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iPhone 15 Pro isn’t the gaming device I hoped it could be

Published Apr 14th, 2024 2:58PM EDT
Is the iPhone 15 Pro good for gaming? I don't think so
Image: José Adorno for BGR

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I was never into mobile gaming. I mean, unless you consider Pokémon Shuffle, Pokémon GO, Alto’s Odyssey, and Mini Motors as software for gamers. With the iPhone 15 Pro, Apple focused a lot on its gaming capabilities with hardware raytracing and other GPU features focused on this market.

I’m not entirely oblivious to the iPhone gaming market, but I was never good at it. In recent months, I’ve tried a couple of Resident Evil titles exclusive to the iPhone 15 Pro, but something was still lacking: a proper gaming controller.

Thankfully, GameSir sent me a Galileo G8 controller, and since then, I’ve been using it a lot to play Genshin Impact, as using the touch screen after a while makes my fingers hurt. The controller itself is amazing, as I said in my Galileo G8 review, but what impresses me the most is how the iPhone 15 Pro hurts when I play this demanding game.

iPhone 15 Pro owners have complained about overheating issues since this device launched. Even though Apple said everything has been fixed since iOS 17.1, I still feel my iPhone continues to get excessively hot. Even after replacing my original unit at the Apple Store, the problems persisted.

Now that I’m finally playing a demanding game on the iPhone, I feel like I’ve never really stressed the iPhone’s processor for so long. And now I think this iPhone doesn’t keep up with the most demanding tasks.

Genshin Impact made me realize I wasn’t taking full advantage of the A17 Pro chip

Image source: José Adorno for BGR

When I first started playing Genshin Impact, I wanted to play the game at its peak, so I changed all the settings to the maximum capabilities; after all, if the iPhone 15 Pro can’t handle peak performance with a mobile game, then what device could handle it?

While everything seems fine initially, good 20-minute gameplay makes the iPhone extremely hot, with a few throttling issues now and then. In just an hour of gameplay, the battery drains over 50%, with the game responsible for 75% of battery loss and the gaming controller 25%. With that, the iPhone 15 Pro only lasts a few hours before I need to connect it to the power.

Since then, I decided to lower a few settings so the iPhone 15 Pro wouldn’t heat as much, but even so, the situation doesn’t improve, and I continue to face the same issues. Early this morning, I really felt like the iPhone was frying the controller, and I can’t stop thinking about it.

iPhone 15 Pro running Resident Evil VillageImage source: José Adorno for BGR

I know there are dedicated smartphones for gamers and even controllers with an active cooling system, but I expected a bit more from Apple’s best iPhone to date. While I’m OK with the iPhone getting hot while I play a demanding game, it really bothers me that everyday situations, like listening to songs, scrolling social media, and looking for information using Maps, are enough to turn my screen slightly darker and feel the iPhone overheating.

Wrap up

Since this is the first iPhone I could try a proper gaming controller, I’m curious to discover with the next generation if some of these issues can be fixed or if Apple’s claim of turning the iPhone into a portable gaming console is nothing but a dream – the same way it says the Mac can be a gaming platform, but it actually isn’t.

One thing is for sure: My iPhone 15 Pro overheats while playing games and doing everyday tasks. While I feel the camera has improved compared to the previous generation, I think battery life is worse, and I have never had as many issues with overheating as I had in the past two years with the iPhone 14 Pro and the iPhone 15 Pro.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.