Build and Expand Your Hay Day Farm Without Spending Any Real Money
by Ask Erin
Game developer Supercell has already proven itself a superstar at topping the App Store charts in gross revenues, not just once but twice, with its extremely popular games Hay Day and Clash of Clans. How are these "free" games making so much money? Through the increasingly popular model of in-app purchases that allow users to spend real life money to buy in-game upgrades.
Before you decide to make Supercell any richer (and yourself any poorer), here are a few game tips that can help you build your farming empire without emptying your pockets.
First: Make Some Serious In-game Money
The game is set up with in-game NPC "customers" who come make outlandish orders for far less money than you would get from selling the exact same products to other players through the in-game advertising system. Ignore these customers unless they are ordering eggs.
Instead, spend a day or two selling all of your produce and crafted goods at your roadside stand. Most crafted goods will sell relatively quickly at the max price allowed by the game because other players want them to fill orders on their river boat once they have it open. If you max the price and then drop it back down by about 10%, your goods will fly off the shelves. You'll make a fortune in no time.
Second: Buy Building Materials with That Money
Once you have a decent amount of in-game money saved up, you can use it to buy the building materials you need without using any diamonds whatsoever. This includes upgrading your barn storage, upgrading your silo storage, and buying land plots to increase the size of your farm.
Find the materials you need through the ads that appear in your mailbox "newspaper" issues. You have to decide what you want ahead of time because this stuff sells FAST, but if you know what you want you can usually manage to make at least one successful purchase per "issue" of the in-game newspaper.
Because each issue lasts for several minutes, and because most issues contain no building materials at all, this process would be intolerably time-consuming if it weren't for a simple game-design principle built around memory management.
Game designers don't want to store anything on your iPhone (or iPad) that the game is not currently using. This frees up active memory, which makes App Store reviewers happy and gets the game accepted into iTunes. Furthermore, Hay Day is not played on Apple servers. It's played on proprietary servers controlled by Supercell. And Supercell doesn't want a lot of their server memory tied up with information you don't need.
What all this means is that the game doesn't hold on to those newspaper issues on either your iOS device or on its own server once the game gets disconnected. Leading us to...
Third: Know the Skinny on the Hay Day Trick
If you quit the game on your iOS device, the newspaper issue will de-spawn and when you restart the game you will get a new one without any waiting.
There's a trick to the trick, however, because you can't just hit the home button. All that does is put the game into the "background" without fully closing it. Hay Day will not disconnect you from its server for a few minutes of grace time, and your newspaper will not de-spawn. This is so that if you are just answering a quick text, for example, you can go back to your game right where you left it without having to reload everything.
Instead, press the home button to get out of the game, and then press the home button again twice in a row. This will bring up a row of apps along the bottom of your screen that you currently have open on your iOS device. Hold the Hay Day button until a red circle with a white dash in it appears, and press the red circle to shut it down. This will completely close out the game, disconnecting you from the Hay Day server and forcing the newspaper to de-spawn. (You might want to close out all of those other apps too, by the way, because apps running in the background can eat up active memory and drain your battery power.)
IMPORTANT: Make sure that you are closing out the Hay Day icon below the line at the bottom of your screen. Holding down any icon on the normal screen and then pressing the "x" that appears will delete the game from your device!
Now, if you happen to have two iOS devices running on the same account (an iPhone and an iPad, for example, or an iPhone and an iPod touch), you can force newspaper re-spawns even faster. Just start the game on one device and check the current newspaper issue. Don't like it? No problem. Start the game on the other device, and you will see an alert pop up on the first device saying that the server connection was lost. (Remember, both devices must be on the same account to force the server logout.)
Now check the newspaper on your second device. It's a brand new issue! If you like something, buy it. It's the same game on the same account, so you can buy things on either device. (This is why logging into one device forces the logout on the other. The game can only "talk" to one open version of the same game at a time.) When you're done, chose the "reconnect" option in the alert on the first device. And voila! Another new issue!
IMPORTANT: Be wary of doing anything besides scanning newspaper issues while hopping back and forth. If you plant crops on one device, for example, and then immediately switch to the other device, the game can bug and lose your crops. They won't show up in your fields, but they won't be in your silo anymore either. If you do buy something, go back to your home farm again before switching devices. This seems to force an inventory save, so you won't lose what you just bought.
You can hop between the two devices to your heart's content, using this method to buy as many upgrade materials as you need. Whether you're farming duct tape on one device or two, it's a little boring once you get the hang of it, but it lets you pour through thousands of player ads as fast as you can scan them rather than getting only a handful every few minutes. In an hour or two you should be able to rack up enough of what you need to make that barn or silo upgrade or that land purchase without spending any real money.
On the other hand, if this is just too painstaking and you absolutely positively have to have that next expansion right this minute, well then go ahead and buy some diamonds. Somebody needs to or else Supercell will cancel the game and I'll have to find something else to do with my free time.Originally Published Jan. 7th 2013