For longtime iOS users, Apple’s Game Center app has always been a somewhat tricky thing. Is it an achievement center, to track the progress of your success in certain games? Is it a way to manage friend invitations and multiplayer components of certain games? Is it a chat app? Is it necessary? Do I have to tie it to my Apple account?
None of these questions is an exaggeration; Apple users have been questioning the purpose and necessity of Game Center for a while, but through all that time, it’s still been a component of iOS. Now, with iOS 10, some noteworthy changes have happened. We’re going to show you how to sign out of your Game Center account, create a new account, and lastly, determine whether or not you actually need Game Center for your games.
If you’re wondering just what iOS 10 has done to Game Center, we have your answers!
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of this whole issue, let’s examine a couple of very simple facts. They cannot be refuted. They’re important, they’re relevant, and they’re going to guide the progression of this particular discussion in a huge way!
First, mobile gaming is a massive industry. It hasn’t dethroned the gaming PC or the home console from its hard-earned place. But it’s nevertheless a dominant force in the larger gaming scene. There’s no denying it! Just look at the success of titles like Pokemon Go, Clash of Clans, and Super Mario Go! While there was once a time that mobile gaming was looked down upon as “lesser” than its more historically rooted brethren, that’s no longer the case–especially since everyone is walking around with a smartphone in their pocket!
Our second point will slightly contrast the first, but not in the way that you might imagine. While mobile games have been on fire for years, now, that still doesn’t mean that the mobile devices we play them on are game consoles. Smartphones are designed to be multipurpose devices, for sure. They’re computers. They’re phones. They’re cameras. And sometimes, they play games, too. But whereas smartphones can tackle all kinds of different tasks, dedicated game consoles (like the Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation Vita, or others) are meant primarily for playing games.
Now, I understand. You’re probably wondering what this crazy guy is on about, and what it has to do with the iOS Game Center. Well, in order to make the connecting thought (and understand how the Game Center works) think about the interface of the last game console you played on. That could be the PlayStation 4, the Xbox One, or even the Nintendo Wii–it doesn’t matter.
That interface was probably designed to organize and congregate all of your gaming experiences in one place. From it, you can track your achievements, see what your friends are playing, pick up multiplayer games, and more.
Knowing that, we can fairly certainly say that the Game Center in iOS is like a miniature version of a game console’s interface, tucked away in your iPhone or iPad. Because these devices are so much more than just game systems, the Game Center is needed to organize your gaming experience.
Game Center and iOS
While Game Center is baked into iOS, the actual function of your Game Center account is more similar to your Apple account. You use it to access the Game Center on your mobile device, but it actually works across the entire spread of Apple’s hardware, including the Apple TV (where it’s particularly useful!)
Below, we’ll walk you through finding your Game Center settings in both iOS 10 and on Apple TV. If you use one, feel free to skip to the section that best applies to you! If you use both (or want to), then the following information should help you to more easily manage your Game Center account settings.
Game Center on iPhone and iPad
Whereas the Game Center was once an app that you could move around on your iOS device’s home screen, it’s now been relegated to the settings menu. Tap on the Settings app, first, and then scroll down until you find the Game Center listing. Give that a tap, and you’ll be brought to a rather simple menu. We’ll be returning to this menu when we discuss account creation and management, below, but for now, you can see that it’s fairly easy to find.
You can sign in and out of your Game Center account using your Apple ID, and also control the way that game invites are sent and managed.
Game Center on Apple TV
Getting to the Game Center settings on your Apple TV is a little bit different, but not outwardly more complicated. The same transition from app to settings menu has occurred on this device, as well; it’s simply a part of the interconnectedness that is the Apple software family.
Just as you would on iOS, you’ll want to find the Settings menu on your Apple TV and select it. Next, scroll down to Accounts, and following that, find Game Center. The menu will look surprisingly similar to what you’d find in iOS and allows you to perform the same basic functions that you’d find on mobile versions.
Managing Accounts in Game Center
Now that you know how to find your way to the Game Center account settings, we can dig a little further into the details of how you’ll manage your account. Certainly by intentional design, Apple has been scaling back the amount of responsibility that the Game Center feature has in your actual iOS and Apple TV gaming experience. It’s still useful, however, and some games still depend on it for matchmaking, multiplayer, and friending.
We’ll begin by assuming that you already have at least one Game Center account and that you’ve used the instructions above to get yourself signed in with your Apple ID. That particular sign-in information–the Apple ID–will be of recurring importance as we discuss what all you can do with Game Center.
Sign Out of an Account
Signing out of your Game Center account is actually just as easy as signing in, for the most part. Find your way back to the Game Center settings, and where your Apple ID is listed, simply give it a tap. In both iOS and on the Apple TV, a pop-up will appear that gives you the option to either Sign Out or ping your account for a forgotten Apple ID or password.
If you want to sign out, simply select it! If you’re having difficulty signing in, select the second option and follow the on-screen prompts to retrieve your Apple ID or password.
However, there’s one word of warning that we should give you, and it has to do with games that use the Game Center feature to record your activity and progress. Games such as Clash of Clans rely on the Game Center to keep track of your experience, which means that you have to be signed in to enjoy all of the progress that you’ve made in them. If you sign out, you may not have access to the same gameplay as you did when you were signed in. Similarly, gaming that you do while you’re signed out will not be saved and carried over when you next sign in.
It’s a tiny bit convoluted, but in truth, I can’t think of any account features that will record progress or changes that you make when you’re not signed into them. Par for the course when using any type of account-based service!
Create a New Account
If you want to create a new Game Center account, you can do that, too! However, it might not give you the same results that you’re hoping for, and there are some drawbacks that you will encounter when you do so.
First, let’s jump back to your Apple ID–your Game Center accounts each need to be tied to a unique Apple ID. Unfortunately, a single Apple ID can only host one Game Center account. This means that you’ll need to create a new Apple ID when you want to use a new Game Center account. For many users, this causes complications; other apps on their device are often relying on the same Apple ID that they used to make their first Game Center account, which means that it can make app integrations a little bit messy.
However, it’s not a difficult thing to do if it’s something that you’re set on doing. Follow this link to create a new Apple ID, which is entirely free. Once you’ve done so, simply sign out of your current Game Center instance, and use the new Apple ID information to sign in again. You’ll be prompted to set up a fresh Game Center nickname, and will effectively give yourself a brand new account to work with.
Be warned, however, that there’s currently no way to transfer game information between two different Game Center accounts. When you start a new one, you’ll be stuck with a clean slate!
We hope that the above instructions were successful in helping you to create a new Game Center account; not only that, we hope to have shed a little light on the changes iOS 10 made to the Game Center application. If you have any questions about these topics, let us know in the comments below!