Despite being a pretty minimalist game, Zen Idle by Kongregate is actually a really solid and addictive idle / incremental game for mobile. And I am here to help you get better at it by sharing some Zen Idle tips and tricks in our complete guide.
With an interesting approach to the genre and great mechanics – both online and offline – Kongregate’s Zen Idle: Gravity Meditation gets better and better the more you play it. But with so many upgrades to choose from, you might be wondering where to start and what paths to follow.
We’re here to help: from the best cards to use in Zen Idle, to a complete set of tips and tricks for you to play better, we’ve got them all for you below!
Ball Speed vs Ball Value
When it comes to the upgrades that you can purchase for the different balls in Zen Idle, you only have two choices: either increase the value of each ball or reduce the time needed for a new one to spawn.
This is the strategy that I’ve been using and I am very happy with in regards of how to handle the upgrades:
When I just start playing, after a Prestige, for example, I try to keep things evened up for a while, until unlocking the third ball at least: this means that I upgrade both the speed and the value, starting always with the former.
Once I unlock the 4th ball, I start leaving something between 3 to 5 levels, with the advantage for the value increase.
Once I unlock the red or blue ball, I usually have no reasons to further upgrade the speed of the first 2-3 ones and instead focus on value, leaving around 10 levels (sometimes more) between speed and income.
I don’t know if other strategies might work better – I definitely tried a speed-focus and progress seemed to be slower. To me, the recommended upgrade pattern above works perfect!
How to upgrade Stages
You will also have to handle upgrading Stages while you take care of the ball upgrades, but things here are a bit easier in my opinion: the obstacles should be your main focus, although paradoxically, you should upgrade the Gate Bonuses for 3 times first.
But afterwards, go crazy with the Obstacles, until you reach a size for them that you’re happy with. In most cases, that is when you can easily see a nice flow of all the balls without them getting constantly stuck here or there.
In some cases, upgrading the obstacles – and therefore making them easier to navigate through – will mean that your chances of seeing the balls go through the middle gate decrease.
This is how it goes with the second stage – the Path, which needs you to get Obstacles to level 15 to once again get access to the middle gate.
But, even so, it’s still better to focus on upgrading the obstacles in order to have a nice flow and make sure that there are minimal – if any – blockages along the way.
Main use for Premium currency: upgrade card slots!
As long as you have more than one card in your inventory, your main focus when it comes to spending the diamonds – the premium currency in the game – should be getting a new card slot.
Yes, it’s true that some cards are better than others, but all of them are pretty expensive and dealing with what you have is better than have them sit not doing anything. This is why I think that you should invest in getting new slots over getting new cards.
Sure, there’s no point in having 4 slots open and just 1 card, so find your balance, making sure that you always have room for the unlocked cards and never spend those Diamonds on any other boost (unless you have a ton of them)
Best cards in Zen Idle
Getting cards in Kongregate’s Zen Idle is completely random and it will be a long time until you will get the chance to be picky and start ranking the cards.
For a long while after starting – maybe even more than a week, depending on how active you are, you will just have to use whatever cards you have.
Afterwards, if you do have more options that slots, always look for the rarer cards: these are in most cases (if not all) much better than the more common ones, offering both better bonuses and higher values.
Usually, those offering direct and instant bonuses (like extra value or multipliers) are better than those increasing spawn rate or decreasing costs.
Tap those special balls (or not)
Every now and then, a special ball will pop up and depending on what type of ball it is, you should behave one way or another. Here’s what to expect:
– Ball with a star: this will pop up most often and it’s basically a ball with a much increased value. It will only give you more money when it passes through the gates, so make sure you don’t tap it as it will give you 0 coins when tapped.
– Shiny ball with dollar sign: This one has to be tapped before it goes through the red gate. If you do, you will receive a massive chunk of money (and you can also double its value by watching an ad).
– Ball with a diamond on it: The rarest of them all, these balls have to be tapped before they pass the gate in order for you to receive a free diamond.
Keep an eye out for balls that get stuck
More often than not, especially in the stages where you didn’t get a chance to buy many upgrades, the balls will get stuck big time.
If balls get stuck, it means that you’re not getting any money from them, so you have to set them free again. Which is very easy, fortunately!
All you have to do is tap the balls: when you tap one, it disappears, usually creating a crack wide enough for the rest of the balls to fall.
In some cases, you will have to tap more balls in order to make room and get them unstuck, but that’s the only way to go (until you buy more Obstacle upgrades to reduce the size of the obstacles themselves).
When it comes to tapping the balls to get them unstuck, hitting the ones at the base/bottom is usually the best approach, so make sure you start your tapping there!
Accept all challenges
Every now and then, the game will have a challenge for you: Prestige whenever the challenge kicks in, and be rewarded when the challenge is over, after 24 hours, depending on your World’s value.
Always accept those challenges – the rewards are totally worth it and once one challenge started, make sure to do your best to get to the highest value possible: the more, the better the rewards, including potentially tons of diamonds.
But that’s not all! Apart from the premium currency itself, you will also get some random boosts for your balls, permanently increasing their value in all future games. This is a massive bonus, making progress a lot easier.
Don’t forget to actually level up!
I say this because I always forget to: there’s a bar at the top of the screen, one that fills up as the value of your world increases. When it reaches a certain amount, you hit the Plus button next to it and level up.
It’s extremely important to level up as soon as you have the chance, because each time when you do, you get to select one of three random perks that will make your life a lot easier.
What perks to get?
As I said, you receive the perks randomly – so each time you will have a different set to choose from, but some are definitely better than others.
Unless you’re in a challenge where you want to get the highest possible value as soon as possible, you should always pick – when available – a perk that increases your Prestige rewards. These are affecting your game long term and totally worth it!
For the others, I prefer getting ball value and spawn rates first, with gate bonuses coming second and price reductions only if there’s nothing else to choose.
When to Prestige in Idle Zen?
Whenever progressing through the game and buying new upgrades becomes very expensive and waiting times to get the money required for a new upgrade get longer and longer, that’s a good sign that you have to prestige.
Of course, you can prestige a lot sooner – I usually do it every 24 hours or so (if I am very active). I find this to work really well, especially early on in the game.
Either way, I recommend Prestiging only when you get a bonus that’s big enough to make a difference when you start over again: at least a 50% increase should be aimed for.
These would be our Zen Idle tips and tricks! If you have additional advice for fellow players – or extra questions – don’t hesitate to let us know by commenting below!