How does the Google Play Store curate/position apps within the Hosted Games collection?

So I was thinking about this after looking at all the filters HG and CoG offer users in their Omnibus apps. We all know that positioning is key in marketing; we’d all rather be listed as #3 as opposed to #40.

That brings me to my question about how GPS ‘orders’ apps within the HG library when someone searches for “hosted games.” Here is the screenshot of today’s GPS display, at least as it come up on my PC (and my iPhone). I don’t know if Android users see the display differently, if apps are in a different order, etc.

Basically my question is, does anyone have a link or other verifiable information explaining how/why the apps are ordered as they are?

Yes, I see that the new releases are at the top, but past that, I don’t see any obvious logic to the ordering.I guess the answer could be sales, but that would be surprising when you look at the apps’ order. I do notice that many of the “for purchase” games are included in the first few rows; could this be a factor?

Anyway, if anyone could shed some light on this, I’d appreciate it! I’m very curious!


Only the Google Gods know. Like everything they do, it’s a secret algorithm.


views per recent week iirc. aka ‘oh look, people are interested in this but whether or not they downloaded it is a secret’

Well if that is actually the answer (and maybe it is!), that’s very frustrating to be told “there nothing you can do marketing-wise to increase your rank in this situation, because you have no idea what metrics are being considered in the first place.”

Again, I’d be curious to hear from GPS users if they see the games ordered in the exact same way as shown in my pic.

The only thing that keeps popping out to me is that the “buy” games, as opposed to the “IAP” games, are disproportionately found in the first three rows. Over 60% of the games in the first three rows are “buy” games, and it might be higher if/when the new games fall down some. Compare that to only 14% of the games on the bottom 13 rows being “buy” games, and most of those are lumped at the bottom.

Also consider that most of the “buy” games, both on the top and on the bottom, are mostly older games. They seem to either rise to the very top, or fall to the very bottom. There are hardly any “buy” games in the middle.

1 Like

It’s kinda annoying tbh . I want them arranged release date wise for easier finding ya know.


I looked at the Hosted games list on google play (android) and it’s not in the same order.


So it definitely does love the non-IAP ones the most.

1 Like

What do you mean by that? Are paid apps even more concentrated on the top of your display on Android?

@Morphine, @hustlertwo, could either of you post a screenshot so we can compare?

Sorry, I have an iPhone. I was referencing Morphine’s image, but it has since been edited out. The top seven or eight at least all showed a buy it now price from what I recall.

This is what I see when I look at hosted games on Google play (via mobile)


To me, it has almost seems like it’s vaguely sorted by current revenue rate or something, but certain placements still don’t add up. (I say this because mostly successful or new games are at the top.)

1 Like

There seems to be no rhyme or reason to it. In fact on android the order changes almost every time you open the store. Something I have noticed is that new releases sit near the top (missing wings for example), but beyond that there is no pattern.

Yeah I’m starting to kind of agree that google mixes them up randomly, or at least to some kind of order that I can’t work out. I used to think it went on release date, views and downloads as the perameters, but I’ve been seeing stuff that I doubt fits that for a while. For example I doubt NE by NW is outselling its very popular neighbour Samurai so it’s anyone’s guess what’s in google’s head. (I really wish google would let you specify searches by things like release date, alphabetical, downloads and ratings. They keep suggesting things I’ve already downloaded, and rarely suggest HG’s which is weird since that’s the most common thing for me to buy there, so google obviously has other things in mind rather than good user experience in this case.)


I agree there should be a sort feature. When I want to find a new HG or CoG title I need to search for one of their games or their name, then scroll through their entire library of games until I find it. It is a pain.

If anything google doesn’t order apps by most popular because that would leave new apps barely any chance to grow and gain downloads.

Which would make some sense from a revenue perspective, I guess? Nudge people toward the guaranteed income.

The Play Store algorithm used to recommend mobile games that bore some resemblance to the ones I play, but for the last year or two they’ve just been recommending whatever crap is making them money. Very disappointing, and not what I’d come to expect from a Google department.


Yeah I’ve been finding that as well. My recommended list is usually full of crappy freemium apps I’d never download, let alone spend money on, so it’s pretty clear how google has decided to structure the apps they are recommending (and it’s not the customer’s download/buying history.) I used to expect more from Google for some reason although I don’t know why :roll_eyes:

1 Like

We had a thread here about that a few months ago. All of a sudden everyone’s recommended games on Google took a hard turn into a brick wall of freemium crap. As I understand it never completely recovered.

Google is continually tinkering with their algorithms … for example, all the changes made to their various Youtube formulas have made and broken many people there.


Yeah, the play store turned from customized for your purchase history to fremium garbage about 4 months ago. I brought it up here when I first noticed it. I still find it absolutely infuriating. I used to get all kinds of gamebook recommendations, now nothing. How are they making more money this way?