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How to Add Games to iPod: Download and Install Games Onto Your iPod Touch

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Tricia Goss•updated: 8/11/2011

The iPod Touch is one of the most primary places for gaming in the mobile world, and the process for bringing games onto the device is pretty implicit once you know what you're doing. Here is a tutorial on how to purchase pay games for the iPod Touch.

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    The iOS, which is the operating system in the iPod Touch, is the most popular platform for video games in the U.S. Games make up a sizable, and the most visible portion of the iTunes App Store. They are often what make people stick with the device. For people that are new to the device, it may be difficult to figure out how to add games to the iPod Touch without any background. This is actually a very simple process once you become familiar with the process. Here is a look at the various ways that you can download games to your iPod Touch.

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    Computer Download

    Press the Button Below the Icon 

    The primary way to add games to an iPod Touch is by going directly to the iTunes App Store from your computer. Begin by browsing through the iTunes Store, going into the Games subsection from the menu in the upper right hand corner. It stands on its own in the same way that Social Networking and Utilities does. In this area, you can see options such as the most popular paid and free iPod Touch games as well as featured ones. You will also have the choice of looking at sub-categories, such as Simulation or Role Playing Games.

    Select Apps from the Library 

    When you find a game that interests you, drag your cursor over it. This gives you two options. First, you can click on the icon or the text to open up its distinct page. Second, you can just select the download button that appears. It is usually best to look at the page unless you are certain you want to download that game.

    Once you determine that you want to download the game, you will hit the grey button that lists a price on it, and if it is a free iPod Touch game, then it will simply say Free App on it. From here, a log in request will come up asking for the email and password for your iTunes account. When this is entered successfully, it will charge the credit or debit card that has been assigned to the account and your Apple ID. You will do this before you ever make any purchases from iTunes, and it remains standard unless you want to change it. A receipt will later be sent to the email assigned to the account to list your purchases.

    Now that the purchase has been made, it will begin downloading to your computer within iTunes. When it has finished, it will list the new game in the App section of the Library, which is right below books in the left hand panel. Plug your iPod Touch as if you were going to sync it, yet cancel the sync when it begins. Select your iPod Touch and then go into the Apps tab from the middle panel. Make sure that the Sync App box is selected, and then go down the list of apps below and make sure that the game you downloaded is also selected. From here, you will then initiate the sync manually, putting the game onto the iPod.

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    Right From the iPod

    The second main option is to find and download the game using the App Store app on the iPod Touch, and download it directly to the iPod Touch using a Wifi connection. Once you have a solid Wifi connection you will open the iPod Touch App Store app and look at the different options you have to find the right game. If you know what name you are working with then you can begin by searching outright, but if you want to browse you will want to go to Categories and then Games. Just as in the computer based iTunes, you will select the app to go to a specific page to learn more about it. When you want to purchase or download the app you hit the button associated, and you will be prompted to enter in your relevant iTunes log in information. Once it is accepted the download will begin right on your iPod Touch desktop. Now when you bring the iPod Touch to sync back to your Home computer it will transfer that purchase, as well as any media purchases from the iTunes Store, to your computer. It will then be there and available if you end up getting a new iPod Touch or if you need it for backup. If you have all of your pages full on your iPod Touch it will still download to your device, though it will not show up. Instead, you will have to search for it to identify it and you will not be able to watch the progress bar as it is downloading.


  • Source: Author's own experience.
  • Screenshots by Shane Burley