Smartphones and tablets have come on leaps and bounds over the last decade. Increased power and performance of mobile devices means that we're no longer restricted to simple match-three games like Candy Crush Saga and Bejeweled. Developers have been able to create mobile games with console-quality graphics and features, such as multiplayer, allowing you to play against or alongside your closest friends.
With mobile multiplayer games, you're able to face-off against foes on the go, beating their high scores and setting new records for other players to beat. Or maybe you'll collect and send in-game gifts to your pals, making your real-life BFF smile when they next open the app.
There's a lot of variety and a lot of games that are embracing multiplayer. So, to help you figure out what to play next, we've put together this list of five multiplayer mobile games that everyone should play.
When it launched in summer 2016, Pokemon GO was heralded as a game that got everyone out and about, talking to each other and spending time outside just by encouraging players to “catch ‘em all.” Since then, developer Niantic has added several additional multiplayer features to the game to make Pokemon GO even more of a social experience.
For example, in summer 2017, a year after the game’s initial release, Pokemon GO introduced Raid Battles. Raid Battles put players against Raid Bosses which are ultra-hard Pokemon to defeat. They require not just a deep knowledge of the game and a Pokemon’s counters but also teamwork as it becomes incredibly tough to defeat Raid Bosses as a lone player.
That’s not all though, as earlier this year, the Pokemon GO friendship feature was finally added. A feature that players had been asking for since launch, the friendship feature lets players trade Pokemon and send gifts to players they have friended. There are also friendship levels, which make trading Pokemon a lot cheaper the higher the friendship level. It shows that being a good pal really does pay off - in Pokemon GO, at least!
Though it’s important to note that the addition of all of these new Pokemon GO features has come at a cost. Niantic has steadily changed the game’s compatibility requirements, meaning that phones older than the iPhone 5 are unable to play the game. Buying a brand new phone won’t work for everyone because it’s far too expensive, but there are good deals on refurbished handsets like the refurbished iPhone 6. Because the iPhone 5/5S/5C are at the bottom of the list of compatible Pokemon GO devices, it makes sense to plan for the future, choosing a slightly more recent phone to avoid getting hit by changes to compatibility. Plus, refurbished iPhone 6 handsets sell for as little as $133, meaning it’s not too much of a strain on your budget.
Since being released on PC and consoles in September 2017, Epic Games’ multiplayer shooter Fortnite Battle Royale has taken the world by storm. The game mode tasks players with becoming the last one standing, using their crafting abilities (you can craft staircases, entire forts, traps and more) and their knowledge of the map to take down opponents. With skins that make characters look slick and emotes that can be used as hilarious taunts, it’s not hard to see why the game has proved so popular.
Earlier this year, Fortnite Battle Royale was released on mobile devices. iOS users were able to play the game - with cross-platform support so that they can play with Fortnite players on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. The Pixar-style graphics, the fast-paced building and combat gameplay and the excitement of getting a Victory Royale are all present in the iOS version of the game. It’s why Fortnite Battle Royale iOS racked up more than 100 million downloads and made more than $160 million in just three months.
Evidently, the game is one of the most popular multiplayer mobile titles right now. However, Epic Games has optimized it for the best devices meaning older iOS handsets are incompatible. A refurbished iPhone 7 Plus (Rose Gold) would be a solid choice for any aspiring Fortnite mobile player. Refurbished handsets are far more affordable than brand new (iPhone 7 Plus prices start at just $453) the large, high-quality screen (it has a 5.5-inch display) makes it ideal for showing off the gorgeous graphics of Fortnite on iOS. As for the Rose Gold finish? Well, that just looks good. The iPhone 7 Plus isn’t the oldest compatible model for the game as the iPhone SE and the iPhone 7 come before it. Again, this means that you’re future-proofed for a short while at least.
Supercell’s base-building strategy game Clash of Clans is one of the most successful mobile games in history and six years after release, players still spend $1.5 million a day. Supercell isn’t satisfied with having just one cash cow in its herd, though, which is why in 2016 it launched part-collectible card game and part-tower defense title, Clash Royale.
Clash Royale tasks players with putting together powerful decks of cards made up of iconic characters and spells from the Clash series such as the Hog Rider who can jump over obstacles or the Skeleton Army which can swarm an enemy unit and take them down quickly. The aim of the game is to take down your opponent’s towers (there are three in total), using your knowledge of the game, its differently-powered units, and your wits to defend against attacks while waging your own advances.
Gameplay mostly involves ranked battles as you defeat opponents within your rank to advance to the next rank and to win chest rewards, which, when unlocked, offer up new cards. The other half of gameplay involves collecting more cards either through those chests or by spending money on gems and gold which in turn can be spent to earn more cards without waiting. As of July 2018, Clash Royale’s revenue has reached $2 billion, indicating that paying to get more cards is a pretty popular option.
If you’ve spent much time on Facebook in the last five years or so, then there’s a pretty good chance that you’ve heard of Zynga’s Scrabble-like, Words With Friends. Well, at the end of 2017, Zynga launched a brand new version of its word strategy game, called Words With Friends 2.
Like the previous iteration of the game, Words With Friends 2 tasks you with forming words for points. Different word tiles have different points (Q, J, and X are some of the highest-scoring tiles in the game, for example) and these can be maximized by placing words on squares such as “Double Word,” “Triple Word” or “Double Letter”. Additionally, power-ups that show you the ideal place to place a word or allow you to swap your letters without losing your turn will help you get ahead of your opponent.
However, Words With Friends 2 also introduces some major new social features including co-op play mode called Lightning Round which puts you in a group with four other players as you face-off against another team of five trying to reach a score threshold first. As the name implies, the Solo Challenge mode offers some more laidback, single-player competition against AI-controlled characters. Though, Solo Challenge could let you improve your skills for when you jump back into the multiplayer pool.
Like Clash Royale, Blizzard Entertainment’s collectible card game Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is a title that makes use of an existing world and characters. Hero characters such as mage Jaina Proudmoore and rogue Valeera Sanguinar feature in Blizzard’s PC MMO World of Warcraft too.
The main aim of the game is to smash your opponent’s hero character to smithereens. You have a deck full of minions which can deal damage and have their own health points and spells which can be used to buff damage/health points or provide other effects. Put together a deck before a match and use your know-how and make some educated guesses about the opponent’s deck or strategy in order to defeat their minions and the hero themselves.
For example, if you have a spell that can freeze a card and prevent it from attacking, does it make sense to use it now, on your opponent’s 5ATK/10HP minion or wait, just in case they play a legendary dragon that is twice as powerful on the next turn? As these questions indicate, Hearthstone is a complex game and although it’s helpful to be able to play the game and organize your deck on the go on your iOS/Android device, it could run your battery down pretty quickly too. It may be worth checking out these places to get a refurbished MacBook at affordable prices, as the game is also free to play on both Windows PC and Mac. Retailers including Amazon and GameStop both sell refurbs with warranties and deals, so you’ll be able to use the money you’ve saved to pay for additional Hearthstone card packs and build up a strong deck.
As the list shows, multiplayer gaming isn’t just restricted to players on PC and consoles. There are plenty of ways to gain access to brilliant, social and multiplayer experiences on iOS and Android too if you just know where to look.
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