Game Center is an app made by Apple that comes pre-installed on all new iPads, iPhones, iPod as well as Macs with Mountain Lion or higher.

As the name would imply, it’s a center place for all your games.

Game Center brings a social aspect to the way you play games and keeps track of achievements as well as the leaderboards.

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Game Center on iPad

All you need to do to activate Game Center is to open it and log into it. On a Mac it can be found in Applications/.

Once you’ve logged in, you’ll be presented with the default “Me” tab. This specific tab gives an overview of your account; showing the number of games you have stored in Game Center as well as the accumulated points and finally how many friends you have. On this tab you can also choose to set a status, as well as change your profile avatar.

The Next tab, “Friends” gives you a view of all your friends, as well as the games you have in common. Game Center add a competitive element by comparing gaming scores against your friends. I have this one friend who constantly has to just have a slightly higher score than me in Street Fighter IV Volt, and this is pleasant reminder of that…

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Achievements

My favourite feature about Game Center is the ability to challenge your friends. So say for instance I feel like showing off some of my new skills in Street Fighter to my buddy. I would tap on his profile, select the game, and then tap the play button. This would load up Street Fighter on my iPhone, and send him a notification say that he’s being challenged. If he were to open that notification it would launch the game and start a match between us.

This same thing can be done for specific achievements. For example, there is this one achievement that we both don’t have yet. It is to win 15 matches without SP Move Assist on by playing in the online mode. I could tap this specific achievement and send him a challenge.

Onto the next tab, the Games tab. This tab simply shows your games and stats as well as other game recommendations. Nothing interesting here so lets go to the next tab.

The Challenges tab shows any challenges you may have received. To accept or decline the challenge simply tap on it.

And lastly the Requests tab. This is where you can view and accept or decline any friend requests. Of course you’re also able to send a friend request by tapping the “Add Friend” button. You will need to know their Game Center nickname or their email address in order to send the request. You can also customize a message to be sent along with the friend request, once it’s sent it’s simply a waiting game until your friend accepts.

There is another way to send friend requests, while in Game Center select a game then tap the “Players” tab. This will show people who you’ve previously played against. Simply tap their username and then the “Send Friend Request” button. Game Center can also use your Contacts and even Facebook account to suggest friends that you may like to challenge or add as a friend.

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Find Game Center Games

Don’t have any Game Center enabled games? Go to the Games tab in Game Center, scroll to the bottom and select “Find Game Center Games”. This will open the App Store to a special game area with all the games being Game Center enabled. Alternatively, here’s a link: Game Center Games

If you’re new to the Apple devices/Game Center world or looking to get into it, just thought I should mention that Game Center is not required to play games. It does add a couple nice touches and defiantly brings a social effect to the games though. It comes pre-installed on iPhones, iPods, iPads, and since it can’t simply be removed it may be worth checking out, especially if you enjoy playing games.