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Archero Dissection: How it Became a Hit Mobile Game?

Archero Dissection: How it Became a Hit Mobile Game?

Archero is a popular mobile game praised for its innovative gameplay. While it’s not as popular as when it was released, it’s still among mobile games that generate a lot of revenue. That’s largely due to its user acquisition, monetization, and ASO strategies.

In this article, I’m going to dissect each aspect thoroughly.

Let’s start!

About Archero

Archero was released in 2019 by Habby. Other games Habby has released include Penguin Isle, Super Hit Baseball, Slidey, and Flaming Core.

On both Google Play and Apple App Store, Archero is categorized as an action mobile game.

It primarily combines hyper-casual and action RPG game elements. The hyper-casual game loop is as simple as it can be, and so are the controls – you just move and shoot. Furthermore, it allows for frequent and shorter gameplay sessions, which is another staple of casual games. We call such games hybrid-casual games. 

The goal is to complete chains of dungeons, each one has dozens of levels, which also makes it a roguelike game. Furthermore, the players can level up the characters (heroes) by acquiring new abilities and upgrading weapons. This is more of an RPG element.

This results in a very playable and fun game that attracts both casual and core players.

How Archero Works: Main Game Mechanics

The main goal of playing Archero is to survive while crawling dungeons.

Or in other words: play →  die → repeat.

This is a simple core loop, especially frequent in hyper-casual games. Obviously, Archero is more than that.

In addition to the simple core loop, it borrowed some simplified ARPG mechanics for the meta. These mechanics added depth to the game itself,  but also more monetization opportunities.

Let’s go over the basic mechanics that make players keep playing the game. Over and over again.

archero level 7 chapter 2

Progression Mechanic

When you play Archero, your main goal is to beat your own high score – and reach the next chapter. It’s the game’s main progression system. 

Chapters consist of stages. There are up to 50 stages to climb until you reach the next chapter. Naturally, each new one will be more difficult and comes with new, fresh content.

At the same time as you’re unlocking chapters, you’re increasing your adventure level. This happens while you play and gain XP points.

Resource Management

Every time you kill enemies in Archero, you gain coins – the game’s soft currency. Once the whole room is cleared out, you get to pick it up.

Besides coins, playing can get you the game’s hard currency, gems. The game is a bit stingy with gems, so you will have to try a little harder.

You need coins to upgrade your character with talents. If you want to speed up the upgrades, you can use gems.

Next, talents are resources that will permanently boost your stats. Instead, you will invest some coins and get a randomized upgrade. Another permanent resource you gain from the game is equipment.

During gameplay, you choose short-term resources – abilities. You can pick between three random abilities and create your own attack/defense strategy. However, these resources reset with every new attempt.

energy mechanics

Energy-Based Mechanics

Energy is not only an important game mechanic but a monetization feature as well.

Every player gets a standard amount of 20 energy. At the same time, every new attempt takes away 5 energy. Believe me, you will keep attempting, and eventually, you will run out of energy.

What happens then is wait time.

It takes 12 minutes for one energy refill, so it will take four hours until you get a full refill. If you’re super into the game, you will dread wait times. For this reason, you have two options:

  1. buy energy with gems
  2. watch an ad

Both will result in coins going to the publisher’s pocket.

revive death mechanic

Death Mechanic

Every time you enter the dungeon, you start with nothing. Everything you have is a basic shot and your talents.

As you keep playing and killing enemies, you get to choose abilities that make you stronger. You are confident, brave, you slay them like a master…

And then suddenly – you die. NOOO!

At this point, it is really hard to just give up. If you die, everything will reset and you’ll have to start all over. The revival option is your only salvation – and also another important Archero monetization point.

However, this is not the only mechanic that takes part in this game’s money-making process.

In the next section, we’ll cover the rest.

archero photo

How Successful Is Archero by Habby?

Archero quickly became a hit game back in 2019 when it was released. But can it live up to its former fame? Let’s find out.

Unless stated otherwise, the data in this article comes AppMagic, a mobile intelligence platform. Get 3 days of free access to all AppMagic’s features, as well as 10% off, by clicking this link.

Archero Downloads

As I mentioned, Archero did really well when it first came out – just in June 2019 almost 8 million people downloaded this game. However, that was short-lived and the game has gotten fewer and fewer downloads as time went on.

However, even though Archero is not bringing in millions of players each month, there’s still an influx of new users. If we look at the most recent data, this game gets anywhere from 400 thousand to 500 thousand downloads each month. That’s not bad by any means.

If we look at all-time downloads, Archero stands at 90 million. 

Archero Revenue

Archero’s revenue has followed a similar trend as downloads – they went down after the initial peak. However, the game has managed to earn over $200 million in all-time revenue, which is outstanding for a casual game. Furthermore, if we look at recent data, it makes around $2.5 million each month, which is more than a decent revenue stream.

Who is Archero’s Target Audience?

According to GameRefinery, these are the three main player archetypes who are into Archero.

Here’s a quick overview of each one and how it relates to the game.

skill master gamer type

Skill Master

Archero is all about mastering different skills to make progress in the game. Even though the basic controls are very simple, they are hard to master. Every level becomes increasingly difficult which is what Skill Masters enjoy. It’s no wonder these types of players are into this game.

thrill seeker gamer type

Thrill Seeker

Since Archero is an adrenaline-fueled action mobile game, it also attracts Thrill Seekers. Killing monsters and fighting for your life is very exciting, especially as the levels become harder.

Archero is anything but a boring or slow-paced game.

networker gamer type

Networker

Archero’s Co-Op mode was introduced in 2020 and it allows players to play with other players. For Networker players, this is the feature they enjoy the most.

App Store Optimization Dissection

In this section, I’m breaking down Archero’s Google Play listing to reveal some of Habby’s app store optimization tactics.

Game Title

The game title is an obvious twist on the word archer because you play as an archer in the game. It’s short, simple, and memorable. Plus, it tells you everything you need to know about this game.

archero logo

Game Icon

Archero’s game icon is quite simple – it’s a stylized bow and arrow. It refers to the game’s name and hints at gameplay.

The color scheme is based on two complementary colors (colors on the opposite sides of the color wheel) – green and red. That’s how synergy is accomplished. Additionally, there are yellow and orange accents.

The composition is diagonal and guides the eye from the bottom left to the top right corner. That makes it more dynamic and interesting to look at.

Furthermore, there’s the addition of a PvP icon in the bottom left corner. It lets players know they can now play against other players.

archero icon style

Above, you can see icons for similar games. Notice that many include a bow and arrow, which shows you the influence this game has. Some are literal copies of the Archero icon (and the game itself).

For games that don’t feature a bow and arrow, other types of weapons are featured, but in a similar style. The weapons are placed diagonally, facing the top right corner.

archero aso keywords google play

Archero ASO Keywords

Above, you can see Archero ASO keywords for Google Play in the US, sorted by keyword rank. The keywords Archero ranks at #1 are mostly variations of the game’s name.

archero keywords aso apple

The keywords are similar for Apple. However, there are some descriptive keywords like “action-rpg”, “arrow game”, “bow and arrow”, and “bow and arrow games”. These target both casual and core players.

Archero App Promo Video Breakdown

The app promo video for Archero is 15 seconds in length, which is good. 15 – 30 seconds is more than enough to demonstrate what this type of a game is all about. Furthermore, it consists only of animations – there’s no gameplay footage.

This is not considered good for an app promo video – both Google and Apple encourage developers to include genuine gameplay footage because that’s the most truthful representation of the game.

However, even though the promo video for Archer looks nothing like the game, it’s appealing and creates interest for the game. We see two heroes in an exciting boss fight. The scenes are short and exciting, while the music is suspenseful. All of which is fitting for an action game.

promo video cta archero

This is what we see at the end of the promo video. There’s the Archero logo, Google Play and App Store buttons with a search bar, as well as different awards this game got.

What’s missing is a call to action. When creating an app promo video, make sure to include a CTA that invites gamers to download the game. It can be a simple “Play now” or you can get more creative with it and come up with a CTA that references the game.

graphics archero

Graphics

The graphics for Archero are quite appealing and nicely designed. The first three landscape graphics in the app store,  are not representative of the game. They look like the app promo video.

However, there are also screenshots along with captions, like the ones above, that allow players to see what the game really looks like. The features represented in the graphics are “Easy to handle”, “Unique boss fights”, and “Invincible weapons, unique upgrades”.

Description

The description for Archero is quite simple and short. It tells the game’s story – “Enter a world where existence itself eliminates you! You are the Lone Archer, the only force able to resist and defeat the oncoming waves of evil.”

It also lists the most important game features:

  • Random and unique skills to help you crawl these dungeons.
  • Explore beautiful worlds and hundreds of maps in this new universe.
  • Thousands of never-seen-before monsters and mind-boggling obstacles to
    defeat.
  • Level-up and equip yourself with powerful equipment to increase your stats.

When writing a game description, you need to explain what the game is about, what are its best features, and why someone should play it (benefits).

Simple, right?

archero photo

Paid User Acquisition: Archero Advertising Strategies

While you can acquire a decent number of users through organic user acquisition, paid advertising is a must for getting a game to the top charts.

Paid user acquisition includes advertising a mobile game on social media networks like Facebook and Instagram, as well as ad networks like Google, Applovin, ironSource, and Unity Ads. For a list of top ad networks for acquiring mobile gamers, go here.

The main focus of mobile game advertising are creatives. More specifically – video ads. This is the ad format that achieves the highest conversion rates.

In this section, I’ll dissect top-performing video ads for Archero to show you what makes a good ad.

But first, let’s take a look at the percentage of ad impressions by ad networks and countries.

archero impressions by country and ad networks

Archero Ad Impressions by Ad Networks and Countries

Above, you can see the distribution of Archero ad impressions across different ad networks and countries.

In the US, the highest percentage of impressions were shown on Mopub (8.39%), then on AdColony (3.20%), and Instagram (2.50%).

For France and Germany, impressions share was particularly high for Mopub (39.15% and 52.87% respectively).

In Canada, Unity Ads have the biggest impressions share (11.94%). The same is in Italy (15.69%).

Dissection of 7 Top-Performing Archero Ads

Ad #1

This is one of the top-performing Archero ads. Let’s see what makes it so good.

This ad presents a new game event – the ancient maze that brings different features to the game and includes room portals. As shown in the ad, players can choose which portal to go through. Once players choose a portal, they encounter different enemies.

Through a series of quick gameplay scenes, we see different dungeons and levels. Additionally, we’re shown different upgrades that become available.

What’s good about this ad is that it reflects how exciting and fast-paced this game is. That should always come across in ads in order to pique the viewer’s interest.

Furthermore, since it consists only of gameplay footage, viewers get a good idea of what the game is about and how to play it.

Ad #2

This ad starts with “Congrats, you just got a new hero!”. We get to see how to change the hero and try it out in combat. There’s also a scene at the beginning where we’re shown how to redeem different awards. The rest of the video consists of exciting gameplay footage.

What makes this Archero ad interesting to watch is the fast-paced music and quick scenes that make gameplay look so fun. It’s a good lesson in how to edit simple gameplay footage to make it more interesting.

There’s an animation at the end of the video and the title “Happy Anniversary Archero”. However, there is no call-to-action, which is a missed opportunity.

Ad #3

This Archero ad is focused more on the RPG aspects of the game and thus appeals primarily to core gamers.

We’re shown how to fuse equipment – players need to insert identical equipment and fuse it in order to upgrade it. More specifically, if you fuse three rare brave bows, you get one epic brave bow. Furthermore, if you fuse three epic bows, you get a perfect epic bow. And if you fuse three perfect epic bows, you get a legendary bow and so on. Finally, you end up with the ancient legendary bow.

We’re shown the stats for each bow upgrade and how to equip the hero with this new weapon. Lastly, we get to see this legendary bow in action – it deals serious damage, which is so satisfying to watch.

RPG gamers love this type of stuff – being able to upgrade weapons is a big selling point for this group.

This ad shows that while gameplay is quite basic and suitable for casual players, Archero also has something to offer core players as well.

Ad #4

This ad features a game element I haven’t yet talked about in this dissection – luck. This game is a combination of luck and skill – both influence a player’s success.

One way of how luck is included in Archero is the lucky wheel and there are several types of them.

The starting one, which is portrayed in the ad, allows players to spin the lucky wheel once at the beginning of every game. It awards players with coins.

However, other types of lucky wheels give players the chance to win coins, skills, heals, gems, and gold.

This is something that appeals primarily to casual players.

Notice how every Archero ad demonstrates different features and aspects of the game. This is a smart strategy because it allows Hubby to reach different groups of gamers and appeal to their specific motivations and interests.

Ad #5

We can break down this Archero video ad into two parts. In the first part, we see a fail. The archer fails to eliminate a swarm of enemies and has lost a life. The screen goes black and white, and we see the tape roll backward.

In the second part, we’re shown how to win in this situation, i.e., what it takes to defeat these enemies. The archer strategically puts up bricks that make the enemies reach the player one by one, instead of getting surrounded by all of them at once. That makes them easy to kill.

As we’ve learned from human psychology, people enjoy watching both fails and wins. There’s something weirdly satisfying in watching someone fail. However, it’s also satisfying to witness an epic win.

This ad speaks to that.

Ad #6

Above you can see another ad that’s focused on the RPG elements of this game. It introduces viewers to Helix, a powerful Archero character, and his stats. Furthermore, the ad shows how his weapons can be upgraded.

Finally, we’re shown how this affects gameplay.

The combat scenes are very satisfying because Helix defeats the enemies with ease. There’s a flurry of activity – both weapons and coins are flying all over the screen accompanied by different sound effects and music.

This illustrates how endlessly fun it is to play Archero, and as a viewer, makes me want to download this game.

Ad #7

The final ad I’m going to include is unbelievably simple, yet effective. It consists of one continuous 30-second gameplay shot. There’s an army of enemies coming towards the character. At first, the archer tries to stop them with single bow shots. That’s not very effective and the enemies get dangerously close.

Then, the archer switches to side arrows. That also doesn’t work. The enemies are just inches away.

This moment creates a lot of tension and suspense. It made me wonder, “What will happen next?”. It’s a great way to keep viewers glued to their screens.

Then the archer employs diagonal and rear arrows and that seems to do the trick. All the enemies are defeated and the only thing that’s left is a heap of coins.

This ad shows you that video ads don’t have to be complicated or have high production value to be good. The concept and the idea behind an ad are what matters the most.

If the ad grabs the viewer’s attention and makes the game look interesting enough so they download it – that means it works. It’s as simple as that.

archero photo

4 Things You Can Learn From Archero Advertising Strategy

To wrap things up, I have included some tips based on Archero advertising strategy. These can be a great starting point for your user acquisition endeavors.

1. Identify the Type of Mobile Gamer You’re Targeting

When coming up with an advertising strategy for a mobile game, you first need to know who you’re targeting. In other words, you need to identify the types of mobile gamers you want to advertise to, according to the game genre.

This will be the starting point for creating ads for your game.

For example, Archero has both action RPG and hyper-casual elements. For that reason, this game appeals to both core and casual players. That is reflected in the ads.

Archero ads showcase the hyper-casual core experience and simple controls through gameplay footage. This appeals to casual players. However, by including action RPG game elements in ads, like different heroes and the ability to upgrade their equipment and skills, Archero ads also appeal to a core audience.

2. Include Gameplay Footage in Ads

For any mobile game video ads, my recommendation is to always include gameplay footage. That way, the ads are not misleading and they give users a full picture of what the game is about.

However, don’t fall into the trap of simply recording gameplay for 30 seconds and calling it a day. That would be very boring to watch, no matter how fun the game is. The gameplay footage needs to be edited in a visually appealing way.

Archero ads are a good example of that.

You never see one continuous gameplay scene. Instead, there are many short scenes, edited in a fast-paced way. That makes the ads exciting and interesting to watch. Additionally, there’s always upbeat music playing, which makes the ads even more fun.

3. Collaborate with Gaming Influencers

In 2019, Archero was promoted by one of the biggest gaming influencers in the world – PewDiePie. In the video above, we see PewDiePie and his wife Marzia playing Archero. It was published in 2019 and was viewed almost 7 million times.

That’s a lot of eyeballs.

When somebody as influential as PewDiePie talks about your game, it convinces a lot of people to go download it.

So if you have the budget, make sure to pay gaming influencers to publish content about your game. Social proof is a big motivator for people.

Even if you can’t afford someone as huge as PewDiePie, there are micro-influencers you can collaborate with. Oftentimes, those collaborations can produce almost equally good results.

For more info on mobile game influencer marketing, go here. I have written a short guide for developers that explains the ins and outs of collaborating with influencers.

archero retargeting

4. Reach Lapsed Players With Engagement Campaigns

If you want to monetize a game, you don’t only need to acquire players, but keep them as well. In other words, user retention needs to be high.

Here’s some data on retention for you.

The average day 1 user retention for the top 10% of action mobile games in 2020 was about 35%. For the top 25% of action games, it was 27%.

Day 7 retention for the top 10% of action games was 9% and 5% for the top 25% of games.

After 28 days, the top 10% of action games retained an average of 3% of players. The top 25% of games retained just under 2%.

There are many different techniques to reach your user retention goals. The main thing is to keep players interested in the game. That can be achieved by adding new content, giving out rewards for coming back, and sending out push notifications and messages.

However, developers can also run Facebook app engagement campaigns that encourage players to come back. By choosing the Traffic objective for the ad, it will reach people who have installed your game and are likely to open it. In other words, it drives engagement.

The Conversions objective is perfect if you want players to take a specific action in the game. For example, make an in-app purchase or complete a level.

Archero Monetization Strategy Breakdown

Archero’s developers are well aware that their casual audience is most likely to spend $0 on a game like this.

However, when you have the know-how, you will find a way. Here’s what Habby’s CEO, Stefan Wang (for AdMob) thinks on the subject:

“More than 90% of users are unable to get the full paid experience.” 

“Games like Archero usually rely on IAP to earn revenue, but low in-app purchase rates are a challenge.”

How did they manage to overcome these challenges with Archero? Keep reading to find out.

Which Monetization Models Archero Uses?

When you’re in a market with strong competition, relying on IAP only is risky. Habby knows this, so they’ve decided on a hybrid monetization model.

Another thing they know is that players don’t really hate in-app ads. There is even one particular type they actually like – rewarded video ads.

Generally, in-app purchases combined with in-app ads expand the audience that the publisher will be able to monetize. This way, you don’t let a small group of players, i.e., paying users, decide your game’s fate.

It gets better.

A few months after the game’s launch, Archero added a subscription offer to the mix, further diversifying the game’s monetization. Let’s go over everything.

archero resources and currencies

Archero In-App Purchases Strategy and Setup

First, let’s cover the in-game shopping experience.

When you enter the Archero shop, the first thing you see is a one-time special offer. It offers four different resources bundled together. This is meant to be every player’s first purchase that gives them a taste of IAPs.

The standard offer is just below and contains gems and coins.

Here, gems are the premium currency. You can use them for all sorts of things. In most cases, the reason will be to buy more energy. In the beginning, you will have plenty of gems. As soon as you get used to them, bam, you have to wait. If you don’t want to stop playing at that moment, your only choice is to buy some.

Gems can also be used to revive your archer, purchase scrolls, and coins. Oh and let’s not forget every gambler’s favorite – loot boxes.

You will occasionally get gems from playing (adventure level increase, stage rewards, etc.). However, it won’t ever feel like you have enough.

Coins are the basic progression currency. The game is much more generous with coins than with gems – you get them for killing enemies, from the wheel of fortune, etc.

This is the basic store setting. After a while, three chests are added right underneath the special offer. These chests are loot boxes and you will need gems to open them. From that moment on, luck takes the wheel.

Pricing Structure for In-App Purchases

Besides WHAT the offers are, it is equally important HOW they’re structured, so let’s talk about prices.

in-game store archero

The one-time bundle offer comes at $1.99. The offer claims it comes with “4x value” and the regular price would be $7.99. I was curious if this was true so I did some math to check it out. As it turns out, the numbers are just right. Integrity check passed.

Next, gems come with six different sizes and price points. They range from $0.99 all the way to $99.99.

Coins come in three different packs, and you can’t buy them with real money. You can earn the smallest one by watching an ad, while the other two can be bought with gems.

The store’s offer is well-made, and nothing can confirm it better than sales data. Here’s an overview of the best selling IAPs in Archero.

  • Battle Pass $4.99
  • Value Pack for First Purchase $1.99
  • Pile of Gems $0.99

As you can see, two of the store’s offerings made it to the top three. You can also see that most players are likely to invest smaller amounts in this game. We’ll cover the Battle Pass later.

Archero Subscription Offer: Battle Pass

Unfortunately, I did not play the game long (or good) enough to unlock the Battle Pass.

archero battle pass

Nevertheless, let’s go over everything you need to know about Archero’s subscription.

  • Battle Pass is unlocked by reaching chapter 2, stage 26
  • Players complete Daily Quests
  • A Battle pass season lasts for 13 days and contains 30 levels
  • There are two versions: free and premium ($4.99)

Just like with all battle passes, the main reason to play it is to earn extra rewards. If you want even more, you will purchase a premium Battle Pass.

Archero In-App Ads 

Archero is the type of game people play to pass time and have fun. Just think about these kinds of situations – on a bus, in a doctor’s waiting room, on the toilet, etc.

Let’s be real, there is only a tiny percentage of such players that will decide to make in-app purchases. Yet, even casual players will want to enjoy as much gameplay as possible.

This is why Habby included in-app ads in Archero. With one key characteristic – the game will never force you to watch them.

rewarded video ads

Which Ad Format Is Used in Archero

Archero uses the most popular ad format among players – rewarded video ads.

The reason for this is simple. As Habby’s CEO says: “Gamers understand the transactional nature of this type of ad”. 

“I only have to play an ad and I will get really cool stuff in return. I don’t even have to take a glance at it”.

This is how most players feel about the rewarded video. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that  68% of players like this ad format (Techcrunch).

Some other reasons why players love this ad type is that they don’t interrupt gameplay and are opt-in.

From the developer’s perspective, rewarded video ads naturally fit in with in-app purchases. One of their biggest advantages is the fact that they can actually boost them. Up to 6 times, according to ironSource!

In fact, 4 in 5 mobile game developers believe they work even better in a hybrid model than on their own (Walnut).

With all of this in mind, it comes as no surprise that this ad format is the most popular one. Besides that, it is really flexible – you will find it across all genres, from the simplest hyper-casual games to hardcore titles.

Archero Rewarded Video Ads: How Frequently Ads Appear

In Archero, rewarded video ads can be found all over the place.

They come as boosters, as a revival option, but also appear in the game’s store.

In fact, they are treated as one of the in-app purchases and often come listed alongside them. The difference? The only currency you need to spend is your time.

Here are all the ad placements I came across during my 7-day journey.

Rewarded Video Ad Placement #1

The first rewarded video ad in the game I saw was in the in-game store.

coins rewarded video ad placement

It came with the sign “free”. What this means is watching an ad will earn you the smallest pack of coins – 900 of them. I spent 35 seconds of my time, engaged with a playable ad a bit, and earned my reward.

Rewarded Video Ad Placement #2

Once a day, you can open a loot box by watching an ad. Just watch out, you might get hooked since they are quite addictive.

Rewarded Video Ad Placement #3

A lot of players are concerned about running out of energy. This is also something that a rewarded video can fix.

You can watch up to 4 ads a day, and each brings you 5 energy. This means 4 extra sessions.

Rewarded Video Ad Placement #4

I’ve already mentioned the game’s daily offer – Daily Packs. There are three offers, and one of them is a rewarded video offer named Supply Pack.

ad vs iap comparison

Naturally, it comes with fewer resources than purchasable offers. But if you compare the offers, you will get to realize something amazing. The cheapest IAP here comes at $0.99 and gives out 100 gems. The free one gives out 30 gems. This means watching an ad is worth about $0.30!

There you go, a good reason to log in every single day.

Rewarded Video Ad Placement #5

At level 4, I stumbled upon the first lucky wheel in the game.

lucky wheel ads

After trying my luck once, I was offered to watch a rewarded video for another spin. You can watch up to 5 of these a day.

Rewarded Video Ad Placement #6

After dying for who knows which time on level 8, something changed.

revive rewarded video ad

Up to this moment, I could only revive my character with gems. But now, I also had the option to revive it by watching a rewarded video ad.

User Retention in Archero

Retention and monetization go hand in hand. They both influence each other, so you can’t afford to neglect one.

How well is Archero doing in terms of retention? Let’s go over some numbers to find out.

  • After one day, Archero keeps 58% of players
  • A week later, 31% keep playing
  • After 30 days, 13% of players are kept

This may not seem like much, but this game has better retention rates than most casual games. Even the top 2% of casual games have a lower day 1 retention – about 50% (Benchmarks+ platform).

When you think about it, Archero is all about repetition. How does it not bore players in days’ time then?

Habby put in quite an effort to prevent this. Here are some of the retention features that make players come back to the game.

lucky wheel archero

Trying Out Your Luck

Archero comes with a ton of luck-based features. During gameplay, you will stumble upon lucky wheels – a good old gambling classic. Every time it spins, and gradually slows down, the anticipation hits in. After you receive a random reward, you will likely want to give it another spin.

Outside of the gameplay itself, there are more features based on luck. For example, when you’re upgrading your talents, a cursor decides which one you will get.

Finally, there are loot boxes with special, rare rewards. Opening them will cost you the most, and this is one of the things that makes them extremely exciting.

angel and devil

Choose Your Own Destiny

On your dungeon path, you will meet Angels and Devils bearing gifts. When you meet an angel, you get to choose between two “blessings”.

Of course, the devil is less generous. You will need to sell your soul to get something in return. Okay, not really your soul, but you will get an offer to trade something, e.g., your HP, in exchange for an ability. This one is optional, so you can reject it.

abilities meme

The same goes for choosing between abilities. All of these features have a great psychological effect – they allow you to find and craft your own winning strategy.

Ultimately, all of this positively affects user engagement and retention.

Daily Features

If you need the motivation to log in to the game every day, here it is.

There are all kinds of daily quests for you to fulfill. For example login to the game, open a chest, watch a video, upgrade equipment, make a purchase…When you complete one, you can claim your reward – XP points.

Another daily feature involves daily login gifts. All you need to do is come and claim them. Here, you can get gems, scrolls, sapphires…

valentines event

Events

At the time I was playing Archero, it was Valentine’s season. The game did not miss out on this, so a special Valentine’s event appeared on my home screen.

All you need to do to complete the event is play and collect resources. Besides normal resources like gems, you will receive special materials – love letters and roses. If you collect enough, you can redeem them for a more valuable reward.

5 Lessons from Archero’s Monetization Strategy

Now that we have all the important monetization elements covered, let’s focus on the best ones.

Here’s an overview of the top 5 Archero monetization practices you should consider for your game.

monetization models

1. Use Hybrid Monetization

Why rely on just one revenue stream? When a game is based on in-app purchases, this doesn’t mean you have to give up ads. The key to making a great hybrid model is balance.

Archero achieved balance by using unobtrusive IAPs and the least intrusive ad format – rewarded video ads.

Habby strategically organized the two, and it’s all about the placements. In the in-game store, they are listed together so the players always know where to find them. Separately, they never come as pushy and annoying, but rather feel as helpful and optional.

2. Treat Ad Watchers Well

There is such a thing as too many ads. Even with rewarded video ads.

In Archero, there is just the right amount of them. You can find them in different places and use them for different things. In most placements, you can watch up to 5 ads until you hit the limit.

They only appear as pop-ups during gameplay, when players need assistance the most (revive option or spin the wheel). Ad watchers will also be motivated to visit the game’s store since some ads appear there as well. Snooping around the store might even turn some of them into paying users.

3. Use Occasional Pop-Ups

Constant pop-ups will ruin even the world’s greatest game ever.

In Archero, IAP pop-ups only appeared in three out of seven long sessions. For this reason, I didn’t find them intrusive or annoying.

During gameplay, you will never get an IAP offer because it would interrupt it. The only monetization feature that pops up during gameplay are rewarded video ads.

When it comes to IAP pop-ups, they only appear while you’re wandering around (e.g., upgrading talents and equipment).

There are no IAPs at the start of the session, after stage completion, and other, more aggressive strategies found among similar games.

outfits appear in the game store

4. Monetization Should Follow Player Progress

As you’re progressing through Archero, you will always come across fresh monetization features.

You start with a standard store offer, daily packs, revival options, etc. As you play, the offer gets more diverse. I’m not just talking about different bundle deals with new resources and price points.

The game gradually adds features like loot boxes, outfits, coupons, and even the battle pass. Everything a fully engaged player might wish for.

5. Embrace Subscription Monetization

Archero is definitely keeping up with the hottest industry trends.

Months after the game’s launch, they’ve added a subscription offer to the existing model. Typically, battle passes are not something you would expect from a casual game. But as I already mentioned, Archero is much more than its casual loop.

For a battle pass to work, it has to have the right pricing and progression system. In this case, it comes at a relatively low price, $4.99. Meanwhile, the total value of the pass is roughly $150.

Does it pay off then? The fact that the Battle Pass is the game’s bestseller tells you everything.

Final Thoughts on Archero Advertising Strategy

This innovative casual ARPG hybrid game has figured out the basic user acquisition formula – well-edited paid video ads that demonstrate the most exciting game features. It may sound simple but that’s the core of any mobile game advertising strategy.

The only question that remains is will Archero keep users interested in the long run. In the two years it has been out, we already see a decline in daily active users. That’s a struggle for most games with a casual core loop. These games can get boring, even if there are role-playing or other elements.

Time will tell – we’ll keep you updated.

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