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BitLife 1.29 Update Guide: How to Mess Up Your Bitizens’ Lives in BitLife Version 1.29, aka The Criminal Update

Based in Miami Beach, Florida, Candywriter is a mobile developer that was once known mainly for trivia games until BitLife came along in 2018 and changed the game for life-simulating RPGs on iOS and Android. This game, as any longtime player knows, allows you to control a virtual character from birth to death, making various life decisions along the way, regardless whether you want them to live their best lives or their worst. The game is regularly updated, with each new patch coming with loads of new features and upgrades to existing ones, and earlier this month, Candywriter got 2020 off to a great start by releasing BitLife version 1.29.

Last year, BitLife became a far more complete game when it came to different aspects of Bitizens’, or virtual individuals’ lives. The office update introduced a plethora of new, realistic scenarios that might take place in the average office, while the school update brought athletics, clubs, cliques, fraternities, and a grading system, with the possibility of being expelled for bad behavior. And speaking of bad behavior, that’s what BitLife version 1.29 is all about — the good people at Candywriter introduced a ton of new crime-related features in this update, and as the game promises, this could be your chance to mess up your characters’ lives “more than ever before,” even in childhood! So stay with us as we kick off our BitLife criminal update guide — a complete look at all the new changes introduced in version 1.29.

BitLife Version 1.29 Overview – What Can You Expect From The Criminal Update?

Prior to BitLife version 1.29’s rollout, there weren’t too many options for Bitizens who wanted to live a life of crime or delinquency. Previously, you only had four choices in the Crime section — Burglary, which allowed you to break into one of three NPCs’ homes, Grand Theft Auto, which gave you the choice of stealing a variety of cars (from cheap jalopies to brand-new or almost-new sports and luxury cars), Pickpocket, which let you steal the wallets of random strangers, with no choice of which person to rob, and Murder, which allowed Bitizens to end the lives of friends, family members, coworkers, and strangers alike.

bitlife version 1.29 update

But we all know that there are far more ways in which one could get in trouble with the law, and with the new update, Candywriter has expanded on some of the existing Crime features, while adding a plethora of new and dastardly features that could be very helpful for players who want to earn certain ribbons — or simply mold their characters into horrible (virtual) human beings. We’re going to be discussing all of these things in this strategy guide, so keep reading if you want to make that virtual life of crime even more worthwhile for your abject and detestable Bitizens.

Delinquency – Starting Them Young And Early, Though It’s Not Just For The Kids

Ever wish your young Bitizens could engage in the same mischief that their NPC classmates could? Chances are you’ve seen it in the dialogue boxes — so-and-so from your class would pull the fire alarm, compare the teacher to an evil dictator, or create a scene in history class by ripping up their books. This would then give you a choice of whether to laugh at your classmate, report them to the principal, fight them, or ignore them, but never did BitLife give players a chance to make their characters truly play the role of troublemaking juvenile delinquents, despite the clear presence of a Delinquents clique from middle school onward.

Thanks to BitLife version 1.29, you can now send your Bitizens on the road to notoriety from 8-years-old onward, which is when the first few Crime types will become available — Delinquency, Pickpocket, Shoplifting, and Porch Pirate. We’re going to start out with Delinquency, which allows you to commit random, petty crimes with or without an accomplice. It may be one of your friends or one of your siblings, or it may be that lumberjack, stripper, or tech bro in the neighborhood — you can invite these individuals to join you in making mischief, though it’s not always guaranteed that they’ll want to serve as your accomplice. Usually, it’s the younger NPCs who are down for such activities, especially if their Craziness is high — adults would normally force you to act alone as they have no intent of engaging in some juvenile hijinks.

Most of the time, you can get away with the petty crimes you commit under Delinquency, may it be keying a neighbor’s car, breaking into a neighbor’s house to play video games, twerking at an inappropriate place, etc. You can also commit credit card fraud, which is totally something out of that Simpsons episode where Bart (sort-of) used his dog’s name to apply for a credit card. Sometimes, your friends or your siblings may even want to rope you into their delinquency schemes — will you join them, or do you wish to remain the goody-two-shoes?

However, there’s always the chance that you will be apprehended for your activities and sent to juvenile detention for at least (but usually) one year. We’ll talk about juvie in the very next tip, but before we get there, you may be wondering whether Delinquency remains available even once a Bitizen reaches the age of 18.

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

As it turns out, the answer is yes — you can still have your Bitizens act like bored, mischievous kids even when they enter adulthood and use the Delinquency feature to increase their chances of getting a Rowdy ribbon once they kick the virtual bucket. For adult characters, you can get your kids involved in these schemes, though you will definitely want to prepare for the possibility they may be sent to juvie while you spend time locked up in a regular jail cell!

Younger Bitizens Can Now Be Sent To Juvie

Back in the day, Bitizens below the age of 18 could get away scot-free, even if their actions resulted in the death of a teacher. Yes, it sounds dark, but battling a teacher who said something bad about you in class could result in the teacher getting killed, but since the Crime feature was, back then, only available for adult Bitizens, that essentially meant nothing worse than expulsion for the violent kid, who could transfer to another school and get a fresh start…or keep on doing crazy things to torment teachers and students alike.

bitlife conviction

With the option now available to commit petty crimes at the tender age of 8 comes consequences, and these come in the form of juvenile detention. The police may arrest you for committing a crime under the Delinquency section, for stealing your neighbors’ mail under the Porch Pirate feature, or picking someone’s pocket, and since the name Blart is among BitLife’s many wacky surnames, there are definitely going to be mall cops ready to nab you for shoplifting.

Take note that once apprehended by a regular cop, you have no choice but to serve some time in juvie, though if a mall cop busts you, you have the option of fighting them, running away from them, or silently going along and accepting your fate. We’ll talk about that more in the Shoplifting section, as this tip, after all, focuses on life in juvie.

Unlike in adulthood, child or teen Bitizens do not have the option of retaining a lawyer to help them beat the charges and walk away without consequences. That means it’s an automatic stint in juvie if you’ve been busted for any kind of crime. As we said above, the usual stint usually lasts only one year (unless you’ve committed a more serious crime or are a repeat offender), and while you’re locked up, there are several options you can choose from in the Juvie menu.

The first option is the Cafeteria, which is where you can interact with your fellow juvenile delinquents. Take note that this is almost always NOT a good way to add to your list of friends — just like adult cons, their juvenile counterparts can be just as nasty, even if you choose the Compliment option! This is especially true if their Craziness stat displays a full red bar or close to it, which will often be the case. Aside from complimenting a fellow inmate, you can Insult or Charge them, though those latter two options are tantamount to asking for trouble — if you’re caught assaulting an inmate, you could also find your sentence getting extended!

bitlife cafeteria

If you’re feeling down in the dumps about being in juvie, you can Cry and hope that no one notices — if your fellow delinquents do, however, they will naturally laugh at you, or in some cases, even pick a fight with you for acting like a baby. You can also choose to Escape and play the usual minigame — there will be fewer scares to navigate, but as we’ve noticed, it’s just as hard to evade the guards, who, as usual, will take two steps on the board for every step you take. There’s also the Infirmary, where you can ask politely or demand that you be sent there for evaluation or medical assistance (chances are the guards won’t cut you any slack if you aren’t suffering from any actual illness).

The final three options can, once again, be found as well in adult jail cells. You can send a letter to your loved ones, access Mind and Body to work out, read at the Library, or meditate, or use the Time Machine to go back a year or more, albeit with the usual cost of $1 in real-world currency to undo whatever mistakes you may have made over those years.

Generally speaking, life in juvie isn’t that much different from life in a regular prison, although you notably don’t have the option to join a gang or earn money by doing odd jobs. You’ll still deal with random interactions, such as fellow inmates trying to pick a fight with you, other kids stealing your hygiene package, or loved ones sending you care packages. With the Friends update having landed some time ago, your friends can now unfriend you if you’ve stayed in juvie for too long. There is, however, one new wrinkle, which we will be discussing in our very next tip.

After Juvie – Parole, Moving To Regular Jail, Resuming One’s Education

If your Bitizen somehow remains locked up until their late teens or happens to be sent to juvie at 14 or 15 for a longer-than-usual sentence and doesn’t make any escape attempts, they will become eligible for parole at the age of 17, or on very rare occasions, slightly earlier. The same process applies — you’ll be facing the parole board, which will ask you a question that you’ll need to answer as seriously as possible in order to qualify.

For example, you may be asked about what you feel is the worst part of prison — is it the ugly uniforms, the loneliness, the quality of the humans inside, or the lack of toilet privacy? In this case, you definitely want to choose the second option if you want to get paroled — choosing any one of the other three will result in your request being denied.

Now what happens if you’ve been an especially bad boy (or girl), don’t get paroled by your 17th birthday, and are still locked up by the time you turn 18? As it turns out, you’ll simply be sent to a regular, adult prison — it may be minimum or medium security in most cases — where you will serve out the rest of your sentence. That’s just how it is in real life, so if you’re trying to make your young Bitizens as bad as you want them to be, be prepared for some serious consequences once they become adults. (If it’s any consolation, this is a good way to increase your chances of getting a Jailbird ribbon!)

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

Additionally, spending time in juvie does not impede your educational progress at certain ages — while you will effectively become a dropout if you’re released at 16 or older, you will resume schooling at a grade appropriate to your age, as opposed to being held back due to the time you spent in juvenile detention. That means if you entered juvie at 9 and left at 10, you will automatically be enrolled in middle school upon your 11th birthday.

Porch Pirates – The Scourge Of Every Holiday Season (And Beyond)

You probably know how it is during the holidays. On or before Black Friday, you head to your favorite online retailer to spend your hard-earned money on a new gadget or other goodies. But instead of receiving them in the mail within a few days, you soon discover that some no-good porch pirates must have snatched the package from your doorstep because you were asleep — or nobody was home — when the mailman arrived. With BitLife’s new Crime update, you too can become a porch pirate, and you won’t be limited to the holidays if you’re interested in stealing your neighbors’ mail.

bitlife porch pirate

As mentioned, Porch Pirate becomes an available feature under Crime once a Bitizen turns 8, and once you tap on the tab, you’ll be given a choice of six homes. Tap on one of these homes and — assuming you don’t get caught — you will be able to pawn the stolen items for some extra cash. So if you’re not down for earning money the good, honest way as a kid — through Freelance Gigs like tutoring and mowing the lawn — this is one path your young Bitizens could take, possibly en route to a Thief ribbon once they pass away. Keep in mind as well that like the other Crime features, this one will still be available until adulthood!

While most Porch Pirate escapades will only result in cheap items getting stolen and pawned, it helps if you know how each house type looks like in the Real Estate tab, and how much these properties usually cost. That means if you’re stealing mail from a mansion, a manor, or a similarly pricey home, you’ll likely earn more money by ending up with more expensive items.

Shoplifting – All About The Five-Finger Discount, BitLife-Style

Another readily available choice for 8-year-old Bitizens onward, there’s nothing much to the Shoplifting feature. Just tap on the Shoplift tab under Crime, then choose the item you want to nick while visiting the mall. Most of these items will be considerably cheap and maybe well below $100 in most cases, but you may chance upon some particularly expensive items that are priced in the thousands. How about, say, stealing that $1,820 human skull from the nearby mall? That’s now possible in version 1.29 of BitLife, though as we previously stated, you’ll have to be careful you don’t get caught by the mall cop.

bitlife shoplifting

That’s right — Paul Blart and his ilk will be there to bust you if you aren’t careful, and while this may seemingly be a random occurrence, the chances of getting caught by a mall cop increase exponentially if you’re trying to pilfer a more expensive item. That means you may be better off sneaking away with that cheap blender or Amazon Fire Stick than the aforementioned human skull.

Regardless what age you are while shoplifting, you’ll have three options when confronted by a mall cop — you can cooperate with them, attack them, or run away. Cooperating will still result in you getting caught and will still have you facing larceny charges — for first-time felons, that’s automatic juvie if you’re under 18 and a possible year-long sentence with the option to retain a lawyer if you’re an adult. Attacking the mall cop will, of course, result in a potentially longer sentence, and while you can theoretically lose the mall cop and make a clear run for it, they’ve caught us far more often than we’ve gotten away after choosing the option to run away.

Bank Robberies – Getting Creative With Weapons, Disguises, And Getaway Vehicles

The Bank Robbery feature unlocks once a Bitizen reaches the age of 15, and here’s where things could get fun, as the game will give you four dropdown boxes to choose from after you tap on it under the Crime tab. First, you’ll need to pick one out of three banks in your hometown. Second, you’ll have a plethora of weapons to choose from, from wacky ones like unravelled paperclips and batons to more realistic ones like Molotov cocktails. The third drop-down box is for disguises, where you can choose to dress up like a mariachi singer, a pimp, a mummy, or like movie characters such as Shrek, Darth Vader, or (given it was such a big box-office hit) Joker. Lastly, the game will ask you to choose your getaway vehicle — it may be one of the cars you’ve already purchased, though you may also opt for a skateboard, rollerblades, or even a pogo stick or a unicycle.

Based on our experience, successful bank robberies can earn you upward of $20,000 per heist, and when it comes to many of the above options, there’s typically no right or wrong answer. The odds of getting it right are fairly low, and they do tend to get lower for each time your heist is successful.

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

However, we’ve observed that having multiple vehicles does help more so than others if you’re trying to pull off multiple bank robberies, same with choosing more serious disguises and not opting for movie characters — just make sure to change up the vehicle and change your disguise/weapon choice, while alternating between banks! Naturally, having a car or a truck, especially a fast one, does help in the getaway process more than it would if you were riding a skateboard while trying to lose the cops. And you cannot, in most cases, be taken seriously by the teller and other bank employees if you busted in there dressed like Shrek!

If you get caught by the police, take note that first-time offenders stand to spend nine years in prison if charged with armed robbery.

Train Robberies – There’s A Way To Pull Off This Seemingly Difficult Crime

As your Bitizens grow older, more and more Crime features will become available, including one of the new additions, Train Robbery, which is unlocked once you turn 16. Tap on the Train Robbery tab and you can choose which three trains you wish to rob and what time you want to stalk it out — sunrise, high noon, 4:20 p.m., sunset, or midnight.

Now we’ve been hearing a lot about how this, among all of the crimes available in BitLife, is the hardest to pull off. On our end, we must have tried about 50 times with different combinations, only for the train not to show up on time. But it appears that there’s a way to successfully pull off a train robbery and walk away with a ton of cash — make sure you’re robbing the train at the exact same real-life time as the option you’re choosing! That means if you’re trying to rob a train at midnight, you’ll need to do so at the stroke of 12 midnight in real life, and if you’re pulling it off at 4:20 p.m., you’ll need to do it at that exact time, not a minute too early or too late.

Yes, it sounds like a huge inconvenience. And it may take a lot of patience, usually without the option of playing through one life in a few minutes, in order to make a fortune by being a train robber. But we’re figuring Candywriter deliberately made it this way in order to make it harder for players to game the system by making their characters career train robbers.

Hiring A Hitman – Killing Made Easy, If You’ve Got The Money

Last, but not least, the Hitman feature is unlocked once a Bitizen turns 18-years-old, and that makes sense — it’ll cost you thousands of dollars to hire one, so you’ll need to have a job by that time, or inherited a lot of money from the previous generation. By tapping on Hitman under Crime, you’ll encounter various fictional (or even real-life) killers, assassins, and even superheroes and supervillains, all willing to do your bidding if the price is right. Whether you’re willing to hire Bugsy Siegel, Deadpool, Sideshow Bob, Pablo Escobar, or Kenshin Himura (or any of the other unusual options) to pull off the hit on a friend, family member, or coworker, you’ll need to pony up the cash if you want them to do the dirty deed. And that would usually be around $18,000 to $25,000, although you may find someone willing to do it for close to $8,000.

bitlife hitman

This may only be cosmetic in the grand scheme of things, but don’t expect the hitman’s weapon to match that of their canon equivalent when they end up killing your target — for example, Thanos won’t snap his fingers and the aforementioned Mr. Himura might not use a sword, but Jesse James (i.e. a real-life, gun-toting outlaw) probably would. We’ve even seen rolling pins used as murder weapons!

In most cases, hiring a hitman is an effective — if expensive — way to get rid of someone, add to your murder count, and increase your chances of getting a Deadly ribbon once your Bitizen dies. However, there are some instances where you may hit a snag while paying someone to off a loved one, friend, acquaintance, or enemy. First, there’s the possibility the hitman may run off with your money, thus leaving you several thousands of dollars in the hole and compromising your Happiness stat.

Secondly, the hitman may pull off the hit, but demand more money so that they spare your life. And thirdly, the hitman may turn out to be an undercover cop who will, of course, arrest you and have you facing a judge and a sentence of 15 years in prison (for first-time offenders) if you can’t afford a good lawyer! Chances of the latter taking place increase for each time you successfully have a hitman kill someone, so don’t get too greedy, even if you’re controlling a particularly loaded (and a particularly evil) Bitizen.

To sum it all up, this may be an easy way to kill more people in the game, but be very prudent if you choose to have someone like Don Vito Corleone (or his other family members, who are also among the available hitmen) make the NPC of your choice an offer they can’t refuse.

What’s Changed With The Existing Crime Features?

Along with all the new features under the Crime tab that we discussed, Candywriter has made some changes to the existing crimes. While it may be a bit controversial, the Murder feature becomes available once a Bitizen turns 15, and so does Grand Theft Auto. Burglary, meanwhile, is unlocked upon a Bitizen’s 11th birthday. However, those latter two crimes are largely unchanged apart from the minimum age for would-be perps.

As you may have noticed, there are now more ways in which you could commit a murder in BitLife — previously, you could only choose Drive-By, Atomic Wedgie, Club Them, Push Down Stairs (fka Stairway to Hell), Electrocute Them, and Strangle Them. With version 1.29, you can now kill NPCs by throwing a fastball to their head, pushing them off a cliff, poisoning them, lacing their drinks with elephant laxative, using a bear trap, or scaring them to death. That’s a lot of new options, and combined with the existing ones, you won’t see all of them available in any given year of your Bitizens’ lives. They will basically cycle back and forth at random, so don’t worry if your preferred method of murder isn’t immediately available.

We have observed, however, that it is very hard not to be caught or not to get busted by the law when using the new murder options! Also, you can expect the random possibility of your chosen murder method backfiring on you, e.g. your intended victim ends up being the one pushing you off the cliff.

Odds And Ends – Other New Features In BitLife Version 1.29

Version 1.29, pretty much, is not all about mischief, delinquency, crime, and punishment. There are a few law-abiding changes that players can expect on BitLife’s new version, and the first of this is the all-new Help Center, which comes packed with support articles that you can access any time you aren’t sure what to do. We would, however, keep our expectations reasonable, as these are usually FAQs that don’t deep-dive into the topics like we do.

bitlife childhood features

There are also a few new childhood boosts that you can take advantage of, and they will, again, pop up as random dialogue boxes early on in your BItizens’ lives. For instance, we saw one where we were asked what we wanted to wear to the park. Choosing the BitLife T-shirt and Levi’s jeans resulted in a nice statistical boost, so once again, if Candywriter’s plugging their No. 1 product through these boosts, then choose the option that has BitLife in it.

As usual, Candywriter promised “bug squashes aplenty” and “countless interface updates” with version 1.29, and we seem to have spotted one of the latter, as it’s now possible for NPC friends to say that you are now their enemy. This seems to be common with high-Craziness friends, so make sure you’re checking the stats before making friends with someone new at school or at work!