Last week, it was confirmed that Google had brought with it one more important change to Android 9.0 Pie. It's a subtle tweak, but the Xbox One controller, the ones equipped with Bluetooth, are now better supported on the mobile platform. Up to this point, while those controllers could technically connect to handsets, some games would have trouble with correct button mapping.
And if your buttons on the controller don't work as they should, that can lead to some pretty frustrating gaming sessions.
With that fix came reports on the same day that one of the most popular mobile games out there, Fortnite Battle Royale, would probably be getting support for Bluetooth controllers at some point in the near future as well. That's probably good news for quite a few people out there, simply because the touchscreen controls --like most in-depth shooters of Fortnite's caliber-- aren't the best.
But, developers are getting better at making touchscreen controls not awful. Sure, it's not the best possible experience in my opinion, but when you're trying to play games on your phone while you're out and about, they're probably the best we can expect. Besides, the touch controls in FBR, and even titles like Player Unknown's Battlegrounds Mobile (PUBG Mobile), really aren't that bad at all.
It's nice to have that controller support, though. I still have to wonder if this really is a way a lot of people play mobile games while they're out and about. In my head I can picture controller support being great for when you're at home and the TV is being used, so you start playing Fortnite on the tablet. But while on public transport? In a Lyft? Before a movie starts? In those scenarios I can't help but think those touchscreen controls will work just fine.
Now, don't get me wrong, I've seen some pretty crazy things while out there in the wild. I've seen people bring full consoles with small, portable displays attached to them, all packed away in a briefcase for easy transport. And I'm sure there have been other instances like this all over the place. So maybe bringing a small controller around isn't that crazy.
What about a gamepad, though? These are the accessories that attach directly to the phone, usually with a physical connection (via USB-C or Lightning). You hold the phone in landscape and have the D-pad on the left side and buttons on the right side. Some of them even have shoulder buttons. Sure, it's still another accessory you have to carry around, but if you're serious about mobile gaming, at least you've got the buttons right there on the phone itself, and you don't have to worry about holding the phone on your lap or something else like that.
Is controller support a requirement for you these days? Do you simply prefer to play games on your phone or tablet without having to rely on touchscreen controls? Let me know!