99 Arrows is a level-based arcade challenge that tests your ability to land precise shots on a moving target. While the game features a massive amount of stages across eight different modes, the primary goal is always the same: tap to send an arrow flying into a rotating sphere without hitting any other arrows already sticking out of it. Whether you’re shooting to relax or trying for a personal high score, we have a few tips to help you aim true.
Aim for the coins: Hitting a coin is always a safe shot. The game doesn’t put coins in un-attainable spots, and this tactic is especially useful in the early stages of modes like Twin Fire and Double Vision. Look at where the coins show up and aim for those, focusing on the sphere with the coin. If you hit it straight on, both arrows should safely arrive at their destination. This allows you to keep only one arrow in mind when aiming as opposed to timing the shots for two simultaneously.
Later levels in these modes will have such a small area to safely land that aiming for the coin won’t always work for shooting both arrows, but since stages’ layouts are always the same, it will be quickly become clear if the coin “trick” does or doesn’t work on a particular stage. On single-arrow stages, you can always aim for the coin safely.
To earn coins quickly: A new coin appears once you pick one up, so there will always be a coin on-screen. Because of this, the easiest way to get a lot of coins is by aiming for them every time. There’s a gameplay advantage to this (see above) but it also means you’ll receive the most coins possible.
Classic is the best mode to collect coins because it has the longest series (some modes, like Twin Fire, have smaller sets of arrows) and is the easiest to reliably hit coins in. If you have a 15-arrow Classic level, hitting all 15 coins would get you 75 coins total from a single stage. Even if you fail a level, you’ll still receive any coins you collected up to that point.
Tap twice for a double-shot: If you’re not aiming for coins and just want to finish levels quickly, practice the quick double-shot. When you tap to shoot an arrow, quickly tap twice in a row to shoot two as close to each other as possible. This is usually a safe strategy as long as you have enough space in the area you’re aiming for two arrows to fit since it’s impossible to fire two arrows so quickly that they would hit each other.
We find it’s easiest to fire two arrows in quick succession by using our index finger instead of our thumb. Be careful you don’t use this strategy in Color Arrow or Insane modes (the latter moves too quickly to slot two arrows in safely).
A note on Color Arrow: The game’s instructions say “The arrow color will change every time you shoot,” which we initially took to mean it alternated back and forth. However, the color is often the same for multiple arrows in a row: pay attention to the next arrow “on deck” below the one you’re currently shooting to know what color you need to hit next.
Focus on where your arrow will land: Don’t follow the rotation of the sphere or the already-placed arrows with your eyes. Not only is it harder to track the area you’re aiming for, but it can be dizzying to look at. Keep your eye on the spot above your arrow where it will end up once shot, and look only slightly left or right of this area. If you want to practice this, play the Darkness mode for a bit.
Shoot early: Because of the constant rotation of the sphere, you need to shoot ever-so-slightly ahead of the spot you’re aiming for. The arrow takes a brief moment to reach the sphere, so you need to anticipate the speed of rotation. Keep in mind that in certain modes, like Double Vision and Twin Fire, the spheres change direction at a certain point and go in reverse.
Flip your phone: If you’re struggling with a certain mode, try rotating your phone and playing at a different angle. We find playing with our device in landscape orientation is easier for Side Shot specifically, but any challenge can benefit from a new perspective.
Play different modes: Even if you have a favorite game type in 99 Arrows, try out each mode. You might learn a new strategy from one mode that will apply to your favorite, and changing it up can offer a nice break if one set of levels is beginning to become too challenging.
Spend freely: With the coins you earn, you can purchase new bows and arrows via the shopping cart icon on the main menu. These items merely provide cosmetic changes: none of the bows shoot faster and none of the arrows are thinner. However, it’s still worth buying a few new types—not only does it keep things fresh, but you might find certain arrows are easier to differentiate than others, especially on specific backgrounds or game modes.