Game Center
TypeOnline service
Launch dateSeptember 8, 2010; 13 years ago (2010-09-08)
Current version17.3[1] (January 22, 2024; 12 days ago (2024-01-22)) [±]
Platform(s)iOS 4.1 or later, macOS Sierra or later
Operating system(s)macOS, iOS, iPadOS, tvOS, watchOS
Members67 million (as of October 22, 2011)[2][3]

Game Center is a service by Apple that allows users to play and challenge friends when playing online multiplayer social gaming network games.[4][5] Games can now share multiplayer functionality between the Mac and iOS versions of the app.[6]

Game Center was introduced to the public in iOS 4.1 after an earlier developer release. Game Center can be implemented by developers as of iOS 4.1 or later, and macOS 10.12 or later, through the GameKit framework. Game Center is available on iPod Touch 2nd generation and later (iOS 4.1 or higher required); iPhone 3GS and later (iOS 4.1 or higher required); all models of the iPad (iOS 4.2 or higher required); Mac computers running macOS 10.12 Sierra or later, Apple TV 4 running tvOS, and Apple Watch running watchOS 3.


Gaming became a significant part of the iOS platform when Apple launched the App Store on July 10, 2008.[7] Unlike the console systems that were currently on the market, Apple had no unified multiplayer and social structure for their platform. This gap was soon filled by third parties, such as OpenFeint, Plus, AGON Online, and Scoreloop. These third parties had control over the online gaming environment, and with multiple third parties involved, it left a non-unified experience.

Game Center was announced during an iOS 4 preview event hosted by Apple on April 8, 2010. A preview was released to registered Apple developers in August[4] The developer preview had a dark appearance with abstract colors.[8]

Game Center was released to the public on September 8, 2010 with iOS 4.1 on iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, and iPod Touch 2nd generation through 4th generation, and is included with iOS 4.2 or later on the iPad.[9] With the release, the application had changed significantly in its design from its first developer preview: it had a lighter "game board" appearance with more skeuomorphic design elements.[10]

The version of Game Center included in iOS 5 added turn-based gaming, player photos, friend suggestions, and achievement points.[11]

The iOS 6 update added Challenges, a way for players to challenge other players to beat leaderboard scores or earn achievements.[12]

On June 13, 2016, the application was removed from iOS 10 and macOS Sierra; however, the service still exists, and users now manage their Game Center profile from within the Settings app.[13][14] On June 24, 2020, Game Center returned and was refreshed and redesigned in iOS 14, iPadOS 14 and macOS Big Sur. On July 14, 2021, a Game Center widget was introduced in different sizes in iOS 15, iPadOS 15 and macOS Monterey.

From within Game Center, players can connect with friends, send friend requests, start playing games and organize online multiplayer games. The number of friends that can be connected to a single Game Center account is limited to 500. Some games may feature achievements, where for completing a specific task, the player is rewarded points. Depending on the game, a leaderboard may be present where a player can compare his or her score with friends or the world.[15]

Many iOS games use Game Center, but not all of them use every feature. Apps can choose to include any or all of the following features supported by Game Center:

See also


  1. ^ Clover, Juli (January 22, 2024). "Apple Releases iOS 17.3 and iPadOS 17.3 With Stolen Device Protection, Collaborative Apple Music Playlists and More". MacRumors. Retrieved January 23, 2024.
  2. ^ "Inside Mobile Apps · Apple's Game Center Gets Update, Has 67 Million Total Accounts to Date". Inside Mobile Apps. Archived from the original on October 20, 2011. Retrieved October 22, 2011.
  3. ^ "Game Center has 67 million users, news, Game Center,". October 4, 2011. Archived from the original on November 15, 2013. Retrieved October 22, 2011.
  4. ^ a b "What's New in iOS 4". Apple Inc. Archived from the original on March 8, 2010. Retrieved June 14, 2010.
  5. ^ Brett Molina (September 1, 2010). "Apple's Game Center debuts next week". USA Today. Archived from the original on May 25, 2012. Retrieved September 1, 2010.
  6. ^ "Matchmaking Overview". June 30, 2015. Archived from the original on April 1, 2016. Retrieved November 14, 2015.
  7. ^ "Apple Introduces the New iPhone 3G". Apple Inc. June 9, 2008. Archived from the original on May 1, 2011. Retrieved May 1, 2011.
  8. ^ McLean, Prince. "Apple's new iOS 4 Game Center goes live for developers". Apple Insider. Archived from the original on August 30, 2023. Retrieved August 29, 2023.
  9. ^ Holt, Chris. "iOS 4.1's GameCenter to Hit iPhone Next Week". Macworld. Archived from the original on February 16, 2016. Retrieved September 1, 2010.
  10. ^ Kumparak, Greg. "iOS 4.1 brings a whole new look to Apple's Game Center". MobileCrunch. TechCrunch. Retrieved August 29, 2023.
  11. ^ Holt, Chris (October 4, 2011). "Apple Upgrades Game Center in iOS 5 Update". PC World. Archived from the original on December 2, 2020. Retrieved December 21, 2011.
  12. ^ "What's New with Game Center in iOS 6 - Ray Wenderlich". Ray Wenderlich. Archived from the original on April 13, 2016. Retrieved November 14, 2015.
  13. ^ "iOS 10.0". Archived from the original on August 16, 2016. Retrieved June 13, 2016.
  14. ^ "10 hidden MacOS Sierra features you need to know". Archived from the original on February 18, 2017. Retrieved February 17, 2017.
  15. ^ "Game Center". Apple Inc. Archived from the original on December 23, 2010. Retrieved May 1, 2011.