Mobile gaming is no longer just a gimmick now. It has now grown to a full-fledged category in the video games industry, capable of churning out immersive experiences that get better and better with every new tech that rolls out. Don’t mind those that snort at people who consider mobile devices as “real” gaming platforms; they’re probably still in denial that the mobile gaming scene is here to stay. Whether you’re just starting out in mobile gaming or already neck-deep in your tenth game in six months, these 9 helpful and sometimes overlooked tips can help you maximize your experience. Let’s start with the simplest ones.
1. Adjust the brightness accordingly
Before you jump straight into your game as soon as you open your device, tweak its screen brightness first to conserve battery. This may seem a bit too simple, but a lot of people tend to overlook the smallest things. If you’re playing in a well-lit room or in complete darkness, it’s better to crank down the brightness all the way to zero. For the former, the light around you basically renders your device’s brightness useless – you’ll barely notice it. And for the latter, the darkness allows your device’s dimly lit screen to still stand out.
2. Close all background apps
3. Always use Wi-Fi whenever possible
This one’s fairly obvious, but you’re probably aware of it for the wrong reason. Aside from saving up on your monthly bill, using a Wi-Fi connection drains less battery than your cellular data connection. Cellular data depends heavily on signal strength, which varies from area to area. The connection speed still depends on the Wi-Fi signal, though. But if your game isn’t exactly overly-dependent on an internet connection, it should be enough. And by “whenever possible”, that includes the Wi-Fi typically found in malls or other public areas.
4. Charge your phone first
Imagine being in the middle of boss fight and your device dies before you can deal what would have been the killing blow. It’s annoying, isn’t it? To avoid such scenarios, always make sure that your device has a full charge, or close to it, before diving into your game. This allows you to enjoy your game without getting interrupted by silly things. If you play games while on the ride home, charge your phone before leaving your workplace. If you play games before going to sleep, refrain from using it heavily an hour or two before going to bed. Build a routine to maximize your charge.
5. Choose large-screen devices
If you’ve chosen mobile devices as your preferred gaming platform, it would be wise to invest on something with a large screen. Forget about portability for a minute; a large-screen device allows your experience to be more immersive, thanks to the increased visuals that your eyes get treated to. This is particularly important if you prefer to play games with graphics that rival console games (there’s no topping the PC, though). Also, it’s not fun repeatedly squinting at a small screen to make out an in-game detail, especially in text-heavy games like RPGs.
6. Use a gamepad
On-screen touchscreen controls are, frankly, awkward to use. First of all, you don’t know whether the screen has read your input or not because you simply can’t feel anything the same way you would feel physical buttons. Second, your fingers might slide off along different parts of the screen, which could cause you to accidentally press an in-game option. Third, your frustration might get the best of you in particularly difficult games, which might lead to harder screen presses than normal – you might break your device’s delicate screen that way. And fourth, some games are simply not meant for touchscreen controls, no matter how much game developers sell you on the fanciest iterations. This means that you’re missing out on games from other genres. The solution? Get a gamepad.
Yes, using a gamepad defeats the purpose of a mobile platform’s edge in portability by requiring you to carry another mobile gadget. But if you’re a hardcore gamer who mainly plays games at home, a gamepad is a great investment. Couple that with a device with a large screen and you have yourself a sort of home console which you can easily pack. Oh, and don’t go for cheap gamepads either.
7. Invest in good audio
Another way to quickly drain your device’s battery is to ramp up the volume to maximum. But even so, it may not be enough for you to fully appreciate a game’s music. And make no mistake; there are games out there that have well-developed soundtracks. So, similar to opting for a small-screen device to play on, you’ll be missing a lot. The best way to circumvent this is by deploying good headphones, preferably those that are tailored specifically for gaming. These kinds of headphones allow you to lower your device’s volume without losing quality. Headphones still drain battery from your device, though, but it’s barely noticeable.
8. Play two games alternately
Ever played games that have a “cooldown” period for certain features? These features make use of real-world time and are kicked into cooldown mode as soon as you use it. An example would be Candy Crush Saga, in which you have to wait for real time to pass to play again once you use up your re-tries. If you’re playing two games with such features, it would be more efficient to play them alternately. While you’re waiting for a certain feature to cooldown in one game, you can play the other one. Yes, this would require a lot of switching, so it’s best to use this when the “waiting time” is quite significant – like maybe an hour or two. Don’t try this with more than two games, though; it might confuse you.
9. Make use of multiplayer
One of the biggest advantages of mobile gaming is its portability – you can practically play your games anywhere and anytime, thanks to the lightweight mobile devices. For multiplayer games, this is a big advantage as it allows you to play with the people in your immediate perimeter (assuming you all play the same games). Some games are better played by your lonesome, but things will be a lot more fun if you’re competing with real people instead of the AI all the time. And as a bonus, the online community in mobile games is way more peaceful and less toxic than the online communities of console and PC games (see: League of Legends). So don’t shut out social games all the time; it might do you good to interact with people, even strangers.
While those 9 tips won’t guarantee that you’ll breeze through every game you play, they will certainly help you in making the most of your mobile gaming experiences. Because sometimes even the smallest and simplest changes can make a big difference.