It’s hard to think of an area of technology that moves as quickly as mobile gaming. New devices are released every few months, and 5G is on the way. At this pace of progress, the experiences you can have on your phones are starting to rival those you can have with a $300 console.
In 2017, mobile games represented 42% of the $108 billion gaming market. In 2018, that figure had leapt to 50% of a $137 billion industry. It’s no longer true to say that smartphone gaming is an emerging trend, but a potentially dominant – and technically impressive – reality; if not the driving force of gaming worldwide.
Epic’s phenomenally popular free-to-play game Fortnite Battle Royale has captivated players’ attention for the past 18 months – in a flurry of mainstream news headlines, faux controversy and famous footballer’s ‘taking the L’ – but it’s growth tells the real story of mobile gaming’s influence. In Jan 2018, Fortnite had 45 million players. By June 2018 that figure had risen to a staggering 125 million players after the game launched on iOS. Fortnite then launched on Android systems, opening it doors to another 2.5 billion potential players, and by March 2019 the figure of how many people play Fortnite (opens in new tab) had risen to 250 million players. The mind boggles, but the pattern is clear: smartphone gaming is already mainstream, and increasingly home to the most technologically-advanced and exciting new game releases.
What will Smartphone Gaming Week explore?
We’re never without our smartphones in 2019, so it’s only natural that we’d find ways to make these small super computers into gaming devices. GamesRadar’s Smartphone Gaming Week will explore the rise and rise of the dinky device as a gaming power house, looking at the terrifying popularity of Candy Crush, intriguing indies like Reigns: Her Majesty, and how augmented reality could change how we play. We’ve also got handy advice on things like battery life.
We’ll be running new articles all week, between Monday, August 26 and Friday, August 30, which we’ll collate here for your convenience. Get involved by following GamesRadar on Twitter (opens in new tab) and Facebook (opens in new tab) too.
Friday, August 30
Best short burst mobile games (opens in new tab) for the commute
With these brilliant 60-second gems, you can sneak some gaming sessions in even in those little downtimes.
Best AR mobile games (opens in new tab) to prove that technology is awesome
Push your digital world closer to the real world with these ingenius augmented reality mobile games that’ll seriously impress you, and your friends.
The legacy and history of match-three games (opens in new tab)
An exploration into how the match-three genre has evolved from idle swiper into the App Store dominator.
Best mobile puzzles games (opens in new tab) to stretch your grey matter
Keep that noggin ticking with our pick of the best mobile puzzle games, from Old Man’s Journey to Monument Valley.
Thursday, August 29
Best mobile horror games (opens in new tab) to spook yourselves with
Don’t just submerge yourself in the good sutff, keep yourself on the edge of your (train / plane / bus) seat with our pick of the best portable horror games.
Upcoming mobile games (opens in new tab) to get seriously excited about
Whether it’s big AAA franchise or indie darlings, there are some top notch mobile games in the pipeline to add to your wishlist
How Reigns convinced 2 million people to swipe right (opens in new tab)
We talk to the Reigns developer about the series’ origins, swiping right, and… Brexit?
Best Android games (opens in new tab) to get your screen smudgy
With almost 500k games available on the Google Play Store, you need to know which ones to play, and we’ve got you covered.
Wednesday, August 28
Best free Android games (opens in new tab) to play without spending a dime
From Fortnite to Pokemon Go, there’s plenty to play without having to pay an entry fee. Here’s our pick of the best of them.
Classic games to play on your smartphone (opens in new tab)
Mobile games aren’t always about chasing the latest new thing, you can sit back and enjoy some golden oldies without having to worry about rigging up an old console.
Seriously innovative games that redefine smartphone gaming (opens in new tab)
These are the games that really push the boundaries of what can be achieved on a smartphone – both in terms of technology and storytelling – and come highly recommended.
Best iPhone games (opens in new tab) to make your commute 97% better
We wade through the App Store and bring you the 50 best iPhone games of all time.
Tuesday, August 27
Opinion: Nintendo is still yet to leave its mark on mobile (opens in new tab)
A look into the success of Nintendo’s foray into the smartphone gaming world, including what’s happened, what’s worked, and what hasn’t.
How to stream Android games to your TV (opens in new tab)
The best way to get your Android games running on the biggest screen in your home, because who doesn’t want to do that? It’s magic.
Best console games to enjoy on your mobile (opens in new tab)
Go AAA but on your smartphone with these tried and tested console games that run great on smartphone.
5 reasons why 5G is going to be important for gaming (opens in new tab)
5G is one of the biggest buzz words in tech, but how will it impact you when it comes to video games? We explain.
Monday, August 26
Best mobile Battle Royale games (opens in new tab) to play on your phone
The world of battle royale isn’t limited to Fortnite, so while Epic Games’ offering is fantastic, check out the other options nestled in the various app stores too.
How to improve your mobile battery (opens in new tab) life for gaming all day
There’s nothing worse than having the low battery warning while you’re mid-battle, so use our tips to make the most of all that juice.
Most relaxing mobile games (opens in new tab) to find your inner zen
Life can be frantic sometimes, which is why sometimes you just need a break. And that’s where these beautifully blissful games come in. Go on, treat yourself.
Best phones for gaming (opens in new tab) to consider next upgrade
As much as a Nokia 3310 is great and built like a brick, you deserve a phone that excels in the gaming specs space. Take a look at this little lot.