Thanks to countless applications, smartphones are now small game consoles. However, the tactile experience is not always what gamers are used to. Gaming accessories for smartphones promise a remedy here: controllers and joysticks as well as other accessories such as toys for augmented reality (AR) or VR glasses.
Adapters to connect the mobile phone to the TV, zero-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 euros and explain what it is and what future gamers should take into account.
Controllers and gamepads
For an inveterate gamer, there is no getting around a gamepad. One possibility is to connect the controller to the mobile phone via Bluetooth. It even works with gamepad for Playstation or Xbox. There are also variants in which the smartphone can be inserted. Either they have their own control buttons below or next to the cellphone, or they use mechanical switches that pound the smartphone’s touchscreen.
Users should pay attention to two things with a mobile gamepad with physical buttons: does the smartphone integrate? Can players customize in-game buttons? This is important so that the mechanical buttons are in the correct place on the touch screen. This allows shooting and running at the same time in games like Call of Duty or PUBG.
keyboard and mouse
Diehard shooters in the PC world, meanwhile, swear by mouse and keyboard. This is also possible with a mobile phone. The whole thing is called “Battledock” and consists of a hub with connections for a mouse and a small section of a keyboard with game-relevant keys. The docking station is connected to the mobile phone via Bluetooth. An important prerequisite is that the game also supports commands via mouse and keys.
AR toys are a very fun business. Augmented reality (AR) makes use of this – the graphical elements of a game expand the real environment from the camera image. We show more in-depth details on the subject in the guide From shooting to learning: AR toys from 10 euros.
In particular, AR guns or rifles, on which the mobile phone is mounted, are used here. Not all games use real AR – then no camera images are 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 via the smartphone’s motion sensor. If you press the trigger, the weapon fires. It’s really fun.
There are two things to consider with AR toys: does the mobile phone even integrate into the AR accessory and does the app in the toy also work in the respective app store? For example, it can’t hurt to try out the app beforehand and then buy the AR toy. The range of games is limited, however, and many AR accessories are not suitable for newer smartphones.
The Callstel PX2337 also has space for larger smartphones. The corresponding “ARGun” app is available for iOS, but not on Google Play. It is only available as a sideload from another source through the browser. The installation carries 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 “Super AR” companion app only works on iOS, the Android version does not currently work.
Virtual reality glasses
The commotion around virtual reality (VR) seems to have died down somewhat for the time being. Fun doesn’t have to be expensive. For just a few euros, users can get a cardboard or plastic box in which they can put their mobile phone. You then put it on like glasses. But there are also better devices such as Samsung Gear VR (test).
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 gaming experience with the smartphone. On the one hand you don’t want to terrorize your surroundings with noise, on the other hand you get the feeling of immersing yourself even deeper in the game.
Audio codecs such as aptX, aptX HD, or aptX Low Latency provide an instant sound experience that works in sync with the game. If there are longer delays, this is a disadvantage in fast-paced multiplayer games such as Call of Duty. We show a selection of matching devices in the guide Bluetooth headphones with aptX up to 60 euros. Before buying headphones, you should check whether your smartphone supports aptX.
Finally, power banks should not be missing. The energy consumption of a smartphone is immense when gaming – after all, the CPU often reaches its limits. A power bank is ideal so that the gaming experience does not end too soon.
With the right accessories, mobile gaming becomes a possible alternative to the game console. Using the touchscreen with two hands is a challenge. A suitable gamepad brings noticeable relief here. If you want instant sound, you need headphones with aptX (guide).