Lion Studios is a company that you may know from such casual titles like Happy Glass, Mr. Bullet, and others, but one of their most popular game for iOS and Android devices is called Hooked Inc.: Fisher Tycoon, or simply Hooked Inc. for short. It’s described as an epic “fish farming adventure,” and it challenges players to assemble a formidable crew and keep on swiping (or idling) to catch more fish and earn more money.
You can buy items to help you as you move along in your adventure and unlock a ton of locations and a plethora of different fish species! And with that all said, this is a game that is clearly filed under the idle clicker category.
You may be thinking that an idle clicker game doesn’t require much discussion — once you’ve activated the game’s idle features, there usually isn’t much to it. But that’s where you may be mistaken. Not only do all idle clickers come with their share of differences that make them stand out from other titles in the same genre; the mechanics may also vary, and some idle clickers are more fully featured than others.
Hooked Inc. is definitely one of those more fully-featured idle clickers, and while the learning curve may not be that steep, we still believe you can benefit from this Hooked Inc. strategy guide, which covers close to 20 tips that can help you earn cash faster, unlock more fish species, and reset your game at just the right time to maximize your earning potential.
1. The Basics Of Hooked Inc: Fisher Tycoon
In its essence, Hooked Inc. is an idle clicker game, so the goal is to keep earning as much money as possible and in as little time as you could as you pick up more permanent items (or other buffs) that can help speed things up further once you restart your game with a zero balance.
But each and every game in this genre has its own twist that makes it unique, and the most important twist in this title, of course, is that it is based on fishing. Still, that is the tip of the iceberg, and that doesn’t do the game that much justice at all. So what else makes Hooked Inc. different, and what else can you expect out of it?
The first place you’ll want to visit is the Upgrades menu, which you can access by tapping on the button with two arrows on the center part of the bottom of the main screen. Here, you’ll see three separate tabs, starting with Boat — this is where you can upgrade various aspects of your boat in order to increase the value of the fish you catch, the number of fish available on screen, the amount of fishing you can do while idle, etc.
Scroll down and you can upgrade the boat itself, which unlocks new upgradable items — for example, Tier 1 only includes Proper Rod and Bread Crumbs, and upgrading to Tier 2 unlocks The Right Pull and Better Hooks. Each of these can only be upgraded up to a certain level, and as is always the case, each upgrade will cost progressively more than the last one.
Next to the Boat tab you can view your Crew members — these individuals also provide percentage buffs or increases to idle income, fish value, and surface fish per second, among others, and you can unlock and upgrade them by paying gems, which are the game’s premium currency.
The first Crew member to unlock is Rodrick, and once he’s added to your crew, that will automate the fishing process — at first, you’ll start out by swiping and tapping on your screen to manually catch fish, but when Rodrick joins your crew, that’s where the idle process begins. You can then earn in-game cash while you’re not playing the game, reopening the app and redeeming your idle income — before claiming the money, though, you’ll have the option to watch an ad video to either double or triple your earnings.
The last tab is Items, and these refer to fishing gear you can earn by opening Item Boxes and redeeming your Daily Catch, the latter of which is the game’s daily login reward system. Again, these items modify various aspects of your fishing trips such as fish value, fish size, and idle income.
The buttons on the bottom left and bottom right are similarly important — the compass-shaped one on the bottom left pulls up the map, which is where you can unlock new locations for fishing, or as the game calls it, allows you to go to “deeper waters” once you can afford it.
The anchor-shaped button on the bottom right, on the other hand, takes you to the in-game shop, where you can spin a wheel in order to activate an income multiplier and/or earn more Gems. Scroll down and you’ll see a variety of deals for gems, Boosts, and other goodies that can help you in earning more money before resetting the game.
2. Go To Deeper Waters To Unlock New Fish And Increase Earning Potential
As we mentioned above, the Hooked Inc. main screen has two buttons on the bottom left, including one that’s shaped like a compass. Tap on it and you’ll see the game’s map, which starts out with the default location, Shallow Coast. Once you earn enough money to do so, you can tap on the next location and effectively go to deeper waters. This will unlock a new fish and add to the number of stars you’ve earned in the game, and doing this will increase your earning potential immediately.
Tap on the star icon next to the words “Fishing Experience” and you can view all the fish you’ve unlocked so far, with accompanying statistics, including the best value per fish and the size of your biggest catch for that species. You can also scroll down to view the fish you haven’t unlocked yet, and given that this is an idle clicker, there are tons of fish to unlock.
Typically, you’ll unlock the Common ones when you choose to go to deeper waters, but you can also end up with Rare or Epic fish that can earn you even more money than their Common counterparts. Take note that each fish per rarity classification is arranged in terms of their value, so a Big Bob ($100 value, first in the Epic list) will be just as valuable as a Red Pike, which is the fourth fish in the Common list. And while most fish will give you one star, there are certain species, particularly those that are considered Rare or Epic, that could give you more than one star once you unlock them.
Also bear in mind that each time you go to deeper waters, the next location will cost exponentially more to unlock — for example, Murky Waters costs 100 trillion to unlock, but you’ll need to save up at least 5 quadrillion in in-game cash in order to unlock the Soemlands location. That’s a lot of money, but that’s also why you can reset your game once things are getting slow, though we’ll be tackling that in a later tip!
3. Choose The Right Upgrades For Your Boat
Although you will ultimately upgrade certain boat abilities all the way before you collect your Fishing Experience and return to Shallow Coast, you will want to prioritize certain upgrades over the others while you still don’t have enough money to afford all of them. Your choice of upgrades will usually vary based on how long you plan to actively play the game or how long you’re willing to keep Hooked Inc. on idle mode.
So if you’re looking to play a lot and do your fair share of tapping and swiping, you should prioritize upgrading the abilities that involve increasing the amount of surface fish per second, the chance of a successful catch, and the value of the random packages you may pick up while actively fishing. But if you plan to spend little time on the game and simply collect your idle earnings for the most part, it’s a fair bet to prioritize upgrades with the word “idle” in them — particularly the words “idle fishing.”
In addition to upgrading your boat’s abilities, you can also upgrade your boat to a higher tier — scroll down all the way and you will be given the option to “take your fishing to the next level.” Doing so, as we mentioned, unlocks new abilities and increases your boat’s potential to earn tons of money.
But when should you increase your boat’s tier? We would suggest doing so once you notice you aren’t earning fast enough to move on to deeper waters. You can, of course, do this right away for the first few tiers once you’ve reset your game multiple times and are earning much faster than you did during your first play-through.
However, once the price of moving on to deeper waters reaches the billions, trillions, quadrillions, or beyond, that’s when you should weigh the decision of whether to upgrade your existing abilities or unlock new ones by leveling up the boat itself.
4. Get More Gems By Completing Goals
Gems are Hooked Inc.’s premium currency, and while you can use them for a variety of things, they will primarily come in handy for purchasing new crew members, who will further increase your earning potential through their special abilities. There are different ways in which you can earn more gems in the game, but one of the methods you can do this is by completing goals.
It doesn’t appear that you can manually view a list of these goals, and it also seems that you need to complete them in order. But these are all things that you can do organically, such as having a certain number of crew members, catching a certain number of fish, having so many stars, etc.
It may seem like an inconvenience to be held back by one goal when you can easily complete the ones that may come after it. But the good thing is that each goal will earn you 10 gems once completed, and once you’re done with a particularly tough goal, e.g. earning 20 stars when you’re stuck at about ten or so, you should breeze through the next ones and rapidly add to your gem total.
You can also add to your gem earnings by watching an ad video for an additional three — that means you could earn up to 13 gems for each goal you complete, assuming you watch a video before claiming the prize!
5. Spin The Wheel To Multiply Your Fishing Luck
Hoping for a way to make your earnings multiply big-time? Aside from the ways that have already been mentioned, you have the option to spin the wheel in order to multiply your Fishing Luck — depending on where it stops, you can have twice, thrice, or four times the earnings for a default time span of two hours, and once that time expires, you can go back to the wheel and spin it once again to restart your Fishing Luck and get a new multiplier.
You can also repeatedly spin the wheel if you’re not happy with your current multiplier, and if you get a higher one, that will remain for the duration of your Fishing Luck.
Now there’s a catch when it comes to spinning the wheel, and that’s the fact that for each spin of the wheel, you’ll need to watch one ad video — normally, these last 30 seconds, but there are some that are done in half the time. It also appears that the game doesn’t run out of ads to play, so you can theoretically keep spinning as long as you wish until you get a 4x multiplier. The odds of this happening, however, are quite low, and much lower than the 12.5 percent odds that would normally be expected from a wheel divided into eight spaces!
Fortunately, the wheel in Hooked Inc. has another important purpose aside from allowing you to multiply those earnings, and we’ll be discussing it in the next tip.
6. You Can Also Spin The Wheel To Load Up On Gems And Level Up Faster
That other purpose, of course, is to add to your gem total in the game, thus giving you more premium currency to unlock new crew members and upgrade existing ones, as well as perform other essential and permanent upgrades in Hooked Inc. So how can you earn gems by spinning the wheel?
For starters, you will get three gems as your Jackpot, and in order to collect your gem earnings, the wheel will need to land on the Jackpot space — as there are eight spaces, the logical thought would be a 12.5 percent chance of landing on the Jackpot, though the chances may be much lower in most cases.
But if you don’t land on Jackpot, two, three, or four gems will be added to the Jackpot total depending on whether you land on 2x, 3x, or 4x respectively — most of the time, expect the wheel to stop at 2x or 3x. If the wheel lands on a space that also has a gem on it, that solitary gem will be added to your total, and will be separate from the gems that are adding up in the Jackpot area.
Due to the very low chances of the wheel stopping at Jackpot, it may take a lot of patience and a whole lot of videos before you can collect it. But that also means you can expect a huge haul of gems in most cases! There was one time where we collected a Jackpot of 160 gems, so that should give you an idea of how your patience will be rewarded if you keep on spinning the wheel and watching those ads.
Also take note that each ad video you watch earns you 10 XP, which can go a long way when it comes to increasing your player level in the game — in fact, most players may agree that watching ad videos is the primary way for leveling up! It’s an unusual mechanic, to be sure, but it is what it is, and it’s good to know that these videos do serve a greater purpose aside from allowing you to help the developer.
7. Save Up Your Gems For Crew Members
While you can pay gems in order to speed up the unlocking of item chests and upgrade fishing items, which we shall be discussing later, you will mainly be using them to purchase new crew members. Rodrick is the first crew member available in Hooked Inc., and as we mentioned, unlocking him gets the idle mechanics going.
However, there are many other crew members that become available once you level up — Rod Junior, who is Rodrick’s son, increases idle incomes and allows for faster idle fishing, Uncle Sam improves your chances of better fish, increases your fish value, and increases the amount of surface fish per second, and Britney increases your package value and earns an additional $100 per second per each time you upgrade her.
Those are just a few of the many crew members who will become available in the game, but you cannot unlock them in order — each time you pay gems to unlock a crew member, you will receive someone at random. That means after you get Rodrick, you may end up with Rod Junior or Uncle Sam the next time you add someone, and later on in the game, Lucky Jack may end up on your crew even if other crew members become available for unlocking before him.
Each additional crew member costs progressively more to unlock, and you will eventually be paying thousands of gems to add them. At that point, it may be better to focus on the crew members you currently have. But who should you be focusing on when upgrading them?
As a bonus tip, your crew members also appear on the left side of the main screen, and tapping on them will give you a brief overview of what they do, along with their biography and the option to level them up.
8. Make Rodrick Your Focus When Upgrading Crew Members
Usually, it’s the stock character who eventually becomes the most useless, so to say, in the game. That’s not the case in Hooked Inc., however, as it’s the ‘stock” crew member, Rodrick, who will generally be the most important NPC you’ll be working with in the game. That’s because upgrading him increases the amount of maximum away time by one hour; each upgrade also improves your idle fishing speed by 25 percent.
Given how important he is, it will cost more to level him up than it would to upgrade others, such as Rod Junior, for instance — upgrading Rodrick from level 6 to 7 costs 70 gems, whereas this costs just 10 gems for his son. But if you come to think of it, you are going to need that idle time, especially if you need to be away from the game for several hours, or even a day or two.
As for the other characters, your mileage will vary when it comes to choosing which ones to prioritize with your upgrades. For example, if you like collecting packages when they pop up, you’ll want to upgrade Britney a fair bit, and if you want to make the most out of the time you’re actively fishing, Uncle Sam is a good choice as your second priority.
And if you feel it costs too much to upgrade your boat from one tier to the next, you’ll want to spend a few gems on upgrading Sailorson, who, at his base level, reduces Boat Tier Upgrade costs by 10 percent. It’s all up to you, but as long as you’re upgrading Rodrick on a regular basis, you can count on a lot of productive idle time on this idle clicker!
9. Collect More Shipments For Quick And Easy Money
There are several types of boxes or items you can collect while actively fishing in the game, but the most common would be the “shipments,” which appear in the waters as brown crates. Tap on them and they will automatically go to the right side of the main screen, upon which you can tap on them once again to claim your reward.
These will especially be handy during the early stages of any play-through, though once you’re earning in the billions or more, the “big pile of cash” inside the shipments won’t look as big anymore in the grand scheme of things.
Once you collect a shipment, you will be given the choice of watching an ad video to double your earnings. Again, this might not matter too much when you’re way richer than anyone in the real world, but it means a lot if you’re in the early goings and you’re trying to speed through the locations you’ve already completed or boat tier upgrades that will allow you to truly multiply your earnings.
10. All About Items And Item Boxes
While we’ve already tackled Boat and Crew upgrades, you’ll notice that we went multiple tips without covering the topic of Items, which is the third tab in the Upgrades menu. These are basically different types of fishing gear, such as bobbers, worms, sticks, and rods, and you can equip a maximum of four items by default.
You can temporarily unlock two new slots by paying gems (40 and 80 gems for each, both good for seven days), or pay real money to unlock another two Premium Slots ($5 and $10 USD), with a bonus Item Box and a healthy amount of XP as an additional reward. Different items have different effects, and once you have enough copies of the same item, you can level them up like you do to your crew members — you will, however, have to pay an increasing number of gems in order to upgrade them from one level to the next. Make sure to level them up from level 0 to 1 before you equip them!
The main method for acquiring items would be by picking up the various Item Boxes that appear in the waters while you’re fishing actively. Basic Boxes come with three to four items inside, Common Boxes have eight items, and Rare Boxes have 24 items — there are other types of Item Boxes that you may find at random, but all of them would take some time before you’re able to unlock them for free.
You can, of course, pay gems in order to immediately open up those boxes, though rarer boxes will cost more gems in order to unlock, thus making it far more advisable to hang on to those gems for those crew and item upgrades! In fact, we would recommend not even bothering with this unless you’re really impatient and only have a few minutes to go before they unlock.
11. Take Advantage Of The Daily Catch
Like most mobile games, regardless of genre, Hooked Inc., offers daily login rewards as a way to entice regular players to keep coming back for more. As expected, this feature has a nautical term of its own, and it’s called the Daily Catch — even if you log into the game for just a few seconds, that will count toward your daily streak, so make sure you’re opening the app at least once per day so that you can keep your daily streak going.
All you need to do in here would be to tap on the bobber to pull your daily rewards, which may include gems, boxes, items, and/or Fishing Experience. You will also get some nice bonus rewards for your fifth, fifteenth, and thirtieth consecutive day logged in.
For the milestone fifth day, you’ll get one Basic Box, 5 to 10 gems, a 2 percent Fishing Experience boost, 0 to 6 mystery items, for the fifteenth, you’ll get one Common Box, 8 to 15 gems, a 3 percent Fishing Experience boost, and a new fish unlocked, and for the thirtieth, you’ll receive one Rare Box, 15 to 30 gems, a 5 percent Fishing Experience boost, and two new fish unlocked. That’s a whole lot of bonus rewards, so keep that streak going and be sure to keep your game notifications on so you can immediately open the game — even if it’s just to claim your Daily Catch!
12. Keep Your Eyes Peeled For The Boss Fish And Big Schools Of Fish
While you’ve got the game on and actively fishing, or at least watching your crew members haul in more fish as your balance increases, you will notice that every few minutes or so, the waters will darken and your phone may or may not vibrate, depending on whether you’ve got haptics turned on or not.
That’s your cue to get tapping and try to catch the Boss Fish, which are huge fish (or shrimp) that cover up the majority of the screen and can be added to your catch, thus earning you big money and possibly unlocking some new, rarer fish as well! In order to catch them, you’ll need to tap rapidly on the screen, right on the Boss Fish, as you chip away at its health points as much as possible.
That basically means you won’t kill it right away, and you’ll need to make your taps as quick and as accurate as possible — once the Boss Fish reaches the corners of the screen, your taps will no longer count and you’ll need to wait a few minutes until they return! You don’t need to sweat it that much, though — whatever damage you inflict on the Boss Fish is permanent until they die and get caught, and there are different types of Boss Fish that may spawn at various points.
Aside from the Boss Fish, there are also huge schools of fish that may appear in the same three to five-minute intervals. Keep swiping on them repeatedly and you can earn much more money than you normally would when actively fishing — the money you earn when swiping on them will be multiplied quite substantially while the school is still on the screen, so be sure you’re paying close attention to the screen whenever you’ve got the game on!
13. Open The Chests For Free Gems And XP
Chests are yet another item that you can find on the waters while you’re actively playing Hooked Inc., and they basically resemble treasure chests. By tapping on them, you can earn yourself some free gems by watching an ad video, and these would normally range from 1 to 12 gems — you have the option to watch a second video in order to get yourself a bonus three gems, guaranteed.
Also guaranteed each time you watch an ad to open a chest is 10 XP, which, of course, gets you closer to leveling up! But at this point, you’re probably unsure of what’s in it for you after you increase your player level. We’re going to explain this in the very next tip, so read on to find out all about Perks and how they can help you in the game.
14. Unlock New Perks And Upgrade Existing Ones After Leveling Up
Once you increase your player level, you are going to earn another type of currency — Hooked Inc. does not explicitly identify them in the game, so we’re going to call them rubies, considering that they’re red, unlike the green gems you can earn as your premium currency. You’ll earn one ruby each time you level up, and these can be used to unlock or upgrade Perks, which are permanent passive bonuses that could help you out even further in earning more money while fishing, may it be with the game on or while idling. Tap on the crown-shaped icon with your player level on the upper left corner of the screen in order to view the perk tree.
Eventually, you can unlock all of the Perks that you see in the perk tree, but your choice of which ones to focus on will depend once again on how often you plan to have the game open. For example, Intern initially increases your idle income by 20 percent, while Dedication increases Fish Value Bonuses by 20 percent while in level 1. Right in the middle is Casual Practice, which, by default, increases Fish Value by 100 percent.
Unlocking one Perk will give you the choice of upgrading it once you have enough rubies, or unlocking one of the two Perks underneath it on the tree. As you’ll move on, you’ll even see Perks that increase the highest wheel multiplier and reduce the fish required to increase the School Multiplier, so these could literally prove to be game-changing!
In addition to the Perks, you can view the permanent bonuses you can earn once you reach a milestone level — once you reach level 5, you will get a 0.5 percent added Giantism chance as part of the Big Ones bonus, and once you make it to level 10, you’ll activate the Pro bonus, which increases your idle Double-Up by 1x. This goes on until you make it to level 100, so that’s a lot of fishing — and a lot of bonuses and Perks — for you to collect as you keep on playing the game!
15. Connect Your Game To Facebook To Increase Fish Value
Early on in the game, you may have noticed Rodrick — as part of the tutorial stage — advising you that you have the option to join the crew as yourself. What does that mean and what’s in it for you if you decide to join your own crew?
For starters, you’ll need to tap on the anchor icon on the bottom right, then scroll all the way down to find the option to “join the crew as yourself.” This will essentially allow you to connect your game to Facebook, upon which the usual procedures will follow — you’ll be informed that Hooked Inc. will not automatically post to your timeline.
Once you’re okay with the ramifications (or lack thereof) of such a move, you will see your Facebook profile picture and first name in the Friends section, along with options to invite more friends to play the game and like the game on Facebook.
As you’ll notice when you tap on your icon on the left side of the main screen, you’ll be identified as “Facebook Friend,” with your bio stating that “the more friends who play, the more cash I pay!” That means instead of paying gems in order to upgrade your in-game character, you’ll need to invite friends to level up — for each friend who accepts your invitation and plays the game, that will increase the impact of your ability, which is to increase fish value by increments of 250 percent!
16. Collect Or Buy Map Pieces To Go On Adventures
We’re not quite done discussing the ways in which you can increase your earning potential in Hooked Inc., and the last one we shall be talking about here is the Adventures feature, which can be accessed by tapping on the treasure map icon on the bottom left of the screen.
In order to go on an adventure, you will need at least five Map Pieces, and while you can get these at random by opening boxes or earning event rewards, you can buy them with your gems. Be warned, though, that each purchase of Map Pieces will be progressively costlier, so you may not want to rely too much on this way of acquiring this resource.
Once you’ve collected enough Map Pieces to go on an Adventure, you don’t need to do anything else but wait — you have the option to watch an ad video (and only one video per adventure) to speed things up by an hour, but otherwise, you’ll normally need to wait five to six hours before the Adventure is completed. You can also pay gems to complete the Adventure immediately, but once again, that’s something you will want to avoid.
At the end of your Adventure, you will pick up special Treasures, which will then appear in the Adventure tab — these are permanent items that have positive effects on different aspects of the money-making process in the game. For example, Ghost Coin increases Fishing Experience by 1 percent, while Golden Cup improves idle income by 1 percent — that’s not much at all, but collect duplicates of the same Treasure and these improvements can add up!
17. Take Part In The Season Events
Although it may seem like the top button on the bottom right corner of the main screen looks like a settings icon, it’s actually an award-shaped icon, and it will take you to the Season menu, which gives you an overview of the ongoing event for the season.
Currently, Hooked Inc. is on Pink Shrimp Season, with 16 days remaining on what appears to be a month-long event. The first of the two tabs you’ll want to visit is the Challenges tab, and here you can find four daily tasks that need to be completed within a 24-hour time span, and season tasks that are valid for the entirety of the season.
These daily tasks can normally be completed organically, and may include having to watch a certain number of videos or open a certain number of boxes, shipments, or chests, for instance, for a few Season Points. Season tasks, on the other hand, focus on a specific species of fish — or sea creature, as Pink Shrimp Season requires players to catch 3000 Pink Shrimp for 15 Season Points, and 20 Big Shrimp (this is among the Boss Fish in the game) for 10 Season Points.
As you earn more Season Points, you can increase your Season Level, and each time you level up within the season, you can earn rewards — for this particular season, you can earn gems, Map Pieces, boxes, Fishing Experience, and various fishing items. You can earn even better rewards, though, by unlocking Premium mode, which costs either $10 or $20 depending on how much bonus XP you wish to receive.
18. Going Back To Shallow Coast – When Should You Reset Your Game?
Every idle clicker has a mechanic that allows players to reset their game and start from scratch with zero in-game cash, albeit with most perks, premium items, and/or buffs remaining in place, thus allowing you to re-earn that money faster than you did in the previous play-through. Back in the day, this was typically known as “prestiging,” but in Hooked Inc., the process is known as going back to Shallow Coast — the first fishing location in the game.
What this basically means for you is that by going back to Shallow Coast, your money is reset to zero, and your boat is back to a Tier 1 vessel with all upgrades gone. However, you will retain all your crew members at their current levels, you’ll hang on to your gems and rubies, and your player level will remain as is.
Likewise, you’ll keep your stars and all the fish you’ve unlocked thus far, and by applying your Fishing Experience toward the EXP you’ve already collected, you will increase your earning capability quite substantially. That means you will be able to breeze through the first several locations — it will probably take you a couple of minutes to go through locations that had previously took a couple of hours before you had enough cash to move on to the next one.
As always, you’ll need to choose the right time when resetting your game and returning to Shallow Coast, and once again, the best time to do so would be when you notice that you aren’t progressing as fast as you would want to, considering the cost of moving on to the next location.
At first, you’ll want to reset when you’re stuck in the billions, then when you’re stuck in the trillions, then in the quadrillions, and so on — you may end up resetting your game multiple times in your first few days of playing Hooked Inc., but it will be worth it in the end as you accumulate more Fishing Experience and earn cash/level up faster with each succeeding play-through!
And that’s all you need to know to excel in Hooked Inc.! If you happen to know tips or tricks for the game that we haven’t mentioned in the guide, please let us know in the comments below!