The Simpsons: Tapped Out Beginner ProTips
Someone tricked me into downloading The Simpsons: Tapped Out a few weeks ago, and i’ve been playing fairly regularly since. Here are a few strategies i’ve picked up along the way.
1) Don’t buy any more Land Expansions than you need. Pretty much the only way to handicap yourself in TSTO is buying too much land too soon. Priorize investing in buildings that earn income, and use land efficiently. The quicker you generate money, the easier it’ll be to expand in the future. (Plus it’s more fun to rearrange items when you have lots of choices and enough disposable money to spend on decorations.)
2) By the time you reach level 25, you’ll notice that you’re always a little behind on money whenever the main quest line requires a new building. One way to get ahead of the curve is collecting premium decorations that provide money and XP bonuses. Your best bet? Buy a large quantity of Mystery Boxes, until your bonus total reaches 30-50%.
In fact, i recommend spending your first 100 donuts on Mystery Boxes immediately as you earn them. You’ll unlock three premium characters, two unique items, and begin stockpiling premium decorations – namely Channel 6 News Vans and Itchy & Scratchy Billboards. Otherwise by the time you reach level 30, you’ll barely have enough donuts to buy one full-price character. Barney alone costs 250 donuts, so you can’t afford him until long after level 59. Is that worth holding off? I don’t think so. Donuts are generally more valuable than money, but money never stops being useful either.
3) Add lots of neighbors by visiting a fan site such as TSTOAddicts and browsing their Add Friends threads. In addition to unlocking exclusive prizes, you can gain extra money, XP, and special event resources. You’re allowed to have up to 100 friends, but you don’t really need more 20 active ones, so i recommend adding 25 or so. There’s a big dropoff in daily Friend Points after visiting 10 towns, and an even bigger dropoff after 20 towns.
4) If you notice you have inactive friends but you don’t want to unfriend them, just go to the friends screen and tap the handshake icon to show a list of all your friends. From there, you can tap Hide to remove them from your neighboring town rotation. That way you won’t have to pass through them as you’re visiting towns, and you can still unhide them during any special event that doesn’t require them to be active.
5) Once you have more than 10 friends, build at least a couple dozen cheap structures that refresh income quickly, such as Brown Houses and Kwik-E-Marts. Condense them tightly into a block or two and keep them available for visitors to tap. Otherwise they might get irritated and unfriend you or vandalize your public buildings, which lowers your Righteousness rating.
6) If you need to bump up your Righteousness rating or if you want to generate a bit of extra money early on, you can always find Sideshow Bob in Other Springfield. He’ll spawn in the same exact spot every time you load the map, then wander in a random direction. Try to get there within the first 2 seconds of arriving and he should be easy to catch. You can repeat this as many times as you like, but i wouldn’t recommend using it as a significant source of income because it’ll quickly make you hate your life.
7) If a quest pops up that requires a character who is on a long unessential task, you can free them instantly by placing the character into your inventory. If they happen to be in a building, you can either store that building or the one originally associated with the character. For example, if Willie is waxing the floors at Springfield Elementary, you could cancel that task by storing Springfield Elementary, but that would also store Skinner and everyone else in the building. It’s better to store Willie’s Shack, because that’ll only affect Willie without disrupting others. All you lose is a bit of money from whatever task hey would’ve completed, but it’s far more valuable to keep the main quest line moving forward.
8) Only claim Daily Challenges that award donuts. You’re allowed to dismiss one challenge per day, so replace any lame ones that reward money or unneeded crafting materials. Even a single donut is worth way more than 5,000 money! Waiting multiple days to repeatedly reroll a challenge is totally fine, and you can still dismiss unwanted ones if you accidentally complete them. You won’t miss out on anything unless all three slots are full when you’re scheduled to receive a new challenge.
The following two tips apply to Springfield Heights, which is unlocked once you reach level 30.
9) Springfield Heights real estate values accumulate when new objects are placed, not by keeping them on the playfield. Since those buildings are gigantic and kind of ugly, you can just store them in your inventory after they’re upgraded and retain their real estate value. If you actually like having them around, obviously you can play however you want. Personally, i’ve arranged one of each fully upgraded building in the far north side of the map and kept a spot open for whichever one i’m working on upgrading.
10) Land expansions in Springfield Heights are generally much cheaper, in terms of time to unlock, than land in Springfield proper – which gets more and more expensive as you expand. However, higher end Springfield Heights prizes take forever to unlock. If you’re interested in those at all, do yourself a favor and put down $20 on premium characters to speed up the process dramatically. (You can save a little extra cash by searching for itunes/gplay gift card sales.) Assuming you already have the Mystery Box characters, you’ll definitely want Disco Stu, probably Jasper, and maybe Bumblebee Man too. Otto and Frink are far less important.
Special thanks to ristycay for ideas and proofreading.