Monday, July 29, 2013

Free Dota 2 Items: How and Where to Get the Spoils of War

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One of the great features of Dota 2 is its granting you the ability to customize your favorite heroes in the game. Through items, every gamer has the chance to make every hero appear in their own image and liking. With unique guises that cause your heroes to stand out from the crowd, opponents that you beat down the road will remember you through your spectacular playing skills and your formidable heroes.

To give you a preview of what items can do for your heroes, this is what Slithice the Naga Siren looks like by default:

Naga Siren's default appearance

This is how she would appear if she dons the Designs of the Slithereen Nobility Set:

Naga Siren equipped with Designs of the Slithereen Nobility set

So how do you get these equipment and also other items such as HUD skins, taunts, announcers, and more? Dota 2 has an in-game store where you can browse for items of different quality. The cheapest is Common, which often comes with the most basic cosmetic change for your hero. On the other hand, items of Legendary bearing have unique aesthetics but are also likely priced with the heftiest amount. One may think that spending for items to change appearance is just too much. Luckily, there are other ways to get items in Dota 2 without any cost.

How to get Free Dota 2 Items

Playing on Rated Matches. If you finish every rated multiplayer game you entered all the way through the end, meaning an ancient is finally destroyed and the scoreboard with the final statistics has appeared, there’s a chance an item will drop for you. The same goes to other players who’ve played through and through. I’m not sure about this, but performing really well in the game might increase your likelihood of getting an item. Common quality items are the most likely to drop, but there’s still possibility—no matter how slim it is—for you to come across an Uncommon, a Rare, and even a Legendary.

Besides items, games also reward players with treasure boxes and player cards. These may appear useless and worthless to some people, but do not just throw them away. You can actually trade them for items! (More on that below, way below…)

Leveling Up. Your player level (aka Battle Level), as shown in your Dota 2 profile, may seem useless to you. However, that detail is used among other information to find similarly skilled players during matchmaking to become either your teammates or opponents. When it comes to getting free items, you can receive one whenever enough points have reached the level-up threshold (1000 points). This is a guaranteed or 100% item drop. Obviously, you must finish your games to gain experience points (aka Battle Points) in order to up one level.

Dota 2 Player Profile

If you want to earn XP more than the usual amount for every game you finish, there are purchasable items for such purpose. The International 2013 Interactive Compendium, for instance, not only includes a free Smeevil courier, but it also lets you gain Battle Bonus points for faster leveling.

Remember that this method, as well as the first one above, only applies to games whose stats will be recorded. Any matches with one or more players who leave during the hero selection and pre-game stages are not counted and therefore will not gift you any item.

Training. Like it or not, all new players are compelled to undergo Dota 2’s learn-to-play mode. I wrote a blog post about how veteran players can skip the tutorial and jump directly to the multiplayer games, but Valve has seemingly fixed all workarounds to it. On the plus side, once you complete the tutorial pSniper with Gunslinger's Riflehases that involve Kardel Sharpeye, the Dwarven Sniper, you will acquire his Gunslinger item set. It seems the rifle is already given away by Valve for free and should be present in your inventory from the very start.

I haven’t tried the tutorial myself (Valve hasn’t imposed it on me and all players who got into the Dota 2 scene since its beta release), so I’m not really sure if what I wrote above is accurate. What I do know is there are indeed rewards to obtain in those tutorials. Since Valve really insists on new players to undergo training, I’m guessing there may be even more rewards in the future for those who play the tutorial. Getting compensated for doing forced hours of restricted play is encouraging, after all.

Trading. Given that Dota 2 is intrinsically social, one of the more popular games in the multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) genre, and is now free to play, you’re bound to gain friends who you’ll be playing with every now and then. If you’re in luck, you’ll gain friends whom you can frequently trade items with. Perhaps they have extra items to give away. Maybe they have items they don’t want, and they are willing to swap them for yours. Or perhaps they’re not interested with collecting items at all (they don’t boost hero stats nor improve game skills anyway!), so maybe they’ll donate all their loots to you. Lucky!

Dota2Lounge

Trading is not limited to just with people you know. There are several websites that primarily serves as the go-to destination for players looking to trade with others. Dota2Lounge.com (D2L) is so far the one that I can easily recommend with confidence. That website requires your Steam credentials and, once you’re logged in, lets you connect with its members. Trading there is quite easy: using the search bar, you can find what items other players are willing to trade away in exchange for items they want. The reverse is also true; you can search usingRikimaru with The Subtle Demon set your existing items and find out what other players will give for it. If you’re skilled and patient enough, you can let go of your trash items and gain more valuable ones. In fact, the set items I got (like Naga Siren’s and The Subtle Demon for Rikimaru, the Stealth Assassin) were completed through a combination of trades and bets.

Betting. Another significant feature of D2L is its betting system. If matches of notable Dota 2 tournaments are scheduled for the day, the website allows you to bet on one of the teams. If the team you choose wins, you get back your stakes and also the potential rewards. If you lose, you cannot claim your items back. Potential rewards for siding a team depends on the percentage of players that has voted for it. Naturally, the underdogs or less favored teams tend to have higher potential rewards. Dota2Lounge only allows up to 4 items as wagers, with Common, Uncommon, and Rare as the only acceptable item quality types. Also, your potential reward’s item quality is the same as your wagers. For instance, you can win Common items only if you’ve wagered a Common item as well.

Dota2Lounge Betting

If you’re up to it, selling for real cash is also available in D2L. However, they do not offer a secure means to transact between money and items. You might end up with a scammer who will just suddenly vanish once he receives cash, not giving you whatever item they offered. As such, trade at your own risk when money is involved.

Treasure Chests and Player Cards. Now that I’ve explained trading above, I can finally continue talking about chests and cards. The chests are quite useless to many people since they initially do not have the key to open them with. Each key usually costs $2.49 in the store, an amount that some may already find too expensive. Luckily you can search for keys in Dota2Lounge. As of this writing, the exchange rate is typically 1 key for 5-7 rares. You can even find desperate people who are willing to trade a key for only four Rare items. Some chests also happen to be valuable. For instance, the Treasure of Champions 2013 contains exceedingly special items and is therefore deemed worthy to be traded for at least one Rare item.

Dota 2 Player CardAs for cards, these are usable only by those who have purchased the International Interactive Compendium item, which is only sold a few months before the International Dota 2 Championships. Those who cannot afford the compendium can just trade away their cards and at least receive some Common items for them. Some cards are even more valuable. Just do a bit of research and you’ll find out their true value soon enough.

If you’re looking for more online places to mingle and exchange items with players, try out Dota2Marketplace.com and Dota2Price.com. I haven’t checked them out myself, so please be careful and cautious against scams and frauds.

Valve’s Community Market. The last method in my list is not exactly free. On the other hand, the market offer items sold at the store at discounted prices. A $2.49 key, for example, can be bought in the market for as low as $2.00. If you’ve a key and don’t have the chest to open it with, you can buy a chest for only 3 cents! It’s not just about keys and chests there, there are also equipment, ingredients, and other exotic items obtained by the playing community.

Steam's Community Market for Dota 2

 

Keep in mind that all items are purely for cosmetic purposes only. They do not affect the gameplay beyond physical changes in order to keep the game equally competitive and fair to everyone. Also, all heroes are always playable the moment they are introduced to the game through patch/update releases. You don’t have to worry about other players gaining an advantage on you just because they have bought items and have unlocked a hero through purchases. The latter problem is what League of Legends is guilty of, but not Dota 2.

While, through this post, I am advocating methods to obtain free items for your in-game heroes, do note that most purchasable items have been contributed by fellow Dota 2 players. If you buy their submissions through the game store, these hardworking artists receive a portion of the sale. You can even submit your own designs through the Dota Workshop and earn some money at the same time! If you lack the creative skills to submit your own creation, you can also at least help by choosing/voting which submissions gets approved and imported to the game.

Chinese Domain Name Scam – Beware of Renewal and Trademark Fraud

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Last week, I received a suspicious email from a sender that I’ve never interacted before. He claimed to be a manager from an organization that handles trademarks and intellectual property protection based in China. In the letter, he informed me that a company was planning to obtain rights for certain domain names that are similar to that of my website and that I should perform some necessary actions to avoid any conflicts of interest.

At first I thought the letter was legit, since its arrival in my inbox happened to coincide with Google’s constant email reminders about my domain name, conanhughes.com, getting an automatic renewal with the web hosting company eNom sometime in August. What made me suspect of fraud or foul play shortly afterwards were some red flags contained within the email’s content:

  • Spelling and grammar errors (in other words, broken English)
  • The company claimed to be buying the domains does business mainly on imports/exports of hard goods, which is quite irrelevant to my domain name and my website’s niche
  • The sender failed to properly introduce his trademark and IP protection organization
  • Bogus physical address

The last three indicators of fraud that I listed above can be easily confirmed by doing a simple Google search. I dared not to call the included phone number, visit the listed websites, or even reply back. After all, doing so will let them know that the email address they sent their fishy letter to is real (that there’s a real person using it) and will probably send more emails to convince me that they’re the real deal.

Here’s the fishy email in its entirety:

Dear Manager,

(If you are not the person who is in charge of this, please forward this to your CEO,Thanks)

We are the organization of trademark intellectual property protection in China. Here we have something to confirm with you. We received a formal application on 23/07/2013. A company named "TianHui Import & Export Co. Ltd" was applying to register "conanhughes" as its Trademark and the following domain names:

  • conanhughes.asia
  • conanhughes.cn
  • conanhughes.com.cn
  • conanhughes.com.tw
  • conanhughes.hk
  • conanhughes.net.cn
  • conanhughes.org.cn
  • conanhughes.tw

After our initial checking, we found the names were similar to your company's, so we need to check with you whether "TianHui Import & Export Co. Ltd" has any relationship with you and whether the registration of the listed domains by "TianHui Import & Export Co. Ltd" would bring any impact on you. If no impact on you, we will go on with the registration at once. If you have no relationship with that company and the registration would bring some impact on you, please inform us within 10 workdays.Out of the time prescribed we will unconditionally finish the registration for "TianHui Import & Export Co. Ltd"

Please contact us in time in order that we can handle this issue better.

Best Regards,

James Tan
Auditing Department.
Registration Department Manager

4/F,No.9 XingHui West Street,
JinNiu ChenDu, China
Office: +86 2887662861
Fax: +86 2887783286
Web: cn-network.com

Please consider the environment before you print this e-mail.

After a few research, I found out that these scams work by compelling you to register domain names closely related to your existing ones. They also sell these available domains for hefty prices. Charging such unreasonable amounts of money is not exactly ridiculous to them, since some people can be fooled and scared into thinking that, by ignoring the domain registration offer, they will lose potential customers from their website, get caught in more trademark disputes in the future, and undergo other kinds of negative experiences.

If ever you receive an email similar to the one above, just delete it right away. You are not supposed to be getting messages from a third party. Only your domain registrar and web host have the credibility to send messages regarding domain names, registrations, and renewals.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Remove Android Bloatware: How to Uninstall or Disable Unwanted Software from your Mobile Device

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The first time I received my Samsung Galaxy Note 2 from my cellular carrier, Globe Telecom (Philippines), I was greeted by not only the impressive hardware design of the phone and the latest Android operating system at the time (Jelly Bean 4.1), but also many bundled apps that I found no particular use and benefit for my lifestyle. In other words, I saw them as bloatware, which were insisting their presence on my device even if they were useless to me. The appropriate thing for me to do next was clear: to get rid of the apps guilty of loitering in my phablet.

How to remove Android bloatware

Uninstalling unnecessary software from an Android device is not exactly hard or impossible, but it is also not as easy as how you remove preinstalled applications in your Microsoft Windows-based computer. The later versions of Google’s mobile operating system have been given some easier ways to do the task, but limitations still apply.

Why Do Bloatware Exist?

Before heading to the proper guide, one might be interested on how apps—the ones that many purchasers didn’t ask for—happen to be in their gadgets right out of the box. Most of the time, they eat away your device’s resources: slowing down CPU performance and reducing usable storage space. They bring a negative impact to your mobile experience. So why did someone bother to include them? Is it merely a screw-you gesture by your cellphone carrier? Globe was polite enough to only add its company logo as one of the stock background images in my NotBloated Androide 2, but Samsung did the liberty of adding its own trash. I also know that other networks aren’t as kind, adding more worthless crap and ruining overall customer satisfaction.

As much as you hate it, they add these junk software because cellular networks or manufacturers—whichever responsible for preinstalling said crap—get paid for doing so. They obviously already gain profit from selling the devices, but their insatiable hunger for money drives them to exploit the users more. Poor us, the consumers…

Benefits of Removing Android Bloatware

Being the victims of capitalistic exploitation, it is then up to us the consumers to eradicate unwanted applications in our mobile devices. Successfully doing so frees up extra storage space that we can use for other apps that we actually want. Perhaps some of you are minimalistic in nature, and their imposing presence just irks you all the time. Naturally, they’re out of your mind when they’re out of sight. Even if some bloatware are designed to run in the background, their existence is still felt as they drag down the processing speed and consume mobile data, two things that are much better used for the apps you really need.

Risks, Scope, and Limitations

By reading and applying the steps in the proper guide below, you acknowledge the possible risks that you may accrue. Harmful consequences include system instability, crashes and sporadic reboots, and even totally bricking of your phone. You have been warned. Tinkering with your phone’s system settings, ROM, etc. may also void your phone’s warranty.

Bricked smartphone

Also note that I made this guide using my Samsung Galaxy Note 2 that ran on Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. Other devices, especially ones under different brands and with other Android versions may have different yet similar steps to disabling bloatware, if not totally incompatible with the guide.

How to Remove Android Bloatware

Let’s start with the safest method: disabling apps. Yes, it’s not exactly getting rid of undesirable applications from your mobile device, so storage space is still wasted. Since they still persist within the system, the bloatware remain there even when you perform a factory reset. On the other hand, any offending apps you disable will no longer appear in the app list. They also stop running in the background and affecting CPU performance and battery life.

To disable a mobile application, simply go to your device’s Settings. Once you’re there, head to the Application manager. Switch tabs to list all apps, not just the ones that you downloaded and ones that are currently running. Scroll through the list and find the software that you want disabled. Tap on it to proceed to its App info page. If the version of your Android OS allows it, the Disable button is available and not grayed out. Tap the button and confirm your decision in the warning pop-up dialog box. The app is now disabled. All disabled apps are located at the bottom of the All apps list tab, in case you want to re-enable them.

All Apps listDisable on App info page

Note that your OS may not allow you to disable certain apps. Other software, on the other hand, is up to your discretion on whether you want them deactivated or not. But as the warning states, disabling built-in apps may cause errors in other apps and your device’s system. When you put the Messaging apps out of action, for instance, you won’t be able to send and receive text messages unless you enable it back or install another SMS app.

If disabling is not enough, you can opt for completely replacing your stock ROM with a custom one, such as CyanogenMod, AOKP, Paranoid Android, and SlimBean. These 3rd-party modifications of the Android OS are most likely bundled with the fewest extra software along with the essentials. End result? More free space, less clutter, less performance impact. However, the process required to flash a custom ROM is not something an average mobile user can easily do. Chances of bricking the device also exist.

An easier alternative to flashing is using apps, such as Titanium Backup and Gemini App Manager, that removes bloatware for you. By approving their request for root or superuser access to your device, they have full privilege to uninstalling any software. Just like with disabling apps, complete removal also runs the risk of making your device unstable. Reverting your device back to its stable state will be even harder since you can’t simply re-enable the permanently deleted apps, whose absence has caused the aforementioned instability. Be careful.

Gemini App ManagerGemini App Manager available actions

Yet another risky method is available for any Android daredevils out there: a nifty bloatware removal script built by the folks at XDA Developers. If you have the right knowledge, the devs claim that you can even get rid of more than 20 apps in just 3 seconds or less. Use the script improperly and your smartphone might end up unable to boot up.

If the thought of getting bloatware from a newly bought phone is downright annoying to you, perhaps you should just opt for the purist Android path. Just buy any Nexus device, the software innards of which are the default experiences that Google intended for its Android users. No extras, no frills, no annoyance.

My List of Disabled Apps

To be honest, I only used the disable method since I just cannot go on experimenting with my one and only smartphone. Anyway, here are some of the apps that I disabled and so far haven’t caused any negative performance and stability impact to my handset:

  • ChatON – a mobile communication service by Samsung.
  • Popup Browser – an extension to Samsung’s default Internet browser that overlaps the current app screen with an adjustable window. This may be useful to some, but I still prefer the speedy Google Chrome.
  • Readers Hub Store – an online digital newsstand. I’ve chosen Kindle, so no thank you.
  • S Suggest – an app discovery tool that recommends software for you. Google’s Play Store already has its own suggestions that works for me.
  • S Voice – Samsung’s take on Apple Siri voice assistant. Until they’ve perfected voice recognition, these features are just gimmicks to most people.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Triple Display – How to Set Up Multiple Monitors for your Laptop

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As an online freelancer, I often find myself in working in a job that has a lot of responsibilities. Sometimes, I need to have Skype open all the time for the convenience of my boss(es), who might need to contact me at any time. Since I use a laptop as my primary workstation now, I only have a 15-inch integrated screen to display several windows: my Chrome browser, Skype, Microsoft Word, etc. Albeit big in notebook standards, the single screen is still not enough for a hardworking multitasker like me. That’s why I decided to add not just one, but two external monitors to supplement my laptop’s main screen.

Laptop with Triple Display

Most of my freelance work involves writing, which is only made easier thanks to my multi-monitor setup. I keep my word processor maximized in one display, whereas my several online sources are put on full view in my other monitors. No longer do I have to switch between windows by pressing Alt+Tab or stack them altogether side by side in one screen. The first is just too troublesome and a waste of time that’s well spent for more productive tasks. On the other hand, stacking windows gives very few screen real estate for each window that you most likely need to zoom in and scroll about to view stuff.

To help my cause, there have been reports about how more screens improve office efficiency, although there are also others that denounce its supposed boost in productivity. But if you have nonetheless decided to add secondary monitors, check out my guide below.

Guide Scope and Limitations

Before you proceed, please do note that the guide is tested to work for Windows 7 and 8 operating systems. Earlier Windows OSs should have similar steps. Linux and Mac users are better off finding another guide.

Hardcore gamers are also better off learning elsewhere on how to setup a system with AMD Eyefinity or Nvidia Surround multi-display capability. These technologies are mainly used to combine all screens (which should have similar dimensions and resolutions) and make them act as one giant display, a feature that truly adds a great experience to video games and movie watching (although they can just buy one gigantic HDTV to get the same effect). Such setup is quite impractical when using a laptop because of its small, fixed display.

Your own notebook (or desktop) hardware may have different configurations, so there’s a chance this guide may not be compatible, too.

What this guide is meant for is simply to add more displays that are meant to show simple, static content such as pictures and text in web browsers and folders. Videos and games require a more expensive setup that supplies the needed response time and graphics processing power.

Requirements

If you think one extra monitor is more than enough to boost your productivity during work, then you only have to buy/obtain the following:

  • the monitor itself
  • compatible cable (which should come bundled in the monitor package)

For two external displays, you need the following:

  • two monitors (obviously)
  • compatible cables
  • external video card or USB display adapter

When two are still not enough, perhaps you might want to try the Matrox TripleHead2Go DisplayPort. It’s an adapter that’s compatible with both PC and Mac platforms and allow you to add up to six monitors for your computer system. As it uses the power of your system’s main GPU or video card, the adapter lets you experience games and applications with visuals spanning across all monitors and not just each display.

How to Add Multiple Monitors for your Laptop

Other guides might suggest that adding extra monitors for your system is a difficult task to do. Truth be told, it’s simple and takes only a few moments of your time, even more faster when just installing a second monitor. So, let’s start with the dual display guide:

1. Power up the monitor and connect it to your laptop through its integrated VGA port. Most laptops have this port, given that it’s a convenient way for such portable computers to display presentations and whatnot to a projector. No matter what, the VGA port is still useful for an extended display.

2. In some cases, Windows does not automatically consider the connected display as an extension to your main screen. To do it manually, go to Screen Resolution, which can be found in the Control Panel or by right-clicking the desktop background and clicking on said settings.

Screen Resolution

3. In the Screen Resolution window, select the second monitor that’s usually marked with “2.” Under the Multiple displays drop-down list, select Extend desktop to this display.

4. Click OK.

Depending on the positioning of the monitor as configured in the Screen Resolution, you can navigate your mouse cursor to the second screen by moving it through one of the edge of your main screen. The positioning can be adjusted in the same pane that contains the Detect and Identify buttons. If, for instance, the display 2 is to the exact right of 1, then you simply need to move your mouse through the right edge of display 1 to access the content displayed in the other screen.

 

Now comes the slightly harder part: triple displays. For my own setup, I bought two Samsung monitors (SyncMaster S20B300). Given their size and cheap price, they’re the perfect displays to use in the rather cramped space in my room. I also bought CD-R King ADT-V003-M, a locally branded USB to VGA display adapter. I could’ve used my laptop’s HDMI port to install the same triple display setup, but there are very few available monitors with an HDMI connection sold here in my country. That’s why I needed to use an external display adapter.

CD-R King ADT-V003-M

1. To begin, simply do the steps mentioned above on how to setup a dual display.

2. To add a second external monitor, hook the displayer adapter first into an available USB port. Windows should be able to detect the device and find a compatible driver to work with it. If not, let the operating system find a driver online.

3. Once the adapter is successfully detected and its driver installed, connect the second monitor to the adapter’s port. That monitor will be soon enough detected by your laptop as well.

4. Go back to the Screen Resolution settings and configure the monitor to act as another extended display. If for some reason, you want one of them to be a duplicate display of another, you can do so in the very same drop-down list.

5. Adjust the positioning of the three displays.

6. Click OK to save the settings.

And that’s it. You now have a computer system with three displays.

Additional Tips

  • In Windows 8, you have the option to display the taskbar on every screen. To do this, simply right-click the taskbar, click Properties, and check Show taskbar on all displays. You can modify even further by showing taskbar buttons on all taskbars, on the taskbar where the window is open, or a combination of both.
  • Choosing which display is your main is also done in the Screen Resolution settings. Simply select a display and check Make this my main display.
  • To better position your display physically (not just through Screen Resolution), make use of a monitor stand.
  • If you decide to just buy one gigantic monitor, check out my guide for virtual multiple desktops.
  • Given that the mouse cursor is quite small by default, finding it can be hard when there’s more than one display to look at. To remedy this, go to the Control Panel’s Mouse settings. Under the Pointer Options tab, check Show location of pointer when I press the CTRL key. Just like what the checkbox’s description states, you’ll see a visual hint at exactly where the cursor is whenever you press the Ctrl key. The Mouse settings also lets you customize the appearance of the cursor. You can, for example, make it bigger and add pointer trails.

Mouse Properties

Friday, July 12, 2013

Candy Crush Saga Unlimited Lives (How-To / Cheat)

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Just when you’re about to enjoy yourself in attempting to solve a puzzle level in Candy Crush Saga, you have gotten so hooked into the game that you forget you already have consumed all five lives. You have spent all your tries on end a level but failed to meet its objectives. Such is the cruel fate of addicted players, who must wait for half an hour at most to replenish just one life (or an excruciatingly long wait of 2.5 hours for the full five lives to regenerate).

Candy Crush Saga - No more lives

If you’re a diehard Candy Crush user like me, then you must have thought about how to cheat your way into playing the game without worrying about running out of lives or attempts to win every level. Well, you’re in luck. There’s an easy way to unlimited gameplay that only takes less than 3 minutes of your time in order to reset or fully recharge your game lives.

Basically, the cheat involves clearing data that stores Candy Crush game information, and that includes your current lives. By doing so, the levels you completed and the scores you made for each level will be erased as well. Fear not, you won’t have to work your way back to the level you last played, because you will just have to sync your Candy Crush app with its Facebook equivalent. As such, you must have connected the app to your FB account beforehand.

How to Get Unlimited Candy Crush Lives

Note that I’ve only tested the following steps below using Candy Crush Saga app for Android (specifically installed on a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 running on Jelly Bean 4.1). While you may perform similar steps on how to clear game data on other platforms, like the Apple iPad and iPhone, you may have different and perhaps unsuccessful results when using this cheat.

1. Important: Make sure your app is first connected to Facebook and its data synchronized. You can verify this by opening the game on FB and checking if the latest unlocked level is the same as the one in your device.

2. Go to your Android device’s Settings and then open Application manager.

Android SettingsAndroid Settings - Application Manager

3. Scroll through the list of downloaded apps and select Candy Crush Saga.

4. The app’s info screen then appears. Tap on the Clear data button.

Candy Crush Saga - Android app infoCandy Crush Saga - Android delete app data

5. Tap the OK button in the pop-up warning dialog box (Delete app data? All of this application’s data will be deleted permanently. This includes all files, settings, accounts, databases, etc.)

6. Launch Candy Crush Saga. Since its user data has just been cleared, there’s a Connect button right below the Play button. If you’ll tap on Play!, you’ll notice that you’re back on level 1.

Candy Crush Saga - Reset and back to level 1Candy Crush Saga - Successfully connected to Facebook

7. In the app’s home or main screen, tap on Facebook’s Connect button. Enter your FB credentials when asked, then wait as the app connects to the social network. It will then say “succesfully connected to Facebook! All progress is now sychronized with your account.” If the attempt to connect fails, simply retry.

8. Tap on the Play! button. You’re now back to your last unlocked level and with five full lives to use with.

Candy Crush Saga - Restored to last unlocked level and with full lives

As you can see, this cheat does not exactly work by increasing your success in beating every puzzle level. You don’t gain more power-ups either. It is merely a workaround or bypass to the long wait of getting back five lives.

I also do not know how synchronization really works between Facebook and your device’s Candy Crush Saga app. There might be a chance that when you connect to Facebook, its own data will be replaced by the ones from your recently cleaned mobile app. This means that both the Facebook game and its mobile equivalent are back on level 1. I’ve yet to encounter this possible issue, but you have been warned nonetheless.

Other ways to get more Candy Crush Saga game lives

There are other ways to get back lives besides my own cheat. One popular method is to set the current date on your Android or iOS device one day ahead, as if you’re living in the future. Since the life timer depends on your gadget’s internal clock, moving the time forward fully recharges all lives. You can adjust the date one day ahead again when you run out of lives once more and have them fully replenished.  But when you run out again and revert the date back to the right one, you’ll wait a day just to get one life, instead of the usual thirty-minute delay. To fix this, you’ll need to reinstall Candy Crush Saga.

Do note that tinkering with your device’s time settings may negatively affect other apps such as messaging, Facebook, Twitter, and more.

But enough about cheats. There are legitimate ways to get back lives. One obvious thing is simply wait for 30 minutes. If you have some money to spare, you can also fully recharge your lives by spending a little more than a dollar. That way, you are at least supporting the developers who made the game you’re enjoying so much, that they can be inspired to create more games that exploit the frustration of players and use it to tempt them to spend more money. Bittersweet, eh?

Don’t forget your Facebook friends. Some of them are bound to be Candy Crush Saga addicts as well, that they don’t mind receiving game invites and requests from you to give you extra moves, power-ups, and lives. And speaking of the social network, its app’s life timer works separately from the one in your device. Therefore, you can play the game on Facebook as you wait for your device’s app equivalent to replenish its depleted lives.