Cloud gaming is all the rage right now, with services like Google Stadia and Nvidia GeForce NOW taking center stage, but Google Play Games still have a few tricks up their sleeve. Several extremely popular titles are finally making their way to Chromebooks this year thanks to their in-built Play Store compatibility with “Android Apps” and it’s looking like it could be a very promising year for gaming on the go.
Not only is Diablo Immortal releasing at some point this year, but Magic the Gathering: Arena is too. Now, League of Legends: Wild Rift – a hand-crafted mobile port of one of the most played games in the world – will join the ranks of premium games packed full of value that can be played on your Chromebook!
It’s becoming increasingly more common for games ported over to Google’s laptops via the Play Store to feature all of its PC counterpart’s content. In the past, developers would strip the game down and throw it haphazardously on the store just to get a few bucks and to keep from stressing phones, but now, that’s no longer necessary. Modern phones and Chromebooks alike are packed with a lot more power and efficiency than they were ten years ago, and games like League of Legends: Wild Rift are taking full advantage of that.
Wild Rift is what’s called a MOBA, or multiplayer online battle arena game and it’s become the most played and popular one of its kind across casual gamers and paid eSports professionals alike. Riot Games – the developer of League of Legends, has done a lot of research to make sure that the game’s touch controls were intuitive enough to offer a solid experience on the go to a die-hard audience of their fans that are accustomed to playing with a mouse and keyboard while simultaneously attracting new casual players.
Players are formed into two even teams primarily comprised of five members. Each team starts at opposing sides of a map, near what is called a “Nexus“. To win a match, a team must destroy the opposing team’s Nexus. To do so, each team must work through a series of towers called ‘turrets‘ that are placed along three paths to each base (commonly referred to as ‘lanes‘) Along the way, each player gains power by completing game objectives, earning them experience points and gold that are used to increase the player’s level and to purchase powerful items, potentially giving players an advantage over their opponents. Examples of these objectives include killing the opposing team’s turrets, players, and ‘minions‘ (small NPCs that constantly spawn and attack the other team).Fandom
Much of the world has already been enjoying the Wild Rift open beta, but North America has been last on the totem pole. Luckily, it looks like we’ll get our chance to test the game out and provide feedback come March of this year, thanks to Riot Games’ recent announcement.
You’ll notice that I haven’t really mentioned whether or not Chromebook owners will be able to use a mouse and keyboard to play the game, and that’s because it hasn’t been created with this type of audience in mind. You have to remember that while much of the West’s gaming culture revolves around desktop gaming and shuns mobile play, much of the world outside of that bubble is very comfortable with competitive gaming on phones and tablets.
If you don’t mind playing with touch controls on your Chromebook, League of Legends: Wild Rift will certainly offer you years and years of exciting fun to sink your precious time into. While we all want more games to utilize the mouse and keyboard on our Chromebooks, a game omitting them doesn’t necessarily make it bad. There’s a difference between a developer being lazy or simply not understanding that there’s a market for such a thing and a developer who is creating a game for an entire sub-culture of gamers who have accepted mobile play as an enjoyable part of their life.
With that said, I definitely hope that Riot Games adds in the ability to play with a mouse and a keyboard. The game’s very existence on Chromebooks means that they could one day be utilized for professional gaming competitions given their low cost and excellent specs. They also have much larger and more comfortable screens than phones and can be docked into monitors and peripherals to emulate the traditional computing and gaming experience that those audiences are familiar with. On top of all of that, most Google Play Games don’t even touch the processing power or RAM of a mid to high-end Chromebook whereas they would strain many phones. In my mind, Chromebooks are the most natural evolution of mobile play and make the most common sense for where games like League of Legends, Diablo Immortal, and Magic the Gathering: Arena will go next. If they don’t, I’ll be sorely disappointed.
There are a few individuals on Youtube who have installed things like Octopus or Memu to map their mouse and keyboard to the on-screen buttons for the game, but it looks completely cobbled together and we probably won’t be recommending it unless you’re a die-hard League player. Instead, if you really feel as strongly about the future of these types of games being in Chromebooks, we recommend that you reach out to Riot Games and let them know via a review on the Play Store. Just mention that they ought to add mouse and keyboard support for your Chromebook. Are you excited about League of Legends: Wild Rift coming soon? Let us know in the comments!