Many of our game-loving readers complain that Apple’s Game Center app is no longer available on their iPads, iPhones, and iPods. And some people are really upset by this change.
Are you trying to find the Game Center App in your latest iOS version? But it’s nowhere to be found? Well, that’s by design (Apple’s choice.) If you use any iOS or iPadOS version above 10, there is no Game Center app anymore. Instead, it’s a service found in your Settings app.
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- How to Set Up Multiple Player Accounts in the Game Center
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Today, you’ll learn everything about where the Game Center is on your iOS device. Let’s keep reading.
Where Is My Game Center? Check Out Our Video (Or Continue Reading)
Yes, It’s True… Game Center Is No Longer a Stand-Alone App
But even though the app is gone, Game Center settings remain available in the Settings app in iOS and iPadOS (for iOS versions 10 and higher). So, the service is still alive and well… you just don’t see it on your Home Screen anymore.
You can find Game Center by going to Settings > Game Center.
Game Center Is Now a Service
What this means for you is that while the app is gone, its functionality is still there. So, for all gamers out there, your Game Center Service continues to track your best score(s) on a leaderboard, compare your achievements, invite your friends to play, or even start a multiplayer game through auto-matching.
You still receive notifications from Game Center, provided Notifications for Games is set to ON (Settings > Notifications > Game Center > Allow Notifications).
Now, everything that the Game Center app once did is available directly in your game’s individual app. Check leaderboards, your achievements, view challenges, send challenges, and see your turns — all inside the game app itself.
If you want to manage your Game Center account, you can do that in Settings.
Changing Game Center Accounts
If you would like to change Game Center accounts, tap your Apple ID in Settings > Game Center > Apple ID and sign out.
Then, sign back in with another Apple ID.
How Do I Get the Game Center App Back?
Unless you downgrade your device to iOS 9, there’s no way to get the Game Center app back. Besides missing out on all the new features in iOS 17 and beyond, you’ll also leave your device more vulnerable to performance and security issues. So, it’s better to simply use the feature in your Settings instead.
How Do I Add or Delete Game Center Friends?
Use Game Center to Play With Friends in iOS 13+ and iPadOS
If you update to at least iOS 13 or iPadOS, you can once again send friend requests, manage your public profile, and even keep track of your high scores across all your same signed-in Apple ID devices using Game Center!
To create a Game Center profile:
- Go to Settings > Game Center.
- If needed, toggle it on and sign in.
- To add a name for your friends to see, tap the Nickname. Enter whatever name you want — if you don’t enter a name, Apple chooses one for you (we don’t recommend that).
To edit your Game Center avatar:
- In Settings > Game Center, go to Edit Avatar.
- If you choose a Memoji, click on the one you want to add and pick the facial expression you want. Then, tap Next and move/scale your image — before selecting Choose in the bottom right-hand corner.
- For the text icons instead, click on one and select Edit. Change the style and/or text before tapping Done.
How to Control Friend Requests
If you want more control over who adds you, you can turn on Requests from Contacts Only. You can also toggle Allow Finding by Friends on or off, depending on your preferences.
How to Add or Remove Friends in Game Center
Whether you want to add someone new or delete a person that you no longer wish to have in the Game Center, the process for both is straightforward.
- Go to Settings > Game Center.
- Go to Invite Friends.
- Enter the phone number of the person that you want to invite to be friends in Game Center.
- To accept a friend request, the recipient must click the link in Messages and use a device with iOS 13 or iPadOS 13 or above.
- Friend requests on older operating systems, computers, or Android devices do not work.
- Send a friend request to the person you want to add via iMessage. Tap Done once you’ve customized everything and added a comment.
If you want to start a game with others close to you, go to the Multiplayer Invites section and toggle Nearby Players on.
You can remove a friend by swiping on their name and tapping Remove when the option appears. If needed, you can also report the individual. You can access your friends by tapping on your name and selecting the Friends tab.
What Happens to My Game Now That Game Center App Is History?
If your game is saved to your Apple ID, try logging out and then logging back into and then connect to Game Center from within the game itself. Performing those steps should restore your game progress and info.
And even though the Game Center app is gone, your game data is also likely stored safely on the individual game app’s or social media’s servers.
How to Connect Game Center to iCloud
It’s also possible to connect your Game Center account to iCloud, allowing easy access across multiple Apple devices.
- Go to Settings > Apple ID > iCloud.
- Expand Apps Using iCloud by tapping Show All.
- Toggle Game Center on.
If you later decide that you want to unlink Game Center from iCloud, simply toggle the feature off again.
Disable the Game Center Welcome Banner
If you are sick and tired of seeing that welcome banner each and every time you open a game that supports Game Center, there’s good news!
Removing that banner is as easy as changing just one setting. Go to Settings > Notifications > Game Center and turn off notifications.
Gaming Via Messages
Adding friends and inviting them to games is now handled by the individual game apps using iOS 10’s expanded Messages app.
So starting in iOS 10, within your game app you send a message to anyone in your Contacts and are immediately able to play a game with them. These messages are sent to your contacts as Game Center notifications.
You no longer add friends to Game Center. Instead, you invite people to play via iMessage for supported games.
Browse iMessage-compatible games
Here’s how to browse games that you can play with your friends.
- Open the Messages app.
- Tap the + icon.
- Select More.
- Choose Store.
- Tap See All next to Challenge Your Friends. Then, browse the list of games available.
Troubleshooting Game Center
If you experience challenges in playing games with your friends, getting an invite, or sending Game Center messages back and forth, here are a few tips that might just turn things around.
- Tap Settings > Game Center > Your Apple ID
- Tap on your Apple ID.
- Select Sign Out and then sign back in.
- Restart your iDevice by powering off and then back on
- Force restart your iDevice (iPhone or iPad)
- On an iPhone 6S or below plus all iPads with home buttons & iPod Touches 6th gen and below, press Home and Power at the same time until you see the Apple logo.
- For iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus and iPod touch 7th generation: Press and hold both the Side and Volume Down buttons for at least 10 seconds, until you see the Apple logo.
- On an iPhone 8 and above: Press and quickly release the Volume Up button. Then, press and quickly release the Volume Down button. Finally, press and hold the Side button until you see the Apple logo.
- Tap Settings > General > Date & Time and turn on Set Automatically.
The Game Center Is Still on iOS But It’s No Longer an App
If you’re wondering “where is the Game Center on my iPhone or iPad?”, the app no longer exists. But despite that, the support and many of its features are still here.
You can invite friends to play with you, along with browsing the App Store for interesting games and more. Hopefully, these tips gave you some clarity and will allow you to keep having fun.
Danny has been a professional writer since graduating from university in 2016, but he’s been writing online for over a decade. He has been intrigued by Apple products ever since getting an iPod Shuffle in 2008 and particularly enjoys writing about iPhones and iPads. Danny prides himself on making complex topics easy to understand. In his spare time, he’s a keen photographer.