Game Center

Bring even more fun and connection to your games with Game Center, Apple’s social gaming network. Game Center lets players build an identity and connect with friends across Apple platforms. You can easily integrate Game Center features, including leaderboards, achievements, multiplayer matchmaking, and real-time play. Learn how Game Center can help new players discover your game on the App Store and through friends — and keep the enjoyment going for existing players.

iPad Pro displaying recent Activity in Game Center

Leaderboards

Leaderboards let players participate in new competitions within your game and challenge other players to beat their score. Players see how they rank among global players, as well as their Game Center friends. You can even create a friends-only leaderboard in your custom UI. Classic leaderboards are ongoing and maintain a player’s score forever. Use these to showcase scoring for overall or lifetime events, such as all-time number of matches won or the shortest time taken to complete a level. Recurring leaderboards are short lived and expire, then repeat after a set time, such as daily, monthly, or weekly. Use recurring leaderboards for timed live events — for example, to show the most matches won in a week. You can use one or both leaderboard types in your game.

Players can receive push notifications about leaderboard activity — such as when someone passes their score — so they can stay on top of the latest activity in your game and stay engaged.

Achievements

Achievements are special milestones that indicate when a player has successfully reached a particular goal in your game. You decide which achievements are relevant to your game and worth offering to your players. Players see achievements as locked, in progress, or completed. You can also create hidden achievements, which only appear once they’re completed. Consider using hidden achievements to prevent spoilers in your game and to surprise and delight players. You can provide up to 100 achievements, each of which can award up to 100 points, and your game can award up to 1,000 points in total. Keep these limits in mind when releasing the initial version of your game, as you may want to add new achievements in future updates. For variety, consider creating a set of achievements that require dedication and a range of skills to complete.

Challenges

Challenges let players compete directly with friends to beat a high score or accomplish a specific achievement. By default, challenges are not displayed on the dashboard. Opt in to display challenges on the dashboard using App Store Connect.

Dashboard

The Game Center dashboard is the central place where players can access their profile and interact with Game Center features that your game supports. Players can view their achievements and leaderboards, as well as a feed of the latest activity from friends, within your game. They’ll also be able to view other games their friends are playing, as well as scores and achievements. Players can tap an activity to be taken to the relevant destination — for example, when someone taps an activity notifying them that several friends are playing your game, they’re taken to your game so they can start playing.

Add an access point to give players an easy way to get to the dashboard within your game. When the access point initially appears, you have the option of showing highlights — such as the number of achievements or default leaderboard ranking — providing players with quick insight into their progress. After showing any highlights, the access point collapses to display the player’s avatar.

Multiplayer

Game Center supports real-time and turn-based multiplayer functionality, helping players connect without leaving your game. Players can invite Game Center friends, contacts, iMessage groups, and nearby players, or automatch with other competitors to quickly start playing on iOS, iPadOS, and macOS.

Friends

Game Center connects players inside and outside of your game. Players can start multiplayer games together, find out where friends rank on a leaderboard, keep up with what friends are playing on the App Store and in Game Center widgets — and much more. And the friend request inbox lets them easily manage requests in one place.

You can leverage the Friends API to create frictionless social and multiplayer experiences. Let friends go on missions together, display a friends-only leaderboard in your custom UI, and even show friends’ progress within progression maps. Players are prompted for access to their list of Game Center friends on a per-game basis, so they always have control over sharing their activity.

Discovery

People can discover games with Game Center enabled across their Apple devices and on the App Store. This helps new players find your game and motivates existing players to keep playing.

Friends Are Playing. This section of the App Store lets players browse and discover new games their friends are playing.

Widgets. Players can add the Friends Are Playing and Continue Playing widgets to their Home Screen to quickly jump into a game.

Product page. Your game’s App Store product page includes a Game Center section that shows people which of their friends are playing your game and the number of achievements completed.

iPhone displaying Friends Are Playing in Game Center
Friends Are Playing
iPhone displaying the Continue Playing widget
Widgets
iPhone displaying an app product page featuring Game Center Achievements, and Playing this Game info. iPhone displaying an app product page featuring What’s New, and Game Center Achievements.
Product page

Enabling Game Center

To get started, add Game Center as a capability in your Xcode project and configure features in App Store Connect. Then use the GameKit framework to implement the Game Center features you’d like to use. You can take advantage of the updated Game Center interface or add features within your custom interface. Before your game can provide Game Center features, you must confirm that the player is signed in to Game Center on the device. You can then also receive notifications for game invites, challenge invites, user changes, and more.