Mobile Platform RSS Feed | Mobile RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Minecraft Bees Guide: How to Craft a Beehive and More! Thu, 22 Aug 2019 17:38:46 -0400 Ty Arthur

The latest Minecraft snapshot is here and it brings a brand new mob to play with -- bees! Lots and lots of bees.

All "Minecraft got a new bug" jokes aside, you can now find lots of bees (don't look now, try to act casual!) in three different biomes, as well as nests, hives, and honeycombs to use for crafting.

The bees just arrived, so there's a lot of speculation and uncertainty about where they spawn and how to interact with them. Here's everything we know so far about bees in Minecraft's 1.15 snapshot!

Where To Find Minecraft Bees

Bees are neutral mobs that won't attack you unless you attack them first, which is a fairly bad idea, since they will sting.

Simulating stinger loss, bees will automatically die 20 seconds after stinging a player.

Besides causing damage, bees don't drop anything if they die this way, so try to avoid ticking them off and getting stung. 

Bees will travel between their hives or nests and any location with flowers to collect pollen and nectar.  At the moment, bee nests are only found to spawn in these locations:

  • Beneath trees in forest biomes
  • In plains biomes
  • In sunflower plains biomes

If they can't find any locations to acquire pollen or nectar, they will eventually return to their home hive for a short duration. During night time and rain storms, bees will also stop their current activity and return to their home nest to wait until morning.

In the event a bee's home nest is destroyed or it gets lost, it will search until it finds a different nest to set as its home base.

Bees will follow you around when carrying a flower, and they can be bred with flowers to make new baby bees.

Using Bee Hives And Nests

After gathering pollen from flowers, bees return to their nests and hives to create honey. Full hives and nests are visibly noticeable because they will drop single blocks of honey.

How to Craft a Beehive

Nests can be sheared for honeycombs, and the process can be automated with a dispenser rather than using shears manually. That's an important process, because you can now craft your own beehives using this recipe:

  • Planks x3
  • Honeycomb x3
  • Planks x3

Besides shearing for honeycombs, hives and nests are used to gather honey by placing a dispenser or bottle against the block.

Full honey bottles don't stack in your inventory, however honey can be eaten while full and it has high saturation.

Using a single honey bottle while crafting will result in Sugar x 3 being added to your inventory.

You are supposed to retrieve honey from a hive after a bee completes its flying dance, indicating more honey has been added to the location, but there's an exploit available at the moment.

While it will likely be fixed soon, a bug with the initial release of bees allows you to fill glass bottles with honey from completely empty bee hives and nests. Take advantage of it while you can, because it won't be around long!

Bee nests and hives can be moved by a player if you want to relocate your bee home base to a better position, but they will be destroyed unless you pick them up using the silk touch enchantment.

Finally, campfire smoke is supposed to calm angry bees, but that functionality appears to be bugged as placing a campfire beneath a nest or hive doesn't actually do anything right now.

Found any other uses for bees, or know of any other places where they are spawning? Leave us a comment below, then check out our other Minecraft guides:

Interview with Duolingo: Come for the Spanish Lesson, Stay for the Gamification Thu, 22 Aug 2019 13:59:32 -0400 Mark Delaney

It wasn't long ago that parents told their children that video games would rot their brains and get in the way of their vital schoolwork. Today, we know that the two can coexist quite peacefully. We also know that gaming can even lead to the improvement of some facilities in the brain, such as problem-solving.

On mobile platforms, there's perhaps no better expression of the relationship between games and education than Duolingo, the language-learning app with nearly 28 million monthly active users.

After watching my wife enjoyably grind German lessons for two days earlier this summer, I began to pick up Duolingo, and it quickly became my go-to mobile game. It's a funny designation for an app that helps me brush up on my Spanish.

What makes Duolingo so addictive is its gamified user experience. You can compete in weekly leaderboards and climb the ranks like you would in Overwatch or Rocket League, the game regularly awards you with in-game achievements, and you're rewarded with XP for returning daily and hitting your self-made milestones.

You can even participate in double XP events and spend in-game currency on cosmetics for the app's mascot, a green owl named Duo. Mine is currently dressed like a superhero. Clearly borrowing a lot from more traditional games, Duolingo has carved out its own space, blurring the line between play and instruction and studies keep telling us it's working.

To learn more about the intersection of gaming and learning, I spoke to Duolingo's Senior PR Manager Michaela Kron about the company's vision for gamified learning, which video games inspired Duolingo's design, and just how many people are taking lessons on High Valyrian. Dracarys!

GameSkinny: Duolingo is heavily gamified to keep users engaged. What specific resources, like studies or other examples in educational gaming, did you consult to build Duolingo?

Michaela Kron: From the very beginning, we knew that in order to be an effective learning resource, Duolingo needed to offer a fun and enjoyable experience that kept people coming back. When you’re trying to learn a new language, daily practice is key in order to get the most out of it.

However, the hardest part of learning a language is staying motivated to keep up with it. This is why we felt it was important to make Duolingo feel more like a game than a traditional study tool. Teaching something as complex as foreign languages through an app presents a unique challenge that isn’t found in classroom settings, since we
don't have a captive audience and our learners can easily turn to many other forms of entertainment and distraction.

Many members of our team are avid gamers and draw inspiration from the games they play. One specific game technique that we’ve adopted is “appointment mechanics”, as evidenced through our daily streak feature.

This means that
in order to succeed, a user must return to Duolingo at least once per day and meet their daily goal in order to maintain a streak. We reward learners who come back to Duolingo each day with in-app currency that can be spent on various rewards. Not to mention, besides the reward, the streak on its own is a powerful motivator for many of our learners! 

Another key part of our approach is A/B testing and iterating on all new features before they are rolled out widely to all users. In doing this, we want to make sure that any changes to the app or website experience are optimized for improved engagement, learning, and more.

GS: What does your data tell you about how these gamified mechanics of Duolingo influence the way people use the app? 

MK: When we first launched Duolingo back in 2012, our next-day retention for users of the app was 13%. Now, next-day retention is 55%, which is on par with successful mobile games rather than education apps. This has a lot to do with the gamified elements that have made Duolingo a highly engaging learning platform. More than half of our nearly 28 [million] monthly active users take lessons in the app at least once per week.

GS: What are some unexpected user behaviors that have manifested during the growth of Duolingo? 

MK: As mentioned before, we have found that maintaining a streak is very motivating for many of our learners. In fact, some learners form such an attachment to their streak that when they lose it, they reach out to us asking whether there’s any way to restore it.

We’ve heard this from people in more extreme situations, such as those who were in the hospital and didn’t have access to Duolingo, or experienced power outages as a result of natural disasters like hurricanes. This summer, we’ve heard from a few younger learners going to camp for a certain period of time (without their phones) asking if there was a way to preserve or repair their streaks upon their return.

We have also seen numerous
tweets from people who end up doing their lessons while at nightclubs so as not to lose their streaks. 

Something else that’s been pleasantly surprising is the unexpected fan love we’ve gotten from learners who celebrate streak milestones in unique ways, like this person who made a cake to celebrate a 1-year streak.

GS: I find myself competing daily in the leaderboards to maintain the very top spot  currently fighting through the Sapphire League but I wonder how a leaderboard group is chosen.

For an app of 30 million people, what’s going on behind the scenes that groups me with a set of 49 other people? How are those competitors chosen?

MK: With the Leaderboards, you are grouped chronologically according to when you complete your first lesson of the week, together with people in the same League as you (the people who are in your League would have finished their first lesson of the week at around the same time as you).

This makes it so that your cohort is filled up nearly instantly and so that you never have an empty group.

"Next-day retention is 55%, which is on par with successful mobile games rather than education apps."

GS: Did any specific video games inspire any elements of the app? Does Duolingo have a lot of gamers in the office?

MK: Yes, several of our team members are gamers and gaming enthusiasts, and we’ve been inspired by a few different games over the years; Clash Royale, in particular, is a favorite around here.

We have also hired people who previously worked in gaming; for example, our VP of Product formerly worked for Zynga, where he was a lead developer of FarmVille 2.

Because gamification is one of our core differentiators as a learning platform, our team members are encouraged to play games and consider which features of those games might apply to Duolingo.

Proposed features are then A/B tested across portions of our user base, and if the tests are successful, they then get rolled out widely for all learners on all platforms.

Last year, for instance, we introduced the biggest redesign to Duolingo’s courses in years:
Crown Levels. This added a lot more content — including more challenging content — to each course by introducing the ability to get up to Level 5 in each skill of a given Duolingo course.

While this was a big improvement to the learning experience on Duolingo, the feature was actually inspired by a similar feature in Clash Royale – a popular game among many of our employees.

GS: What other elements of video games might you like to implement in the future?

MK: We're always thinking about how to make learning languages on Duolingo a more social experience, since social interaction is so critical to language learning. We're also thinking about how to extend the gamification elements we already have in place to encourage learners to explore and engage with some of our newer products and features, such as the Duolingo Spanish and French Podcasts, Duolingo Stories, and Duolingo Events.

Imagine earning XP for attending a Duolingo Event in real life, as an example. While there are no concrete plans in place for this, it is something we have been thinking about.

GS: Do you have any plans to implement live multiplayer lessons, either something competitive or maybe something like a classroom setting?

MK: Not at this time, though that is an interesting idea!

GS: The app also offers some languages from fiction like High Valryian from Game of Thrones and Klingon from Star Trek. What do the statistics reveal about the way people are interacting with these courses?

MK: Our High Valyrian course now has 1.03 million active learners and is our 14th-most-popular course for English speakers, and our Klingon course currently has 472,000 active learners.

The popularity of High Valyrian in particular is not all that surprising, given the overwhelming significance of Game of Thrones in pop culture over the years. We find that our High Valyrian and Klingon courses are popular among fans of GoT and Star Trek, respectively, as well as language enthusiasts who want to try something new and experience languages that are very different from others that they have previously studied. 

One interesting observation we have recently made is that our High Valyrian course tends to be a “gateway drug” of sorts to other courses we offer on Duolingo; in fact, we’ve found that 44% of people who came to Duolingo to learn High Valyrian went on to practice other languages.

GS: Duolingo just announced a partnership with Twitch, the video game streaming platform. Can you talk about your intentions and hopes for this program?

MK: We have partnered with Twitch to showcase multilingual streamers from around the world as a resource for language learners. Learning a new language requires exposure to a variety of media like books, movies, and music. We believe games and streaming content are a more interactive form of media that can help learners improve their language skills.

Duolingo streamers are not language experts, and they’re not language teachers. Rather, they provide new ways for viewers to engage with foreign languages by giving them somewhere fun to listen, practice, and learn. 

Overall, we have been very encouraged by the response to our partnership with Twitch and the launch of the Duolingo Verified Streamer Program. Many of those in the streaming community are excited about this partnership and all of the possibilities that come along with it in terms of opening up new ways for people to engage with the languages they’re learning.

We always hear from people who learned a language from watching TV shows or listening to music. Our hope is that in a few years, we'll start hearing from people who learned a new language from watching streamers on Twitch.

"We’ve found that 44% of people who came to Duolingo to learn High Valyrian went on to practice other languages."

GS: How effective has Duolingo been with helping users learn a language? What sort of measurements are available?

MK: An independent study conducted by the City University of New York has shown that 34 hours on Duolingo are equivalent to a full university semester of language education. Our team of learning scientists and curriculum experts is constantly working to improve and evolve the learning experience on Duolingo.

In the last few months, we have revamped some of our most popular courses, including Spanish and French, in order to help learners get to a higher level of proficiency. These courses now each feature over 800 new words and many new grammatical structures, as well as dozens of illustrated tips on grammar, pronunciation, and common phrases.

And more content updates are underway! There is more information about these recent updates in
this blog post.

Thanks to Michaela and Duolingo for taking the time to speak with me. You can find Duolingo on PC, iOS, and Google Play. The app is free with ad support, although it offers a Plus subscription starting at $6.99 a month.   

Witcheye: Redesigning Platforming With Just One Eye Wed, 21 Aug 2019 16:57:15 -0400 Joseph Rowe

Platforms. Gaming has a long history of characters jumping between, off of, and onto them.

In the Super Mario Bros. series, you play as plumbers who jump on platforms and each other and weird little mushrooms.

In Crash Bandicoot, you play as a bandicoot that runs from boulders while jumping across deadly chasms — and, of course, much more.

However, Witcheye adds a little spice to the platformer cauldron by removing the ability to jump altogether! You're not a plumber, a bandicoot, a bobcat, a jazzy jackrabbit, or even a sentient ball of meat. You're a flying eyeball.

"That sounds like a hot mess," you're thinking (maybe). If so, you're wrong.

Witcheye is the latest release for Android and iOS by developer Moon Kid and publisher Devolver Digital. Moon Kid, also known as Peter Malamud Smith, created the mobile puzzle game Satellina. He was also half the team behind the Great Gatsby adaptation for the NES.

His knowledge and skills were put to good work when he created this new kind of adventure platformer. I say a "new kind" because no other game in this genre solely revolves around controlling a floating witch’s eye to fight bad guys and collect gems.

The goal of Witcheye is to control a witch who has turned herself into a floating eye as she tries to reclaim her stolen belongings from a klepto knight. It is also a platformer where you float – you do not jump. There is no jumping here.

Thankfully, the game’s controls are so simple and intuitive that you won’t miss jumping. Swipe to go in a direction, tap to stop. That's essentially it. Easy peasy. 

The game’s challenge comes from avoiding attacks while killing enemies and traveling through levels. Some of the enemies are simple to kill, whereas others require you to perfectly time your swiping and tapping to kill them.

It's natural that enemies will repeat as you go through the game's various levels, which include beaches and an autumn setting for example. But luckily, each new area introduces new enemies with new attacks. 

The game stays fresh by going at a quick pace. Unless you get stuck on a particular foe, you’ll clear each level before you have the chance to get bored of it. For players that might want to take their time, each level also has a subgoal: retrieving four gems by killing enemies (some of which are hidden). This adds a layer of replayability to the game, albeit a small one.

There are also two additional difficulties to unlock after beating the game on normal, so subsequent playthroughs should be more satisfying for players craving something more challenging.

On top of additional difficulties, the game has an unlockable speedrun mode, as well as boss rush and mini-boss rush modes full of tough enemies. In true old-school fashion, beating the game will also unlock a sound test tucked away in the options menu (which is a great bonus since the Witcheye soundtrack is awesome, complete with NES-era charm).

  • Intuitive control scheme makes the game simple and fun
  • Original character designs reminiscent of games from a bygone era
  • Enemies, especially bosses, are fun to fight
  • Great soundtrack
  • Unlockables
  • Amazing price point
  • Short
  • Might be too easy for some players before unlocking harder difficulties
  • Not fun if you don't like the eye gimmick

One of the most appealing aspects of Witcheye is its retro graphics. It's true that many games over the past decade have employed graphical styles from the 8- and 16-bit eras, and while some have succeeded in capturing the ethos of those eras and others have failed, Witcheye is of the former camp.

Witcheye is a good investment considering what you get for the price point. It's obvious a lot of thought went into every detail of the game, whether it’s the character and sound design or the extra features added into a game that only costs a few bucks.

In an era where console games are largely recycled AAA releases and most mobile games try to take every single penny they can, it is refreshing to have a complete, stand-alone retro-inspired “platformer” on mobile. 

[Note: A copy of Witcheye was provided by Moon Kid for the purpose of this review.]

Minecraft Blue Creepers Guide: How to Find Them and Make Them Wed, 21 Aug 2019 14:20:41 -0400 Ty Arthur

The pesky explosive creepers in Minecraft are normally covered in a weird seaweed green pattern, but some players have come across a very rare blue variant.

There are two different kinds of blue creepers you might discover; regular blue creepers palette-swapped from the standard green, and the ultra-rare charged creepers surrounded by a blue aura.

If you're looking for the former type, you'll need either a mod or a community skin download. An absolutely absurd number of blue creeper skin variants can be downloaded over here.

For the latter, there will be a bit more work involved. Charged creepers don't spawn on their own anywhere in the wild.

Where To Find Blue Charged Creepers

Charged blue creepers can appear anywhere normal creepers spawn, but they require an extra step before they spawn.

A normal green creeper turns into the super-powered charged blue creeper whenever lightning strikes within 4 blocks of their current position.

Charged blue creepers have double the explosion power of a normal green creeper, making them quite deadly to an unprepared player.

The charged versions should be fought at range with a bow, and you should definitely be wearing armor if you want to avoid getting caught in the blast.

Like the standard green version, this variant can spot you from 16 blocks away and will make a distinctive sound before exploding.

If you have a flint and steel, you can also light them on fire just like with the normal version.

Creating Blue Creepers

Specifically looking to create walking bombs rather than running across them randomly?

The easiest way to do this is to build a nether brick fence enclosure around a standard creeper.

Any structure that keeps the creeper in place and is open to the sky will work, but nether brick fencing won't catch fire and burn down when lightning strikes.

You can stand around waiting for lightning to strike during a storm, or if you are using console commands, pull up the window and type /summon lightning_bolt when standing near the creeper to ensure it is hit (note: you will also take damage as the lightning spawns next to you).

Waiting around for random lightning can be an obnoxiously long process, and summoning bolts isn't exactly smart either, so there is another option available if you don't want to get crispy fried.

Using a Trident

If you have a trident with the channeling enchantment, you can also create a lightning bolt by hitting a creeper during a thunderstorm while it's raining. Using the trident without the thunderstorm active won't summon the lightning bolt.

This is easily the most efficient way to create charged creepers on a regular basis.

Don't have a trident yet? Drowned mobs have an 11% chance to drop a trident when killed by a player, so hit up an ocean biome with light level 7 or less and wait for a group of drowned to spawn.

Harvesting Mob Heads With Blue Creepers

So now the real question: what's the benefit to a charged creeper?

Mobs, other than Ender dragons, which are immune to the effect, that die from a charged blue creeper explosion have a much higher chance to drop their corresponding mob head.

Since the base chance for skulls to drop is 2.5% per kill, that's a huge boon when you need specific mob head types.

Found any other ways to create charged blue creepers? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to check out our other latest Minecraft guides:

How to Get the Bronze, Silver, and Gold Compass in PUBG Mobile Tue, 20 Aug 2019 10:25:35 -0400 Sergey_3847

The latest 0.14.0 update for PUBG Mobile adds a series of events to the game that requires players to locate hidden spots that may contain one of the three new compass items, including bronze, silver, and gold compasses.

You can exchange these compasses for various items, such as weapon skins or character skins, BP scrap, classic coupon scrap, and other items. Different items require different numbers of compasses, so you will have to look for them all over the map.

If you want to know how to easily locate them, then follow our quick guide below with exact locations.

PUBG Compass Map Locations

There are nine sure locations where compasses can spawn in PUBG Mobile. If you’re lucky, then you’ll find a golden one in at least one of these locations. But mostly, you’ll find bronze or silver variants, since these spawn randomly.

Here are some surefire locations.

Sosnovka Island

Land on the southern island of Sosnovka and go to the top of the radio tower, which is located on the hill between the Novorepnoe and Military Base.

Between the Sosnovka Island and Ferry Pier, there is a tiny island where these items can also spawn.

Mylta Power

Go to the eastern part of the island and locate the large stacks at the back of the Mylta Power building. Compasses should spawn near the tallest chimney.

Move north a bit and look out for a house on top of the hill near the prison building. Look inside that house.


Between Rozhok and the school building, there is an excavation site, where you can look out for more compasses.

Go west of Rozhok to the ruins area, find a church, and search the backyard for more potential spawn points.

Shooting Range

Lastly, explore the shooting range area between Severny and Georgopol in the northern part of the map.

There are two possible spots here: one at the plane crash site, and the other one at the entrance into the tunnel on the other side of the hill.


For more PUBG Mobile guides, check out the list below:

Top 9 Minecraft Seeds with Castles (Using Map Downloads) Mon, 19 Aug 2019 17:03:22 -0400 Ty Arthur


That's it for our look at the top Minecraft seeds / maps with castles! What did you think of our picks, and have you found any others that worth adding to the list? Sound off in the comments below!


Still on the hunt for even more Minecraft seeds with other resources and biome types? Check out the latest updated seed list below:


Map: Ecclesia Darii


Does a phrase like "jaw dropping" even begin to do this justice? Look at those hedge mazes and French gardens before you even get to the insane Gothic castle! 


I shudder to think of the hundreds of hours that had to have gone into this one, and hats off to the original creator!


Map: Château de Chenonceau


Talk about a labor of love! This dedicated Minecraft fan put together a painstaking recreation of the French Château de Chenonceau utilizing both historical documents and modern day maps of the castle's current state.


Unfortunately while this is a true beauty to behold on the outside, none of the interior is finished, so you'll have to take care of that part yourself. But hey, all the hard parts have already been built, so get to it already!


Map: Medieval Castle


This Minecraft castle offering is a lot more compact than the other entries on our list, which tend to be sprawling estates that make full use of every available square block.


Just look at that crenelation and those onions on top though! Is it just me or does this one give off a bit of a Russian vibe as well?  


Map: Spring Castle


More than just a walled fortress, this map includes its own little bustling village to take over and call home... if you can track down eight hidden diamonds inside.


Between the houses, garden, stables, towers, blacksmith, and church, this map basically give you your own little kingdom right off the bat. There are definitely much worse places to spawn!


Map: Cathedral Castle


This gothic castle is any gamer's dream come true, giving off a vibe somewhere between those cathedrals from Final Fantasy Tactics and Zelda's Hyrule castle.


It's not just for show either, as its filled with shadowy hallways lit by sconces with a lot of work going into the interior locations as well as the exterior design. Pop it on a hilltop and you've got a perfect home base.


Map: Leisure Castle


Looking to get away from the angry zombies and creepers so you can take some time to relax and get away from the day to day workload of crafting a whole world?


This leisure palace is the right castle for you, filled to the brim with gardens, viewing areas, and spacious rooms. This one's even got a big stone fountain in the middle (or as I like to think of it, a public pool they can't kick you out of). 


Map: Castle And Gladiator Area


This is more than a two-for-the-price-of-one map, as you don't just get the castle and the nifty Greek arena.


Across this map you'll find a church, a fountain, an ornamental tree walking area (perfect for reflecting on the true nature of Minecraft... or plotting to overthrow your family's enemies), a light house, and even a ship harbor!


The blue, green, and yellow color scheme comes together really well on this on as well, so its both structurally interesting and aesthetically pleasing.


Map: Peach's Castle


Replicating existing famous game locations has always been a big deal in Minecraft (remember that massive two year project to re-create Final Fantasy 7's Midgar?).


While some of them end being up more loosely inspired than meticulously recreated, this rendition of Peach Castle from Mario Bros. is actually pretty close to the source material... including the iconic flags.


Now we just need some mushrooms and turtles wandering around somewhere!


Map: Ye Old Castle


I like big flying buttresses and I cannot lie! This one's got 'em too, with plenty of design embellishments and hollowed out areas.


Between the side courtyard, bridge connecting the main and side keeps, and the defensive towers, there's plenty to explore here and lots of places to expand upward or outward.


It's a little sparse on the greenery (I guess this castle desperately needs to hire a florist) but hey, you can't have everything!


We may not be getting that long-sought Super Duper Graphics update (bummer), but there's still tons to do with the ever-expanding Minecraft world, from exploring jungles to finding the heart of the sea and even building castles.


Of course, building one from scratch is kind of a lot of work, so many players want to know where to find the best Minecraft seeds with a castle.


Unfortunately, you can't just pop in a straight seed number a get you a castle to poof into existence. For large pre-built structures of that kind, you have to download a specific map, schematic, or project first.


Here we're rounding up nine of the best castles we've found so far! Haven't downloaded other player projects to use in your Minecraft game before? Check out the full tutorial over here.

GameSir G6 iPhone Touchroller Review: Give Yourself the Mobile Edge Mon, 19 Aug 2019 12:25:07 -0400 Ty Arthur

While a slew of titles have arrived on mobile phones over the years, there are still plenty of gamers-on-the-go who wish their iPhone was just a bit more like an actual handheld console.

For some, the RotoRiot controller works great. However, it doesn't quite convey that handheld vibe. 

For those who prefer a horizontal joystick and ABXY button setup, GameSir has a line of "touchrollers" like the G6, which are somewhere in-between a one-handed gaming controller and an extension of your phone's standard touch capabilities.

Between the compact, lightweight design and the easy wireless connection, the G6 offers a simple way to get a more full-fledged gaming experience on your phone, although it clearly works better for some games than others.

G6 Design And Handling

The whole point of gaming on a phone is maximum portability, ditching the need to lug around a console carrying case. Obviously, to be worth buying, a touchroller needs to be as light and comfortable as using the phone normally.

That's where the G6 shines, as this sleek little piece of black plastic doesn't add an appreciable amount of weight to your iPhone, but the sliding rack for fitting different sized devices still feels sturdy.

The rack and grips fit snugly, but they don't feel like they are going to break your phone either, and the curved edges are easy to hold in either one hand or two while the phone is horizontal.

Rather than plugging into the phone's power port, the G6 connects via BlueTooth and setup is quick and simple: just hold three buttons while your phone's BlueTooth pairing is turned on. From that point, the controller automatically pairs whenever you turn on the power.

I haven't experienced any lag or dropped BlueTooth connections so far while gaming, although there is one issue with the hardware to keep in mind: make absolutely sure to run the joystick calibration before loading up a game, or you'll end up running in the wrong direction!

That was the only frustrating part of my experience with the G6, as it took me a few minutes to figure out that the "L3 button" used for calibration meant pushing down the joystick since that wasn't listed anywhere in the instructions or marked on the controller.

Since the sliding rack wraps around your phone, it does just slightly muffle the back speaker, but not enough to ruin your enjoyment of any given game.

Of course, that won't be an issue if you use headphones, which are supported.

While it might vary depending on your specific device, with the iPhone 8, I had no problems with port positioning, and there's ample room to connect your headphones (or plug in to charge).

On that note, GameSir claims the G6 lasts 80 hours on a charge, and we all know those estimates tend to be wildly wrong in product spec sheets. However, I can say the controller battery will far, far, far outlast the battery on your actual iPhone.

I've charged my iPhone three times since charging the controller and its not even close to dead yet! 

Do I Need an iPhone Controller?

Now that you know how it works, it's time to answer the most important questions: who actually needs this, and is it worth the money?

The G6 is unquestionably more useful for some types of games than others. To be blunt, a touchroller is pointless for games that don't allow horizontal orientation, like or, and only moderately helpful for titles like Pocket Mortys.

In the latter case, it's the thumbstick that's the draw for its improved movement scheme, as you'll still be tapping the screen to select battle commands or do anything else. 

Where you'll get the most use out of the G6 is playing shooters, MOBAs, or battle royale titles like Fortnite, PUBG, or the slew of mobile knock offs available in the app store.

In those cases, having a joystick and bumpers definitely gives you an edge over the rest of the mobile crowd, as the buttons make it easier to quickly switch weapons, zoom in with a sniper rifle, build structures, jump over obstacles, and so on while also sprinting or aiming.

The Bottom Line

  • Gives you a serious edge in battle royale, MOBA, and FPS apps for iOS
  • Comfortable and huge battery life
  • Cheaper than buying a full-sized controller
  • Slightly muffles the speaker
  • Really only useful if you love Fortnite or PUBG
  • You need to periodically run the joystick calibration

Note that this particular model only supports iOS. If you've got an Android phone, the GameSir T6 is what you want instead, and it does sport a slightly different design with fewer buttons.

For battle royale fanatics who want to play on their phones rather than console or PC, the G6 is a great investment, and its actually a better choice than larger phone controllers.

Devices like the G6 are one tier down from GameSir's gamepad line, which literally connect your phone to a standard sized, two-handed game controller.

Besides a lower price, touchrollers such as the G6 steamroll the controller competition for iPhone users, since games like Fortnite won't detect it as a simulator tool and block you from playing (as has happened with full-sized controller peripherals in the past).

[Note: A G6 review unit was provided by GameSir for the purpose of this review.]

Mojang Announces Ray Tracing for Minecraft with NVIDIA RTX Cards Mon, 19 Aug 2019 10:34:00 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

It looks like Super Duper Graphics is actually coming to Minecraft... in a way. 

Mojang announced the now-dead update's successor today: DXR ray tracing tech is officially coming to Minecraft.

The change is made possible by Mojang's new Render Dragon engine, of which the new ray tracing feature is just a part. Naturally, it'll require a system that supports ray tracing technology with DirectX R and runs Windows 10.

The update will be completely moddable as well. Players will be given all the tools and materials they need to create "their own physically based materials, textures and objects, to generate endless path-traced content for themselves and others."

While this will be the initial major graphics update released for Minecraft, Mojang is working on several enhancements for non-DirectX R devices, but the team labeled those a "long-term" goal.

Render Dragon is a brand-new engine for Minecraft, and the dev team is still getting to grips with what it's capable of. Expect even more changes and enhancements in the future beyond ray tracing, Mojang says.

These enhancements will be for other platforms apart from PC as well, including mobile platforms, thanks to Render Dragon's capabilities. How long-term these changes are isn't clear, though, since the team said changes will start rolling out across platforms "in the months ahead."

The system requirements necessary for supporting ray tracing mean that specific aspect will just be for the PC version of Minecraft, not the other platforms that support the Bedrock Edition.

Given Mojang's recent announcement about the challenges of getting enhancements right across all platforms, that's not too surprising.

Plus, ray-tracing technology in home consoles is still a ways off with the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Scarlett.

Mojang also promised more details later in the year, along with updates for when players can expect to see Minecraft in a brand-new light on their favorite platforms.

How to Lean in PUBG Mobile Mon, 19 Aug 2019 10:09:53 -0400 Sergey_3847

Although the mobile version of Playerunknown's Battlegrounds is limited in terms of controls, the new updates keep bringing new mechanics. Now, players can lean and shoot at the same time.

However, this feature is not activated by default in PUBG Mobile, so you need to activate it first. Afterward, you can use special buttons to lean either left or right when aiming at your enemies.

Step 1: Enable Lean Options

Before using the lean option, you need to go to the Settings menu in PUBG Mobile and follow these steps:

  1. Enable the Peek and Fire option
  2. Enable the Peek and Open Scope option
  3. Select one of the two Peek options: tap or hold

You can find all these options under the Gyroscope feature in the Settings menu.

The first option will let you lean and fire at the same time, the second one will let you lean and look through your scope, and the last option depends on your preference, whether you like to tap or hold buttons while leaning on your mobile device.

Step 2: Use Lean Buttons

After you activate the lean options in your game's menu, you will see the two new buttons on the left side of your screen. You can tap or hold these buttons for your character to either lean left or right.

You can also rearrange the position of the buttons and set them to any part of the screen by holding and moving.


For more PUBG Mobile guides, check out the list below:

Mojang Axes Minecraft Super Duper Graphics Update Mon, 12 Aug 2019 18:34:06 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

Mojang, makers of Minecraft, posted a short blog update today announcing they’ve cancelled the Minecraft Super Duper Graphics update pack.

The dev team said the update was proving far more taxing than anyone had originally anticipated. The issue comes from how it ends up working on the various systems on which Minecraft exists, with Mojang saying it wasn’t performing as expected “across all platforms.”

Mojang said it’s always trying to make the most out of the various system architecture layouts Minecraft is built on — so essentially, no Super Duper Graphics is the drawback of being able to play Minecraft on almost anything, toasters included.

The Super Duper Graphics pack was announced back at E3 2017 and was something many fans were actively looking forward to. That it isn’t working out after all doesn’t come as much of a surprise, though. Outside telling fans updates would come when they were ready, Mojang provided very few updates since 2017 — despite persistent asking on Reddit.

It was meant to be a complete graphical overhaul for the game, enhancing its basic-looking graphics to provide something altogether shinier and more appealing without losing the Minecraft feel.

However, all is not lost for those desperately wanting to play a better-looking Minecraft. Mojang said the company is actively exploring alternatives for providing graphics enhancements so “you can experience Minecraft with a new look.”

Whether Minecraft needs a new look is basically a modern version of the old adage about beauty being in the eye of the beholder. Some people's preferences defy the market trend of realistic, gorgeous graphics and are perfectly fine with the existing look, though others can't stand it.

While the style hasn’t changed since Minecraft Classic launched 10 years ago, Mojang has loaded the game with plenty of meaty updates, including the most recent Village and Pillage update, so the rest of the game isn’t unchanging at the very least.

GameSkinny Weekend Download: Video Games Blamed for Violence, Loot Boxes Get Nerfed(?), Planetfall Impresses, and More Sat, 10 Aug 2019 09:49:07 -0400 GS_Staff

In the wake of two mass shootings in Texas and Ohio, politicians, including President Donald Trump, blamed video games for violence. Days later, Walmart began removing from its stores advertisements for violent and "aggressive" video games and movies. 

Elsewhere, Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo, along with other ESA members, pledged to (somewhat) regulate loot boxes in all future games that use the mechanic. What's more, the ESRB released official numbers showing that 18% of games rated by the service since April 2018 have some type of microtransactions. 

However, some consumer advocates, such as those with Consumer Reports, say that tags and warnings aren't enough. 

On a far less political front, Age of Wonders: Planetfall released to rave reviews, including here at GameSkinny. In fact, we called it the strategy game of the year, so be sure to check out our review of the game below, alongside reviews for Metal Wolf Chaos XD, Wolfenstein: Youngblood, and more.  

Of course, we've rounded up other gaming news such as the rumor that Modern Warfare might actually get a battle royale mode and that the game will feature mouse and keyboard support on console; that Humble Bundle has more than 200 games on sale right now; and Cyberpunk 2077 will get a new game plus mode. 

On top of all of that, we've got culture pieces on X-Wing VR mods and why Madden 20's story mode is dope. And naturally, we have a good handful of guides for some of the latest games. 

Sit back. Relax. Enjoy. It's the weekend. What else are you gonna do? Play video games? 





Check back next weekend for another roundup of news, reviews, guides, and features. Be sure to check previous weeks for more content: 

18% of ESRB Ratings Include In-Game Purchases, But Some Say Tags Aren’t Enough Thu, 08 Aug 2019 10:44:10 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

The Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) has provided a detailed update on the challenge of raising awareness about in-game purchases. The information comes from a recent Gamasutra report summarizing parts of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) In the Game conference.

The conference was meant to address the loot box and microtransaction issue plaguing the games industry, with one outcome being a promise from major publishers to present item drop rates in all games with loot boxes.

Last year, the ESRB decided to add a ratings tag for "in-game purchases." As with its other ratings tags, this tag was focused on ensuring that parents knew what content their children might come across in a game.

The ESRB says that since the tag was added in April 2018, 18% of the physical games it reviews for ratings have had an in-game purchases notice included. However, the ESRB also said at least 32% of parents don't really know what an in-game purchase or loot box is.

Patricia Vance, the ESRB's president, said more education is needed so parents actually know what they're children are playing — but it's the parents' responsibility to figure it out.

Vance's stance isn't a new one, either.

She outlined ways parents can be more proactive in an ESRB urging parents to rely on parental controls  or play the games themselves. The latter suggestion isn't something every parent is able to do, though.

According to's Rebekah Valentine, consumer advocates don't think disclosing drop rates and telling parents to take responsibility is a satisfactory response.

Anna Laitin, Consumer Reports' head of financial policy, said developers intentionally use persuasive tactics to influence consumers' purchases. She said that's very common in mobile games, including the recent Dr Mario World: giving players the option to wait for long periods or perform certain tasks to reach a goal, or spend real-world money to get what they want.

These design tactics aren't covered by the ESRB's new ratings tag. While the obvious conclusion to her argument is that consumers will naturally pay to reach a goal faster, the other corollary is that parents might have a different view of that design.

To them, what seems like an acceptable time to wait for a task or item to refresh might seem an impossibly long to their child.

Keith Whyte, Executive Director of the National Council on Problem Gambling, said the difference in perception applies even more to those vulnerable to gambling. Disclosing probability rates could potentially encourage gambling anyway, Whyte says, since the thrill is in the unknown.

Finally, Common Sense Media's Ariel Fox Johnson claims it's an issue even for those not vulnerable to gambling addiction. According to Johnson, children don't always make the connection between spending real-world money for in-game items. It becomes even more of an issue when they can use their parents' bank cards without authorization because said cards are already tied to the mobile account.

Patricia Vance has a response to all of these concerns, though: "I think you have to trust that the industry is serious about making the commitment they announced this morning."

No Sessions Found Fix for ARK: Survival Evolved Thu, 08 Aug 2019 10:34:02 -0400 Sergey_3847

The fact is that any game that offers custom servers can have problems connecting people. But the "No Sessions Found" error in ARK: Survival Evolved doesn't even let players see the list of servers to choose from.

This bug has been detected on PC and PS4, so if you're one of those players who regularly gets an empty window in the session list, we have a possible fix in our step-by-step guide below.

Fix 1: For PC Users

The "No Sessions Found" error on PC can be caused by several things, so let's take a look at them all.

First of all, you can get the empty session list because of low ping, which can be adjusted in your Steam menu:

  1. Open Steam client
  2. Go to View in the top menu
  3. Select Settings option
  4. Click on In-Game tab
  5. Set Max Ping to 250

If that doesn't help, then you can manually pick a server through a Steam client:

  1. Select ARK: Survival Evolved in Steam Game Library
  2. Go to View top menu
  3. Select Servers option
  4. Click on the internet tab

You will see all ARK servers listed in the Steam window. Just choose any one you like by double-clicking it.

Lastly, if neither of the two methods helped you, then you need to reset your network settings:

  1. Go to Start menu in Windows 10
  2. Type CMD in Search
  3. Right-click Command Prompt
  4. Select Run as Administrator
  5. In the CMD window type: netsh winsock reset
  6. Press Enter
  7. Restart your PC

Fix 2: For PS4 Users

Many PS4 users have been reporting that they can't find sessions of the PC servers, while all other servers are showing just fine.

The solution, thankfully, is really simple, and all you need to do is find a friend with a PC who would be able to send you an invitation through ARK's server list.

As a result, you will see all PC sessions in your PS4 version of ARK: Survival Evolved.


For more ARK: Survival Evolved guides, check out the list below:

Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo to Add Loot Box Chance Rates in Future Games Wed, 07 Aug 2019 14:30:36 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

According to, there are some in the gaming industry looking into new policies surrounding loot boxes.

Specifically, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) said that Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony will add what the companies are calling loot box probability rates in all future games and updates featuring crates.

The goal is to provide consumers with enough information to determine whether they will purchase a loot box. It's an effort to make loot boxes less like gambling.

This announcement came from the ESA's Chief Counsel of Tech Policy, Mike Warnecke, as part of the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) In the Game conference. In fact, the entire conference was designed to find a way of addressing the loot box problem in the games industry, and had been scheduled for some time.

Specifically, Warnecke said the policies adopted by the Big 3 and other publishers will "require the disclosure of the relative rarity or probabilities of obtaining randomized virtual items in games that are available on their platforms."

Warnecke mentioned the Big 3 aren't the only developers and publishers with a plan to tackle the issue. Others involved with the ESA are taking steps on their own at the publisher level, so consumers know what they're getting when they buy a loot box.

Some of the publishers the ESA said are working on such measures include:

  • Activision Blizzard
  • Bandai-Namco
  • Bethesda
  • Bungie
  • EA
  • Take-Two
  • Ubisoft
  • Warner Bros. 
  • Wizard of the Coast

Those that still haven't publicly committed to probability rates include Disney, Deep Silver, Square Enix, and Capcom, among others, according to the report.

As of now, the target date for the Big 3 and others to implement these more transparent loot box policies is the end of 2020.

If that practice sounds familiar, it's because we've already seen it implemented recently in games like Apex Legends and with some of Tom Clancy's The Division 2's special events. EA and Ubisoft, respectively, added these updates to their already-existing loot box systems.

An Epic Games representative told GameSkinny in an email that the steps it has taken earlier this year were emblematic of the transparency the company strives to bring to all titles moving forward: 

Earlier this year, the Fortnite Save the World team made a change that showed players every item that they would get in a paid llama before opening it.

Earlier this week, the team at Psyonix announced a similar change coming later this year to paid crates in Rocket League.

Going forward, we’re committed to the same transparency for player purchases in all Epic Games titles.

However, not all games that currently have loot boxes will receive these transparency measures.

Warnecke said Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony will only be doing this for future games with loot boxes or updates revolving around loot boxes. Any existing games on their platforms that already have a loot box system reportedly won't be covered under this new policy unless the developer adds it themselves.

The loot box controversy has been growing in significance over the years, with things coming to a head earlier this year. Among other things, after the FTC announced its In the Game conference, certain legislators made a bid for outlawing microtransactions entirely, including loot boxes and other in-game purchases.

However, it's worth noting that under the new policies, items obtained would still be randomized, so there's still an element of gambling to loot boxes regardless.

Best Standard Hearthstone Decks for Saviors of Uldum Meta Wed, 07 Aug 2019 10:07:52 -0400 Sergey_3847


Control Warrior


The Warrior deck hasn't changed much since the last meta, with the exception of the new legendary Armagedillo, which buffs all your minions with Taunt.


This is a really neat card for a control archetype and will definitely return good results this season. One of its biggest targets will be Tomb Warden, a new minion with Taunt that copies itself on the board. Even if it gets buffed once, you will have two 5/8 minions with Taunt for eight mana.


Dr. Boom, Mad Genius, and Archivist Elysiana are back as well due to their high value, which simply cannot be overlooked.


The new cards will only make this deck stronger, which is probably the best amongst all classes right now.

Deck String:





That's it for the best standard Hearthstone decks for the Saviors of Uldum meta. For more on all things Hearthstone, be sure to head over to our Hearthstone guides page


Lackey Zoo Warlock


The best common card in the new expansion is definitely EVIL Recruiter, which creates a 5/5 Demon after sacrificing a lackey. This card alone is so powerful that it has become the foundation for the brand-new Zoolock archetype.


The list also includes two copies of EVIL Cable Rat and EVIL Genius, which together can produce up to six lackeys. They are quite strong on their own, but with the help of EVIL Recruiter, you can have a 3/3 and a 5/5 minion on turn three, and right now, nothing can beat that swing.


If the deck is too expensive for you, then you can exclude The Soularium and Leeroy Jenkins, as the deck is still super powerful even without those legendaries.

Deck String:



Aggro Shaman


The same gameplan should be applied to Shaman, even though it has more opportunities to play as a control archetype than Rogue. In no small way, aggro is still the best answer in the upcoming season.


The new legendary card Vessina gives all your minions +2 attack every time you get overloaded. This trick can help you pump your minions to huge sizes. And if that's not enough, use Bloodlust to get your victory.


Besides Vessina, there is a new Sandstorm Elemental card that deals one damage to all enemy minions, which can be an excellent counter-point to other aggressive decks in the meta.

Deck String:



Tempo Rogue


Since many new decks in the Saviors of Uldum meta become very heavy and mostly control-oriented, Rogue has only one chance to win: it needs to kill opponents really fast, before they can get to the late game.


That's why Myra's Unstable Element and Leeroy Jenkins turn out to be the two most valuable cards for Rogue in the new meta.


The other two new cards, Pharaoh Cat and Hooked Scimatar are there to support the archetype with even more damage and tempo. So, if you're an avid Rogue player, then try to be as aggressive as possible with this deck.

Deck String:



Combo Priest


The infamous Divine Spirit/Inner Fire combo can be executed much faster and with better results now than ever before, all with the help of the new legendary card High Priest Amet.


The card has seven points of life, and every other minion that is played gets the same amount of health points. This means that you can pump High Priest Amet to 28 health, summon Stormwind Knight, use Topsy Turvy or Inner Fire to give them the same amount of attack, and hit your opponent for 56 damage.


The rest of the deck is designed to keep you alive before you execute the combo, which can be done as early as turn six.

Deck String:



Murloc Paladin


Murloc Pally is back! Tip the Scales summons seven random Murlocs from your deck.


That alone is a very aggressive spell, which requires your deck to have as many Murlocs as possible. That is also the reason why Sir Finley of the Sands has been included in a non-Highlander deck.


Obviously, such a deck can go into fatigue really quickly, so you need a copy of Chef Nomi to guarantee you a win at the end of the match. However, this is mainly a Murloc deck, which can win on its own — even without the powerful panda.

Deck String:



Reno Highlander Mage


The new Reno the Relicologist legendary from Saviors of Uldum is not as powerful as its first iteration from the League of Explorers, but it's good enough to be the star of the new Highlander Mage deck.


This deck has enough tempo to withstand any aggressive decks, and at the same time, it has enough fuel to go for long match-ups against control players.


Cards like Siamat, Kalecgos, and King Phaoris will do the job, mostly in the late game. If that's not enough, hit your opponents with Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron, which has the potential to turn the entire game upside down, giving you a decent chance at winning even in seemingly-lost match-ups.

Deck String:



Highlander Hunter


The era of non-duplicate decks, or Highlander decks, has returned with the re-introduction of the league of explorers. This time, Brann Bronzebeard is presented in the form of Dinotamer Brann, who can summon King Krush in case you have no duplicates in your deck.


The other card in this deck that requires no duplicates is Zephrys, a new legendary that uses AI to help you win the game, or stay alive in dire situations, as it were.


The rest of the deck consists of the usual suspects, such as Subject 9, Zilliax, and Zul'Jin. Such a line-up will definitely help win you games against both aggro and control players.

Deck String:



Quest Druid


The new Quest Druid deck is packed with value.


First of all, it utilizes a number of old and new "Choose One" cards that will trigger both of their effects with the help of the new Ossirian Tear hero power.


Second, you can play King Phaoris, a new legendary from Saviors of Uldum, which will summon random minions for each spell in your hand. This card can help you rebuild the board after your opponent uses an AoE.


Lastly, in the case that the game has entered the fatigue stage, you can play Chef Nomi and make your opponent concede the match unless they have something extra up their sleeves. But most likely, that's not going to happen.

Deck String:



If you loved the League of Explorers expansion for Hearthstone, then you will definitely enjoy the Saviors of Uldum meta. The four main legendaries from the league return, and they have brand-new powers.


The quests from the Journey to Un'Goro expansion also return, but this time, they give players special hero powers instead of special cards. In any case, Saviors of Uldum is a very powerful set, probably one of the most powerful in recent years. 


But before starting a new season, you should familiarize yourself with the strongest decks for each class. In this guide, you will find the best Standard lists that will surely let you rank up the ladder really fast.

Rotor Riot Controller Review: This Mobile Gamepad Expands Our Horizons Tue, 06 Aug 2019 13:14:44 -0400 Mark Delaney

Despite playing video games for as long as I can remember and owning virtually every platform between SEGA Genesis and Nintendo Switch, there's one platform I've just never been able to get into: mobile.

I'm not one to say mobile games are all bad. I know many developers play to the strengths of the platform and millions around the world are hooked on all sorts of games for the platform. But it's just never been for me.

Last year I played hundreds of hours of video games and probably not even five of them were on phones and tablets — and it's mainly because of touch controls. 

This year, the same has been true. However, the second half of the year is about to be a lot different thanks to the Rotor Riot Made for iPhone (MFi) Gamepad.

Form Factor

The Rotor Riot controller takes all of its design cues from the Xbox One controller. Considering I think that's the best form factor on the market, that seems like a wise decision. The Rotor Riot even sports the L3/R3 clickable thumbsticks, which the company says makes it the first MFi controller to do so.

Combining that with the same face buttons (albeit with a slightly different color scheme), the same off-center thumbsticks and middle D-pad, and the same trigger and bumper buttons, the Rotor Riot will feel right familiar for anyone who has used an Xbox controller before.

That's not to say the form factor is quite as strong here. Instead, it's a really good imitation, but it lacks the sturdiness Microsoft's product provides. Every button responds well and without issue, but the D-pad feels loose and clunky, reminiscent of the Xbox 360's D-pad. Though unlike the version pictured above, my review model has the eight-way lattice design of the Elite Controller for Xbox. Suffice it to say, the Rotor Riot's D-pad feels less than elite.

Overall, though, it's more than a decent imitation with reliable, responsive buttons in all ways but one. Those touted clickable joysticks feel great, the size of the controller is nearly identical to that which it's trying to mimic, and it all just feels comfortably familiar.

As for the phone holder, I've had no issues during my extended use of the device. The weight of a newer iPhone like my 8s Plus does take some getting used to. Despite the Rotor Riot's supposed zero gravity design of the stand, it's a feeling that, while not uncomfortable, isn't nonexistent either. 

The part that closes around your phone is very tight, as it should be, and when I tested trying to get it to fall out, it never did, even with several good shakes. Once you get used to the weight of the phone sitting above the controller like a top-heavy Switch, it's not awkward. Even my six-year-old son got a lot of playtime out of it and never complained of the weight of the complete contraption. 

The stand is, of course, optional, and it could work just fine on a table or propped up against a book or something else if you prefer, but the stand really suits gaming on the go, like on a bus, train, or plane.

In any case, you'll need to be plugged directly into the phone. The Rotor Riot controller is not wireless, but that wasn't an issue in my time. The cord is just the right length to allow iPad use without getting in the way when you're playing instead on your docked iPhone.

The wire is meant to cut down on latency, and while I can't compare it to a wireless counterpart, I can say I streamed PS4 games to my phone all week with very few problems. The entire experience has really been eye-opening. I didn't quite realize this tech was already here, and now I find myself excited to play games on my phone for the first time in my life

The controller is stated to use less battery than a pair of headphones and that seemed about right in my time with it. As usual, it appeared to be the games that were so taxing on phone battery life, but if the controller exacerbated this drainage at all, it was so minimal I didn't notice.

If you're really worried, you can even charge your phone via a charge-through USB-C input on the controller. By that time, your setup would start to look a bit surgical, with wires and hard plastics popping out in different directions, but it's not obstructive. If you believe in function over fashion, this sort of setup could last you a transcontinental flight and beyond.

Compatible Games

So far, it's been mostly good news for the Rotor Riot, but a mobile gaming controller is only as exciting as its compatible games list. Thankfully, the Rotor Riot's library is quite varied, and it includes some major titles that anybody would love to have.

Some, like Fortnite and Stardew Valley are already available for mobile gamers with Nintendo Switch, but if you don't have one and already have an iPhone, the controller is a much more affordable means of taking such major console games on the go with you.

My favorite games from the compatible library, which features over 1,000 titles in the controller's affiliate app, Ludu Mapp, are the PS2-era Rockstar Games. Nearly all of them — GTA III, Vice City, San Andreas, Liberty City Stories, and the DS classic Chinatown Wars — are all revived thanks to this functionality, and even as the series has come so far, replaying San Andreas wherever I go has actually been a highlight of my time with the Rotor Riot.

Other classics such as Bully and Max Payne are in the store, too.

Popular indies like Hyper Light Drifter, Playdead's Inside, and Fez all place near the top of the platform's available titles. With 1,000 games working with the Rotor Riot, there is a surprisingly deep roster on offer, though many have likely played some of its best games on home consoles.

Perhaps the Rotor Riot's best feature is its compatibility with streaming apps like PS4 Remote Play and Steam Link. Using these, you can play your home PC or PS4 from anywhere in the world. There's also an Xbox streaming app, though it's not free like the others and demands the same network.

It's worth noting, though, that Microsoft's xCloud technology is meant to debut soon, which will hopefully mean future compatibility with the Rotor Riot.

Playing Days Gone on my iPhone was stunning. That was the precise moment I realized technology had surpassed what I was aware of. The world looked just as gorgeous as it does on my big screen TV, and the game ran with only the occasional slowdown.

This feature will be the one that brings mobile gaming into its next phase, where it redefines the ubiquity of games, and as of now, the Rotor Riot is the best tool for the job.

It's worth noting that before the end of the year, both the DualShock 4 and the Xbox One controller will be iOS-compatible via Bluetooth, and when that happens, the same library will become available as it does for all MFi controllers, so while the Rotor Riot is the best option today, it may feel more redundant in the future, unless you really prefer the wired connection or don't want to take any special controllers you may have out of the house.

The 25 Best Rotor Riot-Compatible Mobile Games

If you're wondering about more of the MFi-compatible games that are out there right now, I've curated a list (in no specific order) of some of my favorite mobile games that you can jump into with full controller support. Goodbye, touch controls. You will not be missed.

  • Grand Theft Auto Vice City
  • Grand Theft Auto San Andreas
  • Stardew Valley
  • Life is Strange
  • Telltale's The Walking Dead
  • NBA 2K19
  • Minecraft
  • Terraria
  • Bully: Anniversary Edition
  • Max Payne
  • Fortnite
  • Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
  • Hyper Light Drifter
  • Oxenfree
  • The Talos Principle
  • The Witness
  • The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth
  • Tales from the Borderlands
  • Oceanhorn
  • FEZ
  • NecroDancer: Amplified
  • Transistor
  • PAKO 2
  • Bastion

I'd be remiss to not also mention Final Fantasy IV-VII are all compatible, too. I've never played any game in the series, but I imagine many fans would want to know. I'm also partial to console-quality experiences on my mobile device, but there are quality mobile-first games on there, too, like the addictive Asphalt 9: Legends and the unique Stone, an adventure game starring a koala bear without a care.

As the console-like gaming scene is still pretty new to mobile devices, the library could use more of a boost. A ton of popular games like Madden Mobile and PUBG Mobile are natural fits with the Rotor Riot and MFi controllers in general, but they aren't available yet. That's not really a problem in the hands of Rotor Riot, but as it's being sold all the same, such a caveat unfortunately comes along for the experience.

  • Good form factor comes via replicating the industry's best
  • The only MFi controller with L3/R3 triggers 
  • A robust library of mobile games, console ports, and classics from the old days
  • Can be charged while playing and hardly taxes your device's battery anyway
  • Works great with PS4 and Steam streaming apps
  • To hell with touch controls
  • D-pad feels flimsy and imprecise
  • With console controller compatibility just weeks away, the shelf life feels anxiously brief
  • Some glaring library omissions, although that's not really their fault

I have a Switch already, but I've quickly found having the Rotor Riot isn't redundant. It broadens the possible games on my docket when I'm on the move, and it's awesome to have a controller that allows for my phone to be a legitimate gaming device for the first time in my life. I've never used any other MFi controllers but browsing them in stores, they always seem like cheap science-fiction knockoffs one might see in a movie or TV show.

With the Rotor Riot, I've found my favorite controller form factor is now available on the go with many of my favorite games and more being added all the time; coincidentally, Hyper Light Drifter was added as I wrote this review. 

An ever-expanding library and a quality controller have gone far to open my eyes to the world of legitimate mobile gaming on iPhones and iPads, and the Rotor Riot is the first sign that the future we all hoped for is finally here.

[Note: A Rotor Riot MFi review unit was provided by Rotor Riot for the purpose of this review.]

President Trump, Other Politicians Blame Video Games for Mass Shootings Mon, 05 Aug 2019 18:12:19 -0400 Jonathan Moore

In the wake of the horrific mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio that occurred over the weekend, President Donald Trump addressed the world from the White House on Monday morning. He outlined the proposed legislation and steps the administration hopes to take in order to prevent future mass shootings.

Among those steps, which include implementing red flag laws and facilitating cooperation between the federal government and state and local agencies, the President specifically mentioned video games and their perceived cultural impact. 

We must stop the glorification of violence in our society. This includes the gruesome and grizzly video games that are now commonplace. It is too easy today for troubled youth to surround themselves with a culture that celebrates violence.

We must stop or substantially reduce this and it has to begin immediately. Cultural change is hard, but each of us can choose to build a culture that celebrates the inherent worth and dignity of human life. That's what we have to do. 

The President's entire address can be seen here. It begins at around the 13:25 mark, and Trump's comments about video games begin around the 19:30 mark. 

Trump did not detail how the administration, lawmakers, or officials might investigate or evaluate video games — if, ultimately, at all. His comments criticizing the medium come alongside others arraigning the internet for being a lobby for violent and malicious ideas. 

We must recognize that the Internet [sic] has provided a dangerous avenue to radicalize disturbed minds and perform demented acts.  We must shine light on the dark recesses of the Internet, and stop mass murders before they start. 

Following the Parkland, Florida, shooting in 2018, Trump met with representatives from the ESA and ESRB, as well as several vocal critics of the industry, to discuss the nature of violence in the medium. 

At that time, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), which positions itself as an "advocate" for the video games industry, welcomed the summit as an "opportunity to have a fact-based conversation about video game ratings, our industry’s commitment to parents, and the tools we provide to make informed entertainment choices."

There were no new laws or regulations passed on or regarding the video games industry following that 2018 meeting. 

In response to Trump's most recent comments on the industry, the ESA said in a statement today: 

More than 165 million Americans enjoy video games, and billions of people play video games worldwide. Yet other societies, where video games are played as avidly, do not contend with the tragic levels of violence that occur in the U.S.

The International Game Developers Association and the International Game Developers Association Foundation, the two largest game developer advocacy groups in the world, also responded to Trump's criticisms of video games. 

Renee Gittins, executive director of the IGDA and Nika Nour, executive director of the IGDAF, said in a statement provided to GameSkinny and other media outlets via email:

Our deepest condolences and hearts go out to the victims and families affected by the tragic events in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas. Society has endured too many senseless acts of violence and horrific mass shootings.

Blaming video games distracts from the broader issues at hand. There is an overwhelming amount of research that finds there is no evidence linking video games to violence. Video games do not cause violence, and we support efforts to discontinue this misguided information. 

However, it's not only President Trump pointing the finger at video games. Other Republican leaders have also cited video games as a problem in reference to mass shootings. 

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy cited video games in a recent interview with Fox News. 

But the idea of these video games that dehumanize individuals to have a game of shooting individuals and others I've always felt that is a problem for future generations and others. We've watched from studies shown before of what it does to individuals.

When you look at these photos of how it took place, you can see the actions within video games and others. But what I'd like to do is make sure, just get all the facts. 

A clip of McCarthy's comments was captured by John Whitehouse and uploaded to Twitter. It can be seen below:

Prior to McCarthy's comments, Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick said that video games are one of "the common denominators" of increased violence in American society. His comments were also captured and uploaded to Twitter by Whitehouse and can be seen below.

To date, there have been countless scientific studies that have found little to no correlation between video games and violence. Many well-researched articles have been written on the subject, and while there is some real conjecture about video games and aggression, researchers remain split on those findings. 

Despite that fact, Walmart has recently begun removing violent and aggressive video game materials from its stores. 

Most importantly, however, our thoughts are with all of those affected by the shootings in El Paso and Dayton. Whether it be monetary donations or volunteering, Fast Company has put together a list of ways you can help those affected.

GameSkinny Weekend Download: Rockstar Makes Headlines, Fire Emblem is Awesome, Madden 20 Takes the Field, and More Sat, 03 Aug 2019 08:43:58 -0400 GS_Staff

This week, we look at Madden 20 and if this year's installment earns the franchise a contract extensions. We also give our thoughts on the criminally-good Fire Emblem: Three Houses, which has all of us that don't already have a Switch want to run out and get one right now!

In the news, Rockstar faces accusations of tax evasion, while GameStop begins its "reboot" in earnest, laying off 50 employees.

Sony says that the PS4 has now sold 100 million units, putting it past the PS2 in the same timeframe, while U.S. tariffs might increase the price of the popular system. The Switch is also doing (really) well, in both hardware and software. 

PEGI, the European ratings board, seems to have accidentally leaked an impending Doom 64 re-release on PS4 and PC, while Turok and Turok 2 are getting physical releases on the Switch.  

And rounding out the news, Capcom is up to something with (could it be an RE3 remaster?)...

Of course, we also have a slew of guides for some of the most popular releases, as well as as a handful of gear reviews and lifestyle roundups. 

Sit back. Relax. Enjoy. It's the weekend. What else are you gonna do? Play video games? 





Check back next weekend for another roundup of news, reviews, guides, and features. Be sure to check previous weeks for more content: 

Google Is Testing Play Pass, a Google Play Subscription Service Thu, 01 Aug 2019 14:08:46 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

The folks over at Android Police recently reported that Google is working on testing its new Google Play subscription service called Play Pass. The information came via reader-submitted screenshots explaining the service, and Android Police then confirmed the images with a Google representative.

Google's Play Pass would present users with a 10-day free trial, after which point the subscription would cost $4.99 (plus tax) per month. According to the Play Pass information page, the subscription grants access to "hundreds of premium apps and games," all without download fees, in-app purchases, and advertisements.

Whether no in-app purchases means games included won't offer microtransactions or will somehow have them disabled isn't certain.

Like the Apple Arcade pass announced earlier this year, the Play Pass is serious when it mentions the offerings are "curated" and premium. Some of the games shown include Marvel Pinball and the Android version of Stardew Valley. The information page also states the apps will range from puzzle games to music apps, so there's apparently a lot on offer.

Unlike the Apple Arcade, however, it isn't clear yet whether the Play Pass will have exclusives or if it's restricted to Android phones only; the Apple Arcade can be used on iPads and other smart devices.

There will also be a family plan of some kind, but it doesn't seem like it's included in the current test round.

Mobile gaming is still big business, as Pokemon GO's recent milestones show. However, the market has changed from what it was back when mobile gaming seemed like it could take over traditional gaming.

Sony's PlayStation 4 has shipped more than 100 million units to almost eclipse the Wii, while the Nintendo Switch is on a fast track to the same destination, but possibly in a shorter period of time.

Hearthstone: 15 Best Saviors of Uldum Cards for Standard Thu, 01 Aug 2019 11:44:20 -0400 Sergey_3847




Siamat is arguably the best neutral legendary in the new set. It has already been compared to The Lich King and Zilliax.


First of all, it's super flexible and allows players to choose what effects they want Siamat to acquire. Secondly, all four effects are viable in the current meta, which will make Siamat a top-tier card in top-tier decks.


It's hard to tell which archetypes would fit Siamat best, but the card is so good that it is possible it will be played in almost every deck in the format.




Which cards will you craft in the Saviors of Uldum meta? Share your thoughts below in the comments section, and be sure to come back soon for more Hearthstone guides at GameSkinny.


Dark Pharaoh Tekahn


This is probably the most divisive legendary in Saviors of Uldum. Some players think it's going to be nuts, while others say it's completely useless due to a lack of lackeys (no pun intended) in Warlock class right now.


But there are two great arguments in favor of this card. The first one is that Blizzard will add more lackeys to the game in the future expansions, thus automatically increasing this card's value.


The second is the combo, which can be achieved with Glinda Crowskin. It gives all of your minions Echo, thus you can play as many copies of your 4/4 lackeys as you want.


Zephrys the Great


Zephrys is the card that Blizzard is most proud of in Saviors of Uldum. It is actually a brand-new card type that uses AI not for RNG but to actually help players win games.


If you find yourself in a dire situation, you can cast Zephrys and it will offer you three cards to choose from, which fit your situation the best. For example, imagine your opponent has a full board of minions, then Zephrys will offer you three spells that can clear the board.


This is definitely a very interesting design, and it should see a lot of play.


Sir Finley of the Sands


Hero powers are super valuable, but upgraded hero powers are game-winning.


Think of powers like Tank Up!, which gives you four armor every turn, Ballista Shot, which deals three damage to enemy hero, or Soul Trap, which draws you a card each turn.


Each of these effects give you a huge advantage in various situations. That's the beauty of Sir Finley: it gives you a choice, which is so important.


Corrupt the Waters


Imagine that Shudderwock battlecries trigger twice. Imagine that all of your battlecries trigger twice. Sounds good, right? Well, that's the reward you get for completing a new Shaman quest.


Of course, you must pay two mana each turn to activate this ability, since it works like a hero power. However, if you have the coin, or you managed to reduce the cost of Shudderwock with the help of Far Sight, then it just becomes twice as powerful.



Bazaar Burglary


This Rogue quest is not as powerful as the Caverns Below from Journey to Un'goro, but it's still much stronger than many other quests in Saviors of Uldum expansion.


The reward is an infinite 3/2 weapon that has a massive upside: it makes your hero immune when attacking.


Remember how many times you have died because of weapon damage? Now, that vexing problem is eliminated, putting, for example, Midrange Rogue decks in a much better spot this meta.



Activate the Obelisk


A new Priest quest is reminiscent of the Shadow Priest effect, but instead of dealing three damage, this quest gives you a hero power that will not only heal your minions but also give them +3/+3.


Completing this quest is really easy, since it also counts minions on the board. With cards like Divine Hymn and Circle of Healing, it won't be difficult to get the Obelisk's Eye, which is the new hero power.



Wild Bloodstinger


Let's begin by saying that this Beast has incredibly high stats for such low cost. It also has one of the strongest effects for breaking enemy combos in the Dirty Rat effect.


Since there are several very strong combo decks in Standard right now, Wild Bloodstinger is highly valuable. You can break the gameplan of decks that run Mecha'thun, Antonidas, Shudderwock, for example.


On top of that, it will attack those cards and make it easier for you to finish them off. So definitely craft this one if you're aiming at playing Hunter this season.


Anubisath Defender


This is a functional reprint of the Arcane Tyrant card from Kobolds & Catacombs, but it has Taunt this time.


Druid has some really good big spells in Standard, such as Nourish and Starfall, that it won't be hard to cast Anubisath Defender for zero mana.


There are also two completely new spells, such as Hidden Oasis and Overflow, and both can be successfully played in the new Quest Druid decks.


So it looks like Druid is combing to dominate Hearthstone once again this season.


Plague of Murlocs


Imagine if Hex was an AoE ...


Well, it looks like Blizzard gave us exactly that in Plague of Murlocs. And guess what, it's cheaper than Hex. It's also much better than Devolve, and that card single-handedly broke many games.


Big Mage players can no longer rely on Conjurer's Calling to summon giant minions each turn; Plague of Murlocs will transform all those expensive cards into tiny little creatures, which are basically useless to Mage.


Crystal Merchant


This is one of the best epic Saviors of Uldum cards.


This card can easily turn into a very productive draw engine in the new Quest Druid deck. All you need for it to work is to keep one mana unspent every turn, which is basically what you pay to draw that one card.


Think of it as Acolyte of Pain where you pay one life for a card. However, Acolyte has only three life, while you can exploit Crystal Merchant's ability as long as the game goes on.


Hyena Alpha


These days, it's really easy for any Hunter player to cast secrets, which means that Hyena Alpha will be broken in this meta.


Unlike Savanna Highmane, that summons two 2/2 Hyenas after it dies, Hyena Alpha summons them immediately as it comes into play, which is far more effective.


It also plays like Emerald Spellstone from Kobolds & Catacombs, which was a staple card for all secret-based Hunter decks. But Hyena Alpha is cheaper and much better in every way.


Questing Explorer


This is an auto-include card in any quest deck. If you have it on turn two, right after you cast your quest, then this is probably the best card you can have in the current meta.


It's a two-mana card with much better stats than Loot Hoarder, which could be seen in almost any Midrange and Control deck.


It is also very similar to Arcanologist from Journey to Un'Goro, and that card was super useful in every single game.


Oasis Surger


Druid players will have a blast playing this card alongside a new quest card that allows you to cast "Choose One" cards with both effects active at the same time.


This means that Oasis Surger will summon two 5/5 minions with Rush for five mana, and that is incredibly strong.


Of course, it doesn't work that well without the quest, so it will be less than exciting in other archetypes — unless you are an avid Arena player.


EVIL Recruiter


Currently, there are two lackey generators in Warlock: EVIL Genius and EVIL Cable Rat. This means that you can produce six lackeys a game. That is more than enough to play EVIL Recruiter, which basically summons a 3/3 and a 5/5 for only three mana.


This could potentially come as early as turn three, which would be an incredibly aggressive and powerful move. Not that many decks are capable of dealing with a 5/5 minion so early.


So it looks like lackey-based Zoolock will thrive in this meta.


The league of explorers are back in the newest Hearthstone expansion, Saviors of Uldum!


Reno, Elise, Finley, and Brann return in new forms and with new abilities. They come alongside quests that give players new hero powers, too.


As usual, players will get quest cards on turn one, with the option to mulligan them away.


Also, in order to activate the effects of the league of explorers, players will have to construct Highlander decks, meaning that they can't have more than one copy of a card in their decks.


This opens up a lot of new opportunities for deck-building. So keep reading this guide to learn what cards will dominate the new meta of Saviors of Uldum.