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9 great Android games and game subscriptions of 2022

9 great Android games and game subscriptions of 2022

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There are plenty of great Android games to play whether you’re using a phone, tablet, or a dedicated Android handheld. Some even work on your Google TV-equipped TV with a connected Bluetooth controller. And in 2022, it’s become a lot easier to play Xbox and PC games in the cloud, if you don’t mind paying a subscription fee to do so.

For Android veterans and newcomers alike, jumping through the Google Play Store to find a new game can be overwhelming. (It’s not your fault, the store setup is hard to navigate.) Instead of leaving you to find what’s good from the vast selection, we’ve pulled out a handful of recommendations. All of these games should support touch controls, and some may also be compatible with Bluetooth controllers or clickable controller accessories such as Razer Kishi V2 and on Spine one.

Many of these games are free (with in-app purchases), although some require payment to play. Regardless, they should all offer plenty of replayability to keep you entertained through the holiday season and beyond.

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Marvel Snap is the mobile game of the year, at least in terms of the amount of buzz it’s generating. This is a collectible card game where each card features a Marvel character complete with unique abilities and attributes. You engage in deck battles against online opponents in battles that take six minutes or less. If this sounds even a little bit like something you’d like, you should check it out. It’s free with in-app purchases and my colleague Ash Parrish wrote a handy guide for beginners.

A collectible card game where each card features a Marvel character complete with unique abilities and attributes. Free with in-app purchases.

A screenshot of the Diablo Immortal character opening a chest to reveal a treasure

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of Blizzard Diablo Immortal is the first Diablo mobile game, and fans and newcomers to the legendary isometric dungeon crawler series should check this game out. It’s a very faithful adaptation made for phones and tablets that looks great, plays well (if your hardware is powerful enough) and offers a lot of depth without costing you money upfront. For Diablo uninitiated, you choose a hero class that has certain abilities and they will grow as you defeat hordes of undead enemies and bosses. One of the best parts in the game Diablo game join friends which this game also supports.

Diablo Immortal works with touch controls and offers controller support.

A faithful adaptation made for phones and tablets that looks great, plays well and offers plenty of depth. Free with in-app purchases.

Apex Legends Mobile screenshot: A river flows through a rocky landscape;  the caption reads

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In mid-2022, Respawn and Electronic Arts released a free-to-play mobile version of Apex Legendsits hit Battle Royale first-person shooter. Apex Legends Mobile works with touch controls and offers limited controller support (works with Xbox, PS4 and PS5 wireless controllers, as well as the Razer Kishi). The mobile underwriting Apex Legends it’s not exactly a one-to-one copy of the console and PC versions of the game. You can play in first or third person perspective, and character unlocks are distributed differently. Your progress from the other version of the game will not carry over to this one either. Otherwise, this is a great way to bring Apex Legends experience with you on the go.

A great way to bring Apex Legends experience with you on the go. Free with in-app purchases.

Screenshot of Pikmin Bloom: colorful little creatures with big heads in a meadow dotted with daisies.

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The games I’ve recommended so far require a lot of active input, but if you want a free-to-play game that’s more relaxed (and prizes just walk around), try Pikmin Bloom. It’s one of Nintendo’s newest mobile games and borrows some of the adorable characters and game mechanics from the company’s home console Pikmin games. By walking around (and being tracked by GPS), you pluck Pikmin from the ground in the game and plant seedlings. Between rides, you can take care of them in a Tamagotchi-like fashion. There’s no real end goal other than trying to walk as much as possible to rack up new species Pikmin during your trip.

By walking around (and being tracked by GPS), you pluck Pikmin from the ground in the game and plant seedlings. Free with in-app purchases.

You can’t go wrong with Minecraft. If you haven’t played it before, it’s a first-person survival and building game where everything is made of blocks — an already iconic look. The game is available on virtually every modern console and platform, but you’ll still get the full mobile experience, complete with multiplayer support. If you own the game on desktop, unfortunately you’ll need to purchase it again to play on mobile (unless you scroll down to the next recommendation).

Minecraft is the rare kind of game that can go as deep as you want. Some people just like to scavenge during the day and fight zombies at night, dig tunnels underground (uh, mines, hence the name), make replicas of cultural samples, or play as an educational resource for school.

$7

An iconic first-person survival meets building game where everything is made of blocks.

Genshin Impact is a shoo-in for this list, even though it’s not technically new. In case you haven’t heard of the game or simply haven’t played it, it’s an open-world action-adventure title that polishes the look and feel of the The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. In short, it’s a lot of fun, even though everything about it isn’t entirely original. The developer, miHoYo, is constantly adding more content to keep the game fresh and it’s a constant joy to watch in motion thanks to the great graphics.

This game is free to play, but keep in mind that it requires a pretty powerful phone to run it at an acceptable frame rate. Another thing to note is that controller support is currently non-existent, so you’ll just have to use the touchscreen to play it.

An open-world action-adventure title that polishes the look and feel of the game from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Free with in-app purchases.

Dark souls it’s not on mobile, but other games have made up for it. Dead cells scratches that itch with a fun yet challenging game that is meant to be replayed. It’s a side-scrolling action game with procedurally generated enemy placement (meaning it’s different every time you play) and has tons of weapons, abilities, and stages to unlock with cells you collect from killed enemies.

Assuming you’re not dead by the end of each stage, you’ll have a chance to turn in your cells for rewards. But if you die (you probably will die a few times – that’s part of the fun), you’ll be tasked with getting your cells back the moment you dropped them. Getting them back becomes a fun game.

$5

A side-scrolling action game with lots of weapons, abilities and stages to unlock with cells you collect from killed enemies.

Okay, technically this isn’t a “game” recommendation, but rather an entire gaming ecosystem that’s available on Android. If you subscribe to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate ($1.99 per month for the first three months if you’re a new subscriber, $14.99 per month after that), you can visit this site on your android phone to basically turn it into a portable Xbox. It says “Cloud Gaming Beta” at the top of the screen and gives you access to all the latest Microsoft Xbox Game Studios games and more.

This cloud-based service allows you to play many Game Pass games over Wi-Fi or LTE / 5G (you’ll have the best experience over Wi-Fi, but note that this service uses a lot data). Some games allow touch controls, or you can connect a controller like the Xbox Wireless Controller, Razer Kishi, or Backbone One.

Note: there is no app to download, but with the Google Chrome mobile browser you can give it a permanent place on your home screen. Click the three vertical dots to the right of the URL’s address bar, then tap Add to home screen.

$15

This cloud-based service lets you play many Game Pass games over Wi-Fi or LTE / 5G. Get the first month for $1 and then $14.99 per month after that.

If you own a PC with lots of games on Steam, the Epic Games Store, and Ubisoft Connect, you might as well give Nvidia GeForce Now a shot. It allows you to play many of the PC games you own from these three services on your Android device without the need for your PC to be on. Here a full list of supported games. Just connect a controller and you’re good to go.

The catch with this service, compared to Xbox Cloud Gaming, is that GeForce Now doesn’t just give away a bunch of games for a fee. In most cases, you need to own them to be able to play them. There are several free games including Fortnitewhich are offered free of charge. GeForce Now has a free tier which lets you play the games you own and free-to-play titles at 720p for hour-long sessions (you’ll just get disconnected, but you can reconnect) or you can upgrade to a $9.99 per month tier that gets you access to 1080p a virtual machine capable of ray tracing with six-hour play sessions.

Like Xbox Cloud Gaming, this service uses a lot of bandwidth, so it will be detrimental to your device’s battery life and internet data limit if you have one.

Nvidia GeForce Now lets you play many of the PC games you own from Steam, the Epic Games Store, and Ubisoft Connect. The app is free; the service has a limited free tier or costs $9.99 / month.


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