We’ve all been there. Stuck in an age of never ending multiplayer releases, like Blizzard’s smash hit Overwatch, yet with a constant fear of solo queue. Sure, maybe you’ve got yourself a nice little friend group that you jump on with and trash enemies with, but what happens when they’re not on, or busy playing a different game? For me, I’ve always taken to subreddits where you can meet potential gaming buddies, however, its always returned mixed results. Some people are good, some are straight up terrible. Some are serious, others prefer to take a 6 Junkrat strategy to a Payload map.
Enter GamerLink, a new social app for iOS and Android phones that seeks to bring gamers of similar tastes together. GamerLink is a standalone product that currently has over 100 of the most popular multiplayer games to choose from across the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, Wii, Wii U, and PC platforms like Steam, Origin, and Battle.net. The game list is constantly being updated, featuring popular open world games like GTA V and The Division to MOBA games like Dota 2 and League of Legends. In the future, GamerLink plans on making sure every game will have a Community hub where you can find gaming requests, meet new gamers, and discussion forums where players can type out their thoughts or questions.
Using the app, you can set up a profile and match yourself with players of similar personalities, skills, and play styles. It’s almost like a dating app but for fellow gamers.
I got to talk with GamerLink co-founder Ryan Figueiredo about their app, and their reason for starting it up echoed the exact problem I’d been having in the past. “It’s tough trying to find gamers you’ll consistently enjoy playing with in online video games, and it can be a frustrating and tedious experience,” Figueiredo explained. “From forum posting, to going through hundreds of LFG sites, the process is not a fun time. Each gamer has their own idea of what type of gamer they’d prefer to play with, but no video game matchmaker has been able to take their preferences and use them to help gamers find and connect with other like-minded gamers. GamerLink aims to change this.”
The app is already in a great spot to change the game despite its beta status, since its already a lot more polished and straightforward than a lot of other apps that compete to do the same thing. Plus, its exponentially easier than using forums and subreddits to find people.
The app starts after you create your account, and here you can put in the games you play, and include which platforms you play them on. Using the app is incredibly simple, too. After entering your info, GamerLink brings you to your Dashboard, where it instantly shows you other people’s gaming alerts on your platform for the games you want to play. The recently updated user interface features a Dashboard filter, high-quality game wallpapers and a cleaner layout, and comes with a simple option to pull down to refresh the Dashboard.
The gaming alerts that show up on your Dashboard are called Beacons, and under each individual Beacon are an optional set of Tags set up by the person looking play. Some example Tags include #Casual, for those that just want to have a fun time, to #Mic, where the gamer should have a microphone for communication purposes. For the serious gamers, there’s Tags like #Competitive and #Experienced to pair you with more hardcore gamers. In the latest update, the option to add an estimated game length and start time accompanies the option for descriptions and the ability to expire a Beacon once you no longer want to receive requests.
In order to set up a Beacon, tap the little antenna icon in the bottom right hand corner and input your game, platform, description, and Tags. The option to add Tags is a new, ingenious way for the app to filter the gamers that are incompatible with your preferences, and essentially creates a way to make the gaming experience the one that YOU want.
Let’s say you’ve set up your Beacon and find some incredible people to play with. That brings us to the Friends section of the app, where you can find people that you’ve played with in the past and access their profile. You can send them messages, alongside information like their last played game. Profiles are simple, yet informational. Under GL Info, you can find their usernames for their consoles and PC platforms like Steam, Origin, and Battle.net. Under Game Library, it tells you every game they’ve played (that the user entered, GamerLink doesn’t snoop around in your games library and they pride themselves on not selling your info), and it also tells you what system they play it on. A newly added feature on the Activity Feeds allows you to check out what games your friends are currently playing, too.
The 7-person development team at GamerLink “look forward to bring gamers better online experiences, across all games and platforms,” and much of that is due to the users’ suggestions. Figueiredo thanks every GamerLink user that gave “great feedback on what to improve and what features they want next,” because they steer where the app goes. By implementing users’ ideas, the developers are determined to create a great social app, and it shows in its already impressive list of features. So far, the only problem I’ve seen with the app is its moderate population. With about 10,000 downloads total, the number of users can sometimes make it hard to find someone who fits all your criteria. However, GamerLink, on a global scale, has the potential to reach millions of gamers worldwide, and they have a plan to do just that and to be the best solution available to connect gamers together for better online experiences.
For those not on mobile, you can head to their official page at gamerlink.gg or sign up at my referral link here (I’ll get referral points!), and you’ll receive a text message with the ability to download the app.
As mentioned before, GamerLink is currently in beta, with a plan to leave beta depending on the growth of the platform. However, the future of the app looks bright, as Figueiredo also told me they have “big plans for the future, all tied to the vision of creating better online gaming experiences for everyone.” The app can be downloaded here for devices with iOS 8.0 and up, and on Android phones running Android 4.1 and up here. A full list of their updates can be found here, and their promotional video can be viewed below. Find like-minded gamers and connect with all your gaming friends.