Unique Considerations for Mobile Game Retention

August 8, 2023
August 8, 2023

There are more than 150 million mobile gaming users in the United States. Mobile games generate over $41 billion in revenue. Hundreds of thousands of games are constantly competing for users with more games launching every day. This fierce competition makes mobile game  retention critical for the success of mobile games.

Key Takeaways:

  • Mobile game retention measures the long-term engagement of players with a game. This metric is critical for the profitability of mobile games.
  • Developers track a variety of retention metrics to gain insights into the performance of various aspects of their games and the effect it has on player retention.
  • Developers employ multiple strategies to improve player retention. These strategies also improve the player experience and overall quality of the game.
  • Sonamine provides a variety of engagement, monetization, and retention services that help developers improve their retention metrics.

What Is Mobile Game Retention?

Mobile game retention is a metric that measures the long-term engagement of players with a game . High retention rates help gaming companies generate sustained revenue, improve long-term monetization, and increase lifetime value.

High retention rates also save gaming companies money, because it costs less money to retain current players than to acquire new ones. Most successful mobile game s operate as an ongoing service rather than a one-time purchase. Because these games rely on players making many small purchases to generate revenue, retention is critical for revenue generation.

What Are the Key Mobile Game  Retention Metrics?

To calculate retention, divide the number of users who return to the game for a specific period by the number of users who initially installed the game and multiply the result by 100. Developers track a variety of retention metrics to gain insight into the performance of their games.

Retention Rate = the number of players using the game in a given period/the number of players in the previous period x 100

Day One Retention

Day one retention tracks the percentage of players who open a game  one day after installing it. This metric provides insight into how positive your game’s first impression is.

Tutorial Retention

Tutorial retention tracks the number of players who churn before completing a game’s tutorial content. Low mobile game  retention rates during this phase can indicate problems with your tutorial, such as technical glitches, confusing instructions, or incorrect length.

User Session Length

User session length measures how long users spend in your game in one play session. Longer session lengths are usually better but can vary by genre. For example, players typically spend only a few minutes at a time playing hypercasual games. By contrast, sessions for roleplaying games tend to be much longer.

User Sessions Per Day

User sessions per day tracks the average number of times players log on in a single day. This metric also varies by genre. For some types of games, frequent, short sessions correlate with better retention and higher LTV.

User Progression Unit

The user progression unit measures how far players advance in a game before they churn. This metric can help you identify areas of friction in your game, such as frustrating levels, that may cause players to quit.

Retention Rate on Day Seven

The retention rate on day seven measures the number of players who return to a game seven days after installation. This mobile game  retention metric is an indication of how much potential your game has to convert non-paying players to paying players.

Retention Rate on Day 30

The retention rate on day 30 is the number of players who return to a game 30 days after installation. This metric measures your game’s potential to develop a long-term player base and attract players who are likely to spend higher amounts of money. The average 30-day retention rate for mobile games is 2.4%.

How Can You Improve Mobile Game  Retention?

Even if your retention numbers are good, there are usually ways you can make them better. These strategies also improve the player experience. Employing them makes your game better and more profitable.

Reduce Download and Load Times

The longer it takes your game to download, the more likely players are to never open your . Ideally, your game should take 10 or fewer seconds to download.

Reduce the chance of players wandering off during the download process by making it interactive. Add animated elements, such as a progress bar, to reassure players that the download is working.

When possible, cut larger downloads into blocks and only download the portion the player needs to get started. Download the rest of the game while the player is playing. Keep your in-game loading screens short and use bright, detailed images to keep the player’s attention.

Optimize Player Onboarding

Most games lose the majority of users within three days of installation. An effective onboarding process that gets players excited about the game and playing quickly is essential for mobile game  retention.

Avoid overly long, complicated, or boring tutorials and lengthy sign-in processes. Tutorials should be engaging, personalized, interactive, and skippable.

Put your game’s most addictive features front and center and guide players toward early rewards. Design a clean and uncluttered player interface so that new players don’t feel overwhelmed.

Simple, uncluttered mobile game interface.

Encourage and Reward Player Engagement

Players who don’t feel like they are progressing in your game or that your game doesn’t reward them for the progress they make are likely to churn. Make sure your game provides players with a sense of progress and rewards them for accomplishments.

Offer a variety of rewards and make sure the rewards are appropriate for the time and effort it takes to earn them. Give players a sense of ownership by providing personalization and customization options.

Don’t penalize players for not logging in by taking away resources or accomplishments. This strategy can demoralize players and lead to churn. Instead, offer players a variety of incentives to log in regularly.

How Can Sonamine Improve Your Mobile Game  Retention?

Sonamine’s retention, engagement, and monetization services can help you boost your mobile game  retention. Contact us today to find out more.

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