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Game Business: Retention Rate Featured

Retention Rate For Mobile Games Explained

Retention rate is one of the metrics that gives you an insight for your game performance and user experience. It’s one of the most important metrics to track in games and apps.

Retention defines the percentage of users that return. It’s calculated for a user base on a specific day from the moment of the download (Day zero).

The rate shows the percentage of users who launched an app on the Nth day after installing an app.


Game Business: Retention Rate Magnet

Source: LinkedIn

When to measure retention?

  1. Day 1+ Retention
  2. Day 7+ Retention
  3. Day 30+ Retention


Day 1 is all about first impressions. You have to make sure users want to come back for more. They need to get to know the product and understand its value and advantages.

This is called onboarding. If not done properly, odds of churning drastically increase.

Day 7 is usually a turning point for an average user. It tells you how much users like the game, interface and overall user experience. It determines whether they’ll continue playing your game.

Day 30, or roughly a month is a time when your customer base has shrunk and the remaining users are the ones who play it on a weekly or even daily base.

They are your target group for any In-App Purchase since they’re the group that brings you the revenue.


Why track your retention rate?

User acquisition isn’t the only thing that affects your audience growth. Retention plays a significant role as well.

Having a decent retention rate will allow you to continue growing your audience and revenue. The longer users stay they’ll likely spend more money via In-App Purchasing.


How well do top games Retain users?

Top grossing games do not experience the high retention that top-ranked overall apps do. The market is competitive and there are over 300k games on the App store alone.

Elite retention for gaming apps peaks at 30% on Day 7, so it’s expected for most gaming apps to stay at between 15-20% retention rate. As far as RPG and Strategy goes, they retain poorly barely above 10% on day 7.

You can check the stats for user retention in the last couple of years worldwide here 


How to achieve better retention rates?

We prepared a list for you:



If a user is familiar with your app and easily understands all it’s key features the chances are he’ll like it just enough to give it a go for a couple of runs. On the other hand, if you’ve built an unfriendly interface with confusing features your app will end up 



This will give your user the feeling of progress as he has accomplished a goal of making him come back for more. You can try with unlocking some advanced features on higher levels and thus increase customer engagement even further.


Game Business Retention Rate Achievement

Source: Nintendo Okie



It’s always nice to receive a gift whether it’s from a person or a game publisher, especially if the gift is something that you’d have to buy via In-App purchases. Try to give bonuses in a way that will encourage users to play more often.



Social networks like Facebook and Twitter are key for connecting users when they’re not playing. This way they’ll stay in touch and have a reason more to play again.



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