How to get set up on Game Center on iPhone | Cult of Mac

How to set up Game Center to pwn your friends


Game On With Game Center
Set up Game Center and you can compete with friends in the games you both play.
Image: Apple/D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Apple’s Game Center service lets you compete with friends and unlock achievements in the games you play. You can see where you rank among your friends — and globally. Achievements will give you a list of missions to accomplish to prove your mastery of the game. You can even play live multiplayer games on all your separate devices using SharePlay.

Up until iOS 10, Game Center existed as a separate app on iPhone and iPad, which made this all easier to manage. How do you manage your Game Center account now? What options do you have? How do you add friends?

How to set up and edit your Game Center username and profile

Game Center settings
Game Center is buried deep in Settings.
Screenshot: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

To set up Game Center on your iPhone, go to Settings, then scroll down (pretty far) to tap on Game Center. You’ll need to sign in with your Apple ID if you haven’t already.

Tap on your name at the top to see your profile.

Tap Nickname to set a username. It has to be unique, but you can change it anytime.

Profile Privacy sets how public your profile is. This includes recently played games and your achievements. Although your entire friend list is never public, some of them might be shown. For example, an achievement that says, “You beat [a friend’s] score” in a game you both play might show up in your activity with a link to your friend’s profile.

If you don’t want your friends to be public information, it’s best to play it safe and set Profile Privacy to Friends Only. If you don’t want anyone to know what games you play, set it to Only You.

Allow Finding by Friends will let your contacts find your profile and send you an invitation to connect if they have your matching phone number or email address for your Apple ID.

Requests from Contacts Only will hide friend requests from people who aren’t in your contacts. With both of these enabled, you can only receive an invitation if both of you have the correct contact info for each other. This is really handy if you’re writing an article about Game Center that’ll be read by thousands of people for years to come and you don’t want to be spammed by requests from strangers.

Nearby Players allows you to play local multiplayer games with your friends. Connect with Friends allows games to use your friends list.

Add friends to Game Center

Add a friend in Game Center
Add friends to see what they’re playing.
Screenshot: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

To add a friend, go to Settings > Game Center (you’ll have to scroll down pretty far) and tap Invite Friends.

Type in a name from your contacts, or a phone number or email address. You have to enter in the same number or email the person uses for their Apple ID. For most people, that’s their only phone number, and an email address ending in or


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