I see them mostly at the top left and top right of the screen (touchscreen games).

Which is better, and why?

  • This will usually be based on the mechanics of the game and if any other functions exist. Usually a location will have restart, pause, exist, panel navigation etc. etc. Some even have a pause game in a drop down panel to free up the in game experience. Jun 25, 2015 at 18:50
  • There is not an answer, beyond personal opinion, that can answer this question as written. Your game design will guide where a potential pause button will go (maybe you shouldn't have a pause button at all). Jun 25, 2015 at 19:14
  • Is there an answer beyond personal opinion to any aspect of UX design?
    – Confused
    Jun 25, 2015 at 19:56
  • @Confused - Yes. If you're unsure how that works, please investigate more in what UX design is, and what it involves. Jun 26, 2015 at 16:56
  • a cursory glance at the first link reveals this argument against your claim: "Evaluating the effectiveness and return on investment of a UX design using quantitative measures is difficult. This is because the field is subjective."
    – Confused
    Jun 26, 2015 at 17:58

2 Answers 2


From the minimal amount of information I would say; roughly 90% of people are right handed, therefore will likely be using the phone with their right hand. If pausing is an important/prevalent part of the game put the button in the top right to be easier to reach. If you have more important elements or if the pause button is going to block important game real estate move it to the left as to leave room for more important things in the right side.

  • What's the most popular game on iOS and Android that features a pause button? Where is it located?
    – Confused
    Jun 26, 2015 at 20:07
  • Throughout the history of gaming, what has the top left side and top middle of the screen been typically used for the presentation of?
    – Confused
    Jun 26, 2015 at 20:08

The same depends on what your rest of the controls are, or in other words which hand you would be using the most while playing the game.

If the game can be placed by just one hand, placing it on the right makes a lot of sense as most of the users are right handed.

If the game needs to you use both your hand to control, the pause button should be placed towards the one hand which is assumed to be less busy.

For example, in a game where you have to use your left hand to steer the car, and the right hand to fire the boost, placing the pause button on the right makes much more sense.

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