10 Key Metrics That Mobile Game Developers Should Track

Apart from having the most potential, mobile gaming is also the most challenging niche in the mobile application market. Here are the 10 relevant metrics that help game developers and analysts measure the effectiveness of their efforts and increase product value.

10 Key Mobile Game App Metrics

1. Installs

Number of app installs.

How to Measure

You won’t need a tracking system to measure the click and install rate as stores usually provide this data.

If you want to assess your paid traffic performance, use the Conversion Rate (CR) metric. If, for example, your CR is 10%, this means that out of 100 users who clicked on the ad, only 10 ended up downloading the app.

app installs tracking
App installs in myTracker

Market Average

The Install rate differs depending on the game genre. To get a general picture, see how similar apps perform in the app store.

According to AppTweak, the average organic traffic CR in the Apple App Store in the US is 3.42%. The figure varies from 0.7% in the Game Board Category to 8.5% in the Finance Category.

How to Improve

If your app lacks organic installs, try launching ads or optimizing the app page on Google Play and in the App Store: screenshots, ranking, user reviews, etc.

2. CPI

Cost per install is a sum you pay for attracting a new user.

How to Measure

CPI = Total cost of an ad campaign ÷ Number of installs

This metric can help you measure the effectiveness of any particular advertising campaign or promotional activity. A surge in installs would mean that you have made a good marketing decision recently.

CPI tracking
CPI in myTracker

Market Average

According to Fiksu, the average CPI for Android and iOS apps in the US is USD 1.9 and USD 1.6, respectively. In Russia and Europe, these numbers are two to three times lower, with Android being the cheaper platform.

How to Improve

You can reduce the cost of acquiring new users by precise targeting and using creative content. If you understand your core audience well, you can adjust the campaign to only show ads to similar users, thus making it more economical and effective.

3. Sessions / Average Session Duration

Session means time spent by a user in an app. Average Session Duration (ASD) means the average duration of sessions over a certain period of time.

How to Measure

ASD = Total duration of all sessions during a specified time frame ÷ Total number of sessions during that same time frame.

ASD comparison shows that some user groups tend to launch your game for a couple of minutes every day, while others would have a three-hour session once a week. With the use of other metrics (say, ARPU/ARPPU), you can determine which group pays more, and which one should be targeted when preparing game updates.

average session duration tracking
Average Session Duration in myTracker

Market Average

The average session length for mobile games is 4–5 minutes. The following genres have the highest ASD:

  • Mid-core games – 38 minutes
  • Casino and Card games – 22 minutes
  • Casual and Sports games – 16 minutes.

ASD for the top 25% of mobile games is 7–8 minutes.

How to Improve

You can increase session frequency by introducing different game mechanics within certain time intervals. For example, giving game bonuses or restoring health once every half hour.

To boost session duration, set tasks that give users bonus points. Also сonsider launching an online mode to encourage users to interact with each other.

4. ATV

Average Transaction Value (ATV) means the average value of transactions made over a certain time period, or the average check.

How to Measure

ATV = Total value of all transactions ÷ Number of transactions

You can divide the audience into users with small, medium and large average check. Then analyze the activity in each segment and build your marketing strategy based on this data.

ATV in my tracker
Average check in myTracker

How to Improve

Expand the product range or offer additional products at check-out. Special offers and promos may also encourage users to buy more.

5. DAU/MAU

The number of unique users per day/month.

How to Measure

These metrics are calculated based on the total number of app launches. Unique users are most commonly tracked by their device ID or login data.

DAU helps identify the most profitable days and measure the number of active users per day. MAU shows the average number of active users within the past 30 days. One way to increase these metrics is to send push notifications.

unique users tracking
Number of unique users in myTracker

How to Improve

Encourage activity by providing daily bonuses (a common practice in games). Send push notifications and emails, retarget in social media and organize campaigns. Remind users of your app and give them more reasons to come back.

6. Stickiness Rate

App usage frequency within a month

How to Measure

Stickiness rate = DAU ÷ MAU.

If every user launches your app every day, DAU will equal MAU, resulting in a stickiness rate of 100%. This means that all users “got stuck” in your app. This is never the case though.

stickiness tracking
Stickiness rate in myTracker.

Market Average

A good average monthly stickiness rate for all game genres is 10–18%.

Casino games are the most sticky (up to 26%). Even the simplest Casino games have a stickiness rate of some 15%. Other top performers:

  • Card – 12–25%
  • Word – 13–23%
  • Board – 9–22%
  • Puzzle – 7–21%.

Racing and Action games seem to be the least sticky among the genres, with a 10% stickiness rate being considered decent..

How to Improve

If your stickiness rate falls below 5%, try launching push notifications or updating the app to introduce new features. It’s also useful to encourage feedback, create in-game chats and promote the game community on social media.

7. Retention Rate

The share of users who return to an app.

How to Measure

Retention rate is calculated as the ratio of the number of users who installed an app on a certain date to the number of users who returned to the app.

The most common days to track retention are the following:

Day 1. If many users don't open the app the next day after installing it, that means there is a bug, or interface problems, or users are not interested in the app.

Day 7. If users stop using the app one week in, you need to know at which point they quit and do something about it.

Day 28. If you have low retention after one month, it’s best to review your marketing and product strategy.

retention rate
Retention rate in myTracker.

Market Average for Organic Installs

Three-month retention of 40% means your app is performing very well. 25–35% is good. A retention rate below 20% signifies a need for change.

How to Improve

Send push notifications and emails, re-engage users via social media and organize campaigns.

Read more in our blog posts on retention and the main tactics to return users to your app.

8. Churn rate

Attrition or customer churn.

How to Measure

This is the opposite of the retention rate: 100% − Retention = Churn rate.

Churn rate provides a view from another angle: instead of seeking a way to retain users, it helps you deal with the reasons why they quit. Looking at the churn rate, you can easily see that there’s an issue with the app.

Churn rate
Churn rate in myTracker

Market Average

According to the Mobile Benchmarks Report by GameAnalytics, less than 15% of mobile games have a Day 1 retention rate of 35%, while 94% of users quit within the first 28 days after install.

How to Improve

Check who uninstalls the app and why – whether it has to do with bugs, crashes, interface issues, or other reasons. Improve the product, release updates and apply user retention tactics.

For more details, see our article What is Churn and How App Developers Can Reduce It.

9. ARPU/ARPPU

Average revenue per user / paying user.

How to Measure

ARPU = All-time revenue from a cohort ÷ Number of users in the cohort

ARPPU = App revenue ÷ Number of unique paying users.

ARPPU/ARPU metrics reflect paying users’ reaction to your pricing and to the quality of your paid content. For example, lower prices may lead to a drop in ARPPU, while causing ARPU to grow through attracting users who would previously not be interested because of the price.

ARPU/ARPPU tracking
ARPU/ARPPU in myTracker


How to Improve

Sell more at check-out and through campaigns, or adjust pricing. Experiment with app monetization models: in-app ad revenue, in-app purchases, subscriptions, pricing models. Review ad placement and try new ad formats: video or playable ads.

10. LTV

LTV reflects the total amount spent by a customer throughout their lifespan as a customer (their lifetime value).

How to Measure

LTV = Total revenue from new users over a certain period of time.

The metric takes into account users who installed the app within the set time period. Instead of the full customer lifespan, LTV can be calculated for a specified time frame (day, week, month, year) from the app install / first website visit.

It’s important to compare this metric to your CPI as you want your revenues from users to be higher than costs to acquire them.

LTV of app users
LTV of app users in myTracker

How to Improve

To boost LTV you should maintain user engagement: monitor reviews, add new features and hold internal events. LTV for paid apps can be increased by switching to a paid subscription model. This would cover the app maintenance costs.

LTV also depends on how quickly a user gets to know the game and starts playing, the number of difficulty levels, bonuses for watching ad videos, and personalized push notifications.

We hope that you found this article useful! Learn more about how myTracker can help your project or schedule a demo here.