Need to know how to use Game Center? We've got the answers right here!

If you've been using Apple's Game Center in the past, you've undoubtedly noticed the drastic changes the service underwent with the launch of iOS 10. The gaming social network has been dramatically reduced in size and scope, nixing the app and focusing on the third-party app integration options, instead.

What happened to Game Center in iOS 10?

Before iOS 10, Game Center was Apple's gaming-themed social network that connected through your iCloud account: It was built around a standalone app that let you add friends, challenge their high scores, and invite them to play games. It may never have been a great social network — but it was there.

When Apple axed the app as part of its 2016 software upate, the company turned Game Center into an optional integration service for third-party games. Unfortunately, in doing so, Apple crippled a lot of Game Center's functionality — including adding and deleting friends.

What happened to Game Center in iOS 10?

How can I tell if a game supports Game Center?

Unfortunately, there's no badge on an app's download page to highlight whether or not it supports Game Center: You'll have to download it to confirm. If a game has an iMessage app, however, it definitely supports Game Center.

  1. Open the game after you've downloaded it.
  2. If Game Center is supported, you'll see the Game Center banner appear at the top of the screen.
  3. You'll also be able to access leaderboards and the like by finding the Game Center button. (It looks different in every app.)

How to sync your game history with Game Center

One of Game Center's perks is game syncing: Apple will automatically save your game history to iCloud, where you can then recover it on any device you own that's also logged into iCloud. Switching from one device to the other is easy:

  1. Make sure you're connected to a Wi-Fi or Cellular network.
  2. Close the game you've been playing on your iPhone.
  3. Open the game on your iPad.

How to delete games from your Game Center history

Don't want to keep your saved game data, leaderboards, or achievements for a game? All you have to do is delete it locally from your home screen.

  1. Tap and hold on the game you wish to delete.
  2. When the icon begins to wiggle, tap the X in its upper left corner.
  3. Tap the X.

  4. Press Delete.

If you want to start your game from scratch, simply redownload it from the App Store.

How to view your achievements

If you've been collecting achievements while playing a game, you should be able to view all your achievements from within the app.

  1. Launch a game from your Home screen.
  2. Tap the achievements button. Each game will have a different location and some may use a different icon; many games use a trophy icon for achievements.
  3. Tap on the achievements tab.

    Launch the game from your Home screen, tap the achievements button, and then tab on the achievements tab.

NOTE: Not all games will have achievements; it's up to the developer to include this feature in the game.

How to view leaderboards

If a game offers leaderboards, you'll be able to check those inside the app in question.

  1. Launch a game from your Home screen.
  2. Tap the achievements button. Each game will have a different location and some may use a different icon; many games use a trophy icon for achievements.
  3. Tap on the leaderboards tab.

    Launch the game from your Home screen, tap on the achievements button, tap the laederboards tab.

How to change your nickname in Game Center.

  1. Launch the Settings app from your Home screen.
  2. Tap Game Center.
  3. Tap your nickname.

    Launch the Setttings app, tap Game Center, and then tap your nickname.

  4. Type in your new nickname.
  5. Tap Done.

    Type in a new nickname and then tap done.

How to add and remove friends from Game Center

As of iOS 10, you can no longer see your Game Center friends list, nor invite or delete individual friends from the Settings app.

How to add friends

Adding friends is managed on an individual game-by-game basis, through iMessage. Your game may or may not support this feature.

  1. Find your game's Add Friends button, if it exists or is supported, and tap it.
  2. Send an invite to your friend via iMessage inviting them to play the game.

More likely, you'll see an option to invite friends via Facebook integration; this doesn't connect to Game Center, but offers game developers an alternate way to connect friends together to play a game.

How to delete friends

Unfortunately, the only current way to remove friends from Game Center is to remove all of them at once: There's no way to manually curate your list of friends.

  1. Launch the Settings app from your Home screen.
  2. Tap Game Center.
  3. Tap Remove all Game Center Friends.
  4. Tap Remove All Friends.

    Launch the Settings app, tap Game Center, tap Remove all Game Center Friends, and then tap Remove All Friends.

How to invite or challenge someone to play a Game Center game

If your game supports multiplayer invitations or challenges, you can challenge your friends to beat your achievements or high scores.

How to invite someone to play a multiplayer game

Note: Your game may or may not support this feature; multiplayer invitations are implemented on a game-by-game basis and Apple offers no concrete list for apps that support Game Center.

  1. Find your game's Invite button, if it exists or is supported, and tap it.
  2. Send an invite to your friend via iMessage inviting them to play the game.

How to challenge a friend

Note: Your game may or may not support this feature. In addition, challenges only work if the person you wish to challenge is already on your friends list — you can't challenge anyone in your Contacts list, for instance.

  1. Launch a game from your Home screen.
  2. Tap the achievements button. Each game will have a different location and some may use a different icon; many games use a trophy icon for achievements.

From here, you have one of two options:

  1. Tap on the leaderboards tab and tap your high score in your friends list, then select Challenge.
  2. Tap on the achievements tab, select an achievement, and then tap Challenge.

How to play a game in iMessage

Some games offer built-in iMessage apps, which let you play the game directly in your iMessage conversation. To check and see whether your game supports iMessage, simply look it up in the App Store — games that support the feature will have a "Offers iMessage App" banner under their app icon, and you can see what form that game takes by looking at their included iMessage screenshots.

To start a new game, do the following:

  1. Open a conversation where you want to have a game.
  2. Tap the right arrow button to open up the App drawer.
  3. Select the app icon.

  4. Swipe through the various iMessage apps until you find the game you want to play.
  5. Tap on it, and press Start Game.

How to disable game invites to nearby players

By default, if you're playing the same multiplayer game as someone close to you, you can send invites to them over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Of course, this only works if the game you're playing supports game invites. You can turn this feature off in your settings.

  1. Launch the Settings app from your Home screen.
  2. Tap Game Center.
  3. Tap the Nearby Players switch. If the switch is green, that means the feature is active, and if the switch is white, that means the feature has been disabled.

You can turn the nearby players feature on again at any time by following the same steps listed above.

How to record your gameplay on iPhone and iPad

Apple's Game Center not only gives third-party apps leaderboards and multiplayer options, it also offers gameplay recording features. If the app you use supports Game Center's ReplayKit, you can record your screen and microphone during gameplay to share it with friends, or stream it online to make some cool "Let's Plays."

How to record your gameplay on iPhone and iPad

How to switch between Game Center accounts on Apple TV

How do you switch Game Center accounts on Apple TV? Easy, just use Settings!

A lot of the games you can play on the iPhone and iPad are also available on Apple TV, and much like gaming on iOS, tvOS can track your progress in games that support Game Center. If you share Apple TV with other members of the household, though, you may want to switch between Game Center accounts, depending on who is playing at any given time.

How to switch between Game Center accounts on Apple TV

Questions?

Anything you still want to know about Game Center? Leave us a comment below!