5 Most Popular Consumable Goods in Mobile Games

As you may or may not know, consumable goods are generating most of the revenue in mobile games. Over 90% of the In-App purchases being made are for product IDs that represent consumable goods. If you are considering adding some single use items or any type of virtual good that wouldn’t stick very long you are on the right track. If you want some more options or if you are just looking for ideas, here are some common consumable virtual goods.

top consumable virtual goods purchased in mobile games. Consumable In-App Purchase items are powering 91% of the top 100 grossing games.

Top Purchases inside Mobile Games:

In-game coins are the core of virtual economies

Coins might be the most obvious type of virtual good to add to your game. Obviously, different games give them different names but most free to play games today have some sort of currency. Coins, gems, bucks, dollars, gold and silver are some popular choices in this category. Feel free to be creative with this one and make up your own coins system. The basic rule of thumb is that you spend them on other virtual goods and get them through game play or through paying cash.

Lives are highly effective consumable items

In real life you only get one of these but games would usually allow you some sort of lives, life points, health points or other type of good that can be recovered and consumed. This type of good behaves as follows:

  • To get life points, you need to rest, start over or buy some
  • Losing lives happens when you get hit by an opponent, run into an obstacle or make some other mistake

Games with consumable goods often have energy mechanics

Energy is another virtual good that is widely used in successful games. It may receive different names in different games – fuel, power or oil are some of the more popular variations. Besides being one of the easiest economies to implement it is also considered one of the most effective systems. Like lives, energy is also replenished over time. However, the way that energy is being drained is different. Unlike lives, energy gets drained when you succeed and when you don’t. Every turn or session of play time, takes its toll on energy. Another attribute of energy is that it’s universal. There are no games with two types of energy in them.

Ammo can compliment your non-consumable items

Rifles fire bullets, a bow needs arrows and a sling needs birds (apparently). Shots or ammo control the user ability to try again until he or she succeed and so they are in high demand in games that include some sort of ranged attack. Ammo is usually purchased but can also be discovered directly in the game. An important tip around ammo is that you need to give the user a way to make progress even when he runs out. Otherwise the user will find herself in a deadlock situation where she needs gold to buy ammo and she needs ammo to get gold. To make the most of this virtual good, you will need to set some interesting rules around how ammo can be used. Here are some example

  • Limit the amount of ammo a user can carry in battle
  • Make different weapons use different ammo

Action games can feature temporary shields as single use items

This type of consumable goods is commonly used in action games such as endless runners, platforms, side scrollers and other types of run as long as you can games. The basic function of these goods is that they protect the character from a single attack and once the attack happens they are consumed. Unlike other virtual goods, these items need to be actively equipped by the user.



Feel free to share:


    • You are correct. I was loosely using the term. It should have been consumable items. Coins are, however, the biggest revenue generator in the mobile apps ecosystem including paid apps, free apps, ad revenues and any type of virtual item sold as in-app purchase purchase.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here