Mobile gaming has undeniably transformed the gaming space for good. Despite some slightly dark periods during which both platforms’ stores were rammed to the gills with shovelware, mobile gaming is once again a satisfying and rich space in which to develop and to play. Both platforms have game apps that are worthwhile; Apple Arcade makes Apple devices supremely high-quality gaming platforms, but Android has the advantage in terms of numbers.
With that in mind, you’re probably asking yourself this question: what are the best game apps for you to download on both stores? This doesn’t just extend to games; the best gaming apps encompass games, yes, but also take into account tools and other things you can use to help you game. From games to calculators to guides, there’s a whole range of stuff out there to augment your gaming experience. Here are the best game apps on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
Pokémon Go (App Store, Play Store)
Despite some slightly rocky beginnings, Pokémon Go has become a mainstay on the mobile gaming market. That’s partly thanks to some very smart design that borrows heavily from Niantic’s earlier game Ingress, but it’s also thanks to the enduring power of the Pokémon license. The coronavirus crisis has meant that many of us can’t go out as we used to, but Pokémon Go has kept in step with those changes. It’s great fun, it’s a good motivator for exercise, and it’s very nearly what we all dreamt Pokémon could be all those years ago.
Call of Duty: Mobile (App Store, Play Store)
Who would have thought that the frenetic, fast-pased first-person shooter gameplay of the Call of Duty franchise would translate so well to the mobile space? It does, though, and the team behind PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Mobile have done an amazing job with CoD Mobile. Its two currencies are a little difficult to wrap your head around, so if you’re getting started with this game, we recommend this website to kick you off. Once you’ve got a grounding, though, CoD Mobile is great fun and a remarkably well-realised conversion to boot.
Before you consider playing Fortnite, you need to make sure you’ve got a beefy enough device to run it. Some older iPhones and Android devices won’t have the hardware necessary to run a game as relatively graphically intensive as Fortnite. If your device does support it, though, the 100-players-enter-only-one-wins action of Fortnite is thrilling and organic. Build your base, keep out intruders, and make sure not to fall foul of the ever-encroaching cloud as it claims more victims.
Hearthstone (App Store, Play Store)
Grab a stool and come play a round of Hearthstone, weary traveller. This card game from Blizzard is one of the most addictive and rewarding games of its kind, but beware: it’ll suck you in and keep you playing for hours. Never has the “just one more game” mentality been stronger than when navigating Hearthstone’s myriad cards, each with its own stats and strategies to accompany it. There are other CCGs out there, but Hearthstone takes the crown in our books.
Best Gaming Assistants
Discord (App Store, Play Store)
If you want to keep up communication with your friends – whether it be gaming on your PC or console or gaming on your mobile device – then you’re going to want to use Discord. It’s the premier app of choice for gamers who like to communicate, and while there are definitely alternatives out there, we strongly prefer Discord for its simple interface and great connectivity with other apps. If you’re serious about your gaming, then Discord is a must-have app, whether you’re on iOS or Android.
Steam (App Store, Play Store)
Naturally, it isn’t possible to play all of your PC games on mobile, even if you’ve got Steam installed. Still, we recommend downloading the Steam app if you’re serious about PC gaming. From the Steam app, all kinds of things are possible. You can buy games, chat with your friends, authenticate your account, and much more. It’s not quite as fully-featured as some mobile storefronts are (more on which in a moment), but it’s definitely worth having if you’re into playing on PC.
Mobile companion apps
It’s also good idea to download your personal console of choice’s mobile companion app onto your device. That could be the PlayStation app (App Store, Play Store), the Nintendo Switch Online companion app (App Store, Play Store), or the Xbox app (App Store, Play Store). Whichever console you favour, having the companion app on your phone means you’ll be able to do a lot of the things you need to do with your console remotely, which is always advantageous.
Hootsuite (App Store, Play Store)
It may not seem immediately obvious that Hootsuite is an essential app for you if you’re a gamer, but think about it. If you decide you want to start up a streaming career using Twitch or a similar app, then scheduling social media posts will be essential. How else are people supposed to find out when you’re streaming and how to come check out your content? Even if you’re not a streamer and you just want to recruit some friends, Hootsuite can be invaluable for that, too.