Forums  /  Speedrunning  /  Running mobile phone games
  drgrumbledrgrumble

I seem to be one of very few people speedrunning mobile games specifically (Android, to be exact, on my Samsung G7 Edge, mostly touchscreen but have used a MOGA controller more recently for a few games). Indeed, I can't seem to find anyone around apart from me who speedruns Android or IOS prolifically. Of the c350 games available on Android represented on sr.com at the moment, over 20 are games I have added and I have only been speedrunning Android games for 6 months or so. Most of the rest are not actually run on Android but instead on PC or web.

I wanted to make a case for mobile phone speedrunning, in case anyone was interested (they may not be, but I’m going to do it anyway).

Cons:

1. I admit that there is a TON of absolute crap on mobile and the prevailing business model for mobile game devs is not friendly to speedrunning - they want their games to be played over long stretches (mo time, mo ads, mo money).

2. Similarly, most mobile games are built around IAPs (‘pay to win’), meaning that advantages can be bought with hard cash rather than skill. For a lot of games the alternative to IAP is grinding for hours, which makes speedruns unviable.

3. Mobile phones have not evolved with gaming at the forefront of manufacturers’ agendas. They are obviously not as comfortable to use for games as a console controller or PC set up. Touchscreens are less accurate and responsive than PC and console input and your fingers obscure the screen.

4. For the above reason, in my experience a game available on other platforms as well as mobile will almost always be slower to run on mobile than on its counterparts.

5. At the moment, most people that play on their mobile phone are not traditional gamers but casual players who are happy to just waste some time on a game to unwind. This drives the business model, which produces the crap on Google Play / App Store.

Pros:

1. The mobile gaming community is huge, even if most of them are not ‘hardcore’ gamers who won't be interested in speedrunning. Everyone has a mobile phone, and most people who see a run will have the means to have a try themselves right away, in their pocket. This means that the speedrunning community can grow a lot the more mobile games get run.

2. There must be a lot of people like me who love gaming but whose lives don’t allow the luxury of sitting down in front of the PC or console for any length of time to play games. I have a nine to five job and a baby, so when I get home of an evening or at weekends I have lots of other stuff to do. The only time I have to speedrun is lunchtimes at work, where I can sit in my office inconspicuously playing on the mobile under my desk, hoping no-one comes in and interrupts me. This is the only realistic way for me to speedrun games now and for the foreseeable future.

3. Whilst there are buckets of rubbish games on mobile, the hardware limits and touchscreen technology in some cases inspire devs to create new and innovative games that can be really interesting to run.

4. Similarly, the fact that the hardware is not on the cutting edge of graphical capability means that a lot of games on mobile are reminiscent of older games that form the bread and butter of speedrunning. Platformers in particular suit mobiles very well (subject to the interface issues), which are becoming more marginalised on other platforms.

5. By the same token, phone technology has come a long way and a lot of games are of comparable quality in terms of AI and graphics as 6th gen console games.

6. Whilst touchscreens can be cumbersome, lots of mobile games are compatible with Bluetooth controllers, and there are a lot of controllers dedicated to mobile gaming which can also fit in your pocket.

7. Adverts can normally be avoided on ad-driven games by switching off the phone’s wifi and mobile data connections.

8. The tools for getting into speedrunning are all at your fingertips on mobile – screen recorder apps are freely available as is the internet for checking for videos and walkthroughs to help. You can also stream independently. I don’t have a handheld console like PSP so I don’t know if they can claim the same.

Interested to hear what people think about speedrunning on mobile phones.

CytrussCytruss, TweniThreeTweniThree and 4 others like this. 
  ZachoholicZachoholic

A few mobile games are already speedran. For example there is a run of GTA: San Andreas for the iPad ( http://www.speedrun.com/run/7ylodxyp ). Piano Tiles is also ran (there's quite a few runs of it) http://www.speedrun.com/pt

Edit: Ignore this post. I guess I didn't fully understand what you were trying to do with the post 😃
It has good points though!

 
  drgrumbledrgrumble

Thanks Zachoholic. I think(!) my point was that people that love speedrunning on other platforms should consider trying out speedrunning on mobile. It is a selfish gesture!

ZachoholicZachoholic likes this. 
  AdderalMcQueenAdderalMcQueen

What games would you recommend speed running for mobile? And how does one go about recording them? I'd be up to try 😃

IndigoRatelIndigoRatel likes this. 
  drgrumbledrgrumble

Hi Adderal. It depends on what games you like. I would recommend any of the games I have tried, but my favourites are:

Short runs (< 5 mins):
Biolab Disaster
Mercurial Story

Medium runs (<60 mins):
Shadowgun
Fractal Space
Cordy

Longer runs (>60 mins):
Swordigo
Aralon Forge & Flame

My favourite of the bunch so far is Shadowgun - there are lots of glitches and time saves (and those are merely the ones I have found, there are probably a ton more big ones to find). However you really need a gamepad for that one to get the most out of it.

A fun and easy 10-15 minute run that could be mastered in literally a few goes is Gamestart.

Sword of Xolan also looks like a fun run, Sleepwalker has a run of that on here. I haven't yet tried it myself but will do at some point.

There are lots of screen recorder apps about. I use AZ Recorder but YT Gaming is also good (for some reason YT Gaming crashes on my phone every time I try and record with it though). BitStream allows you to stream to Twitch.

 
  drgrumbledrgrumble

To add to the above, I would recommend Harmony of Buku as a fun ~25 minute run, includes some fun skips and relatively unoptimised.

 
  yellowlabbyellowlabb

do you know a good way to record iOS? I was thinking about running Fire Emblem Heroes and trying to get Pokemon GO on here, but I can't find a reliable way to record my phone screen. I could download an emulator for FE Heroes I guess, but I think Pokemon GO would be interesting because I'd actually have to speedRUN to get a good time. Worst comes to worst I might just borrow my friend's Android or my other friend's Windows phone to do it

 
  DiabloheadDiablohead

iOS devices can be wired with their charge cable to a mac and mirror the screen to the computer, if you have a mac you can capture the screen. You can also buy charge port to HDMI adaptors if you want to send the signal to a capture card or your tv.

But for a game where you need to move around outdoors you would have to carry a laptop with you which is impractical.

oddtomoddtom likes this. 
  drgrumbledrgrumble

I read online about an app called AirShou for IOS screen recording, but it's not available in the iOS App Store, so has to be sideloaded. [Secret: I don't know what sideloaded means].

 
  yellowlabbyellowlabb

sideloading means downloading an app but not through the official App Store but without jailbreaking your phone. you basically just download it straight from the browser

 
  drgrumbledrgrumble

Thanks yellowlabb. Seems daft to me that Apple are so worried about security re screen recording yet I am not aware that it is any great problem on Android, which allows screen recording. It makes life so much more difficult for anyone that wants to record gameplay on ios (glad I am on Android).

 
  BubbleButtSpeedRunsBubbleButtSpeedRuns

I have some pending runs for android right now, the mods might be inactive though

 
  Sleepwalker_92Sleepwalker_92

Just verified your Xolan runs drgrumble and bubblebutt, good job you guys! I'm super excited I finally have people submitting runs for that game 😊 I encourage more people to try it out. It's a fantastic mobile game to speedrun.

oddtomoddtom and OxkniferOxknifer like this. 
  drgrumbledrgrumble

Cheers Sleepwalker! I agree, it's a great speedrun - easy to get into but very difficult to master (I am still very much at the former stage!).

 
  BubbleButtSpeedRunsBubbleButtSpeedRuns

I also did a speedrun for KOF13 on mobile but I think the mod for that is inactive.

I'm just gonna keep doing Sword of Xolan

 
  drgrumbledrgrumble

To quickly add to the above list of recommended mobile games for speedrunning, Speed Run for Android is well worth a look. It is pure platform speedrunning and a lot of fun.

OxkniferOxknifer and MrVirusYTMrVirusYT like this. 
  OxkniferOxknifer

I speedrun frequently on Android and my Kindle Fire, and also do web games.

If anyone has questions about recording on either of those platforms, ask me. I've been through several apps and have found some good ones.
As for recommendations, here are my favorite mobile speedruns in order of how much I enjoyed running them:
https://www.speedrun.com/Rocats
https://www.speedrun.com/Disney_Crossy_Road
https://www.speedrun.com/Irritation_Stickman
https://www.speedrun.com/LightBike_2
https://www.speedrun.com/Dashy_Crashy
https://www.speedrun.com/Color_Switch
https://www.speedrun.com/Hard_Lines

Throw me your records!!!

Mobile games coming soon to speedrun.com: King Tongue, Flipping Legend, Only One

TweniThreeTweniThree and drgrumbledrgrumble like this. 
  drybloxmandrybloxman

Ik nobody uses this anymore, but in case you didn’t know, iOS 11 added a screen record feature built-in