Global Wireless Solutions’ (GWS) ‘State of Mobile Gaming in 2021’ analysis shows consumers of all ages and genders spending a lot of time, but not money, on popular game categories

Dulles, VA – December 14, 2021 – Consumers average more than 90 minutes of smartphone gaming and approximately 7 separate gaming sessions per day, according to Global Wireless Solutions’ (GWS) ‘State of Mobile Gaming in 2021’. But heavy gaming app usage across all ages and genders isn’t translating to a significant financial investment, as more than half (55%) of mobile game players have spent $1 or less on their favorite game in the past three months.

The ‘State of Mobile Gaming in 2021’ also reveals the competitive nature of mobile gamers: 20% of consumers have either thrown their phone in disgust or swore in a public setting in reaction to losing a game. Despite the extreme reaction of some gamers, however, survey data shows the primary motivation cited by gaming consumers (29%) for playing mobile games is to pass the time/relieve boredom.

GWS used its OneMeasure Consumer Panel (OMCP) to generate the ‘State of Mobile Gaming in 2021’ analysis. The OMCP is an opt-in panel that measures consumers’ mobile app usage and behavior, network performance and consumer perceptions. As such, the ‘State of Mobile Gaming in 2021’ is a unique study that blends together critical insights into gaming consumers’ smartphone behavior and consumer sentiment based on survey responses.

Other key findings from the study include:

Smartphone game spending remains light: The majority (55%) of the respondents spent less than $1 on mobile games in the last three months. Casual & Puzzle (69%) and Card & Casino (62%) game players were most averse to spending money on in-app purchases. Fighting, Survival and Role-Playing Games (RPG) players were the industry’s biggest spenders, as 10% of those gaming consumers spent between $20-24.99 in the past three months.

Some consumers prefer Words with…Strangers: Only 7% of consumers cited “staying connected with family and friends” as a motivation for playing mobile games, a sign that consumers may need a break from their immediate family following the pandemic. The most cited reason consumers play mobile games was to “pass the time/relieve boredom” (29%).

What Makes A Good Gaming Experience: When asked what smartphone factors matter most to facilitate the best gaming experience, 31% of gaming consumers indicated uninterrupted gameplay was most important, followed by battery life (20%) and screen size/quality (16%). Gaming consumers, for the most part, didn’t express significant concerns with the time it takes to load a game – suggesting that latency advancements have improved game load time. The only players that responded that game load time was the most important factor to them were gaming consumers who played Strategy & Action-Adventure games.

Who’s playing what? Demographic profiles varied considerably depending on the game genre. For example, more than 70% of gaming consumers that noted their favorite types of games were Casual & Puzzle were female. Meanwhile, 66% of gaming consumers that indicated Fighting, Survival and RPG games were their favorite types of games were male. On top of that, 75% of gaming consumers that identified Fighting, Survival and RPG as their favorite genre were under the age of 44.

“While it’s well documented that mobile gaming has exploded over the last two years, the real surprise was how frequently consumers are playing games in terms of the volume of time and sessions per day,” said Dr. Paul Carter, Founder and CEO of Global Wireless Solutions. “The data gleaned from combining OMCP survey results and actual consumer usage patterns highlights critical mobile gaming trends that occurred throughout 2021. These trends serve as valuable guidance on what consumers crave most while gaming and provide app developers, smartphone manufacturers and carriers insights they can leverage to deliver a superior mobile gaming experience.”

To learn more about Global Wireless Solutions’ OneMeasure Consumer Panel, visit


Methodology and Notes to editors:

The survey was conducted from October 26 to November 1, 2021 using GWS’s OneMeasure Consumer Panel (OMCP). OMCP is an opt-in consumer panel that measures mobile app usage and content, mobile network performance, and consumer perceptions. Panelists also have the option to participate in surveys fielded directly to their Android smartphone. The survey results are based on a total sample of 1,067 adult respondents (ages 18 and older). Respondent usage data was extracted from GWS’s OMCP. The OMCP collects consumer data anonymously from Android smartphones 24 hours a day, seven days a week, whenever and wherever consumers use their devices.

About Global Wireless Solutions, Inc.:

Celebrating its 25th anniversary, Global Wireless Solutions, headquartered in Dulles, Virginia, has set the industry standard for network benchmarking, analysis and testing. Its proprietary OneScore network ranking combines network testing data with real-world network usage scenarios to make the results relatable and easy to understand. Working with some of the world’s largest wireless network providers, GWS offers network engineering and consumer behavior analysis through a suite of products, services, and diagnostic apps. Whether it’s getting mobile user feedback (OneMeasure Consumer Panel) or using big data to perform complex network performance evaluations (MobiStat), GWS offers solutions that complement its drive, venue and in-building testing services. At last count, GWS has driven 14 million data collection miles for its customers. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter at @gwsolutionsinc.

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Global Wireless Solutions, Inc.