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BitLife 1.28 Update Guide: A Complete Look at BitLife Version 1.28 aka the Friends Update

It’s been well over a year since Candywriter launched their biggest mobile hit by far, BitLife. And with 2019 drawing to a close, we aren’t surprised by its enduring success as the number one life simulator for iOS gamers, and also a huge hit on the Google Play Store for Android device owners.

While other games mostly get stability updates and bug fixes at this point in their lifespans, BitLife is constantly updated with new features that make it arguably the most in-depth life simulator for mobile gamers. It’s up to you whether you want your fictional characters, or Bitizens, live good, honest lives or completely dishonorable ones, and given the various adult situations you may encounter, we should point out that this game is only recommended for those 17-years-old and above.

Over the past few months, the BitLife universe has become much bigger, as Candywriter released expansive school and workplace updates and various realistic (or sometimes, ridiculous) scenarios that come with both environments. Even with those updates, though, friendship was largely an undeveloped aspect of real life in the in-game world.

That has changed, however, with the recent arrival of BitLife version 1.28 — the so-called Friends Update — which now allows you to make multiple friends, make enemies with soon-to-be-former friends, or lose them all together. Keep on reading, as we’ll tell you everything there is to know about the Friends Update in this BitLife guide — likely the last for the year, but definitely not the last overall as the game keeps gaining new features with every succeeding update!

BitLife Version 1.28 Overview – What Can You Expect from the Friends Update?

In previous versions of BitLife, you had no control over who your best friends would turn out to be. You wouldn’t meet them anywhere in school – in fact, almost everyone you’d gotten to meet in school would be forgotten once you’re done with your studies. Instead, your “best friends” in the game would be completely random NPCs, and it wouldn’t be made clear how you got to meet. This person would always be the same gender as your Bitizen, and they’d remain your friend not only for the current generation, but for every generation that follows.

bitlife version 1.28 update

That made it possible for best friends to, well, technically survive until they’re hundreds of years old, with the only ways for you to get rid of them being emigration, unfriending (in the event they commit a crime or develop a drug problem), or murder. Quite frankly, that isn’t very realistic, and that’s something Candywriter wanted to fix with the release of version 1.28.

With the new update, you can meet your best friend – or best friends – even before you enter school. Once you’re studying or working, you can make friends with your classmates or workmates, and if you don’t take good care of that relationship, they could unfriend you. Take note we’re only talking about the basics, and that there are many other possibilities to look forward to with the update now available.

Related: BitLife 1.27 Update Guide: Everything You Need to Know About BitLife Version 1.27 aka the Mystery Update

The bottom line is that this is yet another update that has added to the realism of the BitLife experience, though this also means there are more things you need to pay attention to, regardless whether you’re trying to ensure your Bitizens live their best…or worst lives. And the friendship-related features aren’t the only things you can look forward to in version 1.28. Read on and we’ll talk you through each and every one of them.

Choose Your Friends Wisely

When making friends with someone, may it be at school or at work, you will see three stats after clicking on a character’s name – their Looks, their Smarts, and their Craziness. The first two will mainly be important if you’re considering that person as a romantic partner somewhere down the line, but it’s the last that really matters otherwise.

An NPC student or coworker with high (orange or red) Craziness is a good friend to make if you’re trying to turn your Bitizen into the school bully or workplace prankster/butt-kisser/rumor monger, but if that’s how you want to live your virtual life, those with low (green) Craziness will pretty much run to the hills – why wouldn’t they do so when you’re an “abject and detestable” (as the game would say) troublemaker? Conversely, you want to befriend low-Craziness students and coworkers if you’re trying to be as much of a good guy or girl as possible and trying to build up your Popularity at school or the office.

bitlife friends relationships

Generally, friends who have low Craziness stats will be loyal and wouldn’t require much maintenance, the latter of which we shall be discussing in another tip. We cannot stress enough that these are the friends you want to make, and the friends you want to give good advice to when those random scenarios appear.

As for those with higher Craziness stats, these are your typical friends who may be toxic influences to your Bitizens and may, if you end up making a bad decision thanks to those bad influences, kill your virtual characters or land them in prison! For example, your high-Craziness friend may ask you if you want to do some drugs with them, or even ask you to hide a body! We’ve seen the latter scenario happen, though thankfully, that didn’t result in the cops busting our Bitizen for being an accessory to the crime their friend committed.

We should also add that since you won’t always be successful in making friends with NPCs, rejection could take its toll on your Happiness! (Of course it would, as that’s never a good thing for one’s self-esteem in the real world.). Consider the pointers we mentioned above for a better chance of making friends, though if you’re close to getting spurned one time too many and seeing your Happiness drop down to red levels, the choice is always there to exit the app, reload it, and try again with someone you haven’t tried making friends with.

Navigating The Friend Menus

Now that it’s possible to make multiple friends in the BitLife world, we’re going to talk about the different options you’ll have throughout each playthrough, starting with the different types of activities you could share together.

Just like your partner, parents, siblings, children, pets, nephews, and nieces, your friends can be viewed in the Relationships menu, and while many of the interactions will be the same, some will be unique to the friendship mechanic that was expanded on in version 1.28. You have the option to ask your friends out, assuming you’re willing to take things to the next level, or if you want to explore the possibility of being friends “with benefits,” the Hook Up option is located lower down in the screen.

bitlife friend activities

Either way, it’s not guaranteed that you’ll be successful in your attempts, and failure will invariably result in your Relationship bar getting diminished, or even set back to zero. You can compliment a friend or have a conversation with them, give them gifts, or you can also insult them if you’re trying to make your Bitizen a horrible person — these options are available when dealing with other loved ones, so we won’t go into much detail there.

Likewise, you can spend time with your friends just like you could with family members or partners, and if you’re a paid player, your friends will be included when you choose the Spend Time With All option on the bottom of the Relationships menu.

For the unique options, you can choose to go to a concert with your friend — regardless whether it’s a rock band like Coldplay, a solo pop artist like Britney Spears, or DJ Khaled shouting his name ad nauseam, your enjoyment of the show and that of your friend’s will be random. (At this point, player-controlled and NPC Bitizens still aren’t sophisticated enough to have specific tastes in music, movies, TV, or the like.)

That also applies to the Party option, where you and your friend will attend a random type of party — it may be a formal or informal gathering — with your shared appreciation again determining how far your Relationship bar progresses. You can also watch YouTube videos with your friends, with the same mechanic applying, regardless which of the five channels you choose to watch.

Concerts become available once a Bitizen is 12-years-old, while Party becomes an option once they reach school age — naturally, at that time, your only choice would be to attend kiddie parties. Watch YouTube also pops up in the friend menus once you’ve turned 6.

Related: BitLife Office Update Guide: A Complete Look at BitLife Version 1.26 aka The Office Update

Also worth noting here is the fact that the office-specific Prank and Rumor options are available for Friends — these become available once your Bitizen turns 12. Since not all pranks are mean-spirited in nature, these may or may not improve your relationship status, but spreading rumors is definitely one good way to lose a friend. Which, in fact, leads us to the next tip…

Make Sure To Keep Tabs On Your Friendships

As we mentioned above, the friends you make in BitLife’s new update need some maintenance if you want them by your side for as long as possible. You need to do things with them at least once a year, and with that in mind, paid players should definitely take advantage of the Spend Time with All option and hit it once a year in order to touch base with all friends and family.

bitlife unfriending

Not sharing activities with a friend would take its toll on the Relationship bar, with some friends falling out sooner rather than later — typically, the ones with higher Craziness. That could require dropping some compliments or spending some gifts if the bar is red or orange, because if you don’t, and if the Relationship bar gets emptied, you can be unfriended.

Once someone unfriends you in the game, you will be given three options — will you let them go their own way while you go yours, will you make an attempt to salvage the friendship, or will you let your bitterness show and insult them one last time? All of these options come with their share of risks. Letting a friend go will damage your Happiness a fair bit, and so would being unable to save the friendship.

Successfully salvaging the friendship will only slightly affect your Happiness, though your Relationship bar will be at zero or close to it — usually, this is possible if you merely neglected your friend, but not if you actually did something bad to them, like spreading rumors or insulting them. Speaking of insulting, doing so before parting ways with your friend may leave you feeling better, but not if they respond to your verbal attack with a physical one!

The bottom line here is that if you don’t want to lose any friends, you have to make them feel appreciated, even if it’s through one compliment or conversation per year. Family members won’t disappear from your Relationships menu while they’re still alive (or, in the case of step-parents, while they’re still married to one of your biological parents), but friends certainly will if you aren’t careful.

Also Be Wise In Choosing Your Best Friend

You can have as many friends as you want in the in-game world, thanks to version 1.28 of BitLife, but only one of them can be considered your best friend. What’s in it for you once you have a best friend in the game?

First of all, it appears that you do not have the option of manually choosing your best friend — instead, you may see a dialog box informing you that one of your friends wants to be your best friend. That’s why it’s important to familiarize yourself with each friend’s Craziness stats — your best friend will be the one featured in random scenarios more than the others, and if you want those scenarios to be as positive and risk-free as possible, you should choose low-Craziness friends to be your best buddy.

bitlife best friend

A best friend with high Craziness will often pop up asking you to do dumb things with them or get you roped into their wild — and oftentimes illegal — schemes, just as we had warned you earlier. However, it’s important to note that your best friend doesn’t necessarily have to be a BFF, if you get our drift.

Even if you’ve already got a best friend, other friends may ask you later on in your Bitizen’s life whether you’d want to them to be your best friend or not. This will negatively affect your relationship with the best pal you’re replacing, though it won’t usually be bad enough to ruin your entire friendship. Again, choose wisely here — you will very seldom have to do this, but if your current best bud is a bad influence with high Craziness, they’re probably worth replacing in the friendship hierarchy with someone less toxic.

Related: BitLife Stepfamily Update Guide (Version 1.24): Everything You Need to Know About the Stepfamily Update

In case you’re wondering, the friendship menus for best friends are the same as they are for other friends, with similar consequences for each option. There’s also a way to manually select your best friend — simply tap on a friend’s profile, tap on the blue Change Our Status button on the lower part of the profile, and choose Best Friend.

When Friends Fall Out – The Option To Make Enemies

Aside from allowing you to decide whether you want someone to simply be a friend or your best friend, the Change Our Status button allows you to do one more thing — make enemies with someone you no longer see as a part of your regular circle.

This option is certainly something to explore for those who want their Bitizens to live troubled lives, so if you’re wondering what happens when you’ve got enemies, we’ll be glad to answer that. Once you’ve changed a friend’s status to Enemy, that will automatically empty your relationship bar and put them in the Enemies category under Relationships.

You can always try to rekindle the friendship by choosing the Compliment, Conversation, Gift, and later on, the other positive options — the very same ones you’ll see if you were viewing a friend’s profile — but if you choose to do nothing, they will remain enemies and will pop up every now and then to spread rumors or pull pranks on you. In other words, they will try to make your life miserable and make you sorry you chose to end the friendship by declaring them as enemies.

If you fall victim to an enemy’s prank or rumor, many of the same options will be available — usually, you will be asked if you want to fight, insult, or ignore them. However, some situations may be more unusual than others and may have other options, such as flipping off the pilot of a plane that displayed a streamer expressing how much your enemy hates you.

Although you are certainly free to make enemies to spice things up, or to further establish your Bitizen as a bad person, the safest way to go with friends who just aren’t close to you anymore is to wait until they unfriend you — that way, they will no longer show up in the Relationships section instead of tormenting you on occasion and compromising your Happiness stat when that happens. This is especially true for paid players, as the Spend Time with All option includes enemies — you don’t want to lose Happiness just because your enemies, not surprisingly, don’t want to hang out with you!

Befriending Teachers, School Officials, And Supervisors

In addition to your fellow students at school or your coworkers in the rank and file, you can also reach out to the people above you and tap on the Befriend button to see if you can add them to your list of friends in the Relationships menu. Based on multiple playthroughs, it is rather difficult to do this, regardless of a school official or supervisor’s stats. But if your boss’ Professionalism is on the low, rather than high side, expect the chances of making friends to improve.

That would also apply to high-popularity teachers and school officials — the more popular they are with the student body, the more willing they would be to make friends. Still, the chances of befriending someone with authority over you will always be relatively low in any case.

Related: BitLife School Update Guide (Version 1.23): Grades and Popularity, Cheating on Tests, School Bullying, Student-Teacher Interactions and College Life Explained

Once again, we would need to caution you about making friends with authority figures in BitLife, just as we did when we talked about buttering up teachers with compliments and going on special team-building exercises with supervisors. This will, more often than not, cost you some popularity, because much like in the real world, brown-nosers aren’t exactly well-liked in the BitLife world.

Swipe Controls For Burglary And Riot Minigames

For this next part of the version 1.28 update, we admit that your mileage may vary. But instead of manually going up, down, left, or right in the burglary and prison riot minigames, the game now allows you to navigate using swipe controls.

bitlife burglarly

For most players, this appears to be a welcome change, especially for the riot minigame, which isn’t always easy to play once prison security gets involved and your chain of rioters becomes rather long. With the ability to swipe in the four aforementioned directions in order to move your Bitizen around, it’s now easier to avoid running into the wall (or a security officer) and successfully establish your prison credibility by inciting a massive riot. But what about the burglary minigame?

Again, it’s important to note that not everyone may be completely comfortable with swiping as they are with using directional buttons. But the same pitfalls seem to apply when it comes to burglary. That means there are still times when our character appears to freeze while trying to get out of a tight spot or trying to avoid being caught by the intended target or their dogs — or the police SWAT team that arrives if you’ve become a habitual burglar.

Unfortunately, there’s no option to choose between buttons or swipe controls for both minigames, so you will simply have to get used to swiping going forward, as that’s the way things would now work if you’re trying to break into someone’s house or cause some trouble behind bars by starting a riot.

Odds And Ends – What Else Is New In BitLife Version 1.28, What We Missed in Version 1.27

Aside from the new friendship features and the revamped minigame controls, Candywriter added several new countries to the game, most of them in Africa and Asia. Austria, Bahamas, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Costa Rica, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mongolia, Nepal, Ukraine, and Vietnam are now available in version 1.28, with country-appropriate economies and customs for each of them.

As also stated in the changelog, version 1.28 has introduced a number of new childhood scenarios that may have some bearing on your Bitizens’ stats and other aspects. For example, choosing a favorite toy (Legos, Easy-Bake Oven, etc.) or activity (drawing, riding your bike, etc.) could affect your Smarts or your school-specific Athleticism stat in a positive or, on occasion, negative way. You may also be asked about your favorite pretend activity, or your favorite color. For the latter scenario, we’ve noticed that based on multiple playthroughs, choosing a color associated with the opposite sex (e.g. pink for boys, blue for girls) increases the chance of the Bitizen feeling homosexual tendencies once sexuality comes into play.

Those are just some of the new scenarios for child Bitizens, so feel free to experiment with different choices as you keep playing the game and starting new lives! And we haven’t even gotten into the Christmas-specific scenarios for children (and also for teens and adults) that will remain active for the duration of the holiday season — for example, what type of Christmas cookie do you want to eat, and what gift do you want to receive?

As usual, a few new first and last names have been added to the BitLife database. It also appears that certain first names, e.g. Peyton and Carson, as we’ve noticed, are now available for male and female Bitizens alike. (In prior versions of the game, both appeared to be female-only names despite how the real world has NFL legend Peyton Manning and MTV VJ/television host Carson Daly as well-known male celebrities with those names.)

Back in previous versions of BitLife, it was possible to game the system in such a way you could earn tons of cash – an infinite amount of cash, in fact – through the horse races. The process was simple – go to the racetrack, place the maximum bet, bet on one of the five horses, then quit the app if you lose or push forward if you win, rinse and repeat until you’ve got the desired amount of cash. The entire process took a lot of patience, but it was nonetheless very easy and straightforward, and a surefire way to become richer than anyone in the real world.

We’re not sure if this was nerfed in version 1.27 or in a slightly earlier version, but it is no longer possible to game the system this way. Once you place your bet at the track, you can still run the race and manually quit the app if you lose, but the only thing you’ll preserve here is your Happiness – the money you bet will be gone forever! It’s probably safe to say Candywriter nerfed this workaround in order to ensure fairness in the global leaderboards. (Important note – this also applies to the blackjack games at the Casino, where you can only win up to twice your bet, but not as much as five times, like in the horse races.)

One thing we didn’t catch in version 1.27 is the one way in which you can effectively estrange yourself from your partner and all your blood relatives. If you’re at a family dinner and you refuse to save the life of a relative who’s choking on a piece of food, that doesn’t just mean you’re letting the person die and increasing the chances that they may haunt your house because you were such a terrible individual. Doing this zeroes out your relationship bar with your spouse or partner, your parents, your siblings, your children, and even your nephews and nieces – the only relationships that aren’t affected by this callous act are those with step-parents.

In between version 1.27 and version 1.28, some new scenarios became active in commemoration of the holiday season. These include another one where you can estrange yourself from almost every loved one, similar to how the above scenario works. All you need to do is to kiss your distant cousin under the mistletoe – the game will ask you not just once, twice, or thrice, but per our last count, FIVE times if you’re really sure you want to kiss them.

Once you insist for a final time that yes, you’re fine with kissing your cousin, there will be a bit of an awkward exchange between you and the NPC cousin – doesn’t sound like much, until you check the Relationships section, which will show an empty relationship bar for everyone except your step-parents (if applicable). Now THAT…is awkward.