AppTweak GameDNA

Introducing GameDNA: Enhanced ASO Insights for Mobile Games

Georgia Shepherdby 
Product Marketing Manager at AppTweak

8 min read

With 60% of the world’s entire gaming market now dominated by mobile games, it’s clear that the mobile gaming industry is more diverse today than ever. While the app stores provide around 20 game subcategories each, these are often broad and inconsistent for game marketers to truly understand—and thrive in—their specific app store markets.

To combat this, we now turn to game classifications for more precise insights. We are therefore proud to introduce a new, actionable mobile gaming classification: GameDNA, developed by our data scientists.

What is AppTweak’s GameDNA taxonomy?

Similarly to our recently released AppDNA, GameDNA offers more advanced app store insights compared to the store-given categories. GameDNA and its AppTweak features provide a more precise look into a game’s core elements, identity, and market. With GameDNA, we have now defined more than 70 types of gameplay that uncover more relevant competitor insights, keyword suggestions, and growth opportunities.

App store categories GameDNA
Can change Constant through time
Can differ from store to store The same for an equivalent game on iOS & Android
Broad (15-20 subcategories) More granular (70+ gameplay)

Gain advanced app store insights with our AppDNA taxonomy

Redefining the mobile gaming landscape is definitely a challenge. Even more so than apps, games combine a variety of elements to increase originality and stand out in a saturated market. It would be possible to compare games according to many different aspects—mechanics, universe, narrative, graphics, and more—as a game’s DNA encapsulates all of these elements.

With this first launch of GameDNA, we have reclassified games according to users’ primary experience: gameplay. Gameplay describes a game’s core mechanics, including:

  • The kind of actions players can perform.
  • Any interactions between characters, players, elements, etc.
  • The level of involvement the player can expect to contribute.
AppTweak GameDNA taxonomy
GameDNA taxonomy: A more precise picture into the gaming competitive landscape

More advanced gaming insights with GameDNA: Gameplay

With GameDNA, we have defined over 70 specific gameplays that fall under 16 larger groupings:

Expert Tip

Think about which GameDNA resonates with your game most. Take a look at the picture of our entire taxonomy (above) and try to identify your specific type of gameplay. What elements of your game align with that gameplay? What makes your game different?
  • Action: Games where the player controls a main character that can perform several actions. Specific gameplays include “battle royale” or “runner.”
  • Board & Card: Traditional board and card games, like “chess & checkers.”
  • Casino Games: Games that can be found in real-world casinos and include some sort of betting, like the “bingo” or “casino slots” gameplays.
  • Driving & Racing: Games where the player has to race against others or is in control of a vehicle (car, motorbike, train, plane, etc).
  • Family: Games that provide a safe and friendly environment (suitable for parents or kids), often with educational aspects.
  • Hyper-casual: Hyper-casual games are characterized by easy-to-play user interfaces, little user attention required, and minimalistic gameplay that often involves infinite loops and a heavy ad system.
  • Idle: Games that are predominantly played by leaving the game running by itself, with minimum or zero player interaction. Idle games are also known as “clicker games”, “incremental games” or “offline games.”
  • Lifestyle: Games where the player controls the lifestyle of one or more virtual characters through customization or making decisions.
  • Match: Games where the goal is to match elements. Specific gameplays include “bubble shoot” or “match 3.”
  • Party & Words: Games that involve words, questions, or trivia.
  • Puzzle: Games that challenge a player’s logic and creativity in order to progress through the game, like “numbers” or “jigsaw” puzzles.
  • RPG: Role-playing games based on the control and evolution of a main character who can gain experience throughout his quest. Includes “survival” games or “action RPG.”
  • Shooting: Games with shooting as the main action performed.
  • Simulation: Games that simulate real-world situations like “building” or “virtual pets.”
  • Strategy: Games that call upon the strategic management of units or cities to progress.
  • Sports: Games that involve sports (management, simulation, and more).

The ASO value of GameDNA: Gameplay

The mobile game market is extremely diverse, and games may even combine a number of different gameplays. With GameDNA, we have assigned one core gameplay to each mobile game, providing game marketers with granular insights for more precise market research. We have developed GameDNA to particularly help you monitor more relevant competitors in terms of gameplay, and discover new opportunities for growth.

Combining our team’s ASO expertise, feedback from some of our industry-leading gaming clients, and machine learning, our data scientists developed the powerful algorithms behind GameDNA. These algorithms allow us to identify the gameplay of any mobile game, as long as it’s available in the US, Canada, Ireland, UK, South Africa, India, New Zealand, and/or Australia.

A game’s DNA is more than its gameplay

As GameDNA currently only focuses on gameplay, it’s important to not forget about other defining elements of a game, like its visuals or universe. You may see, for example, games with very different visuals, universes, or monetization systems still regrouped into the same GameDNA.

For instance, our “battle royale” gameplay includes multiplayer action games that blend last-man-standing gameplay with survival or exploration elements. Thanks to GameDNA, our tool is then able to identify leading battle royale games in the Top Charts: Stumble Guys, PUBG Mobile, Apex Legends Mobile, and Brawl Stars.

AppTweak Battle Royale GameDNA in Top Charts
Battle Royale GameDNA in Top Charts

According to GameDNA, these games are competing in the same gameplay market even though their universe and visuals are very different. Providing insights based on gameplay follows the most intuitive logic for both game developers and players, and allows our users to extract a range of benefits for their ASO work.

How to leverage GameDNA on AppTweak

You can leverage GameDNA in different ways across our platform:

GameDNA in Top Charts: Discover new game competitors

Head to the Top Charts and select your GameDNA of interest (hint: you can explore the taxonomy in list form or with an interactive chart) to visualize the top-performing games for that gameplay. Top Charts for GameDNA provide even more specific insights than the store-given subcategories, and help you identify new competitors, better understand game trends, and deepen your market research.

Top ASO lessons to learn from monitoring your competitors

Below, we see the top charts for the leading “blast” games: games where players tap & blast combinations of similar items. We are then able to easily compare their ratings, app powers, and highest rankings on the stores, just below the name of each game developer.

On the app stores, however, these games belong to the Casual and Puzzle subcategories, which are much broader and include a wide variety of player experiences. GameDNA for Top Charts allows you to narrow your analysis down and identify close competitors in just a click.

AppTweak Top Charts for the "blast" gameplay DNA (left) and for the "Games - Puzzle" category (right)
Top Charts for the “blast” gameplay DNA (left) and for the “Games – Puzzle” category (right). Top Charts for GameDNA is Enterprise only and available in the US, Canada, Ireland, UK, South Africa, India, New Zealand, and Australia

Find more relevant keyword suggestions with GameDNA

We can now provide even more powerful keyword suggestions, driven by data science, based on your GameDNA. In our Keywords section > Keyword Suggestions, navigate to your “Market Keywords” to explore a range of relevant search terms that can help increase your game’s visibility and downloads.

AppTweak GameDNA keyword suggestions for the “blast” DNA (Enterprise only)
Keyword suggestions for the “blast” GameDNA

GameDNA in the app header & competitor tags

You can also always uncover a game’s DNA type from the app header, after searching for an applicable game on AppTweak. Just hover over the GameDNA for more details or click “Explore all GameDNA types” to deep dive into our entire gaming taxonomy.

We’ll also indicate GameDNAs in our competitor suggestions, so you can select more relevant competitors for your market analyses!

AppTweak GameDNA competitor suggestions
GameDNA competitor suggestions. Source: AppTweak

Get ahead of your competitors with GameDNA

After our recent release of AppDNA, we are proud to launch GameDNA, our unique gaming taxonomy. GameDNA reclassifies games into over 70 types of gameplay, providing more granular and precise insights into your market, keywords, and competitive strategy. With GameDNA on AppTweak, you can now:

  • Compare game performance with more relevant competitors.
  • Discover new entrants serving the same gameplay.
  • Find more relevant keyword suggestions based on GameDNA.

The game market is very diverse, and games can be grouped based on a variety of factors outside of gameplay. Stay tuned for future developments to our GameDNA taxonomy!

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Georgia Shepherd
by , Product Marketing Manager at AppTweak
Georgia is a Product Marketing Manager at AppTweak. She works daily to highlight the value of our industry-leading ASO tools. She loves music, dancing, and food!