Bring even more fun and connection to your games with Game Center, Apple’s social gaming network. Game Center lets players build an identity across Apple platforms and enables features like the Game Center leaderboards, achievements, multiplayer functionality, dashboard, and more. Add features within your custom user interface or take advantage of the updated Game Center user interface.
Leaderboards let players participate in new competitions within your game and challenge other players to beat their score. Players see how they rank among global players, as well as their Game Center friends. You can even create a friends-only leaderboard in your custom UI. Classic leaderboards are ongoing and maintain a player’s score forever. Use these to showcase scoring for overall or lifetime events, such as all-time number of matches won or the shortest time taken to complete a level. Recurring leaderboards are short lived and expire, then repeat after a set time, such as daily, monthly, or weekly. Use recurring leaderboards for timed live events — for example, to show the most matches won in a week. You can use one or both leaderboard types in your game.
Achievements are special milestones that indicate when a player has successfully reached a particular goal in your game. You decide which achievements are relevant to your game and worth offering to your players. Players see achievements as locked, in progress, or completed. You can also create hidden achievements, which only appear once completed. Consider using hidden achievements to prevent spoilers in your game and to surprise and delight players. You can provide up to 100 achievements, each of which can award up to 100 points, and your game can award up to 1,000 points in total. Keep these limits in mind when releasing the initial version of your game, as you may want to add new achievements in future updates. For variety, consider creating a set of achievements that require dedication and a range of skills to complete.
Challenges let players compete directly with friends to beat a high score or accomplish a specific achievement. By default, challenges are not displayed on the dashboard. Opt in to display challenges on the dashboard using App Store Connect.
Game Center supports real-time and turn-based multiplayer functionality, helping players connect without leaving your game. Players can invite Game Center friends, contacts, iMessage groups, and nearby players, or automatch with other competitors to quickly start playing on iOS, iPadOS, and macOS. The friend request inbox lets them easily manage requests in one place.
The Game Center dashboard is a central place where players access their profile and interact with Game Center features that your game supports, such as achievements, leaderboards, and challenges. You can deep link players to specific areas of the dashboard or provide easy access to the whole dashboard with an access point.
When the access point initially appears, you have the option of showing highlights — such as the number of achievements or default leaderboard ranking — to give players quick insight into their progress. After showing any highlights, the access point collapses to display the player’s avatar.
Game Center connects players inside and outside of your game. Players can start multiplayer games together, see where friends rank on a leaderboard, keep up with what their Game Center friends are playing on the App Store and in Game Center widgets — and much more.
You can leverage the Friends API to create frictionless social and multiplayer experiences. Let friends go on missions together, display a friends-only leaderboard in your custom UI, and even show friends’ progress within progression maps. Players are prompted for access to their list of Game Center friends on a per-game basis, so they always have control over sharing their activity.
Games with Game Center enabled are included in the Friends Are Playing section on the App Store, allowing players to browse and discover new games their friends are playing. The App Store product page also shows players which of their friends play your game, and they can add the Friends Are Playing and Continue Playing widgets to their Home screen to quickly jump into a game.
Enabling Game Center
To get started, add Game Center as a capability in your Xcode project and configure features in App Store Connect. Then use the GameKit framework to implement the Game Center features you’d like to use. Before your game can provide Game Center features, you must confirm that the player is signed in to Game Center on the device. You can then also receive notifications for game invites, challenge invites, user changes, and more.