The Ultimate Candy Crush Saga Guide
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A Guide For Those Who Want to Play Without Spending Any Money
Table of Contents:
- Getting Lives
- General Strategies
- Special Candy
- Special Candy Combos
- Level Strategies
- Level Guides
You would think that a match three puzzle game that is as colorful, cute and whimsical-looking as Candy Crush Saga could not be challenging at all. You would be dead wrong. Candy Crush Saga has a reputation for being as hard a jawbreaker! The basics and underlying mechanics may be simple enough to grasp, but the puzzles can get fiendishly difficult for the unprepared.
Luckily, everything you would possibly want to know about Candy Crush Saga is right here. You’ll find in-depth strategies, tips on how to acquire extra lives cheaply and painlessly, and walkthroughs on how to crush the most notoriously difficult levels in the game! It may be a tough nut to crack at times, but even the hardest candies have to dissolve eventually.
Better yet, all our strategies and hints do not require you to buy any of the in game items. Candy Crush Saga is a blast, but the game creators are fiendishly clever in getting you to spend real money!
The biggest obstacle to getting the most out of Candy Crush Saga will be the number of lives you have at your disposal. You start out with five and you’ll lose one every time you fail to solve a puzzle within the allotted turns or time period. You can certainly replenish them all instantaneously just by spending a little money, but you didn’t come here just to be told to lighten your wallet. You’re here for some actual help that won’t break the bank. There are a couple of ways to accomplish this.
Option #1 – Just Wait
The simplest and most cost-effective way to restore your lives is to simply wait. Every time thirty minutes pass by in the real world, you’ll automatically receive a new life. It doesn’t matter whether or not the game is running. If you’ve blown through all of your lives and are starting to get frustrated, feel free to put the game down. Just find something else to do for an hour or so to clear your head. When you’re all fired up, you can grab the game again and take that stumper down once and for all with all the new lives on hand!
Unfortunately, don’t think for a moment that you can simply sleep on it and accumulate an absurd number of lives overnight. You get five at the most and that is it. Two-and-a-half hours is the optimal wait time between rounds, so time yourself carefully if you want to make use of your lives as optimally as possible.
It is possible to permanently extend your maximum number of lives to eight by purchasing the Charm of Life from the Yeti Shop, but that’s obviously going to cost you money you may not be willing to spend.
Option #2 – Get Help from Your Friends on Facebook
If that does not sound like fun, then there is another way to add lives without needing to spend a dime. Hopefully, you’re not the solitary sort, because this method involves asking your friends for help.
If you’re connected to Facebook, you can easily request more lives from your buddies. Just tap the heart-shaped icon on the top-left corner of your screen and select the “Ask Friends” option. With over 45 million players around the world, chances are good that at least some of your Facebook friends are playing it.
If they’re not, then maybe you can try getting them hooked. Nothing will help your candy-crushing career more than a buddy who can watch your back and kick some extra lives your way. Keep in mind that the life limit still applies in this case; don’t ask for too many lives at once. Otherwise, they’ll just go to waste.
Option #3 – Try the “Fast Forward” Cheat
We cover this in greater detail in our cheats section below, but on some mobile devices, you can change the clock settings to 30 minutes (or more) into the future. This will trick the game into thinking you've waited the required amount of time to earn a new life :).
Lives are good to have, but their usefulness can only extend so far. They’re not going to do you much good if you just waste them willy-nilly. Candy Crush Saga is a game of strategy, and beating it will require a very meticulous play style. Keep the following tips in mind.
#1 – Don’t Rush
It’s not a race and you’re not always being timed. Aside from Timed Levels, you’re only limited by the total number of moves you can make. Take your time, scan the board carefully, and only swap matches that will bring you closer to the level’s stated goal.
Furthermore, due to the way extra lives are earned over time, you’ll do yourself more favors by taking it slow and easy. Nothing is sweeter than getting a new chance at success while you’re in the middle of a particularly tough brain-teaser.
#2 – Ignore the Match Suggestions
Like most match three puzzle games, Candy Crush Saga will happily highlight a possible match that you can make if you take no action for a while. Although this can be helpful, the hints will not always be the most strategic. Observe them if you will, but don’t reflexively go for them when they appear.
#3 – Plan Ahead
Swaps are a finite resource, so make every single one count. Try and set up the most high-scoring combos that you can. Move candies around so that you can match four or five together; this will get you special candy which is far more destructive than just basic matches of three.
If you’re going to go for three-candy matches, then see if you can arrange for them to fall in a way that you can get at least two matches with one swipe. Cascades practically give you free points for nothing, and they might just do your work or you if you get lucky.
Making matches lower on the board may be better than ones above. When you clear out candies lower on the board, more candies refill the board then matches made higher up. This gives you more chances at cascading combos.
#4 – Finish What You Begin
Try to abstain from quitting the game in the middle of a level if you can help it. If you exit out of a level where you have made at least one move, you will lose a life. It’s better to do everything you can and learn from your failures than to just quit once things turn sour. Also, sometimes you can pull off an unexpected win by getting the right Special Candies late in the game.
#5 – Stay Focused on the Level Goals
It is easy to get distracted and make matches that may not help you finish the board. Stay focused on what you need to do and try to only make matches that help you toward your goal. Even if you can't make a match that directly helps you with the level goal, sometimes you can set yourself up later by making matches that give you special candies or set you up for better matches on the next turn.
Although cheaters may never prosper, they can still have a lot of fun. If you’re okay with it being on your conscience for the rest of your life, then there are a few loopholes you can exploit that can get you a little farther in the game.
Cheat #1 – Reset the Level
Some levels can begin with more favorable conditions than others. Sometimes, you can get a nice cascade going right at the beginning. Other times, a Color Bomb can be made in only a single move.
However, if you don’t see any strategic options when you begin a puzzle, you can simply exit the level and start it over again. The arrangement of candy is randomized, so there’s always a good chance that things will start out better next time. Just be sure to do this before taking any action in the level; if you don’t spend any moves before quitting, you won’t lose any lives.
Cheat #2 – Fast Forward into the Future
Technically, you’re supposed to wait for thirty minutes to pass before you get an extra life. However, with the mobile version of Candy Crush Saga, you can speed things up just by changing the time on your device’s clock. Your game won’t know the difference and will reward your “patience” with free lives just as it normally would. With this cheat, you can play the game for as long as you like without the need to ever put it down.
As you guide Toffette around the colorful world of Candy Crush Saga, you’ll find all sorts of exotic confections that host a variety of wondrous effects in the game. Knowing how to make them appear and using them to their fullest potential is often going to be the difference between a completed puzzle and a lost life.
Special Candy #1 – Striped Candy
Striped Candy is formed when you match four candies together. They come in two varieties: vertical and horizontal. Vertical candies will crush an entire column when they are matched together, while horizontal ones will do the same to an entire row. What type you get will depend on which direction you swapped the candy in when you made the match. Moving a candy up or down creates vertical stripes, while left and right motions will make horizontal ones.
Special Candy #2 – Color Bomb
Depicted as a ball of chocolate covered in sprinkles, they are formed when five candies are matched together. When swapped with any candy, the Color Bomb will zap and shatter all candies of that corresponding color. If you swap it with a striped candy, then all the corresponding candies on the board will become striped instead.
Special Candy #3 – Wrapped Candy
Wrapped candy is created when you match any five candies together in the shape of a T, L or + sign. When it is put into a match, it will immediately destroy the eight candies surrounding it. If it is swapped with a striped candy, then two rows and two columns will be deleted at once.
Special Candy #4 – Coconut Wheel
Although Coconut Wheels are usually bought from the Yeti Shop, they do appear in some levels on rare occasions. Thank your lucky stars if they do, because they’re very powerful. Whenever swapped, the wheel will move in the direction you moved it, turning the first three candies it touches intro Striped Candies and crushing the rest.
Special Candy #5 – Jelly Fish
Although these Swedish fish-like confections are available in the Yeti Store, they do make a few rare appearances in some of the late levels. When a fish is activated on the board, then it will generate three other fish that will delete three random candies. If the fish target special candies, they will activate their effects right then and there.
If you are clever and save your special candies, you can swap them with other special candies to get even more powerful combos. Below is a list of recipes and what they do:
- Wrapped Candy + Wrapped Candy = 12 candies explode near each of the wrapped candies
- Wrapped Candy + Striped Candy = 3 rows and 3 columes eliminated from the board
- Wrapped Candy + Jelly Fish = 3 wrapped Jelly Fish, wrapped candy blows up
- Wrapped Candy + Color Bomb = 2 colors of candies detonate on board
- Wrapped Candy + Coconut Wheel = makes an entire row or column into wrapped candies
- Striped Candy + Striped Candy = both clear out a column or row
- Striped Candy + Jelly Fish = makes 3 striped Jelly Fish that each clear out a row or column
- Striped Candy + Coconut Wheel = changes a row or column into Striped Candies
- Striped Candy + Color Bomb = all candies that match Striped Candy color turn into Striped Candies and take out rows/columns
- Jelly Fish + Jelly Fish = ????
- Jelly Fish + Coconut Wheel = ????
- Jelly Fish + Color Bomb = makes 3 Color Bomb Jelly Fish that can convert swapped candies to Jelly Fish
- Coconut Wheel + Coconut Wheel = doubles the amount of candies converted to Striped Candies
- Coconut Wheel + Color Bomb = makes a row or column into Striped Candies and activates them
- Color Bomb + Color Bomb = clears the entire board!!!!
See the power of the Color Bomb + Striped Candy combo
Candy Crush Saga features five different kinds of levels. All of them have different mechanics, different winning conditions, and require different strategies to crack.
Level Type #1 – Target Score Levels
Although Target Score levels will be the first levels you play, they are the rarest in the entire game. They’re pretty basic overall; all you need to do is reach the target score within the set number of moves.
In order to beat these, just follow the general strategies. Take your time and plan your moves carefully. Try and score cascading combos; they’re free points for no extra moves. Most of all, match four or five candies together when you can. Striped Candies and Color Bombs clear out more treats and get you more points.
Level Type #2 – Jelly Levels
Jelly levels are the most common stages in the game. They’re also widely considered to be the most difficult. They contain some squares that are covered in jelly; your goal is to get rid of them all. This is done simply by matching up candy on the jelly squares. However, the jelly itself cannot be moved.
Sometimes, double jelly squares make an appearance. Characterized by looking more opaque, these need to have two candies broken on them before they are destroyed. Finally, there’s the frosted jelly. This jelly is so thick, that regular candy can’t reside on the same square as it. Successful matches need to be made on the squares adjacent to the frosted jelly first, turning it into double jelly in the process.
Focus entirely on the jelly sections of the board. Any area that has no jelly can be safely ignored, unless you want to make a special candy. Swap candy into the jelly if you can, not out of it.
Level Type #3 – Timed Levels
Time levels are exactly what they sound like. In order to beat them, you have to meet the minimum score before the clock runs dry. In that regard, they can be considered the most traditional puzzles in the game.
Thankfully, it’s not always about rushing. There are ways to add more seconds to the clock. These levels feature unique Time Candy, which you can identify by the “+5” label marking them. Breaking them adds five seconds to the time limit. Be sure to match these up as soon as you can; more time means more points after all. Time Candies tend to appear after successful cascade effects, so be sure to get those combos going.
Level Type #4 – Ingredient Drop Levels
Ingredient Drop levels require that you bring some specific ingredients down to the bottom of the screen. These ingredients come in the form of cherries and chestnuts. They fall like regular candy and can be swapped around, but they can’t be matched up or destroyed.
The basic strategy to Ingredient Drop levels is to generally work as low as you can in order to drop the ingredients down further. Matching up candies in the columns the ingredients are occupying is a good idea.
An even better one is to match up four candies. Horizontal stripes can clear out entire rows, which will guarantee the ingredient will drop a little further down. However, if you can manage to get a vertical stripe in the same column as the ingredient, you have a good chance at dropping it instantaneously! Striped Candies are especially helpful if your ingredient is stuck near the bottom and you are having trouble clearing out candies in the bottom row that are preventing the ingredient from droppinig.
Level Type #5 – Objective Levels
The goal of the Objective Level is a bit more sophisticated than usual. Rather than score points, you need to remove a minimum quantity of specific kinds of candy from the board.
For example, one level will require you to get rid of 20 blue lollipop heads, green squares and red jellybeans, while another may require you to create and crush five striped candies. Matching the listed confections together should be your top priority. If you can form any sort of special candy along the way, go for it. It’ll make things go much quicker.
It can’t be stressed enough – this game is so hard, that it just might chip your teeth. Here you will find tips on how to get through some of the most infamous levels ever conceived in a sugar bowl. Chances are that if you get stuck, it will be on one of these guys.
Please note, the videos below will help you see how other players cleared a particular level with their specific starting candies. Every time you play a level, the candies are arranged differently on the board so these videos won't show you how to beat your specific arrangement, but they can give you some helpful ideas if you are stuck.
You have to clear out almost 60 jelly squares in less than 60 turns. What isn’t double jelly is frosted.
- Focus on getting rid of the frosted jelly at the bottom of the screen first if you can; it’s the most complicated part of the puzzle and requires the most moves.
- Getting rid of the frost will also allow more candy to fall in, making matching easier to do and opening up cascading opportunities.
- Don’t worry too much about the jelly squares on top; if you can get enough cascades or special candies, they should be destroyed naturally and can be dealt with easily at the end.
This is an ingredient drop level with a caveat. A sizeable pile of frosted jelly resides at the bottom of the screen in the shape of a pyramid, blockading the ingredients. You have 60 moves.
- Get rid of as much of the frosted jelly as you can and as early as possible.
- As you clear out the frost, you’ll have more room to work with. Use it to your advantage and create special candies at every opportunity. Use them to clear out as much as you can below the ingredients.
You have to take out 16 jelly squares within 14 turns. The board is divided up into four equivalent squares. Candy in the top squares can fall into the lower ones.
- Focus on clearing out the jelly on the bottom half of the screen first. If you’re lucky, the cascades you cause will take out the topmost jelly squares for you.
- If the opportunity to combine four candies presents itself, take it. Striped candy is a godsend here. It can take out jelly in two sections at once.
- Try to affect at least two jelly squares at a time.
This is another ingredient drop level. In the middle of the screen are two gaps in the shape of square brackets. Although candy and fruit cannot inhabit the space they occupy, both can fall through the gaps. You have 30 turns to drop four cherries and three chestnuts.
- Use the gaps to your advantage. You may not be able to form matches on them, but they’re empty spaces that can get ingredients to the bottom of the screen very quickly.
- Try and match candy together directly beneath the holes.
- Move ingredients into the same columns as the gaps if you can.
- Remember to get striped candies in the same column as the ingredients; they can drop them down to the bottom of the screen in an instant.
This one’s a doozy. Practically the entire screen is made up of double jelly squares and you only have 60 turns to get rid of them all. Just to make things even more confusing, there are assorted gaps as well.
- Start by clearing jelly at the bottom.
- Only go higher if you have no other option.
- Try to affect the jelly with every swap you make.
- Form special candies, but don’t use them immediately. See if you can combine them to cause devastation across the entire screen! Making a combo between a Color Bomb and a striped candy can turn some very impressive results.
Here’s an ingredient drop level with an interesting arrangement of cages. You have 50 turns to move two cherries and two chestnuts down to the bottom of the screen.
- Your first order of business is to eliminate cages en masse. Ideally, you will want to get rid of them all, but it may not be entirely necessary.
- Pay no mind to the fruit until you have cleared the way in enough columns.
- As is the norm for these levels, work as low on the screen as you can manage.
In this level, you have 50 turns to destroy 55 double jelly squares. The boundary of the board is lined with cages of non-jellied candy, and in the center lies one solitary jelly square surrounded by empty space.
- Start out by forming matches with the caged candy. This will open up the cages and give you more room to work with. Most importantly, it will make it easier to form special candy.
- The central jelly square can only be destroyed with special candy. That can include a striped candy lined up with it, a striped candy combined with a wrapped candy lined up with it, or the use of a color bomb on a candy that matches the one in the jelly square.
- Form special candies as soon as possible and try to wipe out the central jelly while you still have lots of moves to spare.
This is a jelly level with a twist. The jelly squares are each encased in a cage, and each cage has a block of chocolate situated right next to it. Chocolate squares cannot hold candy and they block falls. They have to be destroyed before you can deal with the jelly.
- New chocolate blocks will form every time you don’t destroy any. Try and destroy chocolate every chance you get.
- Chocolate is destroyed by clearing out candy that is adjacent to it.
- In order to reach the bottom half if the screen, you’ll need to form vertically-striped candies to clear out the chocolate, jellies and confections below.
- Combine Color Bombs with striped candy to cause a lot of devastation on the lower half of the screen in one fell swoop.
This level has more jelly, more cages, and more chocolate. Every part of the board that you can make a move on has double jelly. The isolated tabs on the outside are either caged or covered in chocolate. This is widely considered to be the single most difficult level in the entire game, so don’t feel too bad if you get stuck. You’re not the first, and you won’t be the last
- Focus on breaking up the cages and chocolate first.
- Start on the outside and work your way inward. Get rid of the jelly in the isolated tabs. While you do that, some of the inner jelly should hopefully be thinned out.
- Special candy is excellent for sniping the tabbed candy.
- It’s always a good idea to group special candies together to form devastating combos. Color Bombs and stripes work very well.
This level is divided into two sections. Candy that falls to the bottom of the left section will end up at the top of the right section if there’s enough space. Jelly is everywhere in the right section, the lower two rows in it are covered in chocolate, and there’s a row of caged candy right above them. You have 45 moves available to get rid of all the jelly.
- Do not destroy the cages under any circumstances until the chocolate has been dealt with. Otherwise, the chocolate will spread upward and make your life miserable. Don’t even mess with the jellied candy if you can help it.
- Create at least two horizontally-striped candies on the left section and line them up properly so that you can nuke the chocolate quickly. Make sure you leave the row of caged candy untouched while doing so.
- After all the chocolate has been removed, feel free to start clearing out the jelly.
- Make special candy in the left section if you can. Doing so gives you more flexibility; you can either use it to snipe jelly squares on the right side, or drop it down so it ends up on the right side of the screen.
Level 76 is another ingredient drop level where you have to collect three cherries in less than 33 moves. It’s just as confusing as it looks. The screen is divided into three sections: one 4-by-9 rectangle on the right, and two 4-by-4 squares on the left. Each section has a row of portals at the bottom that drop them into one of the other sections in ways you may not expect.
- To make things easier on yourself, think of the lower-left section as the “top,” the large right section as the “middle,” and the upper-left section as the “bottom.” This should tell you how the candy will fall, and how you will need to guide the ingredients.
- As always, you’ll want to work your way up from the bottom. As the top-left sector of the screen is technically the bottom, that’s where you’ll need to concentrate your efforts.
- Horizontal candies are great at nuking rows across two sections of the screen. The most strategic area to use them would be around the upper half of the right section. This will zap candy in both it and the “bottom” upper left section, making candy fall very fast!
You have to get rid of all the jelly here in 25 moves or less. The screen is divided into three sections: a 9-by-3 one at the top, a 9-by-1 line in the middle, and another 9-by-3 rectangle at the bottom. Just to annoy you further, double jelly can only be found in the middle section, which also has a pair of chocolate squares and a caged candy to quarantine them.
- Candies in the uppermost section will drop into the lowermost one via the portals. The middle section is independent and will get its own drops.
- Your first order of business should be to get rid of the chocolate. Create vertical stripes in either the upper or lower sections and zap it to oblivion. Do this before destroying the cage, or else it will spread.
- Feel free to destroy whatever jelly you like, just as long as the cage is preserved while the chocolate still exists.
- If you can form both a Color Bomb and a striped candy, and swap them together, you just might be able to complete this level in a matter of seconds.
You have 35 turns to delete all the jelly on this level. Half of the space will be occupied by a pyramid of licorice, with the outside “coated” in caged candy.
- Destroy the licorice by matching candy that is adjacent to it.
- Licorice can be swapped.
- Although it will be to your advantage to get rid of as many cages as possible, don’t focus on it. You need to get rid of the jelly, and the cages don’t share the same squares as the jelly.
- The best cages to take out are the ones near the top. Start from there and funnel your way down.
The good news about this ingredient drop level is that there are no fancy shapes or sectors to take into account. The bad news is that there is an arrangement of obstacles that make things more difficult. Caged candy blocks the odd columns, and a licorice swirl rests on top of each of them. Meanwhile, all of the even columns have a hole in the second-to-last square, which makes dropping the fruit down them all but impossible.
- Licorice can be destroyed by matching candy adjacent to it.
- Although it will be destroyed in the process, licorice will block the path of destruction for special candy. Therefore, you’ll need to devote more turns to breaking the cages if that’s what you want to go for.
- Shift your ingredients to the odd columns. The earlier you can pull this off, the better things will be.
In this ingredient drop level, you have 45 turns to collect one cherry and one chestnut. Just about the entire bottom of the screen is a huge gap, save for two sections where portals are present. The portals lead to two isolated areas at the side.
- In order to collect the ingredients, they’ll have to be lowered through the portals. Move the fruit into those columns pronto.
- Wrapped candy is a great way to take out that last piece of candy that’s keeping the fruit from falling into the portal.
- Form striped candy to snipe the sweet stuff in the side areas so you can lower the fruit properly.
- The best combo for this level is to swap a striped candy with a wrapped candy.
This is an objective level where your goal is to crush striped candy together five times. You have 40 turns to do this.
- Match candies into groups of four at every chance you get. You need to crank out those striped guys fast.
- Try and form striped candy close together. This will make it easier to group them up.
- Yellow candy does not appear in this level, so making stripes should be much simpler than usual.
Here is another objective-based level with the chocolate menace. The goal is to crush six wrapped candies within 50 turns.
- Don’t waste your time or your turns making striped candies.
- Color Bombs can be useful. They can eliminate all candies of a certain color on the screen, making it just a little easier to form those complex patterns needed for wrapped candies.
- Arrange candy in ways so that they can drop together to form those precious T and L shapes.
You have 53 turns in this jelly-removal level. Not only do you have a lot of jelly to take out, but there are also a lot of very durable cream blockers that require some extra effort to destroy. Other things to keep in mind are the timed bombs that occasionally appear.
- Try to work your way from the bottom up. Hopefully, the cascades you invoke will do some of the work for you.
- Work on taking out the central pillar of blockers. This will give you more room to work with in creating those special candies.
- Make and activate special candy next to the blockers so you can rid yourself of them faster.
- You have ten turns to get rid of each bomb. You’ll want to get rid of them before they count down, or else you’ll lose a life. That aside, it can be advantageous to move them down to the jelly where you can match them up. You’ll take out the bombs and get rid of some jelly as well!
This is an objective level where you must crush ten striped candies in less than 35 turns. This level is notable for introducing marmalade to the mix; marmalade blocks are shiny translucent cubes that are colored a light red. Each one contains a striped candy.
- Marmalade works like licorice in that it prevents candy from falling and can be destroyed by forming matches adjacent to it. You can also form matches using the candy that’s inside the marmalade.
- Be careful about breaking open the marmalade. You might set off the striped candy within sooner than you would have otherwise liked.
- The other blockers can be destroyed just by forming matches adjacent to them. They’re durable and will require the process to be done three times.
- See if you can get at least two striped candies in the same row or column. It’s two birds with one stone.
Here’s another jelly level. There are a lot of durable blockers in the way of the jelly squares, and you have only 25 moves to get rid of them all. Luckily, there’s an ample supply of Jelly Fish that you can use to your advantage.
- Activate fish by matching them up with candy of the same color. That means a green fish can match up with two green squares, a yellow fish can be grouped with two yellow lemon drops, and so on.
- Crush several fish at once using special candy to send out an entire school fish on the board!
That's it! If you have any more questions or a strategy or tip to add, go ahead and comment below.
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