Playing games with the Android platform is very fun. There are a lot of free games as well as a variety of premium paid class games that you can download through Google’s Playstore. Its powerful capabilities and large touchscreen interface used on most middle-class Android smartphones and tablets are very comfortable to use for various casual games and other games that are optimized for touchscreens. All the good people from users of children to even parents can enjoy this Android platform as a very enjoyable gaming media.
But unfortunately for hardcore gamers who love to play games with genres such as FPS, action/RPG, fighting, and racing, the option to play such games using the on screen button is not a pleasant experience. Some of the games are successful to make gamers become frustrated with the input on the screen button. Eventually they will come back to your favorite console/handheld and your Android device will only be a “regular” smartphone.
Since the OS update HoneyComb version for tablets and Ice Cream Sandwich for Smartphones, Google provides driver support for HID (Human Interface Device) such as keyboard, mouse, and of course in the context that we will discuss this time is a gamepad to play games. On this occasion, we will share tips to optimize the gaming experience on your Android device using a gamepad.
There are several ways to connect an Android device with a gamepad. Each of the following ways has advantages and disadvantages, as well as different compatibility on each Android device.
Special Gamepad for Android
The first most recommended way is to use a gamepad specifically designed for Android devices. There are various brands of gamepad, such as Moga, Ipega, and Steelseries that are known as professional gaming devices. These gamepad have a mounting that is specially designed to fit a 4-6-inch Android smartphone. This makes your Android like a handheld gaming or gaming-specific Android device such as NVIDIA Shield. The author tries to use one of the products of Ipega (9025) that can already be found in the Indonesian market/online store.
In terms of design, this Android-specific gamepad has buttons with similar numbers like the console controller in general, complete with two analog pieces and two shoulder buttons. But with additional multimedia buttons such as Volume /-, mute, play/pause, etc. In terms of convenience, the gamepad is not as comfortable as using the original controller console (XBOX/PS), but it is more than enough to replace the interface on screen button.
Using this Android-specific gamepad, it has a high level of compatibility with existing Android devices. The author’s experience of trying to use the Ipega 9025 GamePad is smoothly connected in Plug and Play using Bluetooth media on Android devices with Qualcomm’s chipset, Samsung, as well as Intel.
A new problem encountered on Android with Mediatek chipset. All gamepad buttons can function directly, it can even be used as a navigation tool on the Android home interface without any drivers — except for some games that do not support gamepad – the required drivers and root access to emulate the input touch screen into a physical button.
Pros: Plug and Play, custom mounting, multimedia buttons.
Cons: Not as comfortable as the Xbox/PS controller.
Price range: 20-30 US $
Gamepad via USB OTG
There is nothing more comfortable playing games than using a beloved original controller that we have. The next way that has the highest compatibility is to use a gamepad and a USB OTG cable Connection (female USB to Micro USB). You can use any USB-type controller such as Microsoft Xbox Controller (Wired), Playstation 3 USB, and a PC gamepad like Logitech — it’s instantly recognizable as a six axis controller on Android that supports USB OTG inputs without needing a driver or root access.
In terms of comfort, using a well-designed controller is very comfortable. But in terms of portability, this way is a bit difficult because it can not be carried anywhere and played anywhere with ease, coupled with a USB OTG cable that keeps hanging so it is not unsightly.
A wireless type Controller with a USB receiver like Logitech and the Xbox 360 receiver can also be immediately recognized on some types of smartphones, such as Samsung and Sony Xperia that are tested by the authors. But this way is not 100% can be done on all types of Android, especially those who do not support USB OTG input.
Pros: Comfortable to use, Plug and Play, enough modal USB OTG cable.
Cons: not portable, can only be done on smartphones that support USB OTG.
Connection: USB OTG/USB Reciever.
Price range: USB OTG for 1-2 US $ USB Gamepad.
If one of the above ways has succeeded you, now it’s time to enjoy the full potential of the Android device you have for gaming. There are hundreds of games available on Google Playstore that natively support this external gamepad. Or if you love to be nostalgic for old games, you can make Android an emulator * for gaming, such as NES, SNES, SEGA, GBA, GBC, PSX, N64, as well as even PSP games. Good luck!