5 Effective Elements Of Gamification For Mobile Apps

You know that both Apple and Google started to split apps and games into two main categories on their app stores. But this doesn’t mean that they are completely different. There are some components from games which brought to apps create the appropriate landscape for users to complete specific tasks.

What Is Gamification

Today we will talk about gamification which means to take some elements from mobile games and to adapt them for transforming an app into a playful experience. Using them in a wise mode you will convince customers to make some moves following the psychology behind games.

Why Should Be Used In Your Mobile App

There are a couple of reasons why you should consider this technique and we will discuss them further but we want to highlight that a gamification is a great option when you want to mix user acquisition with retention for a sustainable mobile growth.

Increases User Acquisition

First of all, borrowing some items from games and adding them to your app will help you to acquire new users because:

Enables Word Of Mouth
Giving your app a new aspect will convince people to spread the word about the interactive way provided by your app for doing some actions.

Encourages Social Sharing
Discovering something new or interesting inside your app is a good reason for users to share that with their friends. And who doesn’t want to gather as many appreciations as possible?

Drives Loyalty

But what about user retention?

Increases Stickiness
The other side of your plan is to increase the engagement factor for making sure that customers come back to your app over and over again. And with some rewards or badges, you have great chances to reach your goal.

Provides Seamless UX
One of the main reasons why users enjoy playing games is the amazing adventure offered by their gameplay. Why not offering them the same experience with your app even if it is not based on avatars or warriors?

5 Effective Gamification Elements For Mobile Apps

Let’s see the most efficient factors that will influence the way users are interacting with your app.


If you think about that for a second, gamification appears in every corner of our lives when we do something and we expect to receive something else instead. This fact applies also to apps when we are more motivated if the app offers us a prize for completing a task. Habitica is a task manager app that transforms your daily routine into an engaging game helping you to organize your chores. And it also offers you rewards if you complete a level.

Virtual Goods

Virtual goods are similar to rewards but they provide long term value. Take for example, Pocket Points which rewards students for not using their phone in the classroom. So, if they want to earn some points teenagers should be all eyes and ears at their teacher. After that, they can use those points for making real purchases.


Offering to your users badges will allow them to see a reason why they should face the challenge provided by your app. Those small elements show that you support your users and that you help them to achieve their goals. For many of us is a pleasure to read books but when you receive a badge for that it gets even more interesting. This is why Kobo app offers this type of awards to its users. Not to mention that you can connect with other people with the same reading preferences.


What encourages more a person to go on with his activity is to see his name on the list of winners. And in the moment he reaches number one then wait to tell his friends about that. So, a leaderboard added in the moment when users finish their sessions will improve their entire experience. Nike+ Move does a great job tracking people’s moves and a higher score motivates them more.

Progress Display

It doesn’t matter what type of app you have because a small image showing the progress of your users will always make them want more and they will look to complete it until they reach 100%. Losing weight is, without doubt, a very hard process but when you see that you are almost there you feel more encouraged to continue with your healthy habits as you can see in Monitor Your Weight an app that takes care of your efforts.

4 Tips For Getting The Best Out Of Gamification

We underlined at the beginning that this is a technique which needs to be done in the right way if you want to achieve the best results.

Set Goals

Of course, throwing virtual goods and all types of badges on the screen won’t have the wanted effect because you need to know from the start what you want to create with your improvements. Try to create a plan and to decide which elements will enhance the entire experience.

Create Value

The entire point of adding elements from games inside your creation is to convince users that your app is what they need for reaching their purpose. Try to find efficient rewards or interesting features that will make users to engage with your app even more.

Build Sharing Loops

If you want people to share your app then provide them an easy way to do that. It is amazing what you can achieve when you convince your users to talk to their friends about your app. It is one of the best strategies for increasing your user base.

Keep It Simple

Now, don’t completely transform your app because users installed it for a reason and if they were looking for a game then their choices would be different. You just need to add efficient improvements in order to increase their interest not to confuse them with a more complex structure that would do more harm than good.


When using gamification you follow two main goals: to convince people to complete a tedious task which otherwise would refuse to do and to engage your users even more for making them continue using your app again and again. Either way, when you want to adopt this technique you have to be sure that customers will spread the word about your app for bringing you more users with high lifetime value.

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