Success Indicator in Mobile Games: Retention Metrics

4 min readJan 14, 2022

The soft launch means publishing your game or app only to a certain group before releasing it. In this way, you can test your game, make the necessary corrections, and be sure to put it in the perfect form.

Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

1. What is Retention?

One of the most important metrics for mobile game developers is Retention. Players entered the game, started playing the game, and then exited the game. Will they re-enter the game? If they do, when will they enter? How long will they stay in the game? Did they establish a bond with the game, or did they play it once and get bored?

Retention metrics are an excellent tool to find answers to all these questions. It is possible to say that a game with a good retention metric is more permanent and successful because it means that players like the game and are eager to play it repeatedly. This point is crucial for game developers because the more players play your game, the more likely your monetization will be.

Let’s look at indicators that will guide you in retaining your players for the long term. Here we come across indicators such as Day-1, Day-3, Day-7, Day-28, Day-90, and Day-360. So how can we use them to predict the future?

The retention ratio gives us information about the overall performance of the game.

The Day-1 retention rate shows the players’ first impressions of your game for the first time. A retention rate below 30% indicates that your game is not good enough. 45% is a pretty good rate, and it means your players like the game.

Then, a better prediction can be made about the game’s outcome by looking at the Day-7 and Day-28 ratios. The day-28 ratio will be lower than Day-1. This case is normal because there will always be those who quit the game. Players who still play your game from day one to the end of day 28 are now your loyal customers, and they are more available for in-app purchases.

2. What should Retention Rates be?

Retention rates, which are accepted as success in mobile games, differ according to the game type.

When we first examine it for iOS and later for Android:

For example, while a good Day-1 Retention Rate is 50% in Arcade game types on iOS, it is 45% in Puzzle game types. If your Day-3 retention is around 30% in Arcade games and 23% in Puzzle games, that’s a good sign. Your game is progressing exactly the way you want it to! D7 Retention will be lower than in D3 and D1. As we said before, this is natural. Day-7 Retention rates of 20% in arcade games and 15% in Puzzle games are considered quite good.

When we look at Android, we see that the rates are slightly different.

In order for a game to be considered successful on Android, we can say that the Puzzle game type requires more retention rate than the Arcade game type. Day-1 retention rate should be around 40% in arcade games and 45% in puzzle games. Similarly, if your Day-3 Retention is 20% in Arcade games and 25% in Puzzle games, you are on the right track! Finally, your game is a success when the Day-7 metrics are 10% in Arcade and 15% in Puzzle.

3. How can you increase your Retention Rate using AppNava?

Mobile game users differ in many ways. Every player has different expectations, different tastes, so it doesn’t make sense to offer the same experience to every player.

You may need some customization to make your game perfect and give each user a unique experience. This is where AppNava comes to your aid. AppNava analyzes when and where your players will quit the game, thanks to the #machinelearning algorithms. With Nava, you can predict the future behavior of your players before they even realize it, so you can make them stay in your game by offering them relevant offers. This is an excellent opportunity to increase your retention rates!