Flappy Bird: Top 5 tips, hints, and cheats

Flappy Bird is the hottest game on the App Store — at least for the moment — and topmost on every gamer's mind is how to get a higher score than their friends... and without smashing their phone to pieces in the process. A fantastically terrible game, its design is derivative, its mechanics maddening, and its popularity no doubt the result of incredible rage-of-mouth marketing. Yet despite all of that (or maybe because of it)... Can't. Stop. Playing. So how can you get better at Flappy Bird faster? For some games it's simply a matter of finding the right tips, hints, and cheats. Flappy Bird, however, is so simple, that there are few to no ways to hack the system. But that doesn't mean you can't hack yourself...

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1. Bigger is better

Flappy Bird might be an iPhone game but that doesn't mean you can't play it on the iPad, if you have one. At 2x on the iPad, Flappy Bird is literally twice as big and that means you not only have a great field of play, but an easier way of discerning details, and less of a chance your own finger will obscure your view and get in your way.

2. Stay out of your own way

If you are playing Flappy Bird on an iPhone, pick a smart place to tap and stick with it. If you're right handed, the bottom right corner works well. It's comfortable but also won't obscure the oncoming pipes so you can see their arrangement as early as possible. If you're left handed, there's little risk of obscuring the pipes, but you'll still want to stick with the bottom corner to make sure the bird stays in focus. (I know some people who use a thin stylus instead of their finger to game for just that reason.)

3. Do not Disturb is your friend

Improve your iPhone's bedside manner with this quick Do Not Disturb tip

There's no feeling in the world worse than getting close to your high score only for your phone to ring and take you right out of the game. Or for your iPhone — or iPad! — to pop up a message, sound an alarm, or otherwise shock you into tap-tripping, pipe-smashing doom. Do yourself a favor and turn on Do not Disturb before you start to play.

You might also want to take a moment to force quit all other apps and reboot before you play. Flappy Bird is as glitchy as it is annoying, and a crash is as bad a call or an alert while you're tying to beat your high score.

4. It's all in the timing

The single most important skill in Flappy Bird is timing your taps. The game is entirely about getting the bird through the pipes without touching any part of them. That means you have to learn to keep it as level as possible. Since the bird is always coming up or going down, the trick is to time your taps so that the amplitude of those peaks and dips are as short as possible — short enough to fit through the pipes. Tap quickly, tap regularly.

The next trick is to learn to recover to that rhythm quickly after you rise or fall to the right height for the pipe. You'll need to tap or double-tap up, or pause down, then get stable again really fast. If you're a natural, curse you. If not, you're going to have to practice. A lot.

5. Manage your stress

Your body doesn't know the difference between real stress — look out, car! — and virtual stress — look out, pipe! Games cause a physical reaction. A rush. That's why we play them. But it's also why they can make us crazy. Luckily, because the body doesn't know the difference, the same things that can keep us calm in the real world can keep us calm in the game world too: Slow, steady, breathing. Sounds silly, I know, but there's a reason why the best fighters, the best sharpshooters, and the best surgeons all learn to manage their breathing. It creates calm. It creates focus. It puts you in the zone. And it means that, when you start getting close to your high score — or your friend's high score — you'll be less likely to freak out and fly right into a pipe.

  • ZEN & TECH 1: How to breathe your way to lower stress

Bonus tip: Fly low!

From our own Kevin Michaluk in the comments:

If you come into the pipes on the low side and tap right before, there's less chance of tapping too hard and crashing on the high side. If you come in middle or high and tap a bit too hard, you're crashy bird. I kept crashing on the high side so switching to this technique helped me triple my score fast.

Your top Flappy Wing tips, hints, and tricks?

If these Flappy Bird tips, hints, and cheats work for you, be sure to let me know, and if you've come up with other ways to do better, faster at Flappy Bird, absolutely let me know. And, as always, include your high score!

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.