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Smartphones are some of the most useful tools we have at our fingertips today, and they give us the additional convenience of portability. We can take these small computers with us almost anywhere, and they can perform a wide range of functions for both business and entertainment.

One of the primary ways many people enjoy entertainment right from their phones is through playing games. Mobile games come in several genres, and some of them may even have counterparts you can play on computers or consoles. In any case, many games for mobile phones tend to use a lot of resources in order to run efficiently, and this can be true even on the newest models.

Because some of these games need to use so much of the system, there are players who wonder if playing titles regularly can somehow hurt the battery life of their phones. This is the topic we’ll cover in today’s article. As we get into it, we’ll discuss battery life in relation to gaming, if playing games can actually damage the battery in any way, and list some possible reasons why some games might seem to drain the battery on the phone quite quickly.

Once we wrap things up, we’ll also discuss whether it is okay or recommended to keep playing games on the phone while the device is charging.

Depositphotos_84280752_S Woman gaming on smartphone

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Do Smartphone Games Take Up Battery Life?

Typically, playing video games does take up battery life. This is because games can be some of the most intense programs that your phone is able to use. When you play a game, the processor in your phone needs to load graphics, textures, characters, backgrounds, and many other things all at once. It also needs to process frames and actions you take with the characters that you control in the game world.

Doing all of this at once means that the central processor is working hard in order to make sure you get the most out of your game. As long as your phone is able to handle the specifications of the game in question, you shouldn’t notice any stuttering or other problems as you play.

However, all of this can come at a small price for your smartphone. You can think of a modern mobile phone as a smaller version of the desktop or laptop you might use already for other tasks. The phone is a small computer, and it shares some of the same hardware you’ll find on the larger models. This includes the processor, and this part of the phone can get warm as it starts using energy.

A smartphone’s processor will draw the energy it needs from the phone’s battery, and you may feel the shell of the device get warm as it does. The more complex the game, or the longer you decide to play it, the more energy the processor will take from the battery. As the hardware starts to work more, it may start to drain the battery even quicker than it did when you first booted up the game.

Is It OK To Play Games on the Phone?

Generally, it is perfectly fine to play games on a phone. In fact, it is one of the main things for which people buy and use smartphones. In 2020, mobile game sales accounted for nearly 50% of all the revenue for the video game industry the world over for that year alone.

While some of these titles are things players might have purchased for other mobile devices besides just phones, it is quite clear that mobile gaming is popular with lots of people. If you wish, you can even look for mobile phones that developers optimize for gaming as the main purpose behind the device’s hardware.

You may hear some stories about not playing games on the phone too much, but the reasons you would probably find here are the same for any sort of electronic device. It is also true that it is good for you to limit how much you might play games on your phone, and that has as much to do with the life and health of the phone as it does with your own activities. It is good for both you and the phone to have breaks in between longer gaming sessions.

If you do get into the habit of playing games frequently, it may be a good idea to do more than just give your phone a bit of rest from time to time. You can also clear data caches to free up space and get rid of temporary files. Many games, particularly larger and more intense titles, may leave huge temporary files behind taking up system space after you install the base components.

The more you play, the bigger the files that the games might leave behind will get. In many cases, you can clear out some of this data in order to give the phone more breathing room. Your actual play data and save files should not see any negative impact from doing this, and you may find that the phone tends to run smoother than it did before.

Another thing you might do to make the situation better for your phone is to reduce your random-access memory usage. In addition to processing data, your game needs to use the phone’s RAM as a way to transfer instructions or code from the game files in the system to the processor for playing. RAM is quick memory that helps the phone perform operations like this, but your device has a finite amount of it.

Freeing some of it could help you see a performance boost when next you play your favorite games. To do that, you can delete unused apps or ones that came with the system but serve no purpose. You can also stop or disable apps that are taking up this memory. Restarting the phone could help it free some of the RAM it already used, too.

Depositphotos_5233828_S low battery concept black background

Can Playing Games Damage a Phone’s Battery?

The proper answer to this question depends on what we mean when we talk about damage to the phone’s battery. As we’ve already touched on, playing games can drain the battery much faster than many of the other activities you might choose to do on your smartphone.

However, playing these games isn’t necessarily bad for the phone itself. Battery drain is normal when you unplug and use your phone for many daily tasks, and gaming just happens to contribute to that drain faster than other things.

With that said, excessively playing games on the phone without allowing the device to rest could damage the battery in the sense that it lowers its overall charge ceiling.

As long as you are not using your smartphone improperly, it should be difficult to damage the battery in most other ways. However, playing games a lot could mean that the phone is generating quite a bit of heat often.

Heat is not good for the phone or its components. The longer the phone stays hot, the more the components inside, battery included, could have difficulties functioning at peak efficiencies.

Therefore, if you play games regularly, and you don’t pay any attention when the phone gets hot, you could be contributing to battery damage that makes it harder to charge up and stay charged, even when you are not playing games.

Give the phone a rest, let it cool down, and take breaks if the device seems noticeably warm or uncomfortably hot in your hands. Consider turning the phone all the way off to give it some proper rest when things like this happen, and your battery should be fine.

Why Does My Phone Battery Drain So Fast When I Play Games?

As with many things we’ve discussed in this article, this question ties into the resources it takes to play games. Playing a modern mobile game with lots of graphics to load is asking the processor and other hardware to do a lot for you.

This may be doubly true if you are playing any kind of persistently online game that also needs to have a secure connection to the internet to download information as you are playing. Any kind of game like this will use a lot of the phone’s resources, including background processes. As this happens, the battery life could drop rapidly.

Can I Play Games on My Phone While It’s Charging?

It may be fine to play some games while you charge the phone, but you should use caution and your best judgment. Charging your device usually means that it will produce some heat while the process is happening.

Although this is normal, excessive heat is not good for any smartphone. Because games can be some of the most intense processes your phone runs, playing them while charging the phone could create a lot of heat that might damage things.

It is probably a good idea to avoid running large or intense games while the device charges up. However, you may be able to run simple, lower resolution games that use fewer system resources. Always pay attention to how much heat your phone is generating during these occasions.

Conclusion

Gaming is one of the best ways to enjoy the full processing power of your smartphone, and there are plenty of different titles out there for you to try. Although it can be an intense hobby that drains the battery, it should not cause any negative effects for the phone, although some care from users is good here.

Make sure you give your phone breaks, check it if things are getting too warm, and try to let it rest a bit as it charges up, using it only lightly in such situations.

References:

https://www.statista.com/topics/1906/mobile-gaming/