Surely you've heard of it, perhaps you've already installed it, or better yet, you've already had the chance to lose all patience with the new smash hit game, Flappy Bird. It is a very addictive game, but at the same time can be infinitely frustrating given the hardships. If, like me, you feel your blood pressure rising after only a few minutes, here are some tips that can help you improve your performance. [Update: if you missed out on getting Flappy Bird before it vanished, never fear, check out this Flappy Bird article!]
How do I control this darn bird?!
It requires patience and some practice, but it simplifies the game immensely to note that the Flappy Bird increases his elevation by the exact same amount each time you tap the display to flap - regardless of the speed or length of the dive. This means when you're nose-diving there's no need to flap like crazy at the bottom: just one well-timed flap is enough to set you on your usual upward flight again. The skill is in timing that key flap of your wings to get you through that sweet spot between the two pipes and not jump the gun by doing it too soon. Once you figure out the best approach you simply have to reproduce it at every pipe obstacle.
The freeze-before-my-score-is-saved problem
The game occasionally has a tendency to freeze when a game is lost. In this case you just have to close the application manually. Once relaunched, the app will be able to save your last score.
Flappy Bird really does make you lose patience and if you're a wee bit impulsive, you risk throwing your beloved Android against the wall. If you notice that you are about to have a nervous breakdown then it might be a good diea to take a quick break and have a nice soothing cup of Chai or something to settle your rattled nerves. You won't play better when you're ready to pop anyway, and a nice cup of tea never hurt anyone. It seems like a trivial suggestion, but you will notice your performance actually does tend to improve after a short break.
Get your groove on
The real secret of Flappy Bird is to learn the right rhythm of movement. There's a constant urge to flap when it's not necessary, especially when nose-diving. Learn to harnass your inner bird and flap those wings at the perfect moment and not before. You don't have to play for long before you'll start to pick up on the right rhythm yourself. Then you just need to harness it and reproduce it. The trick is to start low and pass the pipes on the rise – this is much easier than on the way down. Check out our forum topic about collision detection in Flappy Bird and you'll know what I'm talking about.
When you're about to pass through a high pipe obstace followed by a low one, you need to adjust your approach. Normally you want to enter the gap from just below and then flap again just at the end of the pipe gap, but if you're going from high to low that second, mid-pipe flap might be your undoing as it will bring you out of the pipe too high to descned fast enough. In this case you need to adjust your approach on the high pipe so you're not rising on the way out. Also, when nose-diving, take it easy, don't tap too soon – this is the biggest reason for last games.
Android is better
According to Dong Nguyen, the creator of the game, it is easier to play Flappy Bird on Android devices than Apple devices. We do not know if it will continue to be so in the future (especially once the first updates will be released) but at the moment Android users have the chance to get more points and rub it in their Apple-owning friends' faces.
The bigger the better
The larger the screen the easier it will be to play Flappy Bird too, this is because you will be able to judge distances and positions of the tubes better than on a smaller screen. You will also be less bothered by ads that float across the screen and the device is less likely to move than a smartphone. It also makes it easier to ignore the score, at least while you are playing, thus avoiding that distraction at least.
Stay under the radar
Flying at low altitude and navigating obstacles on the rise allows you to keep better control of the situation. Nosedives create many more deaths than harmoniously hopping from opening to opening with well-timed upward approaches. Remember too that while in a nosedive you have no control, when flapping you can do double-flaps if necessary to boost the height of your flap.
Learn the peculiarities of the tubes
As mentioned above, the collision detetcion on Flappy Bird is pretty awful, so learn how what counts as your bird actually extends out in front of it in a square, so those lips aren't like a point, they are like the edge of a square. This is why so many deaths happen when nose-diving even if the body of your bird is actually nowhere near the pipes. You're not crazy, it's a developer issue.
If all else fails – cheat!
There's a super easy cheat to set your own high score in Flappy Bird. All you need is root access and ES File Explorer. I've detailed how to do it in this forum post, but basically all you need to do is access Local > Device > Data > Data then the flappybird.xml file in the com.dotgears.flappybird folder. From there, open shared_prefs file and edit the score to whatever you want it to be. If you need more detail, check out the forum post.
What's your highest score (legitimate scores only!)? Do you have any other tips for Flappy Bird?