Lords Mobile  Analysis: How Did It Surpass $2 Billion in Revenue?

Lords Mobile Analysis: How Did It Surpass $2 Billion in Revenue?

by Andrea Knezovic

What if you could have a game that stays in the top charts for years? Lords Mobile publishers sure know the feeling.

We’re bringing you a detailed insight into Lords Mobile user acquisition and monetization strategies – all to discover how this game makes the big bucks.

How Successful Is Lords Mobile?

To get you started, here are some basic facts about this popular mid-core game you should be aware of.

#1: Lords Mobile: Kingdom Wars was released in 2016 by a Chinese developer, IGG.

#2: The game is a free-to-play multiplayer strategy game.

F#3: It falls into a strategy subgenre called 4x (explore, expand, exploit, exterminate). This subgenre includes both turn-based and real-time elements.

Now let’s run some numbers.

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

Lords Mobile Downloads

In the years following its 2016 release, the downloads for Lords Mobile were on a steady incline, reaching their first significant peak in June 2019 – just shy of 9 million downloads for that month. After that, the downloads dwindled a bit and weren’t quite as high during 2020.

However, this was not the end for Lords Mobile, as downloads soared once again in June 2021, reaching almost 10 million. In 2022, the downloads were in the 4 to 7 million per month range, which is still good.

The most impressive number is Lords Mobile’s all-time download count which is more than 400 million! 

One of the things that contribute to its success is the publisher’s user acquisition effort. In most cases, you will recognize Lords Mobile ads by their attractive 3D battles.

Lords Mobile Revenue

When it comes to earnings, up until 2021, Lords Mobile’s revenue was pretty steady, ranging from $25 million to $35 million per month. Then, in January 2021, the game’s revenue skyrocketed to $63 million!

Unfortunately, that wasn’t long-lasting and the revenue quickly went back down. However, the game’s monthly earnings never went below $20 million, which is still something to be proud of, considering most games never get to such numbers.

Moreover, Lords Mobile’s all-time revenue has gone past $2.2 billion, which is certainly something to boast about.

So what drives these impressive revenues?

The bottom line is that gameplay is important, but it is not the only factor that drives a game’s success. So we analyzed two very important things that go hand in hand: user experience and Lords Mobile monetization.

So let’s start.

lords mobile onboarding

Lords Mobile: First Impressions

When I first installed and launched the game, I was immersed into a tale. A tale about how the whole story of the Kingdoms began.

It comes in the form of a skippable video and it also works as a game tutorial.

Here, you can see what a battle looks like, and get acquainted with some of the game’s characters.

lords mobile tutorial


If you skip the video, don’t feel bad about missing anything. You will get another game tutorial.

Here’s where the game’s Oracle, Bellena, appears. It guides and introduces you to the game, step by step.

I was introduced to the turf building and upgrading system, VIP points collection, troop training, quests, battles. Basically everything you have to know to start playing.

It may feel a bit overwhelming at the beginning, but the game really leads you through.

lords mobile art style

Art Style

When it comes to art style, IGG takes pride in animated army battles that come in 3D graphics. The clash of the blue and red army is a really exciting scene.

No wonder they always use them in their ads.

Other game elements come in a classic mid-core art style and in landscape orientation.

Lords Mobile is recognizable by its stylized graphics. This type of graphics is seen in many RPG and strategy games. It comes with cartoon-styled characters and environments.

What’s so great about it is that it helps accentuate non-realistic features and really immerses you into another world.

Just like in most strategy games, you see the world from a top perspective. This kind of bird view gives you a complete overview of everything that is going on in your turf.


The screen where the players spend most of their time is on their turf, building and upgrading it.

It is surrounded by many other features for players to explore.

lords mobile turf ui and ux

And here are the most important ones.

In the top left, there are indicators for the amount of gems and stamina you have. In the upper right corner, the players can see how they stand in terms of building resources.

Right at your fingertips – in the lower right corner, there are a ton of features. This includes guild notifications, messages, different quests, game settings, a bag, and a hero collection.

They come with Facebook-type red notifications — and people like to check their notifications.

Game Mechanics

As it falls into the 4x strategy genre, Lords Mobile puts great focus on meta and player progression.

The effect? An almost non-existent core loop.

How it all works is that players build their own bases and train their army. This allows them to attack other players’ bases, tear them down, collect resources, and capture their leaders.

Here’s a more detailed analysis of the game’s mechanics to find out how it all works.

wait timers lords mobile

Building Mechanics/Wait Timers

As a player, one of your main focuses is building your turf.

Here, you will find out that the building mechanics rely on wait timers or the hard currency.

Wait timers are not reserved for building and upgrading the turf only. They appear for any kind of quest the players have to complete, for example, training the troops or doing research.

Social Features

The players can team up with other players by creating a guild or by joining an existing one.

Guild allies get to help each other with building and researching, and they can have a friendly chat. There are even a number of guild-related events in the game. All in all, the game has excellent social features.

lords mobile rpg features


The RPG characteristics of this game come in the form of heroes – over 45 of them.

After you finish your first battle, the Hero Collection button appears at the bottom right of the screen.

Every new player starts the game with the same two heroes: Oath Keeper and Death Archer.  Some heroes can be unlocked through level progression, some are gained from events – and some can only be purchased.

pve mode

Another important RPG layer of the game are its PvE modes. They include fighting against various monsters on the map, as well as hero missions. Some examples of the game’s PvE modes are Hero Stages, The Labyrinth, and Kingdom Tycoon.

pvp mode lords mobile

PvP Mode

The game includes exciting PvP battles, in the form of attack or defense. The battles are not directly controlled by players, but they happen in real-time. What the players can control is their troops’ lineup that’s picked before the battle occurs.

Recurring Live Events

The game features different recurring live events such as the Kingdom Clash, Guild Fest, Hell events, Battle Royal, etc.

What motivates the players to participate? Well, there is the thrill of live events, but also the rewards received for participating and being successful.

lords mobile quests

Achievement System 

While playing, you don’t have to think much about what your next steps will be. There are quests for you to fulfill.

They are divided into five categories: daily quests, turf quests, admin quests, guild quests, and VIP quests.

Fulfilling quests gives you a feeling of achievement. After doing so, you can claim rewards that help you to progress.

All of these mechanics sound kind of familiar?

Separately, these mechanics are nothing new or mind-blowing. They can be seen in various strategy and RPG games. But together, they create an incredible synergy that makes the game so addictive. Especially combined with Lords Mobile monetization.

lords mobile monetization in app purchases

Lords Mobile Monetization Dissection

It’s no secret, strategy gamers are well known for their competitive spirits, high engagement rates, and LTVs.

These player characteristics naturally lead to the most effective monetization model for this genre: in-app purchases.

For this reason, 79% of strategy games’ revenues come from IAPs (Unity). In fact, strategy games are among three genres where the players are most likely to make in-app purchases.

With this in mind, strategy developers have the difficult task of balancing out the game so it doesn’t become one of those dreaded “pay-to-win games.

Some of the most common IAP features that appear in this genre are battle passes, purchasable characters, and gear.

On the other hand, the players prefer IAPs such as consumable boosts, time-limited bundle offers, pay to skip wait times, VIP systems, etc.

Does this game fulfill player expectations? Let’s analyze Lords Mobile monetization setup and find out.

Which Monetization Models Lords Mobile Uses?

Just like most strategy games, Lords Mobile monetizes its player base with in-app purchases, just like the app stores state.

In our analysis, we discovered a few subscription features as well.

Now let’s take a closer look at how Lords Mobile monetization is set up from scratch.

Lords Mobile In-App Purchases Strategy and Setup

For the most part, Lords Mobile monetization strategy is based on a pay-to-skip approach.

pay to skip

In this game, wait timers are everywhere. To complete any kind of quest in the game, the players have to wait a set amount of time. Wait times come in different ranges, most commonly between 1 and 30 minutes.

And waiting for 30 minutes sure doesn’t feel very exciting.

This is where the game’s hard currency (gems) comes to light. Its main purpose in the game is to skip these wait times.

In-Game Store Setup

You can access the in-game store by clicking a gift-bearing hero icon on the turf screen, or on the current state of gems.

It’s interesting that there is no typical store item that can be seen in most games.

Now, the first thing you will see by entering the store is a special offer – a First Purchase Bonus. What this means is that, on top of your first purchase, you will receive a generous bonus.

iap offer winning start lords mobile monetization

After that, you will get to see different one-time offers. These bundle deals offer different items, from gems to speed-ups, heroes, etc. Some of them come with timers, suggesting you to hurry up.

At every moment, there are eight one-time offers in the store. And you can’t miss them, since they come with a really distinguishable, colorful design.

The first few offers were obviously intended specifically for new players, with names such as Newbie Special, Winning Start, A New Adventure, etc.

Some offers are also focused on collecting certain heroes and gaining resources for base building, on war gear, etc. However, each offer contains a certain amount of gems.

lords mobile monetization in game store

After a lot of scrolling, I finally got to the standard offers.

They all include gems and there are 6 different options to choose from, with different sized packs: ranging from 280 to 22,000 gems.

Inside the store, there is also a mysterious castle icon. It stands for the Breakthrough Bonus. This is not something everyone can purchase, as it says: VIP 7 and above only. 

Pricing Structure for In-App Purchases

Where there are many different offers, there are different price points as well.

The one-time offers come at a range of $0.99 to $9.99. However, most of them are somewhere in the middle – at $4.99.

The standard offer of gems starts at a minimum price point of $1.99 (280 gems) and goes up to $99.99 (22,000 gems).

Just one look at the prices is enough to conclude that the one-time offers really pay off.

Here’s what I mean by that.

lords mobile monetization gems

For comparison’s sake, let’s look at two offers of the same price – $4.99. One of them is a standard offer of gems, while the other one is a one-time offer. 

The standard offer brings the player 800 gems and 1 Green Bonus. On the other hand, a one-time offer named Adventure of a Lifetime brings the player 2,000 gems, as well as additional resources (6 Braveheart and 50,000 gold).

The conclusion — the Adventure of a Lifetime offer brings over 2x more gems, including extra resources, all for the same price.

Additional In-Store Offers

There is one in-store offer that is based on a special approach.

IAP offer

Named the 30-Day Supply Chest, this offer includes gems, along with plenty of additional resources, and it comes at a cost of $9.99.

But you don’t get it all at once.

How it works is it releases all of these resources – but over thirty days. For players, this means coming back to the game every day to claim them. Missed one day? You just lost 1/30 of your purchase.

Exploring the game store, I stumbled on another different offer – a Breakthrough Bonus. This offer doesn’t release items right away either. It offers 200,000 Gems at $19.99, which is pretty generous.

What’s the catch?

Logging in every day will not be enough to claim these gems. You can only collect them by unlocking castle levels, which means having to actively play and progress in the game.

How In-App Purchases Really Work in Lords Mobile

When it comes to in-app purchases, they are much more than just the store and different-priced items.

What separates the successful ones from those less successful is the way they integrate the IAP offers with the gameplay itself. And this is a process that includes a lot of thinking, planning, upgrading, and of course –  hearing the players out.

To get an idea of how the whole thing works in Lords Mobile, I played the game for 7 days.

Since this is a strategy game, my sessions were long – an hour a day or even more. And I have an analysis for you.

Day 1

The game tutorial did not have any kind of intro to in-app purchases.

lords mobile monetization store

The first sign of in-app purchases appeared on the turf screen. Among the buildings, a female character in pink carrying a gift sure stands out. It also comes with a red notification, a real eye-catcher.

It worked for me, so I checked what it stands for.

lords mobile monetization first purchase bonus

This was a First Purchase Bonus that brings additional value to the first purchase. The pink character is actually a hero, Almighty Rose King.

After exiting this offer, the game took me to the in-game store with the special offers. The Almighty Rose King icon stands by every offer to remind me that I will get even more on top of these offers.

lords mobile monetization free chest

I discovered an important in-game store feature, a free chest. Positioned next to all the offers, it gives players free rewards on a daily basis.

Back to the base screen, the icon remains on the screen but loses the exclamation mark – it stood there to remind me of the free chest.

Day 2

When I started my new session, one of the one-time offers appeared right away. It was the Winning Start.

As I discovered later on, these offers appear each time a new session begins. And they rotate, so it’s not always the same offer.

 iap new adventure

More precisely, my first few sessions started with either the First Purchase Bonus, the Winning Start, and New Adventure offers – all carefully crafted for new players like me.

Day 3

In this session, I played my first PvE battles and progressed quite a bit. After I unlocked a new hero, I was invited to like the game’s Facebook page.

Right after, another Winning Start one-time offer appeared.

This is the first time I got an offer that was not at the beginning of the session but during gameplay.

lords mobile monetization iap offer research reports

At this point, I went to visit the store to claim my daily chest and check if any of the one-time offers really vanished. I found out that the offer was replaced by a new one – Research Reports ($4.99).

This is where I learned the one-time offers with timers are just a good old trick to lure the players into buying them. Also, I found out the offers change as you play. 

Day 4

This time, the offer I got when I launched the game was the 30 Day Supply Chest.

Since this is an offer intended for active players, I assume I was put into this group after playing the game every day for a decent amount of time.

Day 5

In this session, I reached level 10. As I progressed, I was expecting to see some updates in the game’s store.

And that is exactly what I found.

 in app purchase offer a clockword red

Two completely new one-time offers were introduced to the store – called the Clockwork Red and World Domination.

Day 6

On this day, I leveled up my turf’s castle to level 3. Doing this unlocked an important new feature – login gifts.

It works exactly as it sounds – if I log in daily, I will receive rewards.

 login hires IAP

In this section, I found more IAP featuresLog in Hires and Login Bonus. Instead of waiting for days to get them, you can get 3 heroes and a Login Bonus at once.

And all you have to do is make a $1.99 purchase.

Day 7

This day brought another new one-time offer to the store.

Since this was my last session, I got a little curious. For this reason, I purposely spent all my gems to skip wait times to see what happens.

out of gems

Once I didn’t have enough gems to use, a pop-up message appeared. The pop-up message was an opt-in offer that asked, “Do you want to buy more from the store?”. It led straight to the store. However, not towards the special offers, but the standard offer of gems.

As the offers didn’t pop all the time, I did some more exploring.

subscription offers lords mobile monetization

And I found two subscription options placed in the Turf Boost section.

One of them was a monthly subscription called the Turf Club. At a price of $9.99, subscribers get one month of Turf Club benefits.

The other subscription offer was a 7-Day Dash Bundle. It comes at a $1.99 cost and allows subscribers to claim items once a day for a week after subscribing.

Other Lords Mobile Monetization Features

There are some monetization features in this game I was not able to experience during my journey as a new player, but they are important to mention.

Event Bundle Deals 

Events are extremely important for all those competitive players. For this reason, when events occur, special event bundles appear in the game’s store.

For example, if the Kingdom Clash event is taking place, a special Kingdom Clash bundle offer appears. And then remains there as long as the event lasts.

lords mobile iap offer summer sunshine

Seasonal Deals

Except for in-game events, the game also keeps up with real-world events, holidays, and seasons.

For example, there are deals like Spring Returns!, Summer Sunshine, April Fools’ and others.

lords mobile diamonds currency

Making Purchases in Diamonds Instead of Local Currency

In 2019, IGG embraced the trend of using virtual currencies and integrated a special billing system. They introduced AppCoins, a billing system developed by Catappult.

Here’s how it works.

The players have to make two downloads: a Diamond store extension for the game itself and the Aptoide App Store.

lords mobile diamonds currency

Once the players purchase Appcoins, their in-app purchase offers will appear in the virtual currency – diamonds! Instead of local currencies like dollars or euros, they then become the official payment currency.

But what’s in it for players? Just the cool fact they are buying things in diamonds?

Of course not. This payment option brings players bonuses on their in-game purchases. The bonuses range from 5% to 25%. Also, the bonuses become bigger as the player buys AppCoins (it takes about $450 to get a 25% bonus).

in Lords Mobile

Strategy games typically do well in user retention and lifetime values.

As Lords Mobile is at the top of its genre, let’s go over user retention numbers for the top 2% of strategy games.

This data comes from GameAnalytics’ Benchmarks+ platform and covers the average values for 2020.

  • The average day-1 player retention is 52%
  • After 7 days, 25% of players still play the game
  • After 28 days, about 17% of players stay around

On one hand, this is due to the nature of these games, on the other hand, this is also because of the efforts they take in retaining players.

It is all about what happens after the user installs the game. The most important thing is not to lose players in the first few sessions, get them to play, and really enjoy the game.

For this reason, the onboarding process should be as unobtrusive as possible. This means no aggressive IAP offers, but putting the focus on educating the players.

This is just one of the factors that contribute to user retention. Naturally, all of it impacts monetization as well.

So let’s go over the methods Lords Mobile uses to retain new players.


personalization fatures

Personalization Features

When the gameplay begins, you get a generic ID name that you are encouraged to change. You can also change the name that appears to your guildmates.

These personalization features are even included in the quest section. This means that changing your name will earn you rewards!

Talk about an easy way to get rewards.

lords mobile reward

Beginner Abundance 

When players start the game, they are rewarded with an abundance of hard currency (gems) and other resources. I got 200 gems for starters and another 400 for joining a guild.

It would be a disaster to run out of these items early in the game and be forced to make a purchase. If that happened, almost anyone would feel discouraged to even continue playing the game.

guild emotes

Social Aspect

The game motivates you to interact with your guildmates. You can send them help on a daily basis and it even encourages participation in the guild chat.

For example, sending emotes to the guild chat can earn you rewards. It may sound silly, but it’s actually quite clever.

lords mobile vip system

Daily Rewards 

Lords Mobile gives out a lot of daily rewards: log-in gifts, in-store daily rewards, mystery boxes, and the VIP system.

They really put in the effort to get the players to come back to the game every day.

For example, to become a high-level VIP, all you have to do is log in a few times a day. By logging in, you collect VIP points. Moreover, consecutive daily log-ins bring you even more daily points.

Daily rewards are one of the most common strategy games’ features. They motivate the players to play every day and provide them with a sense of accomplishment.

Push Notifications 

To remind you to play the game every day, most games utilize the power of push notifications.

However, they have to be implemented carefully. Their content has to be relevant, and they should be timed so they don’t end up annoying players.

Since Lords Mobile is a strategy game with many real-time activities, it notifies the players as they occur.

lords mobile push notifications

On my first day of playing, I received several of them. One of them was resource-related, while the other one was about guild gifts.

The guild gift notifications continued the following day. On the next one, there was a notification about a special PvP event taking place – The War of Wonders.

Next, there was a notification that one of my guildmates began a 10-minute rally to attack an enemy turf.

Over the next few days, the only push notifications I got were about guild gifts, 3-4 per day.

Therefore, we can see that Lords Mobile focuses its push notifications on the gameplay and real-time events, rather than IAP offers.

lords mobile monetization tips

5 Things You Can Learn From Lords Mobile Monetization Strategy

Now that we got you through the game’s main features and a real-time player journey, let’s sum it all up.

Here are some best practices that Lords Mobile monetization strategy has taught us.

In-App Purchases Offers Shouldn’t Be Pushy

Oftentimes, game developers fall into the trap of trying to sell too much. As a result, players start to perceive those games as aggressive and pushy.

IGG avoided making this costly mistake and made the IAP placements as unobtrusive as possible.

In-app purchase offers only appear when a player starts a new session, after a big accomplishment in the game, and if the player runs out of the hard currency. Except for new sessions, these occasions are pretty rare.

This way, the gameplay remains as clean as possible, with minimal distractions.

Lure the Players Into the Store 

Since the game doesn’t have an aggressive approach with a bunch of pop-ups, they have to have another strategy to get the players to check the IAP offers.

And this strategy is – enter the store to claim daily rewards.

This is a really clever strategy since non-paying players are hardly ever going to visit the in-game store. This way, the players are enticed to check out the game’s store on a daily basis.

And who knows, maybe some of the newly added offers will catch their attention.

iap newbie special

Diversify Special Deals 

The game’s store always includes eight one-time offers. Of course, they are not always the same (this would be really bad).

Instead, these offers are constantly updated and refreshed. The offers change based on different factors:

  • The player’s in-game progress
  • In-game events
  • Real-world events

The game clearly separates IAP offers for new players. As a new player, you will receive offers tailored for you such as the First Purchase Bonus, and deals like Newbie Special, Winning Start, A New Adventure, etc.

Also, new offers appear as the players progress and play the game for a while. Of course, as an experienced player, you will not get a Newbie Special.

And did you happen to notice how different all these offers look? They all have visuals designed to steal attention.

Nevertheless, the offers differentiate in the offer itself, as well as prices, so all players can make purchase decisions based on their needs and their wallet.

Include IAPs That Encourage Daily Logins

The principle these offers work on is simple: you paid for it, so don’t waste it.

The game’s 30-Day Supply Chest is the best example of this kind of IAP offer.

To get everything they paid for, the players just have to log in daily. With the assumption that loyal players are probably going to make this purchase, this comes as no problem.

Basically, it prevents them from missing even a day of playing.

Include Subscription Features

All big players in the mobile gaming environment know the potential value of subscriptions.

In this game, the subscription features aren’t being directly sold to the player. They don’t come as pop-ups or special offers.

Instead, to even find them, the players have to dig a little deeper. Obviously, they are intended for those players that are engaged enough to look for solutions outside the store itself.

Subscription features are the final touch that makes Lords Mobile monetization so interesting and successful.

lords mobile graphic

App Store Optimization Dissection

Organic user acquisition refers to a marketing strategy that achieves app installs without the use of paid advertising. Primarily, that’s accomplished by improving the game’s visibility in the app stores, i.e., ranking high in search results and boosting conversion rates.

That’s why app store optimization is essential for organic user acquisition. However, it’s also important for paid UA. A user may see an ad, but make the final decision whether to download a game after learning more about it on the game’s app store page.

Below, I dissect Lords Mobile’s Google Play page and explain each ASO element.

Game Title

Let’s start with the game title. Lords Mobile is the brand name for this game. However, on Google Play, you’ll notice the full title is Lords Mobile: Kingdom Wars.

The purpose of the addition of “Kingdom Wars” is to illustrate what the game is about. You know right away that Lords Mobile is about wars between different kingdoms.

Additionally, it’s a keyword this game can rank for, which is a smart move.

It’s a win-win.

If you browse the app stores, you’ll notice most games do this. For example, Castle Crush goes even further. The full Google Play title for this game is Castle Crush: Epic Battle – Free Strategy Games. This title is packed full of keywords. Plus, it gives you a very clear idea of what the game is about.

lords mobile icon

Game Icon

Does the Lords Mobile icon look familiar to you?

Of course, it does.

I could list hundreds of (mostly strategy) games that use this icon style.

You know the drill, face turned to one side, mouth open, screaming. Online, you’ll find it described as ‘action mouth’, ‘shouty man’, or ‘tough dude yelling’. On Reddit, it’s often ridiculed and turned into a meme.

mobile game icon man shouting meme
Here’s how mobile game icons would look in real life

So how come so many mobile game publishers decide to go with this icon style? What’s the secret behind it?

Let me explain.

Two games that are at the root of this trend are Clash of Clans and Game of War. Once those games came out with this icon style, everybody else started doing it.

What’s important to understand here is that giants like Supercell test every little detail of their app store page. That includes the icon. It obviously performed best and boosted conversions. Otherwise, Clash of Clans would have a different icon.

mobile game icons

Here are the main reasons why this icon style performs well:

  1. Humans respond well to faces. We have evolved to recognize and remember faces – it’s what helped us survive. It speaks to something deep in our human nature.
  2. Because the faces are angled and facial expressions are exaggerated, this icon style exudes excitement, drama, and action. It makes you think the game is fun to play. If the facial expressions were neutral and measured, the game would seem boring and you wouldn’t download it.
  3. It creates a feeling of familiarity. Most players recognize this icon style and either consciously or subconsciously connect it to popular games like Clash of Clans.

So if something is shown to work, it’s expected that others will jump on that trend. That’s why you see a variation of it in Lords Mobile’s icon. And it’s a very smart move.

I could ramble on about creativity and how every icon should be 100% unique, but that’s not always the best advice. Sometimes, it can be beneficial to follow creative trends.

However, never follow trends blindly – make sure to test them for yourself and see how well they perform.

Lords Mobile App Promo Video Breakdown

When users are browsing app stores, game name and icon are the first things they see. If they’re interested, they’ll visit the game’s app store page.

Some will install the game right away. Others will need a bit more persuasion so they’ll look for additional info on the app store page.

Most commonly, the thing people gravitate to is the app promo video. It’s the most engaging way to learn more about a game.

Furthermore, app promo videos are known to boost conversions. In general, people respond well to videos. If they’re good, they can hold people’s attention and persuade them to complete the desired action, i.e., install the game.

For that reason, successful mobile game publishers put a lot of effort into their app promo videos.

Lords Mobile is no different.

Here’s a detailed breakdown of it.

The impression I get in the first couple of seconds of this app promo video is that it’s a lot like a movie trailer. The scenes are very cinematic, there are dramatic sound effects and a voiceover.

Storytelling is also on point.

All of that is quite engaging and it made me continue watching – I wanted to see what happens next.

As the video continues, there are dynamic, well-edited action scenes of dramatic war battles. The viewers are introduced to different heroes, i.e., game characters.

Overall, the production value is very high. Every scene is animated and well made.

However, that’s now always a good thing.

Here’s what I mean by that.

While the promo video for Lords Mobile looks cool and flashy, it doesn’t authentically represent the game.

After watching this video, one might expect that Lords Mobile has insanely advanced graphics and game mechanics.

That’s not the case.

mobile game ads for ad networks expecations vs reality

Misleading Players

Now, I’m not saying Lords Mobile is not a good game – it looks pretty good and it’s fun to play. However, it doesn’t look that good.

When there’s a disparity between how the game is presented in an app promo video and what it’s really like, players get disappointed and frustrated. That, of course, can lead to high churn rates and poor user retention.

For that reason, it may be a good idea to include authentic gameplay footage in promotional videos. Both Google Play and Apple App Store advise it.

Including some animated scenes is fine – it can make the promo video more interesting and engaging, but let the focus be on authentic gameplay footage.

lords moble app store graphic


Just like Lords Mobile app promo video, the screenshots also don’t represent the game in a fully authentic way.

Most commonly, one would upload screenshots from the game. Lords Mobile graphics are not screenshots (apart from maybe two).

However, the graphics showcase the best game features – formations, kingdoms, wonders, monsters, and heroes.


Another important part of app store optimization is the game’s description.

Granted, not everybody will read it, but for some, it may be what makes them decide to download the game.

“Are you ready for a REAL fight?”

This is the first sentence of Lords Mobile’s app store description. It speaks directly to the user (are you ready), their motivations and interests (a real fight).

It’s copywriting 101.

Additionally, it challenges users, which is another smart tactic that’s often used in mobile game ads.

Furthermore, the description for Lords Mobile lists and explains important game features. For example, the ability to build your kingdom and utilize different troop formations.

By reading it, it’s pretty clear what the game is about and what’s its USP. Moreover, it serves as an additional explanation of features. In other words, it accompanies the app promo video and screenshots well.

lords mobile advertising

Lords Mobile Advertising Strategies

While organic UA is important, paid user acquisition is usually what results in the largest number of users.

IGG advertises Lords Mobile on several different ad networks like Facebook, Unity Ads, Vungle, and AdMob.

Most of Lords Mobile ads are video ads. That’s quite expected considering it’s the ad format that has the best conversion rate.

For that reason, I mostly analyze video ads.  However, I did include one high-performing banner ad in my analysis.

Ready to learn Lords Mobile advertising strategies?

Let’s dive right in!

lords mobile banner ad

Dissection of Top-Performing Lords Mobile Ads

I’ll start with the Lords Mobile banner ad you can see above.

The first thing I notice is that this ad is pretty simple and straightforward. That’s a good thing. A great ad needs to have a very clear message.

While it’s difficult to portray all game features and how it’s played in a banner ad, there’s still a lot of information we get about the game.

Firstly, it is instantly clear that this is an ad for a strategy game (there’s a swordsman, archer, troop formations, canons, etc.). Furthermore, the kingdom is visible in the ad which is the center point of the game.

The call to action is pretty standard – play now – but it’s big and visible. There’s also a Lords Mobile logo at the top-right corner.

Ad Design

Notice that the color scheme is well put together and it follows the game’s logo. The emphasis is on the blue and yellow/orange contrast, which can be seen throughout the ad.

Furthermore, the composition of the ad, i.e., the arrangement of elements is harmonious and asymmetrical. There’s a nice balance between the three warriors on the left (and the diagonal strip of blue below them) and the Hero, logo, and CTA on the right.

The yellow/orange arrow is also a nice touch. Its purpose is twofold. One, arrows are used in strategy games to aim. Second, it is strategically placed so that it leads the eye from the left to the right side of the ad. It also emphasizes the troops in the middle.

Overall, this banner ad is quite successful – it’s visually appealing and it makes the game look interesting.

Lords Mobile AdWords/AdMob Video Ad

This Lords Mobile video ad is all about war. It’s 30 seconds of pure mayhem.

Millions of soldiers are rushing to attack the kingdom – they just keep coming. But all of them are destroyed. There’s even a counter for the number of kills.

The best thing about this video ad is that it’s so damn satisfying to watch. It’s almost hypnotic.

Keeping users engaged until the end of the ad – check!

Aside from being visually appealing, this ad also does a good job of portraying what it’s like to play the game. More specifically, choosing different troop types. As well as the upgrades of said troops. It’s clear from the ad that as you earn more coins, you can upgrade them.

Overall, this video ad is pretty simple. It’s basically just one long scene, so no editing is required. But there’s a plethora of different sound effects, as well as music.

In the end, there’s a simple “Play now” CTA.

Above you can see a variation of this ad. The concept is pretty much the same, but this one is made for Facebook.

If you’re interested in how to create ads for Facebook, check out our guide on video ads for social media.

Lords Mobile Unity Video Ad

The concept for the Unity ad is all about troop formations, which is one of the main game features.

There are four different troop types, and six different troop formations players can choose from in the game. That’s what you can see in the ad.

Furthermore, this ad gives players information on how to play the game. More specifically, how to choose troop types and set up different troop formations.

Additionally, it shows that players need to be about the choice, i.e., that they need to choose the formation that will deal maximum damage to the enemy troops.

Lords Mobile Vungle Video Ad

Lords Mobile Vungle ad is very similar to the aforementioned Unity ad. It’s a variation of that same concept – showcasing different troop formations during a battle.

The difference is that the ad for Unity was a standard 16:9 video and for Vungle it’s 9:16, which is a full-screen ad for mobile devices.

Furthermore, there’s a couple of animated scenes in this one that zoom in on the troops.

Lords Mobile Facebook Video Ad #1

By now, you probably noticed a pattern when it comes to Lords Mobile video ads – each of them focuses on one main game feature.

This is a strategy most publishers use, and it works quite well. It allows you to target users based on their specific interests and motivations for playing. Plus, the ad is simpler and easier to understand when it’s explaining just one or two features instead of ten.

In this Facebook ad, the emphasis is on the RPG aspects of the game. More specifically, the way players can level up their Hero.

The first few seconds of the video are quite interesting and engaging. We see the Keeper of the Oath (the first Hero players get) fall to the ground, surrounded by rabbits.

lords mobile ad screenshot

It’s creative, unique, and surprising which makes me want to keep watching. I want to see what happens next.

This is why an ad intro is so important. If it’s not interesting enough, you lose potential players right out the gate.

This Facebook ad continues with several scenes of collecting resources and building a shelter. Once the Hero levels up, he fights a pack of wild animals. This adds some action to the ad.

In the end, as the Keeper of the Oath is defeating the animals, a Lords Mobile logo and CTA (Play now) appear. There’s also a search bar and “Available on” graphic at the very bottom. This is a nice addition because it encourages people to search for Lords Mobile in the app stores.

Lords Mobile Facebook Video Ad #2

Above, you can see another Lords Mobile Facebook ad that has a very similar concept to the previous one. It also focuses on RPG-style campaigns.

Furthermore, the intro is pretty much the same – the Hero is being thrown into this world (this time by a huge hand). He begins to work on the crops.

But suddenly, everything changes. The plants wither, the video turns black & white and the upbeat music is replaced by a sad one.

This scene lasts only for a few seconds before everything is back to normal, but it is strategically placed. Even such a brief change of pace in a video makes it more interesting, dynamic, and keeps viewers engaged – you never know what can happen next!

The last part of the video showcases different buildings, i.e., the city-building aspect of the game.

The end card is the same as in the previous video.

The ad copy is constructed as a game tip – “Make sure you have enough farms! You can’t fight without food!”

This is a smart strategy – it’s important to educate future players on how to play the game. It boosts engagement and user retention.

Lords Mobile Facebook Video Ad #3

This Lords Mobile Facebook ad has a different concept altogether – it’s about leveling up dragons.

It starts with an unhatched egg at level 1 and ends up as a full-grown dragon at level 100. In a way, this is a tutorial on how to level up a dragon – what to feed him, etc. However, it also serves the purpose of showcasing this particular game feature.

Notice there’s a hand pointer doing all the selecting, feeding the dragon, etc. You have probably seen this in many other ads. The main reason advertisers use it is that it creates a feeling of immersion in the video ad.

That way, when you watch the ad, it feels as though you’re the one who’s playing the game.

The second part of the video depicts the dragon attacking a kingdom, engulfing it in flames, and finally defeating it. The scenes are very dramatic and create a sense of action. That’s important because it makes the game look fun to play.

lords mobile advertising tips

5 Lessons From Lords Mobile Advertising and ASO Strategy

Here’s what you can learn from Lords Mobile’s advertising strategies and app store optimization techniques!

Invest in a High-Quality App Promo Video and Video Ads

Successful organic user acquisition depends on how well you present the game to users in the app stores and how you rank.

The best way to achieve that is with a good app promo video – it is the most important element of app store optimization. Unlike screenshots or descriptions, a promo video is rich in content. It can capture the excitement of playing the game.

Organic user acquisition goes hand in hand with paid user acquisition.

That’s why you also need video ads. Lots of them.

As we have seen in the first section of the article, top-performing Lords Mobile creatives consist almost exclusively out of video ads. All of them were created so that they appeal to the target audience and showcase game features in the best light.

However, make sure to combat ad fatigue. If a user sees the same game ad over and over again, it loses its effectiveness. Variety is key here and for that, you need to boost creative production.

game feature

Focus on One or Two Game Features Per Ad

You may think showcasing as many features as possible is the goal of video ads. However, that’s not the case.

It’s a much better strategy to focus just on one or two. You’ll notice that in all Lords Mobile ads.

That way, the ads can appeal to the user’s specific interests and their motivation for playing mobile games. For example, if an ad focuses just on a game’s social features, that will appeal to social gamers, i.e., those who enjoy playing against other users or playing with friends and family.

Create Ad Variations for Different Ad Networks

If you look at Lords Mobile’s video ads, you’ll notice they take the same concept and create different variations for different ad networks.

In other words, ads are adjusted to the requirements of a particular ad network.

For example, content policies and video specs are not the same for Google and Unity Ads. That’s why you need to have a specific ad network in mind when creating a video ad (variation).

Localize Your Ads

Know those ads I have analyzed in the first section of the article? Well, all of them are localized, i.e., translated into several different languages.

Above, you can see an example of such an ad. This one is localized for Thailand.

Translated to English, the ad copy says something like, “Protect your troops to protect your kingdom!”

The captions in the video are also translated into Thai.

So, why should publishers localize ads for their games?

Well, if you’re targeting multiple markets (which you should) then it makes sense to create ads in the local language of a particular country.

Not only that, but it’s a good idea to create culture-specific ads.

ad localization

That means you might have to change the concept of the ad to fit a particular culture. For example, you might add some cultural symbols. Or make a themed ad that references important holidays for that country, e.g., Chinese New Year in February.

It makes sense – people want to see ads in their local language as well as references to their culture, where appropriate.

Furthermore, the ad content and tone preferences also vary across different countries.

Let me give you a few examples.

According to Facebook’s Gaming Report, 47% of US strategy gamers think ads should showcase the main gameplay, and 45% of them like a challenging tone in ads. 69% of Japanese strategy gamers think characters and story are the most important elements of an ad. Additionally, the majority of them (57%), respond best to a humorous tone in ads.

You can learn more about gamer preferences in our Strategy Games Report.

Split Test Everything

What separates successful publishers like IGG from struggling developers is that every single aspect of their UA strategy is meticulously tested.

That means every app store element (title, icon, promo video, screenshots, description, keywords) as well as the most important elements of video ads (format, length, CTA, assets, ad copy, video, and sound effects, etc.)

There’s no room for guessing, especially when you’re spending millions of dollars on advertising campaigns.

Final Thoughts on Lords Mobile Monetization

That’s it, this is all you need to know about the way Lords Mobile makes money!

As you can see, Lords Mobile monetization is much more than a traditional in-game store and special offers.

Finally, the revenue numbers speak for themselves.

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Frequently Asked Questions


About Udonis

Udonis is an independent full-service mobile marketing agency that acquired more than 300,000,000 users for mobile games since 2018.

Visit udonis.co


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