How to succeed in Game Dev Tycoon?

After a long time I turned on Game Dev Tycoon, wrote a few articles from it and would like to write some tips on how to succeed in this game – or at least what works for me. In Game Dev Tycoon, we find ourselves as game developers and have the opportunity to relive 35 years of game development that we can intervene in!

I played the game primarily on my computer, but lately the game has been very popular on mobile. I believe my tips will be applicable to you on both platforms, so let’s not delay and take a closer look.

Buy the game officially

The basic tip is to get the official version of the game. I’m not sure how much of a problem this is now, but previously Game Dev Tycoon was unfortunately pirated a lot, so the developers have put an insurance policy in this game that makes it so there are “pirates” in the game that can cut into your profits and even cause your studio to go out of business.

Buy the game in case you want to play this “hardcode” mode so you can switch it in the settings before the game starts. At the same time you will have access to the official modifications and overall support the developers of this awesome game.

Create bug-free games

As you work on the game, you will gradually see bubbles popping up in the design (yellow) and technology (light blue), which are mainly related to the game. Then there are bugs (orange) that gradually appear as the game develops.

There is always a “finishing” phase when the game development is finished and there the bugs are eliminated. You always want to have zero bugs at the end, so you don’t want to finish the game with bugs because then you might have a problem with the rating – so always debug bugs at the end of development.

According to the rating algorithm, theoretically it doesn’t matter if there are up to 7 bugs in the game, but you still want to fix all the bugs at launch, because as soon as you publish the game some more bugs may appear, but you have no way to fix them, so you want to make sure you’ve done the maximum…

Make games for the right platforms

Another thing that can save you money in the game is if you make games on the right platforms. For example, you can make a game on a platform that has a low marketshare and not as many people will buy the game, or by constantly moving from platform to platform, you will have to pay licensing fees for each platform.

Pick a few platforms with the biggest marketshare and always release a few games for them. Maybe just an interesting thing to know, and that is that the platforms are similar to the ones you know in real life. In theory you can get by with just PC development, but sometimes it’s better to reach for a platform that has more reach.

Collaborate, level and invest

Once you have the opportunity and the power to upgrade your office/site/staff then think about whether you have enough cushion and if so expand and invest. Investing in staff will pay off almost immediately. Don’t be individualistic trust your staff and expand your team.

Investments in offices should only be made according to what makes sense for you. There are plenty of “scams” in the game that will take your money. However, if you don’t upgrade your air conditioning, your team’s efficiency will drop for a while.

Balance your team

As I wrote above. You need a good team. You might want to go the route of playing primarily as yourself as a character, but there are no game features in Game Dev Tycoon that benefit from, say, personal branding of your little one or something…

…that’s why you want a smart team. If you’re going to hire people, make sure they have high speed and quality and then hire 2 people specialized in technology, 2 people specialized in design and then 2 people specialized in general. Always try to have the best of these people because the more points you get the more you will earn.

Explore topics

Once you have some research points (the purple ones) you want to explore more game themes so you can develop more differentiated games and possibly respond adequately to trends. There’s nothing worse if, for example, “action” suddenly starts trending, but you don’t have an interesting topic at hand to develop an action game on.

At the beginning you have only 4 topics

Below you can see that there are new themes coming out, so it would make sense to reach into the drawer and come up with a brand new game and I would have the bonus of more people buying the game. Also, the rule is that you can’t release the same theme/genre combination twice in a row, because then the second game wouldn’t have the same results as the previous game.

Popularity of topics or genres

Think about your fans

Fans are one of the fundamental things in Game Dev Tycoon. If you release good games and make good moves, your fans will grow. If you make bad games, your fans will dwindle. The more fans you have the more people will buy your games, even if they are mediocre.

From time to time fans will come to you with a request, such as releasing your engine for their use, and you may have 3 ways to decide. Either you don’t give them the engine or they have to pay for it => in both cases you will lose some fans or you can give them your engine for free and then you will gain fans.

What is good to think about is that medium and big games don’t make sense to do on your own when you have few fans. That’s why I recommend using the publisher route at least at the beginning, to gain fans and then release bigger games “on your own”.


How many games you sell also affects the “hype” you build around the game. That’s why you want to try and use marketing to increase that hype. If I have enough money I always spend as much as I can on marketing, if you have less money you have to balance it so you don’t go broke. If you make a good game with high hype, you’ll make millions.

Examine the results and take notes

The last tip is to keep a good record of the results of what settings and what genres worked well for you. By researching what works well and knowing how to use it will lead to making better games and that means better ratings. If you don’t know how to set up a game then follow the basic logic of what ha should be able to do to be good and try it out. I believe after a few games you will know what to do.

I'm Martin, the main creator of this site. I love city builders, transport, and war strategy games. So I create this site to share my love with others! Let's make Tycoon games great again!