With the power and flexibility of modern mobile devices, gaming on the go is now better than ever. However, the issue with this is that the selection of many of these games simply cannot measure up to traditional console or PC counterparts. Fortunately for modern mobile gamers, there are ways to bypass many of these limitations.
When looking towards games around the PS2 generation and prior, emulation is probably the best choice. As the name suggests, these programs effectively act as operating systems for older hardware and software. Working with these requires two key components.
The first of these is the emulator itself. These can usually be found easily on app stores or with a quick web-search and are entirely legal. The second part of this equation comes from the game files, also called ROMs.
ROMs are tricky, in a legal sense. In essence, the idea is that you should not use a ROM file of a game you don't already own. Of course, this can be difficult when dealing with games that have been out of production for decades, so in this case, we would recommend using your own discretion. Support the original developers if possible in any way, shape, or form.
With these on a device, all it takes is to run the two together. As with the next method of mobile gaming, we would heavily suggest that all players invest in a controller for the best possible experience.
For more modern games and PC games, in particular, it is game streaming which should be your goal. While we could wait for services such as Google Stadia to launch, there are other alternatives.
Free apps like Remotr act in a similar method as Stadia, except they run off of your computer rather than a hosted exterior system. Running these requires a game to be installed on your home computer, and the corresponding game-streaming software to be placed on both computer and mobile.
Once this is properly running, it should be possible to enjoy any PC game from any location.
Streaming games on the go is one of the many new ways to enjoy gaming that have emerged in recent years. With an emphasis on competitive titles, this world has expanded to include professional outlets such as eSports.
While titles like Fortnite have dominated this sphere, in part due to its portability, streaming services have allowed more mainstream eSports titles such as DOTA 2 to achieve a similar level of accessibility. Combined with player news, team developments, and even more traditional sports elements, with sportsbooks including DOTA 2 betting among their standard offerings, having the ability to jump into a quick match when the inspiration strikes us has done a lot for relaxing during lunch breaks on busy days.
As with emulators, we would caution that controllers can be a necessity for some games. The good thing is that for some of the most popular games, such as DOTA 2, the systems will have built-in overlays to translate the experience to mobile screens. For others, however, this level of feedback might not be enough.
What to Know
To get the most out of either of these pursuits, you'll need to understand the importance of both device power in case of emulation and internet speed for game-streaming. While today's mobiles shouldn't have much issue emulating anything from PS1 and before, PS2 generation emulation and forward can require significantly more horsepower.
In terms of streaming, internet speed can be a killer. You'll need both a fast upload speed on your host computer and a fast connection on your mobile. The mobile end is the more difficult part here, though the incoming possibility of 5G should at least mitigate this within a couple of years. Until then, try to stay still when you play, and keep in mind places with good connectivity.