• My Little Pony Game "Actually Free" Starting Guide - Newbie Tips and Early Optimization

    As many of you picked up back on Thursday, Amazon has started a new service called Underground, where they strip away the freemium features of mobile games, removing in-game micro-transactions and beefing up the way you unlock things. Included in their first wave was the My Little Pony Game.

    There are a LOT of easy mistakes to make early on for a newb that cripple your progression later, and after asking over on the MLP Game reddit for tips, along with bothering a bunch of people around me that have played it, I've got a pretty good grasp on how to start off, and maintain your little slice of Ponyville with much better efficiency.

    Below the break, get our official EQD guide to the Amazon Underground version of the My Little Pony game!

    (And feel free to share your friend codes).

    What should be my Focus?

    There are a lot of gold and gem draining options to choose from at the start, but focusing on two in particular is where your income should go. Don't make the same mistakes I did.

    On the side of the screen are quests. These are constantly added as you complete them. This should be what you focus on first. Let the quests guide your way. I made the huge mistake of just doing my own thing, which made it near impossible to clear some of these quests at the start and crippled my progression.

    Do not:
    • Expand unless it's a quest objective or you are completely out of space
    • Destroy objects unless it's a quest objective or you are completely out of space

    Note: You can shuffle buildings around in edit mode to MAKE more space

    Expansion gets exponentially more expensive, so being able to complete quests with it while it's cheap is important. These lead to more quests and more gems. Destroying objects usually goes hand in hand with expansion:

    Over time as you have more gold, you don't need to worry about this nearly as much. But early on, save things for quests.

    Building shops and buying ponies is another good way to spend your money outside of the quests. At the moment, I have two quests for buildings I don't yet own. It's important to spend money and gems on these to keep the economy flowing:

     GEMS - Save Them for Important Things!

    Gem acquisition seems to be the only difference between the "actually free" version and the micro-transaction traditional version. You acquire way more gems from leveling, tasks, and loggin in daily.

    Up above is a screenshot of the nightmare that was the original game, and why many of us never bothered. This game is literally 100% built around getting you to spend money in every possible way they can. At it's core, the Amazon version still has all the little things that make you want to spend gems.


    When I first got into the game, all I wanted to do was unlock Trixie. All of my gems went toward balloon pop to accomplish this goal. Gems come fast in the first hour of play, then become extremely slow. Don't do what I did. Use your gems to boost your economy. Starting off, here is what you want to do with gems:

    Spend on: 
    • Shops that require gems to unlock
    • Ponies that require gems to unlock

    DO NOT spend on:
    • Rushing completion on things outside of the tutorial
    • Clearing objects
    • Game bonuses
    • Expanding your territory

    Gold will be much easier to acquire as the game progresses. If you can spend gold on something, do not spend gems on it. I've been told by multiple people that in the late game, gold becomes a nonfactor, but gems will always be an issue. As much as I want to throw everything into unlocking Trixie in Balloon Pop, it had the side effect of crippling my progression

    Acquiring Gems

    Gems are obtained in a few ways in very small increments:

    • Leveling up
    • Daily rewards just for logging in
    • Balloon Pop
    • Derpy 
    • Defeating Parasprites, Fruit bats, and Changelings
    • Earning specific point tiers in the crystal mines
    • Sacrificing elements to the harmony shrines (A % chance every 100 according to the people on Reddit, with less chance on easier to get elements)

    Clicking Derpy sometimes awards gems, but I have yet to see her in my game even though I have a quest requesting me to poke her. I've been told she wanders into the dark side of your city map, but still have had no luck locating her.

    There are events on the non-free version for gems, but I haven't seen any of those yet on the underground one. Will they start up eventually? It's possible. There is always the chance that Gameloft won't really support this one at all though.

     Pony Management and Leveling

    The pony game is meant to be a city builder, but it's pretty much a pony sweatshop simulator to start. You are going to have your cartoon equines working long hours at boring jobs producing gold for you to spend on more ponies and shops with 1 minute breaks every once in a while to play with a bouncy ball or collect apples.

    Like everything else in this game, in the first hour or so of play, shops and ponies are going to be easy to acquire. Focus your resources here. The more you get, the faster you will level, generate income, and build up your city.

    Unfortunately, the management options in the game are relatively poor. There isn't an overarching menu showing where each pony is working and how much they make to help you optimize. You need to individually check each one.

    The city above is my current setup. I've lined up the shops (gray bricks underneath them) based on how much income they generate. Depending on how you play, you will manage your ponies differently. In my case, I assign most expensive to least expensive since I check the game every 6 hours or so. More on that below.

    Each shop has three pony slots. Depending on how you plan to play the game:

    If you are going to check the game constantly:
    • The first option will always generate faster
    • Rotate the bonus (middle) right before it's about to complete for the extra gold. Keep that pony rotating.

    If you check the game once or twice a day: 
    • Pick the right hand option for maximum gold per check
    • Use bonus ponies to augment that on the higher income jobs.

    Ponies level up with mini games that cool-down over time, each pony with their own specific timer. Some ponies level incredibly fast (early ponies and mane 6 mainly), while others level ridiculously slow (I seem to notice this trend in male ponies).  Level them all every chance you get. I wouldn't recommend spending extra gold on boosting it unless you desperately need a pony to fill a shop and the extra gold will get them there. Don't ever spend gems on that.

    The "Pony Assignment" screen shows a gold coin if the pony is currently working somewhere. Unfortunately it doesn't tell you where, so you need to memorize that or double check with them on the main screen. Shop assignments require a number of gold stars to qualify, so the higher level your ponies are, the better jobs they can work.

    Mini Game Tips

    There are six mini games in the MLP game, each relatively basic. There are a few ways to improve your performance in each though. Three of them level ponies (randomly assigned), the other two are for resources and weekly unlocks.

    Ball Game (Best points): 

    • Tap it when the circle turns green. A "flashing" ball means it was perfect. The more of these you do, the faster it will bounce. 
    • Ignore the "up" bounce, as it slows you down. It's much more efficient to bounce the ball down or straight. 
    • If it's not an up arrow, always go for the direction it's pointing for max speed and points

    Apple Collecting Game (2nd Best Points): 

    • There isn't really any good speed strategy here. Cross fingers you don't get too many rotten apples

    Star Game (Worst points until you get really good at it):

    • Use a stylus early on so you can see the patterns 
    • Memorize the patterns. There are a limited number of them and they never change their star selecting order.

    Sky Clearing Game

    • Rainboom is faster. Aim for the middle of the screen when it activates for maximum coinage. 

    Equestria Girls Mini Game: 

    This unlocks your weekly free pony. If you have played rhythm games before, its pretty much the most basic of the basic in that genre. Some tips will help you boost your points:

    • Always pick your highest level pony as your main dancer. This gives a 10% bonus at five stars, and Twilight will be ready for that in a day. 
    • Always pick 2 friends with the highest scores as your two side dancers. This triggers "triple perfect", meaning when all three of you perfect a note in a song, you get a huge bonus. You can see their specific scores for a song when selecting side dancers. The auto-assigned dancers usually aren't the best. 
    • Don't waste gold or gems unless you are desperately running out of time or can't seem to get the hang of it and need the boost. As you can see above, my progress bar is almost complete and there are still 4 days left. It rotates every friday.

    Balloon Pop:

    I love Trixie. Trixie was there calling to me. Trixie cost me 100 something gems and still never unlocked. Don't be me. Use those gems wisely.

    • Do your free pop on cooldown
    • Use hearts for buying the few heart required ponies in the store before playing the heart pop
    • Don't bother with gem pop until later 
    • The chance at getting a pony in each frankly sucks, so again, save those gems.

    Mine Cart: 

    This is probably the most fun and complex one, but can be a little frustrating. They really don't want you to get too far in it.

    • Each tier unlocks rewards as shown by the progress bar at the top.
    • Ponies unlock at increments.
    • Gems on the timeline are obtainable, but only ~2 per.
    • Good for gold early on. 
    • If you are good, you can refund a large amount of the cost of playing the 1000 gold version for double points. This also gives better elements of harmony per distance driven than the 100 gold option.
    • Don't waste gems. 
    • A lot of the ponies you unlock here are for Canterlot or Sweet Apple Acres, so don't go too crazy spending gold on trying to get them since you can't use them in Ponyville
    • Don't bother upgrading the mine cart until later. Keep the gold flowing to building Ponyville first.
    • Obtain more wheels by clicking trees back at the city
    • This is still very much worth doing on cooldown for the sake of unlocking things and getting elements of harmony, but don't blow gems on it just yet. 
    • The Gameloft wiki has a great writeup on the specific percentages of everything
    • Showbolts usually come 3rd after two diamond dogs. usually.
    • Jumping on a decline can slow you down, but they sometimes hide shadowbolts at the bottom so I wouldn't recommend it unless you get a ton of air.

     Friendship is Magic!

    Friends are important. Share that code (Add 9bc6 if you want me!). Unfortunately they also appear to be slightly broken in our underground version.

    • Accepting an invitation awards one heart, which can be used to buy ponies in the shop or spend in the heart version of Balloon Pop. If you want to see a list of ponies unlockable there, it's in the settings section. 
    • I'd highly recommend spending your hearts on the store ponies first, as even after accepting literally hundreds of you, I never got a single pony in all my pops. 
    • In the non-Amazon game, hitting the "gift all" button sends people a heart. I have yet to receive any though, so either you all are not pressing gift all, or it's just not working. You can still visit each one specifically and give them a chest containing a heart. Neither of these options use your hearts. 
    • Dancing with someone in the EG mini game also gives them a heart, but I'd still recommend just picking the best dancers.
    • Your name and icon are completely random. I'm "Little Stone" with a Spike icon for example. 

    Extra tips:

    • Unlock Applejack and set her up with a job in Sweet Apple Acres. She's not usable in Ponyville outside of leveling her, but it's still important
    • Base quests in other cities are usually really easy. You can do them for some extra EXP, but those places get expensive fast, so I'd focus Ponyville for now. 
    • Some ponies only come from balloon pop. Poor Trixie ;_;7
    • Try to complete collections, as they reward a lot of gems and potentially chain into more collection completion once you spend said gems
    • Level up all the ponies. Some are required to be level 5 to continue the story
    • You don't need to tap gold/exp/gems that fall on the ground. They will collect automatically
    • There are some good general tips over on the wiki. 
    • Placing decoration gives EXP

    If I missed anything, feel free to drop in the comments. Leave your code in there too. We will probably do an Amazon Underground code share later since we can't group with non-amazon people.

    UK Version
    USA Version
    Amazon APK for Underground

    Thanks to EB_Creations, CCC_037, and hawke252 for the help!