Just when you thought you’d crushed all the candy you’d ever want to crush, King pops out with a Stone Cold Steve Austin-esque “Eh eh!” Candy Crush Friends Saga is set to pick up right where the original left off, which means a ton of match-3 levels (more than 380 to start) and colorful characters you’ll soon grow to either love or reluctantly accept as part of the overall package.

You shouldn’t overlook those characters, though. The inhabitants of the world of Candy Crush Friends Saga actually have an important role to play, as they have unique special abilities that activate when you match a certain number of one kind of symbol, allowing you to more easily clear a level. Choosing between them, as you’ll be able to do as soon as you unlock more than one, can be the key to being able to get past a particularly challenging board.

There’s plenty more to discuss when it comes to Candy Crush Friends Saga, so let’s do that right now, with our guide to all the tips and tricks you’ll need to get ahead of your friends right away.

Know Your Goal for Each Level

Candy Crush Friends Saga only gives you a certain number of matches to clear each level, and the less moves you make, the higher your score. Having moves left over is the best way to rack up a score high enough to earn three stars.

However, your actual objective in each level can be different, and it’s important to keep it in mind. Here are a few you’ll encounter along the way:

  • Free the Octopuses – We still think it should be octopi, but whatevs. The eight-armed sea creatures are stuck under the board, sometimes under multiple levels of obstructions, and you’ve got to make matches next to them to set them free.
  • Find the Animals – A number of animals are buried under ice tiles, which you can crack by making matches on top of them.
  • Spread the Jam – Cover as many squares of the playing field as possible with delicious jam, which you can pretend is any flavor you want.
  • Dunk the Cookies – Make matches that move the cookies around until they fall into the chocolate below the board.
  • Collect the Hearts – Fill the heart-shaped box molds until you have enough hearts to pass the level.

Bonus tip: A counter in the upper-left corner of the screen is tracking your progress toward your goal, so make sure to keep an eye on it.

Choose Your Friend Carefully

Candy Crush Friends Saga

We’re not absolutely sure if the 3D characters in the game are the “Friends” referred to in the title, but we’re assuming that’s the case until told otherwise. You’ll learn quickly that every character has his or her own special power-up symbol that gets added to the board once you’ve made enough matches of a particular kind of candy. Tiffi, for instance, will throw Swedish fish onto the board once you’ve matched 10 jelly beans. Swedish fish, in turn, will swim right toward your objective and directly help you pass a level.

Other characters have their own special candies, and some may be more useful in a particular level. You can pick which character you want to help you before you start any level, and the game will recommend one, so it pays to take heed, especially if you’ve never played that level before.

Learn About All the Power-Ups, a.k.a. Special Candies

Candy Crush Friends Saga

Just like in the first Candy Crush Saga, there are quite a few power-ups you can create by doing matches that are more than the simple three like symbols in a row. Here are the Special Candies and how to make them:

  • Striped Candy – Created by matching four candies in a row, the Striped Candy will blast either a horizontal or vertical line when you use it in a match, clearing many blockers in one go. The direction of the stripes on the candy indicate which way it will blast.
  • Swedish Fish – You can make a Swedish Fish by matching four candies in a 2×2 square. When used in a match or slammed together with another of its own kind, the Swedish Fish will swim toward blockers or candies that need to be cleared. And eat them, we guess.
  • Color Bomb – Made by matching five candies in a row, you can use the Color Bomb in a match with any kind of candy and it will get the other candies on the board of that type to explode.
  • Coloring Candy – The hardest Special Candy to create, the Coloring Candy can only be created with six like candies in a T shape. You can then match the Coloring Candy with a candy of another color to turn everything of that color on the board into the same color as the Coloring Candy. Say that five times fast!

Keep in mind that you can often set off some powerful combos by matching two of these power-ups together. Experiment and you can pretty quickly figure out your own favorite combos.

In closing, one extra tip: If you are stuck, watch the game carefully. Not only will it show you a match that can be made, the character you have as a helper will often suggest a Special Candy that can be formed based on what’s on the board. See? They really are your friends.