Local gaming leader Ekasi Esports says mobile gaming, online learning and remote working are set for continued stellar growth as South Africa looks to March 2022 as its herd immunity target.

“Combine the ongoing virus threat; the fact that a third of our population is between 18-34 years of age; plummeting mobile data rates that mean South Africa is now cheaper than the US, Canada and New Zealand; and a smartphone penetration rate that reached 91,2% in 2019; and we can see why gaming here is on the up and up,” says Perfect Zikhali, creative director for Ekasi Esports.

According to ironSource, a game developer platform, there are 2,51-billion gamers worldwide and in South Africa, Statista predicts that the video game market is expected to grow from R3,5-billion currently to R5,44-billion in 2023.

While local figures relating to the growth of mobile gaming, in particular, are hard to come by anecdotal evidence suggests this gaming genre is experiencing unprecedented growth driven by the relatively low cost of participating in mobile gaming and esports which do not depend on expensive gaming PCs or consoles.

“An entry-level smartphone will generally provide an entry-level mobile gaming experience,” Zikhali says.

However, for those of us yet to become the star of our own show, Zikhali provides some hints and tips aimed at helping the budget-conscious mobile user experience the best gaming their particular smartphone can deliver:

* If your phone doesn’t have a built-in gaming mode to block distractions like phone calls, activate ‘do not disturb’ settings on over-the-top apps like whatsapp and social media to limit interference.

* Try to play games on a 100% battery as your phone will reallocate memory resources to what the handset perceives as critical functions when the battery starts being depleted – and gaming won’t be one of them.

* Try play in a cool environment. This is because your if phone gets too hot, the device will automatically start throttling the CPU in order to cool and protect the internal components.

* Sound is as essential to an awesome gaming experience as graphics are. Your budget smartphone may not possess the best onboard speakers so consider using inexpensive wireless headphones to ramp up your mobile gaming experience.

* Even high-end smartphones suffer from performance degradation when multiple apps are running together in the background. Gaming requires a lot of RAM and if your phone has less available, you should clear the background apps before running games.