This page contains tons of tips with lots of detailed information on each. Trying out just one or two new tips at a time is a good idea. :-)
Not every tip works for everyone--everybody is different and has a different style of play! But give these a try to see if they help your game!
General Starting Tips
These tips have to do with things you can do prior to beginning play.
- Computer: as with most games, make sure you have enough computing power to play the game effectively. I recommend at a minimum: dual core processors of 2.0Ghz or greater, 2 or more GB of main memory, and 256 MB of graphics memory (dedicated or shared). To maximize your computer's resources, close other applications while you're playing BB.
- Browser: any of the main three browsers: Firefox, Google Chrome, or Internet Explorer work fine with BB. I have had the best success using Google Chrome. If you notice the game getting "jittery", "choppy" or "jumpy" instead of smooth, you may wish to restart your browser. If the problem persists, try rebooting your computer.
- Graphics: Your computer's graphics memory is another limited resource. To ensure you're getting the most out of your graphics memory, I suggest you resize your browser window to include only the BB playing field. So instead of this:
your window will look like this:
Therefore, graphics movement on the viewable screen area will be concentrated just on the game board instead of the entire facebook page. This has the added benefit of removing distractions such as advertisements from the viewable window area.
- Game Quality: Popcap has made it possible to play your game in "high quality" mode, or in "simple quality" mode. When a new player begins playing BB, they start in "high quality" mode. However, if you find that sometimes your computer or graphics become slow or jerky, you can try setting your default mode of play to "simple" instead of "high".
To change to simple mode, do this: at the opening game screen, the lower-right portion of the game screen will indicate your chosen game quality, and it will usually say "Quality: High", like this:
If you click on those words, an options screen will appear:
You should click on the checkbox marked "SIMPLE QUALITY", then you will see a confirmation screen like this:
When you click on the "YES" button, your game will automatically restart in simple mode, and from this point forward, every time you return to play BB, you will automatically continue to play in simple mode.
When you play in simple mode, the graphics on your screen will update less often, thereby saving power on your computer's processor and graphics processor. The game will appear only slightly different, but the savings may be worth it if you have a slower computer!
- Comfort: this may seem like a silly tip, but I think it's important that you are as comfortable as you can get for YOU while you play. And comfort is different for different people. Often I have seen an ergonomics diagram with a player sitting upright with their back straight in a chair using their keyboard and mouse on a keyboard tray while their elbows are bent straight and hands hovering above the tray. I hate this diagram! I've tried this and for me it's a very uncomfortable position to use. And I'd bet this position has caused more carpal-tunnel than it has prevented.
Instead, if I'm sitting at a desk using a computer, I prefer sitting in a reclining office chair, then reclining and moving forward so most of my lower body is under the desk. Then I rest my forearms and elbows on the desk and just move my fingers to type, with just slight movement of the wrists.
But my personal favorite position is sitting on a couch leaning a little left on a well-padded couch arm, legs out to the right, with a mouse pad on my thigh, using the mouse with my right hand. This position for me is the most comfortable. You should also find the most comfortable position for you where it's easy to use the mouse and you can see the screen at a comfortable viewing angle with no glare.
- Mouse: your mouse is extremely important for good play and reducing mistakes. If your mouse is old or partially broken (like it sometimes does a double-click instead of a single-click accidentally, or it sometimes stops working momentarily), it will be more difficult to play BB effectively.
I suggest using an optical-laser based mouse instead of rollerball-based. You can find a good mouse like this for under $20 at Walmart or online.
Your mouse pad is important, too. I recommend one that's not too slippery and not too sticky. Clean, cloth-topped mouse pads have worked very well for me.
- Mouse speed: setting your mouse speed to be very fast may help you play BB more effectively while reducing your chances of having a carpal-tunnel problem. "Speed" is a bit of a misnomer here. What I mean is the following: if you open up the mouse properties dialogue box on your computer and select "mouse pointers", you'll see this:
The option at the top of the box is about "pointer speed". However, instead of a speed, this is actually a ratio: it is the ratio of how many pixels the pointer on your screen will move per "pixel" (distance) you move your actual mouse with your hand. If the speed is set to slow, you have to physically move the mouse very far, but as you set the speed toward fast, the pointer will move farther for the same distance you move your mouse. If you set to the fastest speed, you probably will not need to move your wrist at all while manipulating the mouse--just your fingers.
If you have never tried changing this pointer option before, it may take you some time to get used to it. But it helps a lot in Bejeweled Blitz in that you don't need to manipulate your mouse as far to make a move. Over the course of hundreds of games I believe this will benefit most players' scores. Give it a try! But remember where the prior setting of the slider was in case you want to set it back to use a slower "speed" with other applications (or if you're sharing your computer with others that like slower speeds!).
- Audio: playing BB with your audio on so you can hear the game is quite important. There are several sounds to listen for:
- rising tone: for each match you make, you will hear a musical tone. If you make matches fast enough, this tone will continue to rise in pitch, and your points go up for each new match. If the tone goes back to its original pitch, then your points start over at the minimum.
- crackling: if you hear a subtle, low crackling fire sound, you are very close to activating the "Blazing Speed" screen. Keep going! Just a few more quick matches in a row to get there! (Instead of crackling, you hear some subtle horse whinnies when you use the Blazing Steed rare gem.)
- special sounds: there are a few special sounds that announce the creation or activation of a special gem. For example, a certain sound indicates that a multiplier gem has just appeared on the board. As you gain experience, you will learn to associate these sounds with what it currently happening on the board.
I like to set my audio high enough to hear the quieter crackling fire sound, but not so high that the louder exploding flame gems overwhelm me. Also, if there are other people near you that you don't want to bother, try using headphones or earbuds. They create a cool immersive experience!
- Practice: "Practice mode" or "free-play" is playing a game without buying any boosts or rare gems with your coins. This is the default mode of play in Bejeweled Blitz.
If you are just starting to play BB, you should take some time to play and familiarize yourself with moving the mouse and spotting and making potential moves before you worry too much about other aspects of the game like boosts, special gems, and rare gems. This will give you experience, and will increase your coin stack.
Practice mode is also nice because it's a perfect match for multi-tasking. That is, you can play in practice mode while watching TV, listening to music or even playing other games on your computer!
- Learn about game objects (special gems): As you play, when you see unfamiliar objects, watch them carefully to learn how they work. Also, see the special gems page for more details about what these objects do.
- Learn about boosts: Once you have built up your coin stack, you can now start to learn more about available resources for higher scores. Once of these resources is boosts. Before every game, you are given the opportunity to purchase boosts. To learn more about how each one works, try each of them and learn more details on the boosts page.
A Few Practical In-Game Tips
- Use click-hold-drag instead of click-click: There are two ways to make a move in BB: The first way is to click on a gem, then click on an adjoining gem (up/down/left/right). The second way is that you can simply click-hold-drag a gem into another (this means click, hold the mouse button down, and drag the gem the direction you want to go). For most people the second method is better and faster and will give you higher scores.
If you accidentally single-click a gem, thereby "selecting" it, click the same gem again to de-select it.
- If possible, Bottom-feed and Center-feed: if you to make valid moves closer to the bottom and center of the playing grid, you will likely get better scores in the long run. This is primarily because matches near the bottom and center of the screen will cause more gems to be displaced and new ones to fall, possibly creating cascades and new moves. This is particularly important during "Blazing Speed" mode since every matched gem becomes an exploding flame gem, thereby exploding a bigger number of adjacent gems.
- Always be looking: Instead of waiting between moves for all the new gems to fall into place, try to spot another move. Looking nearby then gradually expanding your search is a good method.
- Activation Options: Always try to keep in mind that it's not necessary to make a match in the same color when trying to activate a valuable special gem. You can also activate it with an adjacent flame gem, from afar with a star gem, or by color with a hypercube. PopCap seems to call every valid move a "match", but since matches aren't required to destroy a special gem, I call them "activations" instead.
OK, once you have gained experience, learned about special gems, rare gems and boosts, and have built up your coin stack, check out these advanced tips to give you high scores:
- Try to avoid only 3-gem matches. If you only make 3-gem matches throughout your game, your score will suffer. Keep a careful look out for potential 4-gem and 5-gem matches.
This doesn't mean to ignore 3-gem matches, but understand they are a low priority.
- Give priority to matches in this order:
- Activate a multiplier gem
- Activate a star gem
- Activate a hypercube
- Activate a flame gem
- Create a multiplier gem
- Create a star gem
- Create a hypercube
- Create a flame gem
- Activate a yellow coin gem
Multiplier gems are extrenely important. The highest score I've ever seen in a game where no multiplier gems were activated was only about 80,000 points. Multiplier gems are the key to high scores, plus, each multiplier gem will increase your coin stack by 100 coins at the end of the game. So when you see a multiplier gem appear, do all you can to activate it quickly! Here are a couple images as examples:
In both of the images below, you have a choice. While it seems logical to match a 4-line of gems (thus creating a flame gem), I recommend in most instances to instead match a 3-line that includes the multiplier.
- Play quickly. Each time you hear the background musical pitch rise, it indicates that your matches are increasing in value. If you can maintain a steady, brisk pace for your moves, you will get higher scores.
The most important time to play quickly is during Blazing Speed mode. When the Blazing Speed screen appears, just try to make matches, even just 3-gem matches, as fast as you can. Every match you make in Blazing Speed mode will cause an explosion affecting many surrounding gems even if no special gems are part of the match. If you play very fast at this point, you can get up to 5 or 6 matches before Blazing Speed stops.
- Combine rare gem purchases with boost purchases. If you are offered a rare gem and you choose to buy it, combine that rare gem with your favorite three boosts (like the three boostketeers) to make maximum use of your rare gem!
- Avoid distractions when playing after buying boosts and rare gems. We work hard to build our coin stack in free play or by buying them with facebook credits. So when spending so many coins, it's time to really buckle down and concentrate (but not at the expense of people or pets you might be caring for, please!).
In summary, you want to play quickly, create and activate lots of special gems, and create lots of mayhem. All these things working together with a little luck will get you on your way to awesome high scores!