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When I try to install some Android games, the Google Play site says they are not compatible with my phone, without stating the specific reasons. How can I find out what about my phone is incompatible?

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It could be any number of reasons, probably your phone is running a version of Android that is incompatible with the game (too old or too new), or your phone does not have certain hardware that is necessary for playing the game. –  fredley Nov 22 '12 at 14:43
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Whatever game you're looking at should have requirements listed on the app page. –  Frank Nov 22 '12 at 15:40
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If you feel lucky, you can try forcing the apps to install. –  fredley Nov 22 '12 at 15:57
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@fredley Seems a useful link. –  DUKE Nov 22 '12 at 16:27
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For what it's worth, when I had an HTC Wildfire (original one), that had a very low resolution, that was typically the reason for incompatibility. –  George Duckett Nov 22 '12 at 16:30
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2 Answers

It may be for 2 reasons :

  1. Hardware Incompatibility

  2. Outdated Software

If your Software is outdated, then a pop-up will tell you that you are running too old an version for the app when you click 'Download'. Now, you may or may not be able to download a newer version of android.

Otherwise, it must be Hardware Incompatibility, and you can't do anything about it (short of buying a new phone).

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I'm an android developer for work and all I can tell you is that we have to deal with very different devices running the same android version. Dealing with a cheap device, with poor graphic support, not enough memory and low res, to publish a 3D game (example) is very annoying.

We have to deal with so many things already, that we set a base limit. If our game is designed to be at least 800x600, any device with less than that resolution won't be able to play the game. It's just easier than trying the impossible.

Try this example: why should a game that uses gps be installed on a device without gps? You may say this is an extreme example, but for us developers the same applies to lower-level limits (coding/design related)

See this link to understand how we limit things and what you can do to filter apps in the playstore

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As much as I like this answer, you haven't addressed the base question at all, which is how to find out if you can play the game or not. –  Frank Jan 11 '13 at 17:08
    
As i stated in the end, you can filter them out on the play store or buy a compatible phone. It's almost impossible to fix any compatibility issue. "if you can play it" --> you already know it when you enter the play store... "why" --> you can't know, actually (ask the dev maybe? but they probably can't help... there's so much different hardware around, we need to put restrictions... on the ios side it's easier, 3 ipad versions and 2 different resolutions...) –  Samuele Mattiuzzo Jan 11 '13 at 18:42
    
@Samuele Mattiuzzo Why can't the Google play store state something (with reasons) like "You can't install this game because your phone does not support GPS"? –  DUKE Jan 12 '13 at 17:33
    
@DUKE I don't know exactly. Maybe because it would be impossible anyway for you to fix that (you can't change the video card) so it's pointless –  Samuele Mattiuzzo Jan 13 '13 at 4:42
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