Whether you’re into hiking, gaming, photography, or drone piloting — getting started and making the right equipment decisions can be a serious investment. But sometimes it’s hard to know where to get started, especially if you’re new to the hobby. That’s were AA Essentials comes in. This new Android Authority series features different experts from our team who discuss their recommendations for the gear you need to optimize your experience.
Phones these days are more powerful than ever, and nowhere is that power felt more acutely than gaming. Whether you have aspirations of becoming a professional PUBG Mobile player or just want to take your mobile gaming hobby to the next level, there are all kinds of accessories that allow you to elevate the experience.
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For those unfamiliar with the state of mobile gaming, great mobile games like COD Mobile, PUBG Mobile, and even Minecraft have support for controllers that make it way more fun and accurate to play on the go. Apart from controllers, there are mobile gaming accessories like headphones, power banks, phone clips, and more that will make you forget about the days of needing to sit down at a desk to game.
Without further ado, here are the mobile gaming accessories the Android Authority recommends.
The first and most obvious essential item for any mobile gamer is a powerful smartphone. So what should you look for? Generally you want the latest and greatest processor paired with a healthy amount of RAM and enough storage space for games with large file sizes. Other nice-to-haves are big, high refresh rate screens and a large battery with quick charging capabilities.
While most current flagship phones offer more than enough power to blast through games, certain specialized gaming phones have features designed with gamers in mind. These include 90 or 120Hz screens, active cooling, faster memory, huge batteries, and hardware additions like shoulder buttons. Typically this comes with other compromises (usually weak camera performance), but there are gaming models for all price ranges.
Read also: The best phones for gaming
Of course, you don’t need a gaming phone to get top-notch performance and, if you’re willing to pay for it, you can get a phone without any compromises. Here are our top picks, in order of price: the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus, Asus ROG Phone 2, LG G8X ThinQ, and Nubia Red Magic 3S.
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus The all-around choice
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus truly has it all: great specs, a huge screen, and a great triple camera setup. Plus, the included S-Pen stylus is perfect for mobile games that require precision tapping or swiping.
Asus ROG Phone 2 Every gamer’s dream phone
The Asus ROG Phone 2 is the king of dedicated gaming phones due to top-of-the-line specs, shoulder buttons, and a large 120Hz screen. It also has a robust ecosystem of mobile gaming accessories, which is unmatched by any other smartphones.
LG G8X ThinQ Two screens for the price of one
While it isn’t exactly a gaming phone, the LG G8X ThinQ has one feature that makes it perfect for mobile gaming: two screens. Like a Nintendo DS, it folds open to reveal two screens, and has a variety of features to support retro gaming and more.
Nubia Red Magic 3S Gaming on a budget
The Nubia Red Magic 3S proves that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to get a great gaming phone. It has top-shelf specs, plus capacitive shoulder buttons that are perfect for FPS titles like COD Mobile and Fortnite.
Once you’ve got a capable device, it’s time to look at mobile gamepads. There are a plethora of options, including standard bluetooth controllers like the Xbox One controller and mobile-specific designs like the Razer Junglecat.
It’s worth noting that some accessories are specific to certain phones. The best example of this is the Asus ROG Phone 2, which has a ton of accessories that enhance the mobile gaming experience. These include Nintendo Switch-style gamepads, a Nintendo DS-style second screen, active cooling, and more.
Razer Raiju Mobile The best that money can buy
If money is no object, the Razer Raiju Mobile is the ultimate mobile gaming controller. It’s a truly premium offering that’s designed specifically for use with smartphones. Other brands have copied this design, but none can match up in terms of quality.
SteelSeries Stratus Duo For at home and on the go
The SteelSeries Stratus Duo doesn’t have all the same bells and whistles as the Razer Raiju, but it is a capable controller that you can also use with your PC or Mac. Be sure to grab the smartphone clip, which fits phones up to 6.5-inches.
Razer Junglecat The Switch-like controller for everyone
If you don’t want to carry a full controller around, the smaller Razer Junglecat might be a better fit. It looks and works like Nintendo Switch controllers, and clips onto the sides of your phone.
8BITDO SN30 The retro gamer’s choice
As far as retro games go, there is no better gamepad than the classic SNES controller. The 8BITDO SN30 is exactly that, but with bluetooth. Every retro gamer needs this controller in their life, trust me.
Mobile gaming headphones
The next major mobile gaming accessory you should pick up is a decent set of headphones. With the headphone jack quickly going the way of the dodo, you may be better off investing in bluetooth headphones or USB-C headphones. We’ll stick to bluetooth and wireless options here (although most have 3.5mm connectors as well), as USB-C headphones still don’t deliver adequate performance.
We’ve also included both headsets (with a focus on the microphone) and standard headphones. If you’re playing multiplayer games like PUBG Mobile or Call of Duty Mobile, you’ll want a way to communicate with your teammates. If you’re more of a single-player gamer, picking up a great set of headphones will really help build immersion — even on a loud bus or train.
Audeze Mobius The only headphones you’ll ever need
Without question, the best gaming headset on the market is the Audeze Mobius with incredibly immersive 3D audio. On top of stellar sound from planar drivers, they ditch the typical LED gamer aesthetic for something you won’t feel embarrassed to wear on the street.
SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless Lossless, low-latency audio
If you’re looking for a headset to use with your phone, Nintendo Switch, and other consoles, the SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless is a great choice that won’t break the bank. It features a USB-C dongle for lossless, low-latency audio on virtually any device.
Sony WH-1000XM3 The ANC champions
For gaming in noisy places, investing in headphones with active noise cancelling is worth it. Sony’s WH-1000XM3 headphones are the best on the market, and are perfect for gaming, music, podcasts, or literally anything else you can throw at them.
Anker Soundcore Vortex Excellent sound on a budget
For the more budget conscious, the Anker Soundcore Vortex present an excellent value. They’re comfortable and offer great battery life, sound, and connectivity. At roughly $50, that’s a lot of bang for your buck.
Gaming is one of the most taxing tasks you can do on your smartphone, and running out of juice can cut your gaming sessions short if you don’t have a plug nearby. Considering mobile gaming is, well, mobile, the odds of not having a charger plugged in while gaming is pretty high.
Read also: The best 10,000mAh power banks you can buy
This is why you should always carry around a power bank to gain a quick boost in battery life. These come in all shapes and sizes (including huge ones for laptops), but here are a few that won’t take up too much space in your bag (or take a big chunk out of your wallet).
ZMI PowerPack 10K USB-C An attractive, multipurpose power bank
This 10,000mAh power bank is has enough juice for several charges while you’re out and about. It also features a luxurious finish, and doubles as a USB hub if you connect it to your computer.
Samsung Wireless Charger Keep the game going, wirelessly
This charger is a bit pricey for its 10,000mAh capacity, but it makes up for it with wireless charging capabilities. This means that you can charge your phone without unplugging your USB-C headset, controller, or other wired accessory.
Crave PowerPack 50,000mAh Mobile charges for days
Our final pick is an absolute beast, with enough juice to power your phone, laptop, and other electronics for days. Its 50,000mAh battery is great for camping or long bouts away from electricity, but be warned that it’s large and heavy.
Other mobile gaming accessories
There are all kinds of other accessories that can be useful when gaming on mobile devices. One obvious example is a battery pack case, which can extend the life of your battery similar to a power bank. Which model you need depends on your phone. but some brands are better than others.
Apart from that, here are a few extra products that can enhance your mobile gaming experience.
Google Stadia Premiere Edition A sneak peek of the future
It’s still in early stages, but Google’s cloud gaming platform allows you to stream PC and console quality games to your smartphone. For now it only works on wifi with Pixel phones, but expect expanded support and additional features in the coming months.
Google Chromecast Ultra Mobile gaming on a big screen
If you find yourself gaming on your phone in front of a large TV, why not play directly on that TV with a Chromecast? Paired with a bluetooth controller, it’s a fantastic way to play everything from retro games to mobile classics.
Emish mobile game triggers Cheap and cheerful game triggers
If you don’t want to carry a full bluetooth controller in your bag but still want to gain an upper hand in PUBG or CoD Mobile, these simple game triggers will do the trick. They clip onto the top of your phone so you can shoot and move without resorting to awkward claw grip techniques.