10 Types of Game Metrics and How To Use Them

January 18, 2024
January 18, 2024

Game developers must balance multiple goals ranging from keeping players happy to improving the bottom line. How do you know when you are making progress toward your goals? Game metrics measure the various factors that impact the success of your game so you can make informed decisions.

Key Takeaways:

  • Game metrics provide a way for developers to track their progress toward their goals.
  • There are many types of metrics, and the best ones to use depend on your goals, game, genre, and target audience.
  • Developers use metrics to determine how engaged players are, identify opportunities to improve their game, optimize monetization efforts, determine budgets, and assess the impact of changes.

10 Types of Game Metrics and Their Uses

You can use metrics to measure almost anything, even intangible concepts such as user satisfaction. The specific metrics you should track depend on factors such as your game, genre, player types, and goals. These are 10 of the most commonly tracked metrics.

1. Daily Active Users

Daily active users tracks the number of users who log into your game each day. DAU is useful for measuring how new features, content releases, marketing campaigns, and other changes impact the number of players regularly engaging with your game.

Additionally, you can divide daily active users by monthly active users to obtain a ratio that indicates the stickiness of your game. The higher your stickiness ratio is, the more daily players are sticking around to become monthly players.

Formula for calculating app stickiness

2. Sessions Per User

Sessions per user is one of the most useful game metrics for tracking engagement. The more often your players are logging in every day, the more likely they are to spend money and keep engaging with your game.

3. Retention Rate

The retention rate measures the percentage of players who continue to play your game during a specific period, such as one, seven, or 30 days. With an industry average retention rate of just 2.4% at the 30-day mark, retention is one of the most challenging and important game metrics to improve.

The longer players continue to play, the more chances you have to get them to spend money. Additionally, long-term players tend to be the most engaged, which correlates with higher levels of spending.

You can determine how to improve your retention rate by studying the behavior and characteristics of the players who have played the longest. Once you know what kind of players keep playing and what motivates them, you can adjust your marketing and development to match.

4. Average Revenue Per User

Average revenue per user measures the average revenue each user generates during a specific period. To calculate ARPU, divide the total revenue during the measurement period by the number of users during that period.

ARPU is a useful tool for determining how effective your monetization strategy is. If your ARPU is going up, then what you are doing is probably working.

5. Installs

Mobile games rely on many users completing many small transactions or watching a lot of ads to generate revenue. The number of installs is one of the game metrics you can use to measure how big your player base is.

Tracking how your installs change indicates how successful your player acquisition efforts are. You will also use the number of installs when calculating other metrics, such as your retention rate.

6. Session Length

Session length measures the average amount of time players spend engaging with your game each time they open your app. Session length is a good indicator of engagement, because the more engaged players are, the longer sessions tend to be.

Session lengths can also indicate pain points. For example, if you notice shorter-than-average sessions when players are playing specific levels or modes, this may indicate players are having difficulty in that area of the game or that it just isn’t engaging enough.

Keep in mind that the ideal session length varies by genre. For example, players of RPGs tend to have longer session times than players of hypercasual games.

7. Churn Rate

The churn rate measures the rate at which players abandon your game. It can be challenging to determine exactly when a player churns because the player could come back eventually.

In a subscription-based model, companies generally consider a player churned when that player cancels a subscription. In free-to-play games, companies may establish an arbitrary period, such as no logins for 30 days. Churn rate is one of the game metrics that indicates whether your game is becoming more or less popular and also identifies specific problem areas.

For example, if players are frequently churning after starting a specific campaign, there could be something players don’t like about that campaign. You can also watch for an increase in churn rate after changes in pricing, new content updates, and new competition entering the market.

8. Conversion Rate

The conversion rate measures the percentage of players who convert from non-paying players to paying players. The higher this ratio is, the more revenue you are likely to generate.

You can use changes in conversion rate to track the effectiveness of changes to your monetization strategy. Improving your conversion rate allows you to increase revenue without acquiring new players.

9. User Acquisition Cost

User acquisition cost measures how much you spend to acquire a new player. The more you spend to bring in a new player, the more money you must earn to generate profits.

You can use your UAC to determine how much money you can spend on marketing and still be profitable.

Formula for calculating user acquisition cost

10. Lifetime Value

Lifetime value measures the total revenue users generate during the entire time they play a game. You can use LTV as the other half of the equation that determines how much you can spend to acquire a new player.

There are multiple ways to calculate LTV. The simplest is to divide total revenue by your total number of players.

Optimizing Your Use of Game Metrics

If you are new to data analysis, figuring out how to track and use all of these game metrics may seem overwhelming. The expert team at Sonamine can help you determine which metrics to track and how to make use of your data. Contact us today to get started.

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