Game Developer Dictionary

* A corresponding article is linked to each term/indicator, which analyzes the work with the metric in detail.




Active users (Active users) those users who had at least one session during the time period under study. These intervals may be different, but most often they study the daily, weekly, and monthly audience of the project.

Ad network (advertising network) – a network with advertising offers from advertisers. It acts as an intermediary between advertisers directly (advertisers) and those who sell their traffic (publishers). Just below is a link to articles about exactly how advertising networks work:

Advertiser (advertiser) — the one who gives the agency or partner an offer(s) — i.e. a person interested in getting traffic to any offer.

Average session length (Average session length) – a metric that characterizes the user’s time in the application. Also sometimes called session duration, session length, and visit duration.

ARPPU (Average Revenue Per Paying User) is the average income that a paying user (a user who has made at least one payment) brings for a certain period of time.

ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) is the income that one active user brings on average over a certain period of time.




Bracket-dependent return retention (Range retention) – The N-day range hold is a variation of the return hold. As you might guess, it records users who have returned to the application at least once during a certain period.




Churn rate (Outflow of users) – this metric shows how many users have left the product. Expressed as a percentage.

Consumer basket (Consumer basket) – a set of goods and services purchased on average by one user over a certain period of time.

Conversion — any target action performed or an event that occurred: going to the app store, installing, registering, reaching a level, buying, and so on.

Conversion funnel (Conversion Funnel) – an audience research tool. It consists of a sequence of user actions (steps) and shows how many unique users have performed each of them, as well as the conversion between steps.

CPI (Cost per install) – if literally “price per download”. This is an advertising format, according to which payment occurs only if the user has downloaded, installed and opened the application.

Cumulative ARPU (Cumulative ARPU) – an analog of ARPU, which is calculated not for the entire audience, but exclusively for a certain cohort of users every day from the moment of installation

CTR (Cisk-Through Rate) is an indicator of the clickability of advertising. Calculated using the formula: CTR = (number of clicks on the ad / number of impressions) * 100%.

CPS (Cost-per-Sale) is the payment of advertising for the purchase made in the game by the attracted user, that is, the scenario when the advertiser pays for the event only after he receives payment for the purchase inside the application.




DAU (Daily Active Users) – the number of unique users who had at least one session per day.

Downloads (Downloads) – downloading applications by the user from the digital goods store.




eCPM is the effective cost of one thousand impressions. Shows the revenue received by the publisher from thousands of ad impressions in the application.




First time user experience (FTUE) – the experience and impressions that the user receives during his first session in the application.

Full retentionFull retention of the nth day shows the percentage of users who logged into the app every day before day N.




Inventory (here: advertising inventory) is a collection of all places inside the application where the user can be shown ads.

IPO is the initial public offering of the company’s shares on the stock exchange, during which new shares are issued, the company’s shares themselves are available for purchase to all market participants, and the company becomes public from private.




K-factor (“Virality coefficient”) – a metric that indicates the ability of a product to grow independently and without the cost of attracting users, characterizes the speed of its growth and popularity in the market.




Lifetime value (LTV or Customer lifetime value, CLV) – the average amount of money from one user for his entire “life” in the project.




MAU (Monthly Active Users) – the number of unique users who had at least one session per month.

Mediator (mediator) – service for monetization of the application. It allows the developer to connect to several advertising networks at once and distribute ad impressions between them so as to earn more from advertising inside the application.

Monetization with Ad — monetization of games through advertising. Within its framework, they usually resort to third-party tools and services.




Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) and Customer Effort Score (CES) – indicators reflecting the user’s loyalty to the product.




Offer is information about which application is currently being promoted and under what conditions.




Paying conversion (Conversion to payment) – the percentage of users who have completed a targeted action in the form of a payment. This indicator is calculated for a cohort, that is, for a group of users who installed the application during a certain period.

Paying users (Paying users) – a metric equal to the number of paying users for a certain period. You can also use this link to find out how they are segmented.

Publisher — in mobile advertising, it is an agency partner that provides traffic to offers, and on which the success of the campaign promotion depends. The role of a partner can be either a self-employed arbitrageur, or a third-party agency that supplies traffic to its media buying or its own partners.




Retention (retention) – the metric shows what percentage of users logged into the application on the nth day after installing the application.

Return retention – the return retention of the nth day shows the percentage of users who returned at least once in N days.

ROI (Return On Investment) – return on investment, an indicator of how the money invested in the product is returned.

Rolling retention (Repeated retention)repeated retention of the nth day shows the percentage of users who returned to the application on day N from the moment of installation or later.




Session (Session) – the time of application activity when it is in focus (running and open on the screen).

Social lifetime value (Social LTV) is an indicator that indicates how much money a user brings in his entire life in a project, taking into account the income from those users he will attract to the same project.

Sticky Factor (Stickiness) – an indicator that allows you to evaluate the regularity of visits and the stability of the user base.




Total daily play time (Total playing time) – a metric that reflects how much time the user spends in the product.

Traffic (traffic) — in mobile marketing, it usually refers to users who have downloaded the application. Here are the guides for acquiring it:




WAU (Weekly Active Users) the number of unique users who had at least one session per week.