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Apple Arcade is finally here. With the launch of iOS 13, Apple brought its video game subscription to the masses.
The mobile gaming landscape is constantly evolving. In the beginning, there was a bunch of free games. Then developers starting charging a dollar. Then free-to-play games with in-app purchases became the norm.
And now Apple is changing the game again, offering more than a hundred games for a modest monthly subscription. There are no in-app purchases, no purchase price tags, no ads, no always-on DRM, or any of the other issues that have plagued most of the mobile game space.
1. How Much Does Apple Arcade Cost?
Apple is charging $4.99/mo for access to Apple Arcade. However, the company isn’t expecting gamers to simply shell out the money without trying the service. You can start with a 30-day free trial. There’s no limit to the number of games you can download and play during that free trial.
For that cost, Apple is allowing up to six players to share one subscription, which adds even more to the value. Also, all the games are downloadable, which means you don’t need a network connection to play them.
2. What Kind of Games Are on Apple Arcade?
A service like Apple Arcade lives and dies based on the game lineup, and the company has come strong out of the gate with a lineup that features a little something for everyone. In total, Apple is kicking things off with over 100 games, and while most of them are good, they’re not all winners.
There are platformers, puzzle games, RPGs, adventure games, racing games, sports games, and just about every other genre you can think of. Most of them fall under what most players would consider “indie” games, but there are some releases from companies like Capcom, SEGA, and Konami available as well.
While I haven’t played every game on the service, I’ve played about half of them. I can say with utter certainty that Apple Arcade is a tremendous value based on the games offered.
3. Which Devices Can Play Apple Arcade Games?
Currently, Apple Arcade is only available for iPhone, though it’s coming to other Apple platforms in the very near future. When all is said and done, Apple Arcade will also be available for Mac, iPad, iPod touch, and Apple TV.
And more interestingly, you’ll be able to play on one device, pause, and continue progress on another device. Apple Arcade game data is saved to your account and accessible across all devices.
4. The Future of Apple Arcade
Speaking of future devices, Apple Arcade will be available for iPad on September 30, when iPad OS launches. Also on September 30, Apple will launch its subscription gaming service on Apple TV, making it easy for gamers to play on the big screen. Mac gamers need a little patience, as they won’t get to take advantage of the service until sometime in October when macOS Catalina launches.
Apple also made it clear that the 100+ games are just the beginning as new games will roll out monthly. However, the company wasn’t too clear about how many games would be included with each new rollout. We’ll have to wait and see, but if the games are as good as the ones offered in the initial rollout, we should be excited about the future.
5. Will Apple Arcade Support Controllers?
A huge part of Apple Arcade is support for Bluetooth controllers—that includes Xbox One and PlayStation 4 controllers. Simply pair them up and play the games. Not all games are support controller, but the games that make sense with controller tend to support it.
If you’re not sure whether a game supports a controller, iMore prepared a handy list of all the games that work with one so far.
6. Apple Arcade Won’t Breach Your Privacy
With how many games you’re getting for the price, you’d think Apple would try to make some more money off its user’s information. The company says that it won’t take data about you and can’t track information about how you play without your consent. Just make sure you don’t provide your consent if you don’t want Apple to see what you’re up to!
Should You Sign Up to Apple Arcade?
If you even dabble in the world of mobile games, you should absolutely sign for Apple Arcade. And I’m not just talking about the free trial. The quantity (and quality) of games offered as part of Apple Arcade make it an absolute no-brainer.
Apple Arcade is one of the best media subscription services out there in terms of sheer value. You know some of the greats like Netflix, Hulu, and Xbox Gamepass. It’s time to add Apple Arcade to that list because it really does offer a level of value that has never existed in the world of mobile games.