The gaming industry has grown hand in hand with the technological advancements of the world and has become a more accepted pastime than ever before. With a plethora of consoles and games to choose from, gamers have enough choices to find their own way to satisfy their desire for active immersion. Handheld gaming devices specifically have been around since the 90s and First Person Shooters (FPS) are equally as old. But when putting the two together, we have ourselves a unique blend that hasn’t been explored much until recently. More so when your mobile phone can hold its own as a viable gaming platform these days. But how well does FPS fair against other platforms and is it really worth it?
We’ve seen MOBAs, RPGs and even fighting games make it to the mobile platform by customising their interface to suit the phone’s specs and each genre has had a mainstay or two that became instant hits - FPS however, is another beast altogether. First of all, monumental classics like Call Of Duty, Halo and Doom have set the standard of quality FPS games and they began with barebones mechanics from the 90s and early 2000s. It was revolutionary at a time, but the genre has evolved so much since. The aforementioned titles are still pumping out games till today and have had no choice to improve and introduce new mechanics to stay relevant with the market.
With games being stripped down considerably to complement mobile spec, some could argue that it’s too much of a compromise for the slightly more hardcore audience. Frame rate, ping and hit registration are integral components that make FPS one of the top genres today, and many mobile games miss the mark on this. Even with perfect internet, lag is inevitable on any platform, but mobile devices have possibly faced this the worst without many solutions. Server sizes depend on the specific title, but usually face issues of overcrowding and bug clutter.
A strong case to support this is that both consoles and certain PCs were designed for gaming: with the average consumer spoilt for choices, compared to mobile devices that strive to share the same purpose. With this, comes hardware issues that fans this flame. Even though all platforms have the potential to overheat, the mobile phone does not have a reliable cooling system to help it cope with ceaseless hours of activity. This overheating problem becomes even more taxing when living off battery support too. Given, gaming laptops suffer the same fate but the gaming models were built for the purpose of handling intensive applications that games naturally are.
On a more technical standpoint, PCs dominate in this genre; having a far larger settings option that allows players to customize their sensitivity, have access to the largest keybind options and much much more. With the more flexible “WASD” movement and the most flexible methods of precise crosshair placement; it is clear that this platform is the most competitive for players out there. Console players have a competitive scene too, but usually houses more casual players in their servers. This is where we start finding common ground between consoles and mobile. Eight-directional movement is a common similarity between both platforms and tends to use the thumb for aiming too. This means that the likes of tracking and technique for lining up your shots are more similar than not. The mobile phone may not match the feel of an actual controller, but there are undoubtedly some transitional traits.
The mobile platform’s distinctive strength lies in its portability. When gathering with friends, travelling or even arriving at your next destination too early - this will give you an immediate gaming experience that requires minimal updates and swift start up. The platform also leans more towards free to pay interactions with a loot system, but PC games like Valorant and Counterstrike still pose a threat.
Even if the mobile platform is beaten in pretty much every way from a technical standpoint, its ability to be played anywhere while having a similar control scheme to consoles makes it an actual contender. Verdict: If you are a casual gamer who doesn’t live by the meta, this is going to be a fine pick. But if you want to genuinely level up and play on the most competitive level, mobile should be the last platform on your list.