It’s a Tough Battle for PC and Mobile Games

PC games versus mobile games─which is better and who will emerge victorious from the brutal battle?

October 24, 2019


Infographic created by Leena Shin

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A rising trend in video games is the transformation of personal computer (PC) games into mobile games. This includes popular video games such as Fortnite, Call of Duty, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) and Mario Kart (while it is not a PC game, console games are included in this category). These games have all been developed into downloadable apps on smartphones. 


While both platforms are widely used, there has been a recent debate over which is better. So it all comes down to this: PC versus mobile games, which one is better?


First, what does “better” actually mean? It’s simple, really. “Better” simply means having more perks and fewer disadvantages than the other. “Better” means more efficient, more fun, more do-able and more beneficial.


So which one is better? Sure, I’m no professional or expert gamer. I’d say I’m more of a casual player. I do have experience in playing video games. Honestly, I quite enjoy playing video games and often do play both PC and mobile games. 


I’ll be straight to the point: PC games beat mobile games by a mile. 


Why though? 


Well, first, PC games are much, much easier to control. You’re using a keyboard to control and move your character, not to mention that you have access to a mouse. Without a mouse, it’s incredibly difficult to aim or move around more accurately, especially if you’re playing a shooting game like PUBG or Fortnite. 


Having a mouse alone is an absolute win over mobile games. Like I said, a mouse allows you to aim more accurately and be in better control of your movements. I lost count of how many times I freaked out while trying to shoot other players in PUBG on my phone but failing. But when I play Team Fortress 2 (TF2) on a computer, it’s much easier to steadily aim your weapon while using a mouse and firing accurately to hit an opponent. 


I can’t shoot down an opponent in PUBG for my life, but I can shoot down moving players from far away through a window in TF2. The mouse made a huge, huge difference. 


Another perk of playing PC games is that computer screens are much larger than smartphones. This creates a more exhilarating and visually-enhancing gaming experience than playing on a screen that may as well be smaller than your hand. 


It’s like watching a movie on your laptop versus watching a movie on a giant screen in the theaters. PC games create more emotions, more excitement and more pleasing visuals. 


Many pro-gamers agree. “Control systems are poor. Touch controls put your fingers over the action and are often imprecise,” pro-gamer Jonathan Elder said, slamming down the control systems of mobile games. 


Elder continues with another impactful argument, stating that “many [mobile games] are Free to Play. This tends to distort games, effectively making them pay to win. That does not make a good game–challenges should be player skills, not funds.” 


It’s ridiculous how many mobile games make it obvious that they’re simply trying to get money. In order to actually progress in the game, you have to pay money to get things done faster, have a better chance of getting certain items or get missions done. The ads that bombard mobile apps are also annoying and frustrating. PC games are different. Even if they are free to play, gameplay is still incredibly enjoyable and practically identical to the experience of someone that pays for decorations on their weapons. 


Moving past money, let’s go into specific examples. A great and recent example of this gaming debate is the release of Mario Kart Tour on mobile phones. I have played both the original Mario Kart console games and also the Mario Kart Tour app. While both are definitely fun and addicting, the original Mario Kart is much more exciting and fun to play. 




The main reason is that the Mario Kart Tour app is too focused on achievements and high-level performance. While the gameplay itself is not too difficult, the emphasis isn’t placed on simply racing to get to the finish line first. 


I can see the clear difference in the thoughts racing through my head as I play both versions of the popular game. When I’m playing the original Mario Kart, I’m thinking of how I can get to the finish line first, how I can move in the fastest way possible and what kind of items I can get to piss off my friends. 


As I play, I scream in frustration and laugh as I miss the item boxes because my friend got it first in front of me. I fall off the platforms and wail as everyone gets ahead of me. I choose my favorite characters. I flip through all the different options for karts, wheels and parachutes and choose whatever looks the cutest, the coolest and the funniest. 


But when I’m playing the Mario Kart Tour mobile app, it’s different. I’m thinking of how many mini-turbo drifts I can get, how many jumps I can do and how long I can stay in the air for more gliding-time points. It’s all about points, all about specific performances. I choose characters, karts, wheels and parachutes based on point levels and ponder on how I can level them up. I have a limited inventory because you have to earn all the various items. It’s so level-based and achievement-based that it’s not fun anymore. 


That’s the problem with mobile games. It’s all about achievements. It’s not about the fun or playing with friends. People ask what level you are and what inventory items you have. You have to spend so much time in gaining more loot and levels. 


Some may argue that many PC games are also very achievement-based and very competitive. And while that is true, it’s also not true. PC games have many options for competitive and casual players. There are competition-based games and casual-based games. There are various game modes and different pathways for everyone to play. 


While it is true that mobile gaming can be more efficient in playing games with your friends, it won’t last forever. Mobile games die very quickly. A mobile game may be popular for a couple of weeks or months. But it’ll die eventually. No one really raves about Fortnite anymore. I know a lot of friends who played PUBG and Clash of Clans with each other obsessively, and I played a lot with them too. They’d gather and yell, “squad up!” But those days are over. People lost interest. 


But PC games persist. For years, PC games such as League of Legends, Call of Duty and Team Fortress 2 continue to possess a large and passionate gaming audience. 


In the end, the argument is clear. PC games have won the battle. 


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