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How to set up your iPhone for gaming (10 Handy tips)

Apple is known for optimizing its devices well. The newer generation of iPhones is in perfect sync in terms of hardware and software, making them great for gaming. However, nothing comes easy and perfect! You’ll have to make a few changes to your iPhone if you’re serious about gaming.

Don’t worry! In this article, I will help you set up your iPhone for gaming and improve your performance. Read along.

  1. Update your iPhone to latest OS version
  2. Turn on gaming focus mode and turn off Bluetooth
  3. Turn off automatic downloads
  4. Clear your iPhone’s storage
  5. Do not play when charging the phone
  6. Choose the right gaming accessories
  7. Reduce brightness
  8. Clearing cache data
  9. Clear iPhone’s RAM
  10. Take off your iPhone’s cover when playing

1. Update your iPhone to latest OS version

Apple releases new software updates to fix bugs that could be haunting your gaming experience. Thus, making it easier for the latest games to work smoothly.

There are multiple ways to update your iPhone and iPad to the latest OS version. Before you do so, ensure that all your data is backed up to iCloud or an external hard drive.

Once updated, you’ll notice reduced lag and latency issues. More importantly, your gaming experience will be much better. There’s also a chance that it can fix crashes and other in-game bugs.

2. Turn on gaming focus mode and turn off Bluetooth

A lot of calls, messages, and notifications can distract you from your gameplay. While iOS 15 comes with the Do Not Disturb mode, you’re offered a healthy level of customization for your notifications with the more advanced Focus mode.

With this, you can ensure that you only receive calls, texts, and other notifications from important sources. The best part? You can set up a gaming profile, allowing you to select people you’d like to receive notifications. Thus, eliminating pesky interruptions. Additionally, you can also choose to notify other people that you’re away and your notifications are silenced.

Further, turning off your phone’s Bluetooth also helps. Unless you are using wireless headphones or a Bluetooth speaker, the Bluetooth (on its own) will drain your phone’s battery at a much faster rate. It also causes noticeable lag and latency issues. Essentially, it leads to a lackluster gaming experience.

3. Turn off automatic downloads

While automatic updates are beneficial if you don’t have the time to update specific apps, it drains a significant amount of your phone’s battery. In most cases, while apps are updating in the background, your gaming experience may suffer due to the high resource cost.

As it stands, heavy-duty games use your phone’s hardware and stretch them to their limits. With the added strain of background downloads, your game is likely to crash. Even if it doesn’t crash, your phone might overheat. This will lead to lag in-game.

Here’s how to turn it off.

  1. Go to SettingsApp Store.
  2. Deselect the Apps and App Updates tabs.

    Turn off automatic downloads on iPhone
  3. Optional: You can also disable automatic iOS updates. Go to SettingsGeneralSoftware UpdateAutomatic Updates → toggle off Download iOS Updates.

4. Clear your iPhone’s storage

Due to the serious advancement in gaming technology and software, competitive games usually contain insane graphics, environments, and campaigns. Hence, they require an excessive amount of storage space, even up to 2GB.

If you download a game that requires 1.5GB of space in your phone’s memory, further updates and downloads can take up to 3GB. In almost no time, you’ll realize that your phone doesn’t have enough storage space available for other media. Hence, it’s always better to back up your important files onto someplace else and clear your iPhone storage.

Moreover, it is recommended that your phone’s free space should always be above 15% of the total memory. This ensures optimum gaming performance and improves your phone’s overall performance.

5. Do not play when charging the phone

Let’s face it – the popular multiplayer games nowadays exhaust your phone’s battery. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been in an intense fight in Call of Duty Mobile, and my phone almost ran out of charge. Once the battery saver mode kicks in, the performance also decreases for obvious reasons.

Nonetheless, one thing we shouldn’t do when we’re charging our phones is play games on them. Most technology experts recommend that we don’t use our phones at all when it’s charging. This not only charges the phone slower but also decreases the battery life in the long run. It can also lead to your phone overheating and malfunctioning.

So the next time you’re in the middle of an important match, finish the match and log out of the game. Let your phone charge completely before you hop into another game.

6. Choose the right gaming accessories

If you’re trying to get into competitive gaming, you’ll notice that most players use many accessories with their phones to compete. This includes gamepads, phone mounts, mouse, and keyboards. While casual gamers don’t need so many accessories, these are important if you want to get better.

Here’s a quick tip: If you’re playing MOBAs or MMORPGs, I’d recommend a good set of Bluetooth mouse and keyboards. They would work well with shooter games as well.

A gaming controller would be a good choice for racing games and competitive FIFA online. They can also be a good substitute for the mouse and keyboard if you’re into battle royale games.

7. Reduce brightness

I like a bright screen when gaming. On most occasions, it helps me notice changes that occur in-game. However, there is a certain limit up to which your phone’s screen should be brightened during gaming. Playing most of the modern games requires a significant amount of hardware power as it is.

Unless you have the latest updates in the most recent (and expensive) smartphones, your phone will be pushed to its limit. With high brightness, your phone will be tested further as it has to introduce more pixels onto the screen.

This can and will lead to overheating, which will drain your phone’s battery faster. The best way to tackle this is to lower your phone’s brightness unless a brighter screen is necessary for the game, like the ones with dark aesthetics.

8. Clearing cache data

Whenever you use an app on your iPhone, it stores data in the form of a cache occupying your phone’s memory. Over time, if the cache data isn’t cleared, it can build up. This has multiple adverse effects.

For instance, causing certain apps to crash or slowing down your iPhone’s general performance. This also impacts the gaming performance, with games crashing and lagging. Hence, it’s advisable to clear your phone’s cache data periodically.

To clear the cache data, go to the app’s Settings tab and search for the clear cache option (which could be found within the storage tab).

9. Clear iPhone’s RAM

If you have a lot of apps running in the background, or if you’re gaming for a long time, your phone’s RAM will be used heavily.

The idea of RAM in a phone is to convert the data processed by the phone’s processor and convert that into information that you can see on the screen. The higher the RAM, the faster the processing, and the faster your phone will perform. However, if the RAM isn’t cleared for a long time, your phone will slow down.

Clearing the phone’s RAM will lead to the wiping of unnecessary data that doesn’t require processing. If there is less old information to process, your phone will divert resources to where they are required.

I’d recommend you clear your iPhone’s RAM once a week. This will ensure that your phone operates smoothly for as long as possible.

10. Take off your iPhone’s cover when playing

Although there are some amazing iPhone covers, they can add a bit of weight to the phone. This weight is cumbersome during extended hours of gaming and can hamper your performance in matches.

Besides, the cover also adds an extra layer to the phone that traps the heat produced during the gameplay. If you’re not using an iPhone cover, the heat can dissipate into the air faster. This will keep your phone a bit cooler and reduce lags. The lesser the heat, the slower your phone’s battery discharges as well.

Further, using a phone cover during gaming can also hamper a game’s audio. If you’re not using a headphone or earphones, this audio is often important. For example, the sound of the opponent’s footsteps in PUBG Mobile is an important part, even though it’s faint. A phone cover could slightly reduce this sound and put you at a disadvantage.

Hence, it’s more advantageous to remove the cover when playing games.

That’s it… Happy gaming!

These are a few tips for setting up your iPhone for gaming. Some are basic, but they help you improve. What do you think of these tips? Are there any other tips you follow? I’d love to know about them. Share them in the comments below.

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  • Anirban

    Anirban is a literature post-grad who delves in philosophy and postmodern novels when not writing on tech and gaming. His love for research is only trumped by his love for chai and heavy metal.

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