Learn how CODM has changed my outlook and become a source of joy and entertainment.
For many people, video games are a pure source of entertainment and something to do in their free time. While the options were much more limited growing up, the opportunity to experience video gameplay is around every corner. Everyone carries a personal gaming device in their pocket — their smartphone. This gives us the unique opportunity to quickly and easily connect with others around the world through online multiplayer gameplay. This was, in fact, one of the main ways that people kept connections with people outside their homes during major lockdowns of the pandemic.
One of the most popular mobile games that emerged during that time, was Call of Duty: Mobile (CODM). It’s a free-to-play first-person shooter (FPS) game for Android and iOS users. The game was originally released in October 2019 and in its first month, the game saw more than 148 million downloads with a reported $54 million in revenue. This made Call of Duty: Mobile the largest mobile game launch in history. CODM has consistently appeared as a top download in app stores and that’s how it caught my eye in early 2022. Even though I’ve always enjoyed online gaming, I ended up starting Call of Duty: Mobile for a very different reason — to save my life.
I am an introvert. I typically like to spend my time alone or with just one or two people at a time. I guess I’m what you would consider a loner. Because of this personality trait, online gaming has been one of the best ways possible for me to discover and bond with others who have similar interests. It requires very little of me ‘putting myself out there’ in order to meet others. In my late 20s/early 30s, that was my main method of socializing. I had a small group of close online friends but spent most of my in-person time with my grandmother, who raised me, and my fiancé.
Due to various illnesses including cancer, I spent many years taking care of my grandmother. She lived with us and because I was dedicated to spending as much quality time with her as possible, online gaming fell by the wayside. I kept to myself and really focused on caring for and spending time with my grandmother. Between her and my fiancé, I really did not care too much about socializing outside our house.
Unfortunately, we lost my grandmother on November 13, 2021, after cancer that we were unaware of spread through her body. By the time we found out about the illness, it was too late for any treatment to help and she passed away at home. I was devastated. I still am. Until her death, there wasn’t a day of my life that didn’t involve at least a phone call from her. I spent more time with her than her own children did. Needless to say, her passing caused me a lot of deep pain.
I pretty much shut down and just went through the motions of a day — and that’s really only because my fiancé kept me moving. I did not want to eat, work, talk, or do anything. I would get out of bed and move to the couch. I would stay there until it was time for bed and then I would move back to bed. Sometimes I would sit in her spot on the couch and just stare out the sliding glass door. The TV would usually be on so that I could focus on something other than my thoughts. Sometimes I would watch random documentaries on WWII. The sadness would not let go. I have always dealt with some form of depression, but this was more than I had ever felt before.
From November 2021 to April 2022, this was how my days were spent. I would get up, grab my laptop, and sit on the couch. I would get some work done and then just sit there. I would think about what I could have done and what I should have done, and I would think about how much I wanted to end it so I would stop feeling the pain of loss. While updating my iPhone one day in January 2022, I saw CODM in the App Store. I decided to download it as it might give me something else to focus on. I gave it a go, but after playing a round with my fingers, I decided it wasn’t for me. I closed the app and fell back into my hell on Earth.
Then, one day while I was skimming through YouTube, I ran into a video of someone using a controller with CODM. We had the RiotPWR ESL iOS Gaming Controller that needed to be reviewed and I decided to give it a go. While Robyn completed the review, she did ask me to try it with Call of Duty: Mobile so that I could provide that insight for the review. This is what she wrote about my experience with that controller.
“I am using an iPhone 12 Pro and my fiancé has an iPhone 13 Pro. He is a first-person shooter gamer so I asked him to give the RiotPWR controller a try, too. He was happy to do so because he had Call of Duty on his phone but really hadn’t enjoyed playing it much because it was too difficult to control his firearms in the game with the on-screen controls. He plugged the controller in and again, without needing to download the app, he was able to not only start playing COD, but he was also able to win. He joined a group of people and ended up with the MVP shot at the end of the round. I was on the opposite end of the house and heard him shout. He rushed to where I was to tell me what happened and was thrilled that he was able to enjoy the mobile version of the game. He said the controller gave him the ability to have gun control, which he was lacking without the controller.”https://macsources.com/riotpwr-esl-ios-gaming-controller-review/
That particular controller houses the iPhone in a mount on the top of the controller. Even though the RiotPWR controller didn’t seem like a good fit for me, it did open my eyes to what gameplay would be like with a controller instead of the touch controls. CODM was more appealing to me at this point and after I settled into a controller I did like (Razer Kishi V1 for iOS), playing the game really helped me to focus my thoughts on something other than the loss of my grandmother.
Finding Purpose in CODM
I got really good with the M13, and one day I ran into someone using the SVD and got sniped. It was an eye-opening experience for me. I wanted that gun, and I wanted to snipe. So, I put my M13 to rest and went all in on the SVD. After a little while with it, I became really, really good with it. I was so good that I must have upset a few people in the game because I started to get random invites to join some people with their games, which I ignored. I typically just played by myself because I didn’t want to worry about talking to anyone. At that point, I just wanted to use CODM as a coping mechanism to deal with my depression.
Then, one day in April 2022, after the same person sent me an invite a few days in a row, I decided to join his group. I just assumed they were going to cuss me out for sniping them repeatedly and I thought maybe I could get a laugh from that. I had not laughed in a long time, so I thought, “What the heck?” Instead, I found that it was two guys — Mo and Goldballs — who just wanted to play with the guy who sniped them rather than get sniped by him over and over again. Before I could leave the group, I heard them bantering with each other, and it amused me.
I kept my mic muted, but I was entertained by listening to those two guys. It was like I was watching the two old men on the balcony who always rag on the Muppets. I decided to stay and play. They ended up inviting other random people to play (Jordy, Dominion, BloodNinja, and others) from time to time. At some point, I decided to unmute my mic when they were talking about something I knew about and could speak on. I think it was a bit awkward because I had been playing with them for a few weeks without ever speaking. This was the start of some great friendships with people who are now like family to me.
Since that time, I have only missed one or two days of gaming with or talking to this awesome group of people. Over time, some people have come and gone, but Mo and I have grown the group to include Sammy, Lesley, Damien, Quin, TJ, Aubree, Bill, Manny, and Silvia. These people turned my life around. I end up playing with most of them daily and without them, I honestly don’t know if I would be here. This free-to-play mobile game provided a group of friends that I didn’t think I needed. Since we were playing together so much, we started a clan called “MakeÜQuit” because we ended up making other players so mad that they will leave the game in the middle of a match.
Our group has become so much more than random friends on a game — we are a makeshift family. We even have decided to do a friend meet-up this summer in Nashville. Growing up, I never felt this close to anyone other than my grandparents. I always had friends, but none of them were people I would go out of my way to talk to daily. CODM has given me this, and I am grateful for it. I am grateful for Mo and Goldballs, who broke me out of my shell and helped me deal with my depression.
Early on, they didn’t know what was going on as I kept my grandmother’s passing to myself. I eventually did let them know about my situation and thanked them for inviting me to play with them. Without these two, there is a good chance I would have ended my life. CODM and these two random guys gave me a new outlook on life, and even though I am still hurting inside from the loss, I am able to move about my day like a normal person.
Looking Ahead: New Opportunities
As my gameplay has progressed, I have migrated from the Razer Kishi and my iPhone to my iPad Pro and an Xbox Elite Series 2 Wireless controller. I even have my iPad hardwired into a 43″ monitor so I can kick back in my chair and play without my eyes hurting. I know it might seem extreme but it makes me happy and being happy is something I thought I lost completely in November 2021. In addition to changing up my equipment, I continue to seek out new challenges within the game.
Call of Duty: Mobile takes guns and maps from other Call of Duty games and modifies them for the mobile platform. It is a fully-baked Call of Duty game that can be played on phones, tablets, and even PCs (with an emulator). The movement in the game is fluid and the gunplay is outstanding. We play on the global server but the Chinese and Garena version of the game differs slightly from the global server. CODM has Mythic and Legendary guns that have super cool effects that make the game more fun when killing the enemy. I recently found that the other Servers, like Garena and China, sometimes get Mythic and Legendary guns we don’t get in the global server.
Since I started really playing CODM and discovering these kill effects, I got on a roll with purchasing these weapons and currently own almost every gun available on the global server. This shopping spree really began as a way to try and get the Bass Booster. Users can only access these Mythic and Legendary weapons through a process called Lucky Draw. In order to complete a single Lucky Draw, a user has to purchase CP, which is the digital currency used in CODM.
As I’ve mentioned, the game is free to play and you can gain different guns through the course of playing the game, but in order to get these special weapons, you have to purchase this digital currency, which can be $100+ USD for each CP bundle. This is how CODM makes its revenue. Needless to say, I’ve dropped a lot of real dollars into this game trying to get the one gun I really want since the Lucky Draw is randomized. I hesitate to add it all up since I know it would be a sickening amount of money.
Each of the guns I own has been played with and thoroughly tested. At this point in time, I have received Damascus camo for completing camo challenges in the game. I have also completed Diamond Camo challenges for all of the weapons, too. I have done this for both my accounts (yes, I have two accounts). Given that I have invested so much time and money into this game, recent news from Microsoft that suggested CODM might be phased out with the release of Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile was devastating to me. As it turned out, other members of our group felt the same way. I was really nervous that everyone would just throw up their hands and say, “Have a nice life!” Instead, we all decided we would give Warzone a try if that needed to happen just so that we could keep playing together.
We actually started testing it out together on Xbox and we all found it to be a much different gaming environment than Call of Duty: Mobile. That said, we felt that if we had to make it work, we could. I will say that the bots in that game are no joke. I wish CODM would update the paint-sniffing bots they have now and give us more aggressive bots that play more like real people. Heck, I think it would be funny to see the bots use melee weapons as well.
Conclusion: Bringing Balance Back
Even though my grief is still very much a part of my daily life, I have other things to look forward to as well. My group of friends plays nightly. We text each other randomly during the day. We encourage each other. We congratulate each other. We check up on each other. We are family. And, thankfully, we have some reassurance from Activision, too. On March 13, 2023, they sent out a Tweet that stated, “We … intend to continue supporting the game with a robust roadmap of fresh new CODM content, activities, and updates for the long haul.”
As long as Activision stays true to its statement and keeps CODM running, I believe my group of friends will continue to play, and so will I.
For more information, visit callofduty.com/mobile, Facebook, and Twitter.
never thought a game about killing people would save anyone like that.
Great story, I also play CODM with a controller (ps4) definitely the best game on mobile 🤙
Really nice article!!! I’m a big fan of CODm as well and I’m insanely impressed you have the Damascus Camo and ALL the diamond camos. I just got my first diamond camo today which is the DL Q33 diamond camo.
My CODm in-game name is Dojoedward and I would love it if I could get a friend request if that’s possible. I love all your articles but especially this one.
It’s such a heartwarming story and I hope you enjoy playing CODm forever!
😂😂😂 it is your life prime example of ah yee no life try hard buster
I’m so happy for you, not everyone knows the deep cut in loosing someone, thou I lost mine was I was still little but I still remembers him now that I have grown, especially when I see my other friends having issues with their dad, I will wish that mine is alive…
Anyways, that’s it… So happy for you.