How to Port a PC Game Successfully: A Step-by-Step Tutorial

A game's porting can be a calculated commercial move that draws millions of new players to your community and increases the devoted following of current players. Without starting from scratch, you can do more by porting an existing game. In essence, you're making your game more accessible.

But carrying out a prosperous port demands an unmatched strategy that is painstakingly created. This strategy should specify the precise steps that must be taken to succeed. We'll explore this specific strategy today. You can save this page as a checklist to access anytime by bookmarking it for your convenience.

What is game porting?

Game Porting transfers and customizes game environments and mechanics to smartphones, tablets, or game consoles. The main goal of the development phase is to provide users with the ability to play the game on portable devices and gadgets. The other article provides more information about the benefits of game porting.

How to Port a Game: Consoles and Mobile

PUBG Mobile's popularity is an example of how effective this strategy is. The overall number of unique users on the mobile application increased by 5+ times between 2018 and 2024. The following three primary goals can be accomplished by adapting the game for mobile applications or platforms, such as the PS4 or Nintendo Switch:

  • Improving the game: You will utilize current technology to develop the game. This approach will help optimize the game, making it safer and more enjoyable for the community.
  • User base expansion: According to several studies, there are two players on the game consoles for every three players on the PC. The game porting solution can attract up to 60% of new players.
  • Constant profit growth: porting the game can bring you a profit equal to the new game's release.

Game Porting Stages

Now, let's discuss the main game porting stages you will face.

1. Target Platform Planning and Analysis. You must understand the target platform's specifications, value, capabilities, and limitations. Developers must evaluate factors such as hardware architecture, input methods, screen resolution, and performance limitations to determine the feasibility and requirements for successful porting. 

2. Adapting the source code. Immediately after discussing the requirements, you need to determine the game's basic logic and functionality, the target platform's programming language, and the API. As part of this step, you should:

  • analysis of existing source code to identify potential problems ;
  • compilation and rewriting of code segments for compatibility;
  • implementation of cross-platform tools and interim software to simplify the process.

3. Optimizing the game's performance. You must take the following steps to create a smooth and seamless gameplay across various configurations and consoles:

  • tailoring graphics, adjusting texture and shader settings specifically for the target platform;
  • implementing optimal performance enhancements for CPU and GPU, along with configuring advanced memory usage;
  • ensuring consistent frame rates and minimal loading times for game elements.

4. Tailoring gameplay and control elements. As part of this step, you need to:

  • ensure the correct selection of controls for different input devices;
  • redesign user interface elements;
  • adjust gameplay mechanics for touch screens or motion control.

5. Testing and debugging stage. After creating the initial version of the ported game, you can begin smoke testing to ensure a perfect gaming experience for users.

6. Release and following updates. The porting game to the console signifies the success of the first part of your work. Next, you will add new functionality, game levels, and bug fixes. Your developers should also remember that new fixes and add-ons must comply with the platform's game requirements.

We have also written an expert article about the cost of porting a game. Make sure to read it to prepare your budget for the development process.

Summary

Game porting requires careful preparation or strategic collaboration. This text outlines the process of transferring a game to gaming consoles, from initial preparation to updating game mechanics after release.

Read it and keep it handy as a checklist for the game porting process. However, you can simplify things by turning to the Devoted Studios team. Contact us, share your idea, and we'll provide you with the roadmap for your future project.