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Analytics Metrics, Segments, and Terminology

This glossary defines the metrics and terminology used by the Unity Analytics System and documentation.


The Unity Analytics System collects or computes the following metrics and displays them in reports on the Analytics Dashboard Overview and Data Explorer pages:

Active Player Metrics:

(Daily Active Users)
The number of different players who started a session on a given day. The Unity Analytics system anchors its days on Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), so the DAU figure counts players between 0:00 UTC and 24:00 UTC, no matter which timezone they are located in. A new session is counted when a player launches your game or brings a suspended game to the foreground after 30 minutes of inactivity.

DAU includes both new and returning players.
DAU per MAU (DAU/MAU) The percentage of monthly active users who play on a given day. Also known as Sticky Factor in the analytics and game industries, this metric is often used as one estimate of player engagement.

Note that the metric includes both returning and new players. An influx of new players could mask the exit (churn) of existing players. In other words, a steady DAU per MAU metric doesn’t mean high player engagement if players are leaving your game just as fast as they join. Always examine retention metrics as well.
(Monthly Active Users)
The number of players who started a session within the last 30 days.
New Users Users who played your game for the first time.

Unity records a persistent, randomized ID value to the PlayerPrefs and uses the id to identify returning players. Note that if the PlayerPrefs file is cleared or deleted, then the player is counted as a new user the next time they launch the game. The PlayerPrefs file is deleted when a player uninstalls and then reinstalls your game (but not when updating).
Number of Users The cumulative number of unique players over the last 90 days. Users who have not played in more than 90 days are removed from the count.
Percentage of Population Your player population as a percentage. Typically only useful when combined with a segment. Calculated as the percentage of the Number of Users metric who are members of a specified segment.

Session Metrics:

Sessions per User The average number of sessions per person playing on a given day.
Also known as Average Number of Sessions per DAU.
Total Daily Playing Time The cumulative playing time of all people playing on a given day.
Total Daily Playing Time per Active User The average playing time of people playing on a given day.
Total Sessions Today The total number of sessions by all people playing on a given day. Also known as Total Sessions.

Retention Metrics:

Unity Analytics calculates retention using the method known as N-Day Retention. Mathematically, N-Day Retention is calculated as the number of people playing exactly N days after their first session, divided by the number of new users exactly N days ago.

The standard retention metrics calculated by Unity Analytics include:

Day 1 Retention The percentage of players who returned to your game one day after playing the first time.
Day 7 Retention The percentage of players who returned to your game seven days after playing the first time.
Day 30 Retention The percentage of players who returned to your game thirty days after playing the first time.

Monetization Metrics:

(Average Revenue Per Daily Active User)
The average revenue per user who played on a given day.

Revenue includes money earned from Unity Ads, verified Unity IAP transactions, and verified IAP transactions reported using the Analytics.Transaction() function.
(Average revenue Per Paying User)
Average verified IAP revenue per user who completed a verified IAP transaction.
Number of Unverified Transactions The total number of IAP transactions, whether or not they have been verified.

IAP transactions include Unity IAP purchases and purchases reported using the Analytics.Transaction() function.
Number of Verified Transactions IAP transactions that have been verified through the appropriate app store. IAP verification is currently supported by the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.
Total IAP Revenue The total IAP revenue, including revenue from both verified and unverified transactions.

IAP transactions include Unity IAP purchases and purchases reported using the Analytics.Transaction() function.
Total Verified Revenue Revenue from Unity Ads and verified IAP transactions. IAP verification is currently supported by the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.
Unverified IAP Revenue IAP revenue from sources that do not support verification and from transactions that failed verification. Transactions can fail verification because they are fraudulent or because of missing or malformed information. For example, if you haven’t configured your Google API key on the Analytics Dashboard, attempts to verify Google Play Store transactions will fail. See Receipt Verification.
Verified IAP Revenue Revenue from verified IAP transactions. IAP verification is currently supported by the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.
Verified Paying Users Players who made verified IAP purchases. IAP verification is currently supported by the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.

Ad Metrics:

(Average Revenue Per User)
Average Unity Ads revenue per player.
Ad Revenue Total Unity Ads revenue.
Ad Starts The number of video ads that started playing.
Ads per DAU The number of ads started per active player on a given day.
eCPM (estimated Cost Per Mille) The estimated revenue for 1000 ad impressions for your app. See What is ECPM.

For more information about Ads, see the Unity Ads Knowledge Base.


Segments are subsets of your player base, split apart by key differentiators, such as country, platform, experience level, or spending patterns. Segments are used with the Data Explorer, Funnel Analyzer, and Remote Settings features.

The Analytics Service provides a set of standard segments and provides the ability to create your own segments. You can view the rules defining the standard segments and create your own custom segments on the Analytics Dashboard [Segment Builder]() page.

Life Cycle Segments:

The life cycle segments group players by the number of days since they first played your game. The service defines the following life cycle groups:

1–3 Days
4–7 Days
8–14 Days
15–30 days
31+ Days

Note: The life cycle segments only include players in the first 90 days of playing your game. In other words, the 31+ Days segment includes players who first played more than 30 days ago and less than 90 days.

Geographical Segments:

The geographical segments group players by country. Players are geolocated using techniques such as IP analysis. The standard geographical segments include the following countries:

South Korea
United Kingdom
United States
Rest of World

The Rest of World segment includes all players from countries not listed individually. Note that you can define your own custom segments to group players by other, individual countries. (However, those players are also included in the Rest of World standard segment.)

Monetization Segments:

The monetization segments group players by how much money they spend on in-app purchases in your game:

Whales Players who have spent at least $20 in their lifetime.
Dolphins Players who have spent between $5 and $19.99.
Minnows Players who have spent less than $5 in their lifetime.
Never Monetized Players who have never spent real currency.
All Spenders Players who had made any verified or unverified in-app purchases in their lifetime.

The Whales, Dolphins, Minnows metaphor is a common analytics analogy based on the observation that a small number of users have a disproportionately large impact on the monetary “ecosystem” of a typical F2P game.

Demographic Segments:

The demographic segments group players by the demographic data reported by your game:

Males Players reported as male.
Females Players reported as female.
Unknown Gender Players to whom you have assigned Gender.Unknown.
(Players whose gender has not been reported at all are not included in this segment.)
Age 14 and Under By default, Unity does not breakout analytics data for players under the age of 14. See COPPA Compliance.

Unity does not track demographics data automatically. To use demographic segmentation, you must report the data using the Analytics.SetUserGender() and Analytics.SetUserBirthYear() functions.

See User Attributes for more information.

Platform Segments

The platform segments group players by the platform on which they are playing. The Analytics system provides two standard platform segments:

  • Android Users

  • iOS Users

Custom Segments

Create custom segments to gain more fine-grained segmentation than that provided by the standard segments, as well as to create segments that combine rules from different segment categories.

Unlike standard segments, once a player becomes a member of a custom segment, the player is always a member.

Standard and Custom Events Segment by whether a specific custom event has been dispatched while a user is playing. You can also specify restrictions on parameter values.
Sessions Segment by when and how long a user played.
IAP revenue Segment by IAP activity.
Demographics Segment by reported demographics.
Geography Segment by country.
Application version Segment by application version or bundleid.

New segments apply to new data only. Existing data is not re-processed using the new segmentation rules.

See Segment Builder for more information about defining your own segments.


The following terms are used by the Unity Analytics Service:

Analytics Events Events dispatched to the Analytics Service by instances of your applications. Analytics events contain the data that is processed and aggregated to provide insights into player behavior.
Cohort A group of players with at least one similar characteristic. You can define and analyze different cohorts of your userbase with segments.
Core Events Core events are the basic events dispatched by the Unity Analytics code in your game. These events, and the analytics based on them, become available simply by turning on Unity Analytics for a project. Core events include: app running, app start, and device info.
Standard Events Standard events are application-specific events that you dispatch in response to important player actions or milestones. Standard events have standardized names and defined parameter lists.
Custom Events Custom events are freeform events that you can dispatch when an appropriate standard event is not available. Custom events can have any name and up to ten parameters. Use standard events in preference to custom events where possible.
Funnel A funnel is a linear sequence of standard or custom events that you expect a player to complete in order. Analysis of funnels can reveal those steps in the sequence where players encounter friction or problems. For example, a funnel based on level completion events would reveal whether larger than expected numbers of players stopped playing at specific levels. See Funnels.
Heatmaps Heatmaps are a spatial visualization of analytics data. The heatmap visualization displays markers for special analytics events overlaid on your scene in the Unity Editor.Heatmaps requires access to Raw Data Export, a pro-subscription feature. See Heatmaps.
Remote Settings Remote settings are game variables that you can set remotely on your Analytics Dashboard. See Remote Settings.
Aggregated Data As events are received by the Analytics Service, the data is processed and aggregated. The aggregated data is the basis of most of the Dashboard reports and visualizations.
Raw Data The individual Analytics events sent by your application. Developers with Unity Pro subscriptions can download this data using Raw Data Export for analysis in external tools or other purposes.
Segment Segments are subsets of your player base, split apart by key differentiators. Viewing metrics and events by segment can reveal differences in-game behavior between different groups.
Session A single play or usage period. A new session is counted when a player launches your game or brings a suspended game to the foreground after 30 minutes of inactivity.

The following general terms are helpful to understand:

Active Users Players who recently played your game. Unity Analytics defines an active player as someone who has played within the last 90 calendar days.
Churn The rate at which users are leaving your game during a specified period. Your user churn is important in estimating the lifetime value of your users. Mathematically, churn is the complement of retention (in other words: Churn + Retention = 100%).
(Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act)
COPPA is a US law that applies to apps that collect personal information and are targeted to children under the age of 14.

See COPPA FAQ and COPPA Compliance
Conversion Rate The percentage of users who complete an action or sequence of actions. For example, the conversion rate from one step of a funnel to the next is the percentage of players who make it through both steps, while the conversion rate of the funnel as a whole is the percentage of players starting the funnel who complete the entire sequence. The term conversion is also used in other contexts, such as starting and then completing a purchase, or watching an ad and then clicking on a link in the ad.
(Click Through Rate)
The percentage of players who click a link in an ad displayed in your game.
Engagement Engagement is a broad measure of how players enjoy, or are otherwise invested, in your game. Impossible to measure directly, the following metrics are frequently used to estimate engagement: Retention, DAU, MAU, DAU/MAU, number of sessions, and session length.
F2P (Free to Play) A business model that offers users free access to a fully functional game and a significant portion of app content. Monetization strategies for these titles generally include microtransactions that allow users to access premium features and virtual goods.
Fill Rate The rate at which ads are available when you request one.
IAP (In-app Purchase) Revenue from “micro-transactions” within a game.
Impressions The number of times ads are seen in your game. An impression is counted even if the ad is not completed.
LTV (Lifetime Value) The estimated value of an average player over their lifetime with your application or game.
Sticky Factor An estimate of how compelling a game is to its players. A high “sticky factor” means that players stick with an app over time. Unity Analytics calculates Sticky Factor as the percentage of monthly active users who played on a particular day (DAU/MAU), which is a commonly used definition. Note that this definition can hide the exit of existing users with an influx of new users, so it should not be relied on as an indicator of the “health” of your game in isolation from your retention metrics.

  • 2017–08–29 Page published with editorial review
  • New feature in Unity 2017.1

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