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I am working on an iOS turn-based client-server game and I am concerned with the reliability of the connection and the length of time it takes to establish the connection.

The game is turn-based but is not asynchronous, so both players must finish their game in one sitting. If one side of the connection is lost, the person who loses connection will lose. As such this is a big concern for me.

I see applications like WhatsApp losing connection quite often even with full bar of data and it takes about 2-3 seconds every time I launch or resume the application to establish a connection. Is this the norm and is there any way to keep the connection from disconnecting from the server as long as the player has 3G connection? What are some things that I can do to improve the play experience given this condition?

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I don't have any data on 3G reliability (except personal experience that suggests it's not reliable). But I don't see any reason for your game to drop a player whenever she disconnects. Add a gracious timeout - when a player disconnects, wait for 2, 5 or maybe 10 seconds. If she reconnects, continue the game. With a turn-based game, this shouldn't hurt the gameplay much.

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