32 ways to monetize your free mobile game

32 ways to monetize your free mobile game

If you are thinking of creating a game for mobile devices, know that you are not alone. There are many application developers who have taken the step and directly offered their applications totally free. If you are one of those programmers who have started developing video games, you will know that not everything is as easy as it seems. We are going to see a list of ways by which you can monetize your free mobile game along with a little trick. In this way you can get money with your project, the one in which you have invested so much time and effort. We will not get too complicated in explaining each section in depth, since the objective of this article is to have a preview of all the options that you can later explore.


You can add advertising for your game in any of the following ways:

1. Banners: They usually occupy a part of the screen and can get you between 2 and 3 $ per thousand impressions (CPM). It is somewhat annoying for your players and it is not that you are going to make a lot of money unless you have a lot of players, but the implementation is very simple.

2. Interstitial ads: These ads can give you a higher CPM than banners, even up to $ 10. They don’t usually bother too much if you place them in the right places, although some may include videos with sounds that will be played for at least a few seconds.

3. Button to see more games: If you have more than one game, you can benefit from it. This is a button that users of your game click to get a list of related games. Some may be paid or you can simply limit yourself to showing ads on that page. If your games have ads, it is also a way to expand.

4. Ads when exiting the game: When users exit the game, they will see one last ad in full screen, a type of ad that always has a good CPM.

5. Send messages to the user: This technique is only viable on Android devices. It is about your game being authorized to show messages to the user, which can be used to promote other games.

6. Sale of data: It is about capturing the preferences of your users within the game to predict their behavior in the real world.

7. Downloads with some incentive (Offerwalls): This is a simple transaction through which the user can obtain objects or coins to use within the game in exchange for downloading or testing other applications. Usually, the developers of the other applications will pay you. You can even integrate several of these systems, since it is not usually something annoying for users.

8. Coupons Offers: The idea is to reward your users by offering discount coupons for something that may interest them. For example, you can get a 20% discount at a restaurant chain.

9. Videos: It is about giving virtual money for the game to your users in exchange for watching a video. You win real money and your players make fake money. It sounds mean, but the point is, it’s a way to keep everyone happy.

10. Searches: Users will have to install a senior search application along with your game. You can earn between $ 10 and $ 12 for every thousand downloads. Of course, it is better to make sure that the application that you offer with your game is free of viruses and that it is also easy to uninstall.

11. Virtual objects of a brand: If some of the objects in your game are of a real brand, they can give you money. Of course, you must first reach an agreement and it is not something so easy.

Selling content (DLCs)

We all hate buying a game and that a paid DLC appears in a  few days, but when it comes to a free game, everything is more understandable: We are going to see several options according to this philosophy:

12. Premium version: It is a good option if you think your game is good enough. You offer a free version for anyone to play but you also offer an update to allow players to have the full version of the game by purchasing the app.

13. Level packs: It is about offering the levels of your game separately. You will offer some levels for free, but users will have to pay to download more levels.

14. Interface improvements: The idea is to create an interface to walk around the house and offer t other premiums with which it is easier to play in order to progress.

15. Wallpapers: If your players like your game a lot, you can try selling your game wallpapers. But with this option you will earn money if you have thousands of players.

16. Soundtracks and tones: If the music for your game is good, you can sell it separately in the store so that players can listen to it at any time or so they can set it as their phone ringtone. Your soundtrack must be of quality

Removal of certain limitations from the game

You can offer your game totally free but make progress very difficult in order to sell upgrades. You could also have alternate versions of the game:

17. Elimination of ads: It is about offering a free version of the game with ads and a paid version without them. In this way each player is free to choose if they want to pay or if they prefer to see the ads. It works quite well.

18. Limitation of resources to continue playing: It is about limiting the game to a certain number of lives or turns. Once the resources are exhausted, it is not possible to continue playing as in an arcade machine. Anyone who wants to continue playing will have to check out.

19. More game time: If you set players a time limit to complete each level, some may be willing to pay to get more time and finish a level that is costing them so much.

Virtual economy

This is how you currently get 50% of the profits from mobile games. We are going to try to go by parts that you can monetize both together and separately:

20. Characters: If your game has a character that players can identify with, you can add additional options to customize it, such as avatars, costumes or unique attributes that differentiate them. Balancing the attributes is up to you. It’s something that players tend to like.

21. Improvements: It is about offering improvements for each character in an unbalanced way. It is also valid for car or ship games, which could have speed or resistance improvements.

22. Offer advantages with the sale of objects: It is about offering items such as weapons in exchange for real money so that players obtain better skills. Of course, any player should be able to finish the game without paying, since in theory it should be optional. It is also common that these objects can be found during the game without making any payment, although it may not be easy.

23. Resources: Resources are elements that players accumulate as they play and that are used to progress through the game.

24. Tricks Activation: Some players may be willing to pay to have certain advantages such as immortality or superior strength in the case of a character.

25. Elements of surprise: It is about offering something to the player who does not know what it is in exchange for real money, as happens with the sale of stickers, you never know which ones will be assigned.

26. Limited Editions: If there are items in the game that players can equip, it can be interesting to launch series of items for a limited time in exchange for real money. In this way players know that they have something that others do not have access to. An auction system can also be established.

27. Extensions: It is about selling levels, costumes or objects whose appearance corresponds to the season of the year or the time in which we are, such as Christmas or Halloween.


You can sell various physical items and send them to the players, which is the best way that no one feels cheated since they have bought something that they can touch.

28. T-shirts: If your game becomes popular, it will be one of the best methods to monetize your game. You can sell them directly from your in-game store.

29. Phone cases: It is something that almost everyone uses.

30. Lighters, cups and other utensils: The truth is that there is no limit to what you can sell. The problem is that your game has to be previously popular if you want to make big profits. Otherwise, you will have to reduce the price.

Social events

31. Duels and tournaments: These are events in which players compete against each other to obtain a reward. If your game is a simulator of something in the real world, there is a better chance that this will work. It is something that you can combine very well with some of the monetization methods that we have talked about.

32. Gifts: You can earn money when your players buy a virtual item, but with little extra effort you could make it possible for players to also buy items for other players as gifts. It may pain them to buy things for themselves, but not for someone else when they know they would spend the money just as well on something else.

The list could go on and new methods of monetization appear over time. The difficult thing is to create an addictive game and get players, but if you have them, the alternatives are many.