Testing your mobile game is vastly different than testing for a regular app. Just like testing for non-mobile games, there are many different dimensions requiring testing that it can be difficult to know where to start – especially if you are just beginning. That’s why we have created this checklist to give you an idea regarding which areas to test and why you should test them. Let’s start at the very beginning…
The first place you need to begin testing is the UI and the overall functionality of your mobile game. Arguably, these are two of the most important things you need to get right, because if you don’t? Your entire game is going to fall apart. It is literally the foundation for the rest of your game.
Conduct regression testing to ensure that each time the UI layout changes, the mobile game is going to work. Also, it is vital that you test the menu by determining how easy it is to use the menu (i.e. how well it is organized), how simple it is to find and click the buttons on the menu, etc. Strive to ensure that your menu is self-explanatory. Ease of use is key. Players should never be confused navigating the menu.
Finally, ensure your game works well in portrait and landscape modes, and the screen resolution never stretches the graphics of your game.
It is crucial that your mobile game performs consistently on every platform. Thus, you need to hire playtesters to playtest the game on every platform to get an idea regarding what needs to be tweaked, what works, and what does not. Moreover, be sure to test to see how much your mobile game drains the battery on each type of device (i.e. iPad, iPhone, Android tablets and smartphones, etc.). From there, improve your mobile game to ensure it uses as little battery power as possible.
Load/stress tests can also be utilized to discover how demanding your game can be on various devices.
Along the same lines as testing for performance, you need to also test for usability and user experience. Many indie developers test their mobile games using emulators for each respective OS. Don’t do this. Rather, test your mobile game using real devices. By doing so, you can quickly determine exactly how your mobile game will behave in a real-world setting.
This also gives you the ability to test how it performs when background operations are running, when the device is hooked up to a charger, when a call comes through, etc. If you notice any lag or any other mishaps, you will know that you need to fix these problems before your mobile game is ready for primetime.
Moral of the story? Stay away from emulators when running usability tests!
Finally, you must also test to ensure that your mobile game uses social integration properly. Because it is essential for players to be able to share information regarding your mobile game (and because it helps to spread the word about your game), social platforms have to be integrated and easy to use while being stable.
Have any suggestions/questions regarding which areas to test for your mobile game? Let us know in the comments below!