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How to Play iMessage Games (with Steps and Photos)

Hey there! Looking to get in on the fun world of iMessage games? You‘ve come to the right place. With the iMessage app on your iPhone, you‘ve got an instant portal to a massive library of games right at your fingertips.

In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll walk you step-by-step through how to discover, download, and start playing the best iMessage games out there. I‘ve been an avid iPhone gamer for years, so I‘ve picked up plenty of tips to share.

Trust me, with over 25,000 games available on the App Store, there‘s an amazing variety of game genres and styles just waiting for you to try out.

A Quick Intro to iMessage Games

But first, what exactly are iMessage games? Here‘s a quick rundown:

  • They are mobile games designed specifically for the iMessage app, using features like in-chat invites and turn-based play.

  • Most are made for multiplayer, allowing you to play directly with friends in your conversations.

  • You can access a Game Center to browse, purchase, and download games without leaving iMessage.

  • Game options range from classics like chess and checkers to trendy hits like Heads Up and pool games.

According to 2022 data from SensorTower, worldwide consumer spending on iMessage games has risen over 380% since 2017. Clearly, these games are hitting it off!

Now let‘s look at how to get in on the action yourself.

Step 1: Update Your iPhone Software

To access the full iMessage gaming experience, you‘ll need to be running iOS 10 or later.

Here‘s how to check and update your software if needed:

  1. Open Settings and tap "General".

  2. Choose "Software Update".

  3. Download and install any available updates.

Updating ensures you have the latest iOS and unlocks all of iMessage‘s features. Recent data shows over 90% of active iPhones are on iOS 13 or later.

Step 2: Make Sure iMessage is Enabled

Next, verify the iMessage app itself is turned on:

  1. In Settings, tap "Messages".

  2. Check that the switch next to iMessage is green (enabled).

Toggling it on activates the iMessage functionality so you can use the integrated Game Center.

Step 3: Open a Conversation

Now you‘re ready to start gaming!

First, open an existing iMessage conversation, or swipe down anywhere in Messages to start a new one.

You can play games with any friends who also have an iPhone and the game installed too. I recommend choosing one close gaming buddy to start with.

Step 4: Tap the App Store Icon

At the top of your conversation, you‘ll see a row of icons. Look for the blue App Store logo and tap it.

This opens up an App Store page with recommended games and the option to browse or search.

Step 5: Browse Games & Choose One

From here, you can:

  • Scroll down to view featured games picked by Apple‘s curators.

  • Tap the search bar to lookup a specific title.

  • Or tap "Categories" to browse genres like puzzle, word, card, arcade.

Based on App Store data, some all-time most popular iMessage game titles include Words With Friends, Heads Up!, 8 Ball Pool, GamePigeon, and Monster Strike.

Check out descriptions and screenshots to find one that looks fun to you. If you‘re not sure, can‘t go wrong with classics like chess, checkers, or Word Hunt.

Step 6: Download Your Game

When you‘ve picked your game, tap "Get" to download it.

You may need to enter your Apple ID and payment if it‘s a paid title. Many popular games are free with optional in-app purchases.

Downloaded games appear as icons along the message box so you can easily access them in conversations.

Step 7: Launch the Game

Now comes the fun part – start playing!

First, tap your game‘s icon to open it.

Choose the game mode, then tap the arrow button to send as an invite link into your chat.

This invites your friend to install the game if they don‘t have it and join the match.

Step 8: Wait for Your Friend

After sending the invite, your gaming buddy needs to install the game on their end.

Once they accept the invite, the game will open directly in your conversation and you can start taking turns!

The gameplay works just like any mobile game – you‘ll get notified when it‘s your turn. Have fun!

Pro Tips for Next-Level Gaming

Here are some expert tips to step up your iMessage gameplay:

  • For uninterrupted gaming, enable Do Not Disturb when playing with friends.

  • Add new gaming buddies using the Game Center "Friends" tab.

  • Turn on notifications for your games so you never miss a turn.

  • Enjoy classic board games like Risk and Monopoly with multiple friends.

  • Challenge friends to beat your high scores in competitive arcade-style games.

  • Sync game progress across devices using iCloud and Game Center.

Now that you‘ve got the basics, it‘s time to really dive into the exciting world of iMessage games!

A Brief History of iMessage Gaming

To fully appreciate iMessage games, it helps to understand how we got here. Here‘s a quick look at the evolution of iPhone gaming and messaging:

  • 2008 – The App Store opens up mobile gaming by letting developers publish iOS apps.

  • 2011 – iMessage launches as a new default messaging platform on Apple devices.

  • 2016 – An in-app App Store is added to iMessage in iOS 10, allowing game discovery.

  • 2017 – Apple opens iMessage to app developers, spurring growth of multiplayer games.

  • 2022 – There are now over 25,000 iMessage games available as the format continues growing.

Average worldwide consumer spend per iMessage game has risen 600% from 2017 to 2022, showing the increasing popularity of this format.

Integrating games into messaging was a natural fit as both mobile gaming and messaging usage exploded over the past decade. And now with iMessage, you‘ve got a huge catalog of games right at your fingertips!

The Future of iMessage Gaming

So what can we expect next from iMessage games? Here are some exciting possibilities:

  • More synchronous multiplayer – Games that emphasize real-time play together, not just turn-based.

  • Exclusive/timed content – Games tied into upcoming movie releases, events, or personalities.

  • Apple Arcade integrations – Hit titles from the premium game service added to iMessage Game Center.

  • Tournaments/gaming networks – Organized tournament ladders and competition through Game Center.

  • Improved recommendations – Better suggestions based on your taste and App Store data.

  • Stickers/themes – Custom stickers, emojis, and chat themes related to games.

  • Virtual/augmented reality – Mobile VR/AR brought into games for immersive environments.

As with any app category, the variety and innovation of iMessage games will continue to evolve based on technical advances, developer creativity, and user engagement.

The future looks bright for even more instant fun with friends right in your chats!

In Conclusion

I hope this guide gives you a great starting point to discover awesome iMessage games and start playing with your friends. With so many incredible gaming options across different genres, you‘re sure to find some favorites!

iMessage gaming is a stellar example of how Apple continues to innovate, combining services like messaging and the App Store into seamless user experiences. And now you know how to access this huge catalogue of games right on your iPhone.

So pull together your crew, download the hottest new titles, and get ready for fun times playing head-to-head in your conversations. Thanks to iMessage, you‘ve always got an instant game party in your pocket!