How To Play Every Classic Video Game On Your Smartphone

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Did you know you can play your favourite retro games on a smartphone? Here’s our guide to mobile gaming on a budget – and enjoying everything from Space Invaders to Pac Man with eBay…

Choose Your Phone



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Gaming on phones has come on leaps and bounds since the days of Snake on classic Nokia handsets. Now you can play games previously only found on a console or computer, such as Sonic the Hedgehog, Doom and Baldur’s Gate. You needn’t spend the earth on the device either, with manufacturer refurbished models available with more than enough processing power to cope.

A refurbished iPhone 6 Plus, for example, has a massive screen to rival dedicated handhelds, or you can opt or a refurbished Samsung Galaxy S5 with a gorgeous AMOLED display, which is more than up to the job.

Gaining More Control



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All mobile games have touchscreen controls so you can play instantly, but you might find some require finer finger action to get higher scores. That’s why there are plenty of controllers you can hook up to your device, giving you the option of playing like you would on a home console.

There are gamepads available for both iOS and Android phones, with Bluetooth options for wireless play. However, you might prefer the MOGA Ace Power, which plugs directly into the iPhone’s Lightning port and offers more precise controls. The Mad Catz C.T.R.L.R for Android is also highly recommended if you have a touch more to spend.

Be Aware of Others



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If you're gaming while travelling, you have to consider your surroundings. Most titles are best enjoyed with the audio blasting out, but other passengers might not be as welcoming of the sound of gunfire, or the tinkle of a collected coin or two.

A pair of decent headphones are a must. You can then immerse yourself in a game world without worrying whether you’re bothering your neighbours. In-ear headphones are cool, but why not splash out on a pair of on-ear, wireless cans that present the best stereo experience?

You can get Bluetooth headphones – such as the Sony MDR-10RBT – that needn’t cost the earth, but provide great sound. There are plenty of refurbished headphones at competitive prices available, too.

Upgrade Your Audio



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To play like the professionals, you might consider a dedicated gaming headset to plug into your mobile device. They often offer virtual surround sound capabilities, which give the illusion of audio coming from all angles, improving the experience.

You’ll have to put your hand in your pocket for the best headsets on offer, such as the Turtle Beach Elite Pro or SteelSeries Arctis 5, but at least you can use them at home with a games console as well as on your phone.

Play On the Big Screen



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As well as helping you play on the move, your phone can double as a home games console. You just need some way of getting the gameplay from the device’s screen to your television.

There are several ways to do this. Gamers with iPhones can Airplay to a bigger display through an Apple TV set-top-box. As well as brand new examples, sellers on eBay have manufacturer refurbished media streamers and set-top-boxes at affordable prices.

This sends whatever is on the display wirelessly to the TV, and you can then use a wireless controller or the phone’s touchscreen to play. Android owners have similar functionality available, with many Smart TVs, set-top-boxes and streaming sticks, such as a Google Chromecast, offering screen mirroring technology, too.

Make Sure You Power Up



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When you’re in the middle of an intensive gaming session, the last thing you need is for your phone’s battery to run out. However, many games are power hungry, so you are best advised to keep a portable charger on you to ensure you can keep going.

The Pebble range of power packs from Veho have been very popular over the years, with the Smartsticks being small yet capable of bringing a dead phone back to life. But if you’re expecting a heavy game-athon, consider a power bank with greater capacity.  

Don't Forget the Games



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Of course, equally as important as any of the mobile game hardware are the games themselves. You can find them on your phone’s specific App Store, whether you are on Android or Apple, and they cost far less than their console equivalents.

Older gamers will absolutely love the mobile version of Grand Theft Auto III, available for £3.99 on Android and iPhone. It's easily as good as the PlayStation and Xbox original. Role-playing fans are also in for a treat, with the Final Fantasy series available for both platforms, starting at £5.99 each.

But it's Android owners who get the better tools for classic gaming, with a range of emulators available for retro consoles and computers capable of playing thousands of original titles, available to download from the net.

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