Golden Guide For Mobile App Gamification In 2024

Mobile app gamification

Businesses across the globe are hardwired to hold tight on a thin rope that connects both ends of the spectrum. Mobile apps besides being the massive serendipity that it is. It is a gateway for businesses to reach out to their target audience. Besides that at the other end of the spectrum is Gamification. A secret formula that helps the businesses in more ways than one. 

Right from onboarding the target audience to converting them into loyal customers and retaining them to keep them coming back. Gamification in mobile apps is the magic pill and Swiss army knife that fetches organic installs, accelerates conversions and boosts revenue. In short if you want your business to scale and have long term success this is the deal. 

With that being said, the gamification market value is to hit a magnanimous high of $95.5 billion by 2030. And, this is one of the biggest signs of how tremendously lucrative this modern roll-out is for your business. But, for you to be comprehensively well-versed as to what mobile app gamification is, how to effectively integrate it and much more. Basically, we are taking you on a quick trip into the gamified revenue thick future of your business via this guide. 

I. Understanding the concept of mobile app gamification

Mobile apps for businesses act as signboards, connectors and now even attractors. With mobile app supremacy, barging in businesses has been at the most benefit. But, if we still have to give a layman’s explanation for mobile apps, we’d say it is a virtual storefront. Just how back in the day brick and mortar stores had all the products in the store for the consumers to look at and purchase. It’s almost the same but on a virtual front where businesses showcase their products/services. 

Now to the technical deconstruction of mobile apps and mobile app gamification.

  • Mobile App Development: Businesses hire mobile app development companies to get developers code, design and develop a mobile app. 
  • Mobile App Gamification: While the standard app development process revolves around the technical aspects. Gamification in mobile apps development calls for the inclusion of a number of aspects. Like human psychology, motivating factors and gamified elements. The reason here is the latter is aimed to be more engaging, intuitive and interactive. It is designed and developed to capture, catapult, drive and retain users. 

What do we mean by this? Let’s shoot an example for you to have a clear idea. Suppose you have run an eCommerce business and have a mobile app for that. Now, let us give you a pre and post example for gamification in app.

Pre: You have a 40% sales and conversion rate. This is plainly off the product/service front and functionality features. 

Post: With gamified elements placed in the app the engagement rate is accelerating. You have a reward system for users per purchase, with that you have loyalty tiers. These elements entice the users on how their acts are being incentivized. This in turn keeps them coming back on your app for those added goodies. 

Plus, though it is quite a fascinating approach, there are actually businesses winning on it. Yes, some giant businesses such as Starbucks, Duolingo etc. This also brings us to say that gamification in mobile apps is a cross industry boon. You can be a retailer, a service provider or into the food and beverage industry. This stellar duo has a universal application and a lot to bag in from the features. But, how to add those features is of great significance. 

II. How to add gamification features to your app?

Gamifying your mobile app may seem super difficult and time sensitive. But, it is not if you add those features in the most strategic and smart manner. Now, we say this because equipping the app with gamification features calls for some acute attention. And, counting on the mobile app development company here happens to be one of the most wise moves. Because technical, analytical and strategic expertise, smarts and proficiency of developers is non-negotiable here.

Having said that, let us tell you how to do it? When we said in a strategically sound manner. We meant that you need to tap into the user’s shoes. Now, at first to make the very initial move of your users rewarding and celebrating. You need to incentivize their onboarding. Then, following that you can strategically place in easter eggs and rewards that compliment, celebrate and reward their moves on the app. We shall tell you how:

2.1. Onboarding 

Ever heard that a warm welcome goes a long way. Consider the onboarding process of your users as an inviting and welcoming task. So, to make sure they feel welcomed and make their onboarding experience remarkable. You need to make sure they have a user experience like never before.

Onboarding the gamification features in mobile app
Onboarding the gamification features in mobile app

And, to do that you need to add gamification elements like onboarding rewards. Or even have a fun story based onboarding video that helps your user understand the entire brand. Furthermore, gamification can help you reward your user with points, onboarding discounts etc. This can be offered to the user once they complete the video and get through the onboarding. 

This will help you to ‘incentivize the mere visiting act’ of the user which is not quite normal and seen off. This will again give you a USP and help you catapult users via these engaging tactics.

2.2. Placing rewards on other moves

It is psychologically proven that humans tend to be consistent in their acts when they are rewarded. Gamification in this realm runs on the same note. Also who doesn’t like being rewarded? So, when you reward the users you motivate them to stick by and repeat their acts. 

So, for example, you have set rewards for your users for in-app purchases. Or if you have a tiered loyalty program for your users. Where they get rewarded each time they hit a consistency challenge or have been using the app for a said number of times. 

It all boils down to how you hit the dopamine levels of your users with flashy rewards. Remember the happy moments are magnets that help you attract users and keep them hooked on your app. Because just a visually appealing design and layout of the apps won’t help you land on your targets. However, there’s not just one gamification feature that can help you navigate through the inroads of successes. Skim down the section below to learn which.

III. A suite of gamification ideas for mobile apps

Gamification means adding gamified or game-like features to the non-game aspects of your app. It is basically to add to scoop in fun and an element that grabs the user’s attention and drives their interest. A plain, basic app that reigns supreme on functionality but barely has any elements that accentuate users’ experience doesn’t cut much. Because users are spoiled with choices and even your competitor who stands 6th in competition also has its app gamified. Or maybe on the verge of whipping in this secret sauce. 

Having said that, there are a number of gamification options that you can bring to your leverage. However, remember it for your target audience and should appeal to them. But, to actually come down to picking the best suitable aspect. Firstly, you need to understand what each gamification aspect has in store that you can offer to your users. This will then help you to shortlist and filter out the best among them all for your users. 

3.1. Rewards

It plays a wonderful role in incentivizing user’s acts, moves and progress. Rewards are a gift that you place on the app for your users when they hit a high, win a challenge or progress. It basically serves as a motivator, driver and a push for the users to keep engaging with the app. 

Now, this gamification aspect works for almost all the categories. You can have an eCommerce, educational app or a fitness app. Because at the core the nature of rewards comes down to applauding the users to keep participating in the competition, bag in recognition and dig in wins. 

So, let us explain further by giving an example. Let’s say you have an eCommerce beauty business. Now if you sneak in rewards in this segment of your business you can accelerate the odds of hitting a high on user engagement, sales and retention. 

Now why we say this is because while you put in gaming elements you motivate your users to keep interacting and engaging with the app. Like by incentivizing their purchase with a reward, or choosing your app to buy products for a couple of times in a month. Or even referring products to their friends etc. 

Basically, the reason why you integrate gamification in mobile apps is to amplify your services and approach. Whereas the most significant reason here is that your user gets motivated, recognized and applauded which hits a throttle for user retention in more ways than you can imagine. 

3.2. Leaderboards

The will to compete, compare and win comes naturally to humans. And, as mentioned earlier in this guide, gamification in mobile apps basically runs on psychological principles.

By placing these elements in your app you can build inroads that lead to higher user engagement and retention. Creating friendly competition, in-app challenges, following it with rewards helps you to  build a community on your app and that motivates your users to engage more. 

Plus, leaderboards act as a prime motivator because of the eclectic feeling of watching your name flashing on the top of the board. That is where the user’s interest is stored. We will give you an example for this. Say for example you have an educational app, where your users get rewarded on completing a course or securing the highest score. 

These kinds of perks help in boosting users interest and looping back in. Further by giving them the authority to redeem points etc for paid content can be a game changer right there. 

3.3. Quizzes

Competition fosters growth, and growth if rewarded has altogether an alpha effect. Plus, flaunting the wins never goes out of style. And, when it comes to being there on the app it has altogether another kick.

Quizzes are something that you can add as a gamified aspect. Where if and when the users maximize on the right answers they get to win a prize. Now, this has a dual effect. At one end of the spectrum it works as a key motivator for the users to engage, interact with the app, participate and win big. On the other side, it hits the throttle of growth for the business in multifarious ways. 

The trivia here is to engage, accelerate and boost user experience. And, this could be a win-win right there for business across genres. 

3.4. Badges

Badges are something that are held next to the heart. It is pure human psychology where winning, social recognition and feelings of accomplishment is unmatchable.

For businesses badges work as power-ups. It turbocharges the users to keep achieving and thriving. And, this again has a universal application. Now, what we mean to say by this is you can have a Fitness App or a Food Delivery App.

The charm and power of badges don’t dwindle. As usual we will explain to you with an example but this time around with two examples. 

Food App: With badges here you can influence, drive and motivate your users to engage more. Like you can give a badge on the users for crossing the given order numbers or trying multiple restaurants. This will offer them a social applause and recognition. Which in turn will leave you having growing word of mouth and further user retention. 

As promised we have a second example for you to have a better idea as to how badges such as gamification in mobile apps can be super valuable. 

Fitness App: Where the consistent diet follower gets a badge the odds of them repeating their acts for the badge is more. Because the dopamine hit of getting social recognition and a sense of achievement plays as a motivator. Further, you can plot badges to drive in  more user engagement and experience.

3.5. In-app challenges 

Challenges prompt the users to exceed their capabilities and outperform everytime they hop on the app. Basically, it is designed to promote a sense of accomplishment, build a community and let the users bag in wins. 

Also it works tremendously for businesses. So if you are into fitness, fintech or even edtech getting these gamification aspects are a no brainer. Let us explain to you with a standard example. 

Gamification in mobile app
Gamification in mobile app

Picture this: You own a fitness app and you have placed in-app challenges coupled with rewards. So, the race winner, the one that completed the fitness challenge. They in turn are rewarded. 

Well, this is not it there are other gamification aspects too. Like levels, tiered loyalty etc. However, before you choose one specific aspect, you need to take into consideration your target audience, your business model etc. Also once you select one you can further get it personalized via a top mobile app development company

IV. Role of gamification in user engagement

Mobile app gamification has a humongous role to play in charting the businesses up for a high. Which is exactly why there is a gold rush towards. From startups to giants cross vertical are bullish on this. Also, there are many reasons to count beyond the staggering growth of the businesses. 

Although that’s there, it has a gigantic impact for one specific sprint that businesses cannot part ways with. But, just when you think that there’s no way out there is a tiny little ray of sunshine. Gamification in mobile apps is that tiny ray of sunshine that works wonders. To know how to get through the section below;

4.1. Synergy b/w user retention & user engagement

Businesses are stretched thin in hitting a whopping high when it comes to user engagement and retention. Also, this goes unanimously for all genres and sizes of businesses. 

Where a number of trends, tech waves and advances pitch in the only constant drive for the businesses is centered around users. They are always on the march to get aspects, trends and features that are a sugary payload. And, gamification in mobile app is one such.

Businesses run on having a dynamic and robust synergy between user engagement and user retention. And, that is whipped by stellar user experiences. This is where mobile app gamification pitches in. 

Right from equipping the users form left, right and center. From offering the most interactive, intuitive and rewarding experiences via gaming experiences. To down right making it comparatively simpler for the businesses to win big on user retention and engagement.

More like gamifying mobile apps are not just in buzz but rolling out trailblazing outcomes for businesses. Also, the stats suggest that businesses have witnessed a 70% hike post the integration of these elements in applications.  

4.2. Famous apps incorporating gamification

Consider it as a case study and not merely as a trend. Yes, the trend of mirroring where big shots in the market hop onto something and others blindly follow them. However, you can consider this as a fairly tried and tested move. Though there are a number of giants already leveraging its power and potential. By the examples stated below you can get the idea of how gamification in mobile apps works like a knight in shining armor. 

Starbucks: It has an element where by using the app they get to collect stars which ultimately gets them to unlock wins like free coffee etc. Furthermore, personalized recommendations analyze order history to offer customized service. They also have progress bars like Starbucks Dash where the store visits are turned into games. 

Nike: They have leaderboards, challenges etc to incentivize users. However this strategic integration has a major role to play where Nike app users have a lot to look up to. From fun challenges, wins, and rewards to personalized services. 

Thus, this is the unmatchable and multifaceted role of gamification in engaging users. It is more like business owners, strategists and teams can take a backseat and let this secret sauce come to shove.  

V. How to integrate gamification in your mobile apps?

Just understanding or getting into the nitty gritty of its role and impact will not cut much. You need to know how to integrate these winning aspects into your applications. Though of course this is the role and forte of mobile app development companies. But, having your research and plan of action right is of high importance. Because being on the same page can save you from a fiasco.

5.1. Analyze your business goals

This goes without saying. You cannot randomly choose gamification elements without taking into account your business model. Because if you have a fitness app and you miss out on in app challenges or leaderboards. Then that’s going to be a huge fiasco right at the start.

5.2. Understand your audience

Without understanding your audience base you cannot choose the gamification features for your application. Now, the reason here is extremely staunch. The aim of this entire concept is centered around users. And, knowing their preferences, choices, moves etc helps you to strategize the entire aspect of your app.

5.3. Shortlist the features

Once you have mapped their preferences, choices and what features that they tilt the most towards. The next step here is to shortlist the features that best suit their requirements. This is when you can choose the features.

5.4. Add value to the features

Adding a value proposition to those features is a ‘must’. You cannot just simply plot the gamification features randomly. To make it work the best both for your users and your customers. A proper consideration and analysis of its integration should be done. Just like we explained in the section above. 

5.5. Personalize 

Personalize the gamification to enhance the user experience
Personalize the gamification to enhance the user experience

It is the key to win consumers. In this modern era ‘a common suite of offerings’ barely works. Users root for user experience that is curated to their personal choices and preferences. Because at the end users are spoiled with options and there are a number of competitors. And, you don’t want to lose your customer base to anyone right?

5.6. Test

Once you have connected with the mobile app developers and have everything in place. We suggest always running a quick check before you roll it out to the users. This gives you a bracket to fix things in case there’s a glitch, Plus, it gives you an upper hand to have a glitch-free release. 

5.7. Release to market 

Voila you features are rightly stacked to be released to the market. All that’s left is now to bag in massive user engagement, retention, sales and brand presence.

So, this is how you get the gamification in mobile apps integrated by putting chips on a prominent mobile app development company. But, that’s not all yet. Once you have integrated you need to ensure the application is effective enough. Now, this isn’t some new step but this is just rechecking if things are in line with your objective. We have the quickest tick-test for you which is 4 steps short. 

V. How to ensure effective mobile app gamification strategies?

We know how excruciating it gets to have it all covered. But, we assure you a little tick test won’t hurt. This is just a quick run that gives you that ‘added assurance’ that the gamification features are value adding. 

All you gotta do is- check if:

  • Infuse the Saga of FUN + INTERACTIVITY: The gamification features shortlisted to deliver the saga (fun+ interactivity) accurately.
  • Analyze your user’s preferences: Quickly check if the features are accurate and in sync with your users preferences. 
  • Make sure users have a Creative Liberty: If your users do not have the creative liberty to set challenges and retweak it to their further capabilities. Then you are pretty close to losing a chunk of the user base.
  • Incentivize your Users: Make sure your gamification features are plotted in a way that incentivizes your users in more ways than one.

Well, you can now brace yourself to unlock whopping highs on your mobile application. 


Mobile app gamification is here to slingshot and pave the way for businesses. More often than not a double win-win or a doubly sugary payload is not so simple to bag in. But, now it is because we are equipping you with a detailed guide which is the ultimate streak of steps you need. Now, all that’s left to do is connect with a renowned mobile app development company. Because tech expertise and forte core requirements for successful integration of gamification in mobile apps.

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