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The Ultimate Candy Crush Saga Guide

A Guide For Those Who Want to Play Without Spending Any Money

Table of Contents:

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!

Section 1 – Getting Lives Without Paying

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 :).

Section 2 – General Strategies

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.

Section 3 – Candy Crush Saga Cheats

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

 Candy Crush Saga image

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.

Section 4 – Special Candy

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

Candy Crush Saga Striped Item

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.

Section 5 – Awesome Candy Combos

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:

 Candy Crush Saga Color Bomb + Striped Candy combo gameplay

See the power of the Color Bomb + Striped Candy combo

Section 6 – Level Strategies

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.

Section 7 – Level Guides

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.

Level 29

 Candy Crush Saga level 29 gameplay

You have to clear out almost 60 jelly squares in less than 60 turns. What isn’t double jelly is frosted.

Level 30

 Candy Crush Saga level 30 gameplay

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.

Level 33

 Candy Crush Saga level 33 gameplay

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.

Level 34

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.

Level 35

 Candy Crush Saga level 36 gameplay

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.

Level 42

 Candy Crush Saga level 42 gameplay

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.

Level 45

 Candy Crush Saga level 45 gameplay

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.

Level 56

 Candy Crush Saga level 56 gameplay

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.

Level 65

 Candy Crush Saga level 65 gameplay

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

Level 70

 Candy Crush Saga level 70 gameplay

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.

Level 76

 Candy Crush Saga level 76 gameplay

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.

Level 77

 Candy Crush Saga level 77 gameplay

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.

Level 86

 Candy Crush Saga level 86 gameplay

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.

Level 92

 Candy Crush Saga level 92 gameplay

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.

Level 95

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.

Level 130

 Candy Crush Saga level 130 gameplay

This is an objective level where your goal is to crush striped candy together five times. You have 40 turns to do this.

Level 135

 Candy Crush Saga level 135 gameplay

Here is another objective-based level with the chocolate menace. The goal is to crush six wrapped candies within 50 turns.

Level 147

 Candy Crush Saga level 147 gameplay

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.

Level 186

 Candy Crush Saga level 186 gameplay

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.

Level 342

 Candy Crush Saga level 342 gameplay

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.

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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