How to Play Candy Crush Saga

By Corbin HartwickUpdated on October 10, 2019

Alright, so you’ve downloaded and installed Candy Crush Saga on your mobile device, so let’s get to crushing candies! This tutorial will teach you the basic gameplay of Candy Crush Saga, as well as give you various tips on how to play.

Playing Candy Crush Saga

Starting the game

1. When you first launch Candy Crush Saga, you’ll have to press the Play button on the title screen to start playing.

How to start play from the Candy Crush Saga title screen

2. You will be taken to the main map screen. Here, you can see the levels that you have access to, as well as your current life total. (We’ll talk more about lives in a little while).

How to use the main map screen for Candy Crush Saga

You can tap the Menu wheel in the bottom-left corner to reveal options such as:

– mute or unmute the sound effects
– mute or unmute the music
– get help with playing the game
– exit the game or level
– change your nickname and avatar

Levels that you have completed will have 1 to 3 stars underneath them, depending on how high your score was when you completed them. Your avatar will be next to the latest level that you can access. Tap on a level to play it.

3. You will now see the level’s set-up screen.

How to use the level setup screen for Candy Crush Saga

Take note of two things while you’re here. First, note the target score in the top-middle portion of the box; you will have to score at least this many points to clear the level. Also, tap the Level Type button in the bottom-left corner for an explanation of other special conditions that you will have to fulfill in order to clear the level. There are five level types:

Moves Levels are coloured orange. You just have to reach the target score in a limited number of moves.

Jelly Levels are coloured blue. You have to clear all of the jelly blocks in a limited number of moves.

Ingredient Levels are coloured green. You have to get the cherries or hazelnuts to certain spaces on the board within a limited number of moves.

Time Levels are coloured purple. You have to reach the target score in a limited amount of time, but you can make as many moves as you want!.

Candy Order Levels are coloured pink. You have to clear a certain number of candies, usually of a certain colour and/or in certain combinations, within a limited number of moves.

If they’re available, you can tap the Boosters underneath the target score to give yourself extra power-ups for the next level; selected boosters will have a checkmark beside them.

When you’re ready to start the level, tap Play.

Playing the game

1. When a level begins (or even during the level), keep an eye on a few things, namely:

– the target score that you have to achieve (in the top-right corner)

– the boosters at your disposal (in the top-left corner; tap one of them to use it)

– the number of moves you have left, the amount of time remaining, and/or the number of candies and/or candy combinations left to clear (at the bottom of the screen)

How to read the Candy Crush Saga game board

2. To play, press and hold your finger on one of the candies, and then swipe your finger towards an adjacent candy to have them swap places. In doing so, you usually must create a line of at least 3 candies of the same colour (but there are exceptions; see below). This will eliminate those candies from the board, and they will be filled in by the candies above them (or by random candies from the top of the board).

How to form a 3-candy match in Candy Crush Saga

3. If you manage to match 4 candies of the same colour in a line…

How to form a 4-candy match in Candy Crush Saga

…you will get a Striped Candy; whether its stripes are horizontal or vertical depends on the direction that you swapped candies in order to make the line. Then, if you match a Striped Candy with at least 2 other candies of the same colour, it will eliminate all candies in its current row (if it has horizontal stripes) or column (if it has vertical stripes).

4. If you manage to match 5 candies of the same colour in the shape of an “L” or “T”, like so…

How to create an 'L' or 'T' match in Candy Crush Saga

…you will create a Wrapped Candy. If you match a Wrapped Candy with at least 2 other candies of the same colour, it will explode twice in succession, eliminating all candies directly adjacent to it (including diagonally).

How to match a special wrapped candy in Candy Crush Saga

5. If you manage to match 5 candies of the same colour in a line…

How to form a 5-in-a-row candy match in Candy Crush Saga

…you will create a Colour Bomb Candy. When you swap a Colour Bomb Candy with a regular candy, it will eliminate all candies on the board of that colour. So, in the example below, all green candies would be eliminated from the board.

How to use a special colour bomb candy in Candy Crush Saga

6. If you swap two special candies with each other, you can create even greater effects! So, in the example below, if you combine a Wrapped Candy with a Striped Candy, you will create a giant candy that will eliminate 3 columns and 3 rows of candies!

How to combine the effects of special candies in Candy Crush Saga

See this page on the Candy Crush Saga Wiki for a full list of special candies, their individual effects, and their combination effects.

7. When you complete a level’s secondary objective (the primary one is to reach a target score) or time runs out in a Time Level, a “Sugar Crush” activates. This activates the effects of all special candies still on the board, even if they haven’t been matched. Then, except on Time Levels, one candy will randomly become a Striped Candy and activate its effect for every move you have remaining. On Time Levels, instead each candy that would have given you extra time if matched becomes a Wrapped Candy and activates its effect.

A Sugar Crush at the end of a Candy Crush Saga level

8. If you exit a level (except a Time Level) after making a move, or fail to achieve one or more of the level’s objectives before running out of time or moves, you will lose a life. If you have lives remaining, you can tap Retry to start the level over again. You can have a maximum of 5 lives (barring any power-ups), and your lives will naturally replenish at a rate of one every 30 minutes. Your current lives can be seen on the main map screen, as seen in step 2 of the “Starting the Game” section.

How to retry a level in Candy Crush Saga

Top 11 Candy Crush Saga Tips and Tricks

  1. Before you start a level, make a note of its secondary objective (Moves, Time, Ingredients, Jelly, or Colour Order). This will help you decide what your priority should be once you start the level. For instance, in a Jelly Level, don’t go trying to rack up points with random matches while you’ve still got jelly on the board! Make clearing the spaces with jelly on them your primary goal.
  2. If you exit a level before making a move (except in a Time Level), you won’t lose a life, and all of the candies will be reshuffled the next time that you enter a level. Use this to get your board set up the way that you want it.
  3. If you don’t make a move for a few seconds, a set of candies will flash on the board, showing you an available move. Use these hints if you’re stuck, but be aware that just because a move is available doesn’t always mean that it’s your best move…
  4. Always look for opportunities to create special candies by matching 4 or 5 candies of the same colour at once. They will go a long way towards clearing both candies and obstacles off the board quickly. Also, look for opportunities to combine special candies when you can for even bigger board-clearing effects!
  5. Since candies are affected by gravity (moving from the top of the board to the bottom), try making matches at the bottom of the board first. This will allow for the chance of more chain matches higher up, which can really add to your score… and may create a few special candies for you!
  6. On higher levels, obstacles such as licorice, icing, or chocolate will block off candy, jelly, or spaces. Try to eliminate these impediments as soon as you can in order to free up more spaces on the board for candies, which will increase the number of potential moves that you can make.
  7. If you aren’t playing a Time Level, take your time! There’s no penalty for surveying the board and looking for your best move, or even looking a few moves ahead. Conversely, if you are playing a Time Level, don’t sweat strategy so much and just make as many matches as you can as you find them.
  8. When playing a Jelly Level, try to focus on eliminating the jelly blocks that are closest to the edges of the board first. They are the trickiest to remove, since you will have the fewest ways to match candies over them (and thus the fewest opportunities to clear them).
  9. When playing an Ingredients level, try to position ingredients above candies that you can match in columns (as opposed to rows) to get ingredients to the bottom of the board faster. Also, if you can, try to keep ingredients near the middle of the board, so that you have more potential matches that can move them towards the exit points at the bottom of the board.
  10. Don’t worry so much about reaching a level’s target score. If you’ve focused on completing the level’s secondary objective, as well as making special candies, the Sugar Crush that activates at the end of a level will often be enough to put your score over the mark that it needs to reach!
  11. If you’re stuck on a level, try activating a booster. You can activate one before a level starts to put special candies on the board to give yourself an advantage, or activate one during a game (tap one in the top-left corner) to do something that you wouldn’t normally be allowed to. For example, you can use the Lollipop Hammer booster to eliminate any one candy or obstacle on the board. Be careful, though… boosters have a limited number of uses, and you can’t get them back if you don’t complete the level! See this page on the Candy Crush Saga Wiki for a list of boosters and what they do.

Well, those are some basic gameplay lessons and tips for playing Candy Crush Saga! Have fun, and don’t get a tooth cavity while playing!