In the nearly two years since Candywriter went beyond trivia games and changed the game for life simulators with BitLife, the title has become so much more than it was when it was originally released, and that’s saying a lot. Whether you’re an iOS or Android user, this game allows you to create your own virtual person and have them live their best (or worst) life while making good or bad decisions along the way, and previous updates have added tons of features that offer more options for Bitizens, whether they may be trying to keep their grades up and take part in activities in school, dealing with politics and rumors in the workplace, or interacting with romantic partners or starting families.
Although Candywriter had released a “Pride Update” quite a while back, this new update actually homes in on the game’s LGBTQ-centric features, adding a range of options that better reflect how things are in the real world for people who don’t identify as straight or heterosexual or don’t fully identify with their gender at birth.
We’re talking about version 1.38, aka the Pride Update, and we’re going to talk you through all of the new features that have been added and the changes we’ve noticed. Through this BitLife guide, we hope you’ll be able to make full use of the new LGBTQ-centric features
Same-Sex Parents And Surrogacy Are Now Available
In previous versions of BitLife, the only way a character to be born to same-sex parents was to marry or enter a relationship with someone of the game gender, adopt children, and have one of those adopted kids take over as a next-generation Bitizen after the previous generation dies. That’s no longer the case in version 1.38, which now gives you a random chance of being born with two dads or two moms.
These same-sex parents can likewise get divorced and meet new partners of the same sex, thus putting them on the same level as the male/female couples. It’s a great new feature that further adds to the game’s realism, but that’s not the only feature that allows you to maximize the potential of being in/having a family as an LGBTQ Bitizen.
The game now comes with the option of surrogacy, though this is an option that is available to all types of couples, regardless of both partners’ gender or orientation. You can access this by going to the Fertility tab under Activities, and as long as you’re 18 or older, you will see the Surrogate tab available alongside Donate Sperm, IVF, and Vasectomy. Tapping on this tab will pull up a list of six men or women (depending on your gender) who will be available to donate their sperm or eggs, thus allowing you to have kids as a same-sex couple, or even if your partner is sterile. (Important note — We’ve noticed that surrogacy is not an option for Bitizens who have already undergone a sex change!)
Having a child via surrogate doesn’t come cheap — as you can see, the cheapest option costs about $25,000, while choosing some surrogates could set you back by more than $100,000. Conventional wisdom will suggest that the more expensive surrogates have better stats, but at the moment, that doesn’t appear to be the case. We would suggest choosing the surrogate with the best overall stats, regardless of cost, as long as you can afford it — each surrogate is rated based on Looks, Smarts, and Craziness, so you will have some control when it comes to determining how good-looking, intelligent, or well-behaved your kid will turn out to be.
After picking a surrogate, you can then choose whether you or your partner will be the sperm or egg donor. In such a situation, you’ll want to chose the partner with the better stats to be the donor — this is important, not only because this could affect your kid’s stats, but also because the surrogate will have to agree after you tap on the Ask Him/Ask Her button! Don’t expect them to be too agreeable if your stats aren’t on the up-and-up, though there’s always no harm in trying — as far as we’ve seen, you won’t get charged if the surrogate does not agree to donate their sperm or egg.
Choosing Your Gender Identity Via The Gender Menu
Previous versions of BitLife were rather cut-and-dry when it came to determining a character’s sexual orientation — Bitizens could be straight, gay, or bisexual, and players could manually adjust this on God Mode by manipulating the slider while creating their character. However, gender identity was not taken into account in these older versions, which caused some problems for those deciding to get gender reassignment surgery — a biological male who likes women, for instance, would automatically become a female attracted to men after undergoing such an operation. Obviously, that’s not how it works in the real world, but thankfully, this is something Candywriter addressed in the all-new Pride update.
The new update introduces the new Identity sub-menu under Activities, and in here, you’ll see three options — the all-new Gender tab, plus Name Change and Sexuality, which were standalone sub-menus in earlier versions of the game. After tapping on Gender, you’ll be shown your tendencies in terms of gender identity, your birth gender, as well as a drop-down box with four identity options — Cisgender, Genderqueer, Non-Binary, or Transgender Male/Female.
For those unfamiliar with the terms, Cisgender means you identify with your gender at birth, Genderqueer means you consider yourself a combination of both male and female genders but do not exclusively conform to either, Non-Binary means you do not conform with EITHER male or female gender, while Transgender means you identify with the opposite of your birth gender.
The option to choose your gender identity becomes available once you turn 5, and as you’ll notice, most of the time your character will be born with cisgender tendencies. However, as gender dysphoria is now a thing in the BitLife universe, you will see, every once in a while, that your character may not be comfortable with their birth gender, even as a young child. Expect Happiness to go down once you get that pop-up notification telling you that your Bitizen is suffering from gender dysphoria, so make sure you stick with the gender identity the game has given you!
You may also encounter scenarios in which you will be informed that your female character, as an example, is spending too much time looking at the boys in class and wanting to be just like them, as opposed to dating one of them — this is another sign that your character may have gender dysphoria.
What happens after choosing each of the following gender identities? Based on what we’ve observed so far, the main difference lies in the pronouns used for such characters. For example, if you enter into a relationship with a non-binary partner, they will be referred to as “them” and “they” as opposed to “him,” “her,” “he,” or “she.” Naturally, choosing someone who identifies as a transgender individual will be referred to by pronouns corresponding to the gender they identify with.
However, there is something important to remember before choosing Transgender on your end in the Gender sub-menu. You will only be asked to choose your name and you will be referred to by pronouns matching your new gender identity going forward. But if you identify as a trans female as a biological male, for instance, you’ll still be limited to male hairdo options in the Barber sub-menu under Salon & Spa!
That means you’ll need to get Gender Reassignment surgery if you wish to actually look like someone of the gender you identify with! We’re not sure if this was intentional, but it won’t be surprising if this gets fixed in a subsequent update — after all, you need to be a legal adult (18 years old) in order to get gender reassignment surgery, and it is very much possible to identify as trans well before adulthood.
Using The Gay Dating App
Aside from the conventional dating app that has long been available via the Love menu in Activities, BitLife now comes with a gay dating app that works in a very similar way, except for one thing — all potential partners come from the LGBTQ spectrum in one way or another, unlike in the main dating app, where all genders, sexual orientations, and identities are represented.
Much like the original app, using the gay dating app will cost you $100 per potential match presented to you, though this time, you can only choose the age range of the person you want to date, as well as their gender — here, you can choose from male, female, genderqueer, non-binary, trans female, or trans male.
All matches under male or female will either be gay or bisexual, but other than that, it’s pretty straightforward. Just one other thing, though — the option to choose a potential partner’s income range is not available in the gay dating app! You’ll really have to roll the dice and hope for someone who’s actually loaded if you’re trying to get the Gold Digger ribbon, in that case.
Once you’ve chosen your desired gender and age range, you will be able to review the match presented to you — the app will inform you of their identity, their birth gender, age, and occupation, as well as their Looks, Smarts, Money, and Craziness stats. Tapping on Go on a Date is not a guarantee that they will automatically become your new partner (just as it is in the original dating app), but you’ll still be able to date them more often than not, especially if you’ve got good Looks and/or Smarts stats. And just as it is in the OG dating app, choosing No, Try Again will pull up another match result and set you back by another hundred bucks.
All Characters Can Now Wear Hats And Sunglasses
In addition to the aforementioned LGBTQ-centric features, Candywriter added a few more general features with the Pride update, and these include the option for all characters to wear hats or other types of headwear or sunglasses. The game’s description suggests that all characters “start out with a surprise selection,” though as we’ve seen so far, the only available hat (available in the Accessories sub-menu under Activities) is the Vintage Paperboy Hat. Meanwhile, the Double Montys and Pride Update Shades are the only types of sunglasses available.
Now you may be wondering why there are only a few options available in both categories. However, the game also stated in the change log that new hats and shades will be made available in future live challenges, so that should be something to look forward to — BitLife Challenges where it’s more than just bragging rights that are up for grabs!
Odds And Ends – Other Features, Changes, And Bugs In The Pride Update
As seen in the change log, the game promises “better support for same sex parents in generational lives.” We’ve yet to see in great detail how this works throughout the course of a game (either through actual gameplay or on the BitLife subreddit), but as we mentioned above, same-sex couples can encounter the same challenges and have the same rights that male/female couples do, which is pretty good to see.
Candywriter suggested in the What’s New section on the App Store that BitLife is now “more inclusive than ever,” adding a promise to fix any misused pronouns. One notable instance we saw of this was with “Stay With Me” singer Sam Smith, who was included among the many, many celebrities who could follow you once you become a big deal on social media, via the Social Media Update. As Smith had previously come out as genderqueer, they no longer go by masculine pronouns, but that wasn’t the case with the Social Media Update, where players would see messages like “he ignored you” after interacting with the singer’s virtual version in BitLife.
We’ve tried re-rolling the list of celebrities multiple times, and we’ve yet to see Smith’s name appear — it’s possible Candywriter chose to temporarily remove them for the meantime, but we’d say that’s better than seeing them misgendered, innocent as the mistake may have been.
During our course of experimentation with the new features, we discovered that after marrying a partner we met via the gay dating app, adopting a child or conceiving one via surrogate, dying for one reason or another (in here, we killed them off via Witch Doctor), and having our child take over as a second-generation Bitizen, an interesting bug comes up.
As you can see in the photo we’ve included, the boy has a stepfather and a stepmother with the same (masculine) name — that would be the biologically male genderqueer individual our first-generation trans man character married — with their relationship bars at the same level. (Upon further inspection, they have differing stats.) Candywriter is usually quick to address bugs such as this, so we’re confident this will be squashed at some point in the near future.