You cannot get the same gaming experience on your iPhone as you can on a PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, or gaming computer. The processing power is less, the controls are inadequate, and there are many on-screen distractions, all of which make mobile gaming less enjoyable. While you won’t be able to fix many of these issues, there is a way to avoid some of them, thanks to Guided Access.
If you’re not familiar, Guided Access is an accessibility feature that limits your iPhone to one app in one session. You can even control what features are available, such as the keyboard, volume, and side or home button, and where to tap the screen. While it̵
With Guided Access enabled, you can prevent notifications from disturbing you, prevent ads from redirecting you outside the app, limit how long kids can play, prevent accidental gestures, and more. Before we get into how Guided Access can improve gaming on your iPhone, let’s first show you how to use Guided Access in the first place.
Enable and use Guided Access
To enable Guided Access, you must first enable it from the Settings app. Launch Settings, go to “Accessibility” and then to “Guided Access”, which is located at the bottom. Now just enable “Guided Access” and you’re done. You’ll see a few settings pop up, but you don’t have to do anything with it except one.
If you plan to use Guided Access a lot for gaming, make sure the “Accessibility Shortcut” switch is turned on. It should be default, but if it isn’t then make sure it’s turned on. That way, all you have to do is triple click the side or home button on your iPhone to access Guided Access in the future.
Now go to a game you want to play and triple-click the side or home button depending on whether you have an iPhone with Face ID or Touch ID. If Guided Access is the only tool associated with the accessibility shortcut (the triple click), the interface will open right away. If you have other tools set up to use the triple click, such as AssistiveTouch, Zoom, or voice control, you will need to choose “Guided Access” from the menu that appears.
This will open the Guided Access splash screen where you can configure some settings and also start a session. To change your preferences, tap “Options” at the bottom left and toggle one of these settings on or off. When you’re ready to turn on Guided Access, tap “Start” in the top right. If it’s your first time to enable Guided Access, you’ll be prompted to enter a passcode (you can also set one from the Accessibility menu above). After you confirm it, Guided Access will start.
If you want to exit Guided Access at any time, triple-click the side or home button, select “Guided Access” if you have multiple accessibility shortcuts, enter your passcode, then tap “End” in the top left.
1. Notifications cannot disturb you
Do not disturb is the best way to prevent notifications from disturbing you in a game, but if you’re already using Guided Access, you don’t have to mess with your Do Not Disturb settings.
Every time Guided Access is turned on, all notifications on your iPhone are temporarily turned off. Once you exit Guided Access, you can re-view Notification Center on your home screen or lock screen to see any alerts you missed while Guided Access was turned on.
2. Telephone calls also cannot interrupt you
While the incoming call screens are much smaller and more discreet, they can still get in the way when you’re playing a game on your iPhone. The notification is actionable and tapping it will pick up the phone or FaceTime call, and that can cause problems in your game.
With Guided Access, your iPhone cannot receive phone or FaceTime calls. Instead, the call goes to voicemail or ends, but you still see a notification that you just received a call. Once you exit Guided Access, you can view your missed calls.
3. Ads cannot force you out of the game
Most games in the App Store are free to download, but they always come at a price. That usually comes in the form of annoying ads that take up your entire screen from time to time. Usually it’s as simple as waiting for the ad to disappear, but sometimes you have to tap an exit button that is intentionally hard to tap. When you tap the Exit button and miss it, you may be redirected to the App Store or Safari to download another game. It’s an annoying feature in many mobile games, but Guided Access can help.
When Guided Access is on, you won’t be able to close the app or game you’re currently in, which means that if you tap the ad, nothing would happen. Instead, the only actionable part of the screen is the Exit button, so no matter how much you tap, you can only exit the ad and go back to your game.
4. Children cannot leave the game they are playing
You can’t just let a child borrow your iPhone to play games without making a few adjustments. If they had free reign, they could accidentally delete important photos, send text messages to your colleagues, or worse – and Guided Access can help.
When it’s on, Guided Access limits your device to one app, so if they’re playing a game, they can’t leave it for whatever reason. The only way they can exit is to have the passcode you created for Guided Access, which may be different from the one for your lock screen.
5. You can also limit how long children can play
You may also want to limit how long a child spends on a game. You can use Screen Time to make adjustments, but that’s more complicated than it’s worth, especially if it’s your iPhone that your kids are using, as you may not want the same restrictions to apply to you.
If you are on the Guided Access splash screen, you can tap the “Options” menu button and then enable “Time Limit” to prevent the app from working after a certain amount of time. After you enable “Time Limit”, you can choose between one minute and up to 23 hours and 59 minutes.
A countdown will appear at the top of the game when the time is running out. When it runs out, the game freezes and shows that the time has expired. The only way to continue playing is to triple click the Side or Home button and enter the Guided Access passcode.
6. The hardware buttons cannot be accidentally pressed
Like “Madden NFL 21 Mobile Football” and “Among Us”, certain games require you to hold your iPhone in landscape orientation. That means your fingers may be resting on the volume or side buttons.
While that may not seem like a problem at first, accidentally tapping the side button on your screen can turn off your screen, force you out of the game, or cause you to lose a match. Even with the volume buttons, you can accidentally lower or increase the game volume, which isn’t as bad as it is annoying.
Fortunately, when Guided Access is on, the side, home, and volume buttons are turned off so you can’t accidentally tap them.
7. Control and notification centers cannot be accidentally opened
You swipe your screen because the game requires you to suddenly appear the Control Center or Notification Center, interrupting your gameplay.
It’s an easy mistake to make as the Control Center can be easily accessed by swiping down from the top right corner of your screen (on Face ID models) or swiping up from the bottom (on Touch ID models). Ditto on the notification center, which can be swiped down from the top of the screen. No one can blame you for it happening, but you can prevent it from happening.
When Guided Access is turned on, the Control Center and Notification Center cannot be accidentally opened while playing a game.
8. Your gameplay cannot be interrupted by movement
The way you play each game can vary. While some only have one set of controls, other games incorporate the movement of your iPhone into the controls. Shaking or rocking your iPhone can be used to jump or run faster in the game, but if there are physical controls on the screen and you’d rather use them, turn on Guided Access to prevent movement from working.
In Guided Access, you can stop the movement of your iPhone from controlling gameplay, so if you rotate or shake your iPhone, nothing will happen. All you need to do is open the Guided Access splash screen, tap “Options” and turn off “Motion”.
9. BackTap will not perform shortcuts with accidental taps
BackTap, another useful accessibility feature on iPhone, allows you to double-tap or triple-tap the back of your device to perform certain actions such as taking a screenshot, locking the screen, going home, opening an app, and running a shortcut . Unfortunately, you may have to tap a little while gaming, and that can inadvertently trigger Back Tap and cause an interruption.
When Guided Access is on, BackTap is turned off, so even if you accidentally tap the back of your iPhone, nothing will happen.
There are even more reasons to use it for gaming
We’ve just touched on the big ticket items when it comes to Zone More gaming on your iPhone, but Guided Access can undoubtedly help with other aspects of your gameplay. Give it a try and see if some of the things bothering you about iPhone gaming haven’t been resolved with Guided Access enabled.
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