5 Steps to an App Store Feature


Today, we will be sharing five strategies you can employ to increase the chances of your game being featured on the App Store. The tips outlined here will help you to analyze and assess your application before submitting your game for consideration.

What is the value of being featured on the App Store?

  • You can expect roughly 50,000 - 150,000 downloads from a feature under the “New Games We Love” category.
  • The number of downloads may vary based on the country, application, how far up on the list your game is featured, etc.
  • The order in which the games are featured will change throughout the week (based on its success). Your place in the featured games list is vital since games listed at the top are more visible.

What is the new App Store like?

  • The App Store has been redesigned with the release of OS 11. The details of the redesign have been covered in-depth since it launched last month. If you haven’t done so already, go check it out for yourself.

Let’s jump into it! Here are our five tips for increasing the chances of your game being featured on the App Store:

1)    Listen to Apple

Previously Featured Games

Before submitting your game, do some research on games that have been featured in the past.

Examine which titles:

  • received rewards from Apple (e.g., Best of 2016)
  • received Editor’s Choice
  • continue to be featured week after week

Have you noticed that Apple features titles that relate to current events and trends?

For example, if you are launching an American football themed mobile game at the end of May, it may be best to wait for the NFL season to start or to launch the game during the week of the NFL Draft (April 27-29).

Analyze the competition and see what Apple is looking for!

Guides and Lists

Apple wants developers to create fresh and innovative games and applications for their products. They have reference materials for developers that will help you design your application. Check them out:

2)    Keep Design in Mind

 Design like Apple

Games like Clash Royale follow similar UI and UX tactics used by Apple. This allows players to seamlessly navigate and interact throughout the game.

Design for Apple

Apple loves games and apps that are made just for their platform. Why? It’s quite simple, successful titles will draw new customers to use their products. Does your game only work on iPhone 7 and higher? Your application should work on the devices that are still supported by Apple for the latest iOS version.


3.            Build a High-Quality Application

  • Develop a game with unique, engaging gameplay with a solid core loop
  • Make sure your game is free of bugs (test, test, test!)
  • Include multiplayer or sharing functionalities to allow players share and connect
  • If you have ads in your game, limit or remove them when you submit to Apple


4.            Use Apple's Newest Tech and Features

Within the last few years, Apple has added new tech and features to their products - it can't hurt for developers to utilize these new features in their game. Here are some examples:

  • Stickers
  • 3D Touch
  • AR technology
  • Haptic feedback
  • Apple Watch compatibility


5.            Market Presence

The App Store is a global marketplace so you will need to localize and create selling points that will entice and motivate users to install your game. Here are some items to consider:

 Consider localizing your game for a few different markets through the following ways:

  • Language
  • Art Style (e.g., Anime is popular in the Asian markets compared to other areas of the world.)
  • User Support and Community Engagement

Are your App Store assets and description clear and to the point?

  • App Icon: Does your App Icon “pop”? Is it engaging and create interest?
  • Store Screenshots: what do your screenshots tell the user about your game? Do you have additional text on top of your screenshots? If so, is it easy to read and to the point?
  • Video preview: Is your video eye-catching and concise?

Games from Thumbspire’s portfolio have been featured 14 times on the App Store under the“New Games We Love” category. We work closely with the App Store Team to make sure our games are ready for a successful launch. With that said, featuring is not guaranteed. After submitting your game, you should receive some feedback from the App Store Team. Listen to their feedback and adjust your product accordingly. Need some help with your strategy for taking your game to the next level? Get in touch!