Thanks to countless applications, smartphones are now small game consoles. However, the touchscreen experience isn’t always what gamers are used to. Gaming accessories for smartphones promise a cure here: gamepads and joysticks as well as other accessories such as toys for augmented reality (AR) or VR glasses.
Adapters for connecting the mobile phone to the TV, non-latency headphones with aptX or power banks for longer gaming pleasure are also very useful for gamers. We take a look at smartphone accessories for gamers starting at $ 8 and explain what they’re all about and what future gamers need to consider.
Controllers and gamepads
For an avid gamer, there is no way around a gamepad. One possibility is to connect the controller to the mobile phone via Bluetooth. It even works with the gamepad for Playstation or Xbox. There are also variants in which the smartphone can be inserted. They either have their own control buttons below or next to the cellphone, or they use mechanical switches that hammer the touchscreen of the smartphone.
There are two things that users need to be careful of with a mobile gamepad with physical buttons: Does the smartphone fit in? Can players customize buttons in the game? This is important so that the mechanical buttons hit the right place on the touchscreen. This allows shooting and running at the same time in games like Call of Duty or PUBG.
keyboard and mouse
The fierce shooter gamers of the PC world, on the other hand, swear by the mouse and keyboard. This is also possible with a cell phone. The whole thing is called “Battledock” and consists of a hub with connections for a mouse and a small part of a keyboard with the relevant keys for the game. The docking station is connected to the mobile phone via Bluetooth. An important prerequisite is that the game also supports controls via mouse and keys.
Augmented reality toys
AR toys are a lot of fun. Augmented Reality (AR) uses this – the graphics in a game expand the actual environment from the camera image. We show more detailed details on the subject in the guide From Shooting to Learning: AR Toys from 10 Euros.
In particular, AR pistols or rifles, on which the mobile phone is mounted, are used here. Not all games use reality AR – then no camera image is displayed in the game. For this, a game environment with monsters or similar opponents appears on the screen. The game recognizes where the player is looking through the smartphone’s motion sensor. If you pull the trigger, the weapon will fire. It’s really fun.
There are two things to consider with AR toys: Does the cell phone even fit into the AR accessory and does the in-toy app also work in the respective app store? For example, it can’t hurt to try the app in advance and then buy the AR toy. The range of games is limited, however, and many AR accessories are unsuitable for newer smartphones.
The Callstel PX2337 also has room for larger smartphones. The corresponding âARGunâ application is available for iOS, but not on Google Play. It is only available as a sideload from another source through the browser. The installation contains a residual risk of catching viruses instead of a game. For iOS, however, the application costs 1 euro. The Callstel PX2350, on the other hand, is only suitable for small smartphones such as an iPhone 12 Mini or an iPhone SE. The associated app “Super AR” only works on iOS, the Android version does not currently work.
Virtual reality glasses
The hustle and bustle around virtual reality (VR) seems to have subsided somewhat for now. The fun doesn’t have to be expensive. For just a few dollars, users can get a cardboard box or plastic box that they can put their cell phone in. You then put it on like glasses. But there are also better quality devices such as Samsung Gear VR (review).
If you want to play with your smartphone not only on the go, but also at home, you can think of a mobile external display. Even though many smartphones are getting bigger and bigger, the screen is a bit small compared to a PC or TV.
Sound: headphones with aptX
Headphones should not be missing from the smartphone gaming experience. On the one hand, you don’t want to terrorize your surroundings with noise, on the other hand you have the feeling of immersing yourself even deeper into the game.
Audio codecs such as aptX, aptX HD, or aptX Low Latency provide an instant sound experience that runs in sync with the game. If there are longer delays, this is a drawback in fast multiplayer games such as Call of Duty. We show a selection of matching devices in the guide Bluetooth headsets with aptX up to 60 euros. Before buying a headset, you need to check if your smartphone supports aptX.
Finally, food banks should not be missing. The power consumption of a smartphone is immense at stake – after all, the processor often reaches its limits. A power bank is ideal so that the gaming experience does not end too early.
With the right accessories, mobile gaming becomes a possible alternative to the game console. Using the touchscreen with two hands is a challenge. A proper gamepad offers noticeable relief here. If you want instant sound, you need headphones with aptX (guide).