The Big Promotion Push – When 8+8 = 4

Hey there Addicts

So it’s time for your characters to climb the career ladder, yes they now need to take that one giant step for man, robot, alien, mutant or woman kind and reach that coveted 4 star rank that will see them start their journey towards the ultimate goal of being your first Level 99 character.

And I’m going be honest from the start here, this isn’t going be easy, hell it’s not supposed to be, TinyCo brought this new ranking system in for many reasons, but the main one is to slow down the speed freaks. the flip side of slowing them down is it will keep the rest of us busy for a long time, a very long time.

So that leads to my point, levelling up is now supposed to be a very slow process, more of a space odyssey than a warp speed sprint.  So I thought I’d run a ranking up experiment to see just how much this change has put the brakes on players. And after running my little experiment I can’t help but wonder if TinyCo really meant it to be this slow or arduous. I honestly hope note, and wonder whether we can expect changes somewhere along the lines to help players level up a little less painfully than is currently possible.

Might we see new ways to earn star badges, a reduction in Daily Planet mission fuel costs, or a helping hand with Nixonbucks, or more to the point our lack of them. I honestly don’t know. I hope help is on its way, but my advice is to hope for the best but don’t bet your pension on it happening.

First up as much as there’s a lot of words, this post is actually about numbers, and showing how tough it is promoting a Level 60 character to Rank 4, it’s not about getting your player to Level 60 to start with, this post is long enough without starting at the very beginning. And I’m not going to go into great detail in this post about the mechanisms of levelling up either as we all know the new system, but I will do a little recap of the new Ranks and their levels. But this post is really just to test out how to get a 4-Star Ranked character, whether it be by your time or your dime! And maybe to show TinyCo just how tough this is.

So ranks obviously start at Rank 1 and this allows you to take a character to a max Level of 10. Once here you need to use 2-Star Badges to promote them to Rank 2, then you can use chips to take them to Level 30. And once here you need to use 3-Star Badges to promote them to Rank 3, then again you can use chips to take them to Level 60. And here’s where it gets really tough as you need to use 4-Star Badges to promote them to Rank 4, so you can use chips to take them to Level 99.

So let’s take that in context of what I’m trying to do here. I’ve chosen the character Lrrr who I just got at the start of the Alpha event and who obviously like all characters starts at Level 1.

Then came the big promotion push to get him to Level 60, I levelled him up using Nixonbucks, Badges and Chips I had sitting in the hope he’d be mine. Some grinding in the Daily Planet over that weekend let me get him to 60. Then I got stuck as I had  to promote him to Rank 4 and that’s where the fun began, actually that might be where the fun stopped as here’s how I ground out the eight 4-Star Captain Badges & the eight 4-Star Generic Badges.

I warn you now reading on is not for the faint hearted or impatient. 

 = Rank 4 the easy way

So there’s an easy way to promote a Level 60 character to Rank 4, and WillBits talked about this in great length in his Math comment which you can read HERE. But to summarise the quickest way to get the combination of sixteen 4-Star Badges required is to buy them. Easy peasy but, yes there’s always a but, it’s going cost you 3,000 Pizza. How much? Ok let me check, yes, that’s right, 3000 Pizza!!! That’s because you’ll need to buy 10 Rank 3 Captain Bundles which cost 300 Pizza each. This will give you eighty 3-Star Captain Badges & eighty 3-Star Generic Badges, which you can upgrade in your store for all the 4-Star Badges required to promote your character from Rank 3 to Rank 4. So yeah it’s easy work, but only if you can find 3,000 Pizza lying around, which is unlikely.

If I wanted go that path in my personal game it would cost me £85.00 in real money to buy that 3,000 Pizza to get Lrrr to Rank 4. That OUCH just got louder. So being reasonably sane, or maybe more honestly reasonably poor, I’ve diverted from this path, onto another path….. the grind it out path.

 or += Rank 4 the hard and harder way 

And now to the hard ways, and for most of our budgets the only ways. There’s the fast hard way, that’s done by buying Fuel refills or the slow hard way which entails waiting forever for free Fuel refills. What way you go will depend on how you feel about spending Pizza on fuel refills. To grind this information out, I was willing to do the former.

Now before I start throwing stats at you, be aware I had five Level 60 crew, and ran the L45 gated paths on the 4-Star missions used. I was also maxed out at the then current game Level of 60 which saw my fuel capacity at 84.

Now down to business, Lrrr is a captain, so he needs eight 4-Star Captain Badges and eight 4-Star Generic Badges.

Now although I have 5 Level 60 crew the level 60 Daily Planet missions were still too tough for me to win with my team, so I was left running the 3-Star Missions and trading up the 2 and 3 Star badges I won to get 4-Star badges. And yes while I was prepared for the grind I had no idea it would be quite so brutal. By the end I felt like I’d been put through WillBits grinder 91 times, as that’s how many times I ran the missions. By the way if you want to see WillBits grinder and his grind you’ll find it HERE.

But before you run off to see that, finish reading this.

So here’s the missions I used:

Promotion Track – Gated 45 Path – available anytime
Captains Order – Gated 45 Path – only available for 1 day each week

So just how hard was it and what did it cost me, apart from my sanity. Well here’s how many of each mission it took me to get enough 2 and 3 Star Badges to upgrade to the eight of each type of 4-Star Badges.

The Promotion Track Grind

Ok, deep breath time, I had to run this path 48 times to get enough 2 and 3 Star Badges to trade for the eight 4-Star Generic Badges needed.

Yes you read that right, 48 times, running the same mission over and over, at about 7 minutes a mission that’s 6 hours of running the same mission. Although I did this over a couple of days not all at once.

Those 48 runs used 1152 Fuel, and of that I bought 840 through 10 Fuel refills, the rest came from free timed refills. Buying fuel let me get what I needed quite quickly compared to trying this freemium using only timed fuel refills. If you wanted to do this with no pizza spend you’re looking at needing 192 hours of refills, that’s 8 days. And of course whether that gets you what you need depends on your drops.

But that’s just the start I then had to wait for Monday 4PM PST to come around so I could grind out the eight 4-Star Captain badges and that went as follows.

The Captain’s Orders Grind

Ok, take another deep breath time, I had to run this path 43 times to get enough 2 and 3 Star Badges to trade for the eight 4-Star Captain Badges needed.

Yup 43 times, again running the same mission over and over, and again at about 7 minutes a mission that’s 5 hours of running the same mission. And I had to do this over the course of 1 day as the mission is only available for 1 day a week.

Those 43 runs used 1032 Fuel, and of that I again bought 840 through 10 Fuel refills, the rest came from free timed refills. Buying fuel let me get what I needed In 1 day compared to trying this freemium using only timed fuel refills. If you wanted to do this with no pizza spend you’re looking at needing 172 hours of refills, that’s 7 days. And the mission only appears for 1 day every week, so it would take you over 7 weeks to run those 43 missions, and of course whether that gets you what you need again depends on your drops.

My Grind Grumbles

So what did all that grinding get me apart from repetitive strain injury. Well it got me enough 4-Star badges to rank up Lrrr, well once I had enough Nixonbucks to use them. And it cost me 500 Pizza, a lot less than the 3000 price to buy the badges, but it used up something more valuable to me, my time.

And yeah I got a little buzz seeing that promotion go through but it was a hell of a lot of work to get there, and it made me ponder on a few thoughts that I hope TinyCo will look closely at.

  1. Do TinyCo really mean for Ranking up to be this tough?
  2. If so, and the plan was to slow our play down to a crawl, then why have they started putting the level requirement and difficulty for some missions up so fast, they had gated paths in the Alpha event that were in the Level 70s. If it’s supposed to take us time to get to these levels why have them in events now.
  3. Why isn’t it possible to run the 4-Star badge with a Level 60 crew? It doesn’t make sense to have to have Rank 4 crew to get the badges needed to get them there.
  4. Are there going to be new ways to get Badges, Chips and Nixonbucks coming to help us promote our characters. As at the moment the total requirements needed to Level up a character from 1 to 99 are astronomical. The cost in Nixonbucks alone is 3.9 million, Then there’s a whole lot chips to add to the mix and then there’s all the 2/3/4-Star badges to get.

Now this isn’t supposed to be an I hate the new system post as honest it’s not, I actually like it, I just don’t like how it was brought in and how hard it is! It’s one of those things that can transform a game or strangle it, and at the moment it is sadly doing the latter but I’m ever hopeful we’ll see movement from TinyCo that will see us able to gather resources quicker or for them to pull back on the increasing level requirements in Missions. I don’t mind it taking time to get a Level 99 character as long as the game isn’t requiring us to complete any gameplay requiring these levels until players get a chance to get there. But looking at the recent Alpha event and the current Island of Lost Bot Mission requirements, TinyCo seem to think we are either levelling up a lost faster than we are. They need to stop, listen to us players and pull back a little.  And after all that I think that’s enough said!!!


And my Cargo Hold rewards breakdown for each run of the missions incase you’re interested were as follows:

Captain’s Order – 45 Path Cargo Rewards – 3 Cargo Boxes per run – 43 Runs

 2×2* 1×3* 4×2* 4×2* 1×3* 4×2* 2×2* 1×3* 4×2* 2×2* 1×3* 4×2* 4×2* 2×2* 2×2*
 1×3* 2×2* 1×3* 2×2* 4×2* 4×2* 2×2* 2×3* 2×3* 4×3* 2×2* 2×2* 1×3* 4×2* 2×2*
4×2* 2×2* 2×2* 4×2* 2×2* 4×2* 2×3* 4×2* 2×3* 1×3* 4×2* 2×2* 4×2* 2×3* 2×2*
4×2* 4×2* 2×2* 4×2* 2×2* 4×2* 4×2* 4×2* 4×2* 4×2* 2×3* 2×3* 4×4* 4×2* 2×2*
2×3* 4×2* 4×2* 1×3* 2×2* 2×2* 1×3* 1×3* 2×3* 1×3* 2×2* 2×3* 2×3* 4×2* 2×2*
 2×2* 2×3* 1×3* 2×3* 2×2* 2×3* 2×2* 2×2* 4×2* 2×3* 4×2* 2×2* 1×3* 2×3* 2×2*
 2×2* 2×2* 2×2* 2×2* 4×2* 2×2* 4×2* 2×3* 2×3* 4×2* 2×2* 2×2* 2×2* 2×2* 2×2*
4×2* 2×2* 4×2* 2×3* 2×2* 2×2* 2×2* 2×2* 2×3* 4×2* 2×3* 1×3* 4×2* 4×2* 2×2*
4×2* 4×2* 2×2* 2×2* 2×2* 2×2* 2×2* 4×2* 1×3*

Promotion Track – 45 Path Cargo Rewards – 3 Cargo Boxes per run – 48 Runs

1×3* 2×3* 2×2* 2×2* 4×2* 2×2* 2×2* 2×2* 1×3* 4×2* 4×2* 2×3* 2×2* 2×2* 1×3*
4×2* 4×2* 2×2* 2×2* 2×2* 2×2* 2×2* 4×2* 4×2* 2×3* 2×2* 2×2* 4×2* 4×2* 2×2*
2×2* 4×2* 2×3* 2×2* 1×3* 4×2* 4×2* 4×2* 2×2* 2×2* 2×2* 2×2* 4×2* 2×2* 2×2*
4×2* 2×2* 2×3* 4×2* 1×3* 2×3* 4×2* 4×2* 2×2* 4×2* 2×2* 4×2* 4×2* 2×2* 2×3*
2×2* 4×2* 2×2* 2×3* 4×2* 2×2* 4×2* 2×2* 4×3* 2×2* 2×2* 2×2* 1×3* 4×2* 2×2*
2×3* 2×2* 4×2* 1×3* 2×2* 4×2* 4×4* 4×2* 2×2* 4×2* 4×2* 4×2* 4×2* 2×2* 4×2*
4×2* 4×2* 1×3* 2×3* 4×2* 4×2* 2×3* 4×2* 4×2* 1×3* 4×2* 2×2* 4×2* 2×2* 4×2*
1×3* 2×3* 1×3* 1×3* 2×2* 4×2* 4×2* 2×2* 2×3* 2×2* 4×2* 2×2* 2×3* 2×3* 2×2*
4×2* 2×2* 1×3* 4×2* 2×2* 4×2* 4×2* 2×2* 2×2* 4×2* 4×2* 4×2* 4×2* 4×2* 2×3*
4×2* 4×2* 4×2* 2×2* 4×2* 4×2* 1×3* 1×3* 4×2*

There you have it, the overall basics of the options available to gain, or grind out those 4-Star Badges.

And once again big thanks again to WillBits for use of his Lrrr and  for his virtual entertainment during my long hours in Space. 

What do you think of levelling up so far? Any tips for fellow Players? Any items you’re frightfully excited about? Any items you immediately purchased? Let us know in the comments.

~ Russian Tigger


28 thoughts on “The Big Promotion Push – When 8+8 = 4

  1. I literally cannot make heads or tails of what any of you are saying. (I’m not a big gamer so there is a language barrier that I don’t understand when you all type.) Why are there plain green badges jobs and then specific colored ones for each different character type? How the hell do we get more of the star badges? I’ve beaten a few of the daily 3 star jobs but now once beaten they don’t give any new badges. Completely stuck right now. Cannot get a single character past 30. Very, very frustrated. I had such high hopes for this game.


    1. You get badges by running the Eaily Planet missions over and over, badges drop in the cargo boxes. Just search on here for daily planet and you’ll see all the missions and what you can get


  2. I think the worst part of this system is that they also run weekly events that require my fuel as well as throwing the new planet at me that requires off path characters to be rank 3. I find myself having to decide between getting that cool new character from the show by repeated runs at a mission that nets me nothing else, only to open the box and get a character I already have, or try to work on promotions. At least I now have a solid team running for the daily planet: Lrr at 60, Professor at 46, Cahill at 44 (the charm is invaluable!), and Amy and Bill Nye at 30. I’m using them to clear whatever level 30 I need, and am slowing building them to be 45+ (eventually 60, obviously). This makes getting things easier, but again, I feel like I’m missing out on the events which, frankly, feel like an even bigger waste of my time. And Zoidberg? Not even close to getting him, but I’m not going to worry about that until I get the “epic” burgers done… Not worth my time.


  3. it’s very frustrating to try to get the 3-star career badges. I need an average level 30 group (I haven’t been able to level anyone past 30) just got get the track to try and get a 3-star badge. I tend to make it to the last task with a group of 3 or 4 still left (all with very little hp remaining) and if I am lucky enough to finish the last task- NO 3-STAR BADGES. I’d all but given up trying to level anyone up beyond 30. And now the Zoidberg Decopod 10 missions need characters that are level 31+. So frustrating


  4. It would be slightly easier to grind if running 3 star badge missions only gave you 3 star badges for rewards, every time, and not mostly 2 stars. It makes zero sense to have separate 2 and 3 star paths if you can’t separate the drops. I’d have three or four rank 3 characters if the drops made sense, rather than just the one. There’s also not much sense in how much it costs in Nixonbucks to promote. There are enough money sinks already in the game, if that is a goal. Grinding for badges should be the only thing slowing us down.

    It would also be nice if there were at least two different classes to shoot for in the dailies, so they’d occur at least twice as often. I’d ask for them all to be available all the time, but that would defeat the purpose of daily missions, and I know they’ll never go that far.


    1. I think I’ve only ever gotten like 3 3 star badges! I have to save the 2 star to trade. With districts and events, this is just way to time consuming. Use black matter on what? Daily planet? Sure, but then can’t play the event or finish the district. Usually need extremely high charters to even finish the events.
      I only have 1 character over 30 at this time. 30 yrs from now, when I’m in my 70’s, I may have them all leveled up. 😩.


      1. I think you’re being way to optimistic, I think maybe 50 years from now. Seriously though I think we’ll see more ways to get badges filtering through, well I’m hoping so. And good see you back, it’s too quiet when you hide out in the real world 😅


        1. Nope, more than a year later, and near as I can tell there is not anyway to acquire these 3 star badges anymore, I’ve not been able to get them from the Daily Planet drops, and even after purchasing the level 3 badges pack from the store, I didn’t get the necessary badges in order to rank up my character…I got the generic 3 star badges but not the specific 3 star rank badges (these are the ones I need in order to rank any of my characters up to 3 star….but they don’t exist in game anymore, so ranking is impossible, not merely tedious.)


          1. I’ve just tested it and bought 3 star badges in store with no issues, got the 8 generic and 8 Influencer the pack advertised. Also just run the available Daily Planet mission for 3 Star Captain badges and they dropped fine.


  5. On the player vs player, i hit a player with 5 99 star characters. And they were odd characters, not Fry and Leila, but The Borax Kid and Nddd etc. I can only assume hacking.


  6. My main guys are close to level 60 and I am tempted to grind out one rank 4 character, maybe a good healer. I would take me weeks, maybe months to do that. The thing making me most reluctant is a gnawing suspicion, that rank 4 badges may become more easily available in the future.


  7. What a grind! I have no 4 star characters. Two Level 40’s, two 37’s and a 36. I’ve been focusing on the Alpha and Lost Robots events, as opposed to hitting the daily planet. Been spending a lot of NB leveling up random characters for the events, but stalling on the impossible mission requirements.

    I like what they’ve done in giving players an attempt at getting the old characters and outfits, but except for what I was gifted in Alpha, with Ndnd and Hookerbot just appearing in my world, every box I traded in was a duplicate, even the Alpha box. The Omega box purchase for pizza was well worth it, but if I would have spent 200 pizza on an outfit as opposed to a character, I would have been bummed.

    The tiers for the character boxes of last event, and this one, make no sense. Put different groups in different boxes, don’t just keep adding to each tier, lowering the probability you get what you want or need as the difficulty to open these boxes increases…. 🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️


  8. Tip of the hat to you RT for the amount of grinding involved to get to get a Lv99 character. There’s apparently a fine line between genius and insanity and I’m not so sure which side of the line you’re on after going through all of that haha

    So you’ve told us how much it cost in pizza and time, but how much did it cost you in Nixonbucks to get Lrrr from Lv1 to Lv99? I’ve noticed that once you’ve gotten a character to Lv30/the 3* upgrade point it costs around 30,000 just to promote, how much is it upgrade a character once you’re at the 4* mark?

    As a side point, because there’s nowhere else for me to put it at the mo, is anyone elses PvP battles crashing mid-way through? A couple of times now I’ve been playing (and winning) and then suddenly the app freezes and/or closes. When I restart the app and go back into PvP it’s registering the previous encounter as a loss. There’s no issues with my phone or internet connection.
    I’ve messaged TinyCo about it but wondered if other players were having a similar issue.


    1. Oh that didn’t get my Lrrr to 99, the image of the Lrrr 99 was loaned to me by Willbits, so he’s the evil genius. Lol. No seriously that grind just got me the badges to rank him up to 4 stars to start increasing his level over 60, he’s got way to go before he’ll get to 99 – I still need Over 2 million Nixonbucks to get him there, not forgetting almost 2000 Petas as well.

      To get Lrrr from 1-99 cost 3.7 million Nixonbucks. I’ve just done a post that has a link to the help-o-tron in it, you can check cost of things on its calculator


  9. Well the results of your grinding are impressive, I’m pretty sure everybody else that has to run to lower missions get consistent diminishing returns, which means cargo drops at the bottom of the barrel consistently the more you do them… Game modifier should not work in reverse and this is definitely not random.


  10. I don’t have a single 4 start character and I play every day, using all the fuel I can. Just trying to get through the event missions, with no extra for grinding daily planet. Then I see they want me to spend precious stars on second tier characters like blob to get him over 30? I’ve had to sacrifice leveling anyone this event because I’m trying to get he 100k bucks to get the building for zoidberg!

    It’s just too many characters needing too many levels that cost too many nixonbucks


    1. I’m in a similar boat – except I want to earn the new characters, etc so usually don’t have enough fuel for the daily missions – hence I have ZERO characters above 30. I’m not even close to ranking any of them above 30. It’s quite frustrating.


  11. I’m amazed anyone has 4 star characters at all. I’ve had to give up on the past couple of events because I bottlenecked at needing more money or chips or something. I thought I did pretty good on the Xmas event and I was really looking forward to Santa, but I got as far as the Turbo Neptunian and knew there was no way I would unlock him in time, let alone get past that.

    I know these games are about tempting us into microtransactions, but this is stupid. I play pretty regularly and I barely have any characters over 30. I am *forever* out of money currently. I am utterly sick of grinding the same badge missions over and over. I have several quests going back to HGB and Amazonian Amy that are totally stalled because I will never manage to pile up the 100k+ I need to buy the buildings they want.

    I was thrilled to see the alpha event come by. I didn’t make it to getting the Robot Devil and I really wanted him. Then I looked at it…To get the characters I wanted (indeed, the only ones I was missing really) would mean literally hundredS of thousands of Nixonbucks at minimum, assuming I had enough chips to promote enough people to be able to handle the mission. In addition to that, the drop to open up the next mission was idiotically rare. After going through the first few days, I could see there was little point in continuing. I’d have to grind promotion badge missions for a month just to get ready for the event.

    I don’t mind spending money on mobile games.

    I’m not a junkie tossing hundreds per month at them, but a couple times per year I buy some donuts for TSTO. I’ve bought pizza for this game occasionally. Often times that is the only way I’ve gotten characters I wanted or over obstacles to characters I want. I have yet to be able to finish an event without resorting to pizza in some way. There are so many bottlenecks.

    In TSTO I can get through every event they’ve thrown at me since Clash of Clones (when I started) and get every prize. Currently I usually have 3-5 days of nothing really to do at the end of each event segment. Even when I am checking into FWTO on a regular, timer prompted, basis, I fall short on literally every segment of every event.

    Premium currency should be for bonus characters and convenience. It should not be literally impossible to finish an event even if you are checking into the game every few hours three or four times per day.

    I’m sorry to rant like this, but this post just points out how utterly pointless it is for me to even participate in events in this game. I don’t have the hundreds of dollars needed to get through them. I do have a size-able surplus of time, but I’m gonna need a time turner to have *enough* time.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I like that they increased the level of characters to go above 30 but not how tedious it is to grind for those badges. And I really hate how any characters under level 10 need to be promoted now as opposed to the open path to 30 we were accustomed to.

    Also not a fan on the daily planet missions using double fuel.


  13. This info couldn’t have come at a better time. Was curious to see what it would take to promote Lrrr to 4-stars. I’m halfway there on captain badges but only have 2 generic 4 star. I don’t have the patience to do all that incessant grinding. Hence why it’s taken me three weeks just to get where I am currently. As long as people fork over pizza for refills (don’t forget NB and chips too) TC have no incentive to make it easier.


      1. That’s a bit unfair, some of us do pay for pizza, I do in my personal game. If no one was buying pizza there would be no game I’m afraid. Yes some get pizza through hacks, but not every player who has pizza gets it this way.


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