What are Augmented Reality Games? How Do They Work?

What are Augmented Reality Games? How Do They Work?


Game Development


August 23, 2023


5 min read

Augmented reality games give the perfect blend of real-time and virtual environments, enabling players to amalgamate both worlds into their gaming experience. In addition, a survey conducted in the United States unveils that gamers aged 18 to 37 are interested in playing augmented reality games. 


In this blog, we will dive deeper into AR games' technology and advantages. Furthermore, we will also be discussing popular AR games and how you can enhance your gaming experience. 


What is Augmented Reality? Understanding AR Technology


Augmented Reality is an evolving technology across various verticals as it overlays digital information, information, animations, or virtual objects onto the real world. The AR technology aims to enhance the user experience and perception that can be perceived using mobile phones, tablets, or dedicated AR glasses. 


By connecting the virtual and physical worlds, augmented reality technology offers immersive and interactive experiences, ranging from gaming and education to retail and industrial applications. As a result, it has the potential to transform how we perceive and interact with our surroundings, opening up new possibilities across various industries.


How Augmented Reality Works in Gaming?


Augmented reality in gaming is one of the most exciting experiences gamers could have. However, before we get into the working of augmented reality in gaming, it is essential to understand algorithms working in AR games. So, let’s start. 


Augmented reality technology leverages cameras, sensors, and computer vision algorithms to impose the overlays of the virtual world on real-time objects. It tracks the real-world environment and superimposes the other realities. 


For example, imagine yourself in a fighting game set up in AR technology. In this game, you will have a real-world environment where the players will fight, but the characters will be virtual and imposed on the background using overlay technology. The device camera will capture the atmosphere and overlay the characters. Meanwhile, the audio and visual sensors are sent by the game, making the gameplay realistic and well-merged with the two realities. 


Benefits of Augmented Reality Games


There is a pre-existing perception that virtual reality games are more popular than augmented reality games. The benefits of augmented reality games are immense, offering an unparalleled level of immersion and interactivity by seamlessly blending virtual elements with the real world. Players can experience engaging gameplay that enhances their spatial awareness and creates captivating experiences.


Also, a report shares an interesting fact about augmented reality games: the adoption of AR games would grow at a CAGR of 21.98% from 2021 to 2028. 



Well, here is a brief description of the other benefits of AR technology in games. Let’s come and take a look at them. 


1- New Gaming Experience in Multi-Dimensional Space 


Augmented reality games perfectly blend the real and virtual worlds, enhancing the gameplay experience. After its inception, this technology has given an unprecedented opportunity that offers players to experience virtual overlays in the real world that provides a unique experience to the players that's different from the mundane daily games. 


The immersive gaming experience in real-time opens the door to other technologies and builds interest in the players. The keyboard and traditional games have a fanbase, but novelty and uniqueness always attract human brains. This is why we can adore and welcome AR technology so that we can make the gaming industry exceptional and latest with the uproar of such technologies. 


2- Easily Accessible 


To say it casually, It is not finicky. 


Augmented reality games do not require a complete setup, unlike virtual games that require headphones or a similar setup. Augmented reality games are easier to go as players can access them with their smartphones, tablets, and other portable devices. If we look at this from another side, it also gives the benefit of cost savings to the players. They do not have to pay for hefty headsets or advances and can easily have game time with their pals. 


Hence, its accessibility to every type of player, simply with a smartphone or tablet, gives it an edge over others. Isn’t it great?


3- Encourage Collaborative Gameplay 


Games are always fun when played with others as it makes them highly interactive and gives them the urge to overcome challenges. Augmented reality games serve as the catalyst for collaborative gameplay in different ways, such as the players navigating through the virtual and real world to solve game challenges and achieve game objectives. 


Furthermore, AR games foster interactive gameplay using different techniques, such as enabling multiplayer interactions and real-time coordination, which puts them to engage in socialization activity - the best example is Pokémon. 



Here are some of the other ways AR gaming is an open platform for the collaborative and interactive gaming experience such as: 


  • Promoting teamwork and communication among players as they strategize and coordinate actions to overcome challenges.
  • Encouraging players to explore and navigate physical spaces together creates a sense of camaraderie and shared adventure.
  • Providing a platform for collaborative problem-solving and collective achievement, reinforcing the importance of collaboration in gameplay.


Types of Augmented Reality Games 


Augmented reality games offer a wide spectrum of the gaming industry and experience to the players where they can interact with different objects in real-time. The categorization of augmented reality games is based on different aspects such as intent, genre, and AR technologies. 


The types of augmented reality games based on the genre are as follows: 


  • First-person shooters
  • Adventures
  • Exergames
  • Sports
  • RPGs



The type of augmented reality games based on user intent include the following:


  • Educational
  • Entertaining
  • Simulation
  • Social


The type of augmented reality games based on the focused AR technology is as follows:


  • Mobile devices
  • HMDs
  • Smart glasses


Top 3 Augmented Reality Games


Even though the concept of augmented reality games is new to the industry, many games have made their name, such as Pokemon Go, The Walking Dead, and so on. Here are some of the most popular AR games:


Pokémon Go 



Released in 2016, Pokemon yearns to capture, train, and battle virtual creatures called Pokémon in the real world. By utilizing the GPS and camera features of smartphones, Pokémon Go overlays the Pokémon onto the player's physical surroundings, creating a unique and immersive gaming experience. Even after all these years, Pokémon Go stands as a popular game. Here are some quick stats about the game:


Google Play Downloads: 100M+


Generated Revenue: $6 Billion


Fun Facts about Pokémon Go


  • 65 million people play it every year!
  • Most people play for about 26 minutes a day
  • And most importantly, over 88 billion Pokémon have been caught!
  • Players have collectively taken 144 billion steps while playing the game


The Walking Dead 



It is a well-known episodic adventure game based on a comic. The game setting is developed in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by zombies where players assume the role of a survivor named Lee Everett. Guided by a gripping narrative, the game explores the struggle for survival, moral choices, and deep character relationships. 


Google Play Downloads: 10M+


Generate Revenue: $8 Million 


Fun Facts about The Walking Dead 


  • Developed by Telltale Games, known for narrative-driven games.
  • Based on Robert Kirkman's popular comic book series.
  • Protagonist Lee Everett is voiced by award-winning actor Dave Fennoy.
  • Received critical acclaim and multiple Game of the Year awards.
  • The game has 11 seasons. 


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