Top 8 principles of any gamified mobile application

Top 8 principles of any gamified mobile application

Top 8 principles of any gamified mobile application
Polskii Mark
Author @ InAppStory

Have you ever been engrossed in a mobile game, tapping away nonstop at your phone in an attempt to beat your high score or advance to the next level? That is the application of gamification's power. Points, badges, leaderboards, and other aspects of games are incorporated into non-gaming applications through gamification. It's an effective tool that can increase user motivation, engagement, and loyalty in mobile applications. 

However, adding a few points and badges is insufficient. A few fundamental guidelines must be adhered to in order to produce a mobile app that is gamified and actually successful. Alas, here are top 8 concepts that will turn your app from just another software into a memorable and engaging experience are covered in this post.


The 8 Core Principles




1. Clearly Defined Goals & Challenges


Any compelling game starts with a clear knowledge of the goals that participants are attempting to accomplish. With regard to gamified mobile apps, the same is true. Users must have a roadmap, or a series of clearly stated objectives and difficulties, to direct their journey within the app.


Examples of applications using this principle include:

  • Points: Giving users a measurable indicator of their progress, points are awarded for accomplishing tasks within the app.
  • Levels: By offering a clear path for advancement, a level system encourages users to keep going forward.
  • Badges: Obtaining badges for reaching particular benchmarks gives you an extra sense of success and acknowledgment.


2. Engaging Progression System


A well-thought-out progression mechanism is essential for retaining users interested in your gamified software, much like the rewarding "level up" sensation in video games. The main goal is to inspire users by giving them a distinct sense of advancement and success as they use the program. Their drive to return for more is fueled by this.

This is how to put in place a captivating progression system:

  • Level Systems: Divide the objectives of the app into manageable levels. Users are inspired to take on the next challenge by the mini-victories they receive when completing each level.
  • Progress Bars: Show how far a user has come toward a particular objective visually. One has a sense of anticipation and gratification upon completion when they see a progress bar fill up.
  • Opening Up New Functionalities: As users advance, reward them with access to fascinating new features. This encourages users to keep using the software and keeps things interesting.


3. Rewarding System with Meaningful Rewards


Imagine winning a difficult game level, only to receive a pointless participation trophy as payment. Not very promising, is it? Gamified apps are no different. Providing users with worthwhile prizes that are valued and closely related to the app's general objectives is essential to an efficient reward system. These incentives ought to encourage people to stay using the app and advance it further.


Here's how to create an impactful, rewarding system:

  • Virtual products: In certain apps, a strong incentive can be found in virtual products that improve the user experience. Consider adding power-ups or customization choices to enhance the gaming experience.
  • Discounts & Exclusive Content: Providing premium content or exclusive discounts can be quite profitable for apps that are centered around real-world advantages.
  • Goal Alignment: It's important to make sure that rewards closely support the main goals of the app. A language learning app might, for instance, give users virtual medals for finishing classes, encouraging them to keep going with their language learning.


4. Positive Reinforcement & Feedback


Expanding upon the notion of rewards, an app that has been gamified needs continuous positive reinforcement and feedback to be successful. The intention is to maintain user motivation and engagement by acknowledging and celebrating minor and large successes.


The following are some strategies for using positive reinforcement:

  • Encouragement Messages: Send users individualized greetings that recognize their accomplishments or growth.
  • Animations & Sound Effects: Inspire a sense of success by marking significant occasions with captivating animations and sound effects.
  • Public Recognition (Optional): To encourage a healthy feeling of competitiveness, think about implementing leaderboards or recognition programs to recognize top performers.


5. Fostering a Sense of Community


Since people are social beings by nature, gamified applications can take advantage of this need for interaction to build vibrant communities. Encouragement of a feeling of community can greatly increase user loyalty and engagement.


Here are some strategies for creating a vibrant community inside your app:

  • Leaderboards and Challenges: Use leaderboards to highlight top performers and foster a constructive feeling of rivalry among users.
  • Teams & Collaboration: Enable users to work together in groups or on projects to promote a feeling of unity and accomplishment.
  • Social elements: Include social elements where people can communicate, exchange stories, and inspire one another, such as forums or chat rooms.


6. Balanced Difficulty & Challenge


Any game's sweet spot is found in striking a balance between challenge and difficulty. Gamified applications follow the same guidelines. The app's activities ought to be tough enough to keep users interested and inspired, but not so hard that they give up or get annoyed.


Here's how to strike the right balance:

  • Modifiable Difficulty Level: Give consumers the freedom to change the degree of difficulty to fit their preferences and skill level. Users can advance at their own pace and a broader audience is served by this.
  • Tutorials & Practice Modes: Provide users with the essential tools to overcome obstacles by providing them with basic tutorials and practice modes. This boosts their self-esteem and guarantees they're ready for more difficult work.
  • Gradual Progression: Create challenges in the app that get harder over time. As a result, users can develop their skills gradually, which gives them a sense of success and motivates them to keep going.


7. Variety & Unlocking New Content


If there's not enough variation, even the most captivating game might grow boring. For gamified apps, the same is true. Long-term user retention requires a range of experiences and frequent additions of fresh content.


Here's how to inject variety and keep things fresh:

  • New Games & Levels: Keep people moving forward. To keep people interested and offer new experiences, add additional stages, mini-games, or challenges.
  • Unlockable Features: As users go through the app, provide them access to intriguing new features to encourage them to keep going. This might take the form of whole new features or additional customisation choices.
  • Seasonal Events & Themed Updates: Inject some excitement into things with exclusive challenges and rewards during seasonal events or themed updates. Users keep returning because of this to check out what's intriguing and new.


8. Integration with Core Functionality


The main objective of your mobile app should always take precedence over gamification. Instead of taking the place of the user experience, it ought to improve and enrich it. The significance of smoothly incorporating gamification components with the app's essential features is emphasized by this last criterion.


This is how to successfully integrate:

  • Rewarding Core Tasks: Encourage users to complete the app's key tasks by giving them points, medals, or progress toward levels. This encourages regular use and highlights the importance of key features.
  • The Gamification Guide: Make advantage of gamification components to walk users through the features of the app. Learning can be made more dynamic and interesting by framing tutorials or challenges in a game-like manner.
  • Pay Attention to User Value: Keep in mind that gamification is a tool, not the end result. Always give top priority to the essential features that really benefit users. Gamification components ought to add to and strengthen its value rather than take away from it.


The gamification process in a nutshel




In essence, the gamification process for any mobile application will have its own unique traits and principles. However, in most cases this process requires thorough discussions, brainstorming and to be honest a small dedicated team who will take this wheel in their hands.

On the other hand, InAppStory provides a gamified sanbox for our clients to play around and build their own unique games within their mobile app and their Stories. It takes no effort, doesn’t take much of your time and what's better – anyone can build whatever they want.




You can make your mobile app an interesting and engaging experience that encourages user motivation, retention, and eventually success by adhering to these eight fundamental principles. Recall that while gamification can be a very useful tool, its success depends on your ability to comprehend user psychology and combine game mechanics with your app's main features in a smooth manner. When implemented properly, gamification may transform boring chores into thrilling challenges, building a devoted user base and accelerating your app's progress toward its objectives. 


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