Top Mobile Game Genres: Complete List 
Mobile devices are being used by more and more gamers to play games. It’s practical, easy, and enjoyable. Additionally, unlike PC or console gaming, it enables gamers to play games wherever they are. For these reasons, we have witnessed mobile games set records and generate billions of dollars in revenue over the previous few years.
The following are the primary motives for playing mobile games:
- To unwind and relax;
- To pass the time;
- To become engrossed in a different character or setting;
- To feel successful for finishing a difficult task;
- To express something special about themselves;
- To establish contact with new people;
- To relate to a topic they are passionate about outside of games.
The demographics of mobile gamers have also been evolving and changing. Just a few years ago, a lot of what was true about gaming was very different. The market for mobile games is always evolving. As a result, if you’re a game creator or advertiser, you need to be well familiar with the mobile gaming market. That entails staying current with fashion and being well-versed in the mobile gaming industry. The only way to make wise decisions is through it.
To understand the massive impact of mobile gaming on the industry, here are some mind-blowing statistics:
- By 2025, it’s anticipated that player expenditure would total $138 billion;
- Global mobile players will total 3.7 billion in 2023;
- 85% of players on mobile do not consider themselves gamers;
- 90% of users’ smartphone time is spent playing games and using apps;
- Mobile gaming is used by 77% of Gen Z players, 73% of Millennials, 54% of Gen X players, and 34% of Baby Boomers;
- According to 82% of mobile players, free games with advertisements are more appealing to them than premium games without adverts;
- 95% of all user spending is on in-app purchases;
- Compared to men, women are far more likely to make an in-app purchase.
There are countless game archetypes, and new ones are always developing. There is no generally accepted grouping but we tried to classify them in categories that are usually repeated in different lists. Usually, each game is given a Subgenre based on its characteristics and defining game mechanics which is automatically assigned to a Genre, which collects games of the same archetype but different. Source: data.ai.
Our team analyzed the market of mobile gaming and here are the top of the most popular genres of the games and their subgenres:
Action games, which are common on consoles and among PC players, account for a relatively modest portion of mobile gaming. Action games aren’t always appropriate for small screens because of their dynamic components. Action games have different sub-genres as well, including platform games, MOBA games, runner games, and fighting games.
The user controls one character in multiplayer battle arenas, choosing a “hero” or “champion” from the roster and equipping them with a special set of skills and powers. This can be a representative of a magician, a warrior, a knight, or another “profession”. Due to the lack of a deep level of mechanics and strategy, the mobile version of the genre differs from the computer (DOTA 2 or League of Legends). The processing speed, display size, and input parameters of mobile devices are constrained.
Android’s MOBA gaming ecosystem is rapidly expanding. On smartphones and tablets, as well as projects themed as the Marvel and DC universes, the tiny version of League of Legends and the intense Vainglory have already been released.
By 2016, the subgenre was setting records for popularity, but Battle Royale arrived and claimed part of the spotlight. MOBAs are no longer as well-liked as they once were, especially among casual gamers and mainstream audiences. However, they continue to firmly keep their position among the most well-liked mobile game genres and won’t disappear in 2023.
The sub-genre of platform games is among the oldest and most well-liked in the history of video games. The majority of gamers have at least one platformer under their belt, usually something really well-known like the Mario series. Only in the past few years has mobile platforming reached its current level of development. The platforming experience on smartphones may now be successfully translated by developers without being horrible. Platformers are found in some of the earliest games. Heck, the vast majority of games released in the 1990s—particularly those for the NES, SNES, and Sega MegaDrive—could be classified as belonging to this genre.
Instant fun, short game titles that could be played anywhere, and incredibly basic gameplay all sprang to mind. This concept could be used to describe endless runners, a subgenre of video games that has long been associated with mobile devices. Although this kind of game has developed with the medium, its defining characteristics have mostly not changed.
Since their early days on arcade machines, fighting games have advanced significantly. They not only have a lengthy history on personal computers and gaming consoles, but they can also now be found on stylish tablets and smartphones. You may now download a number of well-known combat series, like as Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter, on your preferred mobile device. Even SNK, which is renowned for producing some of the best fighting game classics, has a sizable variety of its games available on the market.
A role-playing game is an RPG. RPG games are extremely popular on consoles and PC, but they are also becoming more popular with mobile users. This genre of games frequently includes larger titles, some of which include expansive open environments.
RPGs frequently pair with adventure genres and require the player to take on the role of the protagonist (who may or may not be customizable) in order to finish the plot. There may even be multiple stories at times, including the main one and a few side tasks. Only on mobile, consumers spend more than $8 billion on them.
Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games, or MMORPGs, are one of the oldest gaming categories. Generally speaking, it is an online role-playing game in which the player empowers the hero and acquires new abilities through combat with fictional opponents or other players. Over time, MMORPGs have developed. The term has evolved, the sub-genre has developed, and Warcraft is no longer the only example. Large, zone-based universes found in MMORPGs are reminiscent to other fantasy settings found in works like The Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones. Dragons, knights, demons, gods, and just terrifying beasts are all present.
Thousands of gamers play these mobile games every minute to defeat bosses, get loot, and complete other missions. Due to the fact that not all smartphones could run these games, MMORPGs for mobile devices were less popular than those for PC. However, the popularity of the genre is growing again thanks to the rise of smartphones. Arcane Legends, Adventure Quest, and Dungeon Hunter 5 are a few of the most well-known mobile MMORPGs.
On smartphones, some of the most popular games are survival-based. Additionally, it is one of the few products whose name includes the main mechanism. You need to survive. Typically, players build a base, develop various crafts, fortify it against outside threats, find food, and occasionally form friends. The fundamental gameplay concepts are approached in a wide variety of ways. While maintaining a distinct survivor vibe, most survival games are able to stand themselves from one another.
The incremental-style growth of an idle game is combined with classic RPG components in the idle RPG. As a result, the game has an RPG-like feel but is also very repetitive. That’s part of what makes them appealing. You sign back in, get your awards, and carry on playing further than you had before. Since there have been so many releases, several games in this genre have become increasingly popular.
This genre aims to provide a different reality while simulating actual events. For simulation players, nothing is out of the question, not even building towns or flying airplanes. With Stardew Valley, Goat Simulator, and Cook Simulator, you may practice being a farmer or a goat, respectively (with Cooking Mama). Success is bred by the engaging gameplay experience.
One of the most popular game genres for mobile devices is simulation. In 2021, it received more over 3 billion downloads globally. The Sims is one of the most well-known simulation games; it is especially well-liked on PC, but it also has a mobile application.
Sandbox games let you create your own fun rather than putting a heavy emphasis on linear gameplay mechanics and level design. Although they are sometimes compared to open-world games there is actually a slight distinction. In any event, sandbox games allow players to express their creativity while still giving them objectives to complete.
Open worlds can be present in sandbox games, but the player still has a significant amount of influence over the environment. For instance, Rollercoaster Tycoon is a sandbox game rather than an open-world game. You have a goal that you can approach in any way. You are free to construct any rides you desire, destroy any ones that already exist, alter the surroundings, or even erect rides underground. The way you accomplish the goal is irrelevant to the game.
These games have a strong emphasis on tactic. Tycoon games are about managing a certain business. Your objective is to create the best business you possibly can. Making the optimal choices requires careful consideration of a number of factors, including financial, technological, creative, social, etc. There is a long and illustrious history of tycoon games. SimCity, RollerCoaster Tycoon, and Transport Tycoon are a few of the best-known. This area also has several modern gems. The game Game Dev Tycoon has seen some success. Pocket City, a SimCity-inspired game, is also quite nice.
There are various distinctive gameplay components in farming simulators. Spending money on crops and animals is common among players. When they harvest the plants and animals, they recoup that money plus a profit. Each one varies in terms of sophistication and depth. Most mobile farming simulators lean toward the lighter, more laid-back end of the spectrum.
Sports-based games have already attempted to mimic the majority of sports. Football, basketball, baseball, cricket, and golf are timeless games that are frequently played on desktop computers and mobile devices. Due to their emphasis on strategy and discipline over actual gameplay, several of the most played games in this genre are also known as “managers,” such as football manager and cricket manager. This is because many sports games include both team management and actual gameplay.
Due to excessive monetization, sports games have unfortunately gained a bad reputation over time, which has harmed people’s perceptions of some fantastic titles. Sports games are not just viewed as games for kids by some, but have also received a bad rap overall as a result of big companies in the industry using the genre like an easy “set it and forget it” platform for housing microtransactions.
Strategy games depend on player choice to determine the result. Clash of Clans and Clash Royale are two of the most played strategy games. The objective is to succeed (whether that means defeating your opponent or finishing off riddles) by using your skills. Strategy games are a fairly broad gaming genre because they can employ a wide range of mechanics.
Since such games are time-consuming and need a lot of effort to establish a character, a kingdom, or whatever the game is about, a player must have patience to win in a strategy. Different options and modes, such as a single and multiplayer option, are provided to players by strategies. Strategy games can be an excellent option to work on strategic, planning, and team playing skills.
One of the first sub-genres of games to really capitalize on mobile phones was tower defense. Playing on screens is made simple by the touch controls, and updates have made it possible to add a level of depth that was previously unavailable in many mobile games. In other words, playing them on a phone is equally as enjoyable as playing them on a computer. Although the sub-genre has somewhat plateaued in recent years, tower defense games continue to rank among the greatest and most enjoyable strategy games available for mobile devices.
The popularity of auto chess is growing significantly. Games like Teamfight Tactics, Dota Auto Chess, and others gained significant success on the PC. These video games’ concepts are quite straightforward. Each round, you add characters to the board, and those characters engage the enemy figures in combat. Without any further assistance, the characters fight their battles on their own. They refer to it as auto chess or auto battling for this reason. If you triumph, the opponent suffers damage; if you lose, you take harm.
You will have an advantage in combat thanks to the synergistic powers of the different characters. This fundamental mechanic is different in every game, yet they all work the same way.
Simple control, gameplay, and interaction are all that are needed for arcade games. The player must achieve the maximum score possible and restart when he makes a mistake.This genre is very addictive and frequently operates on an infinite loop. Players strive for a better score or a new achievement in these low-risk games. In addition to using digital recreations of actual physical arcade games, several arcade games also feature retro design elements. Bonuses, power-ups, and extra lives are frequently included in arcade games to give the player an advantage.
Tap games are fun in the same way as fidget spinners. You grant yourself permission to repeat a motion until you become tired of doing it. The games are entertaining on their own, but to give them greater depth, they are frequently combined with other genres, as incremental.
Mobile first-person shooter (FPS) games frequently put the player experience first. In essence, it comes down to how enjoyable running and shooting are in each game. It’s not good enough to have clumsy gameplay, subpar performance, and difficult controls. They typically have complex graphics, a high need for Internet use, and are just generally resource-intensive games. FPS games have a strong emphasis on missions, fast thinking, and a competitive spirit. You are the main character in first-person shooter games.
The concepts and rules of mobile royal battles are the same as those of PC royal battles. The learning curve has gotten longer and only the controls have changed. The core concept of the Battle Royale genre is that players employ resources like weapons, arms, and ammo to engage in combat with 99.9% of other players on a sizable battlefield. The player must gather the resources, which are dispersed in several locations, in order to fight the foes. Staying alive is the primary objective of the mobile battle royal game.
Tencent’s invention PUBG mobile, which has 400 million players as of the end of 2019, smashed all previous records with an average of 50 million players every day. The game appears to be simple at first look. However, when compared to more classic first-person shooter games like Battlefield or Call of Duty, the genre is obviously distinguished by the enormous maps and the numerous weapon and armor choices. A vast playground with countless tactical options is available to the gamer. Fortnite is a well-liked battle royale mobile game. The ability to build defense pieces directly on the battlefield allowed the game’s makers to pique players’ interest in addition to the game’s aesthetic design and crystal-clear graphics.
Augmented reality gaming is still a relatively new idea. Ingress and Pokemon Go were the first genuinely popular augmented reality games on mobile. Games that incorporate augmented reality (AR) link the physical and digital worlds. Real-world aspects are included into games using the camera and GPS. Some worlds are combined better than others. The majority of augmented reality games are still time-wasting, proof-of-concept titles. However, it appears that Google’s ARCore and public interest are moving things forward. In fact, there were a number of significant AR releases in 2018, and this list really came into its own after that. Additionally, several games had augmented reality (AR) components, which we also thought was very cool.
Hardcore gamers sometimes prefer to play more games that allow them to concentrate while playing, and rhythm games are still widely played on mobile devices. The good news is that most of these games have a mobile game version; however, some gamers will have a nostalgic feel to it and continue playing. Some gamers are looking for a portable experience of playing these games. Back in the day, some gamers used to play music mobile rhythm games in the arcades and even on some portable consoles. The main focus of music games is musical components. The player taps to the beat of the music (typically well-known modern songs) in some of the most popular mobile music games in an effort to get points and keep going as long as possible.
It is obvious that the market for mobile games will expand in 2023 and in the years after. In order to succeed in this competitive market, game developers and marketers must seize this opportunity. It’s crucial to keep track of how the demographics of mobile gamers are always shifting. It is evident that the perception of what a “gamer” is has changed.
We’ve seen the emergence of NFTs and blockchain gaming, both of which promise innovative new methods to play and make money from mobile games. Also, the discussion of the metaverse has raised the question of how it will affect gaming. In any case, it will be fascinating to watch how the market for mobile games develops over time.
The term “adventure games” may be a little misleading. They frequently urge users to solve a puzzle within a narrative — frequently with little to no action — as opposed to concentrating on swashbuckling adventure stories. Instead, the game’s narrative structure is essential to it.
Games like Seeker’s Note: Hidden Mystery and The Secret Society, created by the company MyTona, have both ranked in the top 10 iPad games in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and several other European nations.
In this genre, players gather digital playing cards and use them to destroy rivals. Typically, the player uses actual money to purchase card packs. After that, in order to compete against other players online, they must assemble a powerful deck from those packs. The physical trading card games Magic the Gathering and Pokémon have a lot in common with digital card games.
You presumably understand what we’re talking about if you watched Yu-Gi-Oh! as a child. You play against opponents in digital card games, and it’s your deck against. theirs. There are many tiers of cards, and you can either gain more expensive cards through gameplay or buy new decks with real money.
The most well-known mobile game in this genre, also referred to as TCGs or trading card games, is Hearthstone, which has approximately 100 million players worldwide across many platforms (PC, Android, and iOS).
As the name implies, mobile casino games are smaller-screen versions of the traditional casino games. These games, which range from poker to roulette to slots, bring basic gambling action to mobile devices and frequently enable users wager and win real money—a subject that has generated a lot of discussion and criticism. Look at the well-known Jackpot Party Casino, which combines a number of slot games and titles that are well-known in traditional casinos.
Going to a real casino may be more of a social event, something you’d do with your friends on the weekend, but if the casino is well-known internationally, it might also be tied to tourism. It can be challenging to understand what real money online casinos could provide you from these angles, but it’s possible that your perception of them as video games rather than social gatherings will encourage you to place the games themselves above all else.
This genre of mobile games is dedicated for younger audience. They are relatively easy and often have an educational part. These games are primarily about having fun on an adventure, with the potential for learning something along the way. The most well-liked educational games aid with school preparation and impart fundamental knowledge about the world around us, including houses, shops, hospitals, and animals. There are numerous apps that can be used to make everyday jobs into games, as well as instructional games that present facts about the human body in the most engaging and dynamic way.
As the most popular gaming category among the general public, the puzzle genre appears to have almost universal appeal. Puzzle games, on the other hand, tilt toward Millennial users, with the majority of those who play that category falling into the 25 to 34 age range, according to the survey’s findings. Above half of smartphone players favor puzzle games over other mobile gaming genres, making the puzzle genre, a relative of hyper casual, extremely well-liked. This category includes puzzle games like Sudoku, crosswords, Sudoku, Dominoes, and more.
Long before mobile app gaming became feasible, Tetris was a well-liked puzzle game. When N3twork published its mobile version in 2020, the game swiftly attracted more than 12 million downloads. On their smartphones, more than half of users have at least one puzzle game. Even those who do not consider themselves gamers have Tetris, Angry Birds, and several Match-3 variations installed on their cellphones. The objective of puzzles is obvious, but it is also difficult to achieve; you must use wit and logic to succeed.
Puzzle games are regarded as a sub-genre of casual games since they appeal to a wide audience, retain a dominant position, and bring in the most money from the mobile gaming market. As of July 2022, Candy Crush Saga, Fill the Fridge, and Fill Up the Fridge are the most played puzzle games worldwide.
Recently, the puzzle mechanisms of Match-3 have seen a lot of success. As a casual genre, the category encourages users to look for relaxation and pleasure while incorporating some forward-thinking and strategy.
Although they are fantastic for fun, hidden object games also train your brain to search for minute details in unexpected locations. If you don’t believe me, check it out for yourself! You can find a list of the top Android hidden object games below, all of them are highly recommended. Your cognitive skill is certain to level up in some of these games after completing numerous stages (particularly in June’s Journey). Timers, looking for a needle in a haystack, and intricate plots.
The premise of racing games is straightforward and well-known. Players race through a track while competing for the fastest time with each other and other players. These games frequently come within the category of arcade games. For instance, SBK16 offers players the option to take on the role of a racer from the Superbike World Champion squad. The majority of the racing games that are played on mobile devices are not at all realistic. Instead, they usually feature cartoon cars in a vibrant environment. Along the route, the player must avoid other drivers while also collecting coins. Additionally, they can use power-ups to increase their speed or slow down nearby adversaries.
The main goal of racing games is to put players through a course so they can compete (between themselves or against artificially intelligent opponents) and strive to get the best time. Most racing games (like Mario Karts, for instance) feature automobiles or motorcycles, but some also have more unique racing competitions. A hyper-casual game where you must complete coffee orders quickly is one of the most popular free games on the Play Store right now in the racing category.
There are still lots of interesting mobile gaming genres and sub-genres that we want to discuss with you. So, stay tuned till the release of the next article, if you want to find out continuation of this topic.