Gaming and specifically mobile gaming (games that are run on Android or IOS) is the fastest growing sector of the entertainment industry today. According to New Zoo, in 2021 the mobile gaming market exceeded both the PC and Console gaming markets combined with an estimated revenue of over 93 billion dollars.

They also estimated that over 3 billion users worldwide take part in mobile games with that number expected to rise even more in the coming years.  Additionally, the cloud gaming market doubled from 2020 to 2021 and is expected to double each year until 2024.

 

What does this have to do with load testing?

With all this growth it means it is now more important than ever to ensure online mobile games can support increases in user traffic, withstand spikes in traffic, and are developed to operate smoothly even under extreme load.

Consider that even the largest and most well funded online mobile games can face outages due to traffic. On November 16, 2021, mobile gaming giant Niantic experienced an outage during a Spotlight Hour:

While Niantic didn’t release any numbers regarding the outage, the online backlash was severe with users losing paid products that needed to be reimbursed by the company:

Additionally, the growth of the online mobile gaming industry has created massive amounts of competition, and it is more important than ever to develop and test games so that they run smoothly and provide a great customer experience.

While not all crashes are preventable, being prepared and implementing a load testing strategy into your development process can go a long way towards ensuring that your game runs smoothly and your customers have a great experience.

 

OK, load testing is important!  What types of tests should I run?

Whether your game is browser based or a native app for Android or IOS the important pieces that you are testing are the server-side APIs. So to test correctly you’ll first need to figure out your API calls. You can learn more about testing APIs here.

A great way to get started is to implement a comprehensive set of tests into your CI/CD process to ensure that your game stays resilient as you continue to make updates to it.

Below we’ve listed a few examples of tests you should consider and why they’re important.

Capacity Tests:

What are they?

Capacity tests are load tests where you progressively increase the load on your system until you break things.

Why are they important?

Capacity tests allow you to see how much traffic your servers can handle before experiencing issues.  Running a capacity test can let you know whether you need to add more servers if your system won’t meet your expected traffic.

Spike Tests:

What are they?

Spike tests are load tests where a sudden peak of traffic is thrown at your application.

Why are they important?

Spike tests let you see how your game behaves during a peak of traffic and what they’re like after the peak. Many mobile games hold events that can trigger sudden surges of traffic.  If yours does, capacity tests will help you simulate how your system reacts to that traffic.

Soak Tests:

What are they?
Soak tests are designed to maintain a nominal load of traffic on your application for an extended period of time.

Why are they important?

Soak tests allow you to see performance hiccups and possible resource leaks that may not be visible over a short period of time.  Finding and fixing these leaks will help you build a better faster game for a seamless user experience.

 

Great, how do I get started?

Using Gatling Open Source is a great way to get started in building your tests. You can use Gatling to create user journeys and scenarios similar to what you expect your users to do to make your tests as realistic as possible.

However, in order to really replicate traffic that you can expect your game to experience we would recommend setting up a Gatling Enterprise Cloud account.  Using Gatling Enterprise allows you to simulate traffic from multiple regions of the world, keep a history of your runs, work with distributed teams, and use multiple injectors to simulate the loads of traffic that your game will experience.

To get started just create your account today, upload your scripts and get testing. If you have questions about our Enterprise Cloud plans and which one is right for you contact our sales team and we’ll be more than happy to help.