Day seven (D7) retention shows us whether a game can maintain player interest beyond the initial excitement. Where day one lays the foundation for long-term retention, D7 is more layered. It provides insights into the effectiveness of a game’s core mechanics, progression systems, user experience, and social features. High D7 retention is a predictor of long-term retention and, ultimately, a game’s financial success.
By D7, players assess whether to continue investing their time in the game. The challenge for developers lies in nurturing this behavior. They can do this by providing content that aligns with and stimulates player motivations and values. Successfully meeting this challenge can transform a game from a quick diversion to a consistent part of players’ gaming routines.
How can game developers know what their players’ wants and needs are in order to create these engaging scenarios? Solsten provides a powerful option. Solsten’s player psychology software provides game developers with in-depth insights into their players’ values, motivations, personality, and beyond.
This information is a game-changer for understanding and nurturing player engagement in that crucial first week. Usings Solsten’s detailed player data, developers can craft content and experiences that not only align with player motivations but also proactively engage them.
How does Solsten’s software help drive D7 retention? Let’s dive in.
Using Solsten to Improve D7 Retention
Lean in to Your Players’ Hopes and Aspirations
Solsten’s Traits dashboard gives you unparalleled insight into the psychological makeup of your players. This includes what we categorize as their hopes and aspirations. How do ‘hopes and aspirations’ translate into actionable data?
These personality traits tell you how your players desire to achieve or acquire a goal. This includes:
- Whether your players prefer a difficult or easy gaming experience
- Which elements of a game they like to customize
- What they are looking for in a gaming community
It also includes rich data on gameplay preferences, like whether they want to be creative, compete, collect, progress, and which gameplay elements they care about most.
You should balance this data against your in-game behavioral data. This helps identify player engagement problems, reduce player loss, and concentrate on improving D7 retention without guesswork.
Align Game Features With Psychological Traits
When players feel like a gaming experience was made just for them, they are far more likely to incorporate it into their daily lives. The best way to achieve this is to align the features of your game with the psychological traits of your highest value players.
Solsten gives you access to the data that lets you know your players as well as you know a best friend. Whether it’s creating challenging scenarios for players who enjoy problem-solving or peaceful environments for players seeking relaxation, aligning game features with these traits can significantly increase D7 retention.
Supercharge Personalization and Customization
Game developers often struggle to understand what customization options will resonate with players, leading to a hit-or-miss approach in offering features that might not align with player preferences. Without this insight, there’s a risk of investing in features that don’t significantly impact player engagement. This lack of personalized experience can lead to lower player retention, as games fail to reflect individual player tastes and preferences.
Solsten’s data provides a clear path forward, offering insights into player customization desires. This allows developers to create meaningful and personal customization options, from aesthetic choices like character skins to functional aspects like control layouts. With a clear understanding of what elements players prefer to personalize, developers can eliminate guesswork and focus on options that are more likely to enhance player engagement and retention.
Tailor Narrative and Storytelling to Your Players’ Emotions
A compelling narrative can be key to player engagement. Even if a game doesn’t hinge on a storyline, the right story elements will still appeal to player psychology. The most successful hyper casual games incorporate narrative elements into their metagames for this very reason.
Solsten’s analysis of player emotions makes crafting a narrative that will resonate remarkably straightforward. By understanding the emotional state of your player base outside of your game, you can construct a narrative that evokes the right emotions inside of it.
Enhance Social Features and Community Building
To foster a strong community within a game, developers must understand the social dynamics of their player base. Without this understanding, developers risk implementing social features that don’t align with player wants and needs. This can lead to a lack of community engagement, and a missed opportunity to boost player retention.
Solsten’s data easily reveals these social dynamics, empowering developers to create social features and community-building activities that truly resonate with players. By understanding what your players want out of a community experience — whether it’s leadership, recognition, friendship, or even playful trolling — developers can tailor social aspects of the game to create a sense of belonging. This targeted approach not only enhances the gaming experience but also significantly boosts D7 retention. Players feel more connected and invested in the game community.
Solsten also provides data on the pain points players are experiencing with a game’s social features. This lets developers understand exactly what is causing problems within their current community features
Deploy Effective In-Game Monetization Strategies
While monetization is an obvious goal for free to play games, it is also an important aspect of D7 retention. If you can convince players to make a purchase within the first week of playing your game, they will feel invested in the experience. However, monetization is a delicate dance. Move too fast or aggressively, and players will turn off and churn out.
Solsten’s player data extends to in-game economy pain points. This reveals where your monetization efforts are causing friction, and what kind of monetization strategies your players are most receptive to. With this data, developers can create monetization methods that are perceived as adding value rather than being intrusive.
Create a High-Value Conversion Item
Introducing high-value items at critical game junctures can dramatically boost game retention. These items should offer significant in-game advantages, like entry into a VIP tier, rewarding players with a tangible goal to strive for. Solsten’s insights can help identify the optimal timing and type of these high-value items.
Looking Forward to D30
D7 retention is the messy middle. While D1 is about the onboarding experience and D30 is about the long-term vision, D7 indicates whether the broader gaming experience is resonating. Because of this murkiness, solving D7 retention issues can seem daunting. Solsten brings clarity to this process, giving teams needed focus to align their retention strategies and make their efforts pay off.
In our next post in this series, we’ll dig into all the ways that using Solsten can help improve D30 retention. We’ll get into creating events based on audience wants and needs, forming strategic partnerships, and how important it is to adapt your strategies when your audience evolves. How do you know if your audience has evolved? Read our post on D30 retention to find out.