It seems very unlikely that you wouldn’t have encountered a gamer or have at least heard about the rampant and fairly sudden popularity of gaming across India.

Predictably so for many industry experts, as soon as smartphones became accessible for the greater public, the entertainment medium of mobile gaming soared. Of course, there were already smaller pockets of computer and console gamers, but the boom witnessed with the rise of smartphones is the one that’s made gaming mainstream.

Now, India is seen as a superpower among gaming communities, simultaneously boasting one of the largest gaming audiences globally and the most potential to grow the gaming audience. Already, the influence of India’s smartphone gamers is being felt by the industry, as shown by the PUBG Mobile saga.

Some 365 million people in India are already classed as online gamers, marking around half of the number of smartphone users. As such, perhaps not even half of the nation have found their way to the most accessible gaming device yet.

Newcomers may find themselves suddenly overwhelmed by the sheer volume of gaming options available now, so this page is dedicated to navigating the existing Indian gaming scene so that players know where to look and what to get to ensure a good gaming experience.

Getting your hands on the best gaming device

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The best smartphones for gaming vary tremendously from country to country. In places like the United States, many would argue Apple’s latest iPhone as being the best mobile gaming device. In India, the mobile market is very different, with companies that have the vision to tweak business models to achieve maximum appeal succeeding here.

Headlining the devices available in 2021 is the Asus ROG Phone III. Just about every aspect of the smartphone’s build is geared towards powering gaming sessions. You’ve got the mighty Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ SoC, a high-capacity battery of 6000mAh, a 6.69-inch 144Hz AMOLED screen, and an incredibly responsive 270Hz rate of touch sampling.

For a smartphone that also doubles as a strong work device, look to the OnePlus 8T. It boasts a 4500mAh battery, 8GB of RAM, and a decent 6.55-inch screen. It also makes use of that same Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ processor found in the gamers’ choice smartphone, the Asus ROG Phone III. What will also help the OnePlus 8T win favour with gamers is that it’s quite a thick device, granting a bit of extra grip.

Knowing where to look for the best experience

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The mobile gaming space is gigantic. Even before India became a major audience, there were as many as millions of dedicated game apps and mobile-compatible game websites. Luckily, several websites have established themselves by offering useful information and reviews for prospect gamers who want to know what they’re getting into before they commit their time and possibly money.

Being hosted primarily by mobile-optimised websites, online casino gaming has also found a vast audience in India. As a pay-to-play game sector, though, some people are cautious of getting involved. So, websites reviewing credible and trusted casinos have established themselves as a portal for new casino players. Not only does a site like this offer comprehensive and reliable reviews, but it also links to welcome bonuses. Among these are ways to gain access to low-cost and free casino gaming, such as through the wager-free bonuses on offer.

For mobile gaming apps, finding your way to a classy mobile game can be difficult, particularly because there aren’t too many resources online that look across the whole space. Furthermore, game fandom can overrule public review systems, with so-called review-bombing already having featured in Indian gaming – following the launch of FAU-G to try to replace PUBG. So, popularity often ends up being one of the best indicators, with top-grossing game app charts showing the games that people deem worthy of committing cash to.

Keeping an eye on the next step

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India’s gaming scene is vast and popular but still relatively new in the grand scheme of the industry. However, profound changes may be coming to the continent as quickly as the entertainment medium took off. A new way of accessing the biggest premium games in the world, if marketed correctly with accessible business models, cloud gaming could become the platform of the future. While struggling due to its ill-advised business model and lack of captivating content, Google’s Stadia has proven that cloud-based game streaming can work across mobile devices.

Taking away the need to buy premium hardware or even the software – should an accessible subscription model be adopted – cloud-based game streaming could deliver the much-craved triple-A titles to the subcontinent. However, while mobile connections are widespread and data is wonderfully cheap in India, 4G connection speeds are among the lowest. So, until this ticks up, it will remain a niche way to play. Still, given the rapid adoption of modern smartphone gaming, it seems inevitable that, should internet speeds be built-up, mobile-based game streaming will become the next craze.

Gaming in India is a vibrant space: you just need to know the best ways to get in and find the leading games to make the most of this exciting form of entertainment.