Real Device Testing Best Practices For Mobile Game Developers
Mobile gaming is vital to the gaming industry, with millions of players enjoying games of all genres. Therefore, mobile app testing is crucial for these developers. Creating incredible experiences for players is imperative for developers of mobile games. To guarantee the greatest gaming experience possible, real device testing is an essential step.
This blog will review best practices for real-world device testing and advise mobile game developers on improving their testing procedures.
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The Value Of Real Device Testing
Testing your mobile game on smartphones and tablets is better than emulators or simulators. Although emulators can be helpful during the testing process, there are several main reasons why accurate device testing is preferable to testing in virtual environments.
These advantages include:
1. Assessment of real-world performance
The hardware configurations, screen sizes, and resolutions of mobile devices vary. Real device testing helps you ensure every player has a consistent and enjoyable experience by assessing how your game performs across multiple platforms.
2. Testing for accuracy with touch and gesture
Emulators might not faithfully capture interactions with touch and gesture. Real devices allow you to see how players will interact with your game, which can help you identify and address any issues related to touch responsiveness and gestures.
3. Testing across various operating systems and versions
Mobile games must function properly across iOS and Android iterations. Accurate device testing guarantees compatibility with particular device models and OS versions to minimize compatibility-related issues.
4. Detecting hardware-specific issues
Some devices may have unique hardware features or limitations, such as gyroscope sensors, accelerometers, or haptic feedback. Real device testing helps you identify and address issues related to these hardware components.
5. Network and connectivity testing
It is possible to evaluate how your game functions under various network conditions, such as fluctuating connection speeds and stability, with real device testing. This will help you create a more realistic game.
Now that we know how crucial it is to conduct real device testing, let us examine the best procedures that mobile game developers should follow to guarantee a seamless testing procedure.
Best Practices For Mobile Game Developers
Here are some of the best practices for mobile game developers. These are crucial points which every developer should keep in mind –
Make An All-Inclusive Test Plan
A well-defined test plan is essential before beginning the device testing procedure. A test plan contains the specifications for your test objectives, test cases, and testing devices. Consider the following when creating your test plan:
1. Identify target devices
Ascertain which gadgets the people in your target audience are most likely to use. Give testing priority to the most widely used devices regarding performance and market share.
2. Describe test scenarios
Create test cases that address various game elements, such as gameplay, graphics, audio, and user interface. Test cases ought to replicate different player interactions and situations.
3. Incorporate edge cases
Remember to test in harsh scenarios like low battery life, storage capacity, or spotty network access. Certain edge cases may highlight unseen problems that could compromise user experience.
4. Specify testing environments
Clearly define the testing environments, including device configurations, OS versions, and network conditions. This information will help testers accurately replicate real-world scenarios.
Invest In A Diverse Device Library
Building a diverse library of real devices is crucial for comprehensive testing. While focusing solely on the latest flagship devices may be tempting, including various devices with different specifications is essential. Here are some tips for building your device library:
1. Cover popular devices
Ensure your library includes devices from major manufacturers like Apple, Samsung, and Google. Prioritize testing on devices with a significant user base.
2. Include budget and mid-range devices
Many players use budget or mid-range smartphones with lower hardware specifications. Testing can help find performance bottlenecks with these devices.
3. Analyze different screen dimensions and resolutions
Make sure the devices in your library have a variety of screen sizes and resolutions so that your game’s user interface will scale appropriately and retain its visual appeal.
4. Update every device you own
Make sure all of your devices have the most recent operating systems installed. You can test your game on the newest software versions following this procedure.
Put Automation And Continuous Integration Into Practice
A successful testing process requires automation and continuous integration (CI). By regularly integrating code updates into a shared repository and automating tests, continuous integration, or CI, is an automated process that identifies problems early in the development cycle. Time is saved, and the chance of human error is reduced with automation. To incorporate CI and automation into actual device testing, follow these steps:
1. Set up a CI pipeline
Create automated testing pipelines using CI tools like Jenkins, Travis CI, or CircleCI. Ensure tests are executed consistently with every code commit by incorporating precise device testing into your continuous integration process.
2. Select the right testing frameworks
Select testing frameworks that facilitate automation with actual hardware. Well-known frameworks include Appium, Espresso (for Android), XCUITest (for iOS), and Unity Test Framework (for games built with Unity).
3. Create reliable test scripts
Write reliable test scripts covering various test scenarios, including user interface interactions, gaming, and performance evaluation. Make sure the scripts you write work with different hardware and operating systems.
4. Monitor test results
Set up notifications and alerts to receive immediate feedback on test results. This allows your team to address issues promptly and maintain a high level of code quality.
Prioritize Performance Testing
Performance is essential for mobile games because a bad experience can lead to angry players and negative reviews. Take note of these performance-testing recommendations to make sure your game functions correctly across a range of devices:
1. Calculate frame rate and FPS
Use profiling tools to track your game’s FPS. At least 30 fps is recommended for smooth gaming.
2. Optimize graphics and assets
To save RAM and CPU consumption, resize textures, images, and other assets. To enhance performance, apply level-of-detail (LOD) techniques and texture compression.
3. Use low-end hardware to verify
Do not forget to run tests on hardware with less RAM and processing power. Identify the devices that are causing performance bottlenecks and take appropriate action.
4. Profile memory usage
Use memory profiling tools to find memory leaks and excessive memory use. For a stable gaming experience, memory management is essential.
5. Evaluate battery consumption
Monitor your game’s impact on device battery life. High energy consumption can lead to negative reviews and player dissatisfaction.
Conduct Usability Testing
Testing for usability concerns the user interface and how users engage with your game. It offers guidance on resolving usability problems and enhancing the user experience. Here’s how to conduct effective usability testing:
1. Recruit diverse testers
Gather a diverse group representing your target audience. Include both experienced gamers and newcomers to gain different perspectives.
2. Develop test scenarios
Create specific tasks and scenarios for testers to complete while playing your game. These scenarios should cover everyday user interactions and challenges.
3. Observe and gather feedback
While testers are playing your game, observe their movements, responses, and remarks. Get qualitative comments in addition to quantitative data (like completion times).
4. Iterate and improve
Make incremental changes to your game’s user interface, tutorials, and overall user experience based on the feedback you received from usability testing.
Test For Localization And Globalization
Testing for localization and globalization is crucial to release your mobile game abroad. This guarantees that your game is sensitive to cultural variances and works properly in various languages and locales. Here is something to consider:
1. Localize the game’s content
Translating all in-game text, menus, and conversation threads into multiple languages is necessary. Be mindful of context and cultural quirks when avoiding offensive or inappropriate content.
2. Test language support
Verify that your game displays and supports different languages correctly. Ensure that text doesn’t overlap or get cut off due to language differences.
3. Test date and time formats
Different regions use various formats. Ensure your game displays dates and times according to the user’s device settings.
4. Examine payment options and currency
If your game has in-app purchases, make sure it accepts a range of currencies and payment methods from different nations.
5. Consider cultural sensitivities
Be aware of cultural differences in symbols, colours, and icons. Some symbols may have different meanings or connotations in various cultures.
Monitor And Analyze Player Data
The testing process continues even after your game goes online. Finding problems and areas for improvement requires constant player data monitoring and analysis. Here’s how to keep an eye on and evaluate player data efficiently:
1. Use analytics tools
You can monitor player behavior, in-game events, and retention rates in your game by using Flurry, Firebase Analytics, or Google Analytics.
2. Observe crashes and errors
Track and rank problems that result in crashes or errors in your game by using crash reporting tools. Take quick action to resolve serious problems to avoid player annoyance.
3. Gather user feedback
Utilize social media, in-game surveys, and rating prompts to entice players to share their thoughts. Gather and examine these comments to determine what needs to be improved.
4. A/B testing
Use A/B testing to evaluate new features, revenue plans, and user interface designs. To make data-driven decisions, analyze the outcomes.
5. Updates regularly
Make use of player data to guide the development of your game. Updates and patches should be released frequently to fix problems and add new content based on user preferences.
To provide players with a flawless gaming experience, testing is essential. Platforms for cloud-based testing have become an important tool for those who create mobile games. One notable cloud-based testing platform that is revolutionizing mobile app testing is LambdaTest. It provides a strong feature set intended to enable mobile game developers in their pursuit of excellence.
LambdaTest provides access to a vast library of real devices and operating system combinations. This broad device coverage guarantees that a variety of devices, including both popular and niche models, are used to test your mobile game.
You can speed up your development cycle and reduce testing time by running multiple tests in parallel with LambdaTest. This feature is beneficial for game developers who want fast feedback on their game’s functionality.
LambdaTest makes it simple to record and monitor bugs. Work together with your teammates to find effective solutions to problems and make sure that your players have a seamless gaming experience.
Real device testing is still essential to game development, even though the mobile game market is constantly changing. The best practices in this guide have given mobile game developers a way to navigate the ever-changing world of mobile games. Follow these best practices to make your game run smoothly and give players an immersive and engaging experience.
You must test your game on real devices to ensure it works across screens and operating systems. This extensive testing will help you find and fix issues so your game remains playable and accessible to many.
Moreover, the commitment to continuous improvement—exemplified by the observation and analysis of player data—is essential to preserving the applicability and appeal of your game. Player feedback, analytics, and A/B testing results can help you improve gameplay and mechanics in future updates.