Simulation games come in different styles and forms. They require varying levels of management skills, awareness of timing, and patience. It all depends on how complicated or simple a game is.
Due to limits in interface space and controls, simulation games in mobile have to be simplified, but the key elements of the genre are still present. Airport Manager is a good example of such a game. Its developer, Panteon, understands the assignment of making utterly simple games that aren’t short of the fun element. If you need a proof, you can check out their library and their standout games like Ant Master and Muscle Land.
Airport Master falls under the sub-genre of arcade and business-sim. In the game, you serve as the boss of an airport in charge to get every service up and running. As the boss or the Airport Master, you are the most efficient worker in your business, you have the quickest movement speed and you also work the fastest. However, you cannot do the job alone. You have to work, recruit staff, and expand services to improve your airport.
As some players put it, Airport Master is a “pretty chill” simulation game. To make your experience not just chill and fun, but productive and efficient too, we have prepared this guide for you.
Let’s start off by stating the Airport Master’s main premise: you are in charge to get the entire airport up and running and set all its service points to their maximum productivity.
In general, it is a fast-paced casual game that requires some focus. Most simulation games have a pure idle-farming mechanic; Airport Master differs a bit because it requires you to be active in the game to collect and earn resources.
Here are two important things to remember in your airport management journey:
1. Like in most games, the start will be slow. The pace of how fast you can earn tickets will initially feel like you’re crawling. Focus to open two ticket counters first then open the Burger Joint and then refer to the information later in this guide to know which services you need to pay attention to.
2. You, as the Airport Master, have the best work rate in the game. This means that you can do almost every task faster. However, as the master, it is your role to command order throughout the airport which is why you should hire people, put them in particular roles accordingly and give them proper upgrades.
It is key to be familiar with the things you can unlock and tasks you can do in the airport. The next section is meant to introduce you everything you need to know about the services in Airport Master.
MASTER YOUR AIRPORT’S SERVICES
Below are the different services within your airport, their purposes, the staff required to automate them, and their ideal upgrade priorities based on how we closely observed them in our gameplay.
It all begins here. The Ticketing Office is the first earning station and serves as the entry point for regular passengers. Like in the baggage scanners and Boarding Gate, the queue can accommodate 5 passengers at a time.
Ticket Clerk (max. of 5) – They serve every regular passenger that enters your airport. It is advised to set their stamina to at least Level 3 so you will have time to roam around the airport and then return without them falling asleep yet. The need to upgrade their speed depends on how “ready” the next services are to receive the passengers.
In the very early stage of the game, you should focus to open at least another ticketing desk (bringing to a total of 2). Naturally, you must first unlock the counter that has the lowest ticket count requirement. Once you have 2 opened counters, proceed to immediately hire one ticketing clerk. Next thing you must do is open at least one bench so passengers would have a place to wait for their turn. This will prevent them from immediately deciding to leave your airport if they cannot queue up yet.
As a certain service point (meaning all regular passengers will use it), it is important to constantly monitor this area to awaken any sleeping clerks, man empty counters, and claim tickets. The Ticketing Office has the second best ticket earning volume in the entire airport, hence, it should be your second priority when aiming for max upgrades in staffing, speed and stamina.
Restaurant 1 (Burger Joint)
As the service closest to the Ticketing Office, the Burger Joint is designed to be activated early. While not all passengers will choose to take a stop here, the income from the burgers would help you earn more tickets.
Cashier (max. of 1) – The staff whose task is to take the orders of the customers. A customer will immediately give tickets once done at the cashier.
Chef (max. of 1) – He will meet the customers’ orders instantly as long as there are food crates ready.
Janitor (max. of 3) – They will clean up food trays and left overs to make the tables ready for the next batch of customers. The cleaning time will take 6 to 4 seconds depending on the speed upgrade level.
It will take about 600 tickets to hire a cashier, chef, 1 janitor and unlock 2 tables. You may want to remember this “target” to get your Burger Joint up and running. The important thing in maintaining this restaurant (apart from assuring each staff is awake) is that there are food crates ready by the kitchen.
You will see a Resources Needed floating text when the stock has been depleted. This resupplying task cannot be automated; you must transfer the delivered food crates to the designated area (kitchen) before the chef can use them. Each delivery will place 20 food crates and each crate can produce 3 servings of burgers.
Restaurant 2 (Coffee Shop)
Functions exactly the same way as the burger joint. Some Passengers will want a cup of coffee first before boarding, thus giving you an additional opportunity to earn some more tickets. The Coffee Shop mirrors the Burger Joint in terms of number of max janitors, tables, service times, and number of servings produced per resource crate—the only difference is that the chef is replaced by a barista.
Restaurants give the least amount of earnings; a full stack will only yield 100-150 tickets. Even so, unserved customers will be stuck in this station until they are served. But this delay can be advantageous to you if the latter services (baggage scanners, Boarding Gates, and flights) are not yet well upgraded.
Additionally, the janitors in both restaurants will initially be unreliable, they tend to get tired quickly and you may seldom see them “lost” or standing outside the walls of their service areas. Due to those factors, upgrading your restaurants should be your last priority especially that you cannot fully automate them anyway.
The Airport Security office is in charge of the baggage scanners and every regular passenger will have to go through them (VIP passengers do not pass by them). Since traffic is constant in this service, they have the fastest ticket earning rate and must always be given attention once unlocked.
Security Officers (max. of 4) – they ensure the safety of the airport by manning the baggage scanners. In the older version of Airport Master, your free companion dog will act as a security tool, able to sniff “bad” passengers so you can throw them out of the airport.
At lower stamina levels, the Security Officers tend to be the employees whose stamina depletes the quickest. Even at stamina level 5, you would find the need to wake up them up quite often. The baggage scanners, fortunately, is at the middle of everything, so reaching any sleeping Security Officer would not be a problem as you will pass by them each time you cross the front and back sections of your airport.
What’s good with the Airport Security, aside from their convenient location, is that speed is not an issue. As such, you can give them the least priority for speed upgrades. In terms of keeping them awake for a reasonable period of time, you would want to get their stamina to level 7.
The last line of service in your airport; the Boarding Gate will cater both to regular and VIP passengers. Passengers will queue up in front of opened boarding counters. There are 4 Boarding Gates (B31, B32, B33, and B34) and the number of passengers required for flights can vary from 5 to 9 each trip. If no airplane is ready for boarding yet, the passengers on the queue will remain until they can board a flight.
Gate Agents (max. of 4) – they attend to passengers that are ready to board a flight. They work in the same rate and capacity as the Ticket Clerks and since the queue can only hold 5 passengers at a time, those who cannot fall in line yet will have to wait. Therefore, flights requiring more than 5 passengers will require Boarding Agents to have the stamina that can cater to 2 batches/queues.
Like in the Ticketing Area, there are unlockable benches near the Boarding Gates. We recommend to at least unlock 2 benches early on as they will “extend the patience” of passengers who cannot queue up yet. Even at max levels, the boarding area benches can still get fully occupied, the flow of passengers is simply that much. You may refer to the image above as a proof.
Prioritize to open a bench before unlocking an additional boarding counter (and hiring your first Boarding Agent). The extended wait time the benches can afford will let you comfortably sort passengers in their seats when you sort flights manually. We recommend upgrading the stamina and speed levels of your Gate Agents to be set as your third priority. Try to get them to stamina and speed to level 4 then proceed to upgrade other services.
After being accommodated by a Boarding Agent, passengers will now enter a plane. Once a gate turns green, you can manually stand on the marker or wait for a pilot (if you have already hired one) until you get in. Flights last from 10 to 29 seconds, depending on the speed level of pilots.
Pilot (max. of 4) – The only airport employee that has no stamina upgrade available. Soon as a flight is ready, a pilot will come out and walk to its specific gate. Speed upgrades will not affect the pilots’ walking speed. Instead, it will cut 1 second of flight time for each upgrade level.
With no stamina woes and being at the tail end of a passenger’s business in your airport, it is okay to only spend a limited amount of tickets to upgrade your pilots. In the very early stages, it will be better for you to just manually sort the passengers in their trips (drag and drop) because you can do the task shorter than the base duration which is 29 seconds.
The recommended speed level upgrade for pilots is 10 because it is quite impossible to manually drag and drop all 15 passengers accurately to their preferred seats in just 20 seconds.
It will still be your preference, however, if you enjoy the manual seating tasks or simply hire a pilot for each unlocked boarding gate. You can deprioritize spending for the pilots after speed upgrade 10 or make it your top priority to smoothen the exit of passengers.
The VIP Access is the most expensive station to unlock because it brings in the most tickets. A full stack of tickets from here amounts to more than 300. Opening the VIP Access elevates your airport to a multi-service transport terminal because it will have a parking lot where you can provide service to VIPs through land travel.
Apart from the parking lot giving the highest ticket yield, you will notice that the VIPs (characters in suits and traditional, Arabic formal clothes) will much more often go to the Free Shop and Clothing Store compared to regular passengers. That simply means they bring in more tickets.
Shuttle Drivers (max. of 4) – These are characters in red suits that will drive black vans to transport VIPs. The direct earnings of your VIP Access will be through them. When a van gets fully-loaded, you can opt to drive the shuttle yourself (just hold unto to screen until the entire sequence is finished).
Like the Ticketing Office, the VIP Gate only has one type of employee and does not require multiple touches/tasks before you can earn tickets. Once you have unlocked it, make it your top priority for all upgrades, parking slots, staff count, stamina, and speed. We recommend to get the Shuttle Drivers to max stamina ahead of any other station/services in your airport simply because the VIP Access is the most profitable fully-automated service point.
Free Shop (Duty Free)
It is quite a universal standard for airports to have a Duty Free and yours can have one too! The Free Shop/Duty free is as expensive as the VIP Access to unlock. The earnings it can bring isn’t as much, but the additional inflow will help your ticket gain. So why not, right?
Cashiers (max. of 2) – The cashiers will earn tickets after customers bring their desired items for checkout. Their stamina consumption rate is exactly the same as every counter-based airport employee.
Shelf Organizers (max. of 3) – They are in charge to refill the shelves from the stock at the backend of the shop. They move around making them spend stamina in the same rate as the janitors in the restaurants.
Since the ticket requirement of unlocking the Free Shop and the VIP Access is just the same, we suggest to make it the last service you must open in your airport. The amount of tickets you will earn from it and the frequency of visits (given its location) is not a cost-efficient choice early game. By the time you can comfortably gather 600 tickets all around (with the help of a 3x boost), that would be the time you will be ready to allocate earnings to unlock the Free Shop.
Operates in the same way as the Free Shop in terms of the staff required; only cheaper to unlock. Like the Free Shop, both regular and VIP passengers may take a trip here, thus extending their length of stay in the airport and giving you additional income.
The stores offer you extra income like the Restaurants but they don’t require you extra trips to restock resources. Since they are fully automated, you can time your visits to them, say, only after every 2 minutes. To lessen the trips meant to keep your store staff awake, we recommend to get their stamina to level 5 and speed to level 3 early.
Also, since they don’t give you much tickets (a full stack only amounts to 120-300), you can set them as your second to the last priority when it comes to maxing upgrades in speed and stamina.
The Bus Stop is a preset and optional service in your airport. It gives you a very minimal income of just 1 ticket per passenger; each trip lets you service 6 passengers. The bus stop has no staff, hence cannot be automated. You have to manually seat the passengers as you would in a plane.
After you board passengers, it will enter a 180-second cool down. The most ideal time to interact with the Bus Stop and assists the queued passengers is when you have already collected tickets all throughout your airport. Treat it as a productive use of your waiting time.
FOR THE GAINS
As the Airport Master, you will want to earn a lot of tickets faster. For that purpose, the game has laid out items and “power-ups” that can help you hit that goal sooner. This section is meant to tackle basically all the bonuses you can wring from the game, as well as any optimal time on when to use them, if applicable.
Briefcase / Ticket Bag
Every now and then, a briefcase will spawn in your airport. It is a ticket bag that contains hundreds of tickets. To harvest its contents, you just have to watch the ad that comes with claiming it. In our experience the least ticket we are able to get from one is 127 and the most is 412. The ‘burst’ earnings from them can enable you to pay for upgrades sooner.
There is no definite time when one appears; it is completely random. What we can tell is that it spawns within the front section of your airport. Think of the big “box” from the Ticketing Office Area up to the baggage scanners, 90% of the time, it appears in this zone.
Perhaps, the most generous and constant form of bonus available in the game. The 3x multiplier is hard to miss when its ready because it is just at the right side of the screen. To activate the buff, just simply tap on it and wait for the ad to finish. For the next 60 seconds, every ticket you collect will be multiplied by 3.
The most ideal time to use it is when you have just logged into the game and when all ticket piles are fully stacked. If you’re on free to play, it’s easier to tell when the ad for the 3x is ready, the moment 1 to 2 auto-view ads appear, it should be ready for use. Once you’ve obtained the power-up, course through all ticket stacks and see your ticket count skyrocket!
The instant upgrade power-up may only be obtained for free to through the daily login bonus. It will work as the name suggests. Instead of spending tickets or forcing you to watch ads to get an upgrade, the ticket will instead be consumed.
The Hoverboard Scooter further increases your speed. To give you an idea of how much faster you’ll be while on it, think of the distance between the entrances of the Coffee Shop and Burger Joint and treat them as points A and B, respectively. If you’re simply walking, it will take you 5 seconds to get from one point to the other; on the scooter, it will only take you 3 seconds. This item can only be obtained through the daily rewards, it is the 7th consecutive day of the first week of playing.
It’s no secret the mobile games thrive on ads and Airport Master is no exemption. There is an abundance of ad viewing opportunities in the game. Once the game has initiated 1 to 2 auto-viewing of ads (treat it as a warmup period), that’s the sign it has tapped into ads network and it will NEVER run out of ads. View ads in place of spending tickets for upgrades, 3x boosters, and Ticket Bags.
Another way to tell if the ad gates are already open is to check the white bar at the bottom part of the screen. If there are already ad banners present (like our screenshot at the 3x Earnings), that’s your time to use ads to your advantage.
If you’ve read our guide from the top up to this point, you are already equipped with what you need to know about the airport’s services and the actions/items that can help you farm up tickets faster. The game is very easy to be familiar with and in no time, you shall be a legitimate Airport Master!
Before we let you go, we’d like to share to you a few more tips and pointers that will help you in your Airport Master experience.
1.) Sometimes, when you go offline or close the game abruptly, a glitch occurs and this affects the Free Shop and Clothing Store. The bug essentially purges or removes all the staff you hired in those services. To get them back up and running, you have to spend tickets to recruit cashiers and shelf organizers again. To offset this inconvenience and avoid severe wait time should you encounter this bug, save at least 2,500 tickets before you close the game. Those tickets should be enough to repurchase any lost staff.
2.) If you don’t plan to sit with the game for one full hour a day, here is an efficient cycle you can follow. Be idle for at least 2 minutes with all your unlocked services operational, use the 3x profit multiplier buff, and then proceed to collect all tickets. Nearing the endgame, you can rack-up 3,000 or more tickets in each cycle. This farming trick will help you deal with the said bug above and will make your ticket collection tasks efficiently.
3.) In the early phase of the game when you have not levelled up everything yet, use delays to your advantage. For example, you can let a stuck queue of passengers in the Coffee Shop and Burger Joint stay until you can manually attend to baggage scanners, boarding counters, and flights.
4.) When you have the 3x Earnings buff, don’t waste time to do tasks especially the manual sorting of plane/bus seats and VIP shuttle driving. The bar of the 3x Earnings buff will darken suggesting a “freeze” but the timer will continue run while you’re busy. Focus on simply roaming around to collect tickets while the buff is on.
And that’s it! Thank you for checking our Airport Master guide. We hope that the tips, tricks, and strategies we shared here will help you hone your airport management skills. We’re confident you can max every service out in no time too.
If you know of a trick we did not mention here, please feel free to share it to the community at the comments section below. Once again, thank you for your time. Let’s fasten our seatbelts and get ready to fly!