Best Companion Apps for Your Console and PC Games
Game designers and publishers are increasingly making use of game companion and second-screen apps to provide added features, remote engagement and entirely new ways to play in many big budget titles on console and gaming desktops. Whether you're looking to remotely manage your character's inventory, coordinate with your clan or guild or want new mobile challenges for your existing games, here are 10 of the best game companion apps on smartphones and tablets.
Fallout Pip-Boy (Android, iOS)
The wrist mounted portable retro computer known as the Pip-Boy is one of the most iconic elements of the Fallout series. So when series publisher Bethesda decided to start selling limited edition replicas of the device's casing, building a companion app to go with it made sense. The Pip-Boy app (Android, iOS) transforms your smartphone into a genuine piece of RobCo tech and connects to your network to interact with an active game of Fallout 4. With or without the replica case, you can view character stats, look at your world map, track quest objectives and most importantly, listen to old-timey pre-War music.
Mirror's Edge Companion
Described by EA DICE producer Amo Mostofi as, "a real-life version of the Runners' Beat," the Mirror's Edge Companion (Android, iOS) lets players not only customize their Runner profile and track their in-game achievements, but design their own Runner Tag to use in-game. More importantly, this companion app provides players with a competitive streak with lots of data such as a 3D map of Glass they can study and the ability to track in-game and user-made Time Trials and Dashes.
With the new Rise of Iron expansion on the horizon, now might be a good time to get in on Destiny, the shared world shooter from the creators of Halo. Like the Mirror's Edge Companion, the Destiny companion app (Android, iOS) gives you access to in-game lore, providing you insight into the world of Destiny while you wait for your fireteam to show up before the next Strike or Raid. The app also lets you access items and gear on your character and in your vault, allowing you to deal with some of the more managerial aspects of the game, ensuring more of your in-game time is spent on action and exploration.
This tie-in to the recently released hero-based mobile arena shooter is basically a clicker-style game in which you collect shards and buy heroes. Battleborn TAP (Android, iOS) will mainly have its hooks into any player who enjoys the simple pleasures of attractive graphics and grinding for rewards. If you own Battleborn, progression in this TAP can yield unlocks for your Battleborn SHIFT account. Also, harvesting can occur even when TAP is sent to the background of your device, so you can still make some progress during long Skype meetings.
Star Wars: Battlefront Companion (Android, iOS)
No matter how far, far away you are from a galaxy of a long time ago, the Battlefront Companion app (Android, iOS) allows you to keep on fighting. Like many other companion apps, this one lets you check game stats and progression as well as keep track of your friends and when they're online. But the biggest value add that transforms this companion from a mere indulgence is Base Command, a strategic card game that lets you earn in-game Star Cards and Blasters, ensuring you're always working for better gear even on the metro.
The Dying Light Companion (Android, iOS)
As you might have noticed, the companion apps we've spotlighted here aren't just about stats and maps, but about adding to your gaming experience. Like Battlefront Companion and Battleborn TAP, The Dying Light Companion App (Android, iOS), supplies you with a mini game that lets you grind for useful materials in the actual game. You'll send out scouts on timed missions to gather stuff. The scouts you manage can level up, but they can also die. Regardless, the haul they score can be sent to your Quartermaster in Dying Light, mitigating some of the tedium of in-game gathering.
This unofficial companion to the recently released No Man's Sky (Android, iOS) is a godsend for those struggling to remember countless resources and items and their prices. Community features include the ability to pull screenshots directly from your PlayStation and track the discoveries of others. A neat but not necessarily vital feature is a name generator, which seems kind of moot for those who have already decided to name planets after the works of Hieronymus Bosch.
EA Sports FIFA 16 Companion (Android, iOS)
Yes, this is the third companion app from EA on this list. That's because the games giant really knows how to make companion apps. The EA Sports FIFA 16 Companion (Android, iOS) gives you the ability to fiddle with your FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT) squad and manage your FUT Club items; you can also play football manager when you're not down and ready for a match. You can use the app to purchase and open packs from the store. The only thing missing is the ability to take bribes from potential host nations and sporting equipment companies.
Xbox Smartglass (Android, iOS, WP8, Windows 8)
Formerly known as Smartglass, the Xbox app (Android, iOS) is the new and improved means of controlling your Xbox experience, whether on your Windows 10 PC, your Xbox One or smartphone. You can buy games on the Xbox Marketplace to get the latest titles ready before you get home and see what your friends are up to. You can also use the app to turn your phone into a remote control, a media controller and a keyboard (for those pesky times you've got to input actual text.)
Playstation App (Android, iOS)
The Playstation Companion app (Android, iOS) lets you to take most of the console's dashboard functions with you. You can keep track of what your friends are playing and what trophies they're getting, receive notifications about ongoing parties and stream your games online. You can also access the PlayStation Store, and make purchases to push downloads into your PS4. Another neat feature is that the app can double as a second screen remote control, letting you swipe and select while your controller's short-lived batteries charge.