1. Why do people play mobile games?
  2. How to develop mobile games?
  3. Top 6 mobile game development tools and platforms in 2023
  4. 1. Unity
  5. 2. Unreal Engine
  6. 3. Godot Engine
  7. 4. GameMaker Studio
  8. 5. Construct 3
  9. 6. Open 3D Engine
  10. What is the best game engine for mobile game development?

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Almost every person on Earth has a smartphone in their pocket, which makes mobile devices the number one gaming platform. Taking into account the overall game market growth, the mobile game market will also grow in size. It means it’s important for game companies to keep a good eye on mobile game development tools.

global gaming market report

In this article, we’ll try to figure out the best software for mobile game development.

Why do people play mobile games?

Take a look at the list of the most downloaded mobile games (Android platform).

top mobile games_statistics

Despite the reign of the casual genre, the majority of the games listed above do not belong to casual games. So, what makes people play mobile games?

The question of why people play mobile games delves into the intricate interplay of psychology, accessibility, and technology. Several key factors contribute to the widespread appeal of mobile games, making them a ubiquitous part of modern leisure.

  • Convenience and Accessibility: Mobile games offer unparalleled convenience, enabling players to dive into immersive experiences wherever they are. The ubiquitous nature of smartphones allows individuals to carry entire gaming worlds in their pockets, transforming mundane moments into opportunities for entertainment. Whether waiting in line, commuting, or simply relaxing at home, mobile games provide a quick and accessible escape.
  • Instant Gratification: The fast-paced nature of mobile games aligns with the human desire for instant gratification. These games often provide short, satisfying gameplay sessions that deliver a sense of accomplishment without requiring a significant time investment. Whether it’s completing a level, achieving a high score, or unlocking rewards, the immediate feedback loop in mobile games is inherently rewarding.
  • Social Connectivity: Mobile games have embraced social connectivity, enabling players to engage with friends and strangers alike. Multiplayer modes, leaderboards, and social sharing features foster a sense of competition, camaraderie, and collaboration. This interconnectedness taps into the human need for social interaction and friendly competition, enhancing the overall gaming experience.
  • Varied Gameplay Styles: The mobile gaming landscape boasts a diverse array of genres, catering to different player preferences. From casual puzzle games to immersive role-playing adventures, there’s a game for everyone. This variety ensures that players can find experiences that align with their interests and moods, contributing to long-term engagement.
  • Progression and Personalization: Many mobile games employ progression systems and customization options that allow players to tailor their experiences. The sense of growth, achievement, and personalization keeps players invested over time. Unlocking new characters, items, or abilities provides a continuous sense of discovery and incentive to keep playing.
  • Innovative Technologies: Mobile game developers continuously leverage innovative technologies to enhance gameplay experiences. Augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and advanced graphics capabilities have ushered in new dimensions of immersion. These technologies break down barriers between the virtual and real world, captivating players in novel and captivating ways.
  • Stress Relief and Escapism: Mobile games serve as a form of escapism, providing an avenue to temporarily disconnect from real-world stresses. Engaging with captivating game worlds can offer relaxation, stress relief, and a much-needed mental break, making them an appealing choice for people seeking respite.

How to develop mobile games?

Proper mobile game development requires a well-structured approach, blending creativity, technical prowess, and strategic planning. From concept to launch, the process involves a series of carefully orchestrated steps that collectively bring a game to life. Let’s explore the essential stages of mobile game development, illustrated by the example of a simple adventure runner game.

1 – Idea Generation and Conceptualization:

The development process commences with brainstorming and idea generation. Define the core concept of your game – its genre, gameplay mechanics, target audience, and unique selling points. For instance, envision our runner game with atmospheric environments, vibrant graphics, and intuitive swipe controls.

2 – Market Research and Planning:

Conduct thorough market research to assess demand, competition, and trends in the mobile gaming industry. Understand player preferences and identify gaps that your game could fill. Plan the game’s features, mechanics, and monetization strategy. Determine whether the game will be free-to-play with in-app purchases or require an upfront cost.

3 – Design and Prototyping:

Create detailed game design documents outlining mechanics, levels, characters, and user interface elements. Develop a prototype or a minimal viable product (MVP) to test the core gameplay mechanics. In the case of our runner game, design various levels, define the rules of abilities, and implement basic interactions for user testing.

4 – Development:

This stage involves coding, creating assets, and building the game’s infrastructure. Develop the game mechanics, user interface, graphics, animations, sound effects, and music. Utilize some of the best mobile game development software to streamline the development process. Integrate any required third-party libraries or tools. In our runner game example, implement the swipe mechanic, character animations, and level progression system.

5 – Quality Assurance:

Rigorously test the game for bugs, glitches, and usability issues. Conduct alpha and beta testing phases to gather feedback from a select group of users. Address any identified issues and and iterate on the game’s design based on user input. Ensure the game runs smoothly on different mobile devices.

6 – Polishing and Optimization:

Refine the game’s visuals, audio, and user interface based on feedback and testing results. Optimize the game’s performance to ensure smooth gameplay and reduce load times. Strive for a seamless and engaging user experience.

7 – Monetization and In-Game Economy:

If your game incorporates in-app purchases or ads, integrate the necessary frameworks and systems. Design an in-game economy that offers players meaningful rewards and incentives. Create a balance between monetization and player enjoyment, avoiding overly aggressive tactics.

8 – Localization:

Consider translating the game into multiple languages to broaden your potential audience. Adapt the game’s content, text, and cultural references to suit different regions and demographics. The runner game won’t require too much localization work.

9 – Submission and Distribution:

Prepare the game for distribution on app stores like the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Create appealing visuals and a compelling app description to attract potential players. Adhere to platform-specific guidelines and regulations. Submit the game for review, and once approved, make it available for download.

10 – Submission and Distribution:

Prepare the game for distribution on app stores like the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Create appealing visuals and a compelling app description to attract potential players. Adhere to platform-specific guidelines and regulations. Submit the game for review, and once approved, make it available for download.

11 – Post-Launch Support and Updates:

Continuously support your game with updates, bug fixes, and new content. Listen to player feedback and integrate meaningful improvements to enhance the gaming experience and maintain player engagement.

12 – Analytics and Iteration:

Integrate analytics tools to monitor player behavior, engagement, and monetization. Analyze data to make informed decisions about updates, new features, and content expansions. Iterate the game based on player feedback and data insights.

By following these comprehensive steps, you can navigate the intricate landscape of mobile game development. Remember that each game is unique, and the development process may vary based on the complexity, genre, and target audience.

Top 6 mobile game development tools and platforms in 2023

As the technological backbone of your creation, a game engine shapes the gameplay experience, graphics, and overall performance. The decision warrants careful consideration, encompassing factors that align with your game’s vision, scope, and technical requirements.
In the upcoming section, we’ll delve into a selection of popular game engines, highlighting their strengths and suitability for mobile game development.

1. Unity

Description: Unity, a versatile game engine, empowers mobile game developers to craft captivating experiences. With its intuitive interface and extensive asset library, Unity streamlines mobile game creation. Its advanced graphics capabilities enable stunning visuals across various devices, while the efficient scripting system supports smooth performance.
Unity’s cross-platform compatibility simplifies deployment on iOS and Android, making it an ideal choice for mobile game development. Whether you’re building casual puzzles or immersive adventures, Unity provides the tools to bring your mobile game vision to life.


  • Cross-Platform Compatibility: Unity’s standout advantage for mobile game development is its exceptional cross-platform compatibility. Developers can create a single game that seamlessly runs on both iOS and Android devices. This feature significantly reduces development time and costs, as there’s no need to build and maintain separate versions for each platform. Unity’s “write once, deploy anywhere” approach ensures that your game reaches a broader audience without compromising on quality or performance.
  • Rich Visuals and Graphics: Unity offers an array of powerful tools and features for creating visually stunning mobile games. Its robust graphics engine supports high-quality 2D and 3D rendering, enabling developers to deliver captivating visuals that engage players. With Unity’s real-time lighting, shading, and particle effects, mobile games can achieve a level of visual fidelity that immerses players in vibrant and detailed worlds.
  • Vast Asset Store and Community Support: Unity boasts an extensive Asset Store filled with pre-made assets, scripts, plugins, and tools that can accelerate mobile game development. This resource-rich ecosystem allows developers to save time by leveraging ready-made components, enhancing productivity and creativity. Additionally, Unity’s active and passionate community provides ample tutorials, forums, and support, ensuring that developers have access to the assistance and knowledge they need to overcome challenges and create successful mobile games.

Top mobile games:

  • Hearthstone
  • Orbit
  • Donut County

Pricing: Unity offers free personal plans and professional plans starts with $200 per person/per month.

2. Unreal Engine

Description: Unreal Engine by Epic Games, renowned for its cutting-edge capabilities, empowers mobile game developers to craft immersive experiences. With its industry-leading visual fidelity and real-time rendering, Unreal Engine brings stunning realism to mobile devices. Its intuitive Blueprint visual scripting system simplifies development while maintaining performance. Leveraging its power, developers can create visually striking and feature-rich mobile games, captivating players with dynamic gameplay and lifelike graphics. Unreal Engine’s prowess extends seamlessly to mobile platforms, making it a formidable choice for one of the best engine for mobile game development.

  • High-Quality Visuals: Unreal Engine’s standout advantage for mobile game development lies in its ability to deliver exceptional visual quality. Leveraging advanced rendering techniques, dynamic lighting, and realistic materials, Unreal Engine enables mobile games to achieve impressive graphics and visual effects. This advantage is particularly noteworthy for creating visually stunning and immersive experiences that captivate players on mobile devices.
  • User-Friendly Blueprint System: Unreal Engine offers a powerful and user-friendly visual scripting system known as Blueprints. This system allows developers to create complex gameplay mechanics, interactions, and systems without extensive coding knowledge. Blueprints provide an efficient way to prototype, iterate, and implement features for mobile game development, ultimately accelerating the development process and enabling developers to focus on creative aspects.
  • Performance Optimization: Unreal Engine’s optimization tools play a crucial role in mobile game development. The engine provides various features and settings that help developers achieve optimal performance on a range of mobile devices. From scalability settings to texture compression options, Unreal Engine empowers developers to fine-tune their games for smooth performance and efficient resource usage, ensuring a consistent experience across different devices.

Top mobile games:

  • Fortnite
  • Life is Strange
  • Hello Neighbor

Pricing: Unreal Engine’s Enterprise options start at $1,500 PER SEAT / YR.

3. Godot Engine

Description: Godot Engine, an open-source gem, empowers mobile game developers with a lightweight and versatile platform. It’s intuitive visual scripting and node-based system facilitate seamless mobile game creation, allowing developers to focus on gameplay mechanics and creativity. With efficient resource management, Godot ensures optimal performance on mobile devices. Its minimal learning curve, coupled with cross-platform support, makes it an excellent choice for indie developers looking to craft captivating mobile games without compromising quality or flexibility.


  • User-Friendly Interface and Visual Scripting: Godot Engine offers an exceptionally user-friendly interface, making it an ideal choice for developers, including those new to game development. Its visual scripting system allows developers to create game logic and mechanics through a node-based approach, reducing the need for extensive coding. This feature simplifies mobile game development, enabling designers and artists to actively contribute to the process without requiring in-depth programming knowledge.
  • Lightweight and Efficient: Godot Engine’s lightweight nature ensures efficient resource usage, making it well-suited for mobile devices with varying hardware capabilities. Mobile games developed in Godot can run smoothly and performantly, even on devices with limited processing power or memory. This efficiency is crucial for ensuring a consistent user experience across a wide range of mobile devices.
  • Cross-Platform Support: Godot Engine supports a variety of platforms, including iOS and Android. Developers can create a single project and deploy it across different mobile platforms with minimal adjustments. This compatibility streamlines the development process, allowing developers to reach a broader audience without the need for extensive platform-specific development, making Godot a decent option for cross platform mobile game development.

Top mobile games:

  • Dome Keeper
  • Brotato
  • Rogue State: Revolution

4. GameMaker Studio

GameMaker Studio empowers mobile game developers with a user-friendly interface and robust toolset. Its intuitive drag-and-drop system and scripting capabilities enable efficient mobile game development, catering to both beginners and experienced developers. With seamless export to iOS and Android platforms, GameMaker Studio simplifies the process of bringing captivating mobile games to life. Whether you’re crafting casual puzzles or dynamic adventures, GameMaker Studio provides the framework to turn your mobile game ideas into reality with ease.


  • Cross-Platform Export: GameMaker Studio offers seamless export capabilities to multiple platforms, including iOS and Android. Developers can create a single project and deploy it across various mobile devices with ease. This cross-platform compatibility streamlines the development process and ensures a consistent gameplay experience for players on different devices.
  • Active Community and Asset Marketplace: GameMaker Studio boasts a vibrant community of developers, artists, and designers who actively share resources, tutorials, and solutions. The engine’s Asset Marketplace provides a plethora of pre-made assets, scripts, and tools that can speed up development. This ecosystem enhances productivity and creativity, allowing developers to focus on refining their game’s unique elements.
  • Rapid Prototyping: GameMaker Studio’s intuitive drag-and-drop interface allows developers to quickly prototype and iterate on game ideas. Its visual scripting system simplifies the creation of mechanics, interactions, and animations, making it accessible for developers of all skill levels. This advantage accelerates mobile game development, enabling designers to bring their concepts to life swiftly.

Top mobile games:

  • Undertale
  • Hotline Miami
  • Katana Zero

Pricing: The creator tier starts at $4.99 per month per user.

5. Construct 3

Description: Construct 3 offers an intuitive browser-based platform for crafting mobile games without obligatory coding. Its visual, drag-and-drop interface enables the swift creation of captivating mobile experiences. With instant preview and seamless export to mobile platforms, Construct 3 empowers developers to bring their ideas to life effortlessly.


  • No Coding Required: Construct 3’s visual, drag-and-drop interface allows developers to create mobile games without needing to write complex code. This accessibility makes it an excellent choice for beginners or those without extensive programming experience.
  • Instant Preview and Testing: Construct 3 offers real-time previews, enabling developers to test and iterate on their mobile games instantly. This feature streamlines the development process, allowing for quick adjustments and refinements to gameplay mechanics, visuals, and interactions.
  • Seamless Export to Mobile Platforms: Construct 3 simplifies the process of exporting games to mobile platforms, including iOS and Android. Developers can generate mobile-ready builds directly from the platform, ensuring that their games run smoothly on a variety of devices without requiring extensive technical knowledge.

Top mobile games:

  • Mighty Goose
  • Super Ubie Island
  • Iconoclasts

Pricing: The business plan starts at $149 per year.

6. Open 3D Engine

Description: Open 3D Engine, the successor to Amazon Lumberyard, provides a powerful framework for crafting captivating mobile games. With its focus on rendering, physics, and AI, the engine offers developers the tools to create immersive mobile gaming experiences. Its open-source nature fosters collaboration and innovation, making it an enticing option for mobile game development.


  • Physics and AI Capabilities: The engine’s robust physics and artificial intelligence capabilities provide developers with the tools to create dynamic and interactive mobile game worlds. Realistic physics simulations and sophisticated AI behaviors contribute to engaging gameplay and immersive storytelling.
  • Open-Source Collaboration: Open 3D Engine’s open-source nature encourages collaboration among developers. Its community-driven approach fosters innovation, knowledge sharing, and the creation of extensions or plugins tailored for mobile game development. This collaborative ecosystem can accelerate the development process and lead to unique and innovative mobile games.
  • High-Quality Visuals: Open 3D Engine places a strong emphasis on advanced rendering techniques, enabling developers to create visually stunning and realistic mobile game environments. This advantage is particularly appealing for developers seeking to deliver visually immersive experiences on mobile devices.

03DE is a brand-new technology, so we expect to see some great examples of mobile games made with it in the near future.Pricing: 03DE is free to use so far.

What is the best game engine for mobile game development?

As we’ve explored the landscape of popular engines, each brings unique advantages to the table. Unity, with its cross-platform compatibility, visual scripting, and extensive asset store, empowers developers to create captivating mobile games efficiently. Meanwhile, Unreal Engine’s high-quality visuals, Blueprint system, and active community make it a formidable choice for ambitious projects.

When selecting an engine for your mobile game, consider key factors: platform compatibility, ease of use, graphics capabilities, community support, and development costs. Reflect on your team’s expertise and the nature of your game concept. Your chosen engine should align seamlessly with your project’s vision and requirements.

For those seeking a balanced blend of flexibility, stunning visuals, and robust community support, our recommendation leans toward Unreal Engine or Unity. Both engines offer a robust feature set, extensive documentation, and active communities that can assist you throughout your development journey.

As for our experience, we at Pingle Studio have dug deep into both Unreal Engine and Unity in our mobile projects. Some of our favorite examples of how great Unreal Engine is for mobile games are our work with Life is Strange, Beyond A Steel Sky, and Hello Neighbor. As for our experience with Unity as one of the best engine for mobile game development, we can name Donut County and The Survivalists.

Ultimately, the best engine for your mobile game development endeavor depends on your goals, resources, and creative aspirations. By carefully evaluating your options and aligning them with your project’s needs, you can embark on a rewarding journey to create engaging and memorable mobile games that captivate players around the world.