Mastering Mobile Game Quality: 5 Essential Test Design Techniques for Flawless Gameplay

Ensuring that mobile games are sturdy, interesting, and free of bugs is essential in the fast-paced world of game production. To make sure that our games are of the highest caliber, we at Melior Games employ an array of test design strategies. In this article, we’ll examine five essential test design strategies and offer instances of how to use them when creating mobile games.

1. Equivalence Partitioning


Equivalence Partitioning divides input data into equivalent partitions that can be used to derive test cases. The idea is that software should treat the same way all inputs in a partition.

Usage in Mobile Game Development

In a mobile game where players input their age to determine age-appropriate content, equivalence partitioning can be used to create test cases for different age groups.


If the age ranges divide into three categories:

  • Children (0-12 years)
  • Teens (13-19 years)
  • Adults (20+ years)

We would create test cases for:

  • A child (e.g., 10 years old)
  • A teenager (e.g., 16 years old)
  • An adult (e.g., 25 years old)

This ensures that the game correctly categorizes and delivers appropriate content based on the age entered.

2. Boundary Value Analysis


Boundary Value Analysis (BVA) focuses on testing the boundaries between partitions. The idea is that errors often occur at the edges of input ranges.

Usage in Mobile Game Development

For a game with levels that range from 1 to 100, BVA can be used to test the boundaries around level transitions.


If the levels are from 1 to 100:

  • Minimum boundary: Level 1
  • Just above the minimum boundary: Level 2
  • Maximum boundary: Level 100
  • Just below the maximum boundary: Level 99

We would create test cases for:

  • Entering Level 1 and ensuring it starts correctly.
  • Transitioning from Level 1 to Level 2.
  • Playing Level 99 and transitioning to Level 100.
  • Ensuring Level 100 plays correctly.

This helps ensure that the game handles level transitions smoothly without errors.

3. Decision Table Testing


Decision Table Testing is used to represent and analyze combinations of inputs to ensure all possible scenarios are covered. It’s particularly useful for complex business logic.

Usage in Mobile Game Development

In a game with multiple power-ups and character abilities, decision tables can be used to test combinations of these features.


For a game where a character can have power-ups (e.g., Shield and Speed Boost) and can perform actions (e.g., Jump and Attack):

  • Power-Up States: {No Power-Up, Shield, Speed Boost, Both}
  • Actions: {Jump, Attack}

A decision table can be created to cover all combinations:

Power-UpActionExpected Result
No Power-UpJumpNormal jump
No Power-UpAttackNormal attack
ShieldJumpProtected jump
ShieldAttackShielded attack
Speed BoostJumpHigh jump
Speed BoostAttackFast attack
BothJumpHigh, protected jump
BothAttackFast, shielded attack

This ensures testing of every combination of power-ups and actions for expected behavior.

4. State Transition Testing


Testers use State Transition Testing to test different states of a system and the transitions between those states. It’s useful for systems where inputs cause a change in state.

Usage in Mobile Game Development

For a mobile game character that changes states (e.g., from idle to walking to running), state transition testing can ensure correct behavior.


For a character with states: Idle, Walking, and Running:

  • Idle to Walking: Tap the screen
  • Walking to Running: Swipe the screen
  • Running to Idle: Release the screen

We would create test cases to ensure transitions:

  • From Idle to Walking when the screen is tapped.
  • From Walking to Running when the screen is swiped.
  • From Running to Idle when the screen is released.

This ensures the game correctly handles character state changes based on player input.

5. Understanding Pairwise Testing


The goal of pairwise testing, sometimes referred to as all-pairs testing, is to evaluate every discrete combination of input parameter pairs that can exist. This method is based on the idea that most problems result from the interaction of two variables. Pairwise testing efficiently minimizes the amount of test cases required while maintaining wide coverage by guaranteeing that testers examine all possible pairs of input values.

Advantages of Pairwise Testing

  • Efficiency: As compared to exhaustive testing, it requires fewer test cases.
  • Coverage: Guarantees comprehensive testing of how input parameters interact.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Preserves good quality while saving time and money.
  • Defect Detection: Accurately detects errors brought on by interactions between parameters.

Usage in Mobile Game Development

When developing mobile games, pairwise testing comes in handy because different device configurations, operating systems, screen sizes, and user interfaces must be evaluated. This method eliminates the need for thorough testing of every scenario scenario and guarantees that the game runs well in a variety of settings.

Example: Applying Pairwise Testing in a Mobile Game


Consider a mobile game that needs to be tested across different configurations of devices, operating systems, and network conditions. The input parameters might include:

  • Devices: Smartphone, Tablet
  • Operating Systems: iOS, Android
  • Network Conditions: Wi-Fi, 4G, 3G
  • Screen Resolutions: Low, Medium, High

Testing all possible combinations (2 devices * 2 OS * 3 network conditions * 3 resolutions = 36 combinations) could be time-consuming and resource-intensive. Pairwise Testing reduces this number by focusing on testing all possible pairs of parameters.

Step-by-Step Application

  1. Identify Parameters and Values:
    • Devices: Smartphone, Tablet
    • Operating Systems: iOS, Android
    • Network Conditions: Wi-Fi, 4G, 3G
    • Screen Resolutions: Low, Medium, High
  2. Create a set of test cases that covers all potential pairings of parameter values using a Pairwise Testing tool or algorithm. An exemplar paired test case set is provided here:
Test CaseDeviceOSNetworkResolution
  1. Perform the tests on the generated pairwise combinations, execute each test case, and record results.
  2. Review the outcomes of the test cases to identify any defects or performance issues. Address any discovered issues and retest as necessary.

Benefits of Pairwise Testing in Mobile Game Development

  • Resource optimization reduces testing time and effort without sacrificing thorough coverage.
  • Increased Test Coverage: Guarantees examination of every important interaction between parameters.
  • Early Defect Detection: This technique finds defects caused by parameter interactions early in the development cycle.
  • Scalability: Suitable for tasks involving several variables and intricate setups with ease


By applying these five test design techniques—Equivalence Partitioning, Boundary Value Analysis, Decision Table Testing, State Transition Testing, and Pairwise Testing—mobile game developers at Melior Games can systematically and efficiently test their games. These techniques help ensure that our games provide a seamless, engaging, and bug-free experience for players.