Is it the graphics, the game play or pure addiction?

So what makes a good football app?  The various app stores are crowded with a wide range of apps about football. Simply type in the word football into your devices store and you will find a mammoth range of games and apps ranging from trivia games, simulation of matches, table football apps, prediction apps, scores apps and a wide range of others. So what makes an app stand out? What does it take to give the app a cutting edge? The answer is significantly tougher than it may seem at first…..

So what makes a good football app?  As with any app you have to aim for originality. There is very little point designing a basic app that provides any sort of News or Live Scores. The BBC and various other multinational companies have that covered. An app aiming at this market will have very little hope of success so cross that idea of the list. The same goes for management sims….without the resources of millions of pounds and masses of people you will never get close to competing with the high-end, branded management sims, so there is another one to cross off.

You’re first port of call in making a good football app needs to be originality. Without this you’re app is doomed to fail and destined for the delete buttons of many users. There are various games out there that try to recreate a football match engine, but again the likes of EA have this covered, so you need to think of something simply and quirky. Look at Soccer Stars for example. Hugely successful, very enjoyable and played by millions across the world. Why? Because it’s free, simple and above all else original. It took the very simple concept of mixing football, Subbuteo and air hockey into a free flowing, easy to play app. To make a football app as successful as this will take a lot of brain storming and some creative thinking!

There have been various other apps on the theme of penalty shootouts and free kick taking, many of which included online play but all of which failed to tick the originality button which is why very few failed to take off.

Look down any chart on any app store and you will notice only the major football application producers are there…EA, BBC, FIFA etc. But there is one section of the market where football apps can be easy to make, original and successful….Trivia.

Trivia apps are one of the most frequently downloaded on any platform. The success of Quizup, which has been in the Top 10 of World apps for quite some time now, is testament to the potential here. Sports Quest has made inroads on the IOS devices but in all no one has really got hold of the football end of the market. There are some superb apps out from Football Shirt Quizzes, Logo quizzes and straight Football Trivia. They all contain good questions, excellent game modes and large databases but where is the Ultimate Football Quiz App? That is what we need and if you are looking to make a good Football Quiz App then that is a good starting point.

A good football app, as well as originality, needs to cater for all players. Never mind focussing on niche markets, leagues and teams…go for the big guns, the big names, the memorable moments. The bigger the appeal the better. The more wide ranging you can make your football app, the more success you will have. Releasing an app about Newcastle United or Lazio for instance is never going to result in any pleasure other than for the fans.

Then finally, there is the whole adverts issue. So many football apps are ruined because the designers include that many adverts that the game becomes unplayable. There is nothing more frustrating than accidentally hitting an advert link, or having to wait an age whilst an unrelated app plays. Yes, I know there is the need to make money but the success of other titles shows, the money in football apps does not lie in the adverts, but in getting people hooked on your game and buying add ons.

You need to give your users of the football app something to come back for, to want to play again. The better football apps have constantly updating content, changing modes, additional packs to buy…..remember the successful apps are the ones that survive the first week of being downloaded!

To leave a final note…make sure it works. Download a random ten football apps from the stores and I guarantee crashes, missing content and a complete failure to work will be present in at last one them.

Good luck and you never know, your app could be the next football sensation.

For those interested you can check out our editor GK’s Top 5 Football Apps from a previous post. Alternatively the Guardian produced a great article on their top 10 best football apps this