles have to lose. This isn’t the case at all. Just as consoles didn’t bring about an end to PC gaming, mobile devices will not kill the console. In fact, mobile gaming is likely to enhance console gaming by pulling more people into the industry and encouraging casual gamers to explore more in-depth offerings. The future of gaming is one in which smartphones complement, but do not replace consoles or PCs. Mobile devices are simply enriching the landscape for gamers.
Haider Ali Khan is the founder of International Hack Times, a blog that provides the latest Technology, Cyber Security, Hacking, The Internet and Gaming news.