The first time user experience, or FTUE, is a mandatory thing to design for every videogame. Your players are going to have their first time experience, that’s for sure. So that if you leave that to the faith, that first experience will be completely random. For free to play, first time experience is made of tutorial and onboarding.
The tutorial is usually between 3 and 15 minutes and, step by step, all the most important features of the game are revealed to the Players. In order to design the best tutorial, you should look deeply at the theme of your game and at what are you proud of. If we analyze successful games like RAID: Shadow Legends and Dislyte, we notice that the first one puts all the value in the beautiful heroes you can unlock with gachas. The latter, instead, is very proud of its lore. They both work, the important thing is to really understand all kind of players you may want to serve and like them. If you really like your players, I mean as persons, you will definitely design the best tutorial for them.
The onboarding is usually made by the first 2-5 sessions and it’s the stage in which engaged players will fall in love literally with your game. The Players will discover all the systems of your games, and unlock the first things. They will feel they can grow if they stay with you. In order to design the best onboardings, you should focus on the Players’ motivations and try to bring them values around that.
Things don’t work from the very first iterations, so it’s better to make small iterations and improve step by step your tutorial first and your onboarding second.