A gamer competes in PUBG Mobile at Red Bull M.E.O.
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Gaming

10 most popular mobile gaming titles in India

Ketan ‘K18’ Patel tells us what he thinks about the five most popular competitive titles and the five most popular casual games on mobile phones.
Written by Soham Rane
6 min readPublished on
Mobile gaming hasn’t yet replaced the hold that consoles and PC have on hardcore gamers. But the evolving pace of innovation and initiative in mobile gaming has helped it grab a huge share of gamers in India.
Internationally, publishers like Activision, Blizzard and EA are already switching gears to ensure they cater to the mobile market. In India, mobile gamers patiently wait for the likes of Diablo and Apex Legends to release on the mobile. However, casual and competitive gamers across the country already have personal favourites that they just can’t put down.
Here’s a look at the top five competitive titles and the top five casual mobile gaming titles in India, with caster and streamer Ketan ‘K18’ Patel sharing thoughts on what makes each game worth playing.
01

Competitive Games

5. Clash of Clans

Clash of Clans
Clash of Clans
If you own a good Android or iOS phone and have any interest in mobile gaming, then there is a very good chance that between 2013 and now, you’ve tried Clash of Clans at some point. Many people might not think of this title as a conventional esport (a competitive video game), but it is.
“What makes Clash of Clans an interesting esport is how you have massive 50v50 wars between two clans,” says K18.
There have been a few Clash of Clans tournaments in India over the years. The game has a global competitive circuit, and India even has a qualifier for the Clash of Clans World Championship featuring a massive prize pool of 1 million US dollars.

4. Clash Royale

A gamer competes in Clash Royale during Red Bull M.E.O.
Clash Royale
Another game from Supercell, Clash Royale made its mark as a better competitive game than Clash of Clans, which was its predecessor. This “freemium” real-time strategy also has tower defense gameplay, making for a light and satisfying competitive mobile game.
“I like Clash Royale as a casual as well as competitive game because of how quick yet engaging each game is. Not to forget the many patterns and techniques each deck creates that adds to the [excitement in the] game,” adds K18.
Indian players like Karan ‘Jin Kazama’ Manganani and Mukul ‘8bit Mukul’ Anchal have gone on to make their mark in this game internationally.

3. Call of Duty: Mobile

Call of Duty: Mobile
Call of Duty: Mobile
The top competitive mobile games in India are definitely the Battle Royale titles. While Call of Duty: Mobile never hit the heights of similar titles, it did carve out a niche for itself in the Indian mobile gaming community.
“I think what makes CODM stand out is its variety of multiplayer options that add a lot of spice to competitions,” says K18.
Top Indian esports organisations like GodLike Esports and SynerGE have CODM squads in their ranks. The announcement of Call of Duty Mobile: World Championship 2021 featuring a qualifier in India was hailed as a big milestone for Indian mobile gaming.

2. Free Fire

Free Fire
Free Fire
Garena Free Fire is immensely popular with one of India’s biggest followings for a single title.
“PUBG Mobile needs pretty expensive phones to compete at top-tier levels but Free Fire’s massive plus point is how low-end devices support the game exceedingly well too,” says K18.
The game’s esport scene picked up massively in the second half of 2020, and it captured a huge amount of online viewership as well. A number of the most popular YouTube channels in the country are from Free Fire enthusiasts or pros. Free Fire may not have the same reach that PUBG Mobile had at its prime, but it still makes for a great game and an esport on its own.

1. PUBG Mobile

A gamer competes in PUBG Mobile at Red Bull M.E.O.
PUBG Mobile
The mobile game that quickly became a household name throughout the country. PUBG Mobile truly brought the entire Indian esports scene into its golden years. While the country’s competitive circuit struggled to ever register close to 600-700 concurrent viewers for a tournament, PUBG Mobile’s tournaments would effortlessly rake in tens of thousands of viewers. Their top tournaments during its prime years had nearly 80,000 viewers watching it live.
“I think PUBG Mobile’s size and detail for a battle royale on a mobile really made it stand out in India,” says K18.
The game faced an exile from India in 2020 but the core elements of the game were retained in a replacement title under the name ‘Battlegrounds Mobile India’.
02

Casual Games

5. Candy Crush Soda Saga

Candy Crush: Soda Saga
Candy Crush: Soda Saga
Quite a few casual games helped establish mobile gaming in India, and Candy Crush Saga is among the most iconic one of those. The ease and convenience of the game meant that anyone could play while riding in public transport or while sipping a coffee. Half a decade ago, Candy Crush Saga broke several records and helped define mobile gaming as one of the go-to forms of modern entertainment in India.

4. Subway Surfers

Subway Surfers was among the early generations of mobile games that helped change the way people thought about gaming. It has been almost a decade since the game was released and developers Kiloo and SYBO Games continue to keep it relevant by constantly rolling out updates to the game. Subway Surfers popularized the endless runner genre alongside games like Temple Run.

3. World Cricket Championship

Cricket is a cultural phenomenon in India and World Cricket Championship helped bring that fun to mobiles as well. While there have been many iterations of cricket in a mobile video game, none took off like World Cricket Championship. It quickly built a reputation as a more refined take on the sport for the mobile. “I loved casting games of World Cricket Championship as many players started tuning in for some light-hearted fun, not to forget that I got to play my childhood sport as a video game,” says K18.

2. Genshin Impact

Genshin Impact
Genshin Impact
Genshin Impact is a casual mobile game that goes further than being just a way to kill time; it can actually be a serious hobby. This game was developers MiHoYo’s way of proving that a massive role-playing game can be successful on a mobile too. The game is already a worldwide craze with numerous fans across multiple platforms, and the mobile version doesn’t fall back in terms of entertainment either.

1. Ludo King

The world of casual mobile gaming sees titles come and go with popularity spikes. But Ludo King has taken the fancy of Indian casual gamers like no other title before it. This game brings together one of India’s most-loved board games with an ease and comfort of being digital that makes it super convenient for Indian households. In just a few years, it has become India’s biggest casual mobile gaming title, and might not be overtaken anytime soon.