The early days of mobile gaming were hilariously primitive. Blocks meant to represent eponymous snakes slowly inched their way around a two-dimensional box, with the highest scoring among your friends being the one with the slowest phone. Since then, mobile gaming has not only grown, it has exploded to a level of popularity where it currently brings in over $130 billion annually. The games of today run the entire gamut from simulators to first-person shooters and RPGs, and possess graphics and gameplay which can supersede that of major dedicated handheld devices.

In some ways, however, these games still suffer from issues which hold back general engagement and enjoyment. In this article, we take a quick look at the most common problems, and how they can be addressed.

Issue of control

Touchscreens are great for a lot of things, and generally work well given the limited size of mobile devices, yet can put a major hamper on a gameplay experience due to the lack of tactile feedback. It should be noted, for the gaming enthusiasts out there, that there are devices like attachable or Bluetooth controllers which can massively improve the way we play. While obviously not as mobile as just a phone, those who carry bags, purses, or other storage should have no problem in clearing just a little space for a better gameplay experience.

“CONTROLLER” (Public Domain) by therealmattix

Less than reliable connections

One of the best things about mobile gaming is that it can be done while out and about. The popularity of free Wi-Fi today means that almost anywhere within a developed city can give you the connections you need, yet these are not without their caveats. Most commonly, this comes in the form of connection control or the limiting of access to certain websites and services. This makes sense, from a business point of view, as there are those who would otherwise take advantage of this to such a degree as to ruin the experience for everyone else. The problem is that many innocent people can also be caught in this net, and this is often the case for online connected games.

Fortunately, there exist services for mobile devices called Virtual Private Networks (VPNs). These can effectively build a bridge over these walls, allowing for better access to games, videos, and regular websites. There are also multiple different services you can visit, and these are only improving with time. So, restricted connections shouldn’t be a hinderance.

Scanning and cleaning

Just as with desktop PCs, mobile devices are now a common target for malware and viruses. Also just as with desktop PCs, people tend to underestimate how common these issues are, and how often the performance hits they create are written off as the general degradation of an older device. Simple and free programs like Malwarebytes are fantastic, easy to use, and can quickly reveal just how unsafe your device really is. While these might not be a standard feature of many mobile devices yet, we can almost guarantee they will be in the future, so it can be best to get out ahead of the curve.

“Phone security” (CC BY 2.0) by Ervins Strauhmanis

A couple of quick and often overlooked tricks such as these, and you might be surprised at the extra mileage you can get out of your mobile gaming setup. This is a market which is only going to keep growing in the future, so we might as well be the ones to start setting the trends.