595276_larger-1The Simpsons: Tapped Out [Free] has been one of the most popular games on the App Store, and for good reason. Not only is it based on one of the longest lasting and endearing animated shows ever (up to the mid-1990s, that is, but that’s a subject for another day), but it’s also fun, and there are no true paywalls. Yes, there are countless things you can buy with donuts, but none of them are required to enjoy the game, or progress through the objectives.

With that being said, as a freemium title, you’ll either love it or you’ll hate it, and there usually isn't a middle ground. As there are no actual paywalls in the game, where you’re forced to spend money to continue, this guide will focus on how to earn the most amount of regular in-game money without having to spend a dime of actual money. Additionally, a lot of these tips can be utilized on other similar town building games.

Perform Jobs According To Your Real Life Schedule

Each action you perform has a set time and reward. For example, having Homer play with his MyPad takes only 45 seconds, but rewards a pittance. If you have him watch the Monkey Trauma Center marathon, it’ll take 24 hours, and award a lot of money. Knowing when you’ll be available is a great way to ensure a constant supply of money and actions.

If you wake up at 8am to go to work for 9am and plan on playing when you get home afterwards, use actions that take eight or twelve hours. Going out after work to dinner? Maybe set your characters to do 16 or 24 hour actions. By performing tasks where you know you’ll be gone and can come back just as they finish, you’ll maximize your time and cash payout.

With that being said, though, if you’re home all day, don’t continuously set the low timers (45 seconds), or even the ten minute timers. It’s not effective, and you’ll be constantly having to open the game. If you’re going to set low timers, make sure the lowest one is at least 60 minutes.


Collect From Buildings Periodically

The Simpsons: Tapped Out is no different from similar games in that buildings don’t continue to produce money and experience once it’s ready to be collected. If you have a few minutes here and there, pop into the game and collect from your buildings, so that the timers can restart and they’ll continue to earn. Make sure you do this for your ticket-producing buildings in Krustyland, as well, so you’ll have a consistent flow of tickets.

Time Tasks So All Will Complete At Once

Once your Springfield gets going, you’ll have lots of people wandering around, from the Simpson family to Wiggum and everybody’s favorite mobster. Depending on the buildings you have unlocked, a full day task might not be available to everyone.

If you've set most of your people to 24 hour tasks, and another character doesn't have a timer that long, you can set it to half; that way, when you go collect from him, you can set another 12 hour timer, and collect when everybody else is ready as well. Basically, you want to have it so everybody is done at the same time. Not only do you maximize money earned, but you maximize your time, too.

Always Play the 99:1 Odds at the Racetrack

Sure, you’ll win the dog races more often if you play the 2:1 odds, but you’ll only clear $4000 ($6k reward - $2k bet). For the small bet price, it’s worthwhile to always bet the max odds, at 99:1. You might not win right away, but $198k is well worth the bet.

Always Play the Scratch Ticket

The Scratch-R is cheap at $250, and is good to go every six hours; don’t forget to play it! You’ll more often than not win at least $750.


Mmmm Free Donuts

There are a few in-game ways to get the premium donut currency without paying for it:

  • As a new player, you’ll be awarded a few donuts in the process of leveling up and completing the beginner tasks.
  • Gaining a new level will usually award a donut or two.
  • Every time you clean up debris and garbage, there is a chance of getting a donut. A very low chance, but one nonetheless.
  • If you play for five days in a row, the fifth day will be a Mystery Box bonus unlock.There’s a small chance you can get donuts from it.
  • A one-time Easter Egg you can use: Tell Homer to play with his MyPad, and then rapidly tap on him. He’ll tell you to stop poking him, but eventually, you’ll unlock ten donuts.
  • Occasional special events will award donuts, such as the Mayans in the Treehouse of Horror episode crossover, or Valentines Day specials.


Mmmm Not-So-Free Donuts

Aside from the obvious purchase of donuts (yes, you can spend $99 on fake donuts, without the tastiness and love handles that accompany them), but there are a couple ways to earn donuts without spending a fortune:

  • By buying a Homer Buddha statue, which costs 15 donuts, there’s a chance you’ll earn donuts. This is rare, but it does happen, and 99% of the time you’ll get a premium item instead.
  • You can always buy a Golden Scratch-R at the Kwik-E-Mart, which will reward you with donuts, regardless of what you scratch off. The odds of getting the jackpot of 100 donuts are highly stacked, but you’ll earn at least six.
  • Gil, the man everybody loves to pick on, since he can never make a sale and whose wife is cheating on him, occasionally comes by town to offer a discount on donut packages. This seems to be exceptionally rare. I’ve been playing the game since just after its release, and I’ve only seen Gil twice.

The bottom line to currency in The Simpsons: Tapped Out is that everything you need to complete tasks and level up can be accomplished with regular, in-game money. Donuts are used for premium items and to unlock special characters, all of whom will increase your money and experience output, but none of which are required to advance, and it’s all based on your level of patience and do you really, really want Lard Lad donuts sitting next to Mount Carlmore while Jeremy Freedman walks around?

  • Jake7905

    I always thought the 'Tapped Out' title referred to your bank account after playing this game.

  • Based Xatu

    This is common knowledge stuff. Who spends money on a simulator of a simulation?

    • stormy8888

      I do xD

  • Brendan Braybrook

    build blue houses - a lot of them. they generate $150 every 8 hours and you pay for the house in about 11 taps (which will take you about 6 days, if you log in once in the morning and once before bed). with a big bank of houses, you can generate cash quicker and with less tapping than giving your residents jobs.

    apart from the donuts tips above, this is the best way to play without spending any real money - the blue house completely unbalances the games' economy.

    • Panzerbush

      Yeah, sounds like fun.
      cf. FarmVille, Cow Clicker, Skinner Box.
      No thanks.

      • Brendan Braybrook

        well, then don't play it. you can spend all the time you save posting on internet forums to show how superior your gaming tastes are.

    • mutts

      I use the white houses they give $200 and orange ($250).
      They take longer white is 12 h and orange 16h, but after awhile you get a nice flow going.
      For jobs I focus on 12h and 24 h.

  • toxiccheese

    I cant enjoy a game if I have to worry about playing a certain way just to keep from spending money. These games have to story, no rewarding gameplay, and no end. You tap on something, wait for something to happen, then tap again. Rinse and repeat over and over and over. Ugh.

  • chanandler

    I'm viewing the game more as a collection of characters lol. I've managed to unlock most of them now and some of the stuff they say is hilarious!

    And as the article says, it's not necessary to spend real money, most things can be unlocked just playing.

  • Blodia

    Not only is it based on one of the longest lasting and endearing animated shows ever (up to the mid-1990s, that is, ...)

    THANK you!

  • rewyan

    You should include that when, during the tutorial part, it tells you to speed along the process with donuts, you don't have to. You can simply wait for the thing to finish, without using the donuts they tell you to.

  • gavone72

    How can you say bet on the 99-1 dog to collect $198k, when it only pays $20k if it gets up (for a $2k outlay)? Please do some more research before writing ridiculously inaccurate statements. It's not that hard, really.

    • gavone72

      **$180k was your comment - irony at its finest, lol. Premise remains though. Pretty inaccurate statement.

    • Nate

      You might want to look at that list of payouts again. It's pretty clearly $200k.

      • gavone72

        So it does, my apologies. I feel like an idiot!! Damn you lack of commas.

  • Bob Loblaw Lobs Law Bomb

    Don't visit "other Springfields" of "friends" from the internet, or you will start to covet the premium content.

    • GQRugged.

      What do you mean exactly?

  • Ron Mills

    I recently discovered a tool for Simpsons Tapped out that can give you
    unlimited donuts and cash.Now I feel stupid that I spend some money when
    I could have received everything for free and enjoy the game more!Oh
    well...Here is the site: bit. ly/1jCuZZF (remove the space between bit. and ly for the link to work) ..

  • GQRugged.

    Build Brown houses this is the quickest way to get money without spending real money.