As far as time management games go, Star Wars: Tiny Death Star [Free] is about as simple as it gets when it comes to understanding its freemium aspects. It takes time to stock floors, sell items and earn coins, and build floors. The game’s premium Imperial Bux can be used to speed up each of those activities and acts as the only currency that can be used to upgrade your bitizen-ferrying elevator. Still, there are a few tips and tricks that players can adhere if they want to get the most bang for their bux.

Horde Your Bux Early On for Elevator Upgrades

Simply put, the starting elevator in Tiny Death Star sucks. At the start of a new game, you’ll want to save up as soon as you can for the first upgrade. It’s much faster than the starter, coin rewards are doubled, and a faster elevator means more potential bitizens. Personally, I’d recommend saving all your bux just for elevator upgrades, as the upgrade benefits are real, useful and the only way to to upgrade an elevator is with bux.

This also means that you should refrain from spending bux on skipping missions, fast-tracking restocking or buying out inventory. Restocking and inventory simply take time, while missions are almost never worth skipping, even if the requirements feel onerous. Also, I wouldn’t recommend spending bux to fill residential vacancies, at least at the onset. Once you get more floors and it becomes less likely you’ll ferry a bitizen to a specific new residence, you can consider it (however, see the tip further down on dream jobbers to minimize this desire).

screen1136x1136-171Save Your Recruiter VIP for New Floors

The Recruiter VIP is my favorite person in Tiny Death Star, as he’ll instantly fill out any vacancies in whatever residential floor you take him too. If you take him to a completely empty floor, that’s five new residences that would have either taken five bux or a decent amount of time trying to ferry bitizens to that respective floor. They’re also pretty rare, too. Thus, it makes perfect sense to save them for when you have empty floors. If you get one before you have an empty floor, save it and build one before using it.

Go All In On Dream Jobbers

As we mentioned in our review, Tiny Death Star is pretty stingy when it comes to doling out bux. In fact, the only sure fire way of earning them is to place bitizens in their respective dream jobs, which doubles the stock of the item they are in charge of and also provides a one-time reward of one bux. So it’s in your best interest to try and place as many bitizens as you can into their respective dream jobs. There are a few techniques you can employ to make this happen more often.

For starters, make sure that you build lots of extra residential floors. One piece of advice I’ve heard is to make every other floor residential. This will not only make it far more likely that an elevator-riding bitizen will actually go fill a vacant spot on a resident floor, but it also means you’ll have tons of extra unemployed bitizens with dream jobs that need to be satisfied. Once you’ve gotten a good system going, it’s just a matter of moving in bitizens, placing them in their dream jobs, and evicting any bitizens that either have dream jobs for floors you haven’t built yet or have already given you their bonuses and have been replaced. This tactic is a little tough at the onset when you don’t have too many floors, but the more you have, the easier it’ll be to cycle dream jobbers in and out.

Reserve Floor Upgrades for Low Stock Shops

This may be more of a personal preference for me, but I’m not a fan of having to deal with floors that have low inventory/restock times. So whenever I had some spare credits or a VIP that upgraded floors, I’d focus on those floors. As you upgrade them, both their inventory and restock timers get longer, meaning you have to check them less throughout the day. Considering Tiny Death Star doesn’t really give players any bonuses for perpetually fully stocking floors (other than an occasional buying frenzy), I’d rather simply have an upgraded floor that I have to check less.

Practice Common Sense Time Management

As with most timer-based freemium games, it’s never a bad idea to remember to practice good timer management. Make sure your restock timers are either in progress or stocked when you know you’re going to be away from the game for awhile. Remember, Tiny Death Star won’t let you know when an individual floor runs out of stock, so it’s never a bad idea to periodically check on the game when you know you have multiple floors that were completely stocked.

  • rewindx

    Nice guide. Thank you for writing it.

  • Zeital

    I do two thing to get floors and extra bux. I do a 4/4 ratio so the 4 job floors then 4 residential. And then the occasional imperial if that comes up as a task. Always put people in dream job. So that also means putting new people you get into the dream job then evicting once you have the bux (if you have 3 dreamers already). I already have the 2nd last elevator but I'm in AU so I've been playing from the soft launch.

  • JudahJames

    My question is what are the basement/imperial floors all about? What is the point of making inventory items? It seems a little pointless to even bother building imperial levels. Anyone know what the inventory items are used for?

    • slammajamma28

      Currently, they're only used to complete the tasks. Which don't even seem to be beneficial given the small amount of coins they give early on. Unless eventually it starts awarding bucks, it seems useless.

      • Dave Metzener

        See my reply to @the fish...

    • mudads

      Tap on the floor right under the arrivals floor. That is where you can see your progress on the imperial levels. There is a point to them, it's just not explained well. I just happened to stumble across it the other day when I tapped the floor accidentally.

    • the fish

      Until now I see no point in them. A new floor costs me 135000 now but the benefits of imperial floors are so low it's simply now worth it. Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't think so. The balance of cost and reward is simply not right. I rather build floors that bring constant income.

      • Dave Metzener

        You have to keep going with the Imperial floors. I have quite a few now and my latest goal reward is 183,000 credits. I need 30 items that will take 20 hours if I stay on top of the timers, but even a 200,000 credit reward every other day is quite a haul.

      • the fish

        Ok. Now that's something 🙂 How many imperial floors do you have and how many in total?

      • Dave Metzener

        I have 8 Imperial floors and 33 total floors. I just make sure to work on the imperial goals as well as the emperor goals.

        I've been setting timers on my phone to alert me when the imperial tasks are finished to keep on top of them because they are starting to really pay off.

      • JudahJames

        So are you saying that when you collect enough imperial items you get a money bonus? Do I combine them like gems in Diablo? Maybe I'm overthinking this simple little game? 🙂

      • Dave Metzener

        The floor below the Lobby (the floor between 1 and -1) is where you tap to find what tasks need to be completed to get the reward in credits. There will be times when an imperial goal is to build a specific imperial floor. That may take longer than you would like since those floors seem to come randomly. However, once you have the floors, the imperial goal rewards can get pretty high.

      • JudahJames

        Holy Crap!! That is so cool! Thank you for the tip!! Why does the game NOT say this?! You'd think that there would be an in-game heads-up. Looks like I've got a jump on the crafting missions. Woohoo! 🙂

      • Dave Metzener

        That's actually a good point. I think the Emperor should have you tap that floor as one of the Emperor goals early on in the game. It has you tapping on pretty much all the items in the menu screen.

        I just came across it by accident when I meant to tap on the -1 floor to collect the completed task.

      • Patt

        Did you also know that if you carry any elevator passenger to an imperial floor that is building something, the passenger takes a minute off the timer?

      • Dave Metzener

        They do that with any floor they visit. It's just that if they are headed to a positive floor, they will only get off on the floor they are looking for, where if they are sent to the Imperial floors, they can get off on any of the floors with negative numbers.

        I often send bitizen's that are headed to residential floors that are all occupied down there since the time off those tasks are worth more to me than the small amount of credits I would get for them up top. >:)

  • Taclys

    In before "how about you just don't play it"

    Good article, good helpful tips.

  • QWERTYthebold

    If just be happy if I could progress at all. But no iPod touch support, so...

  • SumoSplash

    I try to decide which scenario sucks more, actually playing the Freemium game and attempting to manage how to extract a worthwhile experience, or simply avoiding the game entirely. A pound of bird poop weighs the same as a pound of horse poop.

  • OneBagTravel

    39 floors. Dunno why I'm still playing this game but I haven't spent a dollar 😮

    • SoyGreen

      Yeah - I got to 34 floors I think and finally said "What the heck is the point!?!?!" There just isn't one.

      I deleted after I read a comment in the review post from the Windows Phone guy who hacked the game. There are a limited number of floors you can reach - but elevator and floor upgrades never end. There is no end to the game - just clicking restock over and over and over... Glad I quit. 🙂

      I spent $0 as well... ALMOST dropped $5 right away... glad I restrained myself.

      • Dave Metzener

        The point of the game is to waste 5 or 10 minutes every so often. Which is the point of pretty much all casual games. I played Tiny Towers for almost a year off and on. It got to the point where I was building floors that I couldn't assign a type of business to because I had build them all. I was waiting on NimbleBits to create new businesses. It also took over 2 days to complete.

        I got tired of waiting for NimbleBits to come up with new businesses. I get the feeling that they just stopped because of all the new development they were doing.

        SW:TDS will get to that point as well. I am sure they will get tired of coming up with new businesses, but I suspect that it will take a lot longer since they have all of Star Wars lore to pull from.

  • zalanking

    i was so angry! today i logged in, and every saved progress was i deleted...i was so disappionted...

  • anabolicMike

    The game kept sending me push notifications even when I disabled them. I hate that. Hate it like a pop bottle hates a scarfcickle.

    • Dave Metzener

      There is a bug in the settings part of the app that keeps forgetting settings. Just toggle the setting again and it should stop notifying you. I turned notifications off almost immediately since the game sends one for EVERY finished task! That could be hundreds when I get to 100+ floors.

      • SoyGreen

        Nope - once you reopen the app it just keeps forgetting it. The game would NEVER remember that I turned off the sound for the elevator and would always play that dang sound.

        Glad I deleted in the end... no more notifications and no more senseless clicking. No point in it. 🙂

  • doublezz

    Just an opinion, freemium is fine, as long as it is implemented in the right way.

    I prefer the freemium game with IAP to "upgrade to full version" instead of "purchasing gold"

    These days as soon as I see "purchase gold" usually I ignore the game.

  • RunningWild

    Answer: Delete the app.

  • Dave Metzener

    Another tip is to be very careful when tapping on completed tasks, especially the imperial tasks. If you have Supply Officers stored in the Lobby, when you start an imperial floor on the next task, you will find that the game pulls one of your Lobby Supply Officers instead of asking to call one for 1,000 credits.

    I wasn't paying attention and used about 85% of my Bux that I had. From 60 to 14! I'm slowly building back up my Bux, but it's going to take a lot of time to get to 125 for the next elevator. 🙁

    • Pheebers

      Wait - from pulling supply officers?

      • Dave Metzener

        Oh sorry, no. I lost those Bux because instead of asking if I wanted to pay 1,000 credits to call a Supply Officer, it had already pulled that officer and started working on the task, I tapped again without paying attention to the dialog that was asking if I wanted to pay 45 Bux to complete the task instead of waiting the 2 hours to complete it naturally.

        I've been tapping much slower on the imperial floors these days. 🙂

  • dave71

    New update . Hmmmm .. Can't make people unemployed now to change jobs . Dearth vader pops up and says I need a new floor ??? And the app keeps asking me to type in iTunes password ?? They broke it

    • zenzizi

      [ YES - Those 2 changes are SO annoying ]

    • Corky McButterpants

      I too thought it was a game-breaker, but you just have to free up a job slot...only way to do that, unfortunately, is to evict. Just pick the most work-shy bitizen then you can get back to farming 'dream job' bux 🙂

      • Dave Metzener

        Evict or build a new business floor. That way you don't have to evict anyone. 🙂

      • Corky McButterpants

        Ah yeah! I just don't feel like obeying a half-inch Darth Vader; but seriously, if your not putting it to one side, that's an awful lot of lost bux while you wait 16 hours for your new floor...

      • Dave Metzener

        I guess I have been tempered by playing Tiny Tower for a year and having to wait over 2 days for new floors to be completed. After all, I have to wait for all my shop floors to finish before I can move employee's around as well. :shrug:

    • Dave Metzener

      OK, so the unemploy thing is a new bug. I was wondering. I was pretty sure I could do that with Tiny Tower. You can unemploy bitizens if there is a floor with open jobs. It's just if all your jobs are full that you get Mr. Vader.

      That password thing is very annoying.

      I have found a couple of other bugs too. Ability to order tasks from an Imperial floor that hasn't completed construction yet. Unable to close out a dialog. Settings not being remembered. Emperor tasks being completed, yet the Emperor doesn't recognize the completion.

      I submitted all these bugs to LucasArts just now. Hopefully they will get fixed soon. All except the password thing. I thought that was an iOS bug.

  • blackbear219

    I deleted this one after a day or two. It is the definition of a pointless exercise.

  • somethingelsefl

    STAR WARS ALL THE GAMES! Next up: Plants vs Zombies: Star Wars. Followed soon after by "Where's My Force" and "Star Wars with Friends"

    Sigh. I'm a just a jealous Trekkie.

    • con4224

      well, i don't think any trekkie must be jealous... only "real" star wars game on iOS is KOTOR (which, admittedly, is a great game)

    • Gypsy3142

      Same here, where's the Tiny Enterprise game?? 🙁

  • MojoCuervo


    Using the VIP upgrader does NOT increase the stock time. This makes a huge difference. It will still increase the amount stocked but not the timer.

    I would suggest upgrading your floor with the greatest stock amount. (I'm upgrading my karaoke, base amount = 4000, but others have said the bounty hunter floor has a higher base stock amount). Then have a big spender VIP waiting for when it stocks, and blammo! big bucks! I'm currently netting about 30K+ when I send my VIP big spender to my karaoke bar!

    • Cassandra Strawn

      I'm 70 floors in, and the biggest bang for your buck I've found is getting the Big Spender to buy all of the Assassinations at the Imperial Court. Unupgraded, it's ~$30,000. Upgrade the level three times and it's ~$76,000, and so on and so on. I normally just bank the Big Spender until only Assassinations is fully stocked on that level.

  • con4224

    i think it's a bad sign for iOS gaming that these 'how to play xyz without spending money' posts appear more and more regularly on toucharcade...

    • Dave Metzener

      Are you kidding? There has been a need for such articles for several years now. Pretty much ever since "Freemium" apps have been in existence.

      Sadly, this game's guide is very short showing that SW:TDS isn't as free with it's Bux as other Freemium games are.

      • Corky McButterpants

        It's not the need, con4224 is simply bemoaning the ever-growing trend for freemium gaming models...and hence the need for 'workaround' tutorials.

  • Fahrengeit

    I want to add some advices.
    First of all, you get buxes for fulling stock. But it happens very very rarely.

    And another, the biggest option - you can take all of your visitors to Imperial floors. They will just go away. So it's much easier to get citizens. You just lift down to "-1 floor" and wait for VIPs or for visitors with floor of your empty apartment. I think this feature worth a lot. And upgrading of elevator with it becomes useless feature.

  • owally

    I'm not very far in (39 floors, 55 bitizens) and I've already finished the Imperial tasks. Got to admit I'm a bit disappointed, I've only got 8 of the 14 Imperial levels (I skipped 2 tasks which weren't for very much money as I didn't have of the levels they asked for). I was hoping it was going to keep developing until eventually build the laser to blow up Alderaan? Kinda seems lame from the developers after all the time I've put in that it's just a message saying 'You have completed the Imperial tasks'.

    Secondly, I stopped doing the other main mission tasks ages ago because it just says things seemingly at random like 'Build two Food Levels!' when food levels are what I already have the most of. Was loving this game but I think I've outplayed it - shame it couldn't have had a bit more work put in to the later stages. Anyone else experienced these same shortcomings?

    I guess the thing now is to collect all the races and unlock the videos. My favourite so far is sending in the droid to Holochess Hall and seeing Chewbacca freak out.

    BTW - tip - if you already have 3 x 9-rated dream jobs on a level, you can still get the bux if another lower rated dream job bitizen moves in - give him the job, then immediately evict him, and re-hire the previous bitizen.

    • Dave Metzener

      That's disappointing. Tiny Tower had a lot more to do early on. Hopefully SW:TDS will keep getting updated with new Imperial goals.

      BTW, has anyone noticed that the roof of the Death Star seems to have growing activity as new floors are added? I've only noticed two stages unless my failing memory is messing with me. There was the beginning with very little activity up there, and now there is a small AT-AT up there working.

      • Cassandra Strawn

        It definitely changes. Stage 3 hits somewhere around 50-60 (I wasn't paying attention when), and gives you a huge gray machine with multiple red eyes stacking pylons and two smaller gold robots flying overhead.

        I am one level from flipping over into 70, where I suspect it will change again if it's going to.

    • Dave Metzener

      Well, I just finished my last Imperial quest too. I'm really surprised. It seemed like there were way more initial quests in TT when they added them way back.

      Considering the IP, you would think that there would be just tons of quests, floors and other fun stuff in the initial release...

    • Patt

      Agreed. Just finished imperial quests as well. Quite disappointing. 🙁

  • Danny

    What is the most profitable shop / stock to send a VIP to?

  • Sandy

    Has anyone else noticed that occasionally double points are given on the elevator runs? I'm up to the 3rd level of elevator. For example, sometimes a trip to the 11th floor nets me 33 coins, but sometimes I get 66 coins. It seems to happen most often on the higher floors and on the Imperial floors. I'm hoping this occasional "doubling" is a bit of intentional happiness from Disney/Nimblebit and not a bug to be eliminated in the future.

    The most annoying bug...The Emperor not recognizing you've completed a task! Oh we'll, Lord Vader's Imperial tasks pay better anyways.

    Also annoyed that I couldn't find a way to load my existing game (52 floors!) onto my new iPad, when I decided to switch from playing on my phone.

  • Sandy

    After really paying attention to when exactly the coin value of the elevator trips are doubled I came to this conclusion: when the visitor is a "celebrity" such as Leia, Lando, Bounty Hunter, etc., that's when the coin value is double the normal for the grade of elevator you own. Also on top of the doubling of coins I realized that all customers coming in are now buying one of each of the items in stock (just like the Celebrity VIP). A COOL change in gameplay over Tiny Tower. And I did love Tiny Tower. Only stopped playing cause there was nothing left to do.

  • Sandy

    Don't know if anyone is actually reading these comments anymore. But I realized today that the Bitizens that arrive with a "?" instead of a floor number are the Bitizens that double the coins received for delivering them to their destination. So if you're lucky enough to have a fully stocked floor, you make some serious coin. Nice little Easter Egg gem! Thanks developers!

  • BanjoRebel

    I'm to the point where I can't progress anymore ("No New Levels Of This Type For Your Amount Of Progress" message with 120 bitizens - 16 Imperial levels, 24 Residential levels & 10 of each business totaling 81 levels), but some of my bitizens have dream jobs for floors I haven't even built yet. How is this that the game knows there are other levels available but won't allow me to build them? I realize it's a game & will indefinitely have an ending point, but if the bitizens are programmed to have a dream job in a non-existant level, why would the dream job be programmed to them in the first place?

    • Derek armstrong

      I'm in the same the game just ends like that? That sucks

  • Derek armstrong

    Why can't I build more levels? I assume I maxed out but I still see the coming soon option. What needs to be done

  • mxmissile

    58 levels and i cant take it anymore, such a waste

  • eddmon

    there is one imperial assignment thst rewards about 12 big spenders, stored incargo bay. i try and stock something big like the marriage centre using the 3 coin stock, then bring in the bs for 30000 credits. i guess its just saving time, but its a nice boost to the bank every 4 hours or so.

  • eddmon

    oh i also notice you omly need a bitizen to order and not to sell, do you can run the shops by swapping out bitizens to order, and then move them on to a new shop once ordering is complete, so 5 bitizens can run 2 business or 7 can run 3, the selling goes on and you need to set an alarm to bring the bitizen back for restocking, adds a bit of sn edge. neo conservative method of running your death star.

  • Kevin McCarty

    I use a hack for Star Wars Tiny Death Star that gave me unlimited imperial bux and credits. Here it is: g4mehacks .com/star-wars-tiny-death-star-hack/