It might not sound like something that should be possible, let alone easy, to do on Android, but in fact it is super simple to both play a video and a game at the same time on Android devices.
To learn how to watch videos while you play a game on your Android smartphone or tablet, simply follow our step-by-step tutorial below. For all other information, or if you have further questions, see our FAQ section at the end of this article.
Note: The split-screen method described below may differ slightly from Android device to Android device (for example between a Samsung and a Google Pixel), however our tutorial has been designed to be general enough that it should benefit the vast majority of Android users.
Table of Contents
- How to play a video while playing a game on Android
How to play a video while playing a game on Android
- On your Android device, open up the first of the apps that you want to use (for example, the video player, streaming app, or YouTube)
- Using this app, locate the video you want to play and tap on it. Keep it paused for now.
- Head back to the home screen, or app screen, and next locate and launch the second of the apps you want to use at the same time as the first (for example, the game app, like Angry Birds or Snake)
- Now that you have both apps open at the same time, navigate to the ‘Recent Apps’ screen (the screen that allows you to quickly jump between open apps, or close them remotely)
- On Samsung Android devices, tap the three vertical lines icon in the bottom-left (next to the ‘Home’ and ‘Back’ buttons)
- On other Android devices there may be alternate routes you can use to access the recent apps menu; do so now
- From the recent apps window, locate the video in the app you launched earlier, and either tap and hold the app logo at the top of the window (Samsung) or tap the three dots at the top of the app window (other Androids)
- Next, from the pop-up menu, select ‘Open in split screen view’. Your video/streaming app will appear to take up the top half of your screen
- To select the game you want to play at the same time as the video, simply scroll through the recent apps displayed in the bottom half of the screen, and tap on the correct gaming app (no need to tap and hold or tap three vertical dots this time)
- You have successfully launched two apps (video and game) in split screen mode on Android — tap the video and then tap the ‘play’ button to start it. You can now watch a video and play your game at the same time
And that’s all you need to know about playing videos and games at the same time on Android. If you have any more questions, or would like some more information on the subject, please check out our FAQs below.
Is it easy to play a game and watch a video at the same time on Android?
When we first looked to answer this question for My How-To Online, we were a little worried that we weren’t going to be able to deliver a proper tutorial, since it seemed few Android users had been able to work out a way of watching a video on their phones at the same time as playing a game. But then we had an epiphany!
Android phones as standard give users the option to access two apps on their phone at the same time via a mode called ‘split-screen’. Thus, after a bit of testing here and there with various video player apps, streaming apps, and games on our Android phones, we discovered that this was the trick to playing videos and games at the same time on Android.
Thus, to answer this question. Yes, it is easy to play a game and watch a video at the same time on Android. All you have to do is follow our step-by-step instructions above and you’ll be doing so in no time at all.
Why would I want to watch and play at the same time?
There are a whole host of reasons as to why you might want to watch a video and play a game at the same time on Android, not least simply because you can! If you’re a mobile gamer, you’ll have come up against this issue many times: you’re in the middle of a mission, a battle, a particularly tricky puzzle, and you suddenly get a call, a video call, a notification or the like.
What do you do? Stop playing and devote all your attention to the incoming thing? Well, without knowing what else to do that’s kind of all you can do. But with our method, as described above, you’d no longer have to. You could in fact do both things at once.
Similarly, have you ever got stuck at a difficult part of a game? Oftentimes, gamers resort to YouTube guides and tutorials to help them get past particularly tricky parts of gameplay, or even just for the sake of doing something cool in-game which they can’t figure out on their own.
Either of these reasons would be enough to make you want to learn how to watch videos and play games at the same time. Another reason might be that you want to play music through Youtube, to serve as background sound to your gameplay.
In truth, the list of reasons as to why you might want to play a video while playing a game on Android is endless. If you want to know how, just follow our step-by-step guide above.
Can you watch any video and play any game at the same time on Android?
Naturally, we haven’t been able to test every single possible combination of gameplay and screenplay at the same time. There are simply too many games and too many possible streaming and video-player apps out there for us to be able to test all of them out together in every possible combination.
Nevertheless, what we were able to determine was that, as far as we can tell, you can effectively watch any video and play any game at the same time on Android, with one caveat: that’s not to say that doing so is an effective or optimal way of doing either.
Because you have to use the Android’s in-built split-screen mode in order to do this, you are going to effectively half the size of window you’re working with for both the video and the game. As mobile gamers will well know, a phone’s screen-size can be a challengingly small area to work with when gaming full-screen, let alone at half-screen.
Nevertheless, whether you’re streaming something from Netflix, Disney+, YouTube or just the Android device’s default video player app, you can do so alongside playing just about any game we could think of to try out from the Google Play Store (app store).
Does YouTube work in split-screen mode on Android?
Yes, YouTube does work in split-screen mode on Android, alongside whatever game or other app you want to use at the same time as watching your favorite YouTube videos. To ensure that the YouTube video you’re watching takes up the entirety of the half-screen you’ve allocated it to, simply tap the ‘fullscreen’ icon on the playing video (usually located bottom-right) and the video shall fill the full half-screen.
If your video stops playing when you first put YouTube into split-screen mode, don’t worry – this does not mean that it’s not going to work, it just means that you need to tap the video once more, and then when the ‘Play’ icon appears, tap this to get the video to start playing once again.