We’ve come an awful long way since the days of Tetris and Snake. Futuristic mobile gaming is now definitely with us, with some pretty unbelievable technology making complex, engaging games on even the smallest devices a possibility. Mobile gaming has exploded especially over the last decade after devices like the iPhone brought smartphones firmly into the mainstream, and developments like microtransactions have made it worthwhile for game developers to pour money into the next big mobile game.
It’s no surprise that mobile games are becoming one of the most profitable revenue streams for game studios, with 9 out of 10 adults in the UK now owning a smartphone or tablet, and mobile games making up almost half of the global gaming revenues. This is contributing to an industry that is becoming more focused on small-screen games, and one that is all about monetising app-style games rather than creating games that have to be paid for up front.
As the demand for games increases beyond developers’ capabilities, and the technology keeps getting better in better in smart devices, we’re seeing more impressive games in almost every aspect. We’re now at the point where mobile games are almost as demanding as traditional PC and console games, and we’re seeing different performance levels depending on the type of phone or tablet being used.
If you’re considering a new mobile or tablet and want to get the most out of the latest and upcoming AAA mobile games, it’s worth considering the following features to make sure your new smart device will be able to handle the most intense and demanding games.
Smartphones are often used as way more than just a phone and are of course cameras, personal organisers, miniature PCs, and of course games consoles. With app sizes and photograph resolutions getting larger and larger, more storage is needed for even the most basic of day-to-day smartphone tasks. Storage refers to the size of the built-in memory, usually flash or solid-state memory, where files and apps are stored for quick access.
If you like playing games with high-end graphics, or ones that have lots of content, then the size of the game’s folders may end up adding up to the point where the smartphone or tablet doesn’t have any space to store anything else.
Phones with 16GB or storage may seem like they have enough space, but by the time you’ve taken the operating system into account and the basic apps you’ll need to do everything from taking photos to manage your emails, then you may only have a few gigabytes left to play with. Consider buying bigger storage, or using a cloud storage option to store large files like photographs, thus freeing up more space for games.
Almost all smart devices now have processors just like you’d find in a PC or games console (albeit way smaller) and they will dictate just how powerful your smartphone will be. Processor power is measured in GHz (Gigahertz), and you may have to look a little bit deeper into the specifications to see what your new phone has.
Phones and tablets like the latest Apple and Samsung models will likely have powerful enough processors to handle way more than a mobile game can throw at them, but if you’re going for a budget smartphone or tablet, then this one is definitely worth checking to make sure your device doesn’t grind to a halt when you try playing a resource-intensive game like Asphalt 8 or PUBG mobile.
Screen size and type
There’s not much point in settling in to play a game with great graphics if your screen is either too small or doesn’t have enough pixels, then you might find games with small controls too fiddly, or the colors just won’t be as impressive.
A good example of a modern mobile game that really benefits from improved screen resolution is online casino gaming. There have been incredible improvements to the online gambling experience, where an HD video stream of a live dealer is broadcast to player’s devices, the technology has been deployed at this brilliant live casino, resulting in an immersive experience.
There is very little difference between playing via mobile and any other platform at online gambling sites in this day and age. Although it does make sense to have a decent screen size to both see the cards being drawn and to enjoy the full experience without worrying about blurry videos or a pokey screen that doesn’t do your gaming justice.
Screen type comes down to user preference, but Apple’s Retina screen technology frequently tops tech reviews and boasts a much wider range of colors than most other smartphones, but some people prefer the crisper images provided by Samsung – again, this is completely down to user choice.
Big screens mixed HD graphics and more pressure on processors means that smart device batteries are likely to run down much quicker than you’d see with general usage, so battery capability plays a massive role if you plan on taking your games wherever you go. Sometimes users don’t have much choice or customisation options when it comes to batteries, and indeed batteries are the missing link between the ultra-futuristic technology that goes into things like processors and memory, with the humble cell configuration almost holding back mobile phone power capabilities. Until then, read the reviews of battery life for phones and tablets, and you’ll soon find out which phones last longer (ahem, Android).
Alternatively, a power pack is a really simple and cost-effective option that can boost your game time considerably. Always invest in a recognised brand, however, as cheap alternatives bought from unlicensed providers may end up causing damage to your phone’s battery or even electrical fires.
With so many varieties of smartphones, and plenty of models to choose from even from single manufacturers, choosing the right smartphone can be a tough choice. One of the best options to get a shiny new smartphone, which can cost almost £1,000 to buy outright, is to go for a flexible contract package. You’ll pay more over time, but you may be able to trade in your device when a more powerful model inevitably comes along in a couple of years’ time. Until then, clear out your storage, plug in your power bank, and get stuck into some mobile gaming with the technology you’ve already got!