Since its original launch back in 2008, Playrix’s Fishdom has managed to remain one of the most popular match-3 games ever released. Available on multiple platforms including Windows, Mac OS X and Nintendo, the game eventually made its way to iOS and Android as well.
In Fishdom, the main objective is to manage and grow a series of virtual aquariums. Players are encouraged to start purchasing different species of fish, decorations, as well as comfort items for their new pets. All these things cost in-game currency (gold coins), which users can get by playing puzzle levels.
These consist of classic match-3 challenges, where you have to create matches of three or more tiles with the goal to destroy or collect certain elements from the field. A puzzle is completed once the level objective is reached, using the number of allocated moves.
It’s easy enough to wrap your head around the game’s mechanics, but if you’re a beginner, you might feel intimidated by the sheer amount of activities and features that need your attention in Fishdom. Not to mention that the match-3 puzzles can get tricky pretty fast.
Surely enough, the key is to be active and play the game as much as possible. But if you find yourself lagging behind, or simply searching for ways to get better at beating levels, then you should check out our Fishdom guide, that’s updated for 2021. This guide includes everything you need to know to become a master at solving match-3 puzzles effortlessly.
1. Have A Mental Strategy In Place Before You Start Matching
We’ve played many other match-3 games before, and in our experience Fishdom has proved to be one of the most difficult we’ve come across so far. It really takes skill to finish off some puzzles without extra help. Even so, we recommend that you try your best to complete levels on your own at least a few times, before you start looking for alternative ways to do it.
In Fishdom simply matching at random and hoping for the best outcome just won’t do. Instead, you should begin by closely monitoring the situation in the field and then making a mental plan on how to best approach things. Depending on your level objective, it’s crucial that you are able to quickly identify the area where the most convenient combinations are located.
Always make it a point to create your strategy around the goal. For example, if you’re expected to destroy all the golden tiles present on the board, you shouldn’t worry if you leave some Chain elements untouched. Unless they are preventing you from reaching the golden tiles that are part of the target.
You should consistently aim to create larger matches that are bigger than the standard 3-piece. This way you can create Boosters, which are essential ingredients for success during some of the harder trials you’ll be facing in Fishdom. We’ll talk more about these power-ups in section 3.
Try to anticipate what happens if you remove certain tiles from the board. Do your best to eye and make matches allowing the tiles from above to fall into a place where they are set up naturally for a bigger combo. This strategy will help you create more Boosters, although it might also slow down your progress. The good news is that the challenges are not timed, so you can take your sweet time to solve them.
You might have noticed that when you take longer to make the next move, the game will suggest a match to you. Our advice is to acknowledge these hints, but always check if they serve your purposes. If they don’t, you’re not under any obligations to make that particular match. You’re actually encouraged to make your own choices. If you believe the suggested match doesn’t bring you any actual benefits, simply skip over it.
As you get better at solving puzzles in Fishdom, also make it a goal to conserve your moves as much as possible. The fewer you end up using to complete a challenge, the better the rewards at the end will be.
2. Disappointing Initial Tile Loadout? Exit The Level Quickly!
Like with most games in this category, beating levels in Fishdom is quite dependent upon luck. You’ve probably noticed yourself that not all tile loadouts are created equal – some are full of potential, while others can shutter hopes immediately.
So what are you supposed to do when you’re about to start a level, but realize the initial tile loadout is not promising at all? If you haven’t made any moves yet, you can simply exit the level and come back to a hopefully better tile loadout. Don’t worry you won’t lose any lives in doing so. You can even do it a few times in a row, until you finally get something you can work with.
This strategy should be employed especially when you’re dealing with a particular tough level. So don’t be afraid to take advantage every time you feel that the initial tile loadout won’t not take you anywhere.
Speaking of lives, you start off each day with 5 lives under your belt. Failure to beat a level usually costs one life – unless you have an Unlimited Life power-up working for you. Given that Fishdom’s is not a very easy match-3 game, there will be plenty of instances where you’ll find yourself unable to replay a stage due to lack of lives. Fortunately, you can join a group and ask members for help. Just make sure that group is an active one, before doing so.
3. Keep Your Pre-Level Booster Usage In Check
Boosters of all kinds are great, but you shouldn’t get overly attached to them. Sure, you should try and make as many Boosters as possible, on the board, since these power-ups are created by the simple act of matching.
But when it comes to pre-made Boosters, the best course of action is to abstain from using them all that much. We’ll see why in a minute.
So, first off let’s look at the Boosters you can make on the board. As we explained above, being alert and attentive while you play will always be to your advantage. In doing so, you will be able to spot larger matches with ease. Boosters are indeed essential to complete some levels, so try not to miss a single opportunity to create one. For example, some elements that appear on the board, like Winches, can’t be removed by employing simple matching techniques. You’ll need to use a Booster on them to make them disappear from the field.
In Fishdom there are four types of power-ups you can make by matching on the board, plus an extra one.
Firecrackers: create one by matching four pieces of the same color. When activated, Firecrackers remove everything with a one-tile radius.
Bomb: is produced once you’ve made a match that consists of five pieces of the same color. A Bomb will remove everything within a two-tile radius.
Dynamite: is the product of matching six pieces of the same color and can remove everything in a three-tile radius.
Warhead: it’s a powerful Booster than can be created by matching seven or more pieces of the same color. When detonated, it will wipe out everything within a four-tile radius.
Lightning: it’s a special type of in-game Booster. It’s created once you’ve charged the Lightening meter in the lower left corner of the display by activating other power-ups. When in use, the Lightning will remove all the pieces of a certain color from the field.
Combining any of these power-ups will cause large explosions on the field, so whenever you can mix two or more of them together, you’re encouraged to do so. However, combining the Lighting with any other Booster won’t result in anything special. But if you can get two Lightening power-ups next to each other you should definitely try and combine them, because the effect is going to be massive. The combo will result in a total wipe-out of all tiles on the board.
Remember that you can manually activate Boosters in Fishdom by double tapping on them. Or if it serves your purposes better, you can choose to swipe the power-ups with an adjoining tile to set them off instead.
If you played any kind of match-3 game before you know that sometimes making Boosters is not easy. The board might be filled with obstacles and you might not have enough room to create larger matches. Or the tiles you’re getting are of no help – as luck also plays a part in all of this, as we already explained.
In such cases, it might be a good idea to take advantage of the so-called pre-level Boosters. These are power-ups you can activate before you enter a level, and so you can start the challenge with a Booster or two already on the board.
Pre-level Boosters are just like regular Boosters and come in three packages: Double Bombs, Lightening and Dynamite & Lightening. Activate these power-ups to ensure you start the level at full force.
As a last resort, users can also opt to employ the help of another set of power-ups. These can be activated as you play a stage via the menu located in the right side of the corner.
Hammer: smashes any tiles on the board without wasting a move;
Torpedo: makes an explosion anywhere on the field without wasting a move;
Diving Glove: swipes any two adjacent pieces without wasting a move.
Make use of them whenever you’re very close to completing the level objective, but not just there yet. Our recommendation stands in their case, as well – don’t overly rely on them to finish levels. You’ll run out of them quickly and getting more will have you spending a very precious resource.
The main reason why we keep telling you to conserve Boosters is this – there are many hard levels in Fishdom, and sometimes no matter how hard you try you just can’t seem to be able to crack the challenge. One way to solve this annoying problem is to go into a level with all three pre-level Boosters activated. This strategy tends to be effective most of the times. But to be able to do that, you’ll need to have said Boosters. If you’ve already spend them all and you don’t have to currency to buy more, it could mean getting stuck on that level for a good while.
The good news is that you can win new Boosters daily. Make it a point to log into the game every day, so that you can redeem the Daily Gift, which consist of Boosters. Depending on your luck, you can win one or more in one go.
4. Match Towards The Bottom
Matching towards the bottom is a classic match-3 game strategy and one you should definitely apply in Fishdom.
Matching at the bottom of the board will get rid of pieces at the bottom, and so increases the odds that the new tiles pouring in from above will create additional accidental matches and combos. However, this is sometimes, easier said than done.
There will be plenty of times when you’ll that find the lower part of the board is blocked by various obstacles. In such cases, you should focus your efforts on removing the obstacles first to make the necessary room.
Don’t forget that you should always be working on the most difficult area of a level first. This includes trying to make room at the bottom, so you can apply this enduring strategy.
If you’re heading into a level with multiple layers of obstacles blocking a big part of the board, it might be a good idea to head into the level with a pre-level Booster or two. Just remember not to make excessive use of them. Because once you run out, you will have to tap into your diamond reserve to get more. But not to worry, in the next section we’ll detail ways to help you build a decent stash of precious stones.
5. How To Ensure You Have Enough Diamonds
Diamonds are an important resource in Fishdom because they can buy back some of the Boosters you lost while trying to solve puzzles. Unfortunately, the influx of diamonds throughout the game is pretty limited.
On the bright side, Boosters aren’t overly expensive in this game. For example, a 3x Double Bombs combo will take you back with only 19 diamonds. Ok, so how do you get the much needed precious stones?
The main method to unlock some diamonds is by decorating your aquarium. Purchase decorations and conform items from the shop and earn so called beauty points. Once you’ve collected enough, your aquarium will gain another star. There are three in total and each one you unlock comes with rewards including diamonds.
Some levels (the Hard and Super Hard) might yield diamonds at the end if you manage to solve them from the first go.
Another way to get some extra diamonds is to buy unique fish using vouchers. You can find them in the last tab under the Shop. Vouchers are rewards you get by playing the game and beating levels. Actually, you are guaranteed to win at least one voucher every time you complete a level from the first get-go. There are three types of vouchers including Bronze, Silver and Gold.
Special fish not only look pretty and make your aquarium appear more exotic, but they also come with a diamond reward which you can redeem once you place them in the tank. For example, the Spotted Cow Fish costs 50 Bronze vouchers and 15 Silver ones to buy, and brings you 3 extra diamonds.
From time to time, at the end of select levels, you’ll be offered the option to play a mini-game. Don’t pass on it this opportunity, because it’s an easy way to get hands on more diamonds. In this mini-game, you’ll have to guide a fish to safety, and even if you don’t succeed the first time around, you can try again.
Diamonds can also be won by participating in competitions, but more on that in section 7 which you will find below.
6. How To Expand Your Gold Coins Reserve
Buying anything for your fish tanks in Fishdom requires gold coins, so you need to make sure you have plenty if you want to progress quickly in the game.
The main approach to getting this resource is by completing match-3 challenges and redeeming the rewards which consists mainly of gold coins. Depending on how many moves you have left at the end of a level, you’ll get a larger or smaller sum.
Naturally, there are other ways to supplement your finances in Fishdom, and in this section we’re going to look at what you can do to ensure you always have a decent sum of coins at your disposal.
For starters, you can get extra coins simply by feeding your hungry fish. Make sure to visit older aquariums too and take care of the fish that live there – don’t neglect them! Fish feed is free and you have to sprinkle it throughout the tank to keep your residents happy. The fish will show gratitude by shedding gold coins, and sometimes (if you’re lucky) even a diamond or two.
Cleaning your aquariums, whenever the opportunity presents itself, it also a good source of extra coin. As you unlock new fish tanks, you can even start selling old fish and decorations from aquariums that you don’t visit that often anymore. However, keep in mind that you’ll be reimbursed only half of the original price when you sell an item.
Once one of your aquariums gains a star point, you’ll also receive a coin bonus, so make sure you continue to invest your earnings in improving your fish tanks, as much as possible.
Playing the mini-games we already mentioned, might also return some extra cash, although these opportunities are rare and far apart, so you shouldn’t rely on them that much.
7. Join A Group And Be Active During Events
You should join a group in Fishdom, as soon as the game makes the option available. Check the Groups tab in the lower left corner of the display, find a group that’s not full and press join.
Being part of a team comes with some serious advantages. For instance, you will be automatically included in competitions and leagues which can yield extremely useful rewards. You won’t have to do much, just play the game like you normally do, and hope for the best. The same goes for your team members. Your combined efforts will then unlock diverse goodies.
Fishdom is also riddled with all kinds of events. There’s always something going on, and you are enrolled in them automatically. All you have to do to take advantage of whatever is on offer is show up, log in and continue from where you left off in the game.
Depending on the events going on, you’ll be able to win extra Boosters (and more), which will make things a lot easier for you when approaching a new challenge. To give you a few examples, during Treasure Hunt, players who beat levels can open chests and win amazing rewards including Boosters, Unlimited time and vouchers. Alternatively, the Lucky Horseshoe ensures you start levels with a Booster or more already on board, so there will be no need to tap into your own pre-Booster stash.
8. A Few Considerations About Special Elements And Obstacles
Special elements and obstacles are pieces that appear throughout most of the levels in Fishdom. They are quite varied, and as you make progress in the game, more and more will be added to the mix.
The most complex levels feature several of these elements & obstacles and challenge you to come up with a clever strategy to remove them as fast as possible. Some of these elements are closely interlinked with the level objective. One such example is Earth which can sometime contain Gold nuggets. When these types of obstacles appear on the field, the objective will almost always be to collect all the gold nuggets.
Anyway, the near-universal method that enables you to get rid of most obstacles and elements is matching in their vicinity. Some obstacles like Crates might have more than one layer and so it will take up to five matches to get rid of them for good. Of course, if you have Boosters you’re welcome to explode them near the obstacles, and they will help you clear larger tile areas as well.
Actually, some obstacles like Granite can be removed only by using Boosters. So during levels when these sorts of tiles are present, your number one priority is to remove them by making Boosters (or using the ones you already have). This way, you’ll be able to both uncover what’s underneath these obstacles, and provide access to the other tiles or areas that were unreachable before.
Other type of obstacles, like for example Oil or Amber are spreadable. When playing a stage featuring this sort of element, you have to move quickly in order to prevent the oil from dispersing on the board and engulfing your tiles, as well as your power-ups. You can do this by matching or exploding power-ups in the vicinity of the oiled tiles, until they exist no more. Again, they key to besting such challenges is to prioritize dealing with these obstacles. Or else, you may end up with a board full of blocked tiles, and you don’t want that.
You might also stumble upon color coded elements in Fishdom, which usually need to be collected as part of the level objective. One example is Squid, which also slides up one tile with each move you make on the board. In order to get rid of them, you’ll need to make matches (using tiles of the same color) or explode power-ups nearby. Another solution is to use a Lightning bolt power up to clear all the Squid of the same color along with regular pieces.
Bottom line is this – whenever you’re confronted by obstacles or elements on the field, try your best to make matches near them. Throw in a Booster or two if you can, and try to make room at the bottom, so you can start matching in that part of the field. This will cause new tiles to fall from the top of the board that will hopefully create random matches and more Boosters as they come crashing down.
If you’re having trouble with a level, you can also try taking a time out and coming back to it after a while. This course of action might offer a fresh perspective of things. In addition, when re-playing a level, don’t apply the same strategy over and over again. If you see that one thing is not working for you, try something else. If you can’t clear the space at the bottom of the filed, for example, don’t over obsess over it. Focus your attention on destroying the harder obstacles instead. Then see what comes next.
With this we conclude our Fishdom guide (2021 Update). We hope that you will absorb and apply all the tips and tricks we’ve discussed in this article and that they will provide the insight you need to improve your overall approach. In the event that you’ve stumbled upon some effective strategies as well, feel free to share them with us in the comment section!