How to test Gaming Apps
By Garima Tiwari, Community Contributor - November 16, 2021
With popular gaming consoles like PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, along with millions of gaming Apps available on the Play Store and App Store, the Global Gaming market is massive, valued at USD 173.70 Billion as of 2020 and projected to reach USD 314.40 Billion by 2026, with a CAGR of 9.64%. Given the market size and the projected growth estimates, gaming apps have immense business potential, and thus, need to be of high quality to capture the market.
Source: Mordor Intelligence
The Gaming industry is massive and shows no signs of slowing down as the number of global players is steadily increasing at the rate of 5.6% CAGR. As of 2020, there were over 2.5 Billion Mobile Game Players, 1.3 Billion PC Game Players, and 0.8 Billion Console Game Players globally.
While there is a constant growth projected in the gaming market globally, Asia Pacific marks the biggest market of the Gaming Industry with over 1.4 Billion game players. On the other hand, the Middle East and Africa are the emerging markets with the highest projected growth of 8.8% YoY.
Gaming apps are ubiquitous across different platforms such as gaming consoles, personal computers, mobile devices, and tabs. To succeed, these apps must offer cross platform compatibility for a seamless experience across different platforms.
Testing gaming software is essential to ensure that, among other things, a high-quality gaming app can be accessed on multiple platforms to offer rich customer engagement.
This article will discuss how to test gaming apps extensively, cover a wider area of essential features, rich user experience, and verify cross platform compatibility to meet user expectations.
What to test on Gaming Apps
A gaming experience is all about the graphics, sound, and concept of the game meant to hook the gamer. User experience is the central entity in a gaming app, around which the development process takes place. Whether it is graphics, background music, function, or cross platform compatibility, every aspect works around to provide a complete gaming experience. In a typical gaming application, the following are the main features that have to be tested:
- User Login
Games require players to login and maintain individual scoreboards, especially when playing in multiplayer mode. Hence, user login and user profile information pages should properly function.
- Payment Gateway
In case the game has some paid features, it is important to have a proper payment gateway page setup that is secure and seamless. Hassle-free payment, along with the data security of the payment details are a must for setting up a functional payment gateway.
Other scenarios that should be tested include:
- payment cancellation
- payment acknowledgment and receipt generation
- payment method validations (whether using Credit/Debit Card or Internet Banking)
- currency calculation in case of dealing with multiple currencies
- integration with third-party payment gateway systems such as Razorpay
Since payment is one of the most sensitive functions of a gaming app, QAs must perform comprehensive testing of various scenarios for optimal performance.
- Multiplayer and Single-player Modes
The game should be easy to switch from Single player to Multiplayer mode. Moreover, different players playing together from different devices should be able to connect seamlessly and enjoy a consistent user experience throughout.
- Levels of Game
Ascending levels of a game with successful completion of each level is one of the primary functions required in a gaming app. Testing level selection and ascension to the next level are key scenarios a QA must check while testing a gaming app.
- Graphics and Sound Effects
The graphics and sound effects make a gaming experience fulfilling and interesting. Having rich graphics and sound effects across all devices is a key concern that a QA must test, in order to prevent disruptive and inconsistent experiences. Hence, it is important that the gaming app has a responsive design that can adjust to different devices.
Types of Testing to perform on Gaming Apps
In Gaming Apps, UI/UX plays a major role in retaining enthusiasts. Hence different tests are essential for an enriched gaming experience.
Tests such as Functional Testing, Regression Testing, Responsive Testing, Performance Testing, UX testing, Cross Browser Compatibility Testing, and Website Speed Tests are essential in this regard.
- Functional Testing
Functional Testing checks whether the gaming app is working as per the predetermined requirements. This means all functions such as Player Login, Game Algorithm, Scorecard, etc. are working as expected. The test cases are designed on the basis of different possible scenarios, which test various functions from the most basic to advanced ones.
Unit Tests, Sanity Tests, Smoke Tests, Regression Tests, Integration Tests, and Usability tests are some of the testing methods that are used as sub-categories of Functional Testing. While Functional Testing is primary and essential for quality assurance of gaming apps, it is highly time-consuming when performed manually. Hence, an efficient alternative is automation testing, where tools such as Appium can be used to test gaming apps, saving time and effort.
BrowserStack’s real device cloud enables QAs to run automated tests on a fleet of 3000+ real browsers and devices, providing wider coverage for testing. Testers can build test cases for gaming apps pertaining to real user conditions to avoid any disruptions causing an unpleasant user experience.
- Cross Platform Compatibility Testing
Gaming apps should be accessed by players from different devices and platforms, especially in multiplayer mode, where multiple gamers simultaneously play the game. Despite accessing the app from different platforms, the users expect a seamless gaming experience; hence the gaming app has to be cross platform compatible.
BrowserStack’s real device cloud offers thousands of real mobile devices for testing gaming apps. QAs can run manual app testing on these devices, or they can run automated app testing via Appium. They can leverage a range of testing and debugging options to run tests, record and share results, and resolve errors, all in real-time.
- Website Speed Testing
Bear in mind that there are certain online games that can be played in browsers. These games must load as fast as possible for a continuous and streamlined gaming experience, irrespective of the device-browser combination they are accessed from.
BrowserStack SpeedLab is ideal for checking website speed to ensure a quick load time on multiple real browser-device combinations. In the example below, we use BrowserStack SpeedLab to test the website of the game 2048 on different device-browser combinations.
- Performance Testing
Checking the performance of gaming apps on various parameters such as stability, scalability, speed, and responsiveness altogether, under real user conditions, for varying levels of traffic and load is important to build a robust gaming app. BrowserStack’s real device cloud allows QAs to execute performance testing on real devices, browsers, and platforms to ensure optimal performance through rigorous testing.
Testing of gaming apps is necessary to offer an unmatched gaming experience. However, tests must be comprehensive and test scenarios have to be designed to offer maximum coverage.
This article covers general testing scenarios and testing types that should be performed by the QAs. It can be used as a foundation for extensive testing of gaming apps. Further detailed test scenarios can be created as per business requirements to ensure a high-quality gaming app offering a rich user experience.
Why is it important to test Gaming Apps on multiple devices?
With a massive target audience, it is important that the gaming apps are versatile and can offer the same gaming experience on multiple devices to delight the larger user base. Since users have the option to use different devices and switch between them, it is essential that the gaming apps perform consistently on each so that the user can play games on the go.
A seamless gaming experience would mean that despite the different browser-device-platform combinations, the game offers the same experience throughout. This can only be achieved through comprehensive cross-platform testing using real devices.
BrowserStack’s real device cloud makes cross platform testing easy and detailed with its wide testing range, covering thousands of unique browser-device combinations for high-quality cross platform compatible gaming apps.
Testing a Real Gaming App
To showcase how testing works, let us test a real Gaming App, 2048 on URL https://play2048.co/ using BrowserStack Live.
- Enter the website URL of the 2048 Game under test upon opening BrowserStack Live.
- Select the Device-Browser Combination for testing.
Here are some tests conducted on different Browser-Device-Platform Combinations for the Game 2048:
- iPad Pro 12.9 2018 v13.5 on Safari
2. iPhone 11 Pro Max v13.4 on Safari
3.OnePlus 6T on Safari
4.Samsung Galaxy A10 v9.0 on Firefox
5.Windows10 on Google Chrome
6.MacOS Big Sur on Opera
On all of the devices, the game worked consistently providing the same gaming experience. Hence, it can be concluded that the game 2048 is cross-browser compatible.
Testing a Real Gaming Mobile App
To showcase how to test mobile gaming apps on real mobile devices, let us test the same game as above – 2048 on Samsung Galaxy S9 v8.0 by downloading the game app from Google Play Store and testing it using BrowserStack App Live. In this case, the actual app is being testing as opposed to the website.
Downloading the 2048 app on the Real Cloud Device: Samsung Galaxy S9 v8.0 from the Google Playstore.
Testing the 2048 Game App on Samsung Galaxy S9 v8.0
The 2048 game application worked exactly the same and provided a consistent gaming experience as it did with the web app on various devices. Hence, it can be concluded that the game 2048 is cross-platform compatible.
Best Practices while Testing a Gaming App
Here are some of the best practices to be followed while testing a Gaming App:
- Test Cross Browser Functionality: UI/UX plays a major role in the gaming experience and hence it is essential that the gaming experience remains unaltered as the user switches between browsers. Hence cross browser compatibility is mandatory and should be a priority while testing.
- Test on Real Devices: QAs must use real devices instead of emulators and simulators to understand how an app would perform in the world. This would allow them to report issues accordingly for a smooth gaming experience. While testing on real devices might seem costly, using BrowserStack’s real device cloud, it is possible to test on thousands of device-browser combinations in a cost-effective way. Sign Up for Free.
- Take Screenshots or record video of tests: Screenshots and Video Recordings help with debugging when a test case fails or displays unexpected behavior. They help identify exactly where in the test script anomalies appeared and caused the test to fail.BrowserStcak’s comprehensive debugging tools allow QAs to take screenshots and record videos of tests for easy bug identification and resolution.
Testing gaming apps are essential for a seamless and engaging gaming experience. While testing the functionality of the gaming apps is important, it is also necessary to ensure cross browser compatibility of the game for a consistent user experience. To demonstrate the cross platform compatibility, the 2048 web and mobile Gaming apps were tested on BrowserStack Live and BrowserStack App Live using Real Device Cloud. As a result, the popular game proved to be consistent in its user experience across all the platforms, devices, and browsers.