Play as you Download best practices

These best practices can improve gameplay when Play as you Download is enabled for your game.

Use the latest SDKs

Use the latest SDKs for your game, especially if you are using the following SDKs:

  • Facebook Core SDK: 11.2.0 or higher

  • FB Audience Network (ads): 6.5.1 or higher

The latest SDKs are optimized for Play as you Download to operate without scanning the entire game binary. This lets players start your game more quickly the first time they launch.

Use install-time asset packs

Use install-time asset packs to store large game assets. Google Play optimizes downloads by analyzing use patterns of install-time asset packs. This helps the game launch much faster while only downloading data that users need during the initial game launch.

The following table shows what code and resources are optimized by Play as you download when games use an Android App Bundle with Play Assets Delivery.

Resource format Optimized by Play as you Download Not optimized by Play as you Download
Android App Bundle files Base Module and install-time dynamic features (except ‘res/’ and ‘values/’ directories) `res/` and `values/` directories of base module and install-time dynamic features
On-demand dynamic features
Play Asset Delivery files Install-time asset packs Fast-follow asset packs
On-demand asset packs

Limit preloaded assets

Instead of preloading all game assets at once, only load what's needed for the current player experience such as the game level. Loading too many assets during the initial game download delays gameplay and uses more network data up front.

Here are some additional recommendations for Unity games:

Fix ANRs

By fixing ANRs (Application Not Responding errors) in your game, you can also improve the Play as you download experience of the game. For example, by removing IO operations from the main thread, you can minimize ANRs from occurring while Play is downloading game assets in background.