Armed with a shovel, a love of artifacts, and a need for cash, the only thing you can do is dig. And dig. And dig. Pocket Mine 3 puts you in the shoes of a happy little digger eager to uncover relics and treasure buried layers deep, past hard rock, dangerous monsters, and bombs of varied type and usefulness. It’s a seemingly endless loop of digging for more treasure to upgrade your equipment so you can dig even deeper and get even better treasure. But, like any other gameplay loop, it’s possible to game it just a bit in your favor to cut the time wasting and get straight to the gold. Gamezebo’s Pocket Mine 3 tips, cheats and strategies will help you unearth more than just mud:

Dig where I say, not as I dig

Pocket Mine 3 Tips, Cheats and Strategies

When you’re actually playing Pocket Mine 3’s levels, the design purposefully leads you to tap on things that are more colorful or brighter, but you need to be careful where you dig. Remember that you have a limited number of “picks” and a certain distance to cover, so you want to make sure each new tap is efficient. Don’t just rush headlong down the hole. Sure, the screen is scrolling, but you can usually afford to take a second or two to think.

To start, stay away from the edges whenever possible. On any given space, you can see the four squares around you, but if you’re on the edge, you only see 2-3, as there’s a wall on one side. You want to give yourself as many options as possible, so unless something very juicy requires being on the edge, keep to the middle of the screen.

The reason you want to be able to see where you’re headed is so you can hone in on certain blocks. Your goal in the early levels is distance over treasure, so you want to hit any explosive blocks you can to maximize the potential clearance you get on a single swing of your pick. Use dynamite, drills, explosive ore, anything you find that will give you more room to work.

Since you’re aiming for distance and explosions, that necessarily means to steer clear of harder rock that takes more than a single tap to break. Most of the time, you’ll have at least one other soft dirt option if rock is in your way, and it’s better to backtrack a bit than get stuck in a patch of rock and waste all your picks. The same goes for ore. It does give you cash, but it’s usually best to hold off on mining ore until you have more of the explosive type available and are less concerned with how many pick swings you can conserve.

Upgrade to get down

Pocket Mine 3 Tips, Cheats and Strategies

Upgrading your equipment in Pocket Mine 3 can be a confusing and exasperating process. You can spend in-game currency to upgrade your Blacksmith, who will then make you better gear, but in turn, all the gear costs more coins to get! If you upgrade too high, you won’t be able to afford any of those juicy legendary pieces, but if you don’t upgrade ever, then any legendary piece you get will be easily surpassed by a common one the minute you do. It’s a tough trade-off.

Fortunately, the cash flow evens out after a short period of time and you’ll have more room to actually get new equipment. Try to focus on upgrading to get more picks–though you don’t get to dictate what stats you receive on a given piece of equipment, if you’re ever on the fence about an upgrade, never take a loss on picks. And if you get a decent pickaxe, upgrade the crud out of it using cash and forget about leveling up your blacksmith for awhile. That, too, will leave you more room to save coins for legendaries while still ensuring you have good gear.

It’s all in the cards

Pocket Mine 3 Tips, Cheats and Strategies

Something I didn’t understand early on was the importance of cards and card packs. Rather than being something you play, cards obtained unlock new characters and discoveries that you can dig up. Put simply: you want cards. Cards will make digging easier. Get cards.

Fortunately, despite their place in the game’s “Store,” cards can be purchased entirely with in-game currency. That’s what you do with those fancy Red Gems you keep collecting! I recommend saving 40 and getting the discounted 5-pack, as you’re guaranteed a legendary in each pack. In one 40-gem purchase, you should get a decent handful of new squares to discover in a dig, like explosive ore or better dynamite. You’ll also unlock new, playable characters. Save up those gems and give it a shot.

Do not waste gems on Continues. If you’re struggling with a course and require a Continue to proceed, you’re not going to magically be able to complete the next one without also using a Continue. Get better gear by playing easier courses, then come back and try again.

After a while, you’ll start to see duplicate cards, but fear not! A lesser-advertised feature of the game is that you can fuse duplicate cards to make the original more powerful! It costs a bit of cash to do, but it’s worth it to get rid of those duplicates for better rewards in digs.

Get digging!

Finally, we’ll go just a bit deeper with a few miscellaneous tips:

  • Make sure to check your “Missions” in the top right before starting a stage. You’ll be rewarded with more keys if you complete them.
  • You’ll level up quickly in the early going, but later on you’ll need to watch ads or wait to recharge your stamina. Watching ads will also get you treasure boxes, sometimes. If you don’t mind the short video, you can reap immense rewards off this feature.
  • In the early game, Common items will quickly outpace Legendaries of a lower Blacksmith tier. Save your Legendary tokens for later.
  • Avoid monsters where possible. Early on, you’ll have the defense to get past them all, but as the game progresses you’ll want to stay out of combat.