What devices are US teens using to game – and what are they playing?
January 30th, 2023, Christien Pheby

What devices are US teens using to game – and what are they playing?

YouGov Teen Profiles allows us to explore how American teens game. This demographic may not have the spending power of older gamers, but they remain a key target audience for many players in the industry; get their interest while they’re young, and they may well turn out to be gamers for life. The good news for developers and publishers is that most of the younger generation game – and just 13% say they don’t play video games at all. As for how they play, two in five (42%) are using smartphones or mobile devices at least once a month, with a third (34%) using a desktop or laptop computer.

The most popular dedicated games consoles are from the last generation: 28% of teens play on machines from Sony’s PlayStation 4 family (the base model, the PS4 Slim, and the PS4 Pro), while 26% play on Nintendo Switch and 21% on consoles from the Xbox One family (the base model, Xbox One S, and Xbox One X). Current-gen consoles – which have suffered from shortages for much of this generation – are out of reach for most youngsters in our sample: just 8% played a PS5 in the past month (with 4% playing the digital-only PS5), while 6% played the Xbox Series X or the Xbox Series S.

In fact, each current-gen console is outperformed by the Nintendo Wii (10%), Nintendo DS/3DS (10%), and Xbox 360 (10%). VR is also a more common way for teens to experience video games.

Looking at genre, half of US teens say they typically play action/adventure games on a console or computer (49%) – but more social/multiplayer oriented genres dominate the rest of the top ten.

The second most popular genre, for example, is fighting games such as Soulcalibur and Injustice, with a third (32%) saying they typically play these titles. Battle Royale games such as Fortnite aren’t far behind (30%), and neither are FPS (28%) or simulation games (26%). A quarter of American teens also play racing games, with a fifth playing casual games (22%), MMORPGs (22%), sports games (21%), or horror games (20%).


The data is based on a sample of US teens aged 13 – 17. Panellists were recruited via YouGov Chat. Data is weighted by age and gender. 

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