The Definitive Mobile Gaming Checklist

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Phones have come a long way and so have the games we play on them. Mobile gaming was actually something of a joke for many years because while console tech rocketed forward mobile games still looked ridiculously retro. Now between today's higher-end graphics, better-quality audio, boosted speed and enhanced touch screen responsiveness, phones are becoming many players' go-to gaming devices. There's still room for improvement in the mobile space, but the gap between phone and console is closing and mobile gaming is set to become a $40 billion industry by 2017.

Which is exciting – expect to see more titles from developers both big and small for players of all stripes – but doesn't negate the aforementioned room for improvement. There are plenty of gamers for whom phones and tablets aren't their first choice for gaming. Tiny characters, touch screen blunders, fast-draining batteries and tinny sound are usually to blame, but the good news is these obstacles aren't insurmountable. With a few choice accessories the emphasis of the mobile gaming experience is less about mobility and more about games. Here's a list of must-haves:

An Amazing Device
Start at the beginning and don't skimp. So many of today's new titles were designed to look and play their best on devices with a dual- or quad-core processor, high def displays and stereo speakers. Multiple cores mean visuals, speed and sound will all be there, whatever game it is you're firing up. Even better, choosing a solid device with a dual- or quad-core processor may let you “future proof” your phone or tablet so you can play the games of tomorrow without upgrading. 

An External Controller
The touch screens on the market today are more responsive than ever but serious gamers know that nothing beats the feel of analog. The MOGA Pocket Controller is finger-friendly, budget-friendly at just $30 and backpack-friendly (i.e., durable), too. The controller, which feels like the standard Xbox One model, comes with a case and access to a library of games including titles like GTA and Call of Duty. Alternatively, try Logitech's PowerShell for iPhone, which packs console-style controls and a 1500 mAh battery into a very slim package. 


A Sound Solution
At home you can hear the action through whatever wireless sound system you have set up but outside tinny phone speakers can take all the excitement out of your favorite games. For extreme portability, you can't beat Jawbone's Mini Jambox.  It is tiny (but not tinny) at 6″ x 1″ by 2.3″ and 9 ounces and has been rated as the best micro wireless speaker by CNET. 

Extra Life
Battery life, that is. Even the best phone and tablet batteries have their limits. A serious gaming session requires serious power, making backup batteries an essential accessory. The EViO EUP 13,000mAh power bank takes time to charge up but won't run down when you're running through longer titles. Need something extra portable? The EC Technology Power Bank packs 22,400mAh into a seriously slim package so you can play longer on the go.


Quirky Add-Ons
Gaming is serious business but that doesn't mean you can't have a fun while you're at it. The Impulse Controller is the world's smallest wireless controller – picture a classic Nintendo rectangle in miniature. Game with it, use it as a remote, take at-a-distance selfies without one of those lame sticks or just find your keys. Then there's the Joystick-IT Arcade Stick, which is a slightly retro solution to touch screen finger fatigue. Slap these joysticks right onto your screen to enjoy that old school arcade experience.

Gaming and gamer are quickly coming to mean something very different than they once did thanks to changing demographics and evolving technology but hardcore gamers are still out there looking for the best experiences. Externals like these can help make mobile a little more like consoles and a lot more satisfying. 

Article by: Jessica Oaks

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