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The smartphone is an extension of the gaming PC, so use it like one


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There used to exist a divide between PC and mobile gaming. On one side you had the 'casual' gamer swiping away moreishly at Candy Crush or chucking red birds at pig-filled fortresses during stolen moments on the daily commute. On the other, we had the 'serious' gamers on their big rigs and headsets, capturing control points with their comrades on Battlefield 4, suffering through Dark Souls, and 'tactically' nuking maps on Call of Duty.

But now in 2022, the two separate gaming worlds have merged. With a little tinkering, your smartphone can become an invaluable tool to your PC gaming setup, and O2 Switch Up - a service that lets you switch over to a new phone and contract with no extra charges as many times as you like - is on standby to make sure you have the best tool for the task.

For a start, there's the ingenuity of in-home streaming. Say you've been working at your desk all day and you want to do some well-deserved gaming, maybe you don't want to keep sitting at the desk that's been your workspace for the last 8 hours? In that case, leave your PC on and use the Steam Link app on your phone to seamlessly pick up where you left off. The app streams the entirety of Steam to your phone, so assuming your phone and PC have strong connections to your home network (ethernet on PC helps), you'll be playing your PC games on your phone with pretty much 'native' quality.

If you happen to have an Nvidia GPU in your PC, then look into Moonlight, an open-source app (yep, we love those) that can stream games from your PC to phone not only from Steam but Epic, GOG, and other PC gaming platforms. With Cyberpunk 2077 finally having redeemed itself in recent weeks, why not celebrate by redownloading that launch-day copy, getting comfy on the couch, and playing it from your phone?

O2 Switch Up

(Image credit: Andy Ford)

If your gaming rig at home isn't quite cutting it for running the latest games at those frame rates you need, then no problem - just stream games straight from the cloud to your phone. PC Game Pass subscribers can enjoy hundreds of cloud games as part of the 'Game Pass Ultimate' package, while GeForce Now lets you stream tons of games you already own on Steam and other PC platforms (letting you pick up your progress from when you last played them).

At this point, some of you may be questioning whether our choice of energy drink is affecting our reasoning abilities - "PC gaming, on a touchscreen?" Well, first up we'll defend that idea and say that the touchscreen is actually great for strategy games like Civilization and deck-builders like Slay the Spire. For games that require that extra tactility, check out mobile gaming controllers like the Razer Kishi or the Nacon MG-X Pro. Alternatively, get a mount to attach your PS5 or Xbox controller to your phone. You can get yourself set up in seconds.

Then there's the potential to turn your smartphone into an emulation station. RetroArch, for example, is an incredible all-in-one open-source app that contains 'cores' for playing NES, SNES, N64, PS1, Game Boy Advance, and many other retro console games. There are some promising projects to emulate more recent consoles on phones too, such as AetherSX2 for PS2 games and Dolphin for GameCube, so keep an eye on those.

Get gaming-ready with O2 Switch Up

O2 Switch Up

(Image credit: Andy Ford)

Ready to upgrade to a phone worthy of your gaming PC? 

O2 Switch Up can help you switch your phone as seamlessly as continuing a Skyrim quest via in-home streaming. Get an O2 phone on a Plus Plan, and you'll have Switch Up included, which means you can upgrade to a new phone without any extra fees. Just head into an O2 store, pick the phone you want, then bring it home and turn it into the most important tool in your PC gaming inventory.

Here's what you need to know:

You'll find all the details on the O2 Switch Up page.

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