Categories: Mobile Apps

Mobile app gamification is where you add game design elements to your mobile app. Why would you do this? Because people love to compete, complete tasks and collect items. Gamification takes basic human nature and shifts it to our phones. And it’s effective across a number of metrics, including acquisition, retention and engagement.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can embrace mobile app gamification.

Reward systems

Users love to be rewarded for using your app.

Reward systems are probably the simplest and most common form of gamification. Basically, you reward a user for using your app in particular ways. You might give them points for taking a certain action, making an in-app purchase, or spending a certain amount of time on your app.

Reward systems should deliver value to your user. Otherwise they’ll just end up being meaningless badges and points. What are some examples? A shopping app might offer a gift card. An airline might offer frequent flyer miles. A social media app might allow a user to customize their avatar. These are all valuable, and relevant, to the user.


Achievements recognize a certain amount of engagement with an app. They differ from rewards in that they tend to represent larger milestones. These might be things like streaks, using a certain app feature, or gaining a first follower.

Achievements are usually recognized with “badges” or through unlocking new content and functionality. This approach encourages users to keep using the app to unearth the “prize” of additional extras.

Ranking systems

Rankings are a popular mobile app gamification element.

People are status-driven. We like to see the work we put in pay off . Plus we like to see ourselves rise up through the ranks. Incorporating levels, rankings or statuses into your app is a great way to drive engagement through gamification.

Like all the best gamification elements, ranking systems incorporate a challenge element. They encourage users to spend time on the app in order to level up. Good examples of ranking systems include follower counts, scoreboards and “all-star” status markers.

Avatars and personalization

Personalization is another popular mobile app gamification element. From avatars to titles to the use of virtual goods, users enjoy personalizing their mobile app experience.

Incorporating digital gifts, customizable avatars, badges and handles into your app is one way to help users create a sense of ownership and belonging. There’s a reason that Bitmoji and the filter overlays are Snapchat’s most popular features!

Mobile app gamification works

Gamification is all around us. Most of your favorite apps likely incorporate it – you just might not have realized it. Simple and effective, it’s a great way to drive mobile app engagement, loyalty and acquisition.

Building an app and need some tips on how to incorporate gamification? Get in touch!

Touchtap is a digital agency specializing in mobile-first development.We can build your mobile app for you.

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