If you enjoy gaming on the go (or you enjoy your children being occupied during car trips) and prefer a versatile device to a dedicated handheld gaming console like the Nintendo Switch, a tablet is a good option. Not only are there plenty of games designed specifically for mobile devices, but they offer the added advantage of larger, more immersive screens. As such, we’ve rounded up our picks for the best gaming tablets of the year.
For more great tablets, check out our picks for the best tablets for college, best cheap tablets, and best Android tablets.
The Best Gaming Tablets
What to Consider
Most tablets are designed for multiple uses, as opposed to just for gaming, so the best tablets for most uses also tend to be the best for gaming. (If you want a gaming-specific portable device, check out the best handheld consoles.) There are three main features to consider: screen, processor, and storage.
A high-quality screen, of course, improves your gaming experience, with size and resolution impacting the vividness of the visuals. Refresh rate is important to consider, too, as it impacts your tablet’s ability to handle intense graphics.
Most tablets have Bluetooth functionality that lets users connect devices like styluses, keyboards, or game controllers. If you plan on playing games that don’t translate well to touch controls, like first-person shooters, pick an option with controller or keyboard compatibility.
The operating system on your tablet, as well as the coinciding marketplace, determine what games you can download. For instance, some games are available on the Apple App Store, but not on Google Play, or vice versa. Tablets with App Store, Google Play, and Steam Link compatibility should have plenty of games to choose from, whereas Amazon Fire tablets have limited game choices.
Stronger processors translate to a faster computer—less lag time, better graphics, and easier multitasking. If you plan on playing big, graphics-heavy games like Destiny 2, splurge for the tablet with the most recent, powerful processing chip.
With the prevalence of cloud-based gaming, storage may seem like an unnecessary consideration. However, if you plan to game offline or use your tablet for other storage-intensive tasks, it’s best to find a tablet with at least 128GB of space (ideally 1TB, depending on how many games you play).
How We Selected
We consulted a number of publications, including Digital Trends, PCMag, and Forbes, as well as consumer reviews, to determine the best gaming tablets on the market. We delineated the best based on use and price, so that no matter what your budget or OS preferences, you can find a gaming tablet that’s right for you.