In its simplest usage FTUE describes the experience a user has when playing a given game for the very first time. Also referred to as ‘NUX’ (‘new user experience’) – FTUE can be equally understood as a specific set of mechanisms within a game’s design that serve the new player, and a general design mindset that considers how to give first-time players the best initial experience.

Some of the simplest manifestations of FTUE design include tutorials, welcome videos and early stage storytelling. The closely related term ‘onboarding’ describes the process a player is taken through as they begin a game for the first time. ‘Onboard’ is also often used as a verb with relation to this definition: ‘There has been some effort to onboard players effectively’.

Getting FTEU right is particularly important as it provides your first opportunity to engage – and thus retain – players. Good FTUE helps convert downloads into engaged players. Bad FTUE can see you lose players very quickly after they have downloaded your game.