How to verify performance of mobile games?

How to verify performance of mobile games?
April 26 10:09 2018 Print This Article

Statistics shows that mobile gaming market continues its fast and dynamic growth. According to Mediakix, a marketing agency, nearly 800,000 mobile games are available on App Stores. And 62% of people install a mobile game within a week after getting a new smartphone or tablet. Besides, Newzoo, an analytical company, informs that the revenue of global mobile game market will reach $64,9 bn in 2020.

Why are mobile games so popular? Because of their diversity, convenience, and rich media. But for current mobile games, the most important thing is performance. It is impossible to provide exciting gameplay if a player faces constant slow-downs and crashes.

To detect performance issues, several types of performance testing are done. The earlier you start verification of system capacities, the better. But performance testing is a must before publishing a game in Google Play or App Store. The assessment of mobile game capacities should include performance testing of device, server, and network.

Device performance testing

Capacities of mobile device used by a player may affect the gameplay. It is very important to ensure fast game starting. Tapping the icon of your game, players expect the first screen to appear very quickly. Beside that, full loading should also take a couple of seconds.

While playing, people pay attention to what amount of battery a game consumes. It should be optimized. The same situation is with memory consumption. If your game provides social sharing and push notifications, then it will consume more memory.

A large number of mobile devices causes issues connected with hardware and software specifics. Test results can differ even during the verification of the same game on several various iOS devices. It is better to conduct cross-platform testing on different mobile devices to ensure a wider test coverage and verify game compatibility. And don’t forget to select for testing devices with various RAM (Random Access Memory) and processor characteristics.

As every mobile device has many various applications installed, there should not be any interference between your game and other apps. Also, you should check how your game works in background, for example, whether data and states are saved.

Server testing including API performance checking

The interaction between game and server via API should be proper and fast. The response time is critical for positive gaming experience. Sometimes, a server receives and sends data in different formats. To be available on mobile device, data are converted into appropriate format. This may slow down response time. Also, the number of API calls should be minimal. You should make sure that different API calls are not generated for one the same functionality.

Don’t forget to check the scenario of server down or inaccessibility. If a server is down, the data should be still shown. For example, you can save data in native database or use failover / backup database servers to have continuous replication of data.

Network performance testing

Speed and quality of network also affect the gameplay. Information passed over network is distributed into packets that reach a sender and receiver following different paths. Delays in packets transferring are called jitters. Such cases should be considered at the stage of game development. That can be a notification about sent to players. In case of packet loss, your game should send the request one more time, and a player should get an appropriate message.

People can play your game on Wi-Fi and mobile networks that have different speed. Besides, a player can switch from one network to another. Consider this during performance testing. In order to ensure high performance of your mobile game, a wide range of different parameters should be considered.

To know the specifics of game testing, watch our webinar here.

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Helen Johnson
Helen Johnson

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