Tiny Death Star: Top 10 tips, hints, and cheats to crush the rebellion faster!

Definitive Tiny Death Star Guide: How to build the Death Star for fun and profit, and crush the Rebellion too!

LucasArts and NimbleBit have collaborated on what may be one of the most deviously addictive and adorable mobile games yet - Tiny Death Star. The game uses the same mechanics as NimbleBit's enormously popular game Tiny Towers, but sets the game in the Star Wars universe.

In Tiny Death Star, You oversee the construction of the Death Star with Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader. As it turns out, the Rebellion has drained the Empire's coffers, so the Emperor has come up with a cunning plan: Develop civilian levels on the Death Star to raise money for the imperial work that has to be done in the lower levels. You're in charge of that effort - you have to build level upon level, populating the Death Star with a lucrative combination of retail, entertainment, recreation and service facilities, along with residential levels to house your workers, and imperial levels where the dark work of the Emperor and Darth Vader can continue.

Gameplay for Tiny Death Star is simple, but the game isn't easy. That's why we've come up with this guide to Tiny Death Star to help you on your way.

1. Evict freeloaders.

Some people just aren't right for the job. Any job. Whenever a new resident moves in, the first thing you'll see is their skill set. If they have low numbers for each skill, don't even give it a second thought - boot them. The last thing you want is an unmotivated worker. The higher their skills, the more productive they'll be when you assign them a job.

2. Keep an open apartment on every level.

Every time you build an apartment level, five new flats open up. Your tendency will be to want to fill them with every person that visits the empty floor. Resist that urge. If those bitizens don't meet your needs, evict them. And it's sometimes a good idea to take someone who may not be bad at things but may just not be great at things and boot them instead.

3. Give workers their dream gigs.

You get a special bonus for placing workers in their dream jobs, too. If one of those great bitizens arrive when you don't have an open apartment to put them in, they're lost to you forever; you'll get a tip for bringing them to the apartment level they tell you to go to, but they won't benefit you at all otherwise.

4. Build a few apartments early

Sure, you're going to end up with a lot of unemployed bitizens early in the game, but hear me out: Lower apartment levels are easier to fill. You'll have a better selection of bitizens to start putting into jobs later in the game. when apartments get built on really high levels, it's more difficult to get bitizens to visit them, and you have to rely on VIPs like Recruiting Officers to fill them. What's more, having a ready pool of available talent means you can be more selective when it comes to hiring high-skilled workers.

5. Upgrade your elevator

As soon as you have enough Imperial Bux to afford it, upgrade your elevator. Not only will you be able to move Bitizens faster, but you'll collect an increased tip for each level you bring them to. Upgrading to the twice-as-fast elevator, for example, will get you 20 coins when bringing someone to level 10. And it also helps you move traffic that much faster, which makes it more likely you'll find VIPs that you need to move the game along.

6. Save your Bux

Level-building gets expensive quickly. You may want to covert Bux to coins to help speed along level creation, but resist the urge. It's short term gain, to be sure, but you'll find yourself in the hole very quickly, and it'll make you more likely to spend real-world money through In-App Purchases to help get a leg up on the game. And that rabbit hole goes down very far, indeed.

7. Keep space for your VIPs

VIPs arrive with other Bitizens; they can upgrade levels, or fill an entirely empty apartment block with new tenants who need jobs. They're also Imperial supply officers who can create items that Darth Vader wants. You can park up to five of them at a time on the Arrivals level, but it's a good idea to keep at least one slot free - that way if a special VIP arrives, you can put them to good use. Otherwise you'll have to use them right away.

8. Manage your inventory effectively

Each business sells up to three items. The first item is the least expensive, but also takes the least time to craft. The second and third items take longer, but you get a lot more. Make sure to craft the expensive items when you're planning to leave the game for the hours you'll need to make them. Also, try to have your businesses completely stocked before you quit the game - your bitizens will continue to buy goods and services while you're away.

9. Spread your risk

Don't build too many of one kind of business. Try to keep it balanced between food, retail, service and recreation. Too many of any kind of business makes buyers appear less frequently.

10. Visitors save build time

Any time a store is crafting a product or a level is being built, bringing a visitor to that level shaves a minute off the build time. While you have to bring visitors to whatever "normal" level they want to go, any visitor can be brought to an Imperial level. So it's a good way to shave minutes off your Imperial level build times, especially.

Bonus: Take control of time!

Here's a cheat, of sorts, although it has consequences. Since each product or service has a build time associated with it, you can speed things up by moving the clock on your iOS device forward. Be warned, however, that Tiny Death Star knows when it's been fooled. When you move the clock back, the game will jettison one of your bitizens out the airlock as punishment. If you do use this cheat, best not to start any new builds when the clock is moved forward - otherwise you'll find that product build times are now in negative time, since their creation date is still in the future.

I hope you've gleaned some useful strategies and tips from my top ten list. I'd love to hear how they work out for you, so post your comments. If you come across any other hot Tiny Death Star tips and tricks, let me know here in the comments or on Twitter @flargh.

Your best Tiny Death Star tips, hints, and cheats?

Did we miss any of your favorite Tiny Death Star tips, hints, or cheats? If so, let us know in the comments below! If you haven't downloaded Tiny Death Star, give it a try! It's free to play (you can buy credits and bux using real-world currency as in-app purchases).

Peter Cohen