The mobile gaming market is very competitive today: for example, in 2021, in North America, it’s worth $27.7 billion and projected to grow to $29.1 billion by 2022. The number of users is also getting higher, it’s expected that there will be 181.3 million mobile gamers in the USA by 2025. Standards are high, and many of them expect a flawless experience with every game, so testing is incredibly significant.
Game testing is a process of quality assurance (QA) that takes place throughout game development or post-launch updates. Any mobile game QA testing process consists of ensuring games are bug-free, among other aspects. Otherwise, it can affect user experience. Thus, the quality assurance stage is an integral part of game development and its release.
This article will help you master the essence of mobile game testing and show what you can expect from game testing services.
What are the Main Types of Mobile Game Testing?
Mobile game testing is a complex process that requires quality assurance at different stages and under various circumstances. That’s why a QA engineer should understand where and when to apply specific mobile game testing methods.
Let’s have a look at the main mobile game testing techniques:
Mobile game load testing
QA engineers specify an expected load for a game like an optimal number of users and expected technical parameters. Then they perform testing to ensure expectations meet reality.
A/B testing mobile games
This method makes it possible to try several variations of your game features and determine which of them is the most effective.
Mobile game compatibility testing
You can check the compatibility of your mobile game with various targeted devices: smartphones and other mobile devices with different requirements and software.
Testing identifies gaps in the security of the information system: the confidentiality of user data, authentication, authorization, integrity, etc.
The method allows you to make sure that the user experience is top-notch: users can interact with your mobile game easily. Some target groups test apps as end-users and give feedback to developers.
A game is tested for content suitability to different locations. Different language settings and specific UX characteristics should be taken into account.
Alpha testing games for mobile
The very first testing for bugs after product development. Alpha testing is often carried out according to a script written by testers.
Mobile game beta testing
The beta test for mobile games is carried out by the first real users just before the product is launched on the market. Further, feedback is collected in order to make the necessary edits.
Challenges in Mobile Game Testing
Mobile game testing may seem like fun to the casual observer. However, QA engineers don’t so much play games as write code and scripts for them to ensure that the actual result meets technical and user requirements.
Here are some common challenges that most testers face:
- Variety of technical requirements. If you want your product to be used by as many gamers as possible, then you need to adapt the game to all kinds of mobile devices. Different screen sizes, performance levels, software features, and possible technical limitations need to be considered.
- Mobile device farm. As QA engineers need to test mobile games on different devices, there must be infrastructure in place for this purpose. Some companies purchase physical devices of each model, but it’s prohibitively expensive. Some studios purchase access to a device farm in a cloud, where you can connect to any device you need. In any case, it takes a lot of effort to create such conditions for testing.
- Integrations. Sometimes, mobile games require integration with social networks so that users can sign in and share gaming results using their existing accounts. Testers should pay special attention to security, as access to third-party systems can be dangerous to data on a mobile device.
- Multiplayer games. There are a variety of multiplayer games that are difficult to test. Sometimes, such games are designed with conflicting features, creating bugs that cannot always be fixed. In addition, the variety of possible scenarios for multiple players significantly increases the amount of testing.
This is just a small part of daily QA challenges that several specialists should take care of. You can find even more detailed information in our comprehensive game testing guide.
Mobile game testing tips
One of the most common mobile game testing questions we get is whether there are universal recommendations for each mobile game QA process. As our contribution and answer, the practices listed below can be useful in most testing cases.
- Prepare for testing. Planning is a must for every activity. So it’s better to create a design for your future testing using a professional game design document and specify each task you need to execute in a project. It’s even better to split each task into subtasks and turn it into a checklist.
- Set key metrics. You should have clear KPIs and objectives to rely on before running tests. A QA engineer needs to realize what criteria each tested game should meet.
- Use A/B tests. No one knows for sure what will work better. Sometimes, an option that seems the most logical turns out an ineffective one. So don’t guess but run A/B tests with various options for each game stage.
- Pay attention to reports. Many testers think it’s the most boring part of any testing. In reality, a detailed report is the most important part of QA, because it shows what should be fixed. So make thorough reports to improve the quality of a game for sure.
The key principles of mobile game testing strongly matter, but specific details like cross-platform testing particularities affect the result even more.
How to Do Mobile Game Testing for Different Operating Systems
There are plenty of unique mobile devices in the world, but most of them use one of two operating systems — Android or iOS. Different technical requirements and peculiarities require different approaches to the QA process. Let’s cover how to test mobile game applications considering separate OS features.
Android game test peculiarities
It’s necessary to take into account the variety of OS versions when testing games for Android. Each version is supported by a limited number of devices, with a variety of screen resolutions. So a QA engineer should specify detailed conditions in testing scripts.
Android users can download apps and files not only from the official Play Market Store but from different Internet sources also. Thus, there is no need for testers to wait until Play Market approves their app, they can test early game builds faster.
iOS game test peculiarities
The traditional mobile game test plan for launching on iOS doesn’t require non-standard circumstances to take into consideration. Unlike Android devices, Apple operating systems have a simpler environment. iOS has fewer versions that are compatible with different models of Apple devices and with them only. Furthermore, users cannot download apps from anywhere but the official Apple Store, so there is no critical issue with security.
Top mobile game testing tools
What special tools are able to perform mobile testing of a game for HTML5 and other platforms? We are willing to share some of the finest testing methods and instruments.
Testing is performed on some targeted model of an actual device. Not everyone can afford it because of the high mobile game development cost. Nevertheless, it’s the most convenient way to get an accurate and relevant result.
Such a tool imitates a real device’s behavior but it doesn’t take into account important circumstances such as load level, technical characteristics of a device, and game interruptions with notifications or calls.
Usually, a universal tool that imitates every aspect of game interaction with a specified device. Even though there are free versions of emulators, they can still miss some bugs. Moreover, it may be incompatible with a required device.
Some engines for game development, like Unity and Unreal Engine, provide users with QA opportunities: to assure functionality meets requirements. You can even find some kind of mobile game testing checklists or tutorials in editors’ documentation on how to perform tests.
How Top Game Engines Help You in Mobile Game Testing?
If a game is developed with some game engine, it is much easier to test it there instead of using separate tools. Let’s have a look at advanced testing features offered by reliable game editor platforms.
- How to test my mobile game on Unreal Engine. You can test recently developed game fragments with Simulate in Editor or Play in Editor features. These options are available on the Tool Panel from Level Editor or Blueprint Editor. In case you need to modify some game parts, you can pause simulator mode and edit in the same place.
- How to test my mobile game on Unity. The opportunities for the Unity test of a mobile game allow in-editor testing with the UDP sandbox. To run the testing process, you need to use an emulator or mobile device testing with Unity Remote 5 app. Please note that single testing is enough, future updates usually don’t require retesting of the first version.
- Testing a mobile game on Construct 2. Testing game functionality in-editor, simply tap the play button to start software actions simulation. To ensure that the game is bug-free even under different conditions, use the debugger feature.
Please remember that in-editor testing can’t replace a fully-fledged QA process, so it requires a highly qualified team of professionals involved to get it perfectly done.
Mobile Game Testing Companies: Choosing the Best
As you can see, mobile game testing is an imperative and complex process. It requires an extremely experienced and qualified team of QA engineers to assure that the product is ready for release. Otherwise, all the money, time, and effort spent on game development will go down the drain.
It’s better to not rely on luck, but hire a studio with sufficient experience that will bring top-notch quality to your project. Game Ace has all the advantages when you choose the best company for full-cycle or partial game development, VR/AR games, and quality assurance.
We have already completed hundreds of successful projects for clients all over the globe, and are ready to polish your project quickly and with utmost quality! Are you ready to draw lots of new users to your game with flawless UX, modern UI, and exciting gameplay? Contact us to discuss your project and we will take care of the rest!
Originally published at https://game-ace.com on September 30, 2021.