This beginner’s guide seeks to help those who are fresh into the cookie baking scene and don’t really have a clue what’s going on. If you haven’t played the game since 2013 and want some help, but still want room to play your own way, then this is the best guide for you!
Hey there, thanks for clicking on this guide! If you’re here, you probably want to optimise how you play Cookie Clicker in such a way that you don’t want to end up making any compromising mistakes or horrible decisions! Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us.
Okay then, I’m going to get straight to the point: I am by no means a certified expert and baking master, but I feel like my knowledge is adequate enough to serve the fledgling player who wants to know the basics and more about the game. Numbers are horrifying, and this game has a lot of numbers, and chances are, you are afraid of numbers too. This guide is going to have a casual tone, as you can actually, realistically, probably see at this very moment!
In the guide, I will have chapters that correspond to your current progress in the game. For example, for my Billion Cookies section, the information provided is by then pretty relevant for players with a billion total cookies baked onwards. I’d recommend reading the guide this way.
Why would I do this to you people? Well, I’m the kinda guy that believes, if you follow a walk-through to the tee, you will end up never being able to truly enjoy the game for yourself, playing how your brain wants to play instead of your heart. However, I’m not going to stop you from reading ahead if your thirst for knowledge is as insurmountable as I think it will be!
Oh, and lastly, I’ll be releasing this guide as I write it, i.e. this is a Work in Progress, so it probably won’t be complete the first time you read this. I’ll be adding chapters as time goes on, and I feel like this is probably the best approach since, at the time of first releasing this, the game has been released on Steam literally less than 24 hours ago.
Well, go on then! Read the guide, click the cookie, and all that good stuff!
Now, I’m going to be real with you. Odds are, you are already way past 0 cookies. You have a million or even a billion cookies right now, and you waddled over to the guide section in curiosity, but also for anything that might help you.
Why would I even say this? Well, that’s because going from 0 cookies to a thousand takes like, less than 5 minutes. BUT, just in case, I’ll outline what the hell you are even staring at!
Now, what do we notice at first?
Obviously, we notice that I am a complete fraud, and I’m using the browser version of the game and not the Steam version, as evidenced by the fact that the version number is completely different to the Steam edition!!!
Why is this? Why, it’s because the Web edition is the superior choice for testing and double checking the facts as I include them here. Without fact-checking, we would have never made it past discovering fire as a species. Okay, maybe it’s not that important, but still.
As of writing, the Steam version and the Web browser versions are completely identical in game play, so you can actually use this guide for the Web edition of the game if you really wanted to, which is neat.
I’m going to break down a similar image with 100 cookies baked, and elaborate on key parts of the game.
1: The Big Cookie. It is probably the first thing your eyes dart to when the game loads for the very first time, and is also the cookie you should be clicking as per the title of the game! Initially, every click to this cookie will give you 1 cookie, but these click gains can be upgraded as the game progresses.
2: Bank and CpS. The bank is representative of the current amount of cookies you hold and can spend at your leisurely pace, or keep unspent if you want to hoard your pile like a cookie dragon.Foreshadowing! CpS on the other hand, stands for Cookies per Second, and displays how many cookies you earn per second. Very intuitive!
3: Bakery Name. You can change the name of your bakery at any time. Right now it has a randomly generated name consisting of a random prefix and noun, but you can type whatever you want into that bar. In fact, doing so grants you an achievement.
4: Building displays. For now, it is only a visual element in the game, but as you will see later, it will play a key role in furthering your tyrannical progress as a malicious cookie manufacturer. It will display the buildings you currently own in an aesthetically pleasing way, with a new row being added for every new building type you purchase. In addition, this is the place where the Options, Stats and Info windows will display when you click on them.
5: Buildings. The name of the game is Cookie Clicker, yes, but it would get real boring, real quick if that was literally the only way to gain cookies. These suckers important a*sets in your career will bake cookies for you and increase your CpS. Neat! In addition, the more you buy, the more upgrades for them you will unlock, and the more achievements you will earn.
6: Upgrades. Your buildings are helpful, but they would be nothing without the help of upgrades to exponentially boost their power. As you play, more upgrades will be available to purchase, ranging from building and click improvements, to unlockable cookies that multiply your CpS by a small amount, to kitten helpers, to… okay, I think I’ve said enough. Upgrades are good. Buy them!
7: Milk. This is a visual indicator of the number of achievements you have unlocked in your cookie career. At first it will be a basic white colour and grow to fill the screen. Then, it will change colours as you gain even more achievements to your name! Very interesting. Once you reach the 10 million cookie mark, the achievements will serve an extremely important role that increases in… extreme importantness… as your cookies baked all time ascends to new heights. You’ll see!
Inserting this image again to break apart the text and so you don’t have to scroll the wheel as much. Don’t get confused!
8: Version number. Actually not very important if you just want to play the funny cookie game. It shows you what version of the game you are currently playing, which comes in handy when you want to know the version of the game you are currently playing. As of writing, the Web edition is on v2.031, and the Steam edition is on v2.04.
9: News ticker. Displays interesting news on the state of your career, and the world around you. The news ticker is reserved ONLY for those who are DEEPLY invested into the Cookie Clicker LORE. So, everyone. Clicking it will force the news reporters to rapidly progress to the next headline. Godspeed!
10: Options.Comes in handy if the game is running too slow or taking up too many resources. You can disable and re-enable graphical elements in accordance to your PC build as you wish. Also, as of v2.04, there is music in Cookie Clicker after all these years! You can choose to increase/decrease the volume of sounds and music in here as well. Oh, and also, a Scary Stuff toggle. Let’s leave that for when we reach a quadrillion cookies. Oh, and also a section to manage mods, but as of writing nobody knows how it works and we are all afraid.
11: Stats. The fun and handsome cousin of the Options menu, where you can see all the interesting facts about your cookie clicking adventure. Here, you can view general stats such as cookies baked all time (the metric for which sections of this guide are relevant to you!), cookies baked from clicking, among various other scary and incomprehensible numbers. Then, you will see your upgrades and achievements unlocked, which will no doubt fill up tremendously as you play. The opportunities are endless!
12: Legacy. The prestige system of the game. We should leave this one for later.
13: Info. Here you can view all the updates added to the game since the 2013 release, and some helpful social links to the Discord channel, and Orteil’s Twitter and Tumblr pages. Oh, and also the wiki which is most likely way more helpful than this guide will ever be. Please don’t go…! ;-;
That should be about it for the elements of the game. That was certainly a ma*sive wall of text, but thankfully we have gone past this horrible stage of… reading.. too… many… words at once…!
Now that you are armed with all this information violently crammed into your brain, you should now go and click that Big Cookie mentioned before. It doesn’t bite… yet!
Buy those cursors, grandmas and corresponding upgrades, and get to 1,000,000 cookies! It seems like an impossible number, but it is really, really possible. Really.
Hello again. If you’re reading this you’ve probably reached the 1 million cookie mark by now, or you skimmed ahead out of curiosity. Congratulations!
This section has a lot to say, so buckle up! Especially about upgrades. Wow.
First up, a quick explanation on how useful exactly the Cursor and Grandma will be for you in the short and long term.
These sets of upgrades are important. Very important. But arguably, the Grandma upgrades are even better. Either way, they are very important.
The first cursor you buy will give you two unlockable upgrades, then the 10th, 25th, 50th and then every 50th cursor from there will give you an additional upgrade that boosts both Cursors and clicking power tremendously. Every non-cursor building you own will support the Cursors you have by a sizeable amount, as seen in the Thousand Fingers upgrade above. You can see how the effect can snowball as you progress, and that’s not all; the continued upgrades you can unlock from buying Cursors increase how much every building boosts Cursors, and every time, these will provide substantial and visible boosts to your CpS. Always.
In addition, getting 15 of a building type will unlock an upgrade that can be purchased that will double Grandma CpS and also give a boost to the respective building you got the upgrade from. For example, in the above image, the upgrade for Factories will boost your factories by 1% additive for every 3 grandmas in your inventory, but this grandma requirement changes for each item. It’s small for now, but if you are smart, you realise that in the late-game, you will have a lot of cookies to buy a lot of grandmas, and that these upgrades work together so that all your grandmas are boosting everything at once. Very supportive! Every team needs people who fulfil support roles, and this is evident everywhere in all societies you can find on Earth.
For every building, except for Cursors which do their own thing, you will unlock an upgrade to purchase when you buy a building for the first time, then every 5th, 15th, 25th and 50th purchase of a building will give you more upgrades, and from that point, every 50 additional purchases will unlock further upgrades! Oh, and buying lots of buildings will also get lots of achievements. But achievements are only cosmetic, right? They don’t really do anything… right?
That’s where the kitten upgrades come in:
Every Cookie Clicker adept loves these little guys, and not just because every player is a cat person! (May or may not be completely false.)
Why are they so loved? Well, it’s because they provide arguably the best CpS multipliers in the game. In fact, when you get the first kitten available, the Kitten Worker, your CpS will be multiplied by the absolutely staggering… +10%… multiplier… to cookie production…
Okay, this is not a good first impression, but trust me. This is not the only kitten you will get. In fact, you probably already see a pink kitten at the bottom of your upgrade store. The funky thing is, each kitten upgrade multiplies the effects of all the others, as well as having its own base multipliers to work with, so it scales very high when you own many of them.
A very important thing to note is that from now on, achievements are actively powering these upgrades, and are now worth aiming for whenever you get the chance. As aforementioned, a good source of achievements is bulk buying buildings whenever you have a cookie surplus and the prices are cheap compared to your current bank. But there is a miscellaneous set of achievements that can be earned at any time, but they are meant to be hidden, so if you don’t want to be spoiled, you can avoid this section if you wish:
Cookie dunk: Pretty much impossible on the Steam edition of the game! On the browser version, it was unlocked by resizing the window such that the Big Cookie was submerged in the achievement milk, but this is impossible here since the Big Cookie shrinks as the window does. I am fully expecting a hotfix to resolve this issue sometime soon! For now, keep it in the back of your head.
Tiny cookie: In the Stats window, the top three stats have a small cookie contained within their text. Click on them.
What’s in a name: Pretty simple and chances are you’ve already done this; just rename your bakery.
Here you go: Click the slot this achievement is in. It is directly to the right of the What’s in a name achievement.
Tabloid addiction: Utilize your cookie clicking skills for something more important; clicking the news ticker 50 times.
Olden days: At the bottom of the Info window, there is a small clickable to the bottom right. Stare at it and move on. I mean, you don’t have to click it if you don’t want to… It’s just chilling there, doing its own thing. What kind of a person are you to disturb it? Honestly, there is nothing to gain from being a rude, foolish individual and destroying the peace around here. Unbelievable.
Just wrong: Sell a grandma. They will hate you for it!
Lastly, alongside kittens, you will have noticed the cookie upgrades in the store as well. These will multiply your CpS as you obtain them, multiplicatively. This means owning many of these upgrades at a time strengthens their overall effect compared to owning just a few. Try to get them when it feels reasonable to do so! You will be seeing a LOT of cookie upgrades in your career.
I promise we will be done soon; let’s talk about golden cookies. What, you don’t know what a golden cookie is? Me neither on my first play-through until I read about them on the wiki!
Here is what a golden cookie looks like:
That’s too shiny for an ordinary cookie, and you’d be right; this isn’t some run of the mill average cookie at all! In fact, it’s arguably the most important thing in the game according to experts! But, at this moment in time, it’s just a helpful little boost to get you going.
You see, whenever you click one of these cheeky buggers, you will get a variety of outcomes that help you out in the long run. I’ll be listing the most prominent of them here:
Frenzy: A 7x cookie production bonus for 77 seconds! By the time the effect is over, you’ll have gained 9 minutes worth of production in those 77 seconds, which is very helpful in the short term. It can give you the cookies you need to purchase that next building or upgrade quickly.
Lucky: Gives you a flat amount of cookies according to the amount you have stored in the bank compared to your CpS. The exact amount is 15% of your bank up to a limit.
Click Frenzy: Multiplies your cookies per click by x777 for 13 seconds. Extremely powerful, and any player is always happy to see it! Click as fast as you can and purchase the mouse upgrades to further increase the potential this effect brings.
Building Special: Chooses a random building, checks the current amount you own and gives you a CpS multiplier according to that amount. Each building you own at the moment of gaining the effect gives you an extra 10% boost. This means that the building specials tied to the cheapest buildings are the best boosts you can get from this effect. So that means, the further you progress, the better the building special effect will become.
From these, the Frenzy and Lucky effects are the most common, with Building Special being third, and Click Frenzy being the most rare. Click Frenzy looks good, and it IS good, unlike many things in life! It will surely become one of your favourite effects to have.
Looks like at the max character limit for a chapter, so good luck with reaching a billion baked cookies!
Wow, you got to a billion cookies that quickly? Well, that’s kinda predictable, it’s not that hard, smh!
Joking aside, this is steady progress, which is always good to have! Now, get ready for some exclusive tipping and tricking you’ll read in this chapter that I was definitely the first to discover, and nobody else knows about this except me! How exciting!
Let’s get started with an intermediate level golden cookie crash course. Since Frenzy/Lucky are the most common effects you can get, I would advise you to plan for them the most. Well duh, that’s how basic probability works, you might be saying, and you’d be right. But there is a hidden strategy behind the Lucky effect that the pros know how to take advantage of. It’s kind of complicated but not really:
Basically, if you are clever, you might have seen that 15% of bank bonus that I wrote about in its description from the Million Cookies chapter, and figured out that you could get Lucky effects forever and get an infinite amount of cookies this way! Well, you are on the right path, but unfortunately our lord and saviour Orteil has forsaken us and given us a hard cap on how big of a bonus it can give us!
Notice how, in the screenshot of the Lucky effect I have inserted above, I have a CpS of 10,000 and the effect gave me exactly 9 million cookies. That’s about 900x my CpS in one golden cookie, which is more than the Frenzy effect gives us! And you probably thought Lucky was useless when you saw it for the first time. Dead wrong.
In order to get 900x CpS from one Lucky effect, you need to have 6,000 times your CpS stored in the bank. I have more than 60 million cookies which is higher than 6,000 times my CpS, so I am receiving the highest rewards.
This is what it takes to cap out the Lucky effect and take maximum advantage of it. 6,000 times is a lot, and it’s reasonable to think it would take too long than what would be practical to wait for it to reach that number. That’s why, I’d recommend actually idling and letting this game run in the background for a little while until you reach the 6,000x limit. You’ve probably been at this for a couple hours, and it’s time for a break.
Just kidding haha, you can’t escape.
I’m going to be real, the billion to trillion road is kinda boring and slow compared to how you started. You will want but not necessarily need that 6,000x cap in conjunction with looking out for the golden cookies to get to the trillions super quickly, which is where the game picks up again in my opinion. A whole 3 magnitudes higher than a billion is exciting to think about, after all! You could of course build to the cap right now with the weakened Lucky bonuses and Frenzies, or you could even get lucky with a Click Frenzy, if you feel so inclined.
Actually, keeping on the topic of golden cookies for just a little bit longer, you might have noticed you’ve unlocked an upgrade or two for them. This is because you’ve clicked enough of them for the game to unlock them. Here’s a homework a*signment for you; nab 77 of those sweet cookies for an even sweeter upgrade. The stat for how many you’ve clicked total can be viewed in the Stats window.
There is something even sweeter than golden cookies, and you’ve probably noticed them, and then got disappointed on how long they take to coalesce; sugar lumps.
Sugar lumps are collected about every 24 hours, or every 20 hours if you handpick them and get super lucky, which probably isn’t happening. The best possible use for them this early is unlocking minigames.
Minigames? What the heck are you talking about, you might say, and that would be expected. A game about clicking cookies, having things to do other than clicking cookies? Impossible!
Let’s get serious now. There are four minigames to unlock as of writing, and these are related to the farms, banks, temples and wizard towers. How do you unlock them? You level them up using a sugar lump, sadly 🙁 of course!
Remember, only the aforementioned Farms, Banks, Temples and Wizard Towers have minigames for now, so you should spend their sugar lumps accordingly! Anywhere else is a waste.
I feel like a good handful people are not going to unlock even one minigame before they reach a trillion cookies, so I’m going to place an exclusive set of chapters just for minigames between Trillion Cookies and Quadrillion Cookies. If you feel like it, you may read it at any time in accordance with your minigame unlock progress.
For good measure, I’m going to say right here that, in case you are concerned with this kind of stuff (which is totally reasonable considering it takes 4 lumps to unlock them all), here is an order of which buildings you should level up first:
Temples -> Wizard Towers -> Farms -> Banks
It just so happens that this order increases in complexity as it progresses, which is perfect for anyone who is unfamiliar with them. The order is also this way because Temples are going to be far more useful to you in the super early game compared to Banks which are pretty much worthless here!
I’m going to end this section with a helpful tip that most people probably have already realised, but just in case, here it is outlined for you.
This small window appears whenever you hover over a building, as you’ve realised before! It contains a whole lot of helpful information such as what percentage of the CpS is coming from this building, how many cookies they all bake together per second, and more. For example, their cookies baked per second is important for what I’m trying to get at here.
You’ve seen a whole lot of ‘X buildings are twice as efficient’ upgrades, which are essential in the toolset of a cookie entrepreneur. In the above image, you can predict just how many more cookies per second you’ll be baking when you put those bad boys to use! In this example, the Sun festival upgrade doubles the total CpS of the temple, and you can calculate how this will affect your total CpS overall compared to the price of the upgrade. Very helpful if you want to wisely spend your cookies!
The fact above is the most obvious way you can utilize those tidbits of information, but there are other relevant uses for the window that will pop up later.
Work in Progress
Hello, as of writing this ending chapter, I’ve written everything up to Billion Cookies Part II. I figure this is an okay time to publish this by now since I’ve written so much. Next time, I’ll be adding the Trillion Cookies chapter, where I discuss the prestige system at its core, and begin the process of explaining farms and banks in as much detail as I can/fit.
– Write the Trillion Cookies chapter
– Rewrite the Minigame explanations such that they have a strong focus on the early game, and save all that information bloating for a later chapter
Please let me know what you think of this current progress in the comments. Has it helped you in any way, shape or form? That would surely make my day to know this guide has done at least one good thing.
Hopefully, it will have been worth the wait. Thanks, and have fun.
–Cookie Clicker Wiki – [fandom.com] for being stellar research material and acting as an excellent fact-checking device! If you want further details on what I write about, the gods of mathematics over there have you covered.
-Orteil for making this awesome time waster!
-You for hopefully not wasting your time reading this thing!
Here we come to an end for Cookie Clicker Ultimate Guide for New Players + Gameplay Tips hope you enjoy it. If you think we forget something to include or we should make an update to the post let us know via comment, and we will fix it asap! Thanks and have a great day!
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