For video game studios looking to not only survive, but thrive in today’s competitive landscape, maximizing the lifetime value (LTV) of your player base is an absolute necessity. Especially if you’re operating in the free-to-play (F2P) world, LTV isn’t just an important metric — it is the metric.

Previously, we’ve walked through why profitability is so challenging in today’s gaming environment, and strategies for sustainable revenue.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at Solsten, and detail four examples of why it is the most powerful solution for maximizing player LTV. With Solsten’s ability to leverage psychological insights to create highly engaging touchpoints, fostering deeper connections and increasing the overall LTV of your players, we’ll demonstrate why it is an indispensable tool for studios looking to unlock the missing link to enduring customer spend and long lasting customer loyalty. Let’s dive in.

Target the Right Audience From the Start

Using Solsten’s Navigator to target the right audience from the very beginning of the development process is a game-changer for maximizing player LTV.

Traditionally, studios design a game first based on vision and intuition, and then try to find an audience for it afterwards through marketing and user acquisition efforts. With Navigator, that process can be flipped on its head in a powerful way.

By inputting key characteristics of a game idea — like genre, mechanics, art style, theme, etc. — into Navigator upfront, studios can identify the most valuable audience segments that are likely to engage with and monetize best in that type of game experience. It provides a clear picture of ideal high-LTV players before ever writing a line of code.

This is huge because it allows studios to essentially design the game for that specific high-value audience from day one. Rather than creating a game in a vacuum and hoping it resonates, you can craft every element — from the core loops to the meta systems to the art direction — to appeal directly to the motivations, preferences, and psychological traits of the players most likely to deliver high LTV.

By laser-targeting those high-value players from the start and designing an experience that’s tailor-made for their interests and desires, you can massively increase the odds of attracting and retaining high-LTV players right out of the gate.

This doesn’t mean compromising your creative vision to pander to an audience. Instead, it means making smart, data-driven choices to shape that vision into something that will resonate with the players that matter most financially. It’s about working smarter, not harder, to find that elusive product-market fit.

The alternative is much riskier — designing in the dark based on gut instinct, launching the game, and then scrambling to find a high-value audience for it after the fact. That’s a recipe for a lot of wasted time and resources.

When you use Navigator to hone in on that prime audience upfront and then purposefully design an experience that will delight and engage them, you’re stacking the LTV odds in your favor from the very foundation of the game. Every design decision, every feature, every element can be informed by a deep understanding of what your high-value players want and need.

So in essence, Navigator lets you bake long-term value into the core of the game from the very beginning by aligning it with the right audience. And that’s an incredibly powerful key to maximizing LTV that you don’t want to build a game without.

Benchmark Against Competitors

Navigator also lets you analyze the audiences of competing games to identify profitable opportunities. By seeing what motivational and psychological needs aren’t being fully met by existing games, you can design standout features and experiences that will attract high-value players away from the competition and drive long-term engagement.

In today’s hyper-competitive mobile games market, it’s not enough to just make a great game. There are thousands of great games out there all vying for players’ time and money. To really succeed and drive long-term value, you need to differentiate yourself and offer something special that players can’t get anywhere else.

That’s where benchmarking against competitors comes in. By inputting competing games into Navigator, studios can get an incredibly detailed look at the psychological profiles, motivations, and unmet needs of their competitors’ player bases. You can see, at a granular level, what makes players tick in these games — what’s keeping them engaged long-term and what’s leaving them wanting more.

That data is invaluable for designing standout experiences that will attract and retain high-LTV players. By identifying key opportunities competitors are missing, you can build features and mechanics that specifically cater to those unmet needs and desires. You can essentially cherry-pick the most valuable players from other games by offering them something novel and compelling.

For example, imagine being able to see that players of a top competitor in your genre have a strong unmet need for social connection and collaboration. With that insight, you can devise a unique guild or alliance system that fosters deep cooperation and shared goals, drawing in those high-value players looking for that specific experience.

Or maybe you spot an opportunity around personalized progression in a competitor’s game — players craving the ability to customize their advancement path. You could then build out a robust skill tree system that lets players customize their journey, attracting high-LTV players hungry for that autonomy.

The power lies in the specificity of the insights Navigator provides. This is distinct from other audience intelligence solutions, that offer surface-level insights like “players like PvP” or “players want more customization.” It’s a high-resolution understanding of the nuanced psychological drivers at play — the hidden motivations that competitors are failing to adequately address. There is no other platform that offers this view of your competition.

By surgically targeting those unmet needs and building out differentiated features to capture high-value players, you can essentially siphon off the most lucrative segments of your competitors’ user bases. Instead of just launching another “me too” game into a crowded market, you’re strategically positioning yourself to pull in the cream of the crop.

The beauty of attracting high-LTV players in this way is that it creates a virtuous cycle. The more you can appeal to those underserved high-value segments, the more you can solidify your position as the go-to game for those specific desires. It makes your game stickier for those high-value players, driving even greater long-term engagement and revenue.

In short, using Navigator to benchmark against competitors and identify untapped opportunities is an immensely powerful tool in the LTV maximization arsenal. It lets studios be surgical and strategic in designing a game to cater to the most valuable players in a market. And that’s how you create a true long-term winner in this industry.

Dramatically Reduce Churn

At its core, churn is about players feeling that your game is no longer meeting their needs or desires in some way. Maybe the challenge level isn’t right, or the rewards aren’t compelling enough, or the social features aren’t resonating. Whatever the reason, something is causing them to lose that essential engagement and decide to move on.

With Solsten’s Traits, you can get ahead of those churn risks by understanding the psychological drivers behind them. For example, you can see that players with a high need for autonomy tend to churn when they feel railroaded by linear progression. Or that players with a strong desire for mastery disengage when the learning curve flattens out too much.

By identifying these key psychological churn triggers, studios can take proactive steps to mitigate them. You can design alternate progression paths for players who crave choice and freedom. You can introduce new skills and challenges for players who constantly seek to improve and excel. You can fine-tune your social features for players who need that sense of community and collaboration to stay invested.

Every premature churn you prevent through these efforts translates directly into increased LTV. Because the longer a player stays engaged with your game, the more opportunities you have to monetize them, and the more value they’re likely to generate over their lifetime.

This isn’t just about squeezing more money out of players — it’s about creating a better, more fulfilling experience for them. When you use Traits to identify and address churn risks, you’re essentially saying to your players, “We understand what you need to stay happy and engaged, and we’re committed to providing it.”

That dedication to meeting players’ psychological needs is what builds the kind of long-term loyalty and advocacy that truly maximizes LTV. Because players who feel understood and catered to don’t just stick around longer — they become passionate evangelists for your game, recruiting their friends and spreading positive word-of-mouth.

Identify and Engage Your Most Valuable Players

High-spending players are hugely important to a game’s profitability. The more of them you have in your game, the more profitable your game will be. One of Traits’ most powerful features is its ability to spotlight the distinguishing psychological characteristics of your biggest spenders, letting you cater to their specific desires and motivations. This is is the ultimate power move for maximizing LTV.

You probably already have your biggest spenders segmented and monitor their behavior meticulously. But do you know why they behave that way? And do you know what kind of marketing you would create to bring more of them into your game?

With Traits, you can. You can know, on a psychological level, what motivates their spending behavior. Is it a fierce competitive drive? A desire for social status and recognition? A need to express themselves through collectibles and customization?

With that knowledge, you can create experiences and offers that are perfectly suited to their specific motivations. By understanding and catering to the unique psychological drivers of your highest value players, you can supercharge their spending and engagement.

This isn’t just about squeezing more money out of existing whales — it’s about creating more of them. By using Traits to identify the psychological traits of your current big spenders, you can look for those same markers in the rest of your player base. Or, you can build marketing creative that is optimized around the motivations and values of your whales.

By using Traits to serve your whales better, you aren’t just maximizing their individual LTV — you’re creating a healthier, more sustainable game economy overall. By seeking to understand and serve your most passionate, dedicated fans at the deepest level, you aren’t just maximizing profit — you’re creating experiences that resonate and enrich in profound ways. Ultimately, that’s what distinguishes legendary games from the merely successful ones.


LTV is the single most important factor in determining whether our studio thrives or dies in this intensely competitive landscape. The deep, psychology-driven insights provided by Solsten are an absolute gold mine for any game studio looking to maximize LTV. The ability to acquire the right players from the start, retain them better over time, and personalize their experiences to drive long-term engagement and spending is beyond powerful. When you know exactly what your customer needs, why they need it, and deliver it every time with psychology, you’ve set yourself up to now only survive, but thrive as a studio.

Are you ready to see the power of psychological insights in action? Schedule a demo today, and learn how Solsten can maximize your LTV.