Exploiting The Mechanism Of Addiction For Mobile Game Developers

In today’s article is all about games. But not any kind of games, just the ones that have the power to control our lives. Maybe one time you were in a supermarket and when you were about to pay for your groceries you received an alert from your favorite game that needed your attention. In that moment, the only solution you could think of was to hand over your wallet to the cashier and to allow her to take your money while you managed to keep your virtual live. Yes, that happened to all of us. But how is that possible? How can a simple app steal our minds? We will talk about the psychology behind mobile games, so game owners pay attention to discover how you can transform your app into a gold mine.

Mobile Gaming Audience

For a successful game, you need to know your players very well. If you want to create an appealing app for them you have to observe their behavior and their preferences. Don’t forget that you will tailor your game according to the resources they are ready to give you in a change of a really amazing creation.

Mobile Gaming Revenue

To start, let’s see that in numbers. For this year, Statista predicts that mobile games revenue worldwide will reach more than $40 million.

Another impressive situation was published by VentureBeat. Those charts encourage you to spend more time to discover how to attract new players, don’t they?

Freemium Model Dominates

One of the most effective strategies to monetize your app is Freemium model. The same thing is available for the most popular app category which is games. For both overcrowded markets, it is almost impossible to convince users to pay for installing an app. Why to pay for something when there are millions of free apps. That being said offering your game for free for the ones who are willing to download it will increase your user acquisition rate. After gamers are attracted to the entire action of the game they will need to pay for premium features. And they will definitely do that if your game worth their money.

Exploiting The Mechanism Of Addiction

Inside the brain, it is a chemical substance called dopamine responsible for exploring and finding new things. When this element reaches a low level it increases the desire for new adventures and rewards. This is why for an advanced player the dopamine level seems to explode. Assuming that you know your target audience, you are ready to follow our step by step guide for making your game viral.

Give Them First Free Touches

Let’s start with the pricing model. We saw that the most successful apps are Freemium and we covered the reasons for that. As you can see in the chart below you need to concentrate your attention on the group of players that are more willing to spend their money on more advanced elements inside your game.

Give Flattering Feedbacks

We like being appreciated so positive reinforces will make users enjoy the experience even more. It is not enough to ask them to do something, it is very important the way we do that. Choosing the right words for providing the right feeling will have the wanted effect.

Trigger Emotions By Design

In a game created with the purpose to play with people heads every small detail counts. From characters to different scenarios, from text to colors every element has to trigger players’ interest in the most extreme way. Growth Tower published a great article about Color Psychology For Mobile Apps. We invite you to read it for discovering the power of colors for the overall experience of an app, in our case a game. For example, when you want to express speed you should go with red and for a courageous hero, you can mix purple, red and some blue.

Let Them Be Social

Social media is the best solution for marketing your game. First of all, if you allow your players to brag with their results you will increase engagement and therefore you will have a higher retention rate. Secondly, providing social sharing options will help you also for acquiring new users because gamers can become your best ambassadors.

Make Them Crave

When players need to recharge their sources of energy it is recommended to make them wait before the progression is complete. The same thing is available when you are dealing with upgrades or refills if you want to engage them even more. Spend a little time to understand the strategy of Criminal Case.

Provide Long – Lasting Game Experience

After reaching the absolute goal of the game, be prepared to offer them more. If they end the adventure, improve the experience with more obstacles which will make users ask for more. The mechanics of the game varies according to your imagination and in this case, sky is the limit.

Make It Handy

Users prefer simple games which allow them to divide their attention and to focus on other things while they remain connected to the game. Remember the situation described at the beginning of this blog post? If they can play the game with one hand and with the other one, they can complete their purchases or they can carry their shopping bags then you will reach a higher conversion rate.

Tell Them A Story

Adding a plot to the entire gameplay will make players to get attached to the characters and to the entire action. This way they will think about the game even when they don’t have their phone in their hands. Creating a story around your game will attract even people who don’t usually spend their time playing. Take for example the creators of Two Dots, they also invented a webcomic for the game.

Unpredictable Gifts

Offering them various prizes while they are trying to reach the next level will increase the engagement level. The condition is to make them aware that they will receive some kind of reward but not knowing when and how that will happen, will make them enjoy the entire journey even more. The surprise element will do the entire work.

Challenge Them!

Players need to be motivated to continue with their game addiction. If they start to get bored then you risk losing them. Adding new experiences and provocations will make gamers to go back to your app over and over again. Moreover, after winning a new dare, they will be proud to share their success with their friends.


Did you ever like a mobile game so much that you felt you can’t live without playing it? Did you wake up in the middle of the night to check the score after you dreamt that you were being attacked by your opponent’s troops? Those games are awesome and now you know their secret. If you are a game owner with a few players it is time to transform it into an interactive adventure and create a real phenomenon around it.

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