The gaming market in India has exploded in recent years, with the rise of smartphone gaming making it easier than ever before to access many of the most popular titles. Many companies like Acer have been investing heavily in the country to capitalise on the growing interest in gaming, launching an Indian edition of its Predator Gaming League.
Around half of the country’s population plays at least one game and around 365 million of these play online. Indians enjoy a very diverse range of different online titles, covering just about every genre you can imagine, these are the most popular.
Call of Duty: Mobile
Call of Duty is one of the most popular first-person shooters in the world, so it came as no surprise when a free mobile version broke download records when it launched in October 2019.
It’s available on both iOS and Android devices and features many of the maps and game modes that regular CoD players will be familiar with.
Unlike the console and PC versions, Call of Duty: Mobile doesn’t have a single-player campaign mode. Instead, players can only play online against others.
The popularity of the game in India has been bolstered by esports events like the NODWIN Gaming Call of Duty: Mobile India Challenge which took place in December 2020.
PokerStars India – Home Games
PokerStars India is one of the most popular online poker brands in the country thanks to its quality software, educational guides, and mobile apps.
For years, PokerStars India has allowed players to compete against others in games of five-card draw, Texas hold’ em, and razz. However, sometimes you want to host a poker night with your buddies rather than play against strangers.
To meet this need, the company recently launched its Home Games feature. This lets players create their own private poker club that puts them in control of who can join, the game parameters, and variants.
As the manager of your club, you can invite up to 500 of your friends and schedule your own tournaments. There’s even a chat function that you can use while you play, helping to recreate the full poker night experience.
8 Ball Pool
Billiards has been popular in India since the 19th century and the game of snooker was even created in Jabalpur. Over time, pool has become one of the most common variants of the game in the country.
Even in the 21st century, Indian’s continue to love shooting pool, though many have opted to swap the real felt table for a digital one.
Miniclip.com’s 8 Ball Pool is one of the most popular games in India. It’s available in both the Google Play Store and Apple App Store as well as through the company’s website. Unlike many other pool games, 8 Ball Pool matches you with other players to compete in 1-on-1 matches or take part in tournaments with up to eight players.
You can play with strangers or challenge your buddies. The game’s ranking system means that whenever you play strangers, you’ll be matched against people with similar skill levels to you.
8 Ball Pool is great for smartphone players because the touchscreen controls make it easy to move the cue around and control the force used to hit the ball.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive was first released back in August of 2012, but still remains one of India’s most popular online games. It’s remained one of the most-played games in the country and the whole world thanks to regular updates that have meant players have always had new and fresh content to enjoy.
A couple of years after it was first released, Valve added microtransactions that let players customise their characters. This was a defining moment for CS: GO, as it quickly became one of the most-played first-person shooters on the market.
In late 2018, the game became free-to-play, helping to make it even more popular.
As of early 2021, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive remains one of the biggest esports in India. The ESL India Premiership recently hosted a CS: GO tournament during its Winter Season, with coverage shown on Disney+ Hotstar.