Top 15 Mobile Game Development Tools in 2022

February 25, 2022

single post thumb

The past decade has been a rollercoaster ride for the entire mobile gaming industry. From 2d games like Candy Crush slowly penetrating the industry to action-packed multiplayer online games like PubG becoming a worldwide favorite, the mobile gaming market has witnessed immense growth in the last 10 years.

Even in terms of revenue and user acquisition, mobile game development has only seen exponential growth. According to Statista, the mobile gaming market concluded the year 2020 with annual revenue of $77.2B. It’s also projected that this revenue is likely to encounter an annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.3% from 2021 to 2026. This projection is the reason why many media houses are now turning to mobile game development.

But, developing a mobile game is not a piece of cake. Due to fierce competition, penetrating the mobile gaming market, especially without a huge marketing budget can get pretty challenging. An ideal way to overcome this challenge is to plan in advance. If you have a well-tailored roadmap for the entire development cycle, gaining the initial exposure will be much easier.

A critical part of your mobile game development strategy should be choosing the right technology for the project. As of 2022, there are dozens of gaming engines, rendering tools, and conventional development technologies that cater to different gaming requirements. To choose the right technology, one must clearly understand their business objective, gaming genre, and the potential market after the final deployment.

To make your job easier, we are going to share a list of the top 15 game development tools you can use to build visually enticing and addictive mobile games in 2022.

Why is Mobile Gaming a Big Opportunity?

As we mentioned in the beginning, the mobile gaming market is growing exponentially. Within a time span of 10 years, we have already transitioned from 2D arcades to graphic-enriched mobile games that deliver an engaging gaming experience.

One of the factors behind this immense success is the successful penetration of smartphones in our daily lives. Today, nearly 6.64 Billion users (worldwide) own a smartphone, which is nearly 84% of the global population. And, since these smartphones are equipped with high-end hardware architecture, they can easily process high-end graphics to deliver addictive gameplay to the users.

This is probably the reason why mobile games have become an integral part of users’ daily life. To believe statistics published by Tech Jury, 21% of overall downloaded Android apps are games. For iOS, this percentage is slightly higher as 25% of all the downloaded apps on iDevices (iPhones and iPads) fall under the gaming category.

Another reason that makes mobile gaming one of the highly profitable markets is its target audience. Today, there are nearly 2.2 Billion active mobile gamers across the globe. If you add weekend warriors to this list, nearly half of the global population is likely to be playing some sort of mobile game at any given point in time.

Furthermore, with technologies like Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Metaverse gaining momentum, the mobile gaming experience is only going to get better in the coming years. It means more and more smartphone users are likely to switch to mobile games to fulfill their daily entertainment dose.

Some of the additional factors that make mobile gaming a lucrative market include:

  • 43% of all smartphone users are active gamers
  • Nearly 63% of smartphone users install a mobile game within the first week after getting a smartphone
  • Mobile gaming is not only limited to young millennials. 53% of Internet users between the age of 45 to 54 years play mobile games
  • 56% of active mobile gamers play a mobile game at least 10 times a week on their phones.

Top 15 Mobile Game Development Tools to Build Successful Games in 2022

Now that you are convinced that mobile gaming is a profitable market and ready to invest in mobile game development, let’s dive into the list of best mobile game development technologies you can use to build powerful mobile games in 2022 and beyond.

1. Unity 3D

Unity’s popularity in the mobile game development community needs no introduction. To believe Unity CEO John Riccitiello, more than 60-70% of all mobile games are built using Unity. Now, there are multiple factors that make Unity the preferred choice of many mobile game developers.

For instance, it supports cross-platform integration, which means developers can deploy the same codebase to build games for different mobile platforms including Android and iOS. Unity 3D comes with a built-in asset store where developers can find a wide variety of ready-to-use assets to speed up the entire development process.

This asset store also offers how-to tutorials, ready-to-integrate 2D/3D renders, and character models that developers can integrate into their ongoing projects.

Key Features:

  • Cross-Platform Integration
  • An extensive asset store with ready-to-use templates, renders, and tutorials
  • Growing Development Community
  • Multi-Language Support
  • Supports high-end graphics with OpenGL API
Supported PlatformsiOS, Android, Windows, Gaming Consoles, AR/VR
PriceStarting from $399 per annum
Released ByUnity Technologies
Popular Games Developed in Unity 3DHollow Knight, Baymax Dreams, Shadow Fight 3, Monument Valley

2. Unreal Engine

Competing with Unity 3D in a close fight, Unreal Engine is another popular all-in-one gaming engine that’s perfect for both 2D/3D mobile games. This remarkable tool is developed and maintained by Epic Games and is commonly seen as the best development tool for first-person shooter games like Call of Duty.

Unlike many available technologies in the community, Unreal strictly abides by the laws of physics, which means developers can devise real-life virtual environments and deliver appealing gameplay to the players. Photorealism is one of the key features of Unreal and probably a major factor behind its growing popularity.

The metaHuman creator is another USP of Unreal that allows developers to build highly realistic digital characters for their games within a few minutes. And, with free access to an extensive learning module, developers can always get instant help from expert trainers and overcome any challenges they face during the development cycle.

Key Features:

  • Render Photorealistic digital Environments for Better User Engagement
  • Ideal choice for first-person shooters and AAA-games
  • Multi-platform Compatibility
  • With access to the entire C++ source code, Unreal is one of the most flexible gaming engines
  • Unreal Engine is available for free
Supported PlatformsMac OS X, iOS, Android, AR, VR, Windows
PriceFree, Works on Royalties
Released ByEpic Games
Popular Games Developed in Unity 3DDarkness Rises, Injustice 2, Life is Strange, After Pulse

3. Mixamo

Mixamo is a 3D animation software that’s particularly tailored to construct 3D characters for games, videos, animated movies, etc. Though it’s not an exclusive gaming technology, Mixamo can still be one of the great assets for any mobile game development company. It can work as an extension to other gaming engines including Unity and Unreal Engine.

Designers can use Mixamo to render 3D characters for their mobile games in no time. With a built-in animation store, they can also choose from pre-designed 3D characters and customize them to meet the overall idea of a particular game.

In addition to developing 3D characters from scratch, designers can also upload custom characters and generate an automatically rigged human skeleton instantly. Developers can then use these 3D riggings to add real-life movements to the characters for more realistic gameplay.

Key Features:

  • Automatic character rigging
  • Construct motion-captured animations for your mobile games
  • Easy integration with other available gaming engines like Unity 3D and Unreal
  • Ready-to-Use 3D characters
Compatible WithUnreal Engine, Unity 3D, Mobile Platforms
PriceStarting from $150 per month
Released ByAdobe

4. Flutter

Flutter is a modern-day cross-platform development technology that’s ideally used for mobile app development. It allows developers to natively compile the same codebase to deploy applications for multiple platforms such as Android, iOS, Windows, etc.

The easier learning curve and fast time-to-market are the two major reasons why Flutter is becoming a popular choice among the development community. Many developers are leaving behind the conventional native development technologies and switching to Flutter for better efficiency.

Now, as far as mobile game development is concerned, Flutter is only limited to 2D game development. You can’t build visually engaging graphically enriched mobile games using Flutter. But, for 2D mobile game development, Flutter is nothing short of a smart development companion.

Developers can pair Flutter with a compatible gaming engine like Flames and easily construct high-quality 2D games for different platforms. And, with code reusability at their disposal, they can also use the same codebase to deploy games for multiple platforms.

Key Features:

  • Promotes Code Reusability
  • Compatible with different platforms including Windows, iOS, Android, etc.
  • Ideal for 2D game development
  • Easier Learning Curve
Supported PlatformsAndroid, iOS, Windows, Linux, Mac, Web
PriceFree (Open-Source)
Released ByGoogle
Popular Games Developed in FlutterTap Hero Game, Tissue Box, PI Ultimate

5. Swift

Swift is Apple’s official general-purpose programming language that specifically works for native iOS app development. Developers use Swift to build interactive digital solutions for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV – basically all hardware devices released by Apple. Earlier XCode (a native iOS framework) was used to write code in Swift, but today it has been replaced by a comparatively more intuitive and functional framework called SwiftUI.

Swift is a reliable mobile game development tool for publishers who only want to release a mobile game for iPhone/iPad. For game development, however, developers can also pair this multi-functional programming language with other frameworks such as SpriteBuilder. The only downside of using Swift for mobile game development is its platform restrictions as you can only develop games for iPhone/iPad using Swift.

Key Features:

  • Swift is an open-source
  • Most reliable technology for native iOS game development
  • Easier to build custom in-game objects and vectors
  • Vector calculation is relatively easier than C++
Supported PlatformsiOS, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS
PriceOpen-Source
Released ByApple
Popular Games Developed in SwiftAngry Birds, Crossy Road

6. Kotlin

Kotlin is a multi-platform programming language designed and managed by JetBrains. Despite its cross-platform support, Kotlin is often linked to Android app development due to its high flexibility and ease of use. In 2019, Google announced Kotlin as its preferred programming language for Android app development. Since then, many Android developers have switched to Kotlin to build futuristic Android apps for their clients.

For game development, Kotlin can be a remarkable development technology. Why? Because Kotlin is fully compatible with Google’s official Android Game Development Kit (AGDK). It means developers can use all the official game development libraries released by Google to build visually engaging games for Android.

Key Features:

  • Preferred by Google for Game Development
  • Access to all the development libraries released by Google
  • Ideal choice for 2D game development for Android
  • Extensive development community
Supported PlatformsAndroid, iOS, macOS, watchOS
PriceOpen-Source
Released ByJetBrains
Popular Games Developed in SwiftAngry Birds, Crossy Road

7. Blender

Blender is a widely popular 3D modeling software that many artists and professional designers use to craft visually appealing 3D models for their projects. Again, it’s not a dedicated gaming engine, but its compatibility with Unreal Engine makes it an important asset for any game development company using the latter. Blender integrates with Unreal without encountering any unexpected errors.

Blender is an ideal gaming technology for developers who are primarily working on Unreal and need a more flexible 3D modeling tool to build characters and in-game environments. 3D rendering in Blender is quite convenient as compared to other available options. In short, if you are looking for a fully functional and reliable extension for Unreal, Blender is the right answer.

Key Features:

  • 3D animation with automated character rigging
  • Virtual Reality (VR) Rendering Support
  • Supports OpenGL API, allowing users to draw over OpenGL viewport
  • Easy integration with Unreal Engine
Supported PlatformsiOS, Android, Windows, macOS, watchOS
PriceOpen-Source
Released ByBlender

8. Cry Engine

If you have enjoyed playing games like Far Cry and Ghost Warrior, you ought to thank Crytek for releasing CryEngine. If it wasn’t for this feature-packed gaming engine, we wouldn’t have seen some of the most addictive desktop and mobile games.

Like Unreal, Cry Engine is also popular for constructing realistic 3D environments and characters that make the entire gameplay more real. Cry Engine is one of the rare gaming engines that aren’t heavily inclined towards programming.

People with limited programming knowledge can also build 2D/3D games using CryEngine. While the tool can be used to build games in different genres, it’s considered the most suitable technology for first-person shooters and highly realistic games like Far Cry.

Key Features:

  • Multi-Layer Navigation Mesh
  • VR Support
  • 3D Skeletal animation
  • Cross-Platform Integration
  • Easy Depth-of-Field for More Realistic Environments and Dramatic Storyline
Supported PlatformsiOS, Android, Windows, macOS, watchOS
PriceRoyalty-Based
Released ByCrytek
Popular Games Developed in CryEngineFar Cry, Ghost Warrior, Hunt

9. Amazon Lumberyard

Amazon Lumberyard is one of the modern-day mobile game development tools that was first released by Amazon in 2016. The e-commerce giant ventured into the gaming industry with this futuristic gaming engine whose architecture is entirely based on CryEngine.

In 2015, Amazon bought the Cry Engine license from Crytek and then a year later, released its own (optimized) version of the former. However, today, Amazon claims that Lumberyard is completely different from CryEngine as nearly 70% of the existing code has been overhauled.

Being a modern-day game development framework, Amazon Lumberyard offers a plethora of features to build highly addictive mobile games. In general, developers use Lumberyard to build premium AAA mobile games for different platforms.

Key Features:

  • Available for free (No-Royalties need to be paid to Amazon)
  • With AWS integration, developers can host mobile games on the cloud
  • Perfect solution for modern-day AAA mobile games for multiple platforms
Supported PlatformsPC, Xbox, PlayStation, Android, iOS
PriceFree
Released ByAmazon
Popular Games Developed in Amazon LumberyardThe DRG Initiative, Star Citizen, New World

10. SpriteKit

SpriteKit has made quite a buzz in the mobile game development community in the recent few years. For readers who don’t know, SpriteKit is Apple’s official gaming engine that’s specifically designed to build 2D games for iOS. SpriteKit works well with both Swift and Objective-C, but since Objective-C has become obsolete, the majority of developers pair SpriteKit with the former.

The key advantage of choosing SpriteKit for 2D mobile game development is predefined libraries. Almost all the libraries are pre-integrated into the iOS ecosystem, which means developers don’t have to go through too much hassle while building 2D games using SpriteKit. Moreover, since SpriteKit is available for free, it can be a great starting point for beginners to get started with iOS game development.

Key Features:

  • Supports both Objective-C and Swift
  • No need to integrate third-party libraries
  • Being an Apple product, SpriteKit receives regular updates with new features
  • Built-in asset store
Supported PlatformsiOS, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS
PriceOpen Source
Released ByApple

11. FMOD Studio

If you are a bit of a gaming fanatic, you may already know that audio is one of the integral pillars of a successful game, even if it’s on mobile. No one can imagine PubG to be such a huge success if it didn’t have all those audio effects in the background. Now, whether you’re building a 2D or a 3D mobile game, focusing on audio will help you engage players more effectively.

FMODa> is a feature-packed audio studio for gaming that can be used to add special audio effects to your game. You can either choose audio effects from an existing store or even edit custom music and background effects to meet the overall theme of your game. But, FMOD comes with an expensive price tag as for high-end games, one has to pay $15,000 for a single title.

Key Features:

  • Available as a plugin for Unity and Unreal
  • You can also integrate FMOD Studio to CryEngine using third-party plugins
  • Design custom audio effects from scratch
Supported PlatformsPC, Xbox, PlayStation, Android, iOS
Price$2,000 – $15,000 per title
Released ByFMOD

12. Construct 3

Construct 3 is an HTML-based 2D game builder that allows users to create their own games or choose from a list of existing options. Construct 3 can be easily integrated into a web browser through a simple plugin integration. The tool utilizes HTML 5 for game development.

And, since these games run on the web browser, users can enjoy addictive gameplay on their smartphone without having to install any third-party application. Construct 3 can be used to develop a wide array of 2d games, starting from RPGs and shooters to 2D racing games.

Key Features:

  • Cross-platform compatibility due to web-based architecture
  • Easy integration with multiple web browsers
  • 70+ WebGL-based pixel shader effects
  • Highly Flexible
Supported PlatformsWeb-based games
PriceOpen-Source
Released ByScirra LTD.
Popular Games Developed in Construct 3DAlien Splat, Frenzy Fish Game, Godzillas Return

13. MayaLT

MayaLT is yet another popular 3D modeling tool that game developers can use to render 3D characters, props, and environments for their mobile games. A simple integration will allow developers to integrate Maya with other gaming engines like Unreal and Unity 3D.

MayaLT offers an array of tools that designers can utilize to create realistic 3D characters for their games and use automated rigging to bring them to life. Once these 3D assets are ready, they can also export them to their preferred gaming engine with a single click.

Key Features:

  • Animate realistic 3D characters and game objects
  • Export animated characters and objects directly to other gaming engines like Unity
  • Add textures to different game objects to make them more realistic
Supported PlatformsPC, Xbox, PlayStation, Android, iOS
Price$280 per annum
Released ByAutoDesk

14. React Native

React Native is one of the most reliable cross-platform development frameworks that has gained immense popularity in the last 4-5 years. With React Native app development, developers can compile purely native source codes and deploy the same codebase to release apps for multiple platforms. Ideally, React Native is used for building mobile applications, but it can also be a reliable choice to develop 2D games for multiple platforms.

Key Features:

  • React Native is an ideal choice for lightweight 2D mobile games
  • Cross-platform Deployment
  • An ideal technology for beginners to get started with mobile game development
Supported PlatformsAndroid, iOS, Windows, Linux
PriceOpen-Source
Released ByFacebook

15. Solar 2D

Remember Corona SDK? Well, it’s been renamed Solar2D and a lot has changed for this powerful 2D mobile game development SDK. Solar 2D works around “less code, rapid development”.

With only fewer lines of code, developers can integrate the required functionality to their mobile games and make them engaging for the end players. For 2D game development, Solar 2D is a great choice for both beginners as well as experienced developers, mainly due to its rapid development with minimum bugs.

Key Features:

  • Drag-and-drop feature to integrate different design elements
  • Fewer lines of code ensure less complexity
  • It’s quite easier to integrate third-party APIs in Solar 2D
  • Fast FPS (Frames-per-Second) ensure interactive and smoother gameplay
Supported PlatformsAndroid, iOS, Windows, Linux
PriceOpen-Source
Released ByCorona Labs

Conclusion

Phew! That was quite a list!

Mobile gaming is on the rise and the coming years are only going to propel the users’ transition from desktop and gaming consoles to mobile gaming. If you have an idea for a high-quality mobile game, these are a few technologies that could help you convert it to a fully functional mobile game with addictive gameplay.

At RV Technologies, we utilize all the modern-day mobile game development technologies to build high-quality and engaging mobile games for different platforms. Share your gaming idea with our developers and we’ll develop a custom mobile game that keeps the players engaged and delivers an addictive gaming experience.

About the Author Surya Sharma is the Digital Marketing Manager at RV Technologies and has 6+ years of experience working as a digital marketing expert. He strives to work with global brands and help them establish a strong brand presence in their respective markets, resulting in better lead generation opportunities. He possesses a sound understanding of modern-day digital marketing practices that allow companies to grow beyond their potential. In his spare time, Surya likes to pen down his knowledge regarding different digital marketing trends so that people stay on top of the latest tactics and implement them on time to sustain a consistent client retention rate

Entrepreneurship Offer:

Flat 50% off

Across App Development Services

Want to discuss your idea?

Hi I am Ryan, a Business Consultant at
RV Technologies. We are excited to hear
about your project.

Drop us a line and we will connect
you to our experts.

Let’s Get Started

We’re here to help you. Fill the form below and we will get you in touch with our experts soon.