With the rapid proliferation of smartphones and mobile applications, most companies (including new-age startups and age-old enterprises) are on the lookout to release mobile apps. Across the globe, the COVID-19 pandemic has also accelerated the usage of mobile internet.
The same phenomenon is also observed when it comes to mobile gaming. As per reports, the COVID-19 pandemic drove to increased demand for mobile games. In the first quarter of 2021, users downloaded 30 percent more mobile games than they did in the forth quarter of 2019. Spending on mobile games hit a record $1.7 billion per week in Q1 2021.
Image Source: App Annie
With the exponential rise in mobile gaming, mobile game developers and gaming companies need to focus game development as well as game testing. This is where a game testing company can play an instrumental role in performing game testing on a range of mobile device viewports. Like other popular forms of testing, there are a number of myths also associated with mobile game testing.
In this blog, we look at the top myths related to mobile game testing; the learnings of which will help in building a formidable mobile game testing strategy.
Myth 1: Testing on emulators will suffice
Mobile games are significantly different in comparison to other forms of mobile applications (e.g. shopping, wellness, etc.). A majority of the mobile games make extensive use of the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) along with the mobile chipset’s CPU that runs at high frequencies.
Most modern high-end mobile phones are equipped with high RAM/ROM and a dedicated GPU. Hence, all the graphics related processing is done by the GPU whereas the CPU takes care of the normal instruction processing. Adreno and MALI are some of the best-performing mobile GPUs in the market.
Emulator and simulators are only useful for doing functional testing of mobile games. You need to test the developed mobile game on different real mobile devices for ensuring that it meets the power & performance standards.
Also Read: Best Practices of Mobile Game Testing
Myth 2: Testing on Emulators And Simulators Is Not Necessary
This myth might sound as a contradiction of myth 1; however that is definitely not the case. Many game developers are under the assumption that game testing can only be performed on real devices. Real device testing is necessary but that does not mean that you cannot test mobile games on emulators & simulators.
Mobile and OS fragmentation is one of the growing concerns of mobile app (including mobile game) developers. It is unlikely to test a developed game on almost all the mobile device viewports. Android emulators and iOS simulators can help in performing functional testing to a certain extent.
Many modern-age cloud testing companies provide emulators and simulators (on the cloud); the same infrastructure can be leveraged to perform game testing. Mobile app testing differs a lot from conventional mobile app testing. Hence, it is recommended to perform extensive testing on real devices and the same can be accompanied with testing on emulators & simulators. A mix of real device testing and emulator & simulator testing reaps best results.
Myth 3: Mobile Game Security Testing Is Not Necessary
App security is normally associated with mobile apps that involve financial transactions (e.g. online shopping, banking, etc.). However, security should be considered of paramount importance for mobile game testing as well.
With the rapid proliferation of mobile apps, mobile games are the next big targets of hacking attacks. Many mobile game developers tend to keep app security in the back-seat in order to gain upper edge in the market. However, this loophole can be exploited by hackers, which could eventually lead to massive revenue loss to the game developers.
Game assets, art, data, as well as code can be re-engineered, repackaged, and launched in the market. Some of them might even have malware. Unlike other mobile applications, mobile games should also be tested from a security perspective else it might lead to bad brand image along with resulting in massive revenue losses.
Also Read: Different Stages of Game Testing
Myth 4: Mobile Games must be tested on all real devices
Device and OS fragmentation is one of the growing pain points for mobile app developers, including mobile game developers. Mobile devices come in different screen sizes, RAM/ROM configurations, sport different CPU & GPU chipsets, etc.
As per reports, the number of mobile devices is expected to reach 18.22 billion by 2025. This is a massive jump from 17.72 billion in 2020. This essentially means that are a number of devices from different OEMs like Samsung, Motorola, Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, etc. that are released on a regular basis.
Hence, mobile app developers cannot test the developed game on every mobile device that is available in the market.
Game developers need to prioritize the mobile devices in different target categories so that they can carry out testing on real devices in different phases. Game testing on every mobile device that is available on planet earth is a myth; else game developers would never be in a position to release their mobile game in the respective market(s).
Myth 5: Game Testing can be taken up after Development
Gone are the days when software development and testing would be performed in a non-connected fashion. The principles of shift-left testing that are extensively used for development & testing is also applicable for mobile game development.
Every feature and upgrade being done on the mobile game should pass through multiple test cycles before the upgrade is made live on the respective store (i.e. App Store or Play Store). Game testing should be performed hand-in-hand with the development and cloud-based automation testing tools should be leveraged to realize these requirements.
Mobile game developers should remember that even a 5 percent change in the implementation can break the existing features of the game. In scenarios where development is not followed up with thorough testing, the entire development-testing cycle will elongate; eventually impacting the release timelines of the respective game.
Mobile game testing should be considered as an equivalent priority like game development. It is recommended to partner with a proven game testing services company like KiwiQA that can help expedite the entire game testing process.
Mobile game testing can make or break the potential of a winning game. Hence, it is advisable to take mobile game testing on priority so that you do not lose a potential edge over your competition!