Endless runner games are among, if not, the top genre that proliferated during the dawn of mobile gaming. With numerous titles and variations that spawned from then until now, Subway Surfers has been considered as one of the best games in this genre and the first to capitalize on having lanes and varying heights that gave it a distinct appeal over other endless runners.
Subway Surfers was launched way back in 2012 and, more than 8 years later, it continues to top charts in mobile game listings across the globe. With well over 2 billion downloads from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store, along with massively positive average user review ratings on both mobile platforms, Subway Surfers has proven to go beyond riding the explosive popularity of the genre.
Subway Surfers has gone a long way since its release 8 years ago, and has evolved to continuously shift its backgrounds to give players a virtual world tour at least once a month, and has provided a lot of different boosts that add more variety and strategic options to each run. If you have just discovered the fun and excitement of endless runners or have just started playing the game, you can still pick up a lot of useful basic tips and strategies by checking out our previous Subway Surfers guide as well as the breakdown of each available booster.
Now, in this new Subway Surfers guide, we will be adding further to the tips and strategies we provided before, as well as add new ones considering the game updates to help you set record-breaking runs and join the leaderboards!
1. Consider First Runs As Practice Runs
Like any endless runner or similar casual arcade games, you cannot expect to instantly break records on your first set of runs in Subway Surfers. Despite having simplistic controls and game mechanics, Subway Surfers is a type of game that is easy to learn, yet hard to master. There are plenty of nifty tips and trick to know, but spending time to actually engaging in practice runs will always yield better performance.
Even if you have spent time on other endless runner games, it is best to get a full grasp of the control sensitivity of your device relative to Subway Surfers. This is especially important especially considering that the pace of run continues to accelerate the farther you travel. You may opt for the conventional single finger hold on your device, although using 2 fingers can greatly improve reaction times. In any case, trying both methods to discover which one works for you better is recommended.
The initial tutorial will only run you through the basic swipes, from switching lanes by swiping left or right as well as swiping down to slide under barricades and swiping up to jump over other obstacles. There are, however, some simple tricks that you need to learn and it is not just for a much better performance, but sometimes to save yourself from disaster as well.
To start off, you can switch lanes in midair. Your sense of physics and logic might tell you that you are confined to your lane whenever you jump. In Subway Surfers, however, being able to swipe left or right during a jump is perfectly normal and should be utilized fully even in your starting runs. In the same manner, you can also swipe down any time within the jump to quickly fall back down on the ground or platform. There are instances when you have to time your jump perfectly just to nab all the coins in-between trains and if you jumped a bit off the mark, swiping down at the right time can earn you more coins. This can also be helpful in some situations where obstacles come one after another and you have to make a quick jump or landing to be able to slide through a barricade.
2. Familiarize Yourself With Each Power-Up
Engaging in several runs before going for a record-breaker requires a good level of familiarity with the in-game power-ups as well. Although you can make a good run even if you do not always get a hold of these power-ups, each one can tremendously boost your score in each run. While grabbing coins come as naturally as running, you would want to keep your eyes peeled for power-ups that can randomly appear on the level and grab them without putting yourself at risk.
The jetpack is one of the most sought-after power-ups as it boosts your speed and essentially gives you invulnerability for the duration of the boost as it sends you high above the ground away from all obstacles. With its increased speed, it can be a challenge to grab as many coins so always be ready for faster hand-eye coordination as you pick one up.
The super sneakers is a neat power-up that allows you to jump infinite times consecutively. On top of being able to reach the rooftops with a couple of jumps and steer clear off grounded obstacles, this power-up can also earn you coins within your lane if you float close enough to them. You will not be invulnerable for the duration of the power-up though and sticking close to the ground just to earn those coins can still send you straight to bumping an obstacle.
Having a penchant for coins can often put you at risk as Subway Surfers is designed to challenge you by placing trails of coins on different lanes. The coin magnet power-up makes it a whole lot easier for you to get all the coins from all lanes once it is activated and with it, you can concentrate exclusively on surviving the obstacles ahead.
Last, but definitely not the least, is the 2x multiplier power-up. It can combine with the other multipliers you earn and will be key to securing a place in the leaderboards. In some cases, 3 of the 4 power-ups will be available in some areas of your run. Be sure to pick one that best serves your preferences.
3. Keep Your Sights Ahead Of The Track
As basic as it sounds, maintaining an advanced perspective on your run by keeping your sights ahead of the track can be very challenging. There are a lot of details that can steal your attention and eyes off track and it can take some time to employ your peripheral vision to its full utilization.
For starters, being able to consistently look ahead means that you trust each swipe well enough in that you no longer need to look at your runner as you switch lanes and hop over or roll under each impediment. Quicker reaction times also call for quicker wits in that you have less than a second to decide on where to go even before you reach the spot to do so.
You would want to look ahead and improve your run to have more time to plan for your next moves, even if the planning and preparation is only a fraction of a second ahead. If you keep your eyes on your runner and move with the immediate obstacle ahead, you can still get in trouble with your choice of swipe especially in areas when 2 obstacles come right after another.
Keeping an advanced perspective gives you an opportunity to plan the next few swipes you will do and lessen if not prevent you from making careless mistakes. At some point, the pace of the game will still make it very challenging for you to react quickly even with an advanced perception of the track ahead. Even so, the fact that the game’s pace has grown challenging for you to navigate through already means that you are doing a better run.
On top of the runner, you also want to avoid checking your score, unless you are away from harm with a jetpack, or have nothing immediately ahead to worry about. If you feel the need to check especially if you are going for a high score, you can do so with just a quick glance. Another detail you might need to check is the remaining juice on your power-up.
For some power-ups, you have to be ready for when they expire so you can ensure that you will not bump into an obstacle right after. There is no need to stare at it longer than you would whenever you check on your score so if you cannot do so with your peripheral view, at least glance at it very quickly.
Between a few extra coins and surviving for a longer run, the latter is the more viable option. If you have already gone farther than most of your previous runs, then you should play more defensively. Coins come in second to your score, especially on important runs. While practice runs and casual runs can be aimed towards securing more coins, your focus on record-breaking runs should be on upping that score.
4. Complete The Missions
On top of running endlessly through the level and continuously training to get that record-breaking run, one feature in Subway Surfers that you need to take advantage of is the missions. You will start off with earning your score normally and at its slowest pace but accomplishing mission objectives can exponentially boost the scores on your subsequent runs with a multiplier.
In some occasions, you can complete mission objectives without even being aware of them. To ensure that you secure the rewards from it as soon as possible, take time to look into the current set of missions via the missions icon on the lower left side of the main screen.
Each mission objective relates to the usual activities you engage in on each run. There are unlimited number of mission sets and the starting ones are a lot easier to accomplish. Completing a set earns you a mystery box, which can contain a variety of resources, as well as unlock the next set of mission objectives. More importantly, each set completed will earn you a star that boosts your score multiplier and the max score multiplier is 30 stars.
This is basically a requisite if you are bent on topping the high score charts. Earning a maxed out multiplier, in combination with the score booster and headstart buff that you can use at the start of your run as well as the x2 multiplier you can grab within the run, all contribute to racking up a high score easily. This should serve as your primary goal as you prepare yourself on a record-breaking run to put your name on the leaderboards.
5. Invest In Power-Ups First
The coins you earn from each run is neither just for show nor recruiting runners or purchasing new skins. Beyond considering it as an indicator of how well your run ended up as well, its more important value comes with purchase options that can help your reach higher scores and earn even more coins. The “me” icon at the main screen offers some boards that provide more than an upgrade in your appearance, but the costs associated with it are much higher than what you can earn, especially if you are just starting out.
On the other hand, the boosts you can buy with coins via the shop, which can be accessed from the main menu, can help in increasing your performance and profits on your subsequent runs. While some of these items are mere temporary boosts that get consumed, what you would want to invest in initially, are the upgrades for the power-ups that you obtain while running. While the consumable boosts are best saved for later, whenever you are ready to break records, gradually upgrading the duration of each in-game power-up is worth investing in ahead of everything else.
Note that each of the power-ups can be upgraded up to 6 times and the cost of each succeeding upgrade will naturally be more expensive than the current one. While some of these power-ups offer more enticing benefits than the others, getting more upgrades for your money’s worth is the best way to go. You are free to prioritize whichever upgrades appeal to you more, but know that each run comes with a random element that makes each power-up equally likely to appear.
6. Use The Hover Boards Strategically
In your early runs, receiving a hover board will prompt you to use it immediately. You can activate it, though at any time by tapping twice quickly on the screen. Hover boards actually serve as a second line of defense against crashes and instead of resulting in a dire end for your run, the board will simply disappear if you crash and you get to continue off on your adventure.
One great thing about hover boards is that you can use it several times in a single run. There is a cooldown period within which you cannot use another board after the current one disappears. If you are far enough into your current run, this can become dangerously risky especially since the pace of the game will be faster and avoiding obstacles will be much more challenging.
Like keys that you can consume to save your runner and continue on with your run, utilizing the hover board buff and all other boosts should be saved for important runs. While you can freely use it on regular runs or practice runs, saving all you have for your leadership board entry is the wiser option.
Even on runs that you are especially preparing for, using hover boards indiscriminately is not the best utilization. Given that the boards can save you from crashes, the best time to use them is when you are certain that you will crash and be unable to avoid the obstacles coming your way. More importantly, if your current run is not even enough to beat your current record, then you might as well go a bit farther before expending the resources you worked hard on saving.
7. Invest In Better Boards
Unlike the different runners to recruit and their respective costumes that you can unlock, boards in Subway Surfers actually do more than just give you aesthetic improvement. While the default hover board provides the basic benefit of giving you a second chance to continue running, all other boards have 1 to 2 special abilities.
On top of the huge amount of coins you need to rack up to purchase a new board, however, unlocking their special abilities also cost a hefty amount of keys. Before you go on spending either resource, it is best to read through what each special ability can do so you will know that you are making the right choice of investment. Super speed and double jumps are very much useful in our book, but feel free to choose any combination of abilities that match your taste.
8. Accomplish Achievements For Extra Rewards
The missions that improve your score multiplier serves as half of the accomplishable feats in Subway Surfers. On the missions window, be sure to check the achievements tab as it holds a variety of achievement objectives that very much serve as milestones in relation to your overall progress in the game. Unlike the mission objectives that are replaced with new ones after completing a set of 3, achievements provide a continuous goal for you to target, with each milestone rewarding you with extra keys.
Although keys can be obtained in a number of ways, every free key you can obtain should be considered as an opportunity that you should not miss. Note that if you are ready to expend your keys for that record-breaking run, each usage will consume more and more keys at a time. In this sense, going for a perfect run requires massive farming for keys across all possible sources and each one should be fully maximized.
9. Watch Ads And Claim Free Stuff
Video ads have long since been an integral part of free-to-play mobile games. While some games can profit or at least survive off in-app purchases, some are more heavily reliant on the existence of ads. Naturally enough, some players who may be new to the idea can find overly zealous ads to be intrusive, especially if they pop up in-between or even during gameplays. Fortunately enough, there are hardly any ads in Subway Surfers that you need to sit through other than those you need to activate to continue running as well as to earn more resources.
To start off, there is a whole tab of free stuff to earn within the in-game shop and you can obtain keys, coins, as well as boosters to add to your inventory. There is a free daily mystery box you can claim from the shop as well and plenty of opportunities to boost your earnings with any run. In addition to free revives you can earn instead of consuming keys, you have a chance to double the mystery box you can get after each run. An extra 500 coins can be received as well on top of the coin equivalent of your score.
Given that continuous playthroughs can be exhausting, especially if you are totally focused on performing well for more than hour or so, you can always rest your eyes and hands and continue playing video ads within the “free stuff” tab of the shop to amass coins, keys, and boosters. In some cases, you may even save up more earnings from doing so instead of playing continuously especially if you are already tired.
10. Take Advantage Of Time-Limited Events
Considering the rewards you instantly receive with even the shortest run, the extra keys from the achievements, and the plethora of free stuff to obtain from the shop, Subway Surfers further provides additional means for you to earn even more freebies. Each update on the game starts a new season and, with it, comes a a whole new season hunt and word hunt that can earn you various rewards for playing actively.
The season hunt event can be progressed within 20 days and requires you to collect special season tokens to reach new ranks and claim goodies. You can grab a special token on each run early so one way of claiming rewards fast is restarting as soon as you nab one. Although there are chances to earn more within the same run, it can become more challenging the farther you progress.
The word hunt, on the other hand, needs to be accomplished within a day and rewards become better as you complete the letters for the special word after completing in subsequent days. Given that super mystery boxes are up for grabs starting on day 5, you would want to complete the word as soon as possible once you log in on the game.
For both the season hunt and the word hunt events, always take note of the remaining time you have for completing objectives. As much as possible, you would want to make the most out of these events so be sure to play actively within its duration. The season hunt can be especially difficult to fully achieve given that you need to reach stage 30 of the reward set, which requires 150 special tokens.
If you browse through the event rewards, however, the final reward, which is a limited edition character, should be enough to entice you to push further. In addition, mystery boxes you earn within the season can reward you with tokens you need to collect to unlock different outfits for the new character.
11. Capitalize On Record-Breaking Runs
Once you have maxed out the power-up upgrades, maxed out your score multiplier, obtained your favorite board, and amassed enough resources to expend boosts and keys as much as possible, you can now embark on an attempt to go for a record-breaking run. It is probably best to save it for when you have rested well enough, but not too much to need a long warm-up to heat things up. What you would want is to start off with a trio of headstarts and score boosters, and enough hover boards and keys to go for a longer run.
It is a good idea to try and set a goal in mind as far as a target score is concerned, but be mindful of not letting anything distract you from performing at your best in a run that you heavily invested in. As a final reminder, you should know that Subway Surfers is generous enough to include a pause button at the upper left side of the screen while you are running. If you need to stop playing for a while or need to take a quick break, be sure to go for the pause button and resume playing only when you are completely ready. Do not let the pressure sink in and just consider it as any other run and you will certainly score big and make it to the leaderboards.
And that wraps up our Subway Surfers 2020 guide. We hope that along with our other guides on the game, you have picked up everything you need to know to improve each of your subsequent runs and finally make it to the leaderboards. If you have played Subway Surfers extensively enough and have your very own tips, tricks, and strategies to share, do not hesitate to tell us about them through the comment section below!