Increasing Your Game's Active Users

May 13, 2024
May 6, 2024

Most games rely on a large user base engaging with ads and making small purchases to drive revenue. As a result, constant growth is an important goal for game developers. Active users is one of the most useful metrics for tracking how your user base's size changes. These tips will help you understand and improve this metric.

Key Takeaways:

  • Active users are the number of players who engage with a game in a specific period.
  • Most games need a large, engaged user base to generate revenue. Understanding how to increase active users is an important goal for game developers.
  • You can increase active users by optimizing your onboarding process, reducing frustration sources, and effectively communicating with players.
  • Additionally, you can encourage players to engage more frequently by offering rewards, including multiplayer options, and ensuring there is always new, compelling content for them to discover.
  • Analyzing your most valuable users can help you find ways to turn more regular users into power users.

What Are Active Users?

Active users are the number of players who engage with your game in a specific period. You define what makes a user an active user. For example, you could define an active user as a user who opened your app at least once during the measurement period or as a user who took a specific action within the game.

The measurement period is also up to you. Daily and monthly active users are the most commonly tracked metrics.

Why Do Active Users Matter?

The active users metric provides insight into how much users value your game and how engaged they are. It also tracks stickiness and growth potential.

Generally, the more active your players are, the more invested they are in your game and the more likely they are to continue playing, watch ads, and make purchases. You can use active user metrics to assess how changes to your game impact your player base. For example, if DAU suddenly drops off after introducing a new feature or changing your pricing structure, it may indicate that the most recent change is driving players away from your game.

Graphic illustrating how new content affects DAU

How Can You Increase Your Active Users?

There are several approaches you can take to improve your active user metrics.

Optimize Your Onboarding Process

A good day-one retention rate for most games is about 40%. This means about 60% of players will quit playing on the first day, even in a successful game.

To improve your day-one retention, optimize your onboarding process to remove as many sources of frustration as possible. Keep the sign-up and initial log-in processes short.

Make tutorials fun, short, and skippable. Get players playing your game as quickly as possible, and ensure they have something engaging to do immediately. Use push notifications or emails to entice players who drop out during onboarding to try the game again and become active users.

Communicate With Players Outside of Your App

There is a lot of competition for users' time and attention. Use push notifications and emails to remind users to engage with your game.

Ask for feedback from lapsed players to learn what you can do to reengage them. Offer players who haven't engaged in a while an incentive to do so, such as in-game currency or a discount on premium features.

Screenshot of notification messages from the "Duolingo" app

Utilize In-App Messaging

Use in-app messaging to encourage active users to stay active. Alert players when a time-limited event or offer is happening.

Tell players when their friends log on. Provide contextual help so players don't quit due to frustration. These messages boost engagement and create a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out), encouraging players to continue engaging with your game regularly.

Provide Personalized Experiences

Personalization makes customers feel valued, which increases brand loyalty. Personalize the player experience using demographic data, geographic locations, and insights from behavioral analysis to tailor your messaging to specific players and player types.

Use your knowledge of your players to encourage them to engage with your game more frequently. For example, you can boost engagement from competitive players by sending them a message when someone beats their high score. A more social player may find messages that inform them about a new social event or alert them when their friends are online more compelling.

Be Proactive

It is easier to prevent players from disengaging from your game than to lure them back once they stop being active users. Analyze player data to determine common points where churn happens.

Be proactive about addressing issues that drive churn, such as fixing bugs or tweaking frustrating levels. Provide players with timely support and relevant communication so they are never left wondering when you will fix a problem they are experiencing.

Offer a Daily Bonus

A daily log-in bonus can be an effective way to encourage players to log in every day. Use push notifications to remind players about the bonus and alert them to other daily offers.

Continuously add content such as gameplay features, new levels, challenges, assets, items, and live events. You want players logging in to collect their bonuses to feel like there is always something new and fun to do so regular engagement doesn't become a chore.

Include Robust Multiplayer Options

A large number of active users makes your game more fun and engaging for other players. Offer multiple multiplayer options that appeal to both competitive and cooperative game players.

Make it easy for players to communicate with each other and build communities by incorporating group chats, forums, and social media channels. Reward your most active players with in-app messages, currency, items, stickers, and badges.

Use Event-Triggered Notifications

If your game is turn-based or uses resource timers, notify players when their resources replenish or it is time to take their turn. Send out notifications when time-limited events are starting or about to start.

Analyze Your Power Users

Pay special attention to your most valuable players. Analyze how they play the game. Which features do they use the most?

What demographics do they share? What motivates them? Use what you learn to find ways to turn more users into power users.

How Can Sonamine Help You Grow Your Active Users?

Sonamine offers engagement, monetization, and retention services to help you grow your active users. We can help you analyze your data, implement engagement and retention campaigns, run live ops events, and more. Contact us today to get started.

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