Metrics are valuable to understand if players receive your game as you expected.
One standard metric you can track is the Retention Rate. The retention rate measures the period your players keep playing your game after the installation. It is measured in percentages, i.e., Day 1 Retention of 80%, Day 2 Retention of 60%, and so on.
Generally speaking, the higher your game’s retention rate, the more your players like it. Evidence shows that those who have installed your game find it engaging enough to sink significant time into it.
Similarly, lower retention rates mean your game isn’t well received. Negative reception is a problem as players switch to other games with better gameplay.
There are numerous tips you can follow to increase user retention in your game:
Players gauge if their game is worth it or not from the first few seconds of gameplay. If the initial moments in your game are dull, players won’t stick around even if the rest of your game has award-worthy moments because the majority would never reach there.
Hence, you must ensure your game has a smooth onboarding for new players. Your game’s first few scenes should create intrigue. They should balance giving information without being overwhelming.
An excellent way to do this is with a tutorial. You can use a tutorial to teach your players the basic game mechanics without dropping them straight into the gameplay without warning.
However, many developers avoid tutorials because many users are averse to them. Breaking down the tutorial into smaller chunks and integrating it with the level design is an alternative method to overcome this negative association with longer tutorials.
Also, the game’s initial levels should be a tester of what will come next. They should be challenging but not too much. These levels are like a bedrock upon which you can build the entire gaming experience later.
Player behavior is one of the most valuable data you can receive as a game developer. You can use it to assess how your players play, how long they play, identify the devices in which they play, and more.
You can get information on player behavior and preferences from Game Analytics and User Reviews.
Game Analytics is a software you integrate into your game to receive user data on different metrics. User Reviews, in this context, are feedback your players leave on your game’s app store page or other review websites. You can use the information received from both sources to optimize your game for better performance.
For instance, if your analytics data reveals a drop-off rate at a particular level in your game, you can then experiment with the design to understand the reason behind the drop-off. As a result, you can learn and eventually fix the issue to provide your players with an improved experience and, in turn, higher game user retention.
Candy Crush and Clash of Clans are two games people have played for years. In fact, both games were first released a decade ago, in 2012.
The reason for both games’ longevity is the content the developers have added to the game. King, the top game development company behind Candy Crush, has continuously introduced additional levels over the years.
Meanwhile, SuperCell, the mobile game development company behind Clash of Clans, has added new characters, quests, and other features.
Similarly, your game can introduce new content after its initial release. These updates can include new characters and items, additional levels, and even new features based on your game’s genre.
You can also introduce in-game events. They are special events that happen on rare occasions. Such events are exciting and unite the entire player base. However, for maximum effect, you must make sure the frequency of such events is low.
Getting players to try your game is hard. But making them play for longer is harder.
If your players leave your game too soon, you are making mistakes. And you must take the proper measures to increase your game’s user retention.
Several techniques you use to do this include making a better first impression, optimizing for better performance, and updating content.
Then you, too, can have a game that people play for years.
Juego Studio is a top game development company with experienced game developers. Our team of 300+ has built games that have received millions of downloads and critical acclaim.