Whether you’re playing Halfbrick’s Jetpack Joyride on iOS, Android, or Windows 8, you’ve probably reached the conclusion that the game is pretty damn hard considering it only uses one friggin’ button.
But there’s a lot more to this addictive and lovingly detailed gauntlet game than just “should I turn my jetpack on or off?” Sure, you’ve gotta hone your reflexes and quickly adapt to the rockets, lasers, and other obstacles in your way, but a lot of it also comes down to picking the right gear. These equipment tips will have you beating your high scores in no time.
As you collect coins in Jetpack Joyride, you’ll have the opportunity to buy and equip up to two gadgets at a time. Some will single-handedly boost your survivability or money-earning rate, while others are basically useless. And a few gadget combos can help you beat challenges or overcome particularly difficult scenarios. Here’s a point-by-point breakdown of all your upgrade options.
Air Barrys: When equipped, these sneakers will allow Barry (your character) to jump three times his height from the ground. This means your vertical mobility is greatly increased and you can more quickly escape floor-level traps. You won’t gain any benefit from non-running heights, and it also means you can inadvertently launch yourself into mid-level traps if your timing isn’t perfect. For these reasons, you shouldn’t equip the Air Barrys unless you’re trying to complete a running-only challenge.
Nerd Repellent: By wearing this noxious spray, you’ll find the entire game is devoid of scientist NPCs. That won’t impact your coin collecting or your score, but it will make pacifist challenges (reach X meters without killing a scientist) very easy. Aside from those goals, though, you’re better off taking something else.
Insta-Ball: Whenever you die with the Insta-Ball in your inventory, your corpse will bounce a few dozen extra meters past your point of demise. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, your body will grab a few extra coins or tokens before it finally comes to a halt. This ability, much like the Freeze-O-Matic, is a good option for getting higher scores and salvaging yourself from unlucky situations. Keep in mind that equipping Insta-Ball may make it harder to precisely perform “Die between X and Y meters” challenges.
Gravity Belt: The opposite of Air Barrys, the Gravity Belt will increase your default rate of descent by about 50%. Unlike Air Barrys, the Gravity Belt works at all altitudes, so it’s a more reliable way to increase your vertical acceleration for precise maneuvering. This is a great option for runs where you’re spending most of your time scraping along the ceiling, since it lets you dodge roof-based traps easily.
Missile Jammer: Missiles headed your way will have a high (but random) chance of failing to track you, making them essentially useless. But unless you’re really bad at dodging missiles, this luck-based upgrade just isn’t worth it. Instead of equipping Missile Jammer, just practice guiding missiles away from you and paying attention to where they’re firing.
Token Gift: By equipping this gadget, Barry will start every single run with a Token that homes in on him. You can technically dodge it (in fact, you’ll get an achievement for it!) but it’s an otherwise guaranteed means of getting more turns or coins out of your Final Spins. The Token Gift, along with Magnetic Tokens, is great for challenges that require you to collect a certain number of Tokens, either total or in one run.
Freeze-O-Matic: Almost identical to the Insta-Ball, the Freeze-O-Matic will cause your corpse to slide a longer distance every time you die. Unlike the Insta-Ball, your body will only move horizontally across the ground, decreasing the odds it will bump into Tokens and coins. Of course, it can help you beat challenges associated with how far your body is dragged upon death, but these are relatively rare. The Insta-Ball is better in most cases.
X-Ray Specs: When equipped, X-Ray Specs will allow you to see what vehicle is hidden inside every vehicle upgrade pack. But, as noted in the section below, there’s no reason to ever not take a vehicle, since even the worst ones still grant you an extra life. If you want to equip X-Ray Specs for their hilarious side effects (like being able to see scientists in their underwear), that’s great, but don’t expect this gadget to help you win games.
Gemology: This perk will automatically convert a small percentage (around 10-20%) of coins into ruby-like gems each worth a lot more than one coin. In effect, it boosts your income whenever you’re picking up gold, which is hopefully often. There’s never a bad time to take Gemology, other than “Go X meters without collecting coins” challenges. Otherwise, pair this with Magnetic Coins for a huge revenue boost!
Ezy-Dodge Missiles: Unlike Missile Jammer, the Ezy-Dodge Missiles gadget will work on all projectiles, slightly decreasing their homing capabilities. But like Missile Jammer, this upgrade is pointless. Missiles are among the easiest obstacles in the game to avoid (They have a visual and audio notification!), so just practice dodging them manually. You’re better off saving your gadget slots for something you can’t learn with practice.
Magnetic Tokens: Whether you believe in the power of luck or you simply need to unlock challenges like “Collect X Tokens in one run,” Magnetic Tokens is a great choice. It pulls otherwise difficult or impossible-to-get Tokens right towards you, all but ensuring you get every single one. Combined with Token Gift or Lucky Last, you’ll find yourself swimming in these shimmering rewards.
Flying Pig: When activated, Flying Pig will randomly appear to drizzle extra coins on the bottom of the screen. If you manage to hit him out of the sky, this profit-producing porker will explode into a golden rain, giving you an even bigger monetary boon. Flying Pig’s not always easy to pop, though, so don’t expect to benefit from him if you’re in the middle of a navigational challenge. If you can’t collect him, try teaming it with Coin Magnet or Flash.
Free Ride: Turn this gadget on and you’ll start every run with a vehicle pre-equipped! You won’t get to choose your ride, so you could get stuck with something crappy, but any vehicle is better than no vehicle, especially if you’ve purchased vehicle upgrades. This is a great gadget for increasing survivability and is the #1 choice if you’re trying to complete any vehicle-related challenge. You’ll increase your odds of getting the craft you need by guaranteeing you get at least one per game.
Coin Magnet: Easily one of the better gadgets (if not the best), Coin Magnet creates a field around Barry that pulls money directly towards him. This means you only have to get kinda close to gold in order to pick it up, giving you more room for error and greater income on every run. Coin Magnet can be paired with Flying Pig or Gemology to further boost your profits, too. Do note that Coin Magnet doesn’t work with vehicles; they require separate vehicle magnet upgrades.
Lucky Last: If you’re a Token fiend, you’ll love Lucky Last. It boosts your Final Spin (the actual final one, not all of them) to ensure you win something on your ultimate attempt. It may not be much, but you’re guaranteed to walk away with some kind of bonus, assuming you collected at least one Token during your run. Note that this perk actually gets worse the more Tokens you collect, since it only improves your spin on one of them (the last one).
Flash: Wanna add a Mega Man vibe to Jetpack Joyride? Flash the robo-dog will follow your character around, collecting coins and Tokens for you, as well as knocking over scientists for fun. What’s better, if you activate a vehicle, Flash will get his own miniature version, piloting his ride alongside yours. Flash isn’t as effective at collecting coins or Tokens as their respective magnet gadgets, but he only takes up one slot, freeing up your second ability for something else.
Dezapinator: Like the Missile Jammer, the Dezapinator will randomly disable zappers, preventing them from killing you. Unlike the Missile Jammer, Dezapinator is actually useful, since hard-to-bypass zappers are probably the most frequent cause of death in Jetpack Joyride. It’s still a random effect, so you can’t count on it, but when it does occur, your life will be significantly easier (and longer).
Turbo Boost: The game’s final gadget offers one of its most powerful effects. When equipped, a portal-generating orb will intermittently appear, opening a trail of three glowing gateways in the air. If you touch them, Barry will be accelerated forward 100 meters for each portal, for a total of about 300 meters. What’s more, activating a Turbo Boost will destroy all zappers, missiles, and lasers on screen, essentially giving you 300 meters of guaranteed survival. As long as you’re skilled enough to hit the first boost, you’ll find yourself reaching farther distances faster than ever before.
While you can’t actually select your vehicles (they’re assigned randomly), certain options are better than others. I’m not advising you actively avoid or destroy lesser vehicle packs (since every vehicle provides a single use extra life), but it’s important to know the benefits and limitations of every rig you jump into. Keep in mind that all vehicles can be permanently upgraded with large-radius coin magnets for 5,000 bucks each.
The Hog: Easily the fastest of all the vehicles, it’s also the hardest to control. Within seconds of jumping into the seat of this motorbike, your screen will be scrolling well beyond most humans’ reaction speed. As you barrel along, you’ll automatically kill scientists (Terminator style), and you have the option to launch the Hog into the air with your action key. If you get a few lucky jumps, you could score hundreds of meters out of the Hog, but don’t be surprised if you ram it directly into an impossibly fast-approaching rocket.
The (Crazy Freakin’) Teleporter: Awkward at first, the Teleporter is actually among the most powerful vehicles in Jetpack Joyride. Every time you activate its teleporting ability, your craft will magically apparate to the position indicated by the oscillating cursor. Your coordinates can’t be changed, but your vehicle will be invincible for about a quarter second every time you make a quantum leap. So, with perfect timing, you’ll actually be able to beam directly through deadly obstacles, staying alive for 1,000 or more meters.
The Stomper: What the Stomper lacks in speed it makes up in mass and vertical acceleration. This gigantic mech-style suit can leap and land the entire height of the screen in about a second, making it much more nimble than it looks. If you hold the action key after jumping, you’ll fire retrorockets that will slow (but not stop) your descent. This means you can correct mistimed leaps or more precisely collect long strings of coins. And while the huge size of the Stomper may seem like a downside, it means you’ll collect large amounts of gold with each jump.
The Profit Bird: No, this money-happy vehicle won’t actually generate or grab more coins than other craft; it will just laugh (to the bank, presumably) whenever your wallet gets fatter. Tap rapidly to ascend (as each tap is a wing flap), keeping in mind you don’t have a means to fall quickly when needed. Jetpack Joyride tends to generate particularly devious obstacle patterns for the Profit Bird, so try to stay mid-screen. This strategy will give you more time to correct for floor or ceiling positioned traps.
The Gravity Suit: Easily the worst vehicle in the game, the Gravity Suit is just too slow and unresponsive to be reliable. By hitting the action key, you’ll invert gravity (or revert it to normal) and Barry will “fall” up or down as desired. The problem is that the gravity-switch takes about half a second to go into effect, often far too late to save your life from upcoming perils. If you get stuck with the suit, do your best to survive, but just assume you’ll be losing this vehicle quickly.
Mr. Cuddles: This hilariously named mecha-dragon is extremely powerful for boosting your Jetpack Joyride high scores. Contrary to normal game mechanics, Mr. Cuddles will float at the top of the screen, only descending to burninate scientists when you press and hold the action key. While that may not seem particularly beneficial, the game tends to generate simple patterns whenever you get Mr. Cuddles. These patterns tend to include very few ceiling traps, meaning you’ll live a long time if you hover at the top, only hitting the action key when you see an upcoming burner, blaster, or missile at the ceiling. Ignore coins and upgrades further south; stick to the roof and you’ll get a lot of mileage out of this beast of a vehicle.
All of the jetpacks in Jetpack Joyride function exactly the same: you press the action key (or tap the screen) to fire their thrusters. However, each jetpack’s propulsion system changes the way it impacts the game world.
The default Machine Gun Jetpack works by firing a deadly blast of bullets at anything under you. Indeed, it’s quite entertaining to watch your seemingly harmless flying adventure mow down civilians in a hail of cartoon gunfire. But if you’re trying to earn certain achievements/challenges that require you to progress without killing anyone, you’ll need to pick something else.
For instance, the Steam Powered Jetpack and the Bubble Gun Jetpack will launch you with a stream of harmless water vapor/bubbles. They’ll still knock down scientists, but won’t actually murder them, so you can complete pacifist challenges more easily and ethically. Other options, like the Laser Jetpack, can still kill civilians, so watch out!
Clothing is completely aesthetic, only providing fun and humorous visuals for you the player. Some outfits are required to unlocks various achievements, but none are strictly needed to earn gold or get higher scores.