The Must-have Feature of Games: Leaderboard

3 min readJul 14, 2023

🕹 When it comes to game development, creating engaging features is crucial for capturing and retaining players’ interest.

One such feature is a leaderboard, which allows players to compare their achievements and compete with others. Let’s go over an outline for building and implementing a leaderboard.

Leaderboard from True Beauty

1. Understand the purpose of a leaderboard

A leaderboard is a feature that displays the rankings and scores of players in a game. It serves several purposes, including fostering competition, motivating players to improve their performance, and creating a sense of community among players. Before diving into the technical implementation, it’s essential to understand the objectives and goals you want to achieve with your leaderboard.

2. Design database for leaderboard data

To store and manage leaderboard data efficiently, a well-designed database structure is crucial. Consider using a relational database management system (RDBMS) like MySQL or PostgreSQL. Create a table to store player information, including unique identifiers, usernames, and scores. Ensure proper indexing to optimize data retrieval speed.

3. Decide which type of leaderboard to implement

Depending on genres, games would need a leaderboard based on different criteria: score, level, exp., or accomplishment. Also, rewards given to high rankers can be items, in-game cash, or something else. You should be able to configure settings to create and implement leaderboards that match your games’ style.

4. Capture player data

To populate the leaderboard, you must capture and record player data during gameplay. Implement hooks or events within your game’s code to track significant actions or milestones, such as completing levels, achieving high scores, or unlocking achievements. Whenever a relevant event occurs, update the player’s score and other relevant data.

5. Calculate scores and rankings

Based on the captured player data, you need to calculate scores and rankings for the leaderboard. Define a scoring algorithm that takes into account various factors like time, level completion, accuracy, or any other relevant metrics for your game. Assign each player a score based on their performance and update the rankings accordingly.

6. Display the leaderboard in the game interface

Design an intuitive and visually appealing interface to display the leaderboard within your game. Use appropriate UI elements to present the rankings, player names, and scores clearly. Consider providing filtering options, such as viewing the global leaderboard or friends-only leaderboard, to enhance the user experience.

7. Update and refreshing the leaderboard

To maintain an engaging and dynamic leaderboard, implement mechanisms to update and refresh the data regularly. Define intervals or triggers to recalculate scores, update rankings, and refresh the leaderboard display. Consider using asynchronous processes or background tasks to minimize the impact on gameplay performance.

8. Handle ties and special scenarios/conditions

In situations where players achieve the same scores, handling ties becomes crucial. Define tiebreaker rules, such as considering the time taken or accuracy, to determine the final rankings. Additionally, allow players to view different metrics or categories within the leaderboard, providing a comprehensive overview of their performance.

9. Ensure security and prevent cheating

Maintaining the integrity of the leaderboard is essential to provide a fair gaming experience. Implement security measures to prevent cheating or tampering with player scores. Employ techniques such as server-side validation, encryption, and anti-cheat systems to detect and mitigate cheating attempts.

🧑‍💻 Building a leaderboard feature in a game requires careful consideration of various technical aspects. From database design to user authentication and score calculations, every step plays a vital role in creating a compelling and engaging leaderboard.

🚀 Nbase Game SDK has a leaderboard feature pre-built for game developers to embed in their games.

💡 Check out the SDK and start developing a robust and dynamic leaderboard that enhances the gaming experience for the players!

☛ Twitter: @NbaseCorp