April 24, 2024

Nudges in Gaming Apps: A Guide to Increase Engagement

Explore some key use cases for nudges, designed to guide users at different stages of their journey within the gaming app.

Ananya Vairavarajan

Gaming apps have seen significant growth in recent years, and with the increasing competition, they need to find ways to stand out and provide a compelling user experience.

To stand out and provide an exceptional user experience, gaming apps should aspire to attain an increased

  1. Session length
  2. Average Transaction Value
  3. Average Revenue Per User (ARPU)
  4. Player Lifetime Value (LTV)

Nudges can boost metrics discussed above and improve the overall in-app engagement.

We cover a comprehensive list of use cases for nudges that can be implemented in gaming apps throughout various stages of the user journey.

Common use cases for nudges in gaming apps

Onboarding and tutorial nudges

  • Introduce new players to the game mechanics through interactive and informative nudges.
  • Guide players through the initial gameplay to help them understand the core features.
  • Highlight basic controls and actions during the tutorial phase.

Progress tracking nudges

  • Celebrate player achievements with congratulatory nudges for completing levels, missions, or challenges.
  • Encourage players to check their progress towards specific goals or rewards.
  • Remind players about their in-game accomplishments and milestones.

Engagement and retention nudges

  • Remind players about limited-time events, bonuses, or daily rewards to encourage consistent logins.
  • Suggest multiplayer or social interactions to increase engagement with friends and other players.
  • Encourage returning to the game after a period of inactivity with appealing rewards.

In-game tips and strategies

  • Provide strategic nudges during challenging levels or boss fights to help players overcome obstacles.
  • Offer helpful tips and tricks related to gameplay mechanics or specific game modes.
  • Suggest alternative approaches when players face repeated failures in a particular section.

Personalized recommendations

  • Recommend in-game purchases based on the player's preferences and behavior.
  • Suggest new game modes or levels based on the player's past gameplay choices.
  • Offer personalized bundles or offers for items the player has shown interest in.

Monetization nudges

  • Showcase limited-time sales, discounts, or exclusive offers on in-game purchases.
  • Remind players about in-game currency they have earned but not yet used.
  • Suggest premium features or subscriptions that align with the player's gaming habits.

Cross-promotion nudges

  • Promote other games or apps from the same developer to increase user engagement across their portfolio.
  • Recommend related games based on the player's gaming interests.

Event and seasonal nudges

  • Notify players about upcoming seasonal events, challenges, or special rewards.
  • Create a sense of urgency around time-limited events to drive participation.

Best examples of nudges in gaming apps

Candy Crush - Seamless onboarding experience

Candy Crush offers in-app tooltips which are used to guide new users on how to play the game effectively.

These tooltips offer helpful hints, tips, and instructions, making it easier for players to understand the game mechanics, objectives, and features.

By providing this assistance directly within the game interface, the tooltips ensure a smooth onboarding experience, preventing players from feeling overwhelmed and helping them progress efficiently.

They serve as valuable educational tools, empowering players with the necessary knowledge to enjoy the game and succeed.

Candy Crush - Seamless onboarding experience

A23 Rummy - Improve users adding cash to wallet

A23 Rummy cleverly uses a spotlight feature to draw attention to its "Add Cash" option, which grants players free entries to other games worth Rs 2500.

By prominently displaying this feature, the game encourages users to take advantage of it, providing them with additional value and incentives to continue using the platform.

A23 Rummy - Improve monetisation

Subway Surfers - Drives conversions

Subway Surfers uses a freemium model, offering the game for free while providing optional in-app purchases to enhance the gameplay.

To generate revenue, the app displays enticing in-app modals promoting new character packs and limited-time offers.

By doing so, they encourage players to make purchases and monetize the app successfully while maintaining a large user base enjoying the game for free.

Subway Surfers - Drives conversions

Ludo Empire - Refer & Earn

Ludo Empire employs a full-screen modal with a dismissal button to showcase its "Refer&Earn" feature to new users. This approach serves two purposes: firstly, it makes new users aware of the referral program, and secondly, it actively involves existing users in onboarding new ones.

By utilizing this method, Ludo Empire aims to encourage more users to participate in the referral program, fostering a user-driven growth strategy while offering an incentive for existing users to engage with the platform.

Ludo Empire - Refer & Earn

Monopoly Go - Display accomplishments & milestones

Monopoly Go utilizes a modal to remind players of their in-game achievements and milestones, effectively motivating them to return to the game multiple times.

By showcasing their progress and accomplishments, the modal encourages players to engage with the game repeatedly and further enjoy their gaming experience.

Monopoly Go - Display accomplishments & milestones

Why can't gaming apps build these nudges in-house?

Engineering bandwidth is limited

The demands on engineering teams are high, as they are typically responsible for core product development, bug fixes, infrastructure maintenance, and other critical tasks.

This scarcity of engineering bandwidth can hinder the timely implementation of contextual nudges, slowing down the progress and impact of your in-app engagement initiatives.

Experimenting with multiple flows is a challenge

Testing different nudges to determine their impact on key metrics is crucial. For example, you may experiment with a subtle nudge to display discounts if the user has not added cash to the wallet in a fantasy gaming app.

If not, you need to explore alternative approaches. But time constraints may limit the ability to test multiple flows.

Real-time deployment is difficult

Configuring nudges in real-time requires significant technical effort to ensure that they are delivered at the right moment, to the right users, and with the right content.

Managing this process internally often poses challenges in terms of technical implementation, scalability, and timely adjustments.

Plotline helps growth and marketing teams in gaming companies to build nudges in a no-code manner

Plotline's no-code in-app engagement platform enables you to deploy in-app nudges without writing a single line of code within 15 minutes.

We provide powerful event-based targeting and user segmentation to help the right user take the right action at the right time.

If you're interested in learning more about how nudges can help you drive activation, adoption, retention, and monetization metrics in gaming apps, start a free trial with us.

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