How Pixel Federation optimized its ASO before a game launch to secure top rankings

  • Rank #1on the keyword "port"
Client profile:

Founded in 2007, Pixel Federation is an independent game developer and publisher based in Slovakia. Previously recognized as one of the fastest-growing tech startups in Central and Eastern Europe, the company now boasts over 250 employees and over 140 million players worldwide.

Among its portfolio of unique puzzle and tycoon mobile games is Train Station 2 – a free-to-play simulation game that allows users to collect trains, manage their train station, and engage with other railway enthusiasts.

Mobile Simulation Games
Products used:


As the ASO lead in Pixel Federation, Matej works closely with his team to devise an effective ASO strategy for their games’ portfolio. This includes not only maintaining good visibility for Pixel Federation’s existing games, but also working towards making each new game a success.

In August 2021, Pixel Federation launched a new transport tycoon game: Port City. After performing thorough market research, the team realized that to be able to compete with established games, they needed to optimize their mobile game’s metadata right from the start.



Using AppTweak, Matej and his team had the ASO tools available to perform extensive keyword research to optimize their game’s title. When crafting titles for games, it is important to target relevant and high-volume keywords. But for Pixel Federation, it was also important to find the right balance between their game’s branding Port City and the gameplay keywords “simulator” and “tycoon.”

Thanks to AppTweak’s smart keyword metrics such as Difficulty, Chance, and Relevancy, the team narrowed down their keyword research to a small list of high-priority keywords. They decided to optimize the title to “Port City: Ship Tycoon” to ensure long-term impact on visibility and effectively convey the game’s value proposition.

AppTweak’s extensive data and metrics also facilitated decision-making. The data is easy to digest and visualize, which helps to align stakeholders on the recommendations.


In just a matter of 2 weeks, the game managed to rank #1 on the high-volume keyword “port.” The game also ranked in the top 10 for keywords including “ship tycoon” and “transport tycoon” in the US App Store. Since the launch, their visibility on the keywords and combinations included in the game title continues to increase steadily over time, proving the long-term impact of early ASO optimization.

Image - Visibility score for Port City’s app title keywords in the US - Pixel Federation case study
Visibility score for Port City’s app title keywords in the US App Store since the game launch. The visibility score is a unique AppTweak metric to measure performance; the higher the game ranks on high-volume keywords, the higher the visibility score.


This experience made Pixel Federation understand the importance of adding highly relevant keywords in the game title from the start. Adding relevant keywords to your game’s metadata can help you drive more downloads, which ultimately will make it harder for competitors to knock you off the top ranking positions!

Image - Matej Jurcak, ASO Lead at Pixel Federation Matej Jurcak | ASO Lead at Pixel Federation
With AppTweak helping you to find the right keywords for your game, your road to climbing the ladder to top ranking positions in both app stores can be a lot easier.