Climbing the Ranks: A Guide to Leaderboards in Mobile Gaming

Leaderboards are a key part of many successful mobile games in the gaming world. These virtual leaderboards allow players to challenge one another, rise through the ranks, and get rewarded for their achievements.

Leaderboards benefit both players and game developers. By offering a way for players to interact and showcase their scores, leaderboards can boost player engagement and loyalty.

Creating a leaderboard might be challenging, whether you’re an experienced game developer or just starting out. That’s where this guide comes in. We’ll guide you through the entire process, step by step, and offer tips and best practices at each stage. By the end of this guide, you will have all the information you need to create a successful and engaging leaderboard for your mobile game. This is regardless of your experience or technical know-how.

What are leaderboards?

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Leaderboards are virtual scoreboards showcasing player rankings in a game according to their scores or accomplishments. Games of all types, including mobile and online games, console games, and PC games, use them.

In mobile games, leaderboards play several key roles. They offer players a platform to compete, rise through the ranks, and get rewards based on their achievements. Further, leaderboards encourage community and social engagement by allowing users to communicate with one another and share their scores.

Leaderboards can also provide valuable insights into player behavior and preferences, improving game design.

Understanding Game Leaderboards

Mobile game leaderboards use a scoring system that assigns points to players based on their in-game achievements. Achievements might include finishing stages, obtaining stuff, defeating enemies, or reaching a certain score.

When a player reaches a significant milestone in the game, their score is recorded and transferred to the game server. The server then computes the player’s score based on a preset formula that takes difficulty and accomplishment into consideration. The player’s score is added to the collective leaderboard, where it appears alongside other players’ scores.

Various Leaderboard Types in Mobile Games

Leaderboards come in many forms and serve different functions in mobile games. Some of the most common leaderboard types include:

  • Global Leaderboards: These leaderboards rank players worldwide based on their scores or achievements. They’re used in games with a strong social element and a large player base.
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Global, Local, and Friend Leaderboards in Boom Beach

  • Local Leaderboards: These leaderboards rank players based on their location or community. They’re suitable for games with a local appeal or intended to be played in a certain community.
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Daily or Weekly Leaderboards
  • Daily or Weekly Leaderboards: These leaderboards are changed regularly (typically daily or weekly) and encourage continued player involvement by offering opportunities to fight for top ranks.
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Friend Leaderboards
  • Friend Leaderboards: These leaderboards rate players based on their performance or achievements among their friends or a specific set of players. They can increase social interaction and develop a feeling of community among participants.

Designing a Leaderboard for a Mobile Game

A well-designed leaderboard may improve the game experience by giving players a clear and compelling way to compete. Here are some tips and best practices for designing a leaderboard for your mobile game:

  • Choose the Right Colors and Fonts:

It is important to choose colors and fonts carefully for your leaderboard design. Consider using a color palette that complements your game style while also giving enough contrast to make leaderboard information easy to read.

  • Learn Different Layout Options:

When designing your leaderboard layout, there are several options to consider. One significant decision is whether to use a global or regional leaderboard.

Global leaderboards can encourage players to compete from all over the world, creating a sense of community and shared experience. But they can also make it difficult for players to see where they stand against other players in their region or community. Regional leaderboards can affect communities and local rivalries.

Another critical decision is whether to include player avatars or not. Avatars can add personality and engagement to the leaderboard, but they can also take up valuable screen real estate and distract from the information being shown.

  • Check out examples of well-designed leaderboards:
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Two examples of well-designed leaderboards in popular mobile games are the regional leaderboard in “Clash of Clans,” which ranks players based on their performance within their unique clan; and the daily leaderboard in “Crossy Road,” which refreshes every 24 hours and encourages continued participation. These leaderboards provide gamers with simple and entertaining methods to measure their progress and compete with others.

Adding a Leaderboard to an Android

If you are interested in adding a leaderboard to your Android game, you can use Google Play Services and Google Play Console:

  • Set up your game on Google Play Console and activate the Google Play Games Services API.
  • Establish a leaderboard in Google Play Console and configure its settings, such as the scoring system and leaderboard name.
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  • Incorporate the Google Play Games Services API into your Android game using the supplied libraries and methods.
  • Implement a leaderboard into your game code, including methods for submitting scores and obtaining leaderboard data.
  • Test the leaderboard integration using Google Play Console’s testing tools.

Suggestions for testing and troubleshooting

Here are some tips for testing and troubleshooting your leaderboard integration:

  • Use Google Play Console’s testing tools to simulate leaderboard interactions and confirm scores are submitted and displayed.
  • Tested the leaderboard on various devices to guarantee compatibility and consistency.
  • Check the leaderboard for any issues or bugs, and be ready to update and fix them as required.

You can create a leaderboard for your game by following this step-by-step approach and using the appropriate APIs and tools. In the next part, we’ll look at how to add a leaderboard to your iOS game.

Added a Leaderboard to an IOS

If you want to add a leaderboard to your iOS game, you can use Apple’s Game Center Framework by following these step-by-step instructions. Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Activate Game Center within your iOS app’s capabilities within Xcode.
  2. Set up a leaderboard in iTunes Connect and configure its settings, like the scoring system and leaderboard name.
  3. Integrate the Game Center Framework into your iOS game using the ‌available libraries and methods.
  4. Implement a leaderboard into your game code, incorporating methods for submitting scores and retrieving leaderboard data.
  5. Test ‌leaderboard integration with Xcode testing tools.

Suggestions for Testing and Troubleshooting

Examining and fixing your leaderboard integration is critical for gamers’ flawless and enjoyable gaming experiences. Here are some tips to test and debug your leaderboard integration:

  • Use Xcode’s testing tools to simulate leaderboard interactions and confirm scores are submitted and displayed.
  • Tested the leaderboard on various devices to ensure compatibility and consistency.
  • Observe any issues or bugs, and be ready to update and fix them as required.

Developing a Leaderboard API

A leaderboard API lets you store and retrieve player scores and leaderboard data from a server. This gives players the opportunity to compete against one another and track their progress in real-time. You can access the API using RESTful APIs and JSON, making it straightforward to integrate into any mobile game.

Here’s how to build a leaderboard API using popular platforms like Firebase or AWS:

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Select a platform for your leaderboard API, such as Firebase or AWS.
  2. Set up your account and start a new project.
  3. Configure your project settings, including security and privacy options.
  4. Establish a new leaderboard collection and create the necessary fields for storing player scores and leaderboard data.
  5. Incorporate the leaderboard API into your game code, adding methods for submitting scores and fetching leaderboard data.
  6. Test the leaderboard API integration with the platform’s testing tools.

Examples of Leaderboards in Games

Let’s look at some successful leaderboard implementations to get a better idea of how different sorts of leaderboards might be used in different games:

  1. Adventure Capitalist: The leaderboard in Adventure Capitalist displays player standings based on total profits. With both global and local options, users can compete at many levels. The game pushes players to return to maintain their rankings on the daily, weekly, and monthly leaderboards.
  2. Asphalt 8: Airborne: A leaderboard is used in this racing game to rank players based on their speed and performance in several races. The real-time leaderboard allows players to track their position relative to their opponents and adjust their tactics. Asphalt 8: Airborne uses daily and weekly leaderboards to motivate users to improve their skills and compete with others.
  3. Hungry Shark Evolution: The leaderboard in Hungry Shark Evolution ranks players based on their scores and completed objectives. Players can compete at several levels, with both global and local options available. A mix of daily and weekly leaderboards motivates users to return and play to improve their ratings.

Introduction to the Ratic

Ratic is a plug-and-play LiveOps tool for mobile games, boosting revenue and engagement through leaderboards, tournaments, rewards, personalization, and A/B testing for independent studios and publishers.

Easy to integrate with any mobile game. It offers rewards, special offers features, and more. These features increase player engagement and retention. The dashboard provides real-time transaction and user statistics for game producers, allowing them to improve game design and marketing efforts.

For mobile game developers seeking to integrate a leaderboard into their games, Ratic is a great choice. Wide capabilities and simple integration make it an excellent choice for independent game developers and publishers looking to expand their reach


To sum it up, adding a leaderboard to your mobile game can work wonders. Not only does it boost player involvement and loyalty, but it can also lead to increased earnings. You may encourage players to keep playing and strive for higher scores by designing your leaderboard and selecting the appropriate measures to track.

In this easy-to-follow guide, we’ve covered leaderboard fundamentals, including their functions and advantages. We’ve also shared step-by-step guidance on incorporating a leaderboard into your mobile game for both Android and iOS devices. Furthermore, we looked at various leaderboard styles and their applications in different games, showcasing examples of successful leaderboard setups.

Finally, we presented Ratic, a powerful tool to help mobile game studios boost their KPIs and increase income. Using Ratic, you can integrate a leaderboard into your mobile game. You can also watch player data in real-time and refine your game design and marketing tactics.

Ali Dursun

Ali Dursun

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