How to choose a category for your app or game

Alex Moulderby 
Senior Account Manager

4 min read

Are you trying to decide what category to place your new game or app in? Or perhaps, you want to re-evaluate your current category choices. Deciding on a category for an app can be more difficult than anticipated. It’s very possible and even likely that there are multiple categories that are relevant to your app. We can help you make the best choice and walk you through 4 different factors that should be considered.


The first place to look is at the competition to see what they are doing. The apps and games that are similar in style, functionality and theme can tell you a lot about how to position your own. It’s likely that the apps most similar to yours fall into the same few categories. Creating a shortlist from the competition’s category choices can give insight into which categories users would expect to see apps like yours.

Downloads to Top

While installs are not the only factor to have an impact on category rankings, they play a large role. Understanding how competitive, and how many installs are necessary to rank in particular ranking ranges is important to consider.

Looking into the differences between the Apple Social Networking and Lifestyle categories in the United States, we can easily see that once you get to the top ten, the estimated installs needed between the two are very different. The Social Networking category requires double the installs of the Lifestyle category to rank top five. If the app in question is a new app or an app that is currently not receiving many installs, it may be beneficial to place the app in the Lifestyle Category as it requires over 100,000 less daily installs to achieve the top rankings. If your app is very powerful and looking to change categories, this is less of a worry if you have the install values.

Learn more about the downloads needed to reach the top rankings.

Category Volatility

Each category experiences volatility for a variety of reasons. One reason being seasonal volatility. Again, comparing Social Networking to Lifestyle we can see that the Social Networking category has more extreme highs and lows in the changes in installs due user behavior that aligns with the time of year.

Categories also have volatility due to new entrants, particularly with new Games on iOS. Games on Apple tend to see a boost in category rankings following their release which then can lead to a boost in installs themselves. Looking at the top 10 apps over the last 90 days in the Games- Puzzle category we can see that four of the top ten were released within the last 90 days (Tangle Master, Fit em All, Recharge Please, Repair Master 3D), and two were released just prior to that (Go Knots 3D and Bead Sort). New Entrants typically do not stay in the top rankings for long but in some cases they are able to maintain the status.


If you are still trying to narrow down which category is best for your app or game consider which keywords are most relevant to your app and you would like to rank for. It’s important to remember that if you are trying to target keywords that are most closely related to another category it may be more difficult to achieve those rankings. For example, looking at the top ranked apps for the keyword “Strategy” each of these apps are in the Games – Strategy category with the exception of only one, Dictator-Rule the World.

This is common with keywords that are very closely related to a particular category name. It is important to consider the keywords that are most relevant and align the category with those terms.

Here you have 10 Tips to Build a Keyword List for Your App

Each of these 4 factors should be considered when determining the best category for your app or game. They may not all point towards the same category choice so depending on the app or game their importance may vary.

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Alex Moulder
by , Senior Account Manager
Alex is an ASO Manager at AppTweak helping apps increase their visibility. She has a passion for animals, reading, and like the rest of the AppTweak team, good food.