Engagement is an important metric that influences both retention and monetization. Engaged players will come back more often, play longer, and are more likely to spend money in your game.
But what does it mean for a player to be engaged?
Engagement varies depending upon the game. A player of a roleplaying game is engaged if they play for a long period of time or interact a lot with other players in the game, while a player for a round-based obstacle course game is engaged if they fully complete levels or play multiple rounds during a single session.
Let’s take the example of the round-based obstacle course game. We think that a player who is engaged:
- Completes levels they play
- Plays more than one round in a single session
- Equips a trail effect to display on their avatar
These are examples of user engagement actions, meaning actions a player takes that provides them with an emotional, psychological, or monetary hook or reward.
Additional Examples of User Engagement Actions
- Voting on which level to play
- Inviting a friend to play
- Trading items with a friend
- Completing a goal or achievement
- Purchasing a particular item from the store
- Adding someone to your social group (family, clan, guild, team, etc.) in the game
Since user engagement actions are specific to your game, you’ll need to track whenever the actions are performed using an analytics platform like Game Analytics, Google Analytics, or Mixpanel.
The data that you collect can be analyzed through averages, percentages, summation, and more to generate your engagement metrics. For instance, you may want to monitor:
- Average completion rate for a level, calculated by dividing the total number of players who reach the finish line by the number of players who started playing that level. You’ll want to limit your analysis to a specific time interval, such as a day, a week, or a month - it’s up to you how you slice your data to analyze it.
- Average number of rounds played in a session, calculated by counting the number of rounds a player plays during a session, then averaging that number for all players in a specific time interval.
- Percent of players who equip a trail effect, calculated by dividing the number of unique players who equip a trail effect at least once by the total number of unique players during a specific time interval.
By creating charts and dashboards to monitor these metrics in your analytics platform, you can make changes in your game that may affect engagement and identify the most and least engaging parts of your game.
Additional Examples of Engagement Metrics
- Average session length
- Average number of in-game friends
- Average number of rounds played per session
- Level completion rate
- Percentage of players who reach experience level X
Now that you understand how to measure engagement, you can read
articles/Designing for Engagement|Designing for Engagement to learn how to design for engagement.