aso trends in real-time strategy games

ASO Breakdown: ASO Trends in Real-time Strategy games

For this ASO breakdown we analyzed real-time strategy games and looked at what visual trends we can find. In total, we analyzed 14 games and out of which three top downloaded ones are broken down in more detail. Let’s jump right in!

ASO Trend analysis

This article analyzes the RTS game genre, focusing on ASO trends. We explore visual strategies used by RTS games in the US, providing insights into common elements and patterns. These findings help identify trends, improving the ability to create effective user engagement strategies. The analysis consists of 14 RTS games on the US market on the Apple App Store.

Data powered by AppMagic

Icon trends

Analyzing the icons we could detect three distinct elements that were noticeable: single-character icons, split icons, and icons depicting distinct scenarios. The main commonality that was found included a character of the game as the main focus. These characters are doing a range of different things, such as screaming, charging, or posing. We found that 71.43% of icons are showcasing a character up-close.

Single characters: Among the 14 games, 8 feature a single character in their icons. Within this subset, 4 of them convey an aggressive attitude, hinting at an action-oriented theme.

Epic split: In the set of 14 games, 3 of them display icons featuring 2 characters or sides, symbolizing a division that suggests a sense of challenge and competition between 2 distinct teams or factions.

Other elements: 3 icons depict distinct scenarios: 1 featuring a robot engaged in gunfire on a battlefield, and the other showcasing a dragon attacking a tower. Neither icon includes human-like characters, highlighting the key role of the battlefield in these icons.

Screenshot trends

The majority of games prefer a vertical (portrait) screenshot orientation. As a result, the analyzed games are nearly evenly split between portrait and landscape orientations. The orientation is largely affected by the orientation in which the game itself is played.

In RTS screenshots often portray armed characters or scenes of battles, effectively capturing the thrilling moments of victory and accomplishment within the game. These images show the tactical maneuvers, and confrontations that players experience, creating a sense of excitement and satisfaction as players achieve success on the battlefield.

Common words used in taglines include unleash, epic, battle, team-up/play, defense/protect and build. These words convey themes of grandeur, challenges, collaboration, and combat: capturing the core elements and enticing aspects of the games they represent.

Top 3 downloaded RTS games in January 2024

Clash of Clans

Supercell‘s mega hit Clash of Clans is a mobile strategy game where you build, defend, and attack villages to compete against other players worldwide.

Visual analysis

Overall the visuals rely solely on the gameplay. The exception is a very iconic character at the forefront of the app icon. As the analysis above noted, it is a distinct trend in the RTS genre to feature a fierce-looking character in the icon.

Screenshots and app-preview video:

The screenshots depict the main adventures Clash of Clans will take you on. They mainly showcase the gameplay itself, but added on are simple yet effective taglines to highlight the different features. The taglines also tap into appealing to different player motivations, most notably action and social. In some of the screenshots we are even met with some characters in the front.


The description effectively relays the different features of the game. It emphasizes the game’s strategic depth, multiplayer competition, expansive world, and customization options appealing to different player motivations.

Clash Royale

Clash Royale, another hit from Supercell, is a fast-paced, real-time strategy game where players deploy troops, spells, and defenses in competitive battles to destroy their opponent’s towers and win trophies.

Visual analysis

The overall look differs from Clash of Clans distinctively, however, the characters convey the connection between the two games. The icon also features a character but positioned in a split image possibly depicting challenge or battle.

Screenshots and app-preview video

Compared to Clash of Clans, Clash Royale screenshots have a slightly more artistic approach to them. The screenshots rely less on gameplay only but are heavy in conveying the different features of the game in a strongly visual way. The color scheme and visual elements give off a fantasy vibe. It is also noteworthy that each screenshot features a different character in different action-packed poses. The taglines are more prominent and descriptive.


The description uses keywords that highlight key features, and appeal to potential players by emphasizing the strategic gameplay, multiplayer competition, ties to Clash of Clans, and social engagement opportunities.

Tower War – Tactical Conquest

Tower War by SayGames is a tower defense game where players strategically deploy towers and units to fend off enemies and conquer enemy bases in battles.

Visual analysis

Visually it looks like a unique blend of cute and colorful visuals with deep strategic gameplay. Many of the SayGames games feature simplistic stick-like characters and Tower War is no exception to this. The division in the icon follows one of the distinct trends of having a split image.

Screenshots and app-preview video

Tower War features a set of screenshots mainly showcasing gameplay. Compared to many of the other games in the category, the screenshots look very sleek and simplistic. The taglines emphasize not only the different features but also action. Some characters can be seen but not very prominently.


The description uses engaging and enthusiastic language to draw in users, emphasizing phrases like “BEAUTIFULLY SYMMETRICAL WARFARE” and “COLORFUL WARFARE,” to help create excitement and interest in the game. It also highlights the accessibility of the game for casual players while still offering a challenge for more serious gamers.

Interested in more ASO breakdowns? Check out the previous one here.


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