As smart phones get more powerful, mobile video games are getting increasingly sophisticated, with blockbuster titles such as “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds” and “Fortnite” blurring the line between console and games you can play on phones or tablets.
But anyone who’s tried an extended session with these types of action games on a phone screen will tell you there’s one major difference: using on-screen controls is much more difficult, and a lot less ergonomic, than a dedicated game controller.
Luckily, there’s a whole industry of wireless game controllers dedicated to mobile devices that offer the same look and feel as classic controllers, or attachments that can hold a phone screen or clip on to the sites of a device. In some cases, you can also connect regular console controllers, such as ones made for the Xbox One, with some mobile phones via Bluetooth.
The catch is that not all mobile games allow you to switch to a controller this way. The hottest game right now, for instance, doesn’t allow external controllers of any kind on phones: “Fortnite.” The makers of the game said they’ll add controller support at some point, but right now are challenged that giving some players that option would be an unfair advantage against those stuck with on-screen control.
Every week, we’ll define a tech term, offer a timely tip or answer questions about technology from readers. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or topic suggestions
News on Open Source is free and unlimited. Access to the rest of 512tech.com comes with an American-Statesman digital subscription, which also includes myStatesman.com and the ePaper edition. Subscribe at statesman.com/subscribe.