If you know about a tip or trick we did not cover and you want it included in the guide please make a comment at the bottom of the page with the details...
(1) XP Oriented Strategies
Bearing in mind that all of your characters potentially generate XP with every Task that they complete, and how much that ends up being each day depends largely upon how much time you have to spend in the game, and how smart you are about using the gaps in time that you know you will have.
It pays to prevent your characters from being idle -- and if they have completed a task and you have not collected the reward and set them to a new task, that is being idle!
Try to plan out your Tasks for each character based around when you know you can check in on the game. For example if you know you will be away from the game for 4, 6, or 8 hours, try to choose Tasks that run those lengths.
But always ALWAYS remember to log into the game at least ONCE each day so you can collect the daily reward and move that counter forward and get your free Mystery Box every 5th day.
You should try to balance out your strategy by picking the Tasks that will pay the best XP -- for example if you know you will be playing the game for an hour, then you always gain more XP by doing the short tasks -- 45s to 3 m Tasks -- than the 1h Tasks -- so rather than telling your characters shop at the Kwik-E-Mart, have them doing their short task then you can collect and re-task them as you are harvesting the building rewards...
It has been said before, but I want to remind you that this strategy ALSO applies to the farm -- if you know you will be playing the game for an extended period, grow the short crops not the long ones! You will quickly see how both the XP and Cash quickly add up!
(2) Boosting XP and Your Rating
It may not be obvious at first, but everything that you do in the game -- including placing trees and shrubs, as well as other plants and decorations like newspaper boxes, dumpsters, and etc. rewards you with set amounts of XP.
While these decorations do not generate XP and cash like buildings, they do allow you to convert cash into XP as you buy and place them, and that will quickly add to your levels and the meter (assuming that you have not capped off that category).
Ultimately increasing your level gains you access to placing the buildings and objects that DO increase your ability to earn XP and cash, so it should be obvious that you should be taking advantage of this.
Start out small -- do extra Tasks to get the small change you need to plant trees around your houses and other buildings, add shrubs and other decorations...
(3) Make Friends! This is a Social Game!!
The important thing for you to understand is that each time you visit a friend's city, you help yourself and your friend generate XP and Cash.
You can have up to 100 friends, and you get to do 3 actions in each of their cities, which can quickly add up to massive gains in XP and Cash.
If you do not have a lot of friends playing the game, consider checking the comments in the guide and in the Q&A Section of the site here at SuperCheats because a LOT of gamers have posted their GamerTags with requests that you add them as friends in your Origin Account and in the game.
You should easily be able to get 99 friends to add to your game that way and by reading the game forums. Just saying...
(4) There is No Such Thing as Unlimited Free Donuts... But...
There are Free Donuts to be had, they are just not unlimited.
Basically you have a few options here -- you obtain Donuts every time you Level-Up, so leveling up as fast as you can is a good strategy to gain access to those free Donuts, and you can help that process along by both playing smart and by adding as many friends as you can as quickly as you can, since that is the fast route to XP.
In addition to that, there are a few bonus actions you can take to get Donuts, including the following:
Tapped Out Homer:
Have Homer use his myPad, then tap him repeatedly until you receive 10 Donuts and the Springfield Statue. Be sure to place the statue in your city!
Special Event Donuts:
Each of the special and holiday events includes a chance to earn some free Donuts. For instance the Halloween Event that is running at the time this guide was written includes a number of ways to obtain free Donuts, from completing the quests in it, and being sure to answer the Mayan God's trivia question correctly the first time. The answer is Zune.
(5) Be a Time Bandit
Play smart with time -- before you go to sleep at night set all of your characters to an 8 hour or 12 hour task, that way they spend less time idle. That leads to more income, and more XP.
Try to check into your game strategically throughout the day - you know when you eat lunch at work/school, so try to plan their Tasks so that they are finished by the time you do that, so you can check in and re-task them to be ready when school/work is over.
One strategy that you can take is to build a large number of Brown Houses, which allows you to do very well in constant harvesting for play sessions of an hour or so.
A trick to quickly placing these when you can check into your game once every hour is to have all of your characters doing the one-hour Task they have, which should allow you to add one Brown House ever hour, and two every other hour! The income from those will quickly begin to build.
(6) You Picked the Wrong Crop on Cletus' Farm!
Worse case scenario is you picked Corn, and you are thinking you are stuck for three freaking MONTHS of grow time...
Best case scenario is it is one of the other crops that you just need to cancel so you can grow a crop that a task or quest is demanding. You poke all over the Farm and there is no cancel button, true that... But you are NOT as screwed as you think you are.
To cancel the crop (note: you will NOT get the crop fee back) simply use the Move Menu, highlight the Farm, and place it in your Inventory. Then open your Inventory and select the Farm, place it back in Springfield and it is not crop-free! Whew, right? Seriously, whew!
The following tips and tricks as well as helpful information is intended as a general tips and tricks guide in addition to the previously well-documented information contained in the guide.