The State of Mobile Games Experience in the 5G era

February 2020

Opensignal is the independent global standard for analyzing consumer mobile experience. Our industry reports are the definitive guide to understanding the true experience consumers receive on wireless networks.

Real-world experience
Scientific analysis
Hardik Khatri
Sam Fenwick
Senior Analyst
Ian Fogg
VP Analysis

Key Findings

In Opensignal's unique new measure of multiplayer mobile Games Experience, Singapore took the gold medal with 85.5

It was followed by the Netherlands in second with a score of 85.4 on a 100 point scale, and Japan in bronze position scoring 85.3. Mobile players enjoy an Excellent Games Experience in only four countries. Besides Singapore, the Netherlands and Japan, the Czech Republic was the only other country where players enjoyed a premiere mobile gaming experience.

28 out of 100 countries we analyzed achieved an Excellent or Good mobile Games Experience.

But large esports markets, based on player earnings, underperformed. Of the countries we analyzed, the U.S. ranks top in esports earnings, but placed 35th in mobile Games Experience. Similarly, South Korea which is second in esports earnings placed 14th, far below the leading advanced markets.

Players in Asian countries have a more varied Games Experience than in other regions:

31% of Asian countries rested in the Poor category, 27% ended up in Fair, 15% achieved Good status and 8% landed in the Excellent category. Key Asian game markets are just mid-table in Games Experience: In Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam players’ Games Experience is Fair, while Indonesia slipped into the Poor category with a score of just 63.6.

Europe dominated the top twenty ranked countries.

Only Australia, South Korea, Singapore and Japan were included from other regions. However, large significant European markets slipped down the rankings with Germany at 21st, the UK in 29th and Italy as low as 39th.

Opensignal has tested a range of mobile game genres to quantify the impact of different network conditions

Our testing basket included sports, multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA), and battle royale genres. In our research, we found game designers try to mitigate poor network connectivity issues through a number of techniques which often means the game AI (Artificial Intelligence) will take over from a player to keep the game flowing, sometimes without the player even realizing that this is happening. But the precise sensitivity of the user experience to underlying mobile network conditions varies depending on the game genre.

For battle royale games, the Netherlands takes first place, knocking Singapore into the silver position

In this genre — popularized by Fortnite, Garena Free Fire, and PUBG — South Korea jumps four places to 10th compared with its overall mobile Games Experience. This highlights that different game genres respond differently to tricky mobile network conditions. Players in a total of seven countries enjoyed an Excellent battle royale mobile Games Experience.

Games Experience uses a scale of 0 to 100: 85<100 Excellent - The vast majority of users deemed this network experience acceptable. 75<85 Good - Most users deemed the experience acceptable. 65<75 Fair - Users found the experience ‘average’. 40<65 Poor - Most users found this level of experience unacceptable. 0<40 Very Poor - Nearly all users found this level of experience unacceptable.

Read the full report

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