How good is Android for gaming?While the modern-day gaming consoles such as the Sony PlayStation 4 and the Microsoft Xbox One are far more capable than any smartphone, Android devices today aren’t packed short either. The largest mobile chipset developer in the world, Qualcomm openly claims that their current line of Snapdragon processors is powerful enough to render graphics, video, and audio that can be compared to consoles. Just looking at the current lineup of games available for Android devices shows how powerful the graphical capabilities of these pocket devices can be. Moreover, when paired with a compatible gamepad controller and visuals taken up to the big screen, your Android phone is nothing short of being a gaming console and more. The popularity of mobile gaming has become so widespread that mainstream game developers are turning their attention to the smaller screens. For instance, Activision launched Skylands Trap Team for gaming consoles alongside the mobile version for Android and iOS devices. The gameplay, voiceovers, and video cut scenes were created identical for the console and mobile versions, which shows you just how capable HD games for Android can become.
Best Android gaming consolesThere is already a vested interest from major gaming brands like NVIDIA and Razer in Android mobile gaming. If you’re aren’t keen on turning your daily driver Android phone into a gaming console but still, want an Android gaming console on the cheap, you can get your hands on one these top-selling Android gaming consoles listed below.
Razer Forge TVCombining the power of Android TV to high-end hardware for a console-level gaming experience, Razer Forge TV brings mobile gaming to the big screen. Packed with a powerful Snapdragon 805 quad-core processor that can take on Full-HD content streaming with ease, this Android gaming console comes with Razer Cortex – a platform to discover and play hundreds of Android TV oriented games. The Razer Forge TV comes with its very own wireless controller called Razer Serval and can be paired with up to 4 controllers at a time to give you an immersive and enjoyable multiplayer experience. Apart from Razer exclusives, you also have complete access to the Google Play Store, you so can get your hands on the best HD games for Android right away.
NVIDIA Shield TVGoogle has chosen NVIDIA Shield TV to be the face of Android TV, but it has far more gaming-oriented features than your average Android TV device. Packing its very own NVIDIA Tegra X1 processor, Shield TV is hands-down the fastest media player for streaming movies, TV shows, and games to your big screen. The only Android TV/ gaming console to be future-ready with 4K and HDR content support right out of the box, NVIDIA Shield TV comes with GeForce Now technology to stream games directly from your NVIDIA-powered PC to your TV. While the Shield Remote is a great navigation tool, the real pleasure comes with the Shield Controller.
OUYALaunched as a Kickstarter campaign all the way back in 2012, OUYA was the first actual take at the concept of Android gaming consoles. Priced only at $99, it is till date the cheapest Android gaming console, although the product has lost the hype it built up during the launch period. Powered by NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor and 1GB of RAM, the system is capable of elegantly playing games on the big screen. Integrated with features like expandable storage space, multiplayer capabilities, and OUYA controller as well, Full-HD gaming feel ecstatic on this Cube-sized console. While it does not come with media player capabilities and support for Android TV like the other two devices on the list, it’s a great (and affordable) choice for those who want nothing but a pure Android gaming console.
NVIDIA Shield Tablet K1The only brand to bring portability to high-end mobile gaming, NVIDIA has created the Shield Tablet K1 to inspire gamers on the go. Powered by a powerful Tegra K1 processor with the 192-core NVIDIA Kepler GPU at 2.2 GHz gives out of this world gaming experience that is unmatched by any other Android tablet. Paired with the stunning Shield Controller and GeForce NOW compatibility to play graphic-intensive games from your PC right on your tablet, Shield Tablet K1 itself comes with a gorgeous Full-HD display and dual front-facing speakers for immersive surround sound experience everywhere.
Turn Android phone into a gaming consoleWhile it’s always enticing to get your hands on the latest high-end Android entertainment system, it doesn’t take a lot to make your very own Android gaming console for just a few bucks. With the right accessories to connect your smartphone to the big screen and an Android-compatible gamepad controller, you’re all set to start gaming.
A high-powered Android phoneTo keep up with the growing demand for high-performance devices, most manufacturers pack their devices with premium processors and plenty of RAM to keep things going smoothly. Any quad-core processor from Qualcomm Snapdragon lineup paired with a good GPU and at least 2GB of RAM should do the trick, but you can never have enough firepower to enjoy a phenomenal gaming experience.
Connecting Android to TVThe first thought that comes to mind when thinking of mirroring Android to a TV is Google Chromecast. However, the quality of streaming when it comes to playing HD games on Android depends on multiple factors such as the internet speed, smartphone’s hardware, and how graphic-intensive the game is. If your Android device supports MHL connectivity, it is your best bet at avoiding lag during your gaming session. We have extensively covered MHL and other connectivity solutions for Android in our post below.
Game controllers for AndroidAny gaming console is incomplete without an excellent game controller, and luckily Android works with almost any controller you can find. Not only can you wirelessly pair the PlayStation controller to your Android device using Bluetooth, but the OTG support on the most Android devices allow you to plug in any USB game controller to your Android. If you don’t own a game controller already, here are some great game controllers for Android that you can go for:
Best overall – SteelSeries Stratus XL
Best value – 8BitDo Zero
Best for portability – Moga Hero Power