What Is TapTap, and Is It a Better Way to Find Mobile Games?

Key Takeaways

  • TapTap offers a platform to discover games not found on mainstream app stores.
  • The platform’s social aspect allows users to create lists, post comments, and interact with other gamers.
  • TapTap provides Android users the ability to download APK files directly. It can also manage the games installed on your device and keep them up-to-date.

Mobile gaming is booming, and there are thousands of great games looking to tempt you away from your console or PC. Unfortunately, app stores do a poor job of helping you find them. That’s where TapTap comes in.

What Is TapTap?

TapTap is an app and website that originated in China from developer XD, built to help you discover which game to play next. The service is cross-platform, supporting console games in addition to Android, iPhone, and iPad. But it’s mobile game discovery where TapTap really shines. That’s because while TapTap links to both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store, the premium version for Android also serves as its own alternative app store.

You can download games directly from TapTap, some of which aren’t actually available through Google or Apple. To get started, download TapTap Lite from the Play Store or the App Store.

How TapTap Helps You Find Games

After you set up an account with TapTap, it will prompt you to select from a list of games to help it decipher your tastes, much like Spotify or Netflix does. The app also wants to know which platforms you own. I limited the selection down to Android and iOS to keep the focus on phones and tablets.

You’re then dropped into a feed. Right from the beginning, TapTap feels more like a social network than an app store. Games appear in a list of posts, with trailers that auto-play as they would on YouTube or Instagram. Clicking on a post pulls up social activity surrounding a game. You can view other users’ comments, swipe to see additional videos, or look to see whether anyone has posted a review.

There’s a games tab at the bottom that has more of a passing resemblance to a traditional app store. You can filter games by platform, genre, rating, tags, and more. The coolest bits are listed at the top. There, you will find less conventional ways to browse for games.

Browse Games By Release Date

TapTap’s Upcoming and Calendar tabs look ahead to show you which games are set to release soon. When there isn’t much info available, you will see a name, banner image, expected release date, and the supported platforms.

Many games include a trailer. You can pre-register a game to get notified when the title becomes available. Even if you disable app notifications, you can keep up-to-date within the app’s inbox

View Gamelists Users Have Created

Gamelists are like Spotify playlists. Users create a list of games, give the curated list a title, and share it with the world. Gamelists are a good way to search for games in a way the Play Store or App Store doesn’t allow you to filter for, such as “offline multiplayer games.” Other lists may be even more niche, such as “Realistic AAA Graphic High-End Arcade Games,” introducing you to a type of game you didn’t know you wanted.

The results aren’t as in-depth as, say, checking our site for the best offline Android games, but user-generated lists offer a broader range than we can.

How to Download Games In TapTap

When viewing a game, you’ll see a prominent “Get” button. This will kick you out of the app and over to your default app store (Play Store or the Apple App Store). If the game isn’t free, the button will instead display the price. Underneath that button, you will see a second button listing other options or platforms.

TapTap showing a game available for $2.99 on Google Play.

The Android version may show the TapTap icon, indicating that you have the option to download a game’s APK directly. iPhone users do not have such an option since this is the type of flexibility Apple wishes to protect users from (though there are Apple App Store alternatives in the EU).

Selecting TapTap will prompt you first to download the premium version of the app. The full version of TapTap sets its download link as the default. Games you don’t already own will show “Download,” and games you’ve installed will show “Play,” much like the Play Store. TapTap will also show the size of APK files before you initiate a download.

Switching to the “You” tab at the bottom gives you access to your games. Here, you can see what you’ve installed and manage updates.

Is The Social Aspect More Than a Gimmick?

In truth, TapTap is more of a social network than an app store. The majority of the content you see comes from other users. You can click on any of their names to see their profiles. You can follow other users and browse their feeds. You can like and leave comments on the things people say.

The app pushes you to be social by requiring you to leave a rating and write a short review for any game you mark as “Played.” Whether you add a game to your wishlist or indicate what games you’re currently playing, all of this is public information.

How you feel about the social components will depend heavily on how you feel about social networks in general. Suppose you primarily like to follow gamers and talk about games. In that case, there is something to be said about having a dedicated social network separate from rants about politics, music stars, and the weather.

Yet even if you don’t care to take part, this still all leads to a pretty great way to discover games. An individual game doesn’t need to attract legions of users to appear on your feed. It can be part of someone’s gamelist or shared by a user you follow instead. This all makes TapTap a useful tool to have in your efforts to weed through all of the ad-laden, free-to-play titles designed primarily to keep you buying virtual coins.

While TapTap doesn’t fully eliminate the need to keep checking your favorite gaming blogs or YouTube channels, it does a good job of surfacing up games you may have missed, those too old for news coverage, or those considered too quirky and niche.

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