33 Mobile Game Benchmarks and Rules of Thumb


One of the most effective tools in business is using back of the envelope calculations using rules of thumb or benchmarks. This method is highly useful when trying to quickly evaluate opportunities before committing resources for in-depth research. In Mobile games, there are already established benchmarks for many KPIs you would need when trying to calculate things on an envelope. We collected 33 of these in this post. Save this link for the right time.

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Retention and Engagement

  1. 2d retention – 40% is on the high side of the spectrum
  2. 7d retention – 20% is on the high side
  3. 30d retention – 10% is on the high side
  4. MAU DAU ratio – poor ratio is 1:10, really addictive games get 1:3 – 33% of their users play every day
  5. Session length in mobile games – 7.5 minutes is a good overall benchmark but some genres like card and board are getting between 10 and 15 minutes.
  6. Time spent per day – According to flurry the average user spent 33 minutes per day in mobile games during Q2/15. This stat is down from 52 in Q1 that year.

Marketing and User Acquisition

  1. Marketing spend from total revenue – If we look at public companies we can find these ratios in their income statements:
    • Zynga: 22%
    • Glu:20%
    • King:18%
    • In smaller companies we can expect the ratio to be closer to 30%
  2. CPI in tier 1 countries – high $10 (for strategy), low $2 (for casual games)
  3. Download boost when getting featured – games saw an average boost of 130% in H2/2015 according to a research by App Annie
  4. Top charts download boost – for games 100% boost (an additional organic install for every paid one)
  5. First week ROI on UA – For an app with 40%,20%,10% the first week contribution is 12%. For apps with worse retention, this number needs to be closer to 20%
  6. Top-10 threshold: Apple’s top free chart – 72,000/day, Apple’s top grossing chart – $47,000
  7. Top-25 threshold: Apple’s top free chart – 32,000/day, Apple’s top grossing chart – $23,000
  8. Top-50 threshold: Apple’s top free chart – 23,000/day, Apple’s top grossing chart – $12,000, Google’s top grossing – $6,600
  9. CTR – for banners we have seen reports of 0.25% to 0.75%, for intersitials it can go up to 5% and even 10% but a lot of those are accidental clicks.
  10. Install Rate – According to Branchmetrics – click-to-install rate is 11.9% on iOS and 13.5% on Android. US rates are lower – only 6%. The report also shows the install rate by channel.
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Game Monetization

  1. ARPDAU in tier 1 countries – the lowest we have seen is $0.005 for apps with only banner ads and the highest report is for $1 for a hard-core strategy game targeting Japan. Glu sees $0.08 globally while Kabam, A Thinking Ape, PerBlue and Dena higher levels between $0.4 and $1 for hardcore titles.
  2. ARPDAU from ads alone in tier 1 countries – the lowest we have seen is $0.005 but with Rewarded video you can get all the way to $0.09 according to some reports.
  3. LTV in tier 1 countries (IAP+Ads) – The range here is quite high. Hard-core titles can reach $20 LTV (for all users – not just payers). The good casino games can get to $10. The bottom side of the range can be quite low if the game has no monetization it can be $0.
  4. LTV in tier 1 countries (Ads Only) – The lowest we have seen using TRACEBACK is $0.1 and the highest we have seen is $1.5
  5. Rewarded Video CPMs in tier 1 countries – we have seen reports of CPM going up to $60 in some genres. The numbers can go as low as $15 for the first impression and will go down for games that expose their users to too many
  6. Video CPMs in tier 1 countries – $8 to $15 in most games but if you have too many video ads it will decline below that
  7. Interstitial CPM in tier 1 countries – $5 to $10 eCPM
  8. Banner CPM in tier 1 countries – $1 to $3 eCPM
  9. Conversion to payers – 1.5% conversion is typical on a monthly basis and 0.3% on a daily basis.
  10. Top 10% revenue contribution – The top 10% of payers typically contribute 50% of the revenue in games with consumables or currency
  11. LTV of paying users (Total ARPPU) – In hard-core strategy games the average is about $500, in casino it’s usually $200-$300, in Match-3 it can get to $150 but $50 to $100 is more typical.
  12. Ad revenue proportion – In hard-core strategy games – 0%, mid-core strategy games and simulation games get 10%-15% of their revenue from ads, Casino games can see up to 50% of their revenue from ads, card and board games typically see 25%-30% ad revenue and more casual genres typically go above 50%

Market Research

  1. Calculating MAU from Ratings on Google Play:
    • Take the Ratings count from Google Play
    • Divide by the number of years the game was live
    • Multiply by 10 to get MAU Estimate (actual MAU might be 30% higher or lower)
  2. Calculating MAU from ratings on Google Play
    • Take the minimum number of installs from Google Play
    • Divide by the number of years the game was live
    • Divide by 2 to get an estimated MAU (Actual MAU might be 30% higher or lower)
  3. Number of apps per user – Android users have 95 apps on average
  4. New apps installed per month – The average user installs 1 app per month
  5. Total revenue in Mobile games in 2015 – $34B according to AppAnnie


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Raised in the Kibbutz and reborn in the city, Yaniv is a certified entre-parent-neur. When he’s not busy doing SEO, content marketing, administration, QA, fund raising, customer support… [stop to breathe], you can find Yaniv snowboarding down the slopes of France and hiking with his kids. Yaniv holds a B.Sc. in Computer Science and Management from Tel Aviv University. He is also an avid blogger and a speaker at industry events. Before SOOMLA, Yaniv co-founded EyeView



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