Mobile Game Churn Rate: 6 Ways To Keep Your Players Playing

by Game Marketing Genie, on 15-Dec-2021 11:17:39

The mobile game market is very crowded. New games are launched every day, meaning the number of your competitors will increase with time. Faced with such stiff competition, your best course of action is to reduce your mobile game churn rate and maximize retention. 

You need to find out why people abandon your game after just a few sessions. With this information, you will be able to come up with the best game marketing strategies to retain players longer. 

In this article, you will learn how to calculate video game churn rate and the most efficient strategies to reduce customer churn. 

Two metrics to calculate churn

Churn rate measures how many people leave your game and never come back. More precisely, it is the percentage of users that quit a game after a certain period. 

To calculate the churn rate, you first of all need to know your retention rate. This is the percentage of users that are still playing your game after a certain period. So, let’s say you have retained 70 percent of your users after 7 days, then your churn rate for this period is:

Churn rate = 100% - Retention Rate

Churn = 100% - 70%

Churn = 30%

It gets a little bit complicated when you need to calculate your churn rate for the month. So, let's say you want to calculate your churn rate for the month of August. First, you have to add all the users who signed up for your game throughout the month. This includes those who signed up for your game on 1st August, as well as those who joined as the month progressed. Then, take the number of players who left at the end of the month and divide this number by the total number of monthly users. 

Multiply this number by 100 to get your churn rate for August. 

Monthly churn rate = (Users who left/total number of monthly users) X 100

Churn rate on paper

5 common reasons why your players churn fast

Every developer wants their games to be a hit title with a healthy activation rate, but that’s not always the case. Players abandon games for various reasons and never come back. Even the top games still experience churn, but you should be worried when you start losing players very fast. Here are the common reasons for a high churn rate. 

1. False advertising

When advertising your game, make sure to use actual visuals from the gameplay. Some marketers make the mistake of using enhanced images and videos to attract users, but this move usually backfires on them. False advertising will see you attract many players, but they will abandon it very quickly when they find the game to be different from what was advertised. 

And since gamers are very active in their communities, they will share their frustration with other players in their community forums. This will give your new game a bad reputation, making it harder for you to attract new players. Work with a gaming marketing agency to create factual ads for your game. 

2. Complex play

Players also churn when they find a game very hard to play. People play games to unwind, and they will uninstall your game when they find it to be very complicated. You can add some complex play later on in the game, but ensure the onboarding phase is simple to help players understand how to play your game in the shortest time possible. 

mom and son on floor

3. Tech glitches or bugs

Technical failure ruining the desired gaming experience is one of the major causes of churn. According to Tech Crunch, 79 percent of users try an app only once when it fails to load the first time. 70 percent of users abandon an app when it takes too long to load. 71 percent of app uninstalls are because of crushes. 

These statistics show how technical issues can affect your retention rate. Players don't struggle with unresponsive games or wait for the technical issues to be solved. They simply uninstall them and move to a competitor without any technical issues. 

4. Too many in-app ads and purchases

If you have a free to play game and depend on advertising to grow your revenue, you need to be careful about displaying ads in the game. This is because a poor ad experience can result in players leaving your game. Gamers aren’t opposed to ads, but they expect them to be integrated in a manner that doesn’t interrupt their gaming experience. 

Also, any aggressive attempts to promote in-app purchases can cause player churn. You may have amazing in-app features for the players, but you need to find appropriate instances to incorporate the promotions. 

5. You are not targeting the right audience

Poor targeting can also result in churn. When you target people who aren’t interested in your type of mobile game, they will abandon it after just a few sessions. 

Joysticks blue and red

6 ways to reduce the churn rate of your game


Figure 1: The effect of reducing churn rate on app profitability. Source - Clevertap

With a recent study finding that you can improve your profits by 75 percent when you reduce your churn rate by just 5 percent, you should do everything possible to prevent players from abandoning your game. To help you retain as many players as possible, here are the best strategies on how to reduce churn rate. 

1. Honest advertising and avoid fake ad displays

Don't use false advertising for marketing your game to players. Gamers are always looking for the best games to add to their collection, and your fake ad displays may attract them to your game. They will install it and launch it on their mobile devices. But as soon as they discover you tricked them into acquiring the game, they will leave. 

But that’s not even the worst thing yet. The disappointed users will tell their friends about this horrible experience. You will end up being blacklisted in gaming communities, dealing a massive blow to your UA efforts. To avoid this unfortunate scenario, use authentic gameplay displays for marketing your game. 

2. Do better marketing

To keep your mobile game churn rate low, you first need to attract players who will gain maximum value from your game. Don't just market to everyone in the hope of growing your user base. Instead, you want to target players who will launch the game often to have a good time. 

Take time to understand your ideal audience to ensure you don’t waste resources marketing your game to users who will churn after a few sessions. Work with a game marketing agency to refine your targeting to attract users who will be excited to play your game. 

3. Make onboarding easy

If your onboarding process doesn’t showcase your game’s core value immediately, players will churn. Strip down complexities in the onboarding process, reduce the number of steps, and get players to experience your game’s aha moment as quickly as possible. 

4. Reduce frequency of showing in-app ads

In-app advertising is one channel developers use to generate revenue for their games, but it can quickly become the reason users abandon your game. Bombarding players with ads of all kinds interferes with their gaming experience, and this could result in players quitting your game. Since you still need to show the ads to earn revenue, find appropriate moments to display them. Also, consider having longer but less frequent ad breaks since most players don't like many gameplay interruptions. 

We have shared other channels of game monetization that you can consider besides in-app advertising on our blog, How to Generate Constant Revenue for Your F2P Game. 

5. Add more rewards for most types of achievements

One of the effective strategies on how to retain players is to reward players when they complete actions in the game. Rewards will motivate them to play longer, resulting in a lower churn rate. You can gift players with currency to buy in-app items, extra lives to play longer, or additional features when they purchase items from your in-game store. 

6. Talk to your players and identify their motivations behind leaving the game

Create a platform outside the game where players can share honest opinions about the game. Let them tell you their reasons for leaving the game after just a few sessions. Use this feedback to make improvements to the game. After making the changes, invite the people who left to try your game once more. The players will be impressed that you listened to them and acted on their complaints. 

Group of friends playing

Fulfill your quest with mobile game marketing

Mobile game marketing is your key to the quest for success! Take control of your new game and make its marketing matter with the help of our insider tips in Mobile Game Marketing: Your Complete Guide to Success.

Mobile game churn rate is one of the key metrics you need to track as a developer. A high churn rate shows that players aren’t excited about your game to make it part of their collection.

Game Marketing Genie is here to help you understand why players are dropping your game so that you can correct the mistakes and reduce churn. 

Contact us for a friendly chat on how to optimize your game for retention and reduce your churn rate. 

Topics:Mobile Game MarketingApp Store OptimizationVideo Game Marketing StrategyVideo Game MarketingDigital Marketing StrategyApp Marketing Strategy

Book in a free consultation