How the Swipe Changed how We Interact with Smartphone Games

How the Swipe Changed how We Interact with Smartphone Games

We have long been used to scrolling, typing and clicking as our main means of interacting with our computers, ever since the mouse was invented. Today, the touch screen has given us a whole new range of motion and new techniques for controlling our devices. Now we can swipe, drag and pivot with our fingertips and that has been a game-changer (literally).

One of the biggest mobile device trends today ( is using a mix of new motions and touches to manipulate complex game functions. Tapping is just the beginning. Though not all games have truly embraced the wide world of touch screen options, some of them have truly mastered it.


By utilizing the touchscreen, games are much more flexible than they once were. You can control any item in play with a tap or swipe, without having to select it with controller first. Movement from one item to the next is much more rapid and you simply touch, swipe or drag.

Any direction is fair game too. This is a huge improvement over the old left-right-up-down style of game controllers that could limit the directions you could move in a game. Today’s games are more fluid and versatile.

Multi-Finger Swiping

This is one of the really unique functions that can’t be replicated with conventional game controls. By contacting two fingertips to the screen, you can create a whole new motion and reaction within an app. The most common use of this is the zoom in or out function that you see in many apps, games or whatnot. Drawing two fingertips together shrinks your view, and pulling them apart lets you zoom in closer.

Another important function that multi-finger swiping allows for is the positioning of objects in 3-dimensions. By “grabbing” an object at 2 points, you can maneuver it in a myriad of directions and orientations, such as rotating, stretching or tipping.

Larger Play Areas

By utilizing the swipe motion to move menus and toolbars in and out of view, you can free up much more of your phone or tablet screen for the main gameplay. When trying to create a vibrant and engaging game environment, every square inch is vital. Actually, the entire concept of the touch screen has given us larger play areas by taking out the keyboard or control buttons from mobile devices.

Not Just the Swipe

While the various touching motions, such as the swipe, are a new interaction tool for games, most mobile devices have a few other tricks up their sleeves for creative gaming forms. Shaking, turning, tipping and moving the phone itself can be integrated into the gaming environment. Based on the internal gyroscope sensor, your phone or tablet can be very sensitive to its own position, usually seen when it moves from landscape to portrait orientation when you’re just holding it. It’s not as common a gaming tool as the usual touchscreen options, but it’s growing in popularity as game designers get creative.