Methods of retaining players: examples from games of various genres

    My name is Oksana Fomin, I analyze the behavior of users and increase the income of the game, including by increasing the retention of players.

    In the first part of the article “METHODS OF HOLDING PLAYERS IN SLOT-GAMES: Part 1” I reviewed the use of player retention methods using the example of slot games. The article caused an ambiguous reaction due to the fact that Casino games were chosen as an example. I put minuses in karma. I would like to explain the reason for this choice.

    Firstly, the main gameplay in slots is the same and uniform. In this regard, additional mechanics in the game have great value for holding. Secondly, fierce competition and the high cost of attracting users force developers to invent effective and original mechanics that can also be used in games of other genres. However, the reader’s opinion matters to me, so the second part of the article contains examples from games of various genres: match-3, sports, strategies, etc.


    To increase the income from the game you need to choose the right methods for retaining players. The methods in turn depend on the type of players that dominate the game. Professor of the University of Essex, Richard Alan Bartl, came up with a model of segmentation of players according to psychological types, which is used by game developers all over the world. He identified 4 types of players: researchers, drives, killers and social workers. In each player there are traits inherent in all four psycho-types, but depending on the particular game and changing circumstances this or that type dominates. Proper correlation of psycho-types will help you to increase retention (retention) and project profitability.

    Consider each type of player in more detail:

    1. Drives . They want to be rich and influential in the game and achieve this through the accumulation of any game benefits and resources. They value power and status. Get the most satisfaction from various awards, medals and insignia. In-game growth and progress stimulate them to return to the game. They are well monetized and have a good level of retention. The main methods of retention that I described in the first part of the review “METHODS OF HOLDING PLAYERS IN SLOT-GAMES: Part 1” are most relevant for drives.
    2. Researchers . Enjoy learning game content and game features. Constant updating of the game, adding content and game mechanics - this is what will help you keep them. Researchers also love quests, dialogues, a plot that stirs their interest. They have the maximum value of retention. Such players are very loyal to the game. At the same time, it is difficult for researchers to provoke a spontaneous payment.
    3. Killers . In the game, they are given the pleasure of superiority over other players and domination. They value strength, skill, and influence. Killers love competitions, tournaments and ratings. This allows them to prove that they are better than others, so they like everything related to the direct interaction between the players. Killers are the most monetized audience, they are willing to pay to kill, conquer and dominate. However, the retreat of this group is quite average.
    4. Social workers . For them, it is important to communicate with other players, social interaction and popularity. Social workers need to be given as many opportunities as possible to realize their potential. They themselves are poorly kept in the game, but they help keep the rest of the audience and attract new users to the game. To keep the social workers, we definitely need contests, chat rooms, events, forums. They are rather monetized.

    Below will be considered methods of increasing retention, which are suitable for killers and social workers.

    1. Friends

    Most games offer the user to register in the game through social. network for a fee. Here’s how it was done in the 8 Ball Pool game:


    There are four hooks in the registration offer:
    1. The game is multiplatform, which means the player can play on both the phone and the computer.
    2. Five Pooll chash in the form of a bonus for registering through Facebook, plus free coins and gifts. Therefore, the player will be grateful for the "extra buzz" + will remember that in this game he has money, and is more likely to return to it.
    3. Call “play with friends.” Friends motivate players to return to the game, compete with each other, receive gifts and bonuses from them for playing friends.
    4. A great way to get a player back into the game is to send a notification to the social network interface.

    Inviting friends

    Research (in particular, “Achievement and Friends: Key Factors of Online Multiplayer Games” ) showed that players who chat and play with friends are returning to the game more often. Having friends in the game affects not only short-term, but also long-term retention.
    If a player receives a reward for inviting a friend or some other bonus, for example, the ability to open a new location in the game, then the player is more likely and motivated to invite friends.

    Here is how the invitation of friends is realized in the game Modern Combat 5.


    Playing together with friends

    In games there is the possibility of playing together with friends. For example, in Clash Royale, a player can play against another player, either 2 for 2 with a friend, or with any other player.


    This functionality is useful for several reasons:

    Retouching friends. The game has the opportunity to invite a friend to participate in a joint battle and thus return it to the game.
    The excitement and desire to win is much higher when you are competing with another player, especially if you went into battle with a friend.


    In games, you can send currencies, lives, boosters, and other resources as gifts. Every time a player receives a gift from a friend, he feels obliged to send a gift in return. In this way, friends encourage each other to return to the game.

    Examples from the 8 Ball Pool game


    Players can also ask for help from friends. For example, ask for life in a match-3 game. Here's how the request for a resource in the Township game is implemented: The


    ability to invite friends, share, give gifts and send requests allows not only to increase the virality and the influx of new players into the game, but also retention.

    2. Competition

    This method of enhancing retention is well implemented in the game Candy Crash Saga.

    The player competes with friends for passing each level, he can become the first many times, earning the most points for passing the level. This encourages you to return to the game, move forward, replay levels, and use boosters to improve results.

    If a player enters his profile, he will be shown in which place among friends he is in three competitions: the bank, the level at which the player is now, the number of levels passed this week.


    In addition, there are events in the game, according to the results of which there are also competitions. A large number of competitions increases the chances of winning and gives players the opportunity to feel their superiority. I want to come back to this game and invest time and money in it.


    3. Joint interaction: groups, chat rooms and clans.


    In most mobile games, you can not do without the means of communication between players. Various tools are used to communicate players, and the most common of them is chat. Different groups of players communicate in various chat channels: global chat, personal chat, VIP chat for players using the privilege program, clan chat, chat for players competing with each other.

    Players communicate during the game and treat each other with drinks, like each other.
    Below is an example of a chat from the game Boom Beach.


    In chat rooms there are ready-made sets of smiles and phrases for quick use. They are offered primarily for the convenience of the player, in dynamic and simple gameplay, so as not to waste time on a set of messages.

    An example from the game Clash Royale


    Chats - the most important tool to keep players. Communication, new friends and friends stimulate the return of those users who are already tired of the gameplay or bored.

    Detailed information on how chat rooms and private messages are implemented in top games can be found in the free Playliner reports .


    At this joint interaction between the players does not end there. They can join together in groups, jointly win big prizes, participate in tournaments, perform daily tasks. As soon as a player joins a group, he unwittingly feels obliged not to let the community members down. He will often return to the game to participate in joint activities.

    Invitation to join the team in the game CSR Racing 2


    In the game Clash Royale, players in the clan chat can ask the card to the co-clan members, to offer a friendly fight. In addition, members of the same clan can send a request for a friendly battle in a 2 on 2 battle.


    4. Game Events

    From time to time, special time-limited events take place in games. As a rule, they are confined to major holidays or updates and allow you to win unique content for the game by performing various tasks. Events focus players on the game for a specific period. The player remembers that in order to participate in an event he must complete a number of tasks, and then he will receive an additional reward. To do this, he returns to the game more often, spends more time, or spends more money to complete tasks. If tasks require collective participation, the players united by one goal stimulate each other to put more effort and more often return to the game for the sake of victory.

    An example from the game Boom Beach, in which you can watch a video about the events this month.



    The game Candy Crash Saga has a list of events in the form of tasks, following which the player receives boosters. These tasks have a remarkable feature. If a player passes the levels without losing his life (winning), then he is given additional boosters that help to win. The cool realization of the event helps the player to return to the game for a certain time to get free boosters, which helps to significantly advance the game and get prizes for participating in various game events.


    Game events allow you to increase not only the retention, but also the length of the game session, and the longer a player spends time in your game, the higher the chances that he will pay.

    This article lists several methods of retaining players and provides examples. These and other mechanics can be applied to games of various genres. On July 31, at 18.00 Moscow time, I invite you to the free online webinar “Increasing the profitability of the game by keeping the players”, where I will share step-by-step instructions that will help you choose retention methods and increase the income of your game.

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