TIPS & TRICKS FOR FAST, VICTORIOUS KEYQUEST GAMES
A GUIDE BY RACHEL FOR CLRAIK
Alright, so I'm going to try my hand at making a guide about KeyQuest. Mostly because this is from where 99.9% of my legitimate NP comes, and also because it's probably the only thing on Neopets at which I'm somewhat decent-ish. I've used this method to redeem over 2,000 gold KQ keys and make about 200-250k (on a bad day) in a matter of a couple hours.
I will preface this guide, though, by saying that if anyone of you fackers ever use my methods against me in game, I will probably be pissy until I win my next gold key, so...y'know, be warned (jk, kinda).
I won't take a terrible amount of time explaining the logistics of the game because you can probably find that information anywhere. This guide is just designed to tell you the tactics that I've found significantly most helpful in ensuring that I win (almost) every mini-game and have a gold key in the palm of my (virtual) hand within minutes. It is written with the idea that you have some (basic) understanding of how the game works. There are (used to be?) a couple guides on here for KeyQuest as a whole, but if enough people are interested, I would definitely be happy to write a more up-to-date, in-depth, back-to-basics guide for this game, as I really do believe it can be a valuable resource for people who want to quickly and legitimately make decent amounts of NP.
1. Only open gold keys. It's that simple. You can redeem 10 keys a day, but you can play however many games you want to. Almost every silver key I've ever won is still rotting in my "vault." This DOESN'T mean quit any game you're losing because KQ players are (generally) pissy and will probably report you for that, but just let them win, take your NP from the game (instead of wasting your time completely), and move on. I recommend this because gold keys not only award 4 prizes (as opposed to 3), but they're also the ONLY keys that you can win paint brushes, treasure map pieces, and secret lab map pieces (AKA the best prizes), whereas silver keys will usually only award codestones and neggs (and junk), and they award them much less frequently. This will also ensure that, if you aren't able to find the time to play on any given day, making a handful of NP is just as easy as redeeming 10 of your rotting silver keys and selling off any codestones/neggs you may have gotten.
2. Only play 2 player, 5 key games (unless you’re playing for fun). They go much more quickly and the worst possible key you can get is a silver.
3. KeyQuest is really, really hard to excel at if you don't have a fast computer. There are ways you can decrease the quality (like installing the FRQc extension on Google Chrome, like I have) or playing by using the low resolution link (see below), but generally, the game will run much more smoothly on a fast computer. Seems obvious and kinda unfair, but it makes a huge difference, especially in mini-games.
4. Create your own games, using the same map AND same color token every time. Learn which two houses are the best to use so that you'll ALWAYS know which house to choose, even if the other person gets to pick first. Personally, I only play on the "Sweet 1" board, I only use red, and I only choose the haunted woods house or neopia central house. If you do this, you'll know exactly where you're headed (once you figure out the best path to obtain all the keys and make it to the door as quickly as possible) at all times, and you'll always know which color you are in mini-games without a second's hesitation.
5. If you happen to have two accounts (say, your main account and another perfectly wholesome, completely legit shell/side ), you can always play games against yourself until you get the hang of things! Thanks @fairydust201 for the tip!
CHOOSING A TOKEN
A lot of people don't buy KQ tokens, and that's all fine and dandy. However, one thing it took me a while to realize is that all KQ tokens have an alignment - if your token is aligned with the dark faerie, landing on the dark faerie square will give you super awesome power-ups, while landing on any other faerie's square will result in some sort of hex or annoyingly bad effect. Choose a token whose alignment square will fall directly in your path every single game - you'll be surprised at how frequently you land on it. Personally, because of the board I use and the houses I start at, I always use a token with a dark alignment - the dark faerie square falls right in the middle of the path I take, near the beginning - landing on that square doesn't lead me off my original path, and it usually gives me a game-changing power-up very early on. If you’re interested in getting a new token, there are buyable tokens in the NC mall that cover every alignment, or you can work out which board/house combo will work best for whichever default token you're working with. Feel free to PM me if you'd like suggestions/help selecting a good combo for you!
Once you’ve redeemed a token, don’t forget to activate it and select to use it before playing each game. To select it, use the drop-down box to the top-left when you’re making your games, as shown below.
There are a number of power-ups that are extremely valuable, and some that I (try to) avoid at all costs. For the most part, I recommend using power-ups DEFENSIVELY UNLESS the other player has a sticky hand or you foresee the possibility of somehow landing on a bad alignment square and losing the power-up. The idea is that, if someone plays a power-up on you, you always want to have a power-up that might be able to negate the effects of theirs. For example, if you have a rainbow fountain key power-up (which changes any key color to any other color of your choice for either player) and you play it on your opponent immediately, and then they get one in the next turn, you now have no defense for if they use theirs on you. However, if you would have saved it, you would have been able to change back any key of yours that they might have tried to change with their own. Below are some general hints and tricks to use, although playing enough will help you figure out your own tactics, as well.
1. If you have a sticky hand and your opponent gets a sticky hand, steal their sticky hand. Don't try and steal a power-up of theirs because they can just steal it back.
2. If your opponent has a sticky hand and you get the opportunity to choose a power-up (for either winning a mini-game or winning a duel), don’t choose the best one - choose something that won't come back to bite you and won't tempt your opponent to steal it from you - because if you choose a good one, your opponent WILL steal it. They just will. I usually go for things that could be really beneficial in the right situation but aren't good enough to tempt them to waste a sticky hand on it. Also, if your opponent has a sticky hand and you have some good power-ups that you have the opportunity to use before they can steal it, even if it won't benefit you in any way, just burn them. For example, if you have a distraction potion power-up, but they don't have any keys you need, just swap one of your keys for their key of the exact same color. You'll be no better or worse off, but the power-up will be gone and they won't be able to steal it and use it against you.
3. Always use loaded gummy die to land on the treasure chest. You get another free power-up and a key in the color of your choice. It's almost always worth it, unless you already have all your keys and could use the die to get much closer to the door.
4. If your opponent is close to winning, you can take one of two approaches - use any power-ups at all to try and prolong the game (like using a transporter helmet, even though it might not benefit you), or just admit defeat and start fresh in a new game.
5. When using tornado rings, use caution - I recommend only using them when your opponent has one or two power-ups OR if all 3 of their power-ups are game-changers (like rainbow fountain water or one of the alignment rewards). This is because, just as much as it can work in your favor and give them really crappy power-ups, it could also give them even better power-ups than they had before. You don't want to go handing them anything they can use against you - if you can help it.
6. If you have a super pile of dung power-up, don't use it just to block your opponent from moving at all. Use it instead to block ideal paths that they could take, which will force their token down an inconvenient path that may not have any keys at all, as shown below.
7. Battle dice is, in my opinion, a worthless power-up. I hate battling. I hate anything that, just as much as it could work in my favor, could also work against me. I only battle when other people choose to battle me, and, if given the choice, I never choose to battle other players. This is a personal choice, so obviously, if you feel battling is more beneficial than harmful for you or you just like to take risks (I see you, cK, I see you), go for it.
8. Rainbow fountain water is always better than distraction potion, and loaded gummy die is always better than virtudice (although all are good power-ups, in my opinion).
In order of most valuable to least valuable of all power-ups - only those that appear in two-player games, mind you - I'd rank them as follows:
(Most Alignment Power-Ups),
Rainbow Sticky Hand,
Rainbow Fountain Water,
Loaded Gummy Die,
&& then all the others, with Tornado Ring and Battle Die falling at the bottom.
However, as always, there are valuable situations in which to use most of the power-ups depending on the circumstances of the game. As long as you try and play your power-ups defensively and try and keep only those which you foresee being valuable, you should be fine. For example, if you have a spare keyring power-up and your opponent only has one of each key, it's worthless. Replace that junk as soon as possible. However, if your opponent has somehow gotten really lucky and has multiple of the very keys you need to win while you're standing right next to the door, this would be, without a doubt, the most valuable power-up in your possession. It's all circumstantial, which is why thinking ahead, trying to read your opponent, and using good situational power-ups is an invaluable tactic.
The only real tip I have regarding random events is that, if you get hit by the event where Bree will let you switch one of your keys to a different color, you don't have to do it. If you're okay with how your keys are and switching them up would actually be more harmful then beneficial, just click the little "x" in the bottom right corner. No harm done.
Mini-games are another factor of the game that can easily win each and every game for you. By using some simple tips (and a fast computer), you should be able to win almost every mini-game with no problem. This becomes a game-changer because you'll either be awarded a key in the color of your choice or your choice of power-up, as well as some additional NP - an obvious benefit.
Note: For those mini-games requiring lots of quick clicking, a general tip is to use an auto-clicker to win them.
Thanks @IFapAlot for the tip! ^_^
1. Berry Blaster: In this game, your goal is to try and shoot different coloured berries using your own bullseye. Black berries are worth 3 points, red berries are worth 2, and purple berries are worth 1. Only ever aim for black berries (if they're there) and red ones. Black berries show up and disappear pretty quickly, so just be quick and watch your points add up. This is one of the instances where always playing with the same color token can minimize a lot of confusion - for example, if I know I'm always red, the game looks the same all the time and I don't even have to think about it. It becomes second nature.
2. Flower Frenzy: The flowers will light up in a pattern and you just have to repeat the pattern. Pretty straight-forward. With a quick computer and no mistakes, the best score you can get is 1800 - completing up through an 8-flower-long sequence. However, if you read below, this is one of the two ways you can cheat in KQ.
3. Fruit Picker: You use your pair of shears to cut fruit off a tree and drag it to your basket. Click and hold to cut it off and drag it. However, if you just click, quickly drag it toward your basket it, and release it, it should fall the rest of the way down. I don't even drag the fruits to my basket anymore. I just click and toss them lightly to the side with the perfect amount of force for them to land in my basket - it's taken practice to figure out, but it's much more efficient. Another method is to build up a lead and then just click on the remaining fruits to cut them off the tree so they fall onto the ground and nobody gets those points.
4. Ghastly Guzzler: You click to throw food into Esophagors mouth. Aim right above his closed mouth, and your foods will land perfectly in his mouth when it opens. Don't try and aim for his closed mouth, as a lot of your foods will end up too low and miss. I spam click - you don't have to because there's a wait timer, but I do anyway because I get anxious . Anticipate where esophagor will show up and start throwing food immediately. Esophagor will move around until he's eaten 6 pieces of food, and then he'll get sick. When he gets sick, click the down arrow on your little guy on the bottom of the screen to duck and miss his vomit. If you get hit by his vomit, you'll lose 10 points. Esophagor gets sick every 6 pieces of food (or every 120 points, regardless of who earns them, if you're counting). Be prepared to duck.
5. Neogarden Grow: This game is super easy to win as long as you know where to line your watering can. You click to water all four flowers (each flower takes two rounds of water to fully grow), and then switch over the clippers to cut the flowers off one at a time. By finding special "sweet spots," over which you hover the bottom left edge of your watering can, you can always water two flowers at once, as shown in the image below.
6. Nova Matcher: Just click on pairs of matching novas. Try and aim for sets of novas that are directly next to each other (there's usually a lot), be quick about it, and you'll be fine. Save farther apart sets for later, when more of the novas have been matched.
7. Orbliteration: You click to move your ship between blue orbs, and click on pink orbs to collect them and get points. Try and move toward large clusters of pink orbs - they award more points, and you can just sit there and collect them. Also, if a crater and the orbs above it start to shake, move away from them - the crater will spew out hot air and stun your ship if it's in the direct path. Watch carefully when the crater explodes - it'll shoot away any pink orbs remaining above it, but the game is glitched so that, oftentimes, the pink orbs will show back up but they are UNCOLLECTABLE. Only pink orbs that fly out of the crater can be collected for points. Watch carefully and only grab those pink orbs instead of wasting your time on orbs that look like they're there but really aren't.
8. Petpet Pamper: You click and hold to spray your hose at a dirty meowclops. Always aim slightly to the right of the big patches of dirt, focus on the largest patches first, and move back and forth with the petpet - in my experience, this results in the best (and fastest) accumulation of points.
9. Petpet Pond: Click near a petpet's mouth, wait for them to gravitate toward it and for the yellow exclamation lines to show up above their heads, and click repeatedly to reel them in. Aim for the biggest petpets first, as they're worth the most points (goldys are worth 100, nurannas are worth 50, and bumblebees are worth 25). Don't cast your line on the petpet, as it will hit and stun it. I find that casting my line a little way directly below the petpet's mouth is usually most successful for me. It may seem obvious (although it's a tactic I rarely see anyone use), but aim for the petpets closest to the front of the pond. It'll take less time to reel them in and that'll give you more time to try and collect more petpets. However, always aim for the biggest petpets first, and, once they're gone, move down to the next size. As you’re reeling your petpets in, try not to click in the path that the petpet is taking – I find that, sometimes, if I do this, my petpet will randomly release from the line and I’ll have to start all over with catching him. Not sure if that’s the exact reason, but I seem to be much more successful if I avoid the path altogether.
10. Petpetpet Snare: Draw circles around the "target petpetpet." Try and draw one big circle around multiples of the same target p3. My computer hates this game for some reason and always cuts off my circle before it's drawn, so I use the same movement for all my circles - start at the top and just swoop down then back up quickly, almost making an upside-down triangle. Maybe your computer won't have a problem, but if it does, just find a method that allows you to consistently draw a successful circle. When trying to catch multiple p3's, don't include anything other than the target p3's or it won't count - not even a little corner. Dumb, I know.
11. Shenkuu Showers: This is the ONLY mini-game that you might not win because it's all about luck. You have to hover your umbrella above petpets to accumulate points. Try and collect the pink lightning power-ups that fall from the sky, as they'll double the amount of points you get from each petpet for 10 seconds. There are some other power-ups, but that's the most important. I usually avoid the others because, once you accept one, you can't accept another until the first wears off, and I like to keep my umbrella unattached in case more pink power-ups fall down. Try and hover over multiple petpets at once. I find that, more often than not, if I start off the game hovering over the petpet that's closest to the nearest wall (a.k.a. the first one to bump into a wall and turn around), more often than not, more petpets will show up from that wall at the exact same time. Just try to notice when multiple petpets will be grouped together and move over them before your opponent.
12. Spyder Scare: This mini-game can be kind-of glitchy sometimes. You click to lower your spyder to collect gems. Green gems award the most points, blue gems speed your spyder up, and purple gems freeze your opponent for a while. Whatever way your spyders eyesight is facing will be the way your spyder drops down when you click. Try and aim for purple gems and freeze your opponent, then collect as many green gems as possible. Sometimes, your spyder will just bounce around at the top of the screen whenever you click, regardless of what you do, which is pretty annoying (theories say that this happens when your spyder crosses paths with your opponent’s – as in, if you start on the left and they on the right, but at some point you cross over them to the right, your spyder might start glitching).
DEALING WITH A QUITTER
KQ quitters are pretty much a staple of the game. You'll get people who get pissy and leave. Sometimes, they'll be semi-polite about it and just "go AFK" until the game automatically disconnects. If you're close to winning and someone tries to pull this stunt, you'll have two rolls to try and make it to the door in time. However, if you can land on game squares at all in those two rolls, try and do that, as it will re-set the counter and you'll have two more rolls to try and get there, and you'll already be that much closer. I've won games before against people who I really legitimately believe no longer even had the game window open by using this method.
Other than that, there’s really not much you can do. DON’T neomail them telling them it’s against the rules to cheat, as you’ll get a nice little warning/silencing for “harassment.”
WAYS TO CHEAT (YUP, THERE ARE SOME)
Be warned, however, that, as mentioned previously, most KQ players are disgruntled when an obvious cheater wins, so be prepared to have some reports filed on you. I haven't heard too many instances of people being frozen because of it, but I imagine if enough reports are filed by enough people, it could happen.
1. If someone uses a negative power-up on you (particularly like the giant lint ball right before a key square), you can pretend to go AFK for your turn to avoid the negative effects. You'll just have to make sure and hit "I'm Back!" when the counter on your die runs out so you aren't booted from the game. This will cause you to lose your turn (the turn during which you couldn’t collect anything), but you’ll be able to roll and collect the key during your next turn just fine.
2. On the Flower Frenzy mini-game, it's been rumored that, by just repeatedly clicking on the first (far left) flower square, you can obtain a super high, otherwise unattainable score. However, I can't verify this, as I've never tried it myself, but I've seen other people obtain scores over 1800 (the highest legit score), so I imagine it works. (Edit: Thanks @Banannie for confirming!)
Hopefully this helps! I’m sure, if you’re an avid KeyQuester, you already knew many/most of these tips, but these are just a couple things I wish someone had been around to tell me about when I first started playing. As with any game, practice really does make perfect, so the more you play it, the better you’ll get, and you’ll start to watch the NP add up! Always feel free to PM me with questions if you're not understanding something about the game or don't understand anything I've included in this mini-guide!
THANKS FOR READING!