What Apple’s New 3D Touch Technology Means for Mobile Gaming

Posted in: Mobile and video games trends, Product news by: Simon on:

September 25th saw the official release of the iPhone 6s. Without a doubt, the most notable innovation in the incarnation of the device is the introduction of 3D touch technology.

3D Touch

Image Source: Forbes

The Next Generation of Multi-Touch

Touted as the next generation of the groundbreaking multi-touch, 3D touch adds another dimension to the user experience with a pressure-sensitive display that is heavily integrated into iOS 9. Using an array of sensors capable of measuring the most minute changes in distance between the device’s backlight and cover glass, 3D touch recognizes both ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ touches. Improvements in the device’s taptic engine also make it possible for users to receive tactile – and distinctive – feedback from these interactions.

The phone’s home screen gives you a taste of what 3D touch allows. Tapping the home screen softly opens a ‘Quick Actions’ menu. Users can access shortcuts to features and actions they use frequently. This can include anything from opening the camera to messaging a specific contact. Users can select an option by pressing harder on it within the menu. 3D touch also extends to a variety of built-in applications, such as messaging and email. Thus allowing users to preview and access features in a logical, uninterrupted manner. 


How 3D Touch Affects Mobile Gaming

The applications of these ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ touches are not limited to the home screen. They can be incorporated into mobile applications and offer a range of tantalizing options for mobile game designers and developers. Combined with the iPhone 6s’ A9 chip, which results in a 70% faster CPU and 90% GPU, developers have a chance to include more features in their games. 

The demo for Warhammer 40K: Freeblade really highlights what the new iPhone 6s is capable of. In the game, players can use the ‘soft’ touch to zoom in and out while shooting. The ‘hard’ touch enables them to switch weapons. As the demonstration illustrates, not only does the new 3D touch technology open up a whole new set of options to mobile game players, but it allows them to access these options without changing their hand positioning.

Whether you’re designing a feature-rich game like Warhammer or something simpler, you can use 3D touch to offer players a more seamless and immersive user experience.




Simon is the founder of Crowdsourced Testing. After 10 years in interactive software development, he set his sights on building a world-class crowdsourcing platform to facilitate the software testing process for developers.