Mobile Gaming Statistics 2023

Mobile Gaming Statistics 2023

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Discover heaps of mobile gaming statistics, such as how many people play mobile games worldwide, which countries play the most mobile games, and what the most popular mobile games are.

  • This article will tell you how many people play mobile games on a global level.

  • You can find out how many people play mobile games in several countries across the world.

  • Want to know which mobile games are the most popular in 2023? Find out in this article!

In this data study, you will find out a wide range of mobile gaming statistics. Mobile gaming is growing more and more popular, with many smartphone manufacturers now developing handsets that are specifically for people who want to get busy gaming on their mobile. With so many mobile games, and so many people playing them, you might wonder which games are the most popular, and who exactly is playing them. Find all that out and more, here!

SellCell Key Findings:

  • In 2023, there is a total of 1.67 billion people playing mobile games. This isn’t the highest it has been, though. In 2021, there were 1.8 billion mobile gamers.
  • Mobile gaming is most popular with Gen-Z and Gen-Alpha age groups, which is people aged between 10 and 22 years old.
  • On both Android and iOS, the Subway Surfers mobile game is by far the most popular in terms of daily active users.

What Is Mobile Gaming?

Mobile gaming refers to the playing of video games on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. These games are specifically designed and optimized for the smaller screens and touch interfaces of mobile devices, offering a portable and accessible gaming experience. Mobile gaming encompasses a wide range of genres, from casual and hyper-casual games that are easy to pick up and play for short durations, to more complex and immersive games that rival the graphics and gameplay of traditional console or PC games. The availability of diverse gaming apps on app stores has led to the widespread adoption of mobile gaming as a popular form of entertainment, reaching a broad audience of players across different age groups and demographics.

One notable aspect of mobile gaming is its adaptability to various business models, including free-to-play with in-app purchases, subscription services, and premium paid games. This flexibility in monetization has contributed to the industry’s growth, allowing developers to reach a global audience while offering players a range of choices in how they access and enjoy games on their mobile devices. Overall, mobile gaming represents a dynamic and rapidly evolving sector within the broader video game industry, continually pushing technological boundaries and reshaping how people engage with games in the digital age.

Mobile Gaming Data: Who Plays Mobile Games Most?

Now that we know what mobile gaming is, we can start to look at the statistics around the cultural phenomenon. Mobile gaming is growing increasingly popular, and people are playing a wide variety of games on their smartphones.

Mobile Gaming Statistics: How Many People Play Mobile Games Worldwide?

mobile gaming statistics graph showing number of mobile gamers worldwide, year on year
Source 1
Number of Mobile Gamers Worldwide, Year-on-Year
YearNumber of Mobile Gamers (Billions)
  • In 2018, the number of mobile gamers was sitting at 1.27 billion. This jumped to 1.39 billion in 2019, and 1.66 billion in 2020.
  • In 2021, during COVID, the number of mobile gamers peaked at its highest figure, with 1.80 billion mobile gamers. This is undoubtedly due to COVID restrictions such as lockdown, with many people trying new ways to kill the time. If anything is a perfect distraction from boredom, it is mobile gaming.
  • In 2022, the figure dropped back down to 1.64 billion, and in 2023, rose again slightly to 1.67 billion. Again, this is down to COVID; people started going back to work, so less people needed the mobile gaming distraction.
  • The number of mobile gamers is estimated to reach 1.9 billion by 2028, growing steadily on the 2023 figure.

Mobile Gaming Statistics: How Many People Play Mobile Games in the US?

mobile gaming statistics graph showing number of mobile gamers in the US, year on year
Source 2
Mobile Games in the United States – Number of Users (2017-2028)
in million users
*2024 – 2028 are forecasted numbers
  • The US trends are very similar to the global trends, unsurprisingly. 2017 saw the lowest number of mobile gamers, with 132.2 million people engaging with the pastime.
  • A slight increase to 133.9 million in 2018, then 136.6 million in 2019, gave way to a spike in 2020, when 150.5 million people were playing mobile games.
  • 2021 shows the highest figure yet for the US; 155.9 million. With COVID ending, this number dropped back down to 150.2 million in 2022.
  • However, 2023 saw another sharp increase in the number of US mobile gamers, when it reached 157.1 million.
  • By 2028, it is experts predict that there will be a massive 187.9 million mobile gamers in the USA.

Mobile Gaming Statistics: How Many People Play Mobile Games in the UK?

mobile gaming statistics graph showing number of mobile gamers in the UK, year on year
Source 3
Mobile Games in the United Kingdom – Number of Users (2017-2028)
in million users
*2024 – 2028 are forecasted numbers
  • Likewise, the UK sees similar peaks and troughs between 2017 and 2023. In 2017, there were 19.6 million mobile gamers. By 2020, with COVID gearing up to keep everyone indoors, this figure hits 24.5 million.
  • In 2021, 25.8 million people had taken up mobile gaming. However, in 2022, this figure dropped below 2020’s figure, plummeting to 23.2 million.
  • By 2028, we expect that the UK will house 31.1 million mobile gamers, given the rise to 26.0 million mobile gamers in 2023.

Mobile Gaming Statistics: How Many People Play Mobile Games in Canada?

mobile gaming statistics graph showing number of mobile gamers in Canada, year on year
Source 4
Mobile Games in Canada – Number of Users (2017-2028)
in million users
*2024 – 2028 are forecasted numbers
  • Despite Canada’s size, mobile gaming numbers are relatively low. In 2017, there were only 9.9 million mobile gamers in Canada; even lower than the significantly smaller UK!
  • By 2020, this figure had increased to 11.3 million, and then 11.7 million in 2021.
  • 2022 saw the (now) predictable drop in mobile gamer numbers; there were 11.3 million in this year. 2023 saw a slight increase to 11.8 million, the highest count for Canada to date.
  • This figure is assumed to grow to 14.1 million by the time we hit 2028.

Mobile Gaming Statistics: How Many People Play Mobile Games in Mexico?

mobile gaming statistics graph showing number of mobile gamers in Mexico year on year
Source 5
Mobile Games in Mexico – Number of Users (2017-2028)
in million users
*2024 – 2028 are forecasted numbers
  • Mobile gaming is a big deal in Mexico. In 2017 the country contained a massive 30.5 million mobile gamers, rising to 32.2 million in 2018, and 34.5 million in 2019.
  • 2020 saw Mexico’s mobile gamer figure rising to 42.5 million, and then again it reaches a peak of 45.8 million in 2021.
  • A slight drop in numbers to 45.6 million in 2022 gave way to a leap in umbers in 2023, surpassing the high of 2021 with a figure of 48.7 million.
  • This is expected to rise to 60.5 million Mexican mobile gamers by 2028.

Mobile Gaming Statistics: How Many People Play Mobile Games in Spain?

mobile gaming statistics graph showing number of mobile gamers in Spain, year on year
Source 6
Mobile Games in Spain – Number of Users (2017-2028)
in million users
*2024 – 2028 are forecasted numbers
  • Spain shares a similar mobile gamer count to Canada. In 2017 there were 8.9 million Spanish mobile gamers.
  • This number increased very slightly to 9.0 million in 2018, and 9.2 million in 2019.
  • This spiked to 10.6 million in 2020, when COVID was spreading rapidly around the globe. By 2021, there were 11.0 million mobile gamers.
  • Despite a slight decrease to 9.8 million in 2022, 2023’s figures saw a recovery in the numbers back to 11.0 million in Spain.
  • By 2028, it is anticipated that Spain will be home to 13.3 million mobile gamers.

Mobile Gaming Statistics: How Many People Play Mobile Games in France?

mobile gaming statistics graph showing number of mobile gamers in France, year on year
Source 7
Mobile Games in France – Number of Users (2017-2028)
in million users
*2024 – 2028 are forecasted numbers
  • Mobile gaming is more popular in France than it is in Spain. In 2017 there were 15.6 million French mobile gamers. This rose slightly to 15.8 million in 2018, and by 2019 it was at 16.2 million.
  • In 2020, the number of French mobile gamers jumped to 18.3 million, and then in 2021 reached its highest to date—19.0 million.
  • 2022 saw a drop as everyone returned to post-COVID work, falling to 16.9 million gamers. However, 2023 saw a recovery to 18.9 million.
  • France is expected to have 22.7 million mobile gamers come 2028.

Mobile Gaming Statistics: How Many People Play Mobile Games in Italy?

mobile gaming statistics graph showing number of mobile gamers in Italy, year on year
Source 9
Mobile Games in Italy – Number of Users (2017-2028)
in million users
*2024 – 2028 are forecasted numbers
  • In 2017, the number of mobile gamers in Italy had reached 14.2 million. This rose to 14.6 million in 2018, and then to 15.1 million in 2019.
  • The COVID outbreak saw more Italians reaching for mobile games more than ever before—17.4 million Italian people played mobile games in 2020.
  • This figure hit an even higher 18.2 million in 2021, before dropping down to 16.4 million in 2022. In 2023, we see Italy’s figure jump back up to 18.4 million.
  • By 2022, we expect the number of Italian mobile gamers to increase to 21.9 million.

Mobile Gaming Statistics: How Many People Play Mobile Games in Germany?

mobile gaming statistics graph showing number of mobile gamers in Germany, year on year
Source 10
Mobile Games in Germany – Number of Users (2017-2028)
in million users
*2024 – 2028 are forecasted numbers
  • In 2017, Germany had a not insubstantial 14.9 million mobile gamers, rising through 15.1 to 15.3 million in 2018 and 2019 respectively.
  • In 2020, this figure rose to 16.9 million mobile gamers, and then again in 2021 it hit its highest to this day—17.4 million.
  • This dropped to 15.4 million in 2022, only to rise back up to 17.0 million mobile gamers in Germany, in 2023.
  • Experts predict the number of German mobile gamers will hit 19.9 million by 2028.

Mobile Gaming Statistics: How Many People Play Mobile Games in China?

Source 11
Mobile Games in China – Number of Users (2017-2028)
in billion users
*2024 – 2028 are forecasted numbers
  • Rounding off the list of countries is China; which has the most mobile gamers of any country we have looked at.
  • In 2017 and 2018 there were 0.4 billion mobile gamers in China. This rose to 0.5 billion in 2019 and was the same again in 2020.
  • In 2021, this rose to 0.6 billion, but dropped again in 2022 to 0.5 billion. In 2023, we see China’s mobile gaming population rise to 0.6 billion again.
  • Based on current trends, there will be 0.7 billion mobile gamers in China in 2028.

What Age Groups Have the Most Mobile Gamers?

Now we can see how the data stacks up globally, what about across age groups?

Source 12
Share of active mobile gamers worldwide in 2020, by age group
Share of gamers
Gen Alpha + Z (10-22)79%
Millennials (23-38)72%
Gen X (39-50)68%
  • As one might expect, the most popular age group for playing mobile games is Gen-Z and Gen-Alpha. 79% of people in this age group play or have played mobile games.
  • 72% of Millennials (ages 23-38) will reach for their smartphone for a quick mobile gaming session.
  • And Gen-X isn’t far behind, with 68% of people aged 39-50 playing mobile games on their smartphone.

Which Mobile Games Are the Most Popular?

We have established that mobile gaming is a very popular hobby all over the world. But what mobile games are people playing most?

Leading iOS Games by Daily Active User Count

Source 18
Worldwide Leading iOS Gaming Apps by Daily Active Users (June 2022)
Game TitleDaily Active Users (Millions)
Subway Surfers2.11
8 Ball Pool – 3D Online Pool1.33
Candy Crush Saga0.94
Clash Royale0.76
Clash of Clans0.71
PUBG Mobile0.58
Hay Day0.55
  • As the chart above shows, Subway Surfers was the most popular game by June 2022. There were 2.11 million daily active users of the mobile game.
  • Roblox is the second most popular iOS game. For more information on Roblox, check SellCell’s Roblox statistics article.
  • Candy Crush Saga is still a very popular game despite its publisher releasing it in 2012. It still gleans a massive 0.94 million active users a day.

Leading iOS Games by Downloads

iOS mobile game download statistics vary when compared to DAU count.

Source 19
Worldwide Leading iOS Gaming Apps by Download (September 2022)
Game TitleNumber of Downloads (Millions)
Survivor!.io 4.64
Subway Surfer – Official Chinese Version3.49
Stumble Guys2.89
Sheep is a Sheep2.17
Subway Surfers1.67
Shell Commando1.56
Sheep ba Sheep1.47
  • The most popular iOS game in the world, by downloads, is X-Hero; a survival, card-based game. It has 7.18 million downloads as of September 2022. It is a Chinese game, so it makes sense that it would see such high download figures given the number of mobile gamers in China.
  • Another survivor game—Survivor!.io—takes second place at 4.64 million downloads.
  • Subway Surfer appears twice. Once as the official Chinese version, with 3.49 million downloads, and once as its western version, with a significantly lower 1.67 million downloads.

Leading Android Games by Daily Active User Count

Source 20
Leading gaming apps in the Google Play Store worldwide in June 2022, by daily active users
Daily active users in millions
Subway Surfers30.57
Candy Crush Saga19.96
Clash of Clans16.6
My Talking Tom13.61
Hill Climb Racing13.08
Temple Run 212.82
Minion Rush: Running Game12.19
8 Ball Pool11.56
  • Surprise surprise… Subway Surfers is also the most popular game on Android, by daily active user count. It knocks iOS out of the park, with 30.57 million daily active users.
  • Candy Crush Saga is significantly more popular on Android as well; it has 19.96 million DAUs and is the second most popular game on the Play Store as of June 2022.
  • Roblox is ninth on the list. However, it is still getting more DAUs than the iOS version, with 9.26 million.

Leading Android Games by Download

Source 21
Worldwide Leading Android Gaming Apps by Downloads (June 2023)
Game TitleNumber of Downloads (Millions)
Subway Surfers12.82
Indian Bikes Driving 3D8.16
Free Fire MAX7.67
Battlegrounds Mobile India7.42
Traffic Rider6.57
Block Blast Adventure Master6.47
Free Fire: 6th Anniversary6.38
Ramp Car Games: GT Car Stunts5.85
Race Master 3D – Car Racing5.42
  • Again, no shocks here. Subway Surfers is the most popular Android game, with 12.82 million downloads.
  • Roblox steals second place, with 10.68 million downloads.
  • Candy Crush Saga doesn’t appear on this list, suggesting that despite its daily active user count, less people are downloading the game 11 years after its release. This, however, is testament to the game’s addicting nature.

How Much Money Does Mobile Gaming Generate?

Mobile gaming is big business. Given that a lot of games require payment to download, and then involve in-app purchases and microtransactions, the industry generates billions of dollars.

Mobile Gaming Revenue, Worldwide (November 2023 Statistics)

Source 22
Mobile Gaming Revenue in USD (Billions) Per Year (2017-2023)
YearRevenue in USD (Billions)
  • Trends for revenue follow the same pattern as they do for numbers of mobile gamers, which isn’t alarming.
  • In 2017, the mobile gaming industry generated $54.98 billion in revenue. By 2019 this figure reached $74.35 billion.
  • 2020 saw a sharp uptick in revenue, to $92.45 billion, due to the onset of the COVID pandemic. People continued to spend, and in fact spent even more in 2021, with revenue hitting $99.19 billion.
  • 2022 saw an expected drop to $82.40 billion, and up to November 2023, we see that figure rising again to $89.25 billion.

Mobile Gaming Per User, Worldwide (November 2023 Statistics)

Source 23
Mobile Gaming Revenue Per User (USD) (2017-2023)
YearRevenue Per User (USD)
  • As the popularity of mobile gaming grows, so does the average spend of mobile gamers.
  • In 2017, mobile gamers were spending, on average, $46.70 on mobile gaming per year. This hit $49.70 in 2018, and then $53.67 in 2019.
  • 2020 saw the most spend per user, with each of them spending an average of $55.76. This dropped a touch to $55.12 in 2021, and down further to $50.38 in 2022.
  • 2023 saw a recovery, though, with the average mobile gamer spending $53.52 on their hobby.

Mobile Gaming: It’s Here to Stay

As we can see, mobile gaming is incredibly popular. Sure, the surge in players during the COVID outbreak saw an increase in numbers on a dramatic scale. Even despite people heading back to work post-COVID, and a dip in popularity in 2022, the mobile gaming industry is still on an upward trajectory, and doesn’t appear to be slowing down any time soon.