There are an estimated 207 million smartphone users in the US and 155 million Americans who play video games regularly, according to recent studies. Someday, it may be possible to enjoy your favorite console game on the go (a feat the Nintendo Switch will soon attempt), but for now, publishers are using companion apps to keep their fans engaged. Allowing players to access character statistics, unlock in-game bonuses and more from anywhere on their smartphones or tablets, these video game companion apps keep players engaged until they can pick up a controller once again.
Bethesda: Fallout Pip-Boy
Despite being released over a year ago, Fallout 4 is still going strong for Bethesda and came in at number five for premium PC video game revenues in 2016. Throughout the game series, user interfaces are accessed through the character’s Pip-Boy—a device worn on the wrist that offers a Geiger counter, health status, radio, map, journal, inventory list and more. The idea of a smart device that you take anywhere makes a natural translation to mobile through the Pip-Boy app, available on both Android and iOS.
Linking to a player’s game of Fallout 4 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 or PC, this companion apps remembers their status and allows them to access in-game data, inventory, map, radio and even play mini-games.
For the Guardian on the go, the Destiny companion app allows players to inspect their characters, check stats, access gear and view their Grimoire (book of spells). In addition, Bungie keeps fans connected through the app with forums, groups and private messaging through the app. Hardcore fans can read in-game lore and receive the latest developer updates, as well.
EA Sports: FIFA 17 Companion
Sports is all about statistics, so viewing and managing one’s team while at work or on the subway is a natural fit for FIFA 17. EA’s companion app, as it did with FIFA 16, allows full management of a player’s FUT 17 Club. The app also offers new Squad Challenges, in which users build and exchange players for rewards. Fans can even access the Transfer Market, where they can bid on and offer players for use in-game.
EA: Battlefield Companion
There is a lot going on in EA’s Battlefield 1, so a companion app is a great way to stay on top of things in between games. Through this complete overhaul of the Battlelog app, users can access statistics and customize their loadout, design an emblem and more for both Battlefield 4 and the newly released Battlefield 1. Users can also stay in the know with news and videos from Electronic Arts.
Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed IV Companion app not only allows access to the game’s user interface, but acts as a second screen. Players can sync their games with the app (tablet recommended) to access a more in-depth map, real-time game happenings and interact with other players. EA has a very good habit of developing companion apps for its most popular titles, including Star Wars: Battlefront with a galaxy-sized list of things to do. EA’s Mirror’s Edge Companion gives players a 3D map of the game’s City of Glass and allows users to create challenges, view statistics, interact with friends and more. Both PlayStation and Xbox offer companion apps that allow gamers to access their profiles on the go, offering a multitude of options on Xbox Live Gold or PlayStation Plus while out and about. I, for one, have fond memories of playing the Halo: Reach beta with my husband and checking my stats through Bungie’s Halo Waypoint app. The app is no longer available, but it has been revamped for the new games as Halo Channel.