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
  • Thanks for the tips! Sent from the iMore App
  • That game looks awesome! I never heard of it until it was mentioned in the podcast. Definitely worth looking into I believe. Sent from the iMore App
  • I wish there was iCloud game save sync between iOS devices.
  • I do too. I was so disappointed when I fired this up on my iPhone for the first time to discover it hadn't synced with my iPad.
  • Great tips, unfortunately for me, just as with Tiny Tower, I've had to quit playing... Playing this game gives me head aches. Sent from the iMore App
  • Great tips. Also, you might want to add to be careful in building trenches and to hide their exhaust ports well. ;-) Sent from the iMore App
  • LOL
  • Well played!
    xD Sent from the iMore App
  • This is a fun & addicting game even if you aren't a Star Wars fan (I am btw), but why do they include zero help guides in the game? I would like to see what every single part of each screen means, because some of these things are kind of confusing. Several questions come to mind: 1) what do the X and check marks mean on each level? 2) how does money accumulate when you're offline? 3) what does upgrading ranks do specifically? and 4) what do you gain by having the Imperial levels? I'm sure these are easy questions to answer, but I haven't seen a good guide that goes into detail about every aspect of the game. This is a good article, though, and I gained some good tips from it. Thanks!
  • 1) An X means you are out of the corresponding item. You need to click on that level and click "place order".
    2) Bitizens keep buying stuff when you're offline. That's why supplies run out.
    3) Upgrading levels increases the maximum amount of an item a level can contain. It basically means that you will run out of supplies a little slower.
    4)Imperial levels, with the help of Supplies Officers, create products such as rebel secrets or security codes. If you click on level 0 (just below level one), you will see a sort of ingredient list of these items needed to complete missions in order to make money.
  • Nice tips! Would love to see one for Pocket Trains! That game is awesome and very very addictive.
  • Dang it! Don't give away all the secrets! I'm with Peter et al that we need in iPad version . Sent from the iMore App
  • This game has me hooked. Sending Princess Leia to the Interrogation Level is always fun.
  • Great tips! Sent from the iMore App
  • Thanks - fun game! Still not entirely sure what I'm doing, but that's okay! Sent from the iMore App
  • OK some more tips for you. 1a. Freeloaders. I try to keep the minimum skill level to 7 when employing someone. Sometimes you have to go lower but that's a good guide. Obviously if your running low on bucks then you might have to use a lowbie for a while. 1b. Higher Level = Faster Builds. Unlike Tiny Tower where you got cheaper builds for making stuff with higher level peeps, Death Star makes it go a bit fast the better the people you have working there. There seems to be no cost to building things in Death Star. 11. Dream Gig = Double Inventory. How do you miss this one? When you have a level with Dream Gig employees - you get double the inventory for the same build time. So 1x Dream Gig = 2x inventory of the 1 coin stuff, 2x Dream Gig = 2x the 2 coin stuff, 3 Dream Gigs = 2x the 3 coin stuff. Can make a huge difference. 12. Ignore Crap Levels. Not all levels are equal. Look at how much inventory you can build on a level and move your employees around to service the better ones. e.g. - The Cantina lvl 1 is 11 units. Put people elsewhere where you get higher returns. Unlike Tiny Towers you can't destroy a useless level and start over, so I just ignore these. 13. Employ EVERYONE - then boot them. As a follow on from point 1 - even if someone is lvl 0, give them their Dream Job if you have the level, then just boot them immediately. You get a Bonus Buck = Free Employee Rent for next one. Even if your floor is full, it's worth moving someone around if you can to get the bonus. 14 Build Big Stuff First. Yeah it takes a lot longer, but they last a lot longer too and you make much more $. Build the 3 coin stuff first, then 2, then 1. You just make more $. If you really want to crank the gold and your going to be checking the app every 15-30 mins, don't bother with 1's. Every 1 gold product sold is a wasted 2-3 gold product. 15. Move It Baby: Move your employees around. Don't have an employee filling every floor while you are building up. If you have more floors than apartments, then you are making more money if you have the time to move people around. I had a few spare slots till I got to about 4-5 each over everything, then went to 10 of every floor with no more employees till then. Also makes it heaps easier at the end to pretty much employee everyone into their dream gig as you have so many spaces. 16. Missions suck. OK the whole Star Wars story is kinda fun for the first 10 levels. But after that it's just Tiny Towers really. Rewards don't scale so getting 400 Gold for building a Rec Level when its costing me 400,000+ - who cares. 17. Imperial Missions. Big Gold here - but after 5 levels they are kinda random so the one you need to full fill your destiny might take ages. You can also build most things by summoning a dude for 1000 gold instead of waiting for one to come along. Short of it is you can spend $10k on building stuff for a $30+k reward. Nice. But yeah, I left them till last after the first 5-6. 18. Finding Peeps. Good source of Bux. Pro Tip - they won't be found in the imperial levels. 2nd Pro Tip - Scroll down to search, then use the Top Left corner (# of employees) to quick scroll back to the top and start again. Just faster. 19. Lifts suck after about lvl 20. Only bother with if your having a crap and have done everything else. 20. Princess Leia is still the only chick in Star Wars. 21. More of a Question - is this the first Star Wars game to feature the characters from the original trilogy? I haven't played all SW games by a long way, but I remember most of them suck because your playing some no name dude. 22. OK last bit - will we see a reverse game where we are taking building orders from Yoda and finding Imperial Scum? I always feel bad ratting out Chewie.
  • Cute game. I tried to get into these "management" games and I really screw things up after a while out of boredom. Sent from the iMore App
  • Using cheat engine, find the value of your credits. Then increase to 99999999999. This will work, i've done it. Next your bux are harder to increase. Do the same as above but instead of 9999999999 you have to do -9999999999. Tiny DeathStar knows when its been fooled. inputing 9999999999 bux will actually void all of your bux! So REMEMBER -9999999999 NOT 9999999999! Putting in the minus will create bux. Then you have infinite bux and credits! Muwahahaha!
  • Wonderful tips - I soared through with them. The best are:- don't spend your bux, save them up for the lift upgrades (saves soo much time), keep an apartment on each residential free (great for being able to constantly move 'employees' around, dream job allocation and gaining bux) and saving VIPs for when needed so they don't cost you anything.
    The imperial levels dont require too much attention but a little bit can go along way. I recently finished an imperial mission and gain 350,000 coins - enough for 3 New levels. HOWEVER I seem to have hit a stumbling block. The game said I've no more imperial missions to complete (but have the Emperors' missions and levels still to build ) and I have not received a VIP of any kind since. Is this a glitch?
  • I use the game on an android device, is the game synced on my account in case I change my device?
  • If you use a Google account on tiny death star it will transfer if you log in on the other device
  • Whenever you get level movers, use them to bring your apartment levels towards the bottom. this way you're getting higher tips AND time off of production with almost every delivery.
  • Question-mark characters in the elevator will give double the tip than normal bitizens. So say i had the times 4 tip elevator and sent a question-mark character to floor 1, that character would give a tip of 8 coins instead of a normal bitizens that would only give 4 coins. This may not seem like much but when you get to floor 45, like I'm at right now, that means the question-marked character will give me 360 coins instead of 180. but this doesn't mean that you should always take them to the highest floor, because these characters also make whatever business floor you send them to have an instant frenzy. so you can make more coins by sending them to a floor a little lower than the top to where you have at least 1 and 2 coin stock in-stock, or 2 and 3 stocked, or just 3 stocked. this will make you even more money quicker. And if the top floor has those items stocked, it's a win-win!!!!